This week’s American League Stock Watch has a little bit different of a flow. With September right around the corner — and thus September roster expansion and call ups — there should be a strong infusion of minor league talent about to jump onto the scene. To help you get a jump on your leaguemates regarding some of these soon-to-be-available outfielders, here is a list of AL club outfielders that are already on their respective 40-man rosters.
Michael Taylor – He happens to have a top 10 wOBA among Pacific Coast League outfielders and already had a brief stint with the A’s. During his time in Sacramento this year Taylor has amassed 506 plate appearances and although he only has 12 home runs, his triple slash is a robust .289/.406/.449. His power might have waned a bit but his speed is still intact. His SB/CS ratio is a very strong 17/3 mark. His strikeout rate won’t ever impress, but given his combination of plate discipline, still solid power and above average speed, Taylor makes for a potentially intriguing pick up. The only downside to Taylor would be playing time. The A’s are currently juggling Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespdes, and Jonny Gomes on a regular basis. That doesn’t leave too many PA’s for Taylor, especially with the A’s in the playoff hunt and most likely unwilling to give PA’s to a still unproven player.
Kole Calhoun – After only appearing at High A for all of last season, Calhoun has transitioned very nicely to Triple-A. Transitioned nicely may be an understatement as he is currently hitting .295/.365/.505 there. Given that he is still 24 and has just three minor league seasons under his belt, he is still a legitimate prospect in my opinion. Calhoun is another player that also has some speed. I know that in the PCL extra-base hits fall like rain, but Calhoun has 50 XBH in 455 PA’s.
Moises Sierra – Okay, so I’m cheating a bit here as Sierra is currently on the 25-man roster of the Blue Jays, but he nonetheless deserves to be mentioned. He has two home runs in 20 games already and even stole a base too. Sierra recorded 34 XBH in just 422 PA’s down in Las Vegas. I’m not too concerned about his power numbers dropping off, given that his right-handed power stroke will play very well at the Rogers Centre.
Oswaldo Arcia – I know it would be awfully aggressive to promote him, after all he is just 21 and still in Double-A, but he has real potential. He is currently at 155 wRC+ in half of a season in the Eastern League. He’s shown an ability to hit and to draw walks. His strikeout rate is still a touch high, but again, he is just 21 years old. The Twins are clearly out of the playoff hunt and Arcia could make sense to get a cup of coffee. It would push Darin Mastroianni to a pinch runner role, which is probably Mastroianni’s destiny anyways.
There were a few other players that I found somewhat interesting, but factors like age relative to league or whether or not a player was on a club’s 40-man roster had to be considered. A name that I almost put on here anyways is Aaron Hicks. With his speed and on-base skills Hicks profiles as a solid fantasy sleeper in the coming years, just not this year. Make a note of him for next year.