For teams that are completely out of the playoff hunt, September can be a drag for them and their fans. There just doesn't seem to be a reason to play the games...unless of course, you're looking at the future. Many teams, contenders or not, tend to call up prospects once September 1st hits and the rosters expand to 40 players. We've already seen numerous prospects, including Starling Marte, Mike Olt, and Anthony Gose, get their call, but there are going to be more. Here are ten prospects to keep an eye on during the season's final month that could get some time in the majors to close out the year.
Wil Myers, Royals
The 21-year old came into the year as MLB.com's 19th ranked prospect, and all he's done this year is turn himself into an even more elite prospect. Over 113 games between AA Northwest Arkansas and AAA Omaha, Myers has a 1.017 OPS, 25 doubles, 34 homers, and has walked 53 times. Myers is destroying both lefties and righties equally, and while his numbers have dipped after the All-Star Break, they've gone from "insane" to "above average". For a Royals team that's going through a rebuilding movement surrounded by youth, there's no reason for them not to give Myers a September audition, because he'll definitely be a part of their squad in 2013, Jeff Francoeur's contract be damned.
Alex Castellanos, Dodgers
Castellanos did get a brief cup of coffee in the majors earlier this year, OPSing .412 in 11 games. But with the Dodgers still in the heat of the playoff race and getting absolutely nothing from James Loney at first base, giving Castellanos a shot to outproduce the veteran over the season's final month seems like something that could happen. It looks like the Dodgers would lean towards calling up Jerry Sands on a full-time basis instead of Castellanos, but the 26-year old with a 1.103 OPS for AAA Albuquerque this year would probably end up being a better option.
Tyler Cloyd, Phillies
This year's Phillies season that has come completely unglued, and the team could turn to one of their young starters down the stretch instead of sticking with mediocre veteran Kyle Kendrick. Cloyd, who every major scouting service profiles as a back-end starter, has a 2.07 ERA in 148 innings between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley. He's struck out 104 while only walking 34, and the Phillies are quite high on the 25-year old. Whether or not he'll be a part of their long-term future is anyone's best guess, but he's got nothing left to prove at AAA, and is worthy of a major league baptism by fire in September.
Billy Hamilton, Reds
I can use one word to describe Hamilton: inimitable. In 113 games between high-A Bakersfield and AA Pensacola, Hamilton has an .843 OPS and has stolen 139 bases. He's approaching Vince Coleman's minor league record of 145, and with more than two weeks remaining in the season, he should get there. Now, imagine what having a guy with such incredible speed on the bench could do for the Reds down the stretch. Even just as a pinch runner, Hamilton could add an incredibly valuable skill to their bench that could result in an extra run per game as a result of taking extra bases.
Jacob Turner, Marlins
Yes, I know that Turner has already 25 career major league innings. But by all accounts, he wasn't ready for the majors in either of his callups. This time around, Turner could be up to stay in his new home with Miami. In four starts with AAA New Orleans since being dealt from the Tigers, Turner has thrown 22 1/3 innings, and has a 2.42 ERA. His 13:10 strikeout to walk rate is pitiful, but Turner hasn't exactly gotten shelled in any of his starts either. For a desperate Marlins team looking to remain relevant past this season, they could look to squeeze some value out of Turner and show their fanbase that they actually got something good in return for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.\
Chris Archer, Rays
Archer did get two starts in the majors earlier this summer, and was very good in his 11 2/3 innings. But since being sent back down to AAA Durham, Archer has been dominant, striking out 20 while walking five in 25 1/3 innings since the All-Star Break with a 2.13 ERA. With the success of the Rays' rotation since the break though, there may not be room for Archer in the majors down the stretch.
Evan Gattis, Braves
Gattis isn't a top prospect, as he'll be 26 this week and is in only his second year of full season ball. But Gattis can absolutely destroy the ball. In 21 games at high-A Lynchburg, he made a mockery of the league, OPSing 1.289 and homering nine times, earning himself a promotion to AA Mississippi. Gattis broke his wrist early into his tenure at Mississippi, and recently came back at the end of July. He only has an .831 OPS since coming back, and the wrist injury has sapped his power, leading to just two homers. But for a Braves bench that has lacked a true power threat aside from third baseman Juan Francisco, he could be huge down the stretch for Atlanta.
Trevor Bauer, Diamondbacks
Bauer's earlier stint in the majors, when we all went crazy about him being "freed", was essentially a disaster after he walked 13 and struck out 17 in 16 1/3 innings. That earned him a bump back down to AAA, where in three starts since the demotion, Bauer has struck out 15 and walked nine in 15 1/3 innings. Considering the struggles of Arizona's rotation, even with Bauer no longer in the majors, it would make sense for the Diamondbacks to give Bauer another shot as they cling to their playoff hopes.
Jose Iglesias, Red Sox
The point remains that Iglesias is absolutely terrible offensively. He's sitting at .598 in AAA right now, with a .295 slugging percentage. Really? Yeah. Well, here's the thing: Boston's shortstop in the majors right now, Mike Aviles, isn't exactly bringing up memories of Nomar Garciaparra. Aviles has a .688 OPS for the season, but is having a good defensive year this season. He's a lot like Iglesias, except he's older and more expensive. With so much discussion surrounding Iglesias possibly winning the shortstop job before the season, it would make sense to at least give him a trial in September.
Grant Green, A's
The major tag on Green is that he doesn't have a position. The A's have gotten nothing from 3/4 of their infield (all positions but first base have largely been awful this season), so why not call up Green and essentially rotate him between spots to at least give the team some sort of offense from their black holes? With the A's having a surprising season that has put them in playoff contention, just one little push from a player like Green could nudge them into the playoffs.
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Agree that Green is ready, now. But, Evan Gattis, Braves isn't a top prospect, as he'll be 26 this week and is in only his second year of full season ball. Why use a roster slot for such a long-shot, who will discover the A pitchers and MLB pitchers are vastly different.
@EarlNash As a Braves fan, I can openly admit Gattis isn't a top prospect. But quite frankly, he's destroying the ball, is way too old for his level, and the Braves have a major need at the major league level for another boomer off the bench. With Matt Diaz getting thumb surgery that will knock him out for the rest of the year, there's your potential roster spot.