Prospect Promotions: 5/6-5/12

A look at every prospect promotion this week.

We’re back here at Pitcher List to detail every prospect promotion in 2022. That’s right, every Friday we will have to update you with every call-up from the week leading up. That’s every prospect, every Friday, all season long.

Our first week was filled with a number of the game’s top prospects getting the call. Now that we are into the beginning stages of MLB action, we are seeing a lot of prospects coming up to fill in for an injury or for added depth.

 

May 6

 

Jhonathan Diaz, P, LAA – This was a spot start for Diaz and he tossed five shutout innings, though it came with four walks. He’s has high walk rates in the upper minors so there is likely a move to the bullpen sometime down the line.

Cole Sands, P, MIN – Sands had a nice season at Double-A in 2021, finishing with an 18% K-BB rate and 2.46 ERA in 80.1 innings. He’s a backend starter profile.

Royce Lewis, SS, MIN – Once upon a time, Lewis was considered the top prospect in baseball. But some struggles in the upper minors and being forced to miss all of 2021 due to injury caused his prospect stock to drop. So far in 2022 he’s been electric, hitting .310 and swiping eight bags in 24 Triple-A games. With Carlos Correa on the IL, we will get our first glimpse of what Lewis can do against big-league pitching.

Zach Logue, P, OAK – Logue came over in the Matt Chapman trade and I listed him in my preseason series as a prospect we could see early and often. Following this promotion he tossed five innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. He appears to have a rotation spot for now.

Sam Hjelle, P, SFG – Hjelle has been a starter in the minors but has posted low strikeout rates at the upper levels and is likely a reliever at the MLB level.

 

May 7

 

Jared Solomon, P, LAA – Solomon is a relief-only prospect and got the call as an extra arm for a double-header.

Joe Dunand, INF, MIA – It feels improbable that Dunand made it to the majors given that he has a career .675 OPS in the minors. He’s already been sent back to Triple-A but he did hit a home run following this promotion.

Bryson Stott, SS/3B, PHI – The Phillies were aggressive with Stott. The 24-year-old dominated Double-A a season ago and despite just having a handful of games at Triple-A under his belt, Philadelphia gave him a spot on the Opening Day roster. He struggled against big-league pitching out of the gates and was sent to Triple-A, but an injury to Didi Gregorious will give him another chance. It appears he still needs some minor league seasoning, though.

Ray Kerr, P, SDP – Kerr is a relief-only arm with big strikeout rates but some issues with walks.

 

May 8

 

Alek Thomas, OF, ARI – Thomas is an exciting promotion. He’s just 22 years old and has proven throughout his minor league career that he has a good approach, power, and speed. In 2021, he hit .313 with 18 home runs and 13 steals in 106 games. He has the potential to be an all-categories contributor, but there could be concerns around his base-stealing ability as he only stole at a 61% success rate in the minors.

Tyler Danish, P, BOS – Danish let up some runs in Triple-A in 2021, but his good strikeout and walk numbers indicate that there might be something more here. He appears to be working his way into Boston’s bullpen, allowing two runs while striking out nine in his first 7.2 innings.

Joel Kuhnel, P, CIN – Kuhnel is a relief-only arm with moderate strikeout and walk rates. He’s likely a low-leverage arm.

Konnor Pilkington, P, CLE – Pilkington had a sneaky good 2021, posting a 3.13 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 100.1 innings at Double-A. He doesn’t have much experience above that level, so he’s not likely an impact arm in 2022, but could be one to watch.

Kirk McCarty, P, CLE – McCarty posted an ERA north of five in Triple-A a season ago, so he’s likely a reliever for Cleveland. Out of the gate, it looks like they may use him as a multi-inning arm.

Sebastian Rivero, C, KCR – Rivero got the call to be the extra man for a doubleheader. It’s impossible what to make of what the Royals are doing with him, as he spent the majority of his 2021 season at Triple-A but has been in Double-A to start 2022.

Aaron Whitefield, OF, LAA – Whitefield has historically struggled at the plate in the minor leagues but is mashing at Triple-A in 2022, belting five home runs to go with 13 steals in 24 games. It’s probably nothing, but who knows?

José Godoy, C, MIN – Godoy is a backup backstop profile. He has a contact-over-power approach.

Estevan Florial, OF, NYY – This was a promotion for a doubleheader. Florial has intriguing power and speed, but they come with strikeout issues.

Ron Marinaccio, P, NYY – Marinaccio is a relief-only arm but he could be a good one. Between Double and Triple-A a season ago he had a strikeout rate around 40%. He’s one to watch.

Cristopher Sánchez, P, PHI –  Sánchez is seemingly on this list every week. He’s a starter in the minors but a reliever in the majors and will continue to ping pong between the two.

Francisco Morales, P, PHI – Morales is a relief arm and has posted double-digit walk rates at every level in the minors.

George Kirby, P, SEA – With this call-up, Kirby showed off why is considered to be one of the best pitching prospects in the game. The right-hander tossed six shutout innings against the Rays, fanning seven. His walk rates in the minors were fantastic and it looks like Kirby has earned his chance to stick in the rotation. The Matt Brash hype to start the year made Kirby a bit of a forgotten man, but he could be an impact arm right away.

 

May 9

 

Ronnie Dawson, OF, CIN – Dawson was formerly with the Houston organization and it would have been difficult for him to get playing time there. Now with Cincinnati, Dawson is a little more intriguing with the Reds as there could be a better path to playing time and he offers a decent combination of power and speed. Unfortunately, he has already been sent back to Triple-A.

Sebastian Rivero, C, KCR – See May 8 summary.

Luis Barrera, OF, OAK – Barrera is burner that hit for a high average for much of the minor leagues. He has minimal power and relatively low walk rates though, so he profiles more like a bench outfielder.

 

May 10

 

Alex Faedo, P, DET – Faedo got a spot start for the Tigers last week and performed well enough. That outing earned him another spot start with this promotion and he improved on last week’s effort, tossing five innings allowing two runs while striking out seven. The former first-rounder has been effective in the minors, too, so there’s a possibility we are seeing Faedo turn into the mid-rotation arm he was projected to be before injuries derailed his career. He was optioned after his start.

Mark Contreras, MIN, OF – Contreras had a career year in 2021, hitting .251 with 20 home runs and 15 steals across Double and Triple-A. He’s 27 and strikes out a lot, so it’s likely that there isn’t actually anything here, but there’s always a chance it was a late-blooming breakout.

Adrian Martinez, P, OAK – Martinez got the spot start as part of a doubleheader and tossed 5.1 shutout innings, striking out three. He’s likely to be sent back to Triple-A, where he’s been hit around a bit to start the year.

Max Kranick, P, PIT – Kranick is knocking on the door of exceeding prospect eligibility after logging 38.2 innings with the Pirates a season ago. He’s a backend starter.

Vidal Bruján, INF, TB – We all know about Bruján’s speed. He’s proven he can hit Triple-A pitching at this point but hasn’t been given much of an extended opportunity at the MLB level and has struggled in his small sample thus far.

Sam Huff, C, TEX – Huff has been up and down a few times already. He has huge power (seven home runs in 19 Triple-A games this season) but it comes with strikeout concerns. His strikeout rate could easily approach 40% in the majors but his power could make up for it.

 

May 11

 

Joey Wentz, P, DET – Remember him? It feels like Wentz has been in the minors for forever. He’s had an up-and-down career in the minors and his high walk rates in the upper minors indicate his future as a big-leaguer may come out of the pen. His big-league debut was one to forget, allowing six runs in 2.2 innings.

Ryan Pepiot, P, LAD – Pepiot made his MLB debut following this promotion and tossed three shutout innings, but he did walk five. Last year was a mixed bag for Pepiot who dominated Double-A before struggling to keep runs off the board following a promotion to Triple-A. He’s off to a nice start in 2022 with a 2.05 ERA in six Triple-A starts and ultimately profiled as a backend rotation arm.

Yennier Cano, P, MIN – Cano is a 28-year-old relief prospect without much professional experience, so the ceiling here isn’t super high, but he posted some nice strikeout numbers in 2021.

Cam Alldred, P, PIT – Alldred is a relief-only arm but his lack of upside likely keeps him on the lower-leverage side of games.

Jake Walsh, P, STL – Walsh is a relief-only arm but he posted impressive strikeout rates in limited action in 2021. It’s unclear how much those numbers would stick in a larger sample, but there could be something here.

 

May 12

 

Denyi Reyes, P, BAL – Reyes is a career starter in the minor leagues and has posted some impressive walk rates. He profiles as a back-of-the rotation arm.

Rylan Bannon, INF, BAL – Bannon struggled at Triple-A in 2021, hitting just .176, but has turned things around there in 2022 with a 108 wRC+ in 29 games. The ceiling isn’t super high here and he’s likely a bench utility guy long-term.

Jared Solomon, P, CIN – See May 7 summary.

Jason Foley, P, DET – Foley is a relief prospect but he hasn’t posted high enough strikeout rates to be considered one that could potentially move into high-leverage roles at some point.

Seth Martinez, P, HOU – A 27th man callup for Martinez. He’s a relief-only arm, but he had a really nice 2021 at Triple-A.

Jon Heasley, P, KCR – Heasley had a nice 2021 at Double-A, finishing with a 3.33 ERA and K-BB rate of around 20%. He’s a backend starter-type.

Cole Sands, P, MIN – See May 6 summary. This was another doubleheader promotion for Sands.

Jake Reed, P, NYM – Reed is a 29-year-old relief-only arm for the Mets. He hasn’t thrown a ton of innings the last few seasons but he’s posted decent strikeout numbers throughout his career.

Luis Gil, P, NYY – Gil made a handful of appearances for the Yankees last year and didn’t allow a run in his first three starts before his command issues caught up to him. He’s posted double-digit walk rates at every level throughout his career so a move to the bullpen may ultimately be in his future.

Rodolfo Castro, INF, PIT – Castro has intriguing power and speed but his walk and strikeout rates make it seem like he’s more likely a utility player at the MLB level.

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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