We are right around the two week mark for September call-ups to start arriving. The playoff picture is starting to become clearer in numerous leagues and those in roto leagues are looking for those hot bats to ride into the final weeks of the season. If you’ve hit the waiver wire like I have, you’ve noticed that it is extremely thin. It’s been plucked through a plethora of times and either you are adding someone on a hot streak or taking a favorable matchup. With only a certain amount of acquisitions for a given week, it becomes difficult not to add one or two players approaching positive matchups and looking for spot starts. Luckily, the September call-ups are right around the corner and I know everyone will be looking for that hot hitter than can hopefully match similar production to the head scratching rate of last season’s Rhys Hoskins. While it’s unlikely to find Hoskins-like statistics each year, I do believe there will be a handful of players that can help weak production on your roster. This week, I want to focus on five players that could possibly get the call this September and help you into the playoffs in “That’s Amore!” Position Player September Call-Ups.
Eloy Jimenez – Chicago White Sox
The prized piece from the deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs has been as good as advertised. With his stock on the rise and Quintana not fulfilling what the Cubs desired, only time will tell if the White Sox end up on the better side of the deal. Jimenez has spent 2018 in both Double-A and Triple-A and has made an impact at both levels. While in AA, Jimenez slashed .317/.368/.556 with ten home runs and 42 RBI. Fast-forward to AAA, and they are even better — slashing .346/.388/.627 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. There’s no question Jimenez is going to hit and the scary part is he’s only going to add muscle to his 6’4″ 205 lb. frame. We are already seeing the development of a perennial 30+ home run bat.
Jimenez brings ridiculous amounts of power at the plate. Even more impressive is his ability to hit for average. Given his size, there have been comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton and, although he’s an average runner at best, there’s tremendous excitement around the corner on the southside of Chicago. Defensively, he projects to play left field given his below-average-to-average speed and average arm. Even if the White Sox have better options for corner infield spots, Jimenez could eventually settle in at first base when Jose Abreu’s days are done on the southside. I immediately expect an impact in Chicago especially with the White Sox due for a number of games against woeful teams in the American League Central. Of all the September call-ups, Jimenez is the player I want most. He not only has the greatest upside, but he will have favorable matchups as the season comes to an end. I was talking to an uncle of mine, who is a huge White Sox fan, at a wedding over the weekend, and he may be the most excited person anxiously awaiting Jimenez’ call.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays
You knew his name was going to be on this list and, after his monster 2018 season, the Blue Jays owe it to their young slugger to get his first taste of major league pitching. I had this conversation on Reddit last week, but it’s so rare to see a Hall of Famer have a son that has as much hype has Guerrero Jr. Yes, we’ve seen the Griffeys and Fielders, but many times standout players’ children don’t quite reach the heights of their fathers. The opposite looks to be the case with Guerro Jr. At 19, Guerrero Jr. has arguably the best plate coverage I’ve seen in a minor league player in quite some time. Like his dad, strikeouts rarely occur and, even when he’s fooled, he has the ability to drop the ball into the shallow parts of the outfield. When pitchers make a mistake, watch out!
Guerrero Jr. has played at every level in 2018 and he’s had success at every stop. Through Rookie to Triple-A, Guerrero Jr. has slashed .391/.448/.656 with 18 home runs and 69 RBI. The craziest number are his 35 strikeouts, in 302 at-bats, followed by 33 walks. Before he’s called up, he could potentially have more walks than strikeouts. If these numbers don’t speak to his crazy offensive ability I don’t know what do. Guerrero, and Jimenez, will be the to top targets for September call-ups. If you can get them in redraft leagues, you be set for the rest of the season. If by some chance they are still available in your keeper leagues, I’d suggest grabbing them ahead of their call-up because chances are they won’t be there the day they’re called.
Kyle Tucker – Houston Astros
The Astros have battle injuries throughout the season and Saturday saw the Oakland Athletics tied for the division lead. Believe me, the Astros want to stay way from any play-in game and they will be looking for any boost they can get on both sides of the ball. This leaves Kyle Tucker primed for his second call in September. There’s no doubt the 21-year-old possesses some of the best, if not the best, combination of power-speed of all minor league prospects. His initial call had dismal results as he slashed .154/.254/.212 with 11 strikeouts in 52 at-bats. The demotion doesn’t seem to have caused any issues as he’s absolutely destroyed triple-A pitching back in Fresno.
With rosters soon to expand and the Astros in a fight for the AL West division, I expect Tucker to get vital at-bats to help the Astros. They have a tough schedule to end the season and they will need everything in their artillery to end the season atop the division. That being said, Tucker now has 52 MLB at-bats under his belt. I guarantee he’ll be going through different scouting reports and working on the things that caused him issues earlier in the season during his initial call-up. Still, with the talent Tucker has, he could easily help solidify an outfield or utility spot on your fantasy team. While at AAA, Tucker has slashed .311/.373/.532 with 17 home runs, 74 RBI, and 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
Francisco Mejia – San Diego Padres
Acquired in the deal that sent Brad Hand to Cleveland, Mejia has leap-frogged his way into the second prospect spot just behind Fernando Tatis, Jr. If Tatis didn’t go down with a season-ending injury, the Padres would have two prospects that could make a fantasy impact in September. Still, Mejia is in a favorable spot, and one that should allow him numerous at-bats down the stretch. The catcher/outfielder solid 2018 season between AAA for Cleveland and San Diego slashing .286/.337/.440 with ten home runs and 56 RBI. He’s another guy that has advanced plate discipline which has aided in his low strikeout total (72 in 384 at-bats) and he’s shown the ability to draw walks. Right now, most leagues only have him qualified for utility eligibility, but he should gain both catcher and outfield in time. While he may not gain both this season, he should over time. He has the athletic ability similar to Willson Contreras and this gives the Padres different options to keep Mejia’s bat in the lineup.
Mejia brings great strength and bat speed to an overall advanced offensive approach. He’s a switch-hitter and this allows Mejia to stay in the lineup regardless of who’s pitching. He does have an advanced approach hitting left-handed, but this isn’t anything out of the ordinary as a majority of his at-bats come from the left side. Given his ability to play numerous positions, we should see him splitting time in the outfield and third base, when he’s not behind the plate. If you’re looking for a player that should gain catcher eligibility this season and one with keeper ability, Mejia is the perfect guy to scoop up come September.
Victor Robles – Washington Nationals
With Bryce Harper potentially leaving via free agency over the winter, the Nationals aren’t exactly left with no options to fill the void in the outfield. With a teenage phenom making a strong case for NL Rookie of the Years, the Nationals also have prospect Victor Robles. An elbow injury forced him to miss a significant chunk of the 2018 season and, if it weren’t for the injury, Robles more than likely would’ve been called up before Soto. Still, the 21 year-old has come back and is getting back into the swing of things. He’s a point under .300 for his minor league career and his five-tool athleticism have him primed to make a big impact with the Nationals.
Robles bring a lot of ability to the field. He can hit for both average and power, steal numerous bases and play solid defense in the outfield. Given his versatility, the Nationals have a lot of different options in their batting order with Harper Soto, and Trea Turner. Only seven games out of the division lead, there is still time for the Nationals to get on a hot streak. Stephen Strasburg is due to come off the DL and this is the perfect time for the Nationals to get his services back. Given they are still in playoff contention and possessing a lineup that can score runs and steal bases, Robles finds himself getting a call for a team that will be in the playoff hunt. I expect Robles to help in multiple categories (runs, stolen bases, etc) and he will be a hot commodity off the waiver wire.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel and Kyle Amore live on Sunday August 19th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #133 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will discuss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts live August 16th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #89 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. Call in number is 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the host. This week we will take a close look at some possible ADP steals in our drafts this season.
My guest this week is Andy Macuga. He is the former Head Football and Baseball Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. out in the San Diego area. Andy is also a 6 year veteran of Major League Fantasy Sports leagues and a frequent radio guest.