Week four! Throughout the year, this will be a weekly series that will outline the prospect movers from the previous week.
We have only just started the MLB season, and the minor league season isn’t scheduled to begin until May, but due to Covid-19 protocols, injuries, and several weather postponements early in the season, there has already been substantial movement for many prospects.
The format of the article is likely to change once the minor league season begins. For now, everyone listed made the jump to the majors.
All stats are of April 22.
Aaron Northcraft, P, SD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Northcraft has a career 3.87 ERA in the minors. He’s split time as a reliever and a starter. He figures to be a right-handed low-leverage option out of the bullpen for the time being.
DJ Peters, OF, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Peters’ approach caps his potential. The Dodgers have been pretty banged up lately saw the outfielder gets his first call to the bigs. This a temporary call-up.
Kent Emanuel, P, HOU (preseason PL team rank: UR): Emanuel had quite the MLB debut. After Jake Odorizzi recorded one out and left with an injury, Emanuel tossed the remaining 8.2 innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out five. The 28-year-old is far from a high-profile prospect but the performance likely earned him a role with big league club for the time being.
Ryan Hendrix, P, CIN (preseason PL team rank: 32): The Reds have had issues with their bullpen so far in 2021. Hendrix is a relief-only prospect but the righty has a 2.66 ERA in the minors.
Matt Peacock, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Peacock has split time as a starter and a reliever in the minors. He’s likely a temporary relief option for Arizona.
Nick Gordon, 2B/SS, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 24): Gordon was once considered a top-100 prospect but he’s now considered more of a utility type. Still just 23, there could be more here but the lack of power caps his potential.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, MIN (preseason PL team rank: 1): The Twins top prospect got a very brief taste of big-league action earlier this season, but he should get an extended look this time around. Kiriloff is one of the best prospect bats in all of baseball and has been immediately been slotting in the middle of the Minnesota lineup. His playing time might become more inconsistent as Minnesota gets healthy and he looked slow in left field earlier this year.
Louis Head, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: UR): This is the first tase of the majors for the 31-year-old righthander. He’s a relief-only arm.
Jason Vosler, 1B/3B/OF, SF (preseason PL team rank: UR): Vosler has big power but it comes with contact issues. He’s a corner bat. He had a breakout 2019 in Triple-A where he belted 20 dingers in 116 games. He’s likely just a bench option for now.
Garrett Cleavinger, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Cleavinger came to the Dodgers from Philadelphia in the deal the netted the Phillies Jose Alvarado. The lefty has always been a relief-only prospect.
Ty Tice, P, TOR (preseason PL team rank: UR): Tice is a relief-only arm, but he’s posted a spectacular 2.09 ERA in the minors. Toronto has had several injuries to their bullpen to start the season, so it’s not unrealistic to think that Tice could carve out a role.
Corey Ray, OF, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 14): Remember him? The Brewers once spent the fifth overall pick on the toolsy outfielder. The shine has since dulled on the former top prospect. He still has great speed but his contact issues make it seem unlikely he will ever be able to nail down a permanent role in the bigs.
Phil Bickford, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 41): Bickford got a brief cup of coffee in 2020 and it did not go well, allowing four earned rungs in one inning of work. He posted a 2.48 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a 41.1% strikeout rate at High-A in 2019 though, so he is a candidate to be the next reliever that Milwaukee turns into a gem.
Adbert Alzolay, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 3): This is likely the last time Alzolay will make this list as he’s just a handful of innings away from losing his prospect eligibility. In his major league career, he’s proven that he can strike out big league hitters but also struggles with his command. The Cubs will likely continue to use him as a starter but his stuff would play up in a relief role and that could be where he ultimately ends up.
Wil Crowe, P, PIT (preseason PL team rank: 17): Crowe struggled in limited MLB innings with Washington in 2020, allowing 11 earned runs in 8.1 innings. He had a spectacular spring for the Pirates and given their lack of starting pitching depth Crowe could get some run as a starter.
Josh Sborz, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: UR): Sborz saw some MLB action for the Dodgers the past two years. At this point, he’s looking like a mop-up arm for Texas.
Jonathan Stiever, P, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 8): Stiever got the call and had a nightmare outing for the White Sox. The right-hander allowed four hits and three earned runs against Texas without recording a single out. He was optioned the next day but Stiever is still a promising young arm.
Zac Lowther, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 18): This is the first call to the majors for Lowther. He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff but has been very effective in the minors, posting a 2.26 ERA, mostly as a starter. It looks like Baltimore is giving him action as a reliever for now but he should see some spot starts down the line.
Luis Patiño, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: 4): The 21-year-old right-hander is one of the best prospect arms in baseball. The Rays used him as a pseudo-opener in his 2021 debut and he tossed 2.2 shutout innings while striking out three. It’s unclear how he will be used throughout the 2021 season but this is one of the highest pitching ceilings in the sport.
William Contreras, C, ATL (preseason PL team rank: 9): Contreras got the call as the extra bat for a doubleheader. The future is promising but this was a temporary call-up. He was optioned the next day.
Riley Smith, P, ARI (preseason PL team rank: UR): Smith ate some innings earlier this year for Arizona and now gets another opportunity. He will primarily be used as a reliever but could see a spot start or two.
Deivi García, P, NYY (preseason PL team rank: 2): Garcia had an up-and-down 2020 for the Yankees, ultimately finishing with a 4.98 ERA but a 4.15 FIP. Following this call, he allowed two runs and struck out four against Baltimore. The Yankees rotation is full of arms with previous injury concerns, so it shouldn’t be long before we see Garcia again. He’s about a dozen innings away from exceeding rookie eligibility. The 21-year-old is still viewed as a mid-rotation starter long term.
Mitch White, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 21): White is a talented arm who has battled some injuries. He tossed three shutout innings for the Dodgers in 2020 and has a 3.97 career ERA in the minors, mostly as a starter. For most team’s he’d probably get a look as a starter at this stage but given the Dodgers’ pitching depth, he will work out of the bullpen for the time being.
Peter Solomon, P, HOU (preseason PL team rank: 20): Solomon was up earlier this season and tossed two shutout innings for the Astros. This time he gets the call following Jake Odorizzi’s trip to the IL.
Robert Dugger, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: HM): Dugger is knocking on the door of exceeding rookie eligibility. Through his first 47 innings of MLB action, stretching back to 2019, the reliever has a 7.09 ERA. He looks to be an arm that will bounce between the majors and minors throughout the year.
Kyle Nelson, P, CLE (preseason PL team rank: 45): Nelson is a two-pitch relief-only prospect. Cleveland has been known to churn out great relievers recently, so Nelson could be the next one to make that leap, but the bullpen is also already crowded with talented arms.
Trevor Megill, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 50): Megill stands at 6’8. He’s a relief-only prospect and this is his first call to the majors. He has a career 3.38 ERA in the minors.
Hyeon-jong Yang, P, TEX (preseason PL team rank: UR): Yang is a 33-year-old lefty arm. He got the call and immediately tossed 4.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs and striking out one. He could be an innings eater that works out of the bullpen or starting rotation.
Jay Flaa, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: UR): This is the first call to the bigs for Flaa. He’s a relief-only prospect with a 3.41 career ERA in the minors.
Garrett Cleavinger, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): Hey look! Cleavinger again. What was said for his April 24 call-up still rings true here. This will be another temporary call to the bigs.
DJ Peters, OF, LAD (preseason PL team rank: UR): And the same goes for Peters. The Dodgers are battling some Covid-19 protocols so Peters got brought up as an extra bat.
Skye Bolt, OF, SF (preseason PL team rank: 26): One of the best names in all of baseball. Bolt got a brief cup of coffee with Oakland in 2019. The Giants outfield has been somewhat struggling offensively, which could open a door for Bolt, but the team also just traded for Mike Tauchman, which probably puts a cap on Bolt’s playing time potential.
Corey Ray, OF, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 14): Ray’s second call this week. Please refer to his April 24 summary.
Ali Sánchez, C, STL (preseason PL team rank: UR): The 25-year-old catcher made his MLB debut with the Mets in 2020, collecting one hit in 10 plate appearances. He gets the call following a trip to the IL for Yadier Molina.
Patrick Weigel, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 21): Weigel features a four-pitch mix and has a career 3.15 ERA in the minors. He’s primarily worked as a starter in the minors but will be in a bullpen role for now.
Luis González, OF, CHW (preseason PL team rank: 16): The toolsy outfielder offers an interesting power/speed combination, but this appears to be a temporary call. González got brought up following a trip to the Covid-19 IL for Luis Robert.
Taylor Jones, 1B/OF, HOU (preseason PL team rank: 2): Jones gets the call as the corresponding move to Yordan Alvarez being placed on the Covid-19 IL. Jones is a temporary bench bat, but he has power upside.
Johan Oviedo, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 5): Oviedo faired pretty well in his April 28th opportunity, allowing three runs while striking out seven against the Phillies. He may be back up on Monday to face the Mets as it is rumored the Cardinals might toy with a six-man rotation,
Riley Smith, P, Ari (preseason PL team rank: UR): The Diamondbacks placed Taylor Widener on the IL with a groin strain and brought Smith up for a spot start. He allowed three runs over four innings of work.
Dean Kremer, P, BAL (preseason PL team rank: 11): Kremer has been up-and-down a few times already this season. This call to the bigs did not go well as Kremer allowed six runs over 4.1 innings. He’s showed flashes of being a productive arm so he’s one to keep an eye on despite the rough outing.
Shane McClanahan, P, TB (preseason PL team rank: 7): The lefty pitcher made his debut in the MLB postseason so this is his first taste of regular-season action. McClanahan was a strikeout machine in the minors and the Rays intend to use him as a traditional starting pitcher – not an opener – with the hope of him being up for good. He should be rostered in most fantasy leagues as a speculative add.
Domingo Tapia, P, SEA (preseason PL team rank: UR): The 29-year-old Tapia is a relief-only arm. He allowed one run and struck out four in 4.1 innings for Boston in 2020.
Derek Hill, OF, DET (preseason PL team rank: 34): Hill has flashed some power in the minors but has also had some pretty high strikeout rates. He got the call as an extra bat for a doubleheader.
Seth Elledge, P, STL (preseason PL team rank: 44): Elledge is a relief-only arm. He will likely be up for a few days before Oviedo gets the call for another start.
Justin Steele, P, CHC (preseason PL team rank: 25): Steele has battled injuries in his career and 2021 marks his MLB debut. He’s posted a 3.62 career ERA in the minors, primarily as a starter, but is likely a bullpen arm for the time being.
Edwin Uceta, P, LAD (preseason PL team rank: 29): Uceta has primarily been a starter in the minors, posting a career 3.73 ERA. He gets the call as a bullpen arm following a trip to the IL for Brusdar Graterol.
Justin Lawrence, P, COL (preseason PL team rank: UR): Lawrence has a career minor league ERA north of five. He is a relief-only arm.
Alec Bettinger, P, MIL (preseason PL team rank: 28): Bettinger had a breakout 2019 in Double-A with a K-BB rate of around 20%. His stuff could play up in a relief role.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @ethanmkaplanimages on Instagram)