With the MLB trade deadline approaching we’re going to start finding out which teams are legit buyers and sellers. But when the smoke clears, there’s still more player movement to be done. Top prospects will be called upon to help bolster playoff runs, or called upon just to get a look at what that player is on a team that has nothing to play for.
Either way, here are 10 prospects that could be called up/stay up for the second-half of the MLB season.
10. Ryon Healy
1B/3B, Oakland Athletics
After tearing it up in the minors, Healy got the call to the bigs just recently. He’s responded well in a shorts sample size (6 games) hitting 6-for-21 (.286) including a pair of doubles and a HR for six RBI. He can play on either corner of the diamond, which means if he stays with the big league club, Oakland could look to move a piece by the deadline to make room for Healy.
9. Joe Musgrove
P, Houston Astros
The ‘Stros are going to be buyers this deadline, and pitching is their need. With Dallas Keuchel taking a huge step back this season the starting rotation absolutely needs a boost. The price for a legit starter on the open market was set pretty high in the Drew Pomeranz deal, so calling up an arm like Musgrove makes a lot of sense. He’s been climbing up the prospect rankings all season thanks to his 0.34 ERA in AA (which has risen to 3.98 in AAA). Nonetheless, now’s the time on Musgrove.
8. Blake Snell
P, Tampa Bay Rays
Snell dazzled in an April spot start against the Yankees before going back down to the minors. He came back up in mid-June, but we were unsure how long he’d remain with the Rays. Now he’s made six consecutive starts within the rotation, and it’s looking like Snell is here to stay. He rarely surpasses six innings, but his 3.11 ERA tells you he’s got talent. Snell is coming off a dominant scoreless six innings at Coors Field in which he let up one hit and struck out nine. This could be his breakout performance on the way to taking the training wheels off.
7. Joey Gallo
1B/OF, Texas Rangers
Gallo’s name has been around for a while now. He played in the majors last season even, but has been very up-and-down since then (literally). Gallo was once an elite prospect that’s really been struggling in the minors and has only earned a single at-bat for the Rangers this season. With the way Texas is rolling, they’re likely looking to move Gallo. The team that acquires him will have to considering immediately promoting him to see what they’ve got.
6. Tyler Glasnow
P, Pittsburgh Pirates
Glasnow had a rough major league debut against the Cardinals — 4 ER in 5.1 innings pitched. It wasn’t a disaster, though. In 18 AAA starts Glasnow owns a 7-3 record with a 1.94 ERA and 122 strikeouts over 102 innings. This kid’s going to be just fine when he settles into a major league role, which very well could happen before the season’s over.
5. Jameson Taillon
P, Pittsburgh Pirates
Taillon I’m sure you’re familiar with as he’s become a part of Pittsburgh’s rotation since early June. At first we didn’t know if Taillon would be a mainstay in the bigs, but now it’s all but official that he’ll be starting for the Pirates the rest of the way out. Tallinn doesn’t strike manny batters out, but his 3.44 ERA though six career starts is encouraging. Even more encouraging is the fact that Taillon’s only allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts.
4. Lucas Giolito
P, Washington Nationals
Unless I’m missing something, Giolito only has one AAA appearance and two MLB appearances … and the AAA debut came after the majors. Weird. But anyway, this kid’s got all the makings of a stud. Giolito threw four scoreless innings in his major league debut against the Mets, but was only able to make it through 3.2 innings in his next start while letting in four runs. He was special in his AAA start just recently, though — 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 K’s. The Nats’ have a stacked rotation (and another elite prospect below), but there’s always a chance Giolito could be called up for good.
3. Reynaldo Lopez
P, Washington Nationals
Lopez got crushed in his recent MLB debut allowing six runs in just 4.2 innings. Don’t be scared away, though. Through 16 minor league starts this season, Lopez boasts just a 3.19 ERA, struck out 109 over 87 innings and held opposing hitters to just a .234 average. Once Lopez finds his groove he’s going to be a successful pitcher in the majors. Washington isn’t likely to give up on him unless someone comes calling with a fantastic trade — as the Yankees are rumored to.
2. Alex Reyes
P, St. Louis Cardinals
Reyes is still a project, but has elite potential. In 10 starts in AAA ball this year, he’s still working with a 4.86 ERA. Not ideal, but opposing hitters are just .239 against him and he’s struck out 67 in just 46 innings this season. It might be a stretch to say we see Reyes in the majors in 2016, but he’s too talented not to mention.
1. Alex Bregman
SS, Houston Astros
First things first, with Carlos Correa at SS, Bregman can and will play 3B for Houston. This kid has shredded the minors this season in 77 games — .317 average, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 71 R, 22 doubles and seven stolen bags. Even more impressive is that he’s been at his best during 15 games in AAA — .388, 6 dingers, 15 RBI. His time is coming, and Bregman’s going to be a huge lift to Houston’s offense.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.