The September call-up is not what it used to be. Back in my day, you could call everyone in your system, even the Q-League players, because the style was, players would have onions on their belts. MLB clubs are now limited to 28 lineups in September, just two more than they had in the first five months of the season. This smaller lineup does avoid the circus of some teams that play with 35 active players, but also limits rebuilding clubs that may want to give more potential clients a taste of the Grand Slam. We’ve had some big call-ups this week, including the top two prospects in the game, so here’s a quick check on what everyone should be looking for and what their call-up could mean.
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Corbyn Carroll
What to look for: In my midseason update, Carroll was baseball’s No. 1 prospect, doing nothing but all of his performances in pro ball, with a combined double-A and triple-A of 0.307/. 425/.610 with 31 steals and 36 attempts. The 2019 No. 16 pick was also well-received for his makeup and his feel for the game.
Why it matters: Arizona is in the midst of a massive rebuild, has a very strong farm system, but a weak lineup in the majors, especially its roster. Carroll is the guy around you, the team’s long-term center fielder and potential franchise player, and having him in the majors for a month now would make him better at breaking out training camp with the team in April, It also helps the team free up some space for its prospect promotions. He’ll still qualify in the offseason rankings, so the D-Backs will be in 3 of next year’s top 15 prospects, with Jordan Lauraer and Drew Jones joining Carroll.
Corbin Carroll is really fast! pic.twitter.com/BfIqNx1kc9
— Talking Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 31, 2022
Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles
What to look for: Henderson has continued to improve over the past two years, and his ability as a hitter has improved across the board, even as an aggressive upgrade in the Orioles’ system. He’s a solid defender at shortstop and an elite defender at third base, which gives Baltimore an option, though I’d argue for him at No. 3 and he’s probably the best defender in the AL next year.
Why it matters: The Orioles are currently in playoff contention, but they’ll be a real contender next year, with Adley Ruchman set up, Henderson likely on the opening day roster, DL Hall and Grayson Rowe Driggs can at least rotate, and the other prospects (Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg, Colton Cowser) are getting ready soon. Ortiz is a very strong guard, so if the Orioles see him as a future regular, they can move Henderson to No. 3 and have one of the best defensive infields in the game.
DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
What to look for: Hall can display three above-average or better pitches, but despite his athleticism, he has had issues with his pitching, walking 14 percent in Triple A this year and only 10 percent of his pitches. 63 percent from the field.
Why it matters: The Orioles’ surprising rivalry is due to better-than-expected pitching, more than any other single factor, as they’ve gone from the worst running defense in the AL to a full-game lead every nine innings (the team’s ERA was 5.84 last year) League average (3.79 this year). Some of their starters have surpassed their base numbers, which means they could see some returns, including Dean Kramer, Spencer Watkins and Austin Worth. Maybe one of those guys will end up in the Orioles’ long-term rotation, but Hall and Rodriguez just started his first rehab on Thursday, and they should both be a part of it.
Hunter Brown, RHP, Houston Astros
What to look for: thing. Brown threw it hard, with a top speed of 99 mph, with a potential four-pitch mix from a mighty 6-foot-2 frame that seemed fit for a start.
Why it matters: Brown could certainly help the Astros in a backup role now, but could also be auditioning for a rotation spot next year as Justin Verlander has a player option and the oft-injured Lance McCullers Jr. has only started three times this year. field. But Brown also has plenty in the minors, at 11.5 percent this year, which could be up in the majors because hitters aren’t chasing as often as the minors.
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Detroit Tigers
What to look for: Torkelsen’s first-round stint in the majors was unsuccessful as he made more turnovers in the box than expected and didn’t consistently make hard touches, which is not a big deal for a player whose value lies entirely in his bat. Essential for corner kickers. Can he make more touches in the box and make sure more touches are of high quality?
Why it matters: The Tigers’ rebuild has failed, at least for now, all three of their top pitching prospects from 2020 have been put on hold, and their top pitching prospects haven’t broken through – Riley Greene at wRC+ China leads the team with 103, and he hasn’t lived up to expectations. Detroit needs a lot of what went wrong this year to get it right next year, and 2020 No. 1 pick Torkelsen to start production will be near the top of that list.
Miguel Vargas, 3B/1B, Los Angeles Dodgers
What to look for: Vargas, who can hit by any definition, is 0.304/.404/.511 in Triple A at 22 this year, including 32 doubles, 4 3s and 17 home runs in 113 games beat. The only real question is where he can defend. He can handle first base, but has hit third base, second base, and even a little left this year.
Why it matters: The Dodgers have been under Freddie Freeman for quite some time, but they’ll have an infield spot open next year, with Trea Turner likely to leave in free agency and Max Muncy. and Justin Turner (will be 38) underperforming. If Gavin Lux can handle shortstop, that means Vargas will be second or third if the Dodgers decide to have Chris Taylor off the bench , he could also end up playing left, with Chris Taylor remaining on the bench in 2022 with three years left on his contract.
Miguel Vargas started making an impact with AB 1.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 4, 2022
Garrett Mitchell and Esteury Ruiz, CF, Milwaukee Brewers
What to look for: For Mitchell, it’s really about the impact of hitting — he’s an 80-year-old runner and a great center-defender with a nice touch but doesn’t make much of a swing the power of. For Ruiz, it’s a bit wider — he can hit the ball but doesn’t have Mitchell’s approach, or at least not until this year, while Ruiz can definitely play center (and really run, this year With 70 steals, more than any MLB player has done in a season since 2009), he’s not as good as Mitchell and could end up being cornered.
Why it matters: The Brewers need a midfield answer now, the rest of the year and 2023, as they should be contenders again next year. One of those guys should be an everyday center fielder next year, which will help the Brewers try to address some of the other weaknesses in the roster.
Ken Waldichuk, LHP, Oakland A’s
What to look for: Waldichuk started the 2021 minor league season with a scoreless streak of 30 2/3 innings that grabbed everyone’s attention and went without a bat all the way to Triple A, using an above-average fastball Hit the ball because of its spin and movement, and the above-average slider. He has big platoon splits, right-handed hitters lacking a good third pitch, and his commanding is below average, both of which point to a potential rescue future.
Why it matters: Waldichuk was the headliner for Frankie Montas’ four-man return at the trade deadline, so his workout pressure is a bit more stressful than he’s come through the Oakland system. If Voldychuk looks good this month, the A’s definitely have a chance in the 2023 rotation, and while I think he’s more likely to end up as a bench player, Oakland’s stadium has helped a lot in the past Edge’s starting prospect develops.
(Photo by Corbin Carroll: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today)