Last week, I took a look at which prospects were likely to get called up by teams in the National League. This week, I'll break down the possibilities in the American League.
Baltimore Orioles - The Orioles farm system isn't deep or top heavy, so there's really only two potential impact players that might be called up - infielder Jonathan Schoop and right-hander Kevin Gausman - and even their impactfullness likely won't be that great. Schoop has been this week in Triple-A but has has a rough month of August after a hot July. He's also shown a reverse platoon split this season after showing a strong regular split for most of his career leading up to this year, leaving questions about exactly what type of player he really is. He hasn't developed the way the Orioles had hoped, but he can play three infield positions and has spent the whole year in Triple-A. A taste of the big leagues could be the jump start he needs. As for Gausman, he was largely ineffective in a brief sting in the majors earlier this year and hasn't been great since returning to Triple-A and has had some health issues in the past week. He'll probably get called up this month, but how much help he'll be remains to be seen.
Boston Red Sox - The Red Sox jumped the gun and brought Xander Bogaerts to the majors a few weeks earlier than expected, giving them the biggest boost from within their own system they can expect to recieve. Jackie Bradley will be back as well, but as long as everyone's healthy in the Boston outfield, there aren't too many at-bats to go around. On the mound, however, Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster should both make retuns to the majors and could find roles in the Red Sox expanded September bullpen. It might be a stretch to jump Anthony Ranaudo to the big leagues, as he's made just four starts since his promotion, but it's not out of the question.
New York Yankees - If there was anybody within the Yankees farm system that could help them out, they'd be in the majors already, right? Most of the Yankees impact talent is in Double-A and hasn't even been there all year, so the likes of Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez aren't coming to help anytime soon. Other than Dellin Betances, who has appeared in the majors this season, there aren't any prospects on the doorstep who can help.
Tampa Bay Rays - No team has better used their Triple-A team as a taxi squad this season than the Rays, who have used Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome to fill in their starting rotation to varying extents as needed. When the rosters expand, the whole crew will be in Tampa. Other than that, the impact talent is limited, but we could finally see Tim Beckham get to the majors.
Toronto Blue Jays - unfortunately for Blue Jays fans, going for it this season failed while also depleting the upper levels of their farm system. There's still talent in the lower levels of the minors, but that doesn't help them much in September. Their call-ups will be much more of the Kevin Pillar variety than of any sort of impact prospect. Right-hander Marcus Stroman has been very good in Double-A this season and could get a brief taste, but it's not pressing.
Chicago White Sox - The Sox helped replenish a weak system at the deadline, acquiring Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia (no relation), but then called both up to the majors almost immediately. They also recently promoted Andre Rienzo to join their rotation. The moves didn't happen in September, but they may constitute the majority of the promotion excitement for the White Sox this season. Infielder Marcus Semien has had a good season and hasn't slowed down in Triple-A, so he could get a shot if the White Sox can find him at-bats.
Cleveland Indians - Other than Trevor Bauer, there is virtually no one noteworthy currently in Triple-A who can be of significant impact this fall for the Indians, and even Bauer's ability to help is up in the air, given his effectiveness in his major league stints this season. Top prospect Francisco Lindor is in Double-A, but he's not taking over for Asdrubal Cabrera this season, although he could defensively.
Detroit Tigers - You'd have to think Nick Castellanos would get a few at-bats down the stretch, given that he's played the whole season in Triple-A and the improvements he's made while there. He might not be a part of the Tigers post-season plans, but he's more prepared to contribute than Avisail Garcia was last year, so you never know.
Kansas City Royals - The Royals once-vaunted farm system is now quite bottom heavy, with the organizations top prospects from a year ago all in the majors (either for them or in Tampa) and the current crop of top,prospects largely residing in the lower minors. Yordano Ventura could be a spark to the pitching staff, but it's the offense that needs a jolt. Any impact bats in the Royals system would have been called up months ago, leaving them without much help on the way. Christian Colon hasn't turned into the impact prospect they hoped when they drafted him high in the first round, but Chris Getz stinks so Colon could still serve as a moderate improvement.
Minnesota Twins - when discussing the Twins farm system, there are two prospects you have to discuss - Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. The latter won't be a factor during call-up season, at least not this year, but the former could. Sano still has just a half-season of Double-A under his belt, but he also sports the most prodigious power in the minor leagues. He is not, I repeat NOT, ready for the major leagues yet, but for a September call-up, that's ok. With his minor league season coming to an end, a few at-bats against major league competition and a taste of big league life could give him the carrot he needs to, ominate Triple-A next season. Spending a month around the likes of Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham could also help Sano with some of the maturity issues that have plagued him.
Houston Astros - The Astros have lots of talent to promote and have been doing so all season. Still, even with the promotions that have taken place and with the top talent in the farm system still a year away, the Astros have two big bats they can promote. George Springer has put up ridiculous numbers in the minors for the second straight year, and has proven all he can in Triple-A. The Astros have said that they don't plan to promote him this season, but there's little reason not to. Jonathan Singleton is also in Triple-A and is an even better hitting prospect than Soringer, but he has struggled since returning from his suspension for smoking marijuana. He's still a top hitting prospect, but given his struggles, the Astros may elect not to reward bad decisions and poor performance with a call-up.
Los Angeles Angels - Is there another Mike Trout down there? Hell, even a prospect half as good as Trout would be the Angels second-best player. Who are we getting excited about here? Even the Angels better prospects, guys like Kaleb Cowart or Taylor Lindsey, are only in Double-A and don't warrant making the jump. It should be an uneventful September in Anaheim.
Oakland A's - The A's system is getting weaker, but for the right reasons - big league promotions. The depth of this farm system is now the depth of their big league rotation, with Sonny Gray's promotion serving as the final big piece that had been anticipated for some time. He's not going anywhere. After that, however, there's not a lot of immediate help. Michael Choice is a legitimate hitting prospect and a part of the A's future, but the A's big league outfield is still as crowded as it was to start the season. Choice could get a taste of the big leagues, but it will be tough to get him at-bats in a pennant race.
Seattle Mariners - After all of their promotions this season, who's left in the Mariners system? It wouldn't be shocking to see Taijuan Walker get a few starts down the stretch. He hasn't been great in Triple-A, but he's still their best pitching prospect. He likely needs another half-year at Tacoma next season, but a taste of the big leagues couldn't hurt right now. James Paxton is a strong candidate to head to Seattle as well, having spent the whole season in Tacoma.
Texas Rangers - The Rangers annually have as much talent, top to bottom, as any system in baseball. But in reality, who are we waiting for this month? Engel Beltre? If the Rangers want to jump some prospects from Double-A, there's talent there, but they can barely find at-bats for Jurickson Profar. There's plenty of talent in the system for things like replacing Nelson Cruz when he leaves, but for this fall, what they have is pretty much what they're going to have to win with.