We are about a week away from roster expansion, so I put together a wish list of guys I will be looking for on August 31 or September 1. I have tried to keep these somewhat realistic, and not just grab the top-10 prospects currently in the minors. Chances are the roster additions will primarily consist of players coming off the disabled list or veterans set to be an extra body off the bench. I'll take a look at the players who actually made it next week.
Without any further ado...
Dylan Bundy, P, BAL
Manager Buck Showalter admitted Friday the Orioles have discussed bringing up Bundy, and the Orioles have already displayed some aggressiveness with their prospects in their effort to claim an AL Wild Card slot (see: Machado, Manny). Bundy, who will likely rank No. 1 or 2 on most top-100 prospect lists next spring, has posted a 113:24 K:BB in his first professional season. He has struggled a bit through two starts at Double-A Bowie, but Bundy remains an elite talent who could be death to batting things as a strikeout specialist in the Orioles' bullpen for the final month.
Jake Odorizzi, P, KC
The Royals have to add Odorizzi to their 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, so why not speed up the process and add him to the major league roster in September? He allowed five runs and a pair of homers in a loss to Triple-A New Orleans on Friday, but Odorizzi has generally excelled in his first taste of Triple-A play. He could steal a start or two from the likes of Will Smith in the season's final month.
Chris Parmelee, 1B, MIN
Parmelee struggled to gain much traction earlier in the season with the Twins, but he hit four home runs in 76 September at-bats last season, and he has 17 (17!) in just 59 games for Triple-A Rochester since the Twins gave him the boot in mid-May. It should be noted that Justin Morneau has an .885 OPS since the All-Star break and has been able to start at first base on a regular basis, so the Twins would have to pull some roster gymnastics to get Parmelee into the lineup.
Billy Hamilton, SS, CIN
Hamilton may be one of the fastest players to adequately play the game of baseball since Cool Papa Bell. Or at least he is one of the fastest players in recent memory who can ably put the ball into play. A man who stole a minor-league record 158 bags should be able to pick up a handful of steals in September in a pinch-run specialist role. He could also see time at second and short if/when Brandon Phillips or Zack Cozart need rest.
Luke Montz, C, FLA
Montz sticks out on this list as the one non-prospect, but he is also the type of guy who could receive a major league promotion for a strong effort in Triple-A. The Marlins recently recalled Rob Brantly, who was one of their prizes in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, but Montz ranks second in the Pacific Coast League with 29 home runs, and he has slugged on the better side of .500 for each of the past two seasons. Montz is a career minor leaguer who has been a pro so long that he was originally drafted by the Expos, but it could be fun to see him hit a fastball or two off a below-average arm in September.
Trevor Bauer, P, AZ
Bauer struggled with the walks during his four-start stay in the majors, but he seems to have turned a corner at Triple-A Reno. He owns a 21:2 K:BB over his last two starts for the Aces, so it would be interesting to see if that translates to better control in the bigs. The Diamondbacks' rotation still has five arms, even after the Joe Saunders trade. However, some of the younger arms in that rotation could benefit from a few extra days of rest between starts as the season draws to a close.
Wily Peralta, P, MIL and/or Tyler Thornburg, P, MIL
Both of these guys had brief stays in the majors earlier this season (Peralta made one relief appearance and Thornburg had a pair of starts and three relief showings), but the Brewers should be able to accommodate them for longer stays in September. Peralta's 4.8 BB/9IP is a bit concerning, but he has also struck out more than a batter per inning. Thornburg has been a tad stingier with the walks (2.9 between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville), but he entered 2012 with a slightly lower ranking than Peralta. Rotation spots could be open for both with Mike Fiers facing an innings limit and Randy Wolf in need of a new organization after his release last week.
Adam Eaton, OF, AZ
The Pacific Coast League may inflate offensive stats, but Eaton has put together a superb age-23 season. He has reached base in nearly half of his 599 plate appearances (.452 OBP), and is 43-for-54 on the basepaths . Even without the PCL stats, Eaton hit .302 in the Southern League (2011-12) and .332 in the California League (2011) The Diamondbacks' outfield is rather settled with Jason Kubel, Chris Young and Justin Upton, but Eaton could certainly spell all of those guys a few times per week.
Jonathan Singleton, 1B, HOU
Singleton's .883 OPS at Double-A Corpus Christi is tempting, especially when the Astros currently trot out the likes of Scott Moore at a corner-infield slot. Singleton has been streaky in his first full season in the Houston organization – hitting .148/.317/.235 in June, followed by a .347/.443/.579 in July. His power continues to develop, as he owns 20 home runs through 125 games after hitting 14 and 13 as an 18- and 19-year-old the past two seasons. The Astros probably will not recall Singleton to avoid starting his service time clock, but there could be ample playing time if they decided to do so.
Nick Castellanos, OF, DET
Miguel Cabrera was bound to block the Tigers' third-base prospect into perpetuity, so the organization moved Nick Castellanos to right field after the All-Star break. The Future Game's MVP may be a bit fazed by the move, as he has a .698 OPS since the switch, but he has also hit left-handed starters at a .406 clip since jumping from High-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie. Brennan Boesch has fallen into a platoon with Jeff Baker as of late in right, so the Tigers could easily plug Castellanos into that mix.