This time of year typically offers prospect-watchers a first look at many of the game's top prospects, but with the ascension of teenagers and 20-year-olds like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, this year's September crop lacks the pizzaz of those of the past.
The cream of the crop this year is undoubtedly Jurickson Profar, whom the Rangers called up on Saturday. Unfortunately for everybody involved, which includes anxious fans in Arlington, prospect-followers like myself, and anyone who enjoys good baseball, Profar isn't going to get much playing time this fall. With Elvis Andrus firmly entrenched at shortstop (Profar's natural position) and Ian Kinsler not giving up any playing time at second base (where Profar has been seeing time), it's hard to see where Profar will get at-bats in September. Nevertheless, he is in the majors getting experience, and if the Rangers can find him some playing time, he could work his way onto the post-season roster.
The Rangers also promoted left-hander Martin Perez for another stint in the majors. His first taste included three starts and three appearances out of the Rangers bullpen. There are no immediate plans to put him into their rotation this fall, so any innings Perez gets will once again be in relief, but despite his sometimes sporadic results, his power arsenal could play well come playoff time.
Another prospect who could be up for more than just a brief taste of the majors is Angels left-hander Nick Maronde. Primarily a starter this season, the Angels used Maronde in a relief role for his last two appearances in preparation for the role he would be filling in the majors. The Angels have a need for a second reliable lefty in their bullpen if they make the playoffs, so if Maronde takes well to his new role and the Angels get their act together (a lot of ifs), we could see Maronde in October.
The Pirates are hanging onto their playoff spot about as well as the Angels are, but lefties Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson, both of whom had very brief stints in the big leagues earlier in the season, could help with a pitching staff that is currently trying to plus the leaks in their sinking ship.
In other minor moves, the Cubs called up outfielder Dave Sappelt who got 118 plate appearances in Cincinnati last season before being traded to the Cubs this off-season and spending the year in Triple-A. The Reds themselves called up Didi Gregorius, who split his season between Double and Triple-A. A natural shortstop, Gregorius saw time at second base before his promotion and could work in as a utility man in the majors in September.