Two weeks from the September 40-man expansion so your focus needs to narrow to the minor league elite. It’s not as much who will get an opportunity as most will be at the show at call-up time on September 1st. A few have already had a taste and others are rehabbing from injury. Be careful to evaluate playing time if you remain in a pennant race of your own.
Mike Trout- Outfielder-Los Angeles Angels
We need to keep you posted as Trout returns in two weeks… or less. Trout has been absolutely raking at Double-A Arkansas since getting sent back down (.378 over last 10 games) with 10-36-33 over 89 games. The Halos know he can get it done with the glove it’s simply a matter of whom he will be taking at bats from upon return.
Bryce Harper- Outfielder- Washington Nationals
The Nationals insist Bryce will not see the majors in 2011, but we would be remiss without an update. Due to inferior facilities at High-A Potomac, Harper made the jump directly to Double-A from Low-A ball. Over 36 games at Harrisburg (Eastern League), Harper with pedestrian 3-12-7 numbers as he makes adjustments to far superior competition.
Stephen Strasburg- Pitcher- Washington Nationals
Strasburg was strolling along, going through the motions until his third rehab start. Strasburg allowed five runs and four hits in just an inning and 2/3 of work for Class A Hagerstown on Wednesday night. Strasburg also walked three before getting pulled as he reached his pitch count of 50. Strasburg is scheduled for three more starts in the minors before getting brought back up.
Dominic Brown-Outfielder-Philadelphia Phillies
Brown struggled all season long until making way for Hunter Pence. Houston pushed to have Brown included in the deal, but the Phillies wisely refused. Expect Brown to be back up soon and get some of Raul Ibanez’ at bats or pinch hit duty. In five games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Brown is hitting .368 with a couple of home runs.
Jesus Montero-Catcher-New York Yankees
You need to maintain a close watch on Montero as his day may come at any moment. Montero’s bat is, and has been major league ready it’s only his prowess behind the dish holding him back. Montero is a slow starter, but is finishing strong (13-55-.283) at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Julio Teheran-Pitcher-Atlanta Braves
I can’t say enough about the ridiculous pitching talent Atlanta has stashed in the minors. Randall Delgado’s masterpiece Wednesday night is just an example of what they have to offer. Mike Minor is also up at the Show filling in for injured starter Tommy Hanson, but Teheran has the most upside. Triple-A is no match for Teheran, in 21 starts at Gwinnett Julio is 12-2 with a 2.18 ERA.
Matt Moore-Pitcher-Tampa Bay Rays
If anyone is ready for a shot, its Moore who has been untouchable at every level of the minors. Moore was 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA at Double-A Montgomery leading up to the Future’s Game. Moore has been even better at Triple-A Durham. Moore is 3-0 in five starts with a sparkling 0.88 ERA and 49 strikeouts in only 30 innings!
Devin Mesoraco- Catcher- Cincinnati Reds
The best all-around catching prospect in baseball can do it all. Mesoraco is as close to a five-tool athlete behind the plate as you are going to find. The Reds continue to bring up their elite hitting prospects and Mesoraco may be next. The 23-year-old backstop has 13 home runs and 62 RBI in 108 games behind the plate at Triple-A Louisville.
Trevor Bauer- Pitcher- Arizona Diamondbacks
We saw it with Chris Sale last year with the White Sox and Bauer may be next! It is rare for a draft pick to arrive in the majors the same season he is drafted but Bauer could join the NL West pennant race. After three solid appearances in Hi-A, Bauer has continued the solid worth with five innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts in Double-A.
Kyle Drabek-Pitcher- Toronto Blue Jays
We got a taste of what Drabek has in store as he stormed out of the gate in April. Major League hitters caught up with him a bit the second time around landing him back in the minors. Drabek has struggled at Las Vegas(Pacific Coast League) with an ERA of 6.55 over 11 starts. Despite his recent struggles, with four plus pitches once Drabek is called back up, it may be for good.
Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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