It’s getting to that time of the year in baseball. We’re going to see several top prospects get a taste of the majors shortly. Why would teams call up players now? Well, firstly, for depth on the roster as they make playoff pushes or give veterans some rest. Secondly, it’s a great time to see what their top prospects can do in the big leagues while not counting against their service time requirements. In years past, the rosters expanded to 40 players come September but currently, that number is down to 28. What does this mean for fantasy baseball? Typically, it means that teams will likely call up a couple of pitchers to add depth to the rotations and bullpens, but don’t be shocked to see a bat or two across the league as well.


MLB Top Late August Call-Ups

Cade Cavalli, RHP Washington Nationals

The news is out! Cavalli will be making his much-anticipated Nationals’ debut this coming Friday against the Reds. He’s been superb since returning to the mound earlier this Summer. He’s posted a 2.54 ERA and 57:19 K: BB ratio in his last 10 starts at Triple-A with a .209 BAA and 0.98 WHIP in these 49.2 innings. He’s long been billed as the next ace of the Washington rotation after being taken in the first round of the 2020 draft. The only thing that’s held him up is the lack of control he’s shown at times, however, that seems to be dialed in better now given his recent stretch. He will be up for the long haul at this point and can be a nice boost to strikeouts the rest of the way. Don’t expect many, if any, wins from him since the Nationals are currently on a historic streak of not having a starter win a game in the past 40 games played.


Drew Waters, OF Kansas City Royals

Waters was the key return in the deal made with the Braves early in July and since arriving in Omaha really turned things around. In the 31 games for the Storm Chasers he slashed .295/.399/.541 with seven homers, 13 steals, 29 runs, and 17 RBI. There are still some big questions to answer for Waters even though he’s still just 23 years old. Can the switch-hitter keep cutting down his K-rate and chase rates to make better more consistent contact and realize his hit tool potential? Can he get to his power without having to sell out for it? He was once viewed as a five-tool outfielder but now that’s down to being a speed and defense guy. He’s started to make strides in the right direction in Kansas City, let’s see what happens the rest of the year as he’ll continue to get every chance to play before we evaluate him for next year.


Gunnar Henderson, SS Baltimore Orioles

The rumors are swirling about an impending call-up for Henderson any day now and they should be. He’s been smoking baseballs all over the place in Triple-A Norfolk. Across 58 games this season, he’s hit 11 homers, swiped seven bags, and slashed .289/.388/.520 in 225 at-bats. When you add on his 47 games at Double-A Bowie he’s a 19-19 guy with a .298/.416/.542 slash over 105 games. As I stated a couple of weeks ago when the news of an impending call-up started to bubble, he’s a lefty-hitting infielder capable of playing short and third similar to former Oriole Manny Machado. Between the call-ups of Adley Rutschman, DL Hall, Kyle Stowers, and Terrin Vavra, the future is starting to be now in Baltimore and Henderson is just the next piece to the Orioles’ core.


Alec Burleson, OF St. Louis Cardinals

Lost in all of the discussion surrounding the Cardinals at the trade deadline is a guy like Alec Burleson. You know this type. He’s a guy with very good skills who are allowed to develop in peace and relative obscurity because of the system he’s in and some guys ahead of him. It’s no secret that the outfield in St. Louis could use a boost as the Cardinals make a push down the stretch for a playoff berth or division title. That’s where Burleson comes in. Since being drafted in the second competitive balance round in 2020 he’s moved up quickly including playing all of 2022 at Triple-A Memphis. In those 101 games, he’s hit .322/.363/.529 with 20 homers, 20 doubles, 77 RBI, 60 runs, and four steals. His hit tool is his main calling card, grading out at 60 on the 20-80 scale with average power and average fielding traits. He’s a below-average runner, hence the four steals. With guys like Lars Nootbar, Corey Dickerson, and Tyler O’Neill struggling to do much of anything, we could see Burleson make a debut soon and give a bit of contact and pop to a lineup lacking in those traits in the outfield.


Brice Turang, SS/OF Milwaukee Brewers

It seems like Turang has been in the top echelon of Brewers’ prospects for a while now; quite frankly he has been. Since being drafted 21st overall in 2018, he’s basically resided in the top handful of spots among Brewers’ prospects. Now in 2022, he’s putting everything together. Playing the whole year at Triple-A Nashville over 107 games, he’s slashed .289/.359/.417 with 11 homers, 19 doubles, 28 steals, 63 RBI, and 75 runs scored. That’s while playing a few different spots too. He’s never going to be a huge power guy — grading out at a 40 on the 20-80 scale — but the 55-grade hit tool and 60-grade speed are ample enough to make an impact on the Brewers’ lineup. The outfield has been a bit of an issue this year for them with Christian Yelich struggling and centerfield being a bit of a revolving door and Turang could fill that spot. The Brewers need a spark if they’re going to catch the Cardinals and Turang could do that with his on-base skills and speed on the base paths.


Spencer Steer, INF Cincinnati Reds

As part of the package that sent Tyler Mahle to the Twins, Steer has been playing quite well for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville, his third different team this year. A former third-round pick out of Oregon, he’s capable of playing three infield positions including second, third, and short. The power has started to make an appearance in his game with 24 homers in 2021 and 15 so far, in 65 games, in 2022. That burgeoning pop coupled with his defensive versatility makes him an interesting prospect on a rebuilding Reds’ offense. There’s a reasonable chance that he only gets a year or so of time at shortstop, in place of Jose Barrero, until the bevy of other shortstops come up for Cincinnati.


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