September is here (already?) and that means roster expansion. We’ll scour the list of September call-ups and point out the players that could help your fantasy team down the stretch.
Royals activate Josh Fields – Three years ago, Fields hit 23 home runs in only 373 at-bats for the Chicago White Sox. Hip surgery has kept him out for the majority of the 2010 season, though he was hitting well upon his return to action at triple-A. It’s tough to expect much from Fields down the stretch, but I’d keep a close eye on his playing time.
Astros activate Jeff Keppinger – The most we can expect from Keppinger is exactly the type of value he provided earlier this season. His solid approach at the plate could lead to a late hot streak, which would help fantasy teams in need of AVG.
Rays called up Desmond Jennings, Brad Hawpe, Jeremy Hellickson and Rocco Baldelli – Adding three more outfielders to the already crowded mix is not going to help anyone’s chances of putting up good fantasy stats. However, Hawpe is worth a look in deeper leagues due to his solid track record before this season. Hellickson is set to join the Rays pen, so his fantasy impact will be minimal for the time being.
D-Backs called up Brandon Allen – Allen has a ton of power (14.8 AB/HR rate at triple-A), but he also has a ton of swing and miss in his game. Adam LaRoche is embedded at first, but Allen has been playing some left field at triple-A of late and should see plenty of time there down the stretch. If you need some upside in power, Allen is worth taking a flier on.
Reds called up Yonder Alonso – Alonso has mostly been a disappointment since being drafted seventh overall be the Reds in 2008. This season, his slash line of .290/.352/.458 marks an improvement, but his power numbers have been disappointing (only 15 homers in 507 at-bats). There is no way Alonso finds playing time at first base unless Joey Votto gets injured and Jonny Gomes has held his own in left field this season. Needless to say, playing time will be an issue.
Brewers called up Mat Gamel – Gamel was everyone’s favorite roto prospect in 2009, but he failed to meet expectations. This season at triple-A, Gamel has proven two things: One, he can still rake (.304/.388/.496 with 27 home runs in 359 at-bats). Two, he still can’t field (17 errors in 83 games). Unless someone needs rest down the stretch — maybe Braun — Gamel isn’t going to see enough playing time to make an impact, but monitor his situation this offseason.
Blue Jays called up J.P. Arencibia – So his Major League debut was too good to be true. That doesn’t detract from the fact that he still has 20-plus home run potential in the long run. He should see ample time behind the dish down the stretch and is a welcomed addition to any team in need of help at catcher.
Mets called up Jenrry Mejia – Starting the season in the Mets bullpen, this 20-year-old was able to display his top-end stuff, but was also not being allowed to progress as a starter. His time with the Mets didn’t last long as they wised up and sent him down to the farm and as a starting pitcher. Mejia spent most of his time at double-A where he posted a very solid 8.6 K/9 and a decent 3.4 BB/9. His stuff is simply electric, which makes him one of the better long-term prospects around. As for the rest of this season, he is a perfect arm to stream against good mactups (as in against the Cubs this Saturday).
Mets called up Lucas Duda – A monster of a man (6’5″ 240), Duda has been a disappointment since his days as a prospect at USC. This season, however, the Mets seventh round gamble in 2007 has finally started to pay off. Duda was hitting .304/.398/.569 with 23 home runs in 425 at-bats between double and triple-A this season. With the departure of Jeff Francoeur to Texas, Duda could see some major playing time down the stretch. His plate discipline is advanced for his power profile and could make him a big-time sleeper in September.
Orioles called up Nolan Reimold – With a revolving door between first base and left field, Nolan Reimold may have a chance to get some decent playing time and hit a few home runs in September. Reimold was a big sleeper pick almost across the board in fantasy circles before this season. An injury to his achilles late last season seems to have affected him well into 2010, but the upside is still there.
Indians called up Carlos Carrasco – After an up and down season in 2009, Carlos Carrasco has put himself back on the top prospect map with a solid showing at triple-A this season. His 8 K/9 and 2 BB/9 rates at triple a show enough potential to make a mixed league impact. He’s still only 23-years-old.