June 1st: T-minus 9 Hours

Ranking “Super Two” Call-ups in order of likelihood starting, now:

T1. Brett Lawrie (2B/3B) – The centerpiece of the Shaun Marcum deal, this kid has absolutely killed the ball in Triple-A.  The most telling stat of why the Blue Jays will look to bring him up as soon as the clock strike 12am?  “The Blue Jays’ third basemen have gone an astounding 0-for-45 over Toronto’s past 13 games” (Rotoworld).  So, it’s not just those who still believe in Eddie Encarnacion as a legitimate fantasy third baseman who’re ready to gauge their eyes out… it’s the entire Toronto organization.

Yet, you sit there and wonder to yourself, “Brian… this isn’t enough, I need more.”  Well, doubter, here’s his most recent stat line from Triple-A as of May 31, 2011: .349/.420/.746.  His power is also coming at the right time as he’s already slugged 7 more home runs than all of last year (8).  Want more?  And, sure, this is on the peripheral, but nevertheless: HE’S CANADIAN!  Yes, a Canadian who’s the Blue Jays’ top hitting prospect.  I feel perfectly safe having him tied for the first position on this “likely-to-be-called-up” list.  In the end, The Blue Jay Hunter expects a call-up for Lawrie in the immediate future.

T1. Dustin Ackley (2B) – Another second baseman.  That said, Lawrie’s the one to own of these two.  Ackley, the Mariners’ top hitting prospect, is playing in a pitchers park, whereas Lawrie will get a bulk of his ABs in Toronto’s hitter-friendly home park.  That said, I’ve heard from multiple outlets what Ackley is going to be a guy who’s a very nice player in “real” baseball, but now “fantasy” baseball.  A few guys who fit this mold are any of the current Angel middle infielders (sans this year), someone like Jose Vidro, or Dustin Pedroia.  Yes, please take the time to shake your head, wipe your eyes, refocus, and read that last name.  If Ackley were playing in a home park like Dustin Pedroia’s, I’d be much more excited to see his potential for operating a “laser show” like DP’s.  However, he doesn’t play there, he’s not particularly fast, he doesn’t hit of a lot of power, and, as a Seattle Mariner, he won’t alter the landscape the way someone like Lawrie will.  Not right now, anyway.

That all said, he’s still much, much better than Jack Wilson.  The Mariners are a cheap organization, they can’t afford a lot of players who come through their system.  The latest examples of this will be Felix Hernandez and, potentially, Michael Pineda.  Post-June 1, Ackley will receive a bulk of the starts at 2B.  If you own someone like Neil Walker, don’t drop him for Ackley as, in a best case scenario, Ackley is Neil Walker.

2. Desmond Jennings (OF) – Sam Fuld.  That’s basically what it comes down to.  When I asked Jason Collette about Matt Joyce’s breakout forcing the Rays to keep Jennings in Triple-A, he wasn’t sold.  So, while Sam Fuld’s latest “superman” antics have been a nice addition to the Rays’ lineup, he’s not an everyday player his second time around the league.  Jennings, ranked in the top-10 prospects for 2011, is, however.  After a painful April, Jennings’ splits are much more attractive in May with a .286/.369/.551 line.  On top of that, his HRs in May (6) more than doubled his April total (2).

Now, his power may not translate immediately in the majors, but Jennings’ fantasy appeal all comes down to opportunity.  Joe Madden, who’s trying anything to get his franchise player, Evan Longoria, to breakout of his season-long slump.  Perhaps Jennings is the catalyst Long’s needed over the past few weeks.

T3. Mike Moustakas (3B) – At this point, I will not be held accountable for the guys at #3 being called up.  Because, while the first three options I feel very strong about, I’m not really the most confident on the #3’s.  That said, everyone loves Mike Moustakas.  He had an awful April as a follow-up to his 40+ HR season in the minors last year.  Once Eric Hosmer was called up to the bigs, a switch went off in Moustakas’ head and he absolutely exploded in May offering a .317/.381/.529 line.  While his home runs have remained consistent for both months (4 in each) his doubles have soared between April (1) and May (11).

So the power’s rounding into form.  I’m just not sure if the Royals want to expose someone who’s batting .278 on the season to major league pitching.  Especially when that person may actually make you weaker defensively.  With Billy Butler clogging up the DH slot for the Royals, it might make more sense to hold the “Moose” down in Triple-A until injuries strike for the team.

T3. Jesus Montero (C) – This all comes down to Jorge Posada.  He seems to be turing it around a bit over the past month.  This kid had a great April with the bat, but his OBP was nearly equal to his BA… meaning he’s not taking pitches.  The Yankees are not going to promote someone who doesn’t practice patience and some self control.  I put Montero here because I believe he’ll hit the majors in another team’s uniform when other starting pitchers become available come July.  Don’t expect to see a 22 year old DHing for the Yankees… especially with the way Russell Martin’s been playing this season.


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