Throughout the year, this will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect movers from the previous week. Not only will this series feature prospects who get the call to the big leagues, but it will also detail the players who move up a level within the minors.
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 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 15.
Nivaldo Rodriguez, P, HOU (preseason PL team rank: 36) – Rodriguez tossed 8.2 innings of relief for the Astros in 2020, surrendering six earned runs while striking out eight. He’s likely a two-pitch relief prospect that will bounce between the majors and minors in 2021.
Ty Tice, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR) – This is the first MLB call for the 24-year-old Tice. He’s been a relief-only arm through the minors with a career 2.09 ERA. He was optioned on April 10.
Josh Palacios, OF, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): The Blue Jays have lost some outfield depth to injuries early on so Palacios got the call to make his MLB debut. In the minors, he has posted a career .288/.366/.403 triple slash.
Anderson Tejeda, 2B/SS, TEX (preseason PL team rank: 7): Tejeda has been a borderline top-100 prospect in year’s past. Texas brought him up following a trip to the IL for Brock Holt. Tejeda offers an intriguing speed/power combination but has struggled with strikeouts at all levels.
Luke Raley, OF, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): The Cody Bellinger injury opened the door for Raley’s MLB debut. The Dodgers are still crazy deep, so Raley likely won’t see many opportunities, but he’s a career .288/.361/.472 minor league bat and is criminally under-the-radar.
Alex Lange, P, DET (preseason PL team rank: 22): Lange transitioned to a bullpen role in the minors late in 2019 and saw improved results. The Tigers called Lange to the bigs following an injury to Julio Teheran and he will get his first shot at the MLB level as a relief arm.
Daniel Castano, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: UR): The Marlins gave Castano some run in 2020 and he had a successful 29.2 innings, finishing with a 3.03 ERA. He doesn’t strike many batters out, though, and his FIP was in the upper fours.
JoJo Romero, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 28): Romero struggled in 10.2 MLB innings in 2020, posting a 7.59 ERA. That followed up a 2019 stint at Triple-A where he also failed to keep runs off the board. He will replace Archie Bradley in the Phillies bullpen for the timing being.
Jaylin Davis, OF, SF (preseason PL team rank: UR): Davis made appearances for the Giants both in 2019 and 2020 but struggled to get anything going. The Giants recalled him only to put him on the 60-day IL with left knee patella tendinitis.
Johan Oviedo, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 5): The Cardinals have groomed Oviedo as a starting pitcher and he made five starts for St. Louis last season, finishing with a 5.47 ERA. Oviedo is getting another shot at making some starts for the big league club early in 2021. He was optioned on April 13.
Brent Honeywell Jr., P, TB (preseason PL rank: 14): It feels like it took forever, but Honeywell Jr. finally got the call to the big league club following several years battling injuries. He served as an opener and tossed two shutout innings. He was optioned the next day.
Justin Steele, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 26): The Cubs put a handful of relief arms on the IL so Steele received his first MLB call-up. He posted a 3.62 ERA in six minor league seasons, primarily as a starter. He will work out of the bullpen for the time being.
Nabil Crismatt, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Crismatt made last week’s version of this piece. This time he gets the call after Adrian Morejon was put on the IL. Crismatt will likely be a fill-in arm all year. He was optioned on April 14.
Angel Perdomo, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Perdomo had a brief stint with the Brewers in 2020 and it did not go well. The lefty allowed six earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. He looked electric this spring, though, striking out 12 in six innings without allowing a single run. The Brewers have developed some of the best relief arms in baseball in recent years so Perdomo is someone to keep an eye on.
Donovan Walton, 2B/SS, SEA (preseason PL team rank: 27): Heading into 2021, Walton is a career .172 hitter in limited appearances. Dylan Moore and J.P. Crawford have each struggled out of the gate, so Walton could see some early opportunities if that continues, but in this instance he was called up as an extra man in a doubleheader. He was optioned on April 14.
Kodi Whitley, P, STL, (preseason PL team rank: 34): Whitley allowed one earned run in 4.2 innings of relief for the Cardinals in 2020, striking out five. He has a fantastic spring and could carve out a permanent bullpen role if he continues to perform.
Spencer Howard, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 1): Howard got the call as the extra arm for a doubleheader. Howard battled a back injury this spring, so he’s still being stretched out. He’s a starter with a high ceiling long term. He’s looking to bounce back from an inconsistent 2020. He was optioned the next day.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 1): It was only a matter of time before Kirilloff got the call. The slugger made an appearance for the Twins in the postseason in 2020, but this will be his first call up for MLB regular season action. In this instance, he was called up as the 27th man for a doubleheader, but it won’t be long before he’s a regular for the Twins. He looked shaky in left field in his 2021 debut, but he should be playable out there. He was optioned on April 15.
Eduard Bazardo, P, BOS (preseason PL team rank: 27): Bazardo came up for Boston’s double-header. He’s a relief-only arm and could have a more permanent role in the bullpen this summer. He was optioned the next day.
Josh Fleming, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): Fleming is a pitch-to-contact pitcher. He doesn’t strike out many but he doesn’t walk many, either. In 2020, he posted a 2.78 ERA in 32.1 innings for the Rays and he’s the type of arm that could eat some innings as a starter or a reliever.
Zack Burdi, P, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 9): Burdi has always been a relief-only prospect but prior to injuries his stuff was good enough that he was still considered to be a top-100 prospect. He struggled in 2020, allowing nine earned runs in 7.1 innings, but a bounce-back could be in store. A trip to the IL for Dylan Cease opened the door for Burdi.
Tucker Davidson, P, ATL (preseason PL team rank: 5): Davidson couldn’t find any success in a spot start for the Braves in 2020, but he’s a high upside under-the-radar arm. The injury to Max Fried led to the opening for Davidson, but he’s expected to work out of the bullpen for now. He was optioned on April 16.
Mickey Moniak, OF, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 14): It’s been an up-and-down career in the minors for the former No. 1 pick. Moniak hit .214 in 18 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2020 but had a solid spring. He should be able to get some reps while Adam Haseley is away from the team for personal reasons.
Taylor Jones, IF/OF, HOU (preseason PL team rank: 2): Jones hit just .190 in 22 plate appearances in 2020, but he’s been a solid performer in the upper levels of the minors. He got the call after several Astros players were ruled out due to Covid-19 protocols.
Alex De Goti, IF, HOU, (preseason PL team rank: UR): De Goti was an emergency call-up following several players being ruled out. He has moderate power and speed, but will spend the majority of the years in the minors.
Ronnie Dawson, OF, HOU (preseason PL team rank: UR): Dawson was another emergency roster-filler. He has above-average power and speed but major strikeout concerns.
Anthony Castro, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 21): The injury to Julian Merryweather should give Castro some opportunities as a bullpen arm. Castro has a career 3.48 ERA in the minors, primarily as a stater.
Robert Dugger, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: HM): Dugger has an ERA north of seven in 45 career innings. He got the call as an emergency arm for a doubleheader. He was optioned on April 16.
Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)