This will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect promotions from the previous week throughout the year. All stats are of August 12.
Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/OF, NYM (preseason PL team rank: 16): Blankenhorn has bounced between a few organizations this year and is now with the Mets. He’s also split time between the majors and minors. In Triple-A, he has an .820 OPS, and in the majors, that number dips to .724. He’s shown decent power and defensive versatility in the minors.
Logan Allen, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 22): Allen has had a 2021 to forget. He has a 9.13 ERA through 22.2 innings with Cleveland and a 7.92 ERA in the minors. He’s better than those numbers suggest but will need to make some adjustments this offseason. He was optioned on Aug. 16.
Yohel Pozo, C/DH, TEX (preseason PL team rank: UR): Pozo has really hit in Triple-A, posting a .958 OPS with 19 home runs in 66 home runs. He doesn’t walk much and is limited defensively but with Texas out of contention, Pozo should see plenty of opportunities down the stretch.
Aaron Ashby, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 10): Ashby utilized this callup to improve his season-long ERA following his disastrous MLB debut in June. With this promotion, Ashby tossed four shutout innings and struck out four. His strikeout ability has been on full display in the minors (98 punchouts in 62.1 innings) and even if the lefty doesn’t end up in a starting role long term, he has the stuff to be a dominant reliever.
Adonis Medina, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 11): Once upon a time Medina was considered a top pitching prospect. His stock has fallen in recent years but he’s still only 23. The Phillies are still trying him out as a starter in the minors, but it feels likely that a change to the bullpen could allow him to thrive.
Jorge Guzmán, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 22): Guzmán was tried out as a starter for much of his minor league career but now looks to be settling in as a relief-only prospect. He’s been limited to just 15.1 innings this season and has struggled some with his control, but he should compete for a spot in the Miami bullpen next season.
Trevor Megill, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 50): Megill has bounced between the Cubs’ bullpen and Triple-A. He hasn’t fared too well in either, particularly at the MLB level, where his ERA is in the double digits.
Sammy Long, P, SF (preseason PL team rank: UR): Long has split time as a starter and a reliever for the Giants, leading to a 5.84 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. He’s been impressive in limited innings in the minors this season and likely profiles as a multi-inning arm long-term.
Jake Reed, P, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): Reed has spent time with the Dodgers, the Ray, and now the Mets in 2021. He’s a 28-year-old righty relief arm that will mostly see low-leverage opportunities.
Shea Spitzbarth, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Spitzbarth is enjoying a career season. The 26-year-old is a relief-only arm but he has recorded a 1.53 ERA at Triple-A. The strikeout numbers are a little low for a reliever, so it remains to be seen if he can limit hard contact in the bigs.
Sean Guenther, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Guenther is a lefty relief-only arm with a 4.76 ERA in Triple-A this season.
Connor Wong, C, BOS (preseason PL team rank: UR): Wong has appeared on this list a few times over the past several weeks. He’s a depth backstop for Boston.
Reis Knehr, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Knehr has had a nice 2021, both in the majors and in the minors. At Triple-A he’s been used exclusively as a starter and posted a 3.90 ERA in 55.1 innings. For the Padres, he’s filled multiple roles and allowed four earned runs in 13 innings while striking out 11. He profiles as a potential back-end starter.
Miguel Aguilar, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Aguilar is a 29-year-old lefty relief arm. He’ll be used in low-leverage situations.
Sean Poppen, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Poppeen has hopped between a handful of organizations in 2021 alone. He’s been lights out in Triple-A but is still trying to find his footing as a reliever at the MLB level.
Konner Wade, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Wade had a disastrous MLB debut back in June but was much better following this callup, tossing two shutout innings. He doesn’t have big strikeout abilities but has a 3.70 career ERA in the minors.
José Barrero, SS, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 1): Barrero’s stock fell following a disappointing 2020 in the bigs where he hit just .194 in 24 games. That being said, the shortstop had skipped Double-A and Triple-A so it wasn’t all that surprising that he struggled. He’s posted a .910 OPS in Triple-A this year so it’s looking like Barrero is back to being one of the most exciting young players in the National League.
Andre Jackson, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 16): Jackson is a former two-way player but is strictly seeing work off the mound these days. He’s been electric in the minors with 81 strikeouts in 71.1 innings. The 25-year-old hasn’t pitched much above Double-A, but this could but a serviceable hidden arm for the Dodgers.
Daniel Johnson, OF, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 21): Johnson has an intriguing power and speed combo but has struggled in limited opportunities at the MLB level.
Nick Gordon, INF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 24): Gordon is a former top-100 prospect knocking on the door of exceeding his prospect eligibility. He has an OPS of .654 in the majors and has been ok at Triple-A, but the future star reports of Gordon are long gone and he’s looking more like a utility type.
Patrick Mazeika, C, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): Mazeika had some early season heroics for the Mets but hasn’t seen much time in the majors since. He has an .827 OPS at Triple-A in 2021 and is proving to be a serviceable depth piece.
Louis Head, P, TBR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Head is a 31-year-old relief-only arm, but he’s been fantastic for the Rays, recording a 1.85 ERA in 24.1 innings.
Luis Gil, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 4): Gil continues to keep runs off the board when given an opportunity. Following this callup, he threw another 4.2 scoreless innings. Through his first 15.2 career MLB innings, he is yet to allow a run and has notched 18 strikeouts. He has issued 8 walks, so that is something to keep an eye on. The Yankees seem set on bouncing him between Triple-A and the minors.
Tony Santillan, P, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 12): Santillan has split time as a starter and a reliever in both Double-A and Triple-A. He’s been dominant in Triple-A with a 2.13 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 38 innings. He’s held his own in the majors, too, allowing 11 earned runs in 24.1 innings, but he’s also issued 12 walks. He looks the part of a swiss-army knife arm that can fill in as a starter or multi-inning reliever.
Otto López, INF, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 15): López is a bit under the radar for a 22-year-old that is getting the call to the bigs. The infielder has an .849 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A this season and while he has limited power, he has the ability to steal some bases and hit for a high average. The Blue Jays are battling some injuries right now so López could see some opportunities.
Alan Trejo, INF, COL (preseason PL team rank: 47): Trejo has appeared in 27 games for the Rockies but holds just a .599 OPS. He has a .915 OPS in Triple-A but Trejo is an aggressive hitter and pitchers are taking advantage at the MLB level.
Luis Madero, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Madero has split time as a reliever and starter in Triple-A this season, resulting in a 3.07 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41 innings. He’s been used exclusively as a reliever in four MLB appearances.
Junior Fernández, P, INF (preseason PL team rank: 15): Fernandez had a breakout 2019 but hasn’t been able to replicate the success in 2021, though he’s only thrown 32.1 innings between the majors and Triple. Still, he has an ERA north of five at both levels.
Kevin Smith, INF, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 20): Smith was overmatched by Double-A pitching in 2019 but reinvented himself in 2021 and the results speak for themselves. Through 82 games, the infielder has a 147 wRC+ with 19 home runs and 16 steals. He has an intriguing power/speed combo but playing time in the Blue Jays lineup is tough to come by.
Andrew Wantz, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Wantz is having a career year in Triple-A. The 25-year-old has limited walks and has recorded a 1.78 ERA in 30.1 innings. He’s bounced in and out of the rotation in the minors and is likely a reliever in the majors.
Nick Neidert, P, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 15): Neidert is close to exceeding prospect eligibility as the Marlins have called him up for spot starts several times throughout the season. He’s posted a 4.54 ERA but hasn’t generated many strikeouts and had issues with walks. Miami is pretty deep on arms so there’s a good chance Neidert ends up in the bullpen for 2022.
Dietrich Enns, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): Enns is a 30-year-old relief-only arm, so that upside isn’t super high here. This season marks his first MLB appearance since 2017.
Photo by Gabe Christus/AP Photo | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)
Thanks for this Vincent! Would you have any blurbs for Stephen Ridings by any chance?
Thanks for the comment Ben! Ridings was in the series a few weeks back when he got called up. He’s definitely having a breakout season and it was encouraging to see him have success so far in the majors. He was optioned earlier this week but I expect him to be back up sometime soon and he could be a high-leverage guy in the not-to-distant future..
Awesome thank you so much Vincent!