September Callups 2017: Hitter Six-Pack: Who Will Get An Opportunity (Verdugo, Candelario & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Whether you like the September roster expansion or not, there’s little doubt that it affords some opportunity to young players who may not get it otherwise.  Of course all situations aren’t created equal, and just because a young player is recalled doesn’t mean that they are going to get a chance to play regularly.  Let’s take a look at a few players who we’d expect to be recalled and determine what type of potential opportunity they will be given:

 

Jeimer Candelario – Detroit Tigers
There has been talk about Nick Castellanos shifting to the outfield, which obviously would be one way to get Candelario into the MLB lineup.  However with Victor Martinez potentially lost for the season there’s another avenue available, not to mention the suspension/struggles for Miguel Cabrera.  It would appear like Candelario is a lock to find his way into the MLB lineup not long after September 1, and he is one of the few who have the potential to see regular AB down the stretch.

While Candelario is still maturing into his power, he has hit 35 doubles, 4 triples and 15 HR in 389 AB splitting time between two Triple-A teams this season.  His strikeouts are a bit higher than we’d like, especially since the trade to Detroit (28.0%, with a 1.9% walk rate), though it’s a small sample (107 PA).  Prior to the trade he posted a 21.8% strikeout rate and 12.4% walk rate, so there shouldn’t be a concern.  He should be able to hit around .260 with a little bit of pop, making him an intriguing option to watch.

Potential Opportunity – High

 

JP Crawford – Philadelphia Phillies
We’ve talked about him a bit recently (click here for the article), thanks to him warming up at the plate and also seeing time away from his typical shortstop position.  That said, while he should be a given to join the Phillies how many AB he sees is going to be in doubt.  He could see time at 2B (Cesar Hernandez), SS (Freddie Galvis) and 3B (Maikel Franco), but it’s hard to envision him assuming an everyday role at any of them.  Think of him more as a 3-4 game per week player in September (barring an injury), which means any impact is limited.

For those who want to point towards Scott Kingery as a potential option as well, considering there’s already questionable opportunity for Crawford and that Kingery isn’t on the 40-man roster it’s a tough sell.  Even if he is recalled, don’t expect much of an opportunity to produce.

Potential Opportunity – Moderate

 

Willy Adames – Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have a blackhole at 2B, and do we really think the newly signed Danny Espinosa is going to be the answer?  Adames has played 8 games there this season, and it’s possible he comes up and assumes the role immediately.  After a slow July (.237, 2 HR, 4 SB) he’s sizzling in August (.311, 2 HR, 2 SB) and could be forcing the issue.  He’s more of a 10/10 player and he also has 120 K in 470 AB so he may not blow us away in any one category, but he has the potential to be an across the board producer.  He also is one of the few who could be a regular.

Potential Opportunity – High

 

Franklin Barreto – Oakland A’s
He’s had his opportunity and struggled, hitting .190 thanks to a 39.1% strikeout rate in the Majors.  It was a small sample size (46 PA), but he’s posted a 28.1% strikeout rate at Triple-A and the A’s have both Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder to man 2B.  While we would expect Barreto to get a few opportunities, considering the strikeout risk and the alternatives he’s hardly going to be a major producer.

Potential Opportunity – Low/Moderate

 

Willie Calhoun – Texas Rangers
The fact that he wasn’t summoned when Joey Gallo first went on the DL speaks volumes, especially now that Carlos Gomez is back and Gallo isn’t far behind.  There is no questioning Calhoun’s bat, but there simply isn’t a defensive position available (nor is there a real feeling for where he’s going to settle in defensively).  He’s going to join the team and get a few AB, but don’t expect him to be a regular in the lineup.

Potential Opportunity – Low

 

Alex Verdugo – Los Angeles Dodgers
We had talked Verdugo up as a potential Joc Pederson replacement, but the team instead acquired Curtis Granderson and will bring Pederson back in September.  While Verdugo should be up, barring an injury it’s hard to imagine him carving out a big role.

Potential Opportunity – Low

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!

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