Welcome to September Prospect Watch, where we look at prospect types who could see big league playing time after rosters expand.
The Brewers don’t have a whole lot in the way of MLB ready talent, and they’ve already called up Khristopher Davis and given him ample playing time in the majors. Another option for September would be starter Jimmy Nelson, but he’s neither a big time prospect nor a starter who’s going to perform well out of the gates.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis has already put all of their cards on the table, calling up Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong, and Carlos Martinez. Wacha and Martinez seem to be stuck in the bullpen for the remainder of the year, but Wong is going to see major playing time at second base, at least for the time being. It’s entirely possible that Wong can’t figure things out right away and the Cards believe they’re better off with David Freese in the lineup, but they’re going to give Wong a chance to either succeed or fail on his own terms.
SP Neil Ramirez
Ramirez was just acquired by the Cubs as part of the Matt Garza trade, and he could come up and try his hand in the big leagues. Ramirez has dominated Double-A hitters, and despite faring well against Triple-A foes in 2011, he struggled against them in 2012 and has yet to face them in 2013, despite being 24 years old. Ramirez has a chance to be a big leaguer, but it’s most likely as a reliever.
The Pirates big remaining weapon is Jameson Taillon, and while the Buccos could bring the right-hander to the majors and let him play around in the bullpen, Pittsburgh should be happy enough with what they’ve got to not worry about screwing with Taillon’s future. The Black-and-Gold are in Win Now mode, and since they’re in a very serious race with the Cardinals for the division title, they aren’t going to have much time to give to youngsters. The Pirates have a nice system, just not one that’s going to make an impact in September.
OF Billy Hamilton
Hamilton hasn’t hit all that well in AAA Louisville, but the switch-hitter could provide some spark and excitement for a Reds team trying to beat the Cardinals and Pirates down the stretch. The Reds haven’t been real happy with what they’ve got in left field, and Shin-Soo Choo would fare much better at the corner than in center. Hamilton’s impact may end up being defensively, but his fantasy value is certainly tied to him reaching base and running like a madman.