Week Eight! This will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect promotions from the previous week throughout the year.
The minor league season has begun and we have seen more prospects starting to get the call. All stats are of June 3.
Robel Garcia, 2B/SS, HOU (preseason PL team rank: UR): Garcia bounced between a few clubs this winter before ultimately ending up with Houston. The 22-year-old infielder can play all over the dirt and has a .751 career OPS in the minors. He’s likely just a temporary bench body but his track record in the minors shows he’s capable of filling in.
Johan Oviedo, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 5): Oviedo has been used as a spot starter for the Cardinals all season long and is knocking on the door of exceeding prospect eligibility. Through 20 innings in 2021, he has a 5.40 ERA and 16 strikeouts. He will continue to get the occasional start for St. Louis.
Eli Morgan, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 33): Morgan has a fantastic changeup but lacks velocity on his heater. He got the start following this promotion but struggled mightily, allowing six runs in 2.2 innings.
Tyler Nevin, 1B/3B, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 17): Nevin is a contact-oriented corner infielder. The lack of power will make it tough for him to get regular playing time in the bigs, but some pop did start to service in Triple-A before the promotion. Nevin hit five homers in 17 games, but he was also striking out at a career-high rate.
Carlos Hernández, P, KC (preseason PL team rank: 22): Hernández has been a starter in the minors but is being used in a reliever role for the Royals. The 24-year-old has strikeout stuff and could thrive in a multi-inning role.
Vladimir Gutiérrez, P, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 17): Guitérrez performed well in his MLB debut following this promotion, tossing five innings and allowing just one run. Wade Miley has returned from the IL so it’s unclear if Gutiérrez will earn another start.
Webster Rivas, 1B, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Rivas is a 30-year-old prospect with a .683 career OPS in the minors. There isn’t much of a role here unless the injuries continue to pile up for San Diego.
Luis Marté, SS, MIA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Marté could see some playing time with some of the Miami regulars banged up. His career minor league OPS is .611, though, so there isn’t much upside.
Junior Fernández, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 15): Fernández has upside as a high-leverage reliever if everything comes together. He’s only tossed 5.2 innings for the Cardinals in 2021 so far and the strikeout ability that he’s displayed in the minors hasn’t translated yet.
Aaron Northcraft, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Northcraft has effectively kept runs off the board in a relief role for the Padres this year, yielding just two runs in eight innings. His control has been an issue, though, as he’s also allowed eight free passes.
Deivi García, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 2): Garcia got the call for a spot start against the Tigers. The right-hander struggled, allowing four earned runs over 4.1 innings of work. He was optioned following the start. He’s still a promising arm long-term, but questions on whether or not he is more suited for relief remain.
Albert Abreu, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 25): Abreu has been up a few times for the Yankees this season and has been effective out of the bullpen, allowing two runs in 8.2 innings while striking out 10. He has since been optioned but will likely be up again soon.
Alec Bettinger, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: UR): It’s been a struggle at the MLB level for Bettinger. Through his first nine innings, he’s allowed 14 earned runs. He profiles as a back-end starter but will need to figure things out for that role to surface.
Zack Burdi, P, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 9): Burdi was once considered the best relief prospect in baseball. A few injuries later and Burdi still has high-leverage stuff but the future is less certain. He was brought up here as an extra arm for a doubleheader.
Zack Short, INF, DET (preseason PL team rank: 33): Short is seen as a glove-first infielder but his minor-league career OPS is .789. Short knows how to take a walk and could see some playing time given the season-long struggles of Willi Castro.
Lucas Gilbreath, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Another week, another appearance in this series for Gilbreath. He will continue to bounce between the majors and minors as an extra relief arm for Colorado.
Kean Wong, INF/OF, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Wong is a career .289 bat in the minors but lacks pop and gets caught stealing on the bases too often. He can play all over the diamond, though, and offers some versatility.
Seth Elledge, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 44): Elledge is a relief-only prospect. He’s tossed 3.2 scoreless frames in Triple-A but has struggled at the MLB level.
Jeremy Beasley, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Beasley is a relief-only prospect that was brought up as an extra arm for a doubleheader.
Ernie Clement, INF, CLE (preseason PL team rank: UR): Clement was brought up as an extra bat/glove for a doubleheader. He did not make an appearance and was optioned following the games.
Ben Rortvedt, C, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 50): Rortvedt is a defense-first backstop. He will see occasional at-bats as a temporary backup.
Tucapita Marcano, 2B/SS, SD (preseason PL team rank: 12): Marcano is a contact-oriented hitter with some speed. The 21-year-old has already logged 20 games for the Padres but has struggled offensively, hitting just .176. He’s young and will require time to adjust.
Edward Olivares, OF, KC (preseason PL team rank: 6): Olivares has shown flashes of his potential in the past and he offers an intriguing combination of power and speed. He was hitting .395 in Triple-A prior to his promotion. He has since been optioned but should be back up in the near future.
Alec Bettinger, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: UR): See May 29 summary.
Sergio Alcantara, INF, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Alcantara offers some speed and defensive versatility, but the offensive profile is not strong enough to be more than a bench option at this point in his career.
Conner Menez, P, SF (preseason PL team rank: 39): Mendez is a relief-only arm. He has a 3.86 career ERA in 30.1 innings but has some issues limiting walks.
Jimmy Lambert, P, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 22): Lambert has worked exclusively as a starter in the minors, totaling an ERA just north of four. He got the call here for a spot start as part of a doubleheader. He allowed three runs in 3.2 innings.
Johan Oviedo, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 5): See May 28 summary.
Sam Delaplane, P, SF (preseason PL team rank: UR): This move was to place Delaplane on the 60-Day IL. He underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Skye Bolt, OF, OAK (preseason PL team rank: 26): Bolt has bounced between the Athletics and Giants. The 25-year-old is a fourth outfielder type with the ability to draw a walk but middling power. We’ve seen Oakland unleash these types before, though.
Travis Blankenhorn, INF/OF, SEA (preseason PL team rank: 16): Blankenhorn can play all over the diamond. He’s struggling in Triple-A to start the year, hitting just .206, and has bounced from the Twins to the Dodgers to the Mariners. His defensive versatility could give him more opportunities, but it’s still a temporary bench role.
Taylor Trammell, OF, SEA (preseason PL team rank: 6): Boy, has it been a roller coaster so far from Trammell. He had what appeared to be a breakout spring which earned him a starting job out of the gate. He then displayed some power and patience at the big league level but struck out way too much and was demoted. Following his demotion to Triple-A, he mashed and hit .381 with six home runs and three steals in 17 games. The injury to Kyle Lewis opens the door for Trammell to have another extended opportunity in the majors.
Alan Trejo, 2B/3B, COL (preseason PL team rank: 47): Trejo has spent a good chunk of the year with the Rockies but the results haven’t been encouraging. Through 30 games, the 25-year-old has a 30 wRC+.
Tyrone Taylor, OF, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 27): Milwaukee was expected to be pretty deep in the outfield this season but various injuries have led to Taylor receiving quite a bit of playing time. Through 32 games he has a .756 OPS.
Robert Dugger, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: HM): Dugger has a 6.23 ERA for the Mariners this year, but his FIP is closer to four. He’s a relief option for Seattle.
Ryan Jeffers, C, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 5): Jeffers performed well in 2020, posting 119 wRC+ in 26 games, but he struggled at the start of 2021 and was striking out in nearly half of his plate appearances. He gets another shot here after belting five home runs in 24 Triple-A games.
Gilberto Celestino, OF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 12): Celestino is perhaps overlooked in the system given that it’s led by fellow outfielders Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff. Celestino has a career .745 OPS. He has middling power but plus speed.
Jeremy Beasley, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): See May 30 summary, but this time not for a doubleheader.
Zac Lowther, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 18): Lowther has tossed 3.1 innings for Baltimore this year, allowing seven earned runs. Obviously, it’s a very small sample. He will likely work as a long-relief option.
Brooks Kriske, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: UR): Kriske is a relief-only arm, but he has a 2.35 ERA in 114.2 minor league innings. He also has 151 strikeouts. The upside for a high-leverage reliever is here, though it may not be for another season or two.
Tucker Davidson, P, ATL (preseason PL team rank: 5): Davidson has been lights out in Triple-A, allowing just two runs in 20.2 innings. His strikeout rate is above 30% and he appears to be the go-to pitcher for a spot start for Atlanta. Historically, he’s had some command issues throughout the minors, but that hasn’t been the case in 2021.
Jason Vosler, INF, SF (preseason PL team rank: UR): The 27-year-old Vosler has some pop in the bat but has been overwhelmed by MLB pitching in a small sample. He has a patient approach in the minors but that has yet to translate to the big leagues.
Gavin Sheets, 1B/OF, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 10): Sheets is finally showing some power in 2021, hitting four home runs in his first 23 games at Triple-A. He gets the call with Andrew Vaughn hitting the Covid-19 IL. He’s seen some action in the outfield this season and could potentially carve out a full-time role if he performs. The White Sox lack a left-handed bat in their lineup.
Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)