CALL-UPS: August 13-August 19, 2019

Abiatal Avelino (SS, SF)

The players covered in this column are only those who have not exceeded 50 IP / 130 AB in their MLB career, or exceeded 45 non-September days on the MLB roster, and who have not already been written up earlier in 2019. Find previous Call-up profiles on News tab of the player's PlayerLink page. 

Contributing writers: Chris Blessing, Rob Gordon, Nick Richards, Matthew St-Germain, and Andy Smith.

 

August 19, 2019

Abiatal Avelino (SS, SF)
Avelino was well covered here last season during his first taste of the big leagues, and has finally moved the needle from future backup to future starter. At 5’11” and 195 pounds, the 24-year-old’s two standout tools are his hit and arm, both grade at or near plus. This has allowed him to play around the diamond, with soft hands and good footwork making him playable at any position, including the outfield. Avelino has pushed the hit tool in the last season to nearly average, though the approach is still a bit too aggressive despite his newfound power. Avelino shows average BP power utility, but it has played well-below average in games until he hit Double-A Trenton last season. He’s kept up the pace this year for Triple-A Sacramento, hitting 24 2B and 12 HR in 446 AB, and could push average power in the majors though he likely ends up more on the fringe end. Where Avelino struggles is with his patience at the plate, as he’s walked only 21 times this year and has consistently flashed OBP near .300 throughout his career, which hampers his ability to use his speed on the bases. Avelino likely ends up more as a super utility guy in the majors, but if he can push the hit tool to average and display more plate discipline, there’s an average regular in the tank here up the middle.
2019 STATS: Sacramento (AAA) — 446 AB, .285/.316/.455, 24 2B, 8 3B, 12 HR, 0.26 Eye, 15 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Utility player
POTENTIAL: Starting SS
RATING: 7B

Miguel Del Pozo (LHP, LAA)
Acquired on Aug. 9 this season from the Rangers for cash considerations, Del Pozo has morphed from a guy better against left-handers to one who is better against right-handers post Tommy John surgery. At 6’1” and 180 pounds, Del Pozo would miss all of 2016 recovering from the surgery and had shown platoon splits that suggested he might end up as a situational lefty as his numbers were consistently better against same side hitters. But after coming back from Tommy John, that script flipped, and he’s put up better numbers against right-handers since 2017. Del Pozo operates with a mid-90s fastball, and mid-80s change and slider. The delivery is relatively easy but the fastball doesn’t have a ton of life and he still has trouble locating the pitch, making Del Pozo much too hittable here in 2019 when he’s in the zone. He’s likely nothing more than organizational depth.
2019 STATS: Salt Lake (AAA) — 2 g, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 1 Sv, 0.0 Ctl, 9.0 Dom, NULL Cmd, 1 HR, .100 oppBA, 0.33 WHIP
Nashville (AAA) — 38 g, 2-3, 5.12 ERA, 45.2 IP, 1 Sv, 4.1 Ctl, 12.8 Dom, 3.1 Cmd, 5 HR, .294 oppBA, 1.62 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 4C

Bo Takahashi (RHP, ARI)
A 2013 IFA out of Brazil, Takahashi has moved squarely on the back of his pitchability. At 6’0” and 197 pounds, the 22-year-old’s repertoire is fringe-average at best, with a high 80s fastball, two fringe-breaking balls, and an average-to-above-average changeup. Takahashi can move in and around the zone quite well, and despite having middling stuff, has put up an 11.3% SwK and 39.6% GB% for Double-A Jackson this season. His surface numbers are serviceable, though the 12 HRs will likely end up an issue for him in Arizona. It’s unlikely that this kind of profile works in the rotation in the majors, though a spot start here and there isn’t out of the question. More likely, Takahashi ends up a long reliever in the majors if he makes it, as his solid numbers against right-handers suggests that there is some usable major league bullpen utility here. That said, he also has zero IP above Double-A, so it would seem he’ll need more seasoning before being ready for such a role.
2019 STATS: 21 g, 8-6, 3.87 ERA, 107.0 IP, 3.0 Ctl, 7.8 Dom, 2.6 Cmd, 12 HR, .245 oppBA, 1.23 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Long reliever
POTENTIAL: Spot starter/Long reliever
RATING: 6B

 

August 18, 2019

Hunter Harvey (RHP, BAL)
Harvey was a first round draft pick out of Bandys (NC) High School back in 2013, but his development has been stalled several times due to injury. He is still only 24 years old and now appears to be pitching without restriction. Harvey features a power FB that he offsets with a nice 11-to-5 CB. His CU is currently his third pitch and needs more refinement. While his 2019 ERA looks a bit scary (at both of his stops in the minors), the underlying metrics actually show some very positive signs: in 75.2 IP thus far in 2019 Harvey has a 9.9 Dom and 3.2 Cmd -- both numbers that will play in the big leagues. He will need to continue to work on limiting the free passes, but it's not a huge wart on his profile. The Orioles look to start Harvey out in middle relief, though he still has the long-term potential to be a solid contributor in the starting rotation. The number one goal right now is to try and keep him healthy.  He's the Orioles preseason No. 8 prospect (linked below).
2019 STATS: Norfolk (AAA) – 12 g, 0 gs, 1-1, 4.32 ERA, 16.2 IP, 2.7 Ctl, 11.9 Dom, 4.4 Cmd, 2 HR, .206 oppBA
Bowie (AA) - 14 g, 11 gs, 2-5, 5.19 ERA, 59 IP, 1 Sv, 3.2 Ctl, 9.3 Dom, 2.9 Cmd, 14 HR, .274 oppBA
OTHER COVERAGE: No. 8 on Baltimore's Organizational Report.
CURRENT ROLE: Middle relief and possible spot starter
POTENTIAL: #3 Starter
RATING: 8E

Logan Webb (RHP, SF)
Webb was a fourth round pick in 2014 and had not pitched above Double-A prior to 2019. He missed a significant portion of 2016 and 2017 due to having Tommy John surgery and just recently returned from an 80-game PED suspension. However, despite those developmental setbacks, the 22-year-old will now be making his major league debut. He features three above-average pitches: a mid-90s two-seam FB, a SL with a good break, and an 11-to-5 CB. While he has the repertoire and body frame to be a starter, his injury past might eventually push him to the bullpen. All but two of his appearances in 2019 have been as a starter, and 60 of his 80 career showings have, as well -- so for now the organization will roll with that path, it appears. Webb has made four different minor league stops this season, and his overall line is sparkling: a 1.85 ERA in 63.1 IP along with a 9.8 Dom and 2.1 Ctl, with the bulk of those innings coming at Double-A. For his career he has a 3.36 ERA, 3.0 Ctl, and 8.2 Dom. With the Giants in a mild rebuild mode Webb looks to have an opportunity here at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, and could be a nice pickup for 2020 if your keeper-league team is in rebuild mode, too.  He's the Giants No. 4 preseason prospect (linked below).
2019 STATS: Sacramento (AAA) – 1 g, 1 gs, 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 7 IP, 0.0 Ctl, 9.0 Dom, -.- Cmd, 0 HR, .269 oppBA
Richmond (AA) - 8 g, 7 gs, 1-4, 2.18 ERA, 41.1 IP, 2.6 Ctl, 10.2 Dom, 3.9 Cmd, 2 HR, .246 oppBA
Augusta (A) - 2 g, 1 gs, 1-0, 0.90 ERA, 10 IP, 2.7 Ctl, 8.1 Dom, 3.0 Cmd, 0 HR, .125 oppBA
AZL Giants (R) - 1 g, 1 gs, 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 0.0 Ctl, 10.8 Dom, -.- Cmd, 0 HR, .333 oppBA
OTHER COVERAGE: No. 4 on San Francisco's Organizational Report.
CURRENT ROLE: Spot starter
POTENTIAL: #3 Starter
RATING: 8C

Joel Payamps (RHP, ARI)
Payamps is a 25-year-old native of the Dominican Republic who has been pitching professionally since he was 17. He's bounced between Double-A and Triple-A for the past three seasons but will now get his chance to throw a major league pitch for the first time. His career numbers (spanning 664 IP) include a 4.11 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 7.8 Dom, and 2.8 Ctl. None of those metrics particularly stand out, but his control matches the barrier for future success -- so that's a building block, at least. (Check out his Ctl from Double-A this year in 2019.) Payamps has made 118 starts out of 144 total appearances, so there's a chance the organization will try and keep him in that role long term. Given his lack of upside, however, he may ultimately be destined for long relief. The righty features a FB that sits in the low 90s and can touch 95, a mid-80s SL, and a firm CU.
2019 STATS: Reno (AAA) – 7 g, 7 gs, 2-2, 4.21 ERA, 36.1 IP, 3.5 Ctl, 6.5 Dom, 1.9 Cmd, 5 HR, .263 oppBA
Jackson (AA) - 7 g, 7 gs, 3-4, 2.88 ERA, 40.2 IP 0.4 Ctl, 8.6 Dom, 19.5 Cmd, 2 HR, .255 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Middle relief and possible spot starter
POTENTIAL: #5 starter or swingman
RATING: 6B

 

August 17, 2019

No call-ups today.

 

August 16, 2019

Joel Kuhnel (RHP, CIN)
It hasn't taken long for Kuhnel to reach the majors after being drafted in the 11th round in 2016. The former college starter at Texas-Arlington was converted to relieving and he has quickly and steadily climbed the ladder. A career 8.2 Dom, 1.8 Ctl and 1.234 WHIP shows he has been successful for the most part. The 24-year-old Kuhnel stands 6'5" and weighs 260 pounds, so when this big pitcher throws a fastball that can reach triple digits, it's intimidating to batters. With that electric FB he adds a low-90s slider and a low-90s change-up. His control is excellent, and for three seasons in a row he has gotten double-digit saves for his team. While he only has 18 IP at Triple-A this year, and his 4.0 Ctl was the highest of his career, batters hit only .200 off of him there. In fact, look at the oppBA rates he has put up since he first became professional in rookie ball in 2016:

2016-Rk  0.318
2017-A   0.295
2018-A+  0.260
2019-AA  0.202
2019-AAA 0.200

At the rate this is headed, major leaguers will probably hit .159 against him! So while he only has a little over 50 IP at the upper levels, and it certainly wouldn't be a problem to see him go back to Louisville and try to walk fewer batters there, it's clear that Kuhnel has the skill to be a serviceable arm in the pen. The Reds would love to have that happen.
2019 STATS: Louisville (AAA) – 16 g, 0 gs, 2-1, 2.00 ERA, 18.0 IP, 4.0 Ctl, 10.0 Dom, 2.5 Cmd, 1 HR, .200 oppBA, 1.167 WHIP
Chattanooga (AA) – 25 g, 0 gs, 3-2, 2.27 ERA, 35.2 IP, 2.0 Ctl, 7.6 Dom, 3.8 Cmd, 5 HR, .202 oppBA, 0.953 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Setup reliever
RATING: 7C

 

Taylor Guilbeau (LHP, SEA)
26-year-old Taylor Guilbeau is joining the Seattle bullpen just five innings after being traded from the Nationals in the Roenis Elias deal. The 6'4", 180-pound right-hander was a starter in the Nationals system until 2018 when he became a reliever and found success doing so. Facing Triple-A for the first time this year after dominating Double-A Harrisburg, Guilbeau ran into trouble in just under nine innings at Fresno. Perhaps that's why Washington was willing to trade him, but after arriving at Seattle's Triple-A franchise in Tacoma, he pitched great and now is in the majors to help his new major league team. Guilbeau features a FB that reaches 97 mph with arm side run, and a plus slider. In his career he has had trouble at times locating the ball, and control issues result. Other times he looks locked in. Seattle needs help and he has the skill to provide it in the middle of the pen. Or he could go back and finish refining his skills in Tacoma. But at age 26, the Mariners might as well see if he can be a part of their future.
2019 STATS: Tacoma (AAA) – 5 g, 0 gs, 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 3.6 Ctl, 9.0 Dom, 2.5 Cmd, 0 HR, .176 oppBA, 1.000 WHIP
Fresno (AAA) – 7 g, 0 gs, 2-0, 5.19 ERA, 8.2 IP, 5.2 Ctl, 6.2 Dom, 1.2 Cmd, 0 HR, .303 oppBA, 1.731 WHIP
Harrisburg (AA) – 27 g, 0 gs, 1-2, 2.31 ERA, 35.0 IP, 2.6 Ctl, 11.3 Dom, 4.4 Cmd, 1 HR, .213 oppBA, 1.057 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 6C

 

August 15, 2019

Jose De Leon (RHP, TAM)
De Leon pitched a handful of innings in both 2016 and 2017, posting poor results with first the Dodgers and then the Rays.  He was the early-2017 trade return for sending Logan Forsythe to L.A.  Tommy John surgery shelved the righty for all of 2018, and the 27-year-old is now hoping to get his once-promising career back on track in 2019—and thus far has been doing a decent job of just that. His control is still a post-surgery work in progress, but that is normal in such situations. His Dom has continued to flash as plus, though—just like before his injury. For his career, De Leon boasts a 3.36 ERA and 12.0 Dom while working almost exclusively as a starter in the minors. Whether the Rays plan on giving him a spot start or easing him into action via long relief remains to be seen. Regardless, there is potential for big strikeout numbers here, and even though his age is advanced for his level it must be taken into consideration that De Leon lost time to injury and he was once a top prospect. Indeed, he checked in as the No. 17 overall prospect in the 2016 Minor League Baseball Analyst book and then at No. 27 in 2017 before succumbing to the aforementioned elbow misfortune. His pitch selection consists of a mid-90s FB, and his mixes in three offspeed pitches to keep hitters guessing: a CU and SL in the low 80s and a mid-70s CB. Since De Leon got a late start to the season (due to completing his rehab) his innings-pitched are still relatively low. As a result, Tampa has the luxory of seeing what he can bring to the table—and if things work out they could end up having a talented arm to give them a spark during the stretch run. Those is DFS leagues might want to see if he gets any spot starts. Those playing for next year? Here's an ideal post-hype prospect to look at for 2020.
2019 STATS: Durham (AAA) - 14 g, 12 gs, 2-1, 3.65 ERA, 44.1 IP, 4.9 Ctl, 13.0 Dom, 2.7 Cmd, 4 HR, .230 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Middle relief and possible spot starter
POTENTIAL: #3 starter
RATING: 8D

Corban Joseph (2B, OAK)
The almost-31-year-old Joseph is a good example of what some pundits refer to as a "Quad-A" player. He first appeared at Triple-A in 2012, and he then made his major league debut via a six-AB appearance with the Yankees in 2013. After returning to the minors, however, it would be 2018 until he made it back to the bigs (that time with the Orioles for 18 AB). Now, after tearing up Triple-A Las Vegas of the PCL in 2019, he finds himself with another opportunity in Oakland—and in the thick of a Wild Card race, no less. Everyone loves a feel-good story. But what IS the story? Is this fourth-round draft pick from 2008 a so-called Quad-A player, or is he a late bloomer with a chance to finally stick? His numbers in Vegas this season have been as gaudy as the neon signs on the Strip. He's pounded extra base hits at a superior rate, and his .371 average is currently third in the PCL. But alas, it's the PCL, which should always be taken into account when looking at offensive output. Working to Joseph's advantage is the fact that he bats left-handed, which could lead to possible future platoon opportunities, and also his infield defensive flexibility. Second base is his natural position, but he won't hurt you at either of the corner spots. And therein ultimately lies the rub: despite the big numbers, this is a player with a ceiling of a big league utility player, and at his age he needs to take advantage of every call-up he gets—because pretty soon they'll likely dry up completely. Hitting .371 is impressive in the minors, even in the PCL. But doing it at age (almost) 31 takes the luster off quite a bit.  If he gets consistent PT then he could help AL-only owners in need of a MI these last couple of months, but don't expect a replication of his numbers from Vegas.  That just isn't in the cards.
2019 STATS: Las Vegas (AAA): 383 AB, .371/.421/.585, 35 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 0.72 Eye, 0 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Utility INF
POTENTIAL: Utility INF
RATING: 6D

 

August 14, 2019

Dom Nunez (C, COL)
The former high school SS/3B had a good enough arm but was too slow to stick in the infield, so the Rockies signed him to a well overslot deal in the sixth round (2013) and moved him behind the plate. You can grab a pre-draft scouting report of 6’0", 175-pound Nunez from then and it reads almost identical to his current one: no real standout tool, defense ahead of offense, could reach average power, conservative approach and likes to extend arms leaving him susceptible on the inner half. As a guy new to catching, Nunez has progressed well defensively, and flashes fringe to average tools across the board, though his CS% rate dropped to 24% this year in the PCL. Offensively, Nunez stalled out for Double-A Hartford, repeating the league in 2018 and putting up substandard offensive numbers. There’s no speed here, maybe average pop in time, but the hit tool has remained a conservative approach though with good Eye rates has led to depressed slash lines and below-average outcomes. It remains to be seen if Nunez’s offensive output is more a product of the PCL than it is progression with the stick, and while the latter is certainly partly true, it’s likely more the former to explain for 17 HR in 213 AB for a guy who had nine total in 324 AB last season. He’s likely a reserve guy in the majors, though if he can push the hit tool, he could end up as a backup.
2019 STATS: Albuquerque (AAA) — 213 AB, .244/.362/.559, 14 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 0.51 Eye, 2 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Backup C
POTENTIAL: Reserve C
RATING: 6C

Adonis Rosa (RHP, NYY)
Rosa was a slight-of-stature international signing back at the tail end of 2013, so not a high-value sign, but one with some projection in the starting rotation. Now 6’1” and 170 pounds, Rosa has put on about 10 pounds since signing, but is still relatively thin, which has forced Rosa into more of a swing rule as he’s reached the high minors. Rosa has a relatively average four pitch-mix, with no plus pitches in the repertoire and a changeup that lags, but his advanced command helps his 92-93 mph fastball and breaking balls play up. After struggling a bit with his control for Double-A Trenton, the 24-year-old Rosa has put up serviceable component stats for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with a 2.2 Ctl, 7.9 Dom, 3.6 Cmd and 11.4% SwK, showing no handedness splits. Without plus stuff, however, it’ll be hard for him to replicate even those modest numbers in the big leagues. Without forward movement in his changeup, he most likely profiles as a mop up guy who can give you multiple innings out of the bullpen if his stuff makes the ride.
2019 STATS: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) — 9 g, 4-0, 3.45 ERA, 44.1 IP, 2.2 Ctl, 7.9 Dom, 3.6 Cmd, 7 HR, .253 oppBA, 1.22 WHIP
Trenton (AA) — 12 g, 3-1, 4.60 ERA, 43.0 IP, 4.0 Ctl, 7.7 Dom, 2.0 Ctl, 3 HR, .253 oppBA, 1.40 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 5B

 

August 13, 2019

Randy Arozarena (OF, STL)
As Jose Martinez goes on the IL, the Cardinals brought up perhaps a piece of their future in 24-year-old Cuban outfielder Randy Arozarena. Standing 5'11" and weighing just 170 pounds, Arozarena has been climbing levels since he became part of the Cardinals organization in 2017. He seems to be one of those batters who reaches a level, struggles at that level, then repeats it next year where he crushes it. He did just that in Double-A, then again in Triple-A, and this is one of his 'crushes it' seasons. MLB ball or not, what Arozarena did in Memphis this season is impressive. He has a well-rounded skill set where nothing is truly plus, and nothing is truly below average either. He has some growing power (though a bit more weight would help), with an ISO around or over .200 for the third season in a row. He has some speed, reaching 16-26 steals the past three years. A 0.51 Batting Eye is solid, even if he is a bit aggressive at the plate at times. He is a good defender in LF with a plus arm and his speed. There's nothing left for him to prove at Triple-A after two years at Memphis. Now the Cardinals want to see if he can adjust to MLB this year, and maybe, just maybe start putting up 15 SB/20 HR type seasons for them as soon as next year.
2019 STATS: Memphis (AAA) – 201 AB, .368/.442/.562, 16 2B, 7 HR, 0.51 Eye, 8 SB
OTHER COVERAGE: No. 4 on St. Louis's Organizational Report; WATCHLIST: Pre-trade deadline options, part one; Next Year's Hot Prospects
CURRENT ROLE: Starting OF
POTENTIAL: Starting OF
RATING: 8D

Josh Rojas (UTIL, ARI)
Where would you like 25-year-old Josh Rojas to play? Unless you say 'catcher,' Rojas will just say 'sure' and head out to the field. He has, this year alone, covered 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF and RF. The 6'1", 195-pound Rojas was one of the players received by Arizona in the Zack Greinke trade, and now the Diamondbacks have called up someone who looks like an ideal utility hitter. Actually, he has been hitting better than a utility hitter. The Diamondbacks saw a batter putting up a .322/.405/.561 line in the Astros organization and asked for him as part of the deal. Placed in another Triple-A ballpark, this time in Reno, Rojas hit so insanely well that they realized it was time to call him up. It is interesting to see identical 0.83 Batting Eyes in both parks. No matter how well he was hitting, he kept his good eye at the plate exactly the same. That .370 career OBP will serve Rojas well in the majors. He has hit 23 HRs this year, with a huge ISO, but some of that can be attributed to his environment. Before this year 10 HRs was his ceiling. Speed is more his game, stealing 38 last year and 33 so far this year, and combined with his good batting skills could lead to good stolen base totals. Never a top prospect, Rojas has shown that he has some power, good speed, a nice approach at the plate, and can cover any defensive position you throw at him. With Blake Swihart being designated for assignment, Rojas has a chance to stick in the majors if he gets off to a good start.
2019 STATS: Round Rock (AAA) – 210 AB, .310/.402/.586, 16 2B, 12 HR, 0.83 Eye, 19 SB
Reno (AAA) – 35 AB, .514/.575/.943, 4 2B, 3 HR, 0.83 Eye, 1 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Starting LF
POTENTIAL: Utility player
RATING: 6B

 

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PLAYER POTENTIAL RATING
Scale of (1-10) representing a player’s upside potential

10 - Hall of Fame-type player
9 - Elite player
8 - Solid regular
7 - Average regular
6 - Platoon player
5 - Major League reserve player
4 - Top minor league player
3 - Average minor league player
2 - Minor league reserve player
1 - Minor league roster filler
 

PROBABILITY RATING
Scale of (A-E) representing the player’s realistic chances of achieving their potential

A - 90% probability of reaching potential
B - 70% probability of reaching potential
C - 50% probability of reaching potential
D - 30% probability of reaching potential
E - 10% probability of reaching potential


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.