There are three days that are always full of excitement during the MLB season. Opening Day, the July 31 trade deadline, and September 1.
Whether it’s the minor league season still being played, or teams passing for an extra year of control, several of baseball’s top prospects remain in the minors for a little while longer. Let’s take a quick look at some guys who are deservingly getting a chance this September.
Lucas Sims, Cincinnati Reds: The roller coaster career of Sims in Atlanta came to an end when he was dealt in the Adam Duvall deal to the Reds. Ironically, the last big-league appearance Sims made with the Braves was against the Reds, and now he’s set to pitch for them. Once the pitching prospect of the year in the Braves system, Sims needed a change of scenery, and looks to get back on track in his new digs.
Austen Williams, Washington Nationals: The 25-year-old righty had a 2016 and 2017 to forget, but what a job he’s done this season. He was lights out in Double-A Harrisburg, posting a 1.39 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over 51.2 innings. He’s been even better in his Triple-A debut, striking out 20 and walking just four in 16.1 innings with a 0.55 ERA and 0.61 WHIP.
Jeff Brigham, Miami Marlins: The 26-year-old righty out of Washington is ready for his big-league debut. The Southern League was too easy for him this season, going 4-1 with a 1.18 ERA and 41 strikeouts (and just nine walks) in 38 innings. The numbers have come back to earth in New Orleans, but he’s still had a solid year and is worthy of a call.
Beau Taylor, Oakland Athletics: Drafted out of UCF all the way back in 2011, the 28-year-old backstop finally gets the call. He’s had a nice season for Nashville, slashing .248/.360/.348 with a .707 OPS. Taylor has shown an ability to draw a walks and is reliable enough behind the plate. Don’t expect many homers, but he could get a few looks down the stretch.
Eric Haase, Cleveland Indians: Another catcher getting to make his big league debut, the 25-year-old righty was drafted in 2011 and slowly made his way up the ladder. Haase has shown nice power the past two seasons with 47 minor league home runs, but he strikes out in bunches.
Meibrys Viloria, Kansas City Royals: Perhaps the biggest jumper this season, the Royals promote the 21-year-old catcher from High-A Wilmington all the way to the bigs, skipping the upper levels completely. He’s hitting .260 with eight home runs and with Drew Butera traded, the Royals see Viloria as the next man up.
Stephen Tarpley, New York Yankees: We took a look at the 25-year-old lefty right here at Minor League Ball yesterday.
Others making their MLB debut: Blake Trahan, shortstop, Reds; Eric Hanhold, RHP, Mets.