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 July 22.
Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 8): Kirk’s more than held his own in his small sample of MLB action and has torn up Triple-A in 2021 to the tune of a .923 OPS. With Danny Jansen’s struggles, Kirk is looking more and more like the backstop of the future.
Brent Rooker, 1B/OF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 9): Rooker is a power-hitting slugger who knows how to take a free pass. He is yet to figure out big-league pitching, but had 19 home runs in Triple-A and could see more MLB opportunities if the Twins continue to sell off pieces.
Curtis Terry, 1B, TEX (preseason PL team: 26): Terry is a first baseman with some pop in his bat. He’s a right-handed hitting first baseman which has become increasingly popular in recent years, but it does put him at short-side platoon risk at the big-league level.
Alejo Lopez, INF, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 44): Lopez doesn’t have much power, but he forced his way to the majors with a .351 average at Triple-A. He has a utility profile.
Darien Nuñez, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR); Nuñez is a 28-year-old relief-only arm. He’s been lights out in the minors this season and given the Dodgers’ current depth concerns, he could be in line to eat up some innings.
Louis Head, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): Head has been up and down a few times for the Rays in 2021. He’s been effective in his first 13 innings, allowing just four runs while striking out 10.
Domingo Tapia, P, KC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Tapia has bounced around a few organizations over the last two years and is now with the Royals. He’s a relief-only 29-year-old arm.
Braxton Garrett, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 13): Garrett is a former top-100 prospect. He has a mid-4s ERA in both the majors and minors in 2021 and at just 23-years-old, there is still an opportunity for Garrett to have a more permanent spot in the rotation.
Mitch White, P, LAD (preseason PL team: 21): White has a 1.42 ERA in the minors, splitting time as a reliever and a starter. He’s a relief arm for the Dodgers, who may rely on him more often given their starting pitching concerns.
Sean Poppen, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): The Rays purchased Poppen from the Pirates back in May. He has a career ERA north of six but it’s a small sample and he’s been dominant in the minors in 2021.
Max Schrock, INF, CIN (preseason PL team rank: UR): Schrock has an .835 OPS in 36 MLB plate appearances in 2021. He’s a high-contact utility type with limited power.
Daniel Lynch, P, KC (preseason PL team rank: 2): Lynch was called up earlier this season and really struggled, earning a demotion after just three starts. Following this promotion though Lynch tossed a gem, throwing eight scoreless innings against the Tigers. It’s worth noting that he has also had a tough time in Triple-A (an ERA close to six).
Mickey Moniak, OF, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 14): After a rough first few professional years Moniak had begun to become overlooked in the Phillies system. He’s still only 23 and holding his own in Triple-A (.809 OPs) but has looked overmatched against big-league pitching.
Kirby Snead, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Snead is a 26-year-old lefty relief arm. He’s been lights out in Triple-A with a 2.01 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. He could carve out a role with Toronto, but their bullpen picture will be clearer following the trade deadline.
Lewin Díaz, 1B, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 10): Diaz snuck onto some Top 100 lists coming into the 2020 season but was overmatched by big-league pitching. He’s been ok in 2021 at Triple, smacking 11 home runs but hitting just .221. Diaz is seen as a spectacular glove at first but it’s becoming a question on whether or not he can hit enough at the MLB level.
Cory Abbott, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 10): The 2021 season has been tough on Abbot. After earning 2019 minor league pitcher of the year honors for the Cubs, Abbot has posted a 7.21 ERA in 48.1 Triple-A innings. Given his struggles, this is a bit of a mysterious promotion. He’s a depth piece for the time being.
Beau Burrows, P, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 28): Burrows had some hype a few years ago coming up through the Detroit system but that hype has cooled in recent years. Now with the Twins, Burrows is looking more and more like a reliever. His stuff could play up out of the pen and he’s still only 24 years old.
Cody Ponce, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Ponce has shown some flashes in the past but he’s a 28-year-old prospect having some struggles in 2021. His ERA at Triple-A is north of five, though he has struck out 50 hitters in 49.1 innings. It’s possible a shift to the bullpen could maximize his value, but Pittsburgh has used him both out of the rotation and the bullpen thus far.
Rodolfo Castro, INF, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Castro is having a breakout season in Double-A, triple slashing .300/.349/.527. Skipping Triple-A entirely is no easy task, so I would expect Castro to require some time to adjust to big-league pitching. He provides some power and has some speed, though he is not an efficient base stealer (caught 16 times in 41 attempts).
Estevan Florial, OF, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 5): Florial has an intriguing power and speed combination but his hit tool could limit how often he maximizes those qualities at the big-league level. He’s hitting just .211 at Triple-A in 2021 and with the addition of Joey Gallo, don’t expect him to be up for long.
Patrick Murphy, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 18): Murphy hasn’t thrown a ton of innings in 2021 but through 12.1 frames at Triple-A he has a 0.75 ERA. He’s a depth arm for the Blue Jays.
Connor Wong, C, BOS (preseason PL team rank: 21): Like Murphy above, Wong received the call a depth piece for a doubleheader. He has a sub-.600 OPS in Triple-A this season.
Antonio Santos, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: 38): Santos has looked the part of a back-end starter in the past but has had a disastrous 2021 at Triple with an ERA close to eight. It’s tough to imagine Coors Field being the solution.
Austin Warren, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Warren is a relief-only arm. He’s 25 and has an ERA north of six in Triple-A.
Akeem Bostick, P, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): Like Warren, Bostick is a relief-only arm with an ERa north of six in Triple-A.
Rafael Marchan, C, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 17): Marchan got the call here as a depth backstop for a doubleheader. His future is likely as a bench piece for the Phillies as his bat isn’t strong enough for a starting role.
Tres Barrera, C, WAS (preseason PL team rank: 21): Barrera has an .845 OPS in 16 career MLB games, but he hasn’t shown that type of bat in the minors. He profiles as a defense-first backup backstop.
Cristopher Sánchez, P, PHIL (preseason PL team rank: 26): Sánchez is a tall left formerly of the Rays organizations. He has an ERA in the mid-fours and has punched out 44 batters in 38.1 innings. He has struggled with walks, though, and his future might be in the bullpen.
Trevor Megill, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Megill has had a rough 4.2 innings at the MLB level (nine runs allowed) but his 3.53 career mark in the minors indicates he might be able to slot into a more permanent bullpen role at some point, even if it’s a low leverage one.
Jake Jewell, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Jewell is a 28-year-old prospect, but he’s having his best season yet in the minors. Through 32.1 Triple-A innings, the righty has a 2.78 ERA with 35 strikeouts. With the Cubs out of contention, he could see a semi-permanent role with the big-league club the rest of the way.
José Mujica, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Mujica spent most of his minor league career with the Rays before joining the Rockies in 2019. He’s primarily worked as a starter and has an ERA north of six in 2021 at Triple-A.
Sergio Alcantara, INF, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Alcanatar is on the verge of exceeding prospect eligibility, and his .620 OPS through his first 49 games haven’t inspired much confidence that he will be able to handle big-league pitching.
Andres Machado, P, WAS (preseason PL team rank: UR): This season marks the first time since 2017 that Machado has made an MLB appearance. He’s a 28-year-old relief-only arm.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)