This will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect promotions from the previous week throughout the year. This week, the trade deadline led to a lot of promotions across the league. All stats are of July 29.
J.B. Bukauskas, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 19): Bukauskas was tried as a starter for most of his minor league career but it looks like he may be a relief-only arm now. There’s still a chance for him to start as he is only 24-years-old, but given that he’s struggled mightily in 2021 (7.47 ERA in 15.2 MLB innings), he’s likely slated for low-leverage work.
Owen Miller, 2B/SS, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 20): Miller has had his way at Triple-A in 2021, hitting .297 with an .863 OPS. He has some pop in his bat that could play into about 15 home runs per season at the MLB level. So far though, he hasn’t figured out big-league pitching, hitting just .111 in his first 20 games.
Tres Barrera, C, WAS (preseason PL team rank: 22): Barrera has the look of a backup backstop. He doesn’t have a ton of pop in the bat, but his defensive ability should earn him some playing time.
Wyatt Mills, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Mills is a side-arm relief prospect. He’s been electric in Triple-A in 2021, striking out 43 hitters in 24.2 innings while posting a 2.92 ERA. He hasn’t yet found success at the MLB level, but there’s a more permanent big league role for Mills down the line.
Jonathan Araúz, INF, BOS (preseason PL team rank: 30): Araúz is a utility infielder. He offers some defensive versatility but has a career .679 OPS in the minors and was caught stealing in 17 of his 37 attempts, so he can be ignored in most fantasy formats.
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 34): De La Cruz came over from Houston and has really hit in Triple-A in 2021. Through 66 games, the 24-year-old posted a .880 OPS. He has some power and has hit at every level. The trade of Starling Marte could open the door for some consistent big-league opportunities.
Drew Ellis, 3B, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 36): Ellis has a .950 OPS in Triple-A, so you know he has some power. Whether or not he can keep strikeouts in check will determine how much he can tap into it at the MLB level.
Griffin Jax, P, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 38): The twins have used Jax in the rotation and out of the bullpen. His last two starts have been successful (two earned runs in nine innings while striking out eight), but Jax is yet to pitch deep into games.
Lucius Fox, INF, KC (preseason PL team rank: 39): Fox is a burner that has swiped 130 bases in his minor league career. He’s ultimately a utility type with some defensive versatility.
Michael Rucker, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 39): Rucker is a relief-only arm and his ability to limit walks should allow him to carve out a more permanent MLB role in the future.
Manuel Rodríguez, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 47): Rodríguez is a relief-only arm with big strikeout ability but command concerns.
Lars Nootbaar, OF, STL (preseason PL team rank: 48): Nootbaar has been up a few times for the Cardinals in 2021, but he’s hit just .154 in 12 games. Nootbaar’s carrying card is his patience at the plate as his 12.5% walk rate has helped him to a .404 OBP at Triple-A. He doesn’t boost much power or speed which probably makes him a better real-life prospect than a fantasy one.
Frank Schwindel, 1B/C, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Schindel has bounced around a handful of organizations across the past few seasons. He’s a 29-year-old prospect, but he has produced at every level of the minors including Triple-A in 2021 where he has posted a .913 OPS. Given his age, there is a good chance he’s just a Quad-A player, but given the Cubs’ selloff at the deadline, Schwindel should finally get some looks at the big-league level.
Johneshwy Fargas, OF, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Fargas has a career minor league OPS just above .700, so he’s likely a bench outfielder. But like Schwindel, the Cubs’ selloff could open up some playing time.
Charlie Barnes, P, MIN (preseason PL team rank: UR): Barnes has been a starter throughout his entire career in the minors. He doesn’t have big strikeout numbers but he limits walks and has a 3.79 minor league era. He profiles as a backend start or multi-inning reliever.
Miguel Aguilar, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Aguilar is a 29-year-old relief-arm. He has a 2.90 ERA at Triple-A this year.
Edwin Uceta, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 29): Uceta is only 23 and has shown some potential in previous seasons but has had a rough 2021 at both the minor league and major league levels. He once profiled as a backend starter but he’s looking more like a reliever.
Hoy Park, INF, PIT (preseason PL team rank: 47): Park was just acquired by the Padres after spending his minor league career with the Yankees. He’s a versatile defender with decent power and speed (11 steals and 11 home runs in Triple-A). He has a clearer path to playing time in Pittsburgh.
Garrett Cleavinger, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Cleavinger is a relief-only arm and has 2.55 ERA in 17.2 innings for the Dodgers. He has issued 11 walks, though, and his mid-5s FIP indicates some regression is probably on its way.
Reiss Knehr, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Kneher is having a breakout 2021. He opened the year in Double-A before earning a promotion to Triple-A and has now made two starts for the Padres, allowing three runs in 6.2 innings. The Padres haven’t let him see a lineup three times through the order but Kneher is proving he can serve as an exaggerated opener. Long term he profiles as a backend starter.
Justin Garza, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: UR): Garza is a 27-year-old relief-only arm that has been efficient in his first taste of the big leagues. Through 11.2 frames, Garza has allowed three runs while striking out eight.
Jake Meyers, OF, HOU (preseason PL team rank: UR): Meyers is having a breakout season in Triple-A after a middling career in the lower levels. Through 68 games, the 25-year-old is hitting .343 with 17 home runs and 10 steals. The lack of track record makes it tough to buy into but there’s also a chance Meyers is an under-the-radar gem.
Daulton Jefferies, P, OAK (preseason PL team rank: 1): Jefferies had a fantastic spring training and it was a bit surprising when he didn’t make the Opening Day club. He hasn’t had that same success in Triple-A (5.19 ERA in 12 starts) and had a so-so debut following this callup (five innings, three runs, three strikeouts). There is still potential for Jefferies to make an impact in 2021 and he looks to be in the rotation for the time being.
Reid Detmers, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: 3): Detmers has absolutely demolished the minor leagues in his first professional season. Through 13 starts in the minors, the lefty posted a 3.15 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 60 innings. His MLB debut following this promotion was rough, but the future is promising for the 2020 10th overall pick.
Bryan Abreu, P, HOU (preseason PL team rank: 9): Abreu has high-leverage relief role stuff though he has been inconsistent with it in his brief MLB career. That being said, he could still be a weapon for the Astros down the stretch. He’s close to exceeding prospect eligibility.
Jimmy Lambert, P, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 22): Lambert’s strikeout ability has been on display in Triple-A with the right-hander fanning 56 hitters in 42.1 innings. He’s had some trouble with walks, though, which has led to an inflated ERA. The White Sox are using him as a spot starter this season and while he’s still being tried out as a starter, it’s more likely he ends up in the bullpen where his stuff would play up.
Kean Wong, INF, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Wong is a contact-oriented infielder with some speed. He’s a utility type.
Sean Guenther, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Guenther is a relief-only lefty arm. He has a 3.30 ERA in the minors.
Chris Rodriguez, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: 7): Rodriguez just turned 23 years old and had his first career start following this promotion. He delivered a quality start, allowing three earned runs in six innings while striking out seven. He’s worked as a reliever for the Angels on and off this season but could stick in the rotation following this showing.
Eli Morgan, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 33): Morgan had a rough few first starts at the Major League level but turned in his best performance yet following this callup. The right-hander allowed two runs while striking out nine in six innings against the Blue Jays, one of baseball’s best lineups. His ERA is still inflated, but with the Cleveland rotation a little banged up he could see some more starts.
Enyel De Los Santos, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: UR): De Los Santos is a relief-only arm that has bounced between the majors and the minors for the Phillies. He’s allowed 13 runs in 16.2 frames in 2021.
Shea Spitzbarth, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Spitzbarth has been dominant as a closer in Triple-A this season, posting a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings. He doesn’t have big strikeout stuff, though, so it remains to be seen how he will perform against big-league hitting.
Luis Gil, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 4): Gil made his debut following this promotion and really dazzled, tossing six shutout innings and striking out six. He’s struck out 88 in 61.1 innings at Triple-A to go along with a 4.15 ERA and although he was optioned following this start, the indication is that he will be called up this weekend to start on Sunday. The Yankees have a few pitchers on the Covid-IL so it’s likely that Gil is not a permanent part of the rotation, but he could force the Yankees’ hand with another good start.
Nick Neidert, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 15): Neidert is suddenly knocking on the door of exceeding his prospect eligibility after bouncing between the majors and minors in 2021. He’s been a steady fill-in for Miami with a 4.11 ERA across 30.2 innings. He has had issues with walks, though, and his 5.58 FIP points to some negative regression coming.
Riley Adams, C, (preseason PL team rank: 25): Riley is a power-over-contact bat that hasn’t been able to figure out big-league pitching. He was traded from Toronto in the Brad Hand deal which gives him a better opportunity for a more permanent role.
Mauricio Llovera, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 35): Llovera is a relief-only arm now after spending most of his career being tried as a starter. He’s run into some troubles at Triple-A this season with a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings.
Zach Reks, OF, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 37): Reks can hit. He has a career .877 OPS in the minors with a .992 OPS at Triple-A in 2021. He is a 27-year-old prospect so this could be a case of him raking against younger competition, but he has clearly earned an opportunity to showcase his talents against big-league pitching. Unfortunately, the Dodgers are loaded and it is improbable the Reks will see consistent playing time in 2021. He needs a change of scenery to truly get a chance.
Angel Perdomo, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Perdomo is a relief-only arm. He’s bounced between levels in 2021 and has allowed 11 runs in 15.2 innings at the MLB level.
Tyler Gilbert, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Gilbert spent the last several seasons working out as a reliever but shifted back to a starter’s role in Triple-A for 2021. He’s had success (3.44 ERA) but his first big league appearance with the Diamondbacks was as a reliever.
Brody Koerner, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: UR): Koerner is a 27-year-old prospect that is enjoying a nice season at Triple (2.95 ERA in 63 innings). Despite being used mostly as a starter in the minors, he’s likely a reliever in the bigs.
Stephen Ridings, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: UR): Ridings is a relief-only prospect that is experiencing a breakout in 2021. Through 29 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s struck out 42 and allowed just four earned runs.
Dietrich Enns, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): Enns has not made an appearance in the majors since 2017. He’s bounced around organizations since then and is now having a bounce-back season as a 30-year-old in Triple-A.
Demarcus Evans, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: 13): Evans has all the looks of an elite reliever down the line. He’s been inconsistent at the MLB level but he’s only 24.
Darien Nuñez, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Nuñez is a relief-only prospect with a career 2.34 ERA in the minors. He has big strikeout ability and at 28-years-old could break in late and still be an effective arm.
Tayler Saucedo, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Saucedo has made 16 appearances for Toronto and posted a 4.73 ERA. He’s a low-leverage bullpen lefty.
Jake Reed, P, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): Reed is a relief-only arm recently acquired by the Mets. He’s bounced between four organizations in 2021 and has 5.58 ERA at Triple-A.
Damon Jones, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Jones is a lefty-reliever with an ERA north of six at Triple-A.
Packy Naughton, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Naughton has worked out of the rotation and the bullpen in Triple-A, but the results are an ERA in the mid-fives.
Dusten Knight, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Knight is a 30-year-old relief-only arm with a 2.94 career minor league ERA.
Marcos Diplan, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Diplan is a relief-only righty with a 3.89 career minor league ERA.
Braxton Garrett, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 13): Garrett has been up a handful of times for the Marlins and following this call-up tossed five shutout innings against the Mets. His season ERA sits at 3.58 and he’s struck out 26 in 27.2 innings, though he has walked 13. Miami has plenty of young arms for the future and Garrett will have to continue to earn his place in the mix.
Yonny Hernandez, INF, TEX (preseason PL team rank: UR): Hernandez is getting the call at just 23-years-old. He has a career .718 OPS in the minors, though, so this is probably a situation where the Rangers are just seeing what they have in a Rule 5 eligible player.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)