By: Daniel Wilkins
This year, we’ve seen sluggers like Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Michael Chavis make their MLB debut. Along with that, pitchers like Chris Paddack, Merrill Kelly, and Griffin Canning have also burst on to the scene. However, there are some high-level prospects who will very likely get called up to their Major League squads in September.
September is what I like to call the ‘wave of prospects’- when the MiLB schedule ends and rosters expand to 40 players. This leaves plenty of room for ball clubs to call up their rising prospects and try them out in the lineup for a month. If they like their performance, they can put them on the Opening Day roster for the next season. September call-ups are important for the managers, too, because it is their first experience with that young player, and both the manager and players can get to know each other and settle differences. These are just a few of the prospects that I see getting the call this September:
Monte Harrison, OF (MIA)
Monte Harrison is a speed threat who can also whack the ball for home runs. Harrison was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft by Milwaukee, but is now with the Marlins’ AAA team in New Orleans. In 45 games for the Baby Cakes this year, Harrison has 8 home runs, 19 RBIs, a BA of .287, and 20 stolen bases as well. I, personally, compare him to Lorenzo Cain, because of his ability to produce power and steal bases. Harrison is only 23, and he could be a great help to the Marlins’ struggling outfield.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B (BAL)
Just like with Harrison, the Orioles could call up Mountcastle in September (or sooner) to help with the team’s struggling offense. Needless to say, Mountcastle has been on fire in AAA Norfolk. With a slash line of .305/.329/.516 and an OPS of .846, you cannot deny that Mountcastle’s current slash line is Major League caliber. Along with that, he smacked 12 homers, drove in 44, and even has 14 doubles so far on the season. Because Mountcastle has been primarily playing at first base this season, we could see him as a replacement to Chris Davis, who has been struggling immensely this season. Davis’s current batting average is .164.
Luis Robert, OF (CHW)
In 2017, Luis Robert was one of the most highly-regarded international prospects that was getting his first taste of Minor League baseball. Now, he’s in AA, and is taking the Southern League by storm. In 41 games for the Birmingham Barons, Robert is batting .307, with 4 homers, 20 RBIs, and ten stolen bases. Don’t forget that in 2019, Robert also played for the Winston-Salem Dash for 19 games. For his 2019 totals, he has an astounding .353 average, 12 homers, 44 runs batted in, with 18 stolen bases. Along with that, he has 18 doubles, 6 triples, and an OPS of 1.033. Expect Robert to cruise through AA, make it to AAA Charlotte around July, and get the call to the South Side in September.
Kyle Tucker, OF (HOU)
You could say that Kyle Tucker is the definition of slugger without lifting a finger. The Round Rock Express have recently been receiving a lot of attention because of the recent success of Tucker and his teammate Yordan Alvarez. Just like Alvarez, Tucker has been slamming home runs ever since he first got into the batters’ box this season. He has 23 home runs so far, in only 64 games. His high batting average of .287 and his OPS of 1.010, along with 55 RBIs, are certain reasons to say that Tucker will be called up in September, if not sooner.
Casey Mize, SP (DET)
Call me crazy, but I believe that Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick of last year’s draft, will be getting playing time in Detroit by the end of the 2019 season. Don’t forget that the No. 1 pick of the ‘14 draft, Dansby Swanson, also made his MLB debut only one year after his draft. Mize, who’s made appearances in A+ Lakeland and AA Erie, and has been crusing since. Overall in 2019, his ERA is below 1 (!) at 0.92, a number that is absolutely mind-boggling. In 78 innings, he’s struck out 75 batters, which puts him on pace for over 200 strikeouts for this season. Mize’s WHIP stat is also a jaw-dropping 0.69, and his batting average against, .158, looks more like Chris Davis numbers if anything else.
As of 6/17, Mize is on the 7-day injured list. Once he comes back, it is guaranteed that he will come back with the lights-out stuff as always, and his ERA will continue to drop, and his strikeouts will continue to rise. Maybe, in the best case scenario, we could even see Mize making his MLB debut in August.