With the All-Star game behind us and the “Super-Two” deadline long in the rear view mirror, many MLB teams will begin to consider calling up their top prospects. We have already seen guys like Clint Frazier and Derek Fisher make their major-league debuts, but what other minor leaguers might get the big promotion in the coming weeks? While Tim Tebow has been raking in Advanced-A, it is unlikely he makes an appearance at Citi Field this season. But here are some prospects who’s names you might be hearing in Major League stadiums sooner rather than later.
2B Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox
Considered by many to be the top prospect in all of baseball, Moncada is sure to make his White Sox debut in the near future. The second baseman finished his first half at Triple-A Charlotte strong, picking up hits in nine of the last 10 games along with two home runs and seven RBI. In 74 games at Charlotte this season, the 22-year old has a .286/.385/.453 slash line to go with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, and 16 stolen bases. Moncada will have to improve his plate discipline if he wants to succeed at the next level, as his 94 strikeouts currently puts him on pace to shatter his previous career-high of 124 strikeouts in 2016. But throughout his journey in the minors, the switch-hitter has shown the ability to make adjustments, and should eventually adapt to the quality of major league pitching.
SS Amed Rosario, New York Mets
With his performance at Triple-A Las Vegas, combined with New York’s struggles at the shortstop position this season, many Mets fans are scratching their heads wondering why Rosario was not called up weeks ago. Through 83 games in Vegas, the young shortstop is hitting .327 with seven HR, 52 RBI, 55 runs, and 16 doubles. While he still needs to work on his patience at the plate, Rosario has proven to have very good contact skills and extra-base power. The 21-year old also has excellent speed, evidenced by his 16 stolen bases this season, and should continue to be a base-stealing threat in the majors. Rosario projects to be a shortstop long-term, and has shown the potential to be an elite-level defender thanks in part to his hands, strong arm, footwork, and range. While the Mets have already passed on numerous opportunities to promote their top prospect, if Rosario continues his stellar play at Triple-A, he might force the hand of general manager Sandy Alderson.
3B Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
Devers is only 20 years old, but with the way he has been performing this season, a call-up may not be too far away. In 77 games at Double-A Portland, the young third baseman absolutely mashed, hitting an even .300 while racking up 18 HR and 56 RBI (his 18 HR and .575 slugging percentage are both good for third-highest in all of Double-A). While he is certainly more known for his bat than his glove, Devers has the strong arm, quick feet, and confident hands to become an everyday third baseman in the majors. The 20-year old will be unable to add to his stats with Portland as Boston announced today that their top prospect is being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. With Pablo Sandoval being designated for assignment, Devers could find himself getting called up late in the season to help the Red Sox in their pennant race.
SP Chance Adams, New York Yankees
Since getting drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, Adams has excelled at every level within the Yankees’ farm system. After going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA in his first six starts at Double-A Trenton this season, the Yankees promoted the young right-hander to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Adams continued his dominance at Triple-A, earning a 6-3 record with a 2.50 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in his first 11 starts. The 22-year old starter has two well above-average pitches (his fastball and slider) in addition to his changeup and curveball (his curveball is his worst pitch, yet still grades as average). Adams also does a great job of locating his pitches, and is not afraid to attack hitters. With a career minor league record of 26-5 to go with a 2.11 ERA, Adams is a proven winner. With today’s news that Yankees starter Michael Pineda will likely have to undergo Tommy John surgery, a spot has opened in New York’s rotation. Adams could be the first player on this list to finally get the big promotion.
SP Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox
Lopez saw a decent amount of action with the Nationals last season, earning a 4.91 ERA in 44.0 innings. After being traded to the White Sox during the offseason, the right-hander has looked a lot better at Triple-A Charlotte this year. In 93.0 innings, Lopez is 6-5 with a 3.97 ERA spanning 17 starts, and has shown the potential to have three plus pitches at the Major League level. The velocity on his fastball is impressive (he hit 100 mph with Washington last year), he has a powerful curve, and he has proven to be able to throw his changeup effectively. However Lopez needs to be able to throw all three of these pitches for strikes more consistently, as he sometimes overthrows which leads to him losing his command. Lopez’s ceiling is high, and with Chicago’s struggles this season, he could be joining the White Sox rotation very soon.
OF Harrison Bader, St. Louis Cardinals
Bader’s ascension through the Cardinals’ farm system occurred very quickly, with the outfielder making it all the way up to Triple-A in his first full season. In 86 games at Triple-A Memphis this year, the 23-year old owns a .293/.353/.514 slash line and has looked quite impressive with the bat. Bader has seen his power increase each year in the minors, with his 17 home runs this season only two behind his career-high of 19 home runs in 2016. The outfielder still has some improvements to make though, as his 84:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio shows he needs to learn to be a little less aggressive at the plate. While he has spent most of his minor league career in center field, and has a chance to stay there once promoted, Bader is more than capable of playing all three outfield positions. The Cardinals currently have a logjam in the outfield, thus making his path to the majors a little trickier. However Bader’s name has been mentioned in a long list of trade rumors, and if the Cardinals do decide to deal their top outfield prospect, don’t be surprised to see Bader making his MLB debut very soon after.
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