Prospect Promotions: 8/27-9/2

A look at this week's prospect promotions.

This will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect promotions from the previous week throughout the year. With rosters expanding, this is the biggest promotions week of the year. All stats are of August 26.

 

August 27

 

Daulton Jefferies, P, OAK (preseason PL team rank: 1): Jefferies was a popular breakout selection this spring, but he didn’t make the Opening Day roster and has been inconsistent in Triple-A. There is still a starter’s profile here and the right-hander’s ability to limit walks should give him a stable floor.

Andre Jackson, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 16): Jackson is an under-the-radar arm. He’s a former two-way player who is now exclusively a pitcher. He has spent most of the year at Double-A where he’s struck out 75 in 63.1 innings while recording a 3.27 ERA. Jackson has worked primarily as a starter but will be used as a reliever with the Dodgers.

Rafael Marchan, C, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 17): Marchan has long been seen as a defense-first backstop without much pop in the bat. That profile hasn’t changed much and he’s a fill-in for the Phillies when necessary.

Packy Naughton, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: 20): Naughton is a 25-year-old lefty arm that has worked primarily as a starter in the minors. He’s pitched in both Double and Triple-A this season, recording ERAs in the mid-4s for both. He’ll likely work low-leverage relief innings for the Angels.

Jake McCarthy, OF, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 27): McCarthy could be one to keep an eye on. Coming into the season he was seen as a light-hitting burner, but the 24-year-old has developed some pop in 2021, hitting 15 home runs across Double and Triple-A to go with 29 steals. He’s not a big name but one that could be growing into all-categories potential.

Jason Foley, P, DET (preseason PL team rank: 39): Foley is a relief-only righty that can hit triple digits with his fastball. He can rack up strikeouts but also has questions surrounding his command.

Glenn Otto, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: 44): This promotion led to Otto’s MLB debut and he delivered, tossing five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. The 25-year-old has been dynamite between Double and Triple-A this season, racking up 134 strikeouts in 95.2 innings to go along with a 3.20 ERA. He’s under the radar and could be a future rotation piece for the Rangers.

Connor Overton, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Overton is a relief-only arm that is having a successful 2021 campaign in Triple-A. In 57.2 innings, he’s recorded a 2.02 ERA and 50 strikeouts.

Cooper Criswell, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Criswell has been brought up through the minors as a starter and has enjoyed a nice 2021 season at Double-A, striking out 85 in 70.1 innings with a 3.71 ERA. He’s backed that up with similar numbers in a smaller sample at Double-A.

 

August 28

 

Edwin Uceta, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 29): Uceta has been up a few times already this year but has had some struggles at the MLB level, allowing 15 earned runs in 20.1 innings. He hasn’t been much better in the minors.

Alfonso Rivas, 1B/OF, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 29): Rivas can do damage at the plate, as evidenced by his career .804 OPS in the minors. Most of that comes from his tremendous walk rates, though, as Rivas doesn’t hit for as much power as would be expected from a corner bat. His career OBP isn’t too far off his career SLG.

Wyatt Mills, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: 29): Mills is a side-arm reliever who has had some issued in the big leagues this season, coughing up 14 earned runs in 12.2 innings. His FIP is much lower, though, and that combined with his success at Triple-A (2.92 ERA) indicates that there are better outings ahead.

Kodi Whitley, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 34): Whitley specializes in limiting home runs, a trait that is becoming more and more important at the MLB level. He’s a relief-only prospect but has a chance to be a good one.

Kyle Tyler, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Tyler has split time as a starter and a reliever in the minors. He tossed 72 good innings at Double-A and earned a promotion to Triple-A, where he hasn’t been quite as successful. For 2021, he’s a depth arm for the Angels.

Scott Effross, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: UR): Effross is a 27-year-old relief-only arm. He’s had a successful year in the minors, but he’s likely a low-leverage option.

 

August 29

 

Andrew Young, INF/OF, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 15): Young hits the ball very hard, with a max EV of 115.9 in the big leagues this year. Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks haven’t given him consistent at-bats in the majors. Hopefully, that changes in September so we can see if Young’s minor league success translates.

Mitch White, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 21): White is actually knocking on the door of exceeding prospect eligibility. He’s had a strong 2021 in the bigs, posting a 3.49 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 38.2 innings. He’s primarily been used as a reliever but has seen some opportunities as a spot starter/opener.

Ben Rortvedt, C, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 50): Rortvedt is a light-hitting defensive-oriented backstop. He’s a depth piece for Minnesota.

 

August 30

 

Keibert Ruiz, C, WAS (preseason PL team rank: 5): Ruiz was the co-headliner coming back to Washington in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner deal. The 23-year-old has absolutely raked at Triple-A this season, triple slashing .310/.377/.616 in 72 games. He’s long been a hit tool over power profile but he appears to be developing pop. He’s an exciting building block and the future everyday catcher for the Nationals.

Zack Burdi, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 9): Burdi is formerly the top relief prospect in baseball. Injuries have derailed his career to this point, but a change of scenery from Chicago to Baltimore should allow him to stick with the big league club long-term.

A.J. Alexy, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: 34): Alexy used this promotion to open eyes in his MLB debut, throwing five shutout innings with four strikeouts. Between Double and Triple-A this season he’s posted a minuscule 1.66 ERA in 65 innings. He once looked destined for the bullpen but his 2021 has earned him a chance in the rotation.

Raynel Espinal, P, BOS (preseason PL team rank: UR): Espinal is a 29-year-old righty. He’s had a solid season in Triple-A primarily as a starter, but he’s likely a low-leverage depth arm for Boston.

Jason Vosler, 1B/3B, SFG (preseason PL team rank: UR): Vosler has spent a good chunk of the season with the Giants but has struggled at the dish, hitting just .178. He has a .906 OPS in Triple-A, so we are probably looking at a Quad-A player.

Sean Poppen, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Poppen has bounced between a few organizations in 2021. He’s a relief-only arm with a career MLB era of 5.65.

Kean Wong, INF, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): It feels like Wong has been in this series all of August, but he’s only appeared in 20 games. He’s struggled with just a .459 OPS.

Dietrich Enns, P, TBR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Enns is a lefty reliever and 2021 marks his first MLB action since 2017. He’s been brilliant in Triple-A with 84 punchouts in 67.2 innings to go with a 2.53 ERA.

Miguel Del Pozo, P, DET (preseason PL team rank: UR): Del Pozo has bounced around the league and is now with Detroit. The 28-year-old is a relief-only arm that has had a career year in Triple with a 2.63 ERA.

 

August 31

 

Lewin Díaz, 1B, MIA (preseason PL team rank: 10): Diaz got some helium before the 2020 season but struggled in limited chances at the MLB level. He’s pounded the ball at Triple-A in 2021, clubbing 20 homers with a .883 OPS in 59 games. He’s a smooth defender at first and the Marlins have even toyed with putting him in the outfield. Miami’s roster is a bit crowded but Díaz is a good post-hype sleeper.

Skye Bolt, OF, SFG (preseason PL team rank: 26): Bolt is a contact-oriented corner outfielder. He’s hit an astounding .387 in Triple-A this season and while that number is significantly higher than his career mark and it’s in the PCL, it shows the type of bat-to-ball skills Bolt has.

Matt Vierling, OF, PHI (preseason PL team rank: 44): Vierling is a former two-way player. He’s having somewhat of a power breakout in 2021, relatively speaking, which gives him a modest speed/power combo.

Hoy Park, INF, PIT (preseason PL team rank: 48): Park hasn’t figured out MLB pitching in his first 20 MLB games, hitting just .188. He has a .932 OPS in the minors this season though and given that Pittsburgh is out of contention, he should see a good amount of reps down the stretch.

Stephen Gonsalves, P, BOS (preseason PL team rank: UR): This season marks the first time since 2017 that Gonsalves has made an MLB appearance. He struggled back in 2017 but maybe 2021 will be a different story for the now 27-year-old.

Robel García, INF, HOU (preseason PL team rank: UR): García is a utility infielder. He hasn’t had much success at the plates in the minors and does not provide much speed on the basepaths.

Yennsy Díaz, P, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): Díaz has spent a good portion of the season with the Mets, tossing 21.2 relief innings and recording a 4.15 ERA. He’s had issues with control at times but he looks to be a big-league reliever, even if it isn’t always for high-leverage situations.

 

September 1

 

Nate Pearson, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: 1): Pearson was considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball coming into the season. The shine has dimmed somewhat on the righty as he’s been limited to just 30.2 innings in Triple-A. There he’s posted a 4.40 ERA with 44 strikeouts, though walks have also been a minor concern. He’s still got mid-rotation or better upside but it looks like he’s headed for a bullpen role with Toronto the rest of the way for 2021.

Jackson Kowar, P, KC (preseason PL team rank: 4): Kowar’s first three starts at the MLB level were appearances to forget, but he used this promotion to put all of his stuff on display. The righty tossed six innings, striking out six and allowing two unearned runs. He should stick in the rotation going forward.

Estevan Florial, OF, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 5): Florial is a polarizing prospect. He is a toolsy outfielder with obvious upside but has struggled with strikeouts in the upper minors. As a result, he’s hit just .210 at Triple-A in 2021. In the majors, he’s likely a defensive replacement and pinch-runner for the Yankees.

Khalil Lee, OF, NYM (preseason PL team rank: 9): Lee struggled in his first taste of MLB action earlier this year, going 1-for-18. He’s hit very well at Triple-A (.905 OPS) but the fact that he’s been caught stealing nine times in 15 attempts limits his upside.

Stuart Fairchild, OF, ARI (preseason PL team rank: 13): Fairchild has been limited to 25 Triple-A games this season but has made the most of them, hitting .315. He has modest power and pop and could be a well-rounded fantasy hitter if he ever earns a full-time role.

Joe Ryan, P, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 19): Ryan made a solid start with his promotion, allowing three runs in five innings while striking out five. He has a mid-to-backend rotation profile but has seen a spike in his strikeout numbers in recent years that point to more upside than was originally thought.

Gavin Sheets, 1B/OF, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 21): Sheets can hit. He’s close to exceeding prospect eligibility, but in his first 30 MLB games, he’s clubbed eight home runs. He’s the lefty bat the White Sox need, but it’s been difficult to get him in the lineup consistently.

Kevin Padlo, 1B/3B, SEA (preseason PL team rank: 25): Seattle claimed Padlo off waivers in mid-August. He’s had a tough time at Triple-A this year (.668 OPS) but had a breakout 2019 that shows there’s a good hitter in the profile somewhere.

Alexander Wells, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 34): Wells has been up a handful of times for the Orioles but hasn’t had much success, allowing 16 earned runs in 18.2 innings. He has a 3.29 ERA at Triple-A, though, and is only 24. He’s likely to be used as a multi-inning reliever or spot starter.

Antonio Santos, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: 37): Santos has an 8.39 ERA in Triple-A this season, so it’s tough to imagine him having success at Coors Field.

Alejo López, INF, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 44): Lopez is a contact-oriented bat with some speed and below-average power. He’s hitting .316 at Triple-A, though, so the contact ability could be good enough to give him a role.

Justin Topa, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Topa is a 30-year-old relief-only arm. He has a 2.40 ERA across three minor league levels in 2021.

Max Kranick, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: UR): Kranick is a starting pitching prospect but he’s struggled both in the minors and the majors in 2021. He’s only 23, but it seems likely he’s a reliever long-term.

Dusten Knight, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Knight is a 30-year-old relief-only prospect. He’s having an excellent season in Triple-A with a 2.23 ERA.

Brooks Kriske, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: UR): Kriske is a relief-only arm that has had a successful minor league career. In 131.2 innings, he’s struck out 174 and recorded a 2.14 ERA.

R.J. Alaniz, P, CIN (preseason PL team rank: UR): Alaniz has had a nice season in Triple-A, posting a 2.86 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 35 innings of relief. Cincinnati has had bullpen issues all season long so Alaniz could see some work immediately.

Austin Allen, C, OAK (preseason PL team rank: UR): Allen has the looks of a Quad-A bat. He’s absolutely raked at Triple-A in 2021 (.948 OPS) but is close to exceeding prospect eligibility at the MLB level and has never been able to figure out MLB pitching (career .571 OPS). He’s a backup backstop with occasional pop.

Justin Lawrence, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Lawrence is a relief-only arm and has allowed close to a run an inning. He’s a low-leverage option for Colorado.

Jack Lopez, INF, BOS (preseason PL team rank: UR): Lopez is a contact-oriented utility man whose value comes from his defensive versatility.

Oliver Ortega, P, LAA (preseason PL team rank: UR): Ortega is a relief-only arm with a 5.48 ERA in the minors this season.

Ramon Rosso, P, PHI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Rosso has made the occasional start at Triple-A, but is mostly a relief prospect. He’s allowed 14 earned runs in 28 innings.

Alberto Baldonado, P, WAS (preseason PL team rank: UR): Baldonado is a relief-only prospect that has bounced between a few organizations. He’s had a tremendous 2021 in the minors with a 2.88 ERA in 40.2 innings.

Romy Gonzalez, INF/OF, CHW (preseason PL team rank: UR): Gonzalez can play all over the diamond and is having a breakout season offensively, clubbing 23 home runs and stealing 22 bases in 87 games between Double and Triple-A. He likely won’t see consistent playing time for the White Sox but he is someone to keep an eye on for 2022.

Hyeon-jong Yang, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: UR): Yang has worked out of the bullpen and the rotation in his first MLB season. He has a 5.17 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 31.1 innings.

 

September 2

 

Alec Bettinger, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 28): Bettinger has spent most of his time as a starter in Triple-A this season, compiling an ERA north of five. He’s likely to be used as a relief arm for the Brewers.

Yennsy Diaz, P, NYM (preseason PL team rank: UR): See above summary from August 31.

Andrew Vasquez, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Vasquez is a lefty relief arm. The Dodgers acquired him in a minor league trade with the Twins earlier this week. The 27-year-old has racked up 68 strikeouts in 42.1 innings.

 

Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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