As we are nearing the end of August, the infamous day known as September 1st, otherwise known as September Call-Ups/Expanded Roster day, is approaching fast. On September 1st, teams will be allowed the chance to showcase some of their minor league talent for the remainder of the regular season, whether it is to know if they are ready to make the transition to the majors in 2013 or to showcase them for a trade.
The main reason why players get called up to get a taste of “The Big Show” couldn’t be more basic. The most talented prospects have lived up to or exceeded expectations at the minor league level and their baseball club wants to see what they can do the most elite players in the world on the grandest of stages.
So how does a player qualify for a September call-up and do MLB teams call up all their players at once?
To qualify for September call ups, a player must be on the 40-man roster by 11:59PM on August 31st. The only other way a prospect can be called up from that point on is if a player already on the 40-man roster is injured. Over the coming days many fantasy baseball GMs will see their teams making additions as well as subtractions to their official 40-man roster in preparation for this day. On September 1st, or at any point after, MLB teams are then allowed to call up players from their minor league system to join the Major League club. Most teams generally bring up their top prospects in the first few days of September.
Once the 40-man roster is set, any players on that roster qualify to be picked for the 25-man post-season roster as long as they were placed on the 40-man roster by August 31st at the latest.
Below you will find a list of ten prospects, in no particular order, who should make an impact for their respective team in September and who could help your fantasy team win the league championship down the stretch.
Wil Myers (OF/3B) Kansas City Royals (not on the 40-man roster)
While Myers's call-up is not certain at all because the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA) will make the playoffs, Myers has been phenomenal this season between Double-A and Triple-A. In 489 at-bats, the lanky RHB has hit 35 dingers along with 103 RBIs, 92 runs and 26 doubles. His .296/.377/.546/.923 is also very good for a power hitter. A typical center fielder, Myers has also been tried at third base and in right field with Omaha. This versatility could very well prove to be useful to get more playing time in the majors when the Royals decide to call him up. With Jeff Francoeur and his bloated contract in right field, as well as promising prospect Lorenzo Cain in center field, Myers would have to get at-bats elsewhere, most likely at third-base or at DH. Don't expect him to be called-up on September 1st, but rather later this month when Omaha is eliminated from the playoffs, which means you'll have to monitor the situation closely if you want to grab him on waivers.
Dylan Bundy (SP) Baltimore Orioles (on the 40-man roster)
In the minors, Bundy has been awesome this summer. At three levels, he’s sporting a great 2.01 ERA and a splendid .995 WHIP to go along with a 5-1 K/BB ratio in only 99 innings pitched. While the Orioles recently acquired struggling starting pitcher Joe Saunders from the Diamondbacks, Saunders is certainly not the solution, nor is the disappointing Zach Britton. The powerful righty, while still very raw, is a powerful pitcher who has all the assets to have a successful career in the majors. Count on him for three or four starts in September.
Billy Hamilton (SS) Cincinnati Reds (not on the 40-man roster)
The fastest baseball player on Earth is about to get his chance in the majors. Hamilton, who broke Vince Coleman's single-season stolen base record of 145 a few days ago, now has 150 steals between A+ and AA this season. Sporting a .318/.418/.431/.849 line along with 108 runs, 21 doubles and 14 triples, the switch-hitting Hamilton is a very good contact hitter than can extend a single into a double and a double into a triple on almost every hit. While Hamilton might not start a lot of games for the Reds in September because Zach Cozart is their current shortstop, he will certainly be used as a pinch runner/hitter almost every game. The speedster could prove to be a nice source of steals for owners looking to improve in that category.
Jake Odorizzi (SP) Kansas City (not on the 40-man roster)
In 17 Triple-A appearances, the former Zack Greinke trade chip has compiled a 10-3 record with a 3.08 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, striking out about eight batters per nine innings. Odorizzi was named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Week for August 13-19. Despite his good numbers, the Royals have managed to resist the temptation of calling him up to the majors, but with the fourth worst starting pitcher ERA in baseball, the team will most likely want to see what he can do against MLB hitters in contemplation of the 2013 season.
Oswaldo Arcia (OF) Minnesota Twins (on the 40-man roster)
Relatively unknown in fantasy circles, Arcia has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins this season. In 435 at-bats between A+ and AA this season, Arcia has hit 15 dingers along with 88 RBIs and 68 runs scored. Sporting a .315/.386/.526/.913 line, Arcia is a left-handed batter with pop that could provide offense for the low-scoring Twins. Arcia's lightning-quick hands and lofty swing allow him to go yard in all fields. Best suited as a corner outfielder, Arcia would most likely get playing time at DH and spell Josh Willingham and Ben Revere (moving him in center to replace the oft-injured Denard Span) in the outfield.
Tyler Skaggs (SP) Arizona Diamondbacks (on the 40-man roster)
Already called-up by the D-backs, Skaggs made his MLB debut on August 22nd versus the lowly Marlins, allowing only two earned runs and three hits in 6.2 innings. Look for Skaggs to remain with the team until the end of the season now that Joe Saunders has been traded to Baltimore. Prior to his promotion, he had posted a 9-6 record between Double-A and Triple A with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He was also boasting an excellent K/BB ratio of 116/37. The 21-year-old left-hander has a very bright future and will be worth grabbing in deeper mixed fantasy leagues, especially if he's given a spot in the rotation for the Diamondbacks' stretch run.
Jedd Gyorko (2B/3B) San Diego Padres (not on the 40-man roster)
In his first full professional season, Gyorko led all minor leaguers with 192 hits in 149 games last year. In 475 at-bats between AA and AAA this season, Gyorko has hit 29 homeruns along with 96 RBIs, 77 runs scored and 28 doubles. Posting a .318/.381/.560/.941 line, the bulky infielder has displayed power at every level he played. The problem is that PETCO Park is one of the less friendly hitter ball park in baseball, which, as a result, will hurt Gyorko's power numbers. Originally a third baseman, the Padres have given him an extensive look at second base so he could get playing in the majors (Chase Headley is the team's regular 3rd baseman).
Danny Hultzen (SP) Seattle Mariners (on the 40-man roster)
The top left-hander in the 2011 draft class, the lanky southpaw is polished and ready to make the jump to the majors. This season, Hultzen has posed a 9-6 record between Double-A and Triple A with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, fanning out 130 batters while walking only 65 hitters in 117 innings pitched. With Blake Beavan (5.10 ERA) currently pegged as the team's fifth starter, it won't be hard for Hultzen to get some playing time in Seattle and learn from King Felix, another lefty with great stuff.
Grant Green (IF/OF) Oakland Athletics (not on the 40-man roster)
The surprising A's could really use a versatile player like Green in order to make the playoffs as the AL wildcard. Drafted as a shortstop in 2009, Green has played just about every position this season, except pitcher and catcher. While his power hasn't developed as the A's expected, Green is a complete player that would be best suited as a second baseman, especially following the demotion of Jemile Weeks, the team's regular second baseman in 2012. Green has hit 14 dingers with 68 RBIs and 69 runs in 497 at-bats with Triple-A Sacramento. He has also displayed some speed with 13 stolen bases and six triples. If you're looking for help at a weak position, Green may be a very interesting option.
Bruce Rondon (RP) Detroit Tigers (not on the 40-man roster)
Recently promoted to Triple-A, the electrifying Rondon has the potential to make a significant impact out of the bullpen for the Tigers this season. Compiling 28 saves through three levels, Rondon has a blazing fastball that works in the 99-102 mph range. Rondon's repertoire will allow him to replace current closer Jose Valverde in a near future, but in the meantime, he will be most likely be used in a set-up role along with Joaquin Benoit. If you're looking for holds and strikeouts, Rondon will be a cheap solution to bolster your bullpen.
Finally, I don't believe the best prospect in baseball, Jurickson Profar, will make his MLB debut in 2012, but I could be wrong!
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