The midseason call-up is one of the most exciting – and difficult to predict – events. Some occur due to injuries or struggles; while others occur due to a prospect playing so well that there is no alternative but to give him a shot. This list is an amalgam of which players can provide the most value in 2014 and beyond. Note: Miguel Sano was originally #3, but has been removed due to his elbow injury.
1. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
What needs to happen for a promotion: If he were on most other teams, Taveras would have opened 2013 in the major leagues, but the Cardinals are loaded in the outfield. Taveras needs Matt Adams or Peter Bourjos to struggle, or an injury to Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Adams, or Bourjos.
Estimated call-up date: June 19, his birthday.
2. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
What needs to happen for a promotion: Bradley needs to keep dominating, and he needs an injury to one of the Diamondbacks’ starters. He may not be the first one called up, as he is not on the 40-man roster.
Estimated call-up date: July 1.
3. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets
What needs to happen for a promotion: Wait until the “Super Two” deadline passes in late June.
Estimated call-up date: June 25, a week later than Zack Wheeler.
4. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals
What needs to happen for a promotion: Keep pitching well, show that the “minor shoulder stiffness” is past him, and wait for an injury or ineffectiveness from one of the other starting pitchers. He is probably behind Yordano Ventura on the promotion depth chart, but could leapfrog him in the event of a long-term opening.
Estimated call-up date: July 19.
5. Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
What needs to happen for a promotion: Dominate AA hitters, dominate AAA hitters, and wait for the “Super Two” deadline to pass. Appel is already the best pitcher in the Astros organization, though that could change with the draft.
Estimated call-up date: June 23.
6. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
What needs to happen for a promotion: Pitch well in AAA, wait for Edinson Volquez to implode a few times.
Estimated call-up date: June 18, a week later than Gerrit Cole.
7. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Estimated call-up date: July 19.
8. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros
What needs to happen for a promotion: Return to his productive ways prior to his suspension that cost him nearly half of the 2013 season. He also needs Chris Carter or Marc Krauss to struggle, which will create an opening.
Estimated call-up date: June 28.
9. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
What needs to happen for a promotion: Lindor needs Asdrubal Cabrera to struggle, and to keep showing that he can handle AA pitching. His defense is already gold glove-level.
Estimated call-up date: August 1. Late enough to spark a playoff push.
10. Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies
What needs to happen for a promotion: Keep dominating AA, and an injury to any Rockies pitcher, such as Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, or Brett Anderson. He may get the second call-up, after Chad Bettis.
Estimated call-up date: July 27.
11. Jesse Biddle, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
What needs to happen for a promotion: A suddenly overloaded rotation with the signings of A.J. Burnett and Miguel Gonzalez blocking his ascent, though Cole Hamels’ shoulder woes could provide a partial opening. As long as Biddle pitches well in AAA, he could pass Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin as the first pitcher to be called up for the Phillies.
Estimated call-up date: July 15.
12. Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
What needs to happen for a promotion: Someone on the Pirates’ outfield needs to struggle mightily or get injured. Tabata is likely on the shortest leash, and Polanco won’t get called up unless he is able to get consistent playing time.
Estimated call-up date: August 15.