Top 10 Possible Call Ups (ranked by ability & chances of call up)
1. Justin Smoak (1B, Rangers)—the Rangers got a steal in the ’08 draft when the picked up the Smoak with the 10th selection. Like Ryan Howard in ’05, there is no doubt (if healthy) he will be an effective force in the middle of the Rangers’ lineup. Chance of call up: 75%.
2. Buster Posey (C, Giants)—Posey was arguably the best hitter in college baseball in 2009. He combines excellent power with a solid batting average, and he is still quickly improving. The Giants will consider making him their full-time catcher by next season. Odds of call up: 50%.
3. Eric Young, Jr. (2B, Rockies)—Young is one of the rare prospects who has ability to steal 70-80 bases at the major league level. The value of speed players is improving in the post-steroid era, and Young has the chance to become a solid leadoff hitter. With Barmes struggling, Young could see some playing time this season. Chance of call up: 75%.
4. Pedro Alvarez (3B, Pittsburgh)—Alvarez has spent the second half of this season showing why scouts have been raving about him. After struggling early this season, Alvarez has been tearing up AA pitching. Arguably the highest ceiling of any player in the minor leagues. Odds of call up: 50%.
5. Wade Davis (P, Rays)—I used to mix up Wade Davis with fellow Tampa pitching prospect Jake McGee. The two have moved in opposite directions, with Davis establishing himself as an elite prospect (not sure where McGee is). What I like most about Davis is his consistency….he posts solid numbers every seasons. He is ready for the major leagues, but being held back by a crowded rotation in Tampa. Odds of call up: 70%.
6. Michael Bowden (P, Boston)—Bowden is Boston’s top pitching prospect. Boston has let Bowden pitch several games at the major league level and he has performed extremely well. He is major league ready. Odds of call up: 85%.
7. Jason Heyward (OF, Braves)—Heyward has recently drawn comparisons to 1980′s sober Daryl Strawberry. The 19-year old Heyward has been so dominating in AA people have speculated he might receive a September callup. The reason he’s not ranked higher is because—like Cameron Maybin in ’07—he’s probably a few years away from really contributing at the major league level. (Another person in the same situation as Heyward in the Atlanta organization is Freddie Freeman, their 1B of the future.) Odds of call up: 25%.
8. Tim Alderson (P, Pirates)—Pittsburgh picked up Alderson for Freddy Sanchez. Alderson has solid numbers and puts great movement on his pitches. Nevertheless, he always seems to be rated higher among fans than scouts. It will be interesting to see how he does, and he could become a solid addition to the Pirates’ rotation. Odds of call up: 50%.
9. Drew Stubbs (OF, Reds)—Stubbs has shown great speed in the minor leagues, and people who watched him play at Texas know his offensive skills are better than his numbers (which are not terrible) indicate. The Reds have a large number of outfield prospects, but Stubbs should compete for a starting spot. Odds of call up: 30%.
10. Jarrod Parker (P, Arizona)—Parker has been great in the minor leagues this season and there has been a lot of talk about letting him pitch a game in September for rebuilding Arizona. But his right elbow has put him on the shelf for the next 4-6 weeks so he may be done for the season. Still only 20, I’m guessing they hold off until sometime in the middle of next season. Odds of call up: 5%.