MLB: 15 Players Who Could Be Next into the American League
The end of the season is coming up fast, and there are only a few weeks left of the MLB regular season. The big talk at the moment is on star player performance, wildcard slots, and the potential World Series Winners. Despite all of this being hugely important, particularly if you’re someone who likes to bet on the MLB, there’s also potential for some important news with new full time roster call ups. There are a number of players in the minor leagues who have impressed this year, and every team in the American League will be looking to bring future stars up from their farm teams.Here are 15 rising stars (and some familiar faces) who we think have a real shot of landing full time positions in the American League teams.
The next big names in the American League:
Chance Sisco for the Baltimore Orioles
Sisco has hit 23 doubles since joining Norfolk in the AAA Minors, and his OPS of .814 is deeply impressive. He’s also an effective shortstop, and his versatility and adaptability could be beneficial to the Orioles. He’s still developing and he’s a cost effective call up for the team. Expect to see him in the MLB soon.
Deven Marrero for the Boston Red Sox
He’s not the biggest hitter and his .554 OPS average is nothing to get excited about. However, he’s an extremely versatile infielder and he could become a solid roster player for the Red Sox, even if he never becomes a full blown star.
Clint Frazier for the New York Yankees
He’s on the disabled list right now with an oblique strain, but it cannot be forgotten that Frazier was a top pick back in 2013. The rosters will expand to 40 players in September, and with Clint entering an intensive rehabilitation program, he’s a player that we can expect to see back on the roster.
Brent Honeywell for the Tampa Bay Rays
When you look at Brent Honeywell there’s no doubt that he’s destined for a rotation spot in the MLB. You just need to look at his stats, where he has a 167 strikeouts from just 131 innings in the minor leagues. There’s nothing left for him to show there, and he will be a wasted talent if the Rays don’t get him in their bullpen when the rosters expand.
Anthony Alford for the Toronto Blue Jays
He has almost already made it, being promoted in May, only to suffer a fracture that left him out of contention. He’s recovered from that injury now and with free agency exits impending, the Blue Jays could use this man who has stats like an .825 OPS and .306 on hitting.
Michael Kopech for the Chicago White Sox
Currently pitching for the Charlotte Knights, Kopech could be the next big thing to join the White Sox squad. There’s a strong possibility that he will be called up in September for an audition, to see if his impressive ERA and strikeout figures can translate to the Majors. While he’s not likely to make the full 2018 roster, we can see him given a chance this year, with another season in the Minors to continue developing, and then a full time call up by the 2019 season start.
Francisco Mejia for the Cleveland Indians
A powerful hitter with a .862 OPS, Mejia is a rising star in the Minors and a strong prospect for the Indians. He’ll likely get the call up for September when the rosters expand, and the team will be able to evaluate him further for a risky (but potentially rewarding) move to the Majors.
Jeimer Candelario for the Detroit Tigers
The tigers are in need of a good prospect, and Candelario comes with some previous experience in the Majors, and an excellent performance record in the Minors. He’s still young, he’s had 15 home runs in 100 games, and he has an OPS of .842. There’s little doubt that he will be called up in September with the roster expansion, and we could see him becoming a regular option beyond that point.
Raul Mondesi for the Kansas City Royals
Mondesi has already been a familiar face in the MLB, and he even appeared in the World Series in 2015. Unfortunately, it all seemed a bit early and his promise didn’t live up to the hype. Now that he’s had more time in the Minors, he’s been building a solid .304 hitting average with .886 OPS. This year he’s already impressed with 13 home runs, and it looks like it’s time for his second chance. He could be in the roster by September, and could even be a starter for next season.
Zack Granite for the Minnesota Twins
The Twins are a rebuilding team that have also been unexpectedly good this season. Despite performance exceeding expectations. They still need to start taking chances on developing players and Zack Granite will definitely be on their list. The Twins have already auditioned him in the Majors and he has been steadily improving in the Minors. Expect a call up this year.
Rogelio Armenteros Houston Astros
He’s not ranked a top prospect by most analysts, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s been putting in excellent performances in both the double-A and triple-A of the MiLB. The right handed pitcher has 134 strikeouts this season, as well as an impressive 2.11 ERA. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has already hinted that Armenteros is ready for the Majors, so we expect to see him in the squad with the roster expansion.
Matt Thaiss for the Los Angeles Angels
The Angels don’t have the strongest talent farm, so prediction on this one is difficult. Thaiss has continued to impress as he has moved up through the Minor ranks, and he could be in for a chance with the Angels as they try their options with call ups later this year. Thaiss will be lucky because there’s not a lot of competition in a shallow pool of prospects for the Angels.
A.J. Puk for the Oakland Athletics
MLB ranks Puk as the second overall prospect for the Athletics, and this left handed pitcher currently holds an average of just under 13 strikeouts for every nine innings. He’s young at just 22 and some might feel that it’s too early for him, but the Athletics have historically been open to giving chances to younger players. At least expect to see him being trialed in September as the Athletics put their best prospects to the test.
Daniel Vogelbach for the Seattle Mariners
He hasn’t yet impressed in his previous appearances with the Mariners, but he’s been doing everything he needs to get noticed in the Minors. It’s time for another call up to see if he’s finally ready for a bigger role in the MLB. With the Mariners likely to be losing talent to free agency, Vogelbach could be in a good position to show that he’s ready to become a starter 1B.
Willie Calhoun for the Texas Rangers
The Rangers gave up Darvish to get Willie Calhoun (along with Brendon Davis and A.J. Alexy), so his development and eventual move to the majors is something that the team is heavily invested in. He’s a poor defender but the Rangers might be willing to overlook that as something to work on in the future. The Minors have seen him hit 29 home runs and he has a .926 OPS, so his hitting ability alone could get him the call up to the Majors.