MLB Debuts: September 7 – September 13

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 September 7th and September 13th:

 

Sergio Alcántara (2B/3B, Detriot Tigers)

Age:  24

Role: Bench Bat

Sergio Alcántara signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks during the J2 international signing period in 2012. He spent five years with the organization making it all the way to High-A before being traded, along with Dawel Lugo, at the trading deadline for J.D. Martinez. He spent the last two seasons in Double-A Erie where he posted below average offensive numbers. However, Alcántara has an absolute cannon of an arm and is an above average infielder. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run and became the eighth Tiger to do so. He should see time here and there for the remainder of the season, especially if the Tigers have any more doubleheaders on the docket.

 

 

Dean Kremer (SP, Baltimore Orioles)

Age:  24

Role:  Full-time Starter

 

As the 431st overall draft pick in 2016, Dean Kremer has really exceeded expectations. Kremer really hides the ball well and led the league in strikeouts in 2018 while in High-A. He moved from the West Coast to the East Coast in the Manny Machado trade in 2018. He split his time between Double-A and Triple-A and while his strikeouts dropped a bit, his walk rates dropped to career lows. He has had two starts in the majors so far and struck out 14 batters in 11 innings. While he will never be an ace for a squad, he will be that reliable #2 or #3 starter for the Orioles for years to come.

Mauricio Llovera (RP, Philadelphia Phillies)

Age:  24

Role: Bullpen Arm

The Philadelphia Phillies and Mauricio Llovera came together and signed a contract in February 2015 and he began his professional career later that summer in the DSL. He spent last year in Double-A but was limited to 65.1 innings due to injury. His fastball that was hitting the upper-nineties is now hitting the low to mid-nineties. With all of the injures and poor performance in the Phillies bullpen, he should remain with the team, but he should only see action in low leverage situations.

 

Wyatt Mathisen (3B, Arizona Diamondbacks)

Age:  26

Role: Bench Bat

Wyatt Mathisen was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2012 draft. Mathisen spent the next six seasons with the Pirates but never could live up to the drafted in the second round status. He was drafted as a catcher but moved to third base in 2014 and has been playing third and second the past couple of seasons.  While he has always been able to put the bat on the ball, the power never developed. He signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 2019 season and along with a new swing, he hit 23 balls over the fence while still hitting for a great average. The Diamondbacks have been really disappointing this season, and after DFA-ing Jake Lamb, Mathisen should see a bit more playing time down the stretch.

 

Jorge Oña (OF, San Diego Padres)

Age:  23

Role: Bench Bat/Full Time Starter

 

After defecting from Cuba in 2015, Jorge Oña signed with the San Diego Padres in July of 2016. However, he did not get into his first professional game until 2017 when he debuted in Low-A. The Padres have moved him up a level at a time and in 2019, in Double-A, Oña hit .348/.417/.539 with a 167 wRC+, but a shoulder surgery limited him in 25 games. Oña brings above average power and speed but lacks the bat to ball skills we really want to see. The Padres have moved a bunch of their outfielders the past few seasons but Oña remained. His first major league hit was a home run and he has been seeing off and on playing time for the Fathers. Going into next year, I think Oña will be in the minor leagues but is just a phone call away from San Diego.

José Mujica (RP, Colorado Rockies)

Age:  24

Role:  Bullpen Arm

The Colordo Rockies signed José Mujica during the 2012 J2 international signing period. He was with the Rays organization for six seasons but never really found his footing. He moved from the starters role to a bullpen role in 2018 but it did not go well. While he was a starter, his career-high strikeout rate was 18.4% and only slightly ticked up with the move to the pen. He signed a major league contract with the Colorado Rockies last November and made his debut this week against the San Diego Padres. It didn’t go well and he gave up six earned runs, four of them came on a Wil Myers grand slam.

 

Daz Cameron (OF, Detriot Tigers)

Age:  23

Role: Full-time Starter

 

The Houston Astros selected Daz Cameron with the 37th overall pick in the 2015 draft. He moved up to Low-A by 2016, posting above 100 wRC+ at each stop before he was traded to the Detriot Tigers in the Justin Verlander deal at the Trade Deadline. While with the Tigers he has performed well, that is until last season. In 120 games, he never seemed to get into a groove and hit .214/.330/.377 with an 84 wRC+. That being said, Cameron’s BABIP was a career low .291 and he was still walking 11.7% of the time. I’m still a believer in him and I think he will be a perfect 2nd or 3rd OF type player for the Tigers going into next season.

Yadiel Hernández (OF, Washington Nationals)

Age:  32

Role:  Bench Bat

The Feel Good Story award goes to Yadiel Hernández this week. He began his professional baseball career in Cuba and after hitting above .300 for a couple of seasons, he defected in June 2015 and signed with the Washington Nationals in September of 2016. In 2017, he was assigned to Double-A and in 120 games he hit .292 with 12 homeruns and a 127 wRC+. He spent all of 2019 in Triple-A where in 126 games, he smashed 33 home runs, swiped seven bags, and hit .324 with a 139 wRC+. Hernández can just flat out hit but unfortunately the Nationals outfield is pretty stacked. However, after Juan Soto missed a few games with a barking elbow, the Nationals called him up. He should remain with the team for the remainder of the season and should collect a handful of hits and homers.

 

Kyle Nelson (RP, Cleveland Indians)

Age:  24

Role:  Bullpen Arm

Kyle Nelson was drafted in the 15th round of the 2017 draft out of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was a reliever for most of his college career (he moved to the starter’s role in his junior season) and moved back there after being drafted. Nelson has put up some pretty impressive strikeout totals throughout his time in professional baseball due to his wipeout slider. During his time in Double-A last year, Nelson had a 34.3 K% and 8.6 BB% in his 26 innings. After being called up, Nelson has struggled a bit with command, but he looks like a great reliever for the Indians for many seasons to come.

 

Sam Huff (C, Texas Rangers)

Age:  22

Role:  Full-time Starter

Sam Huff was selected in the seventh round of the 2016 draft by the Texas Rangers. I was pleasantly surprised to see him get the call as he has not played above High-A before. Huff has major raw power. He crushed a ball to walk it off in the Futures Game last year in Cleveland.

However, with all of this power comes many questions on his ability to make enough contact. He has posted around 30 K% in Low-A and High-A which is not a good sign. That being said, Huff should be the Rangers catcher of the future…but that future might be in a couple more seasons.

Domingo Tapia (RP, Boston Red Sox)

Age:  28

Role:  Bullpen Arm

The New York Mets inked Domingo Tapia to a contract to play professional baseball in 2010 and made his professional debut in the DSL that summer. He made it up to Double-A with the Mets, posting respectable numbers but missed the entire 2015 season and most of the 2016 season as he was recovering from TJS. He signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 and moved to the bullpen. He was released at the end of the 2018 season and quickly signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox. Last year in Triple-A, Tapia had a 5.18 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in his 66 innings with the PawSox. However, with the state of the Red Sox bullpen, mainly due to injury and ineffectiveness, Tapia made his debut against the Tampa Bay Rays this week, and it didn’t go over well. He will probably stick with the club for the rest of the season but it is great to see him finally make his major league debut.

 

 

 

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.

Account / Login
>