MLB Debuts: August 3 – August 9

And all that glitters is gold / Only shooting stars break the mold.

We are getting our first look at baseball that finally has some meaning this year. Not only that, but we are also getting a look at players making their major league debuts. Some of you will probably know (Luis Robert and Evan White), but some players make their debut to a lot less fanfare. I’ll be coming at you each week with a small write up on each player making their MLB debut during the past week. There will also be an updated spreadsheet that can be accessed at the bottom of the article which will be updated each week.

Here are the debuts from August 3rd and August 9th:

 

Jo Adell (OF, Los Angeles Angels)

Age:  21

Role:  Full-Time Starter

 

Jo Adell, one of the best prospects in baseball, made his debut against the Seattle Mariners this week. Adell was a tenth overall pick by the Los Angeles Angels in 2017. He split his time last year between Double-A and Triple-A. He also missed some time at the beginning of the season with a couple of leg injuries. While the swing and miss will always be an issue for Adell, his above-average power makes him a future middle of the order bat. He has a rough time to start his major league career but don’t quit on the 21-year-old. To be honest, he needed more time in the minors so he could work on his approach, but I like seeing the Angels giving him playing time in the majors. This is the best pitching he was going to see this year, and he needs all the looks he can to improve.

 

Humberto Castellanos (RP, Houston Astros)

Age:  22

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

The Houston Astros pitching staff has been destroyed by injuries this season so their bullpen is filled with players making their major league debut way before they were expected to. Case in point, Humberto Castellanos. The 22-year-old split his time between three levels last year, going from Low-A to Triple-A, but saw his strikeout decrease at each stop. He doesn’t walk too many batters and should fill in nicely in the middle innings.

 

Joey Gerber (RP, Seattle Mariners)

Age:  22

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Eighth round pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2018, Joey Gerber has this really unique delivery. He pitches from the stretch but kind of squats before firing. He also works really fast on the mound. He has a Fastball/slider combination, and the slider should be able to generate some swings and misses.

 

Monte Harrison (OF, Miami Marlins)

Age:  24

Role:  Full-Time Starter

 

Monte Harrison was a second round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014.  While in the Brewers system, he posted great power and walk numbers, but huge strikeout numbers which indicates he has an idea of the strike zone, but has trouble making contact. We have seen that play out so far in his major league career with his contact% being only 59.3% (as of this post) and a 50% K%. His 14.1 SwStk% is in line with his minor league numbers, and with a Swing% 10 percentage points below the league average, we just need Harrison to be a bit more aggressive in the box. He should continue to see full-time playing time as the Marlins need to find out what they have in him.

 

Mark Mathias (OF, Milwaukee Brewers)

Age:  26

Role:  Bench Bat

 

Mathias was a third-round draft pick in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians. He has been an above-average hitter for most of his minor league career, and was traded to the Brew Crew in a 40-man roster crunch this offseason. Mathias is more of a contact over power hitter and received the call up when Lorenzo Cain opted out of the season. I’m unsure how much playing time he will see as he is the fourth outfielder at this point.

 

Eddy Alvarez (2B, Miami Marlins)

Age:  30

Role:  Bench Bat

 

Eddy Alvarez might be the feel-good story of the year. He is the first Winter Olympian and first non-baseball Olympian since Jim Thorpe to play in the Major Leagues. He won a silver medal in the 5000m relay in speed skating in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He signed a minor league contact with the Chicago White Sox in the summer after winning a medal, and has been an above average hitter from Rookie ball all the way to Triple-A. He was traded to the Miami Marlins early last year and made his debut after many Marlins landed on the Injured List with COVID-19.

 

Luis Patiño (RP/SP, San Diego Padres)

Age:  20

Role:  Bullpen Arm/Starter

 

Luis Patiño is one of my favorite pitching prospects in the minor leagues so I was excited to see him called up to the major leagues. I had seen a couple of days before his call-up that he was pitching extremely well at the Padres Alternate Site. Patiño has two 60 grade pitches, the fastball and slider, to go along with an above-average changeup. Patiño’s fastball reaches the mid-nineties and upper nineties when he is coming out of the bullpen. While he still has some work to do on commanding his stuff, he has only been pitching for four years, and I think the command will come around. He is extremely fun to watch on the mound and since becoming best buds with MacKenzie Gore, has picked up Gore’s high leg kick. We might see him start some games this year, but I feel that the Padres are going to use him out of the bullpen or in a piggyback role with Cal Quantrill.

 

Carlos Sanabria (RP, Houston Astros)

Age:  22

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Just like Castellanos before him in this article, Carlos Sanabria made his debut due to the massive amount of injuries the Houston Astros have had this year. He split his time between High-A and Double-A and struck out 86 batters in 66.2 innings, but also walked 40 batters during that time. He has an above-average fastball in the low-nineties with a slider hovering around 84 MPH. He should fill in in the middle innings for the rest of the season.

 

Sterling Sharp (RP, Miami Marlins)

Age:  25

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Sterling Sharp was a 22nd round draft selection of the Washington Nationals after playing for two schools in college. It was surprising to see the Washington Nationals leave him unprotected, and the Miami Marlins quickly picked him in the Rule 5 draft this winter. He made it up to Double-A for the Nationals and has put together good seasons, but never struck too many players out. He will stay on the active roster in the long man role.

Also of note…

Jorge Guzman (RP, Miami Marlins)

Age:  24

Role:  Full-Time Starter

 

Jorge Guzman has been part of two big time trades. He was originally signed by the Houston Astros before being traded to the New York Yankees in the Brian McCann deal. He then made his way to the Miami Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade. While he has always been a strikeout pitcher, walks have been an issue, and we saw his strikeout rate decrease when he made it up to Double-A this past season. He has been a starter, but should transition nicely to the bullpen and rack up a bunch of strikeouts.

 

Anderson Tejeda (2B, Texas Rangers)

Age:  22

Role:  Bench Bat

 

The Texas Rangers signed Anderson Tejada during the 2014 July 2nd signing period. He has above-average bat speed and plus power that he started to get to in High-A in 2018. He missed most of last year with a shoulder injury. While strikeouts will always be a struggle for Tejeda, he should be an everyday player within the next couple of seasons. He played in three games before being optioned back to the Alternate Site when the Rangers signed Derek Dietrich this week. That being said, Tejeda is still a prospect to keep your eye on.

 

Humberto Mejía (SP, Miami Marlins)

Age:  23

Role:  Full-Time Starter/Bullpen Arm

 

Due to the Miami Marlins COVID-19 outbreak, Humberto Mejía made his first major league game as the team was missing many starting pitchers. Mejía had never pitched above High-A. Like his teammate Sterling Sharp, Mejía is more of a groundball, contact, and low walks-type of pitcher. He was optioned back to the Alternate Site after his start.

Albert Abreu (RP, New York Yankees)

Age:  24

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman were part of the same trade when the New York Yankees sent Brian McCann to the Houston Astros, and they make their major league debut in the same week, albeit for different teams. I think that is pretty cool. He has missed a bunch of time in recent years to due elbow/biceps/shoulder injuries. He has lights out stuff; a mid-nineties heater with an above-average changeup and plus breaking balls. If he remains in the pen, past this season, he will be another lights out reliever for the Yankees. However, the Yankees might want to give him another shot at starting next year.

 

Zack Burdi (RP, Chicago White Sox)

Age:  25

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Zack Burdi was drafted in the first round by the Chicago White Sox in 2016 and just like his brother Nick Burdi, is purely a relief pitching prospect. Also like his brother, he has also missed a bunch of time due to injury. Burdi has a mid-nineties fastball, a mid-eighties slider, and low-nineties changeup. While some of his velocity has not returned since his injury, he should still play an important role in the White Sox bullpen.

 

Daniel Castano (SP, Miami Marlins)

Age:  25

Role:  Full-Time Starter/Bullpen Arm

 

Daniel Castano was a nineteenth overall pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 and was traded, along with Zac Gallen and Magneuris Sierra, for Marcell Ozuna in the winter of 2017. He made his way up to Double-A last year and is a low strikeout and walk pitcher. He struggled in his debut, but could make another start before the pitchers on the IL return to the team.

Ryan Castellani (SP/RP, Colorado Rockies)

Age:  24

Role:  Full-Time Starter/Bullpen Arm

 

Ryan Castellani was a second round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2014 and slowly moved his way up to Triple-A last year. Castellani does not have overpowering stuff and struggled with his command this last few years. He should fill in in middle relief for the Rockies and most likely move back to a starter role next year.

 

Nick Mears (RP, Pittsburgh Pirates)

Age:  23

Role:  Bullpen Arm

 

Another feel good story here…Nick Mears was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an undrafted free agent back in 2018. Mears has put up impressive strikeout totals and made his way up to Double-A by the end of last season. Mears has an upper-nineties fastball and low-eighties curveball and should continue to help out the Pirates bullpen this year.

 

Spencer Howard (SP, Philadelphia Phillies)

Age:  24

Role:  Full-Time Starter

 

One of the best pitching prospects made his debut this week and you should check out Nick’s GIF breakdown here. While his first start was not what we were expecting, I’m still a believer. He has four pitches; fastball that sits in the low to mid-nineties, a mid-eighties slider, and a curve and change in the mid-seventies. The Phillies rotation is really hurting and they should give Howard every opportunity to showcase his talent.

 

Want to see all the players who have made their debut this year? Check out this spreadsheet!

Photo by Stephen Hopson/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Shelly Verougstraete

Shelly currently writes for Pitcher List, RotoGraphs, The Dynasty Guru, and Prospects365. She can also be heard on the Dynasty's Child podcast on The Dynasty Guru. She is a proud Dog Mom to Orsillo and Soto.

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