CALL-UPS: August 6-August 12, 2019

Brady Lail (RHP, NYY)

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 12, 2019

Brady Lail (RHP, NYY)
Originally drafted by the Yankees in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, Lail has languished in the high minors for the better part of five seasons before turning the corner this season and getting his first call to the majors. At 6’2” and 205 pounds, the 26-year-old was originally drafted as a starter and worked in that role all the way until the 2017 season, moving to the bullpen in 2018. Lail reached Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre all the way back in 2015, and has languished between there and Double-A Trenton, with a career ERA at SWB of 5.06 and Dom of 6.3. Lail still uses a four-pitch mix out of the bullpen, and has seen his fastball velocity increase, working 93-94 mph. He’s improved on his slider as well, but his changeup is his best secondary and his out pitch. While Lail has been shuttled around to make room for other players, his progression this year has moved him from afterthought—he was left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft and went unselected—to a legitimate bullpen piece this season. Lail registered an 18.0% SwK for Trenton and 17.6% for SWB this year, indicating his stuff has turned a corner alongside above-average fastball command. Due to his history starting, Lail has worked in multiple inning stints since his move to the bullpen, and looks to work in a similar role for the Yankees.
2019 STATS: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) — 7 g, 1-0, 3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP, 0.8 Ctl, 8.7 Dom, 11.0 Cmd, 2 HR, .200 oppBA, 0.79 WHIP
Trenton (AA) — 12 g, 3-1, 1.93 ERA, 28.0 IP, 1 Sv, 3.9 Ctl, 13.2 Dom, 3.4 Cmd, 1 HR, .172 oppBA, 1.04 WHIP
Tampa (A+) — 1 g, 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 2.2 IP, 0.0 Ctl, 10.1 Dom, NULL Cmd, 0 HR, .357 oppBA, 1.88 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 6B

Joe Mantiply (LHP, NYY)
After struggling during his previous call up to the majors in 2016, the 28-year-old Mantiply would fall victim to elbow injury and was out all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Now fully healthy and traded over from the Reds to the Yankees, the 6’4”, 214 pounder offers lefty-specialist projection in the majors. Armed with a fringe-average fastball that sits 87-91, the pitch plays a bit better than its velocity due to natural sink and his ability to move it in and around the zone. There’s a slider in here that’s been in constant development, but it’s his above-average changeup that gets swings and misses, with a 17.6% SwK for Triple-A Louisville this year. Mantiply has regularly put up better numbers against left-handed hitters, and they’re hitting .188 off him this year over a small sample size. If Mantiply can transition to the majors, it’ll likely be in this role as a situational guy.
2019 STATS: Louisville (AAA) — 18 g, 0-0, 3.72 ERA, 29.0 IP, 1 Sv, 0.9 Ctl, 8.1 Dom, 8.7 Cmd, 2 HR, .241 oppBA, 1.00 WHIP
Chattanooga (AA) — 1 g, 1-0, 13.50 ERA, 1.1 IP, 13.5 Ctl, 0.0 Dom, 0.0 Cmd, 0 HR, .429 oppBA, 3.80 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Lefty specialist
RATING: 6D

 

August 11, 2019

No Call-ups today.

 

August 10, 2019

Kolby Allard (LHP, TEX)
Allard came over to the Rangers in a July 2019 deadline trade with Atlanta. Entering the season he was the No. 13 prospect in the Braves system (linked below). Texas sent 33-year-old RP Chris Martin to Atlanta in the swap for Allard, and many Braves fans were left wondering why they gave up such a good prospect for a late-career setup guy—and Texas fans thought they had a steal. A closer look at Allard's metrics, though, show that he really is no longer the top prospect he was back when he was a first round pick in 2015. He has inexplicably lost velocity on his FB virtually every season since being drafted before regaining a tick this year.  And while his minor league ERA numbers have looked good at each stop, the underlying metrics have declined in quality. Since 2015 his Dom has decreased as he's moved up every level until 2019 (where he's repeated Triple-A), and his Cmd worsened during that timespan, as well. Allard is still young, yes, but unless he finds some more of that lost velocity then he may end up being a back-of-the-rotation guy in the majors—and even that distinction would be largely thanks to pitching from the portside. His CU is his best out pitch, as his CB has failed to develop as expected. The Rangers had little to lose, of course, as they picked up a former top prospect for virtually nothing—so they'll now give him a shot in the bigs and see what they've got.
2019 STATS: Nashville (AAA) - 1 g, 1 gs, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 3.6 Ctl, 14.4 Dom, 4.0 Cmd, 0 HR, .235 oppBA
Gwinnett (AAA) – 20 g, 20 gs, 7-5, 4.17 ERA, 110 IP, 3.0 Ctl, 8.0 Dom, 2.7 Cmd, 15 HR, .284 oppBA
OTHER COVERAGE: Pre-trade, No. 13 on Atlanta's Organizational Report; PT TOMORROW: NL East.
CURRENT ROLE: Spot starter
POTENTIAL: #4 starter or swingman
RATING: 7B

 

August 9, 2019

Nick Dini (C, KC)
25-year-old catcher Nick Dini has been called up to back up that position for the Royals. The 5'8", 180-pound Dini was in A-ball just two years ago, then moved up to Double-A and found some success. In 2018 he repeated Double-A and saw his numbers stagnate a bit before being sent to Triple-A Omaha to finish the year strong. This year he repeated Omaha and again put up a fine batting line. Dini hasn't shown a lot of power until this year (his 13 HRs is by far the most he hit in any other level in a given season). At 25, he might be growing into some power, or this may be a reflection of the jumpy ball at Triple-A this year. For a catcher, he actually has a bit of speed, stealing double-digit bases in 2017 and close to that the last two years. His Batting Eye for his career is 0.47, not bad for a catcher, and his career OBP of .347 encourages us that he knows how to draw a walk. A career .288 BA is not bad either. Defensively he is solid: he has thrown out 20% of attempted base stealers this year, a bit under his 29% career mark, but only made four errors at catcher this year. For a 14th-round pick, the Royals seem to have found a decent backup catcher. Not much power, but decent batting average potential, and even a bit of speed for as long as the Royals keep him up this time. But he is showing he deserves this chance, and now he has it.
2019 STATS: Omaha (AAA) – 186 AB, .296/.370/.565, 11 2B, 13 HR, 0.72 Eye, 7 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Backup C
POTENTIAL: Backup C
RATING: 6B

Randy Dobnak (RHP, MIN)
It's likely that few have had as fun a year as 24-year-old Randy Dobnak has experienced. Just two years ago the undrafted pitcher was playing in an independent league when the Twins offered him a contract. He spent last year in A-ball where he didn't strike out many, but otherwise had a credible season. This year he started in High-A, again not striking out many, but walking nobody and being hard for batters to hit. Moved to Double-A the strikeouts jumped to an 8.2 Dom level, he cut his already absurdly low walk rate in half, and had a Cmd of 10.2. So the Twins moved him up to Triple-A where he still had success, and now he's in the majors. It's quite a journey for this undrafted player. As a starter, he has three pitches he can throw with great command, and he throws from a three-quarters slot with plus extension. He can vary his sinking fastball from 90 to 96 mph as it moves downward with good arm side run. This leads to an extreme ground ball rate (1.38 GO/AO for his career, and up to 2.07 this year). This FB is his bread-and-butter pitch. He also throws a changeup and a slider, and his great control of his pitches mean he rarely walks batters. A groundballer depends on his defense to scoop up the offerings from batters, and if they do his WHIP is likely to be good. When things don't go well, such as in 2018's time at A-ball where batters hit .274 against him, his WHIP rose to 1.264. Of course that was the worst WHIP of his career, which is 1.103 across all minor leagues, so at his worst he wasn't bad. An 18% career strikeout rate gives us caution, but pitching to contact can keep the strikeouts down. A 5% career walk rate shows his excellent control. It's been a swift rise for the 6'1", 230-pound Dobnak, and this will be the biggest test yet. All in all, it's been quite a year.
2019 STATS: Rochester (AAA) – 7 g, 5 gs, 4-1, 2.00 ERA, 36.0 IP, 3.5 Ctl, 6.8 Dom, 1.9 Cmd, 0 HR, .175 oppBA, 1.000 WHIP
Pensacola (AA) – 11 g, 10 gs, 4-2, 2.57 ERA, 66.2 IP, 0.8 Ctl, 8.2 Dom, 10.2 Cmd, 6 HR, .231 oppBA, 0.960 WHIP
Fort Myers (A+) – 4 g, 4 gs, 3-0, 0.40 ERA, 22.1 IP, 1.6 Ctl, 5.6 Dom, 3.5 Cmd, 0 HR, .225 oppBA, 0.985 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Bullpen depth
POTENTIAL: #5 starter
RATING: 7D

John Schreiber (RHP, DET)
As Trevor Rosenthal is designated for assignment, the Tigers have replaced him with 25-year-old right-handed reliever John Schreiber. The 6'3", 220-pound Schreiber was a 15th-round pick by the Tigers back in 2015 and he has been relieving in the minors ever since, sometimes as his team closer. He was rated as having the best control in the Detroit Tigers system two years ago, and it's clear to see why when his Ctl that year was just 1.4 in A-ball. As he climbed to higher levels his Ctl rose into the high-3s, but his strikeout rate continues to be high. A 10.5 Dom for his career shows his effectiveness, as does a career .197 oppBA. Part of his effectiveness has been his funky delivery. He throws his low-90s (T94) fastball with a sidearm motion that gives it a sweeping tilt. He has more control than command, so he has a tendency for the FB to stay around the plate which might lead to trouble from major league batters. His second best pitch is high high-70s slider that is especially effective against RHB because of his sidearm delivery that hides the ball. His change-up is not as effective, but a pitch he uses against LHB. Given his splits, he will probably be used against righties in the majors. A reliever who has a career 1.009 WHIP deserves a shot at the majors, and here it is. He could stick around.
2019 STATS: Toledo (AAA) – 39 g, 0 gs, 5-4, 2.83 ERA, 47.2 IP, 3.8 Ctl, 11.1 Dom, 2.9 Cmd, 4 HR, .211 oppBA, 1.175 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 6C

 

August 8, 2019

No Call-ups today.

 

August 7, 2019

Junior Fernandez (RHP, STL)
Fernandez was a high-octane and high-upside arm signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2014, with high hopes he could project towards the front of the Cardinals rotation. Armed with a huge fastball that reached triple digits early on his career, the pitch has settled in as a plus-plus offering and is a devastating wipeout pitch. He backs this up with an above-average changeup that flashes plus, featuring a solid velocity delta off his fastball, but his fringe-average slider never came around nor did his command in the rotation, and after injury concerns at the tail end of 2017, the Cardinals moved him to the bullpen. Fernandez initially struggled in the transition, posting subpar rates across the board in 2018, but has taken off this year. The 6’1” and 180-pounder opened with high Single-A Palm Beach and got in an impressive 11.2 IP, but his numbers have taken off as he moved through Double-A Springfield, eventually landing at Triple-A Memphis in the Pacific Coast League. Considering the pitcher carnage in that league this year, the 22-year-old Fernandez’s numbers stand out even more: 10.0 Dom, 0 HR, 1.02 WHIP, .151 oppBA, 58.3% GB%, and a stunning 19.6% SwK. Put simply: Fernandez has been nearly unhittable. The 4.4 Ctl for Memphis indicates that he’s still a bit wild, but this is a premium closer profile even without a slider or curve. If Fernandez transitions, he would immediately slide into high leverage for the Redbirds.
2019 STATS: Memphis (AAA) — 15 g, 1-0, 1.31 ERA, 2 Sv, 20.2 IP, 4.4 Ctl, 10.0 Dom, 2.3 Cmd, 0 HR, .153 oppBA, 1.02 WHIP
Springfield (AA) — 18 g, 1-1, 1.55 ERA, 5 Sv, 29.0 IP, 3.4 Ctl, 13.0 Dom, 3.8 Cmd, 0 HR, .176 oppBA, 1.00 WHIP
Palm Beach (A+) — 9 g, 0-0, 1.54 ERA, 4 Sv, 11.2 IP, 6.2 Ctl, 8.5 Dom, 1.4 Cmd, 0 HR, .190 oppBA, 1.37 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Closer
RATING: 8E

 

August 6, 2019

Patrick Sandoval (LHP, LAA)
The Angels have called up Patrick Sandoval to make his major league debut. It's not easy being a starting pitcher in the Pacific Coast League, as Sandoval's line shows. The 22-year-old was making his first appearance in Triple-A after mastering Double-A late in 2018 and early in 2019. At least he's striking out 22% of the batters he has faced. Standing 6'3" and weighing 190 pounds, the lefty has a four-pitch mix, but only his curve is close to a plus pitch. His FB is a low-90s offering, but he uses deception instead of velocity. His change-up and his slider, both low-80 pitches, are just average. That curve can be a killer pitch in time. It's enough of an arsenal to project Sandoval as a starting pitcher, but it's more likely as a back-end starter. For an 11th-round pick, that's still quite a good outcome. At only 22, it wouldn't be surprising to soon see him back down in Triple-A to see if he can refine his control a bit. Or maybe that was PCL madness and his career 3.4 Ctl tells us more what to expect. The strikeouts will be there, and with that perhaps he can reach his ceiling sooner than later.
2019 STATS: Salt Lake (AAA) – 15 g, 15 gs, 4-4, 6.41 ERA, 60.1 IP, 5.2 Ctl, 9.8 Dom, 1.9 Cmd, 7 HR, .319 oppBA, 1.972 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: #5 starter
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7C

Kevin Ginkel (RHP, ARI)
Someone has to close for the Diamondbacks, so why not Kevin Ginkel? The 25-year-old lefty started the year in Double-A Jackson as their closer, and merely put up a 14.0 Dom and a 0.840 WHIP. Bumped up to Triple-A Reno, and asked if he could repeat his success in the tough Pacific Coast League, Ginkel said, "hold my beer" and proceeded to strike out more than every other batter he faced. True, his Ctl climbed to an uncharacteristic 4.3, but when your Dom is 19.4, anyone who walks to first base just has a different angle to see his teammates get wiped out. Standing 6'4" and weighing 210 pounds, Ginkel actually has three usable pitches. His FB is in the mid-90s (tops out at 97) with late arm-side run and good spin rate and extension. His slider is a low-80s offering and his change-up is in the mid-80s. That's more than enough to succeed in the pen, and batters have hit only .157 against him this season as proof. Arizona wants to see if he can help the team, and this is a team that needs help. Back in the Pacific Coast League opposing teams threw parties when they heard that Ginkel was going to the Show.
2019 STATS: Reno (AAA) – 15 g, 0 gs, 1-0, 1.62 ERA, 16.2 IP, 4.3 Ctl, 19.4 Dom, 4.5 Cmd, 2 HR, .169 oppBA, 1.080 WHIP
Jackson (AA) – 14 g, 0 gs, 1-2, 1.62 ERA, 16.2 IP, 2.7 Ctl, 14.0 Dom, 5.2 Cmd, 2 HR, .158 oppBA, 0.840 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Closer
RATING: 7D

Brian O'Grady (OF, CIN)
As Derek Dietrich goes on the 10-day IL, the Reds have called up 1B/OF Brian O'Grady. The 27-year-old first baseman and outfielder has been having a great season in Triple-A with 27 HRs and 16 SBs and a solid batting line. He actually had an even better line (.306/.365/.563) at that same level last season, but only now is getting a chance in the majors. A career .202 ISO shows his great power that led to 75 HRs over six seasons. The 81 SBs shows he has some speed. His 0.56 career Batting Eye and .352 career OBP tells us he can be patient and draw walks. So while his BA might be modest, and he certainly is capable of striking out over 100 times, this power and speed combination ought to play. Now with parts of two seasons at Triple-A, the Reds might as well see what this 6'2", 215-pound O'Grady is capable of.
2019 STATS: Louisville (AAA) – 386 AB, .277/.351/.562, 27 2B, 27 HR, 0.35 Eye, 16 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Backup 1B/OF
POTENTIAL: Starting 1B
RATING: 7D

Devin Williams (RHP, MIL)
The Brewers have called up 24-year-old Devin Williams to help out in their bullpen. The 6'3", 165-pound righty had a very successful year at Double-A Reno before briefly appearing in three games at Triple-A San Antonio and then getting the call. Williams had Tommy John surgery in 2017, and in 2018 pitched only 34 innings at High-A Carolina with typical post-TJS control problems. The control improved this year, though with a 4.9 Ctl there is more work to be done. Striking out almost 13 batters per 9 innings certainly helped, and batters hit only .181 against him, so the walks didn't do too much damage. When you walk 4.9 batters per nine innings, yet you have a WHIP of only 1.181, you must be doing something right. Williams has four pitches: a low-90s FB with late run, a fading change-up that sits in the low-80s, plus a curve/slider combo that tend to not get good results. If he focuses on that FB/CU pair, he can do well. He just has to hit the strike zone more consistently so that his natural ability to miss bats won't be undone by walks. He can chalk this year up to success, but probably next year is when he should be fully back from his surgery.
2019 STATS: Biloxi (AA) – 31 g, 0 gs, 7-2, 2.36 ERA, 53.1 IP, 4.9 Ctl, 12.8 Dom, 2.6 Cmd, 3 HR, .181 oppBA, 1.181 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 8E

 

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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.