It’s tough to expect much out of September call-ups unless they fall into a situation where they have a chance to play everyday. Unfortunately for the players that have been called up so far this September, it doesn’t seem like that will be the case.
Jesus Montero, C, NYY
Montero saw his first MLB action of 2011 the day he was called up to the big leagues, going 0-4 on the night. Montero is one of the top offensive prospects in the game. His second season at triple-A seemed like some to be a small letdown, but the 21-year-old battled a few nagging injuries, which cut down some of his power numbers. Still his production between the two seasons was surprisingly consistent.
While Montero’s long-term upside at the plate is something to consider in keeper leagues, it would be hard to expect him to get enough playing time down the stretch to make him a worthy add in 12-team mixed formats.
Devin Mesoraco, C, CIN
Arguably the top catcher prospect in baseball, Mesoraco has enough upside to certainly make an impact. The problem is that the 23-year-old will spend time catching bullpens before he even sees an inning of big league action. After the team feels he is comfortable with the pitching staff, he’ll have to face a time share with Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hannigan. Can we really expect Dusty Baker to give the youngster the lion’s share of playing time in September? I think not. Look for Dusty to stick with the veterans that have been battling for him all season long.
Jacob Turner, SP, DET
Turner might be one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, but he’ll need someone to fall out of Detroit’s current rotation before he gets any more than a few spot-starts from here on out.
Will Rhymes, 2B, DET
As is the case with Turner, and most September call-ups for that matter, Rhymes will need something to happen before he sees much playing time. However, that something could be as simple as a Carlos Guillen injury, which has been a frequent occurrence in the latter stages of his career. Rhymes doesn’t have much power, but he has good contact skills and hit .306/.377/.390 with 13 stolen bases in 104 games at triple-A this season. He is listed as the backup to Guillen on MLB.com’s depth chart, so if Guillen goes down again, Rhymes could slip in and steal a few bases down the stretch. To expect much value outside of AL-only leagues, however, is foolhardy.
Bryan LaHair, 1B, CHC
If we were just looking at his triple-A numbers, and didn’t factor in anything else, we might assume that he was one of the best prospects in baseball. Unfortunately, LaHair is a 28-year-old with only 150 major league plate appearances, but over 4000 plate appearances in the minors. That keeps his awesome .331/.405/.664, 38 home run line at triple in check. Still, LaHair is the type of player that could flourish with some homers in a short September look, but he is basically a 1B-only type, where he’s blocked in Chicago by Carlos Pena. He has played some outfield in the past, so perhaps he gets some looks there if Soriano gets injured or Mike Quade decides to reward the minor league vet with some playing-time in right field.
Brandon Guyer, OF, TB
Out of all the names listed above, Guyer might be in line for the most playing time. While he certainly won’t be displacing Desmond Jennings in left or B.J. Upton in center, he could end up in a platoon with Matt Joyce in right — he did get the start tonight against a lefty. Guyuer has decent pop and the speed to be a 20 SB threat at the big-league level. He has hit for both AVG and OBP at double-A and triple-A for the past two seasons and was one of the pieces the Rays asked for as part of the Matt Garza deal. In deeper leagues with daily roster changes, he could be a decent option against left-handed pitching the rest of the way. He hit .346/.418/.561 against lefties at triple-A this season.