On Sept. 1 of each year in Major League Baseball, rosters expand from 25 to 40 players. Each team then has an opportunity to call up minor league prospects with the thought of evaluating their development and watching how they handle life on the grand stage.
This year, several prospects will get the same call, and will do all they can to impress their bosses. Here are five names to watch out for.
1. Grant Green: Oakland Athletics
Green has been one the Oakland A’s top prospects for years now, and could finally have a chance to advance to the highest level. Green has hit .293 with 14 HR and 69 RBI at Triple-A Sacramento, and his bat could be a welcome presence for a surprising A’s team working toward a postseason berth.
2. Jake Odorizzi: Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are once again on the outside looking as far as the playoff picture is concerned, looking towards the future once again.
For one player, that future could start this September—top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi has shined at the minor league level, posting an 11-3 record and 2.93 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A Omaha. Odorizzi has struck out 88 batters in 107.1 innings, and could very well give the Royals a glimpse into the future with a solid September performance.
3. Jedd Gyorko: San Diego Padres
Ever since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft, San Diego Padres infield prospect Jedd Gyorko has shown a terrific knack of hitting the baseball, with a .320 batting average in two-plus seasons.
This season, Gyorko has been getting reps at second base at Triple-A Tucson, a clear need for the Padres moving forward. The transition hasn’t hurt Gyorko’s offense either, hitting .333 with 24 HR and 83 RBI in 89 games.
With the Padres out of playoff contention, Gyorko could well get the call and provide an impact bat for the Padres in the final month of the season.
4. Wil Myers: Kansas City Royals
While the Kansas City Royals already have a top prospect in Jake Odorizzi they might have their eyes on for a September call-up, outfielder Wil Myers could well get that call, too.
Myers has opened a lot of eyes with his power potential—35 HR and 104 RBI as of Aug. 30 between Double-A and Triple-A—and is looked upon as a presence in the middle of the batting order for the Royals. It’s likely that Myers will participate in the playoffs for Omaha, who has already clinched a playoff, so he may not be seen in Kansas City until later in the month.
But Myers could still be a treat to watch as he auditions for a roster spot for the 2013 season.
5. Billy Hamilton: Cincinnati Reds
Earlier in the month of August, Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton broke minor league for stolen bases in one season by swiping his 146th bag.
Now with 154 stolen bases in 127 games, Hamilton continues to set a new standard with each theft, and the Reds will someday be the benefactor of that incredible speed.
It’s uncertain whether or not Hamilton will impact the roster in September, however. Reds GM Walt Jocketty indicated on Aug. 29 that Hamilton is “probably not” a candidate for a call-up. But Hamilton’s speed could be of huge help to the Reds down the stretch, so that decision is not etched in stone.
This is a guest post submitted by Chris Ludwig. Chris played a wide variety of sports growing up and now passionately follows everything sports, especially Detroit sports. He works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wood bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. Chris enjoys writing on different sports topics and is very grateful to be able to contribute here.