Prospect Promotions: 4/16-4/22

A look at every prospect promotion within the past week.

Week three! Throughout the year, this will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect movers from the previous week.

We have only just started the MLB season, and the minor league season isn’t scheduled to begin until May, but due to Covid-19 protocols, injuries and several weather postponements early in the season, there has already been substantial movement for many prospects.

The format of the article is likely to change once the minor league season begins. For now, everyone listed made the jump to the majors.

All stats are of April 22.

 

April 16

 

Sean Poppen, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Poppen made a handful of appearances for the Twins over the last two seasons. He’s now with Pittsburgh and an injury to Michael Feliz opened the door for the 27-year-old to grab some likely low-leverage opportunities.

Max Schrock, 2B/3B, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 45): Schrock bounced around this offseason. He struggled in limited plate appearances with the Cardinals last season and was placed on waivers in October. The Cubs claimed him but didn’t hold onto him for long, placing him on waivers a few months following. The Reds claimed him and here we are. He was once considered an intriguing prospect but now at 26 he still has a lot to prove.

Camilo Doval, P, SF (preseason PL team rank: 34): This is the first call-up for Doval. The righty relief-only prospect posted a 3.31 ERA in four minor league seasons. He has great strikeout numbers to go along with some shaky walk rates. There could be an elite reliever hiding in his profile.

 

April 17

 

Peter Solomon, P, HOU(preseason PL team rank: 20): Solomon missed all of 2020 following Tommy John surgery. This is his first call to the show. He has worked as a starter and reliever in the minors but is a relief-only arm for the time being.

Alex Vesia, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Vesia had a 2020 to forget, allowing nine runs in 4.1 innings for the Dodgers. The lefty has a career 1.52 ERA in the minors, though, so he could carve out a role in the Dodgers pen at some point this season.

Mark Payton, OF, CIN (preseason PL team rank: UR): The 29-year-old Payton only has 20 ABs to his name but got the call after Alex Blandino was sent to the IL. The Reds have predominantly right-handed bats, so Payton could see some opportunities as a lefty bench option.

Lucas Gilbreath, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Gilbreath has never pitched above High-A and has a 5.35 ERA in three minor league seasons. He was brought up as an emergency arm for a doubleheader.

Brooks Kriske, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: UR): Kriske yielded six earned runs in 3.2 innings in 2020. He figures to be a temporary bullpen arm.

Sam Hentges, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: UR): This is the first call to the bigs for Hentges, who hasn’t pitched above Double-A. He has a career 4.34 ERA in the minors, primarily working as a starter.

 

April 18

 

Zack Burdi, P, CWS (preseason PL team rank: 9): Burdi got the call following an IL trip for Lance Lynn. Burdi throws a heater in the triple digits and despite the depth of the White Sox bullpen, could work himself into a full-time role sometime this season.

Sheldon Neuse, 2B/3B, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 8): Neuse had a monster 2019 at Triple-A before struggling at the MLB level. Oakland traded him to the Dodgers in February. Neuse has big power and should be a part-tine fill-in until Gavin Lux returns, which could happen Monday.

J.B. Bukauskas, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 19): Bukauskas has great stuff but questionable control. This is his first call to the majors and should be a temporary relief role.

Jonathan Stiever, P, CWS (preseason PL team rank: 8): Stiever was brought up as an emergency arm for a doubleheader. He allowed seven runs in 7.1 innings in 2020. He has been used primarily as a starter in the minors.

Tanner Houck P, BOS (preseason PL team rank: 3): Houck made the first edition of this series and he was called up here to make a start as part of a doubleheader against the White Sox. He struggled in the start but still has promising potential as a starter. If the first two weeks are any indication, Houck will bounce between the majors and minors for the first few months of the year.

 

April 19

 

Nick Maton, SS, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 18): This is the first taste of MLB action for Maton. The middle infielder has great plate discipline but below-average power. He is a better real-life prospect than fantasy asset.

Damon Jones, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 19): The 26-year-old Jones got the call after the Phillies were forced to put both Jose Alvarado and Matt Moore on the Covid-IL. The lefty’s stock has been on the rise in recent years but he is just a temporary big-league arm for now.

Cristopher Sánchez, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 26): Like Jones, Sánchez served as an emergency arm for the Phillies. He’s split time as a reliever and a starter in the minors and features decent strikeout rates.

 

April 20

 

Bailey Falter, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 20): This is Falter’s first call to the majors. He’s featured fantastic control in the minors with just a 4.7% walk rate in 77.1 Double-A innings. He’s been used almost exclusively as a starter but got the promotion as an emergency arm for a depleted Phillies bullpen.

Ramon Rosso, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Rosso struggled in limited appearances for the Phillies in 2020, finishing with a 6.52 ERA in 9.2 innings. He’s a relief-only arm and like Falter, Jones and Sanchez, received the call as fill-in’s arm.

Brent Honeywell, Jr., P, TB (preseason PL team rank: 14): This is the second call-up for Honeywell. The Rays seem intent on using him as a multi-inning reliever that could serve as an opener, follower, or middle-relief arm.  He’s allowed one run in 3.1 innings to start the season.

Yadiel Hernández, OF, WAS (preseason PL team rank: 47): Hernández was brought up earlier this year as an emergency body following a number of Covid-19 positives for the Nationals. Here, he gets the call following a trip to the IL for Juan SotoThe 33-year-old Hernández had a big spring but has struggled with strikeouts in limited MLB action.

Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/OF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 16): Blankenhorn is a versatile defender with a solid bat. He has a career .257/.325/.431 triple slash in the minors and his ability to play multiple positions should allow him to grab some early-season opportunities.

Steven Fuentes, P, WAS (preseason PL team rank: 24): Fuentes had a major breakout during a 2019 season that was extremely favorable to hitters. He is an under-the-radar arm that could be serviceable.

 

April 21

 

Zack Short, P, DET(preseason PL team rank: 33): This is the first taste of MLB action for Short. Short is a solid defensive player with an all-or-nothing approach at the plate. Willi Castro has struggled to start the year so Short could have a window for playing time.

Rodolfo Castro, 2B, PIT (preseason PL team rank 25): The Pirates called up Castro as an extra bat for a doubleheader against the Pirates. He has above-average pop but an aggressive plate approach.

Spencer Howard, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 1): The Phillies top prospect gets his second call of the year. The right-hander is one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball and looks to improve upon an inconsistent 2020. He worked an inning of relief in his first taste of 2021 action and looks to be slated for a similar role for the time being.

Ryan McKenna, OF, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 28): McKenna is a burner with plus-plus speed. He’s bounced between the majors and alternate site to start the season. The injury to Anthony Santander opens the door for some playing time opportunities.

Humberto Castellanos, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Arizona claimed Castellanos this winter. The right-hander tossed 10.2 innings of relief for Houston a season ago, allowing eight runs. He’s a relief-only prospect with a 2.92 ERA in minor league action. He was optioned the next day.

 

April 22

 

Derek Hill, OF, DET (preseason PL team rank: 34): The 25-year-old outfielder made a handful of appearances for Detroit in 2020. Hill has great speed and could be a factor on the basepaths.

José Devers, 2B/SS/3B, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 20): This is the first call to the majors for Devers and it comes following an IL trip for regular Miami third baseman Brian Anderson. Anderson’s timetable is unclear but the 21-year-old Devers will provide good speed but lacking power in the meantime.

Nabil Crismatt, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Big shouts to Crismatt as being the only player to make this list for the third consecutive week. The Padres clearly have faith in the 26-year-old reliever. To date, Crismatt has allowed three earned runs while striking out nine in 8.1 innings.

Jordan Holloway, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 31): Holloway gets the call as an extra arm for the Marlins. He made a two-inning appearance earlier this year, throwing two perfect frames while striking out three.

Gregory Santos, P, SF (preseason PL team rank: 26): The Giants wasted no time giving Santos an opportunity to make his MLB debut. The 21-year-old righty made an appearance in Thursday’s game, earning a hold by tossing a scoreless inning while striking out two. Santos once had a decent amount of prospect hype but was slowed by injuries. It’s an encouraging sign that San Francisco trusted him with a lead out of the gate and his nasty stuff should play up in a relief role. The bullpen has been lights out for the Giants to start the year, but Santos could be their closer of the future if the injury history prevents him from getting shot in the rotation. This is a 21-year-old that can touch 100 mph with his heater and pairs it with a whiff-inducing slider. He’s somewhat under-the-radar and worth a scoop in dynasty leagues even if there is a chance he doesn’t have a permanent role yet.

 

Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

  • Avatar Ted Williams frozen head says:

    Why does it feel like the Mariners are holding Kelenic down because they want to prove that it has nothing to do with service time manipulation? Yeah you can argue that “he’s still young” and “needs more time to face lefties” and I’ll retort with “The kid is a stud and is READY! He proved it this spring and everywhere he has ever played. Enough with the games, get him in the show!”

    At least Tampa can argue that their infield depth is deep and don’t have a real need to call up 20 year old Franco. Taylor Trammel is below the Mendoza line and is whiffing at everything thrown his way. He’s looked overmatched so far. I’m willing to bet Kelenic will fair better, just a hunch.

    • Avatar Ted Williams frozen head says:

      because they want to prove that it has nothing to do with the service time manipulation controversy with Kevin Mather is what I meant to say

      • Avatar Vincent Ginardi says:

        Yeah…it’s just a matter of time with Kelenic. The latest reason given was that they want him to face more lefties at the alternate site before coming up. Sounds like it will still be a couple of weeks but an injury could always change that.

  • Avatar Redisdead says:

    What are your thoughts on Kirilioff?

    • Avatar Vincent Ginardi says:

      Really like him long term. For fantasy, I think he will be serviceable for 2021 but the playing time might not inconsistent. It seems he will bat in the heart of the order when he does play though which is encouraging.

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