Happy Labor Day all around as we all race to the finish.
Of course this holiday means sunshine and the end of the summer and barbaque, but, right now it also means over the last week the MLB teams have expanded their rosters, so this week let's look at the promotions that caught my eye.
Ben Revere was the Twins first round selection in 2007, and future fly chaser will be the team's leadoff hitter sooner, rather than later (with Revere at the top, and Dennard Span hitting second, the top of the Twins order will be seriously potent). Just 22, Revere has .328-4-143 totals with a .389 OBP, 216 runs, and 146 swipes. And, 112 walks to 126 whiffs pretty much seals the deal.
The Braves grabbed backstop Tyler Flowers in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft, then swapped him to the Pale Hose as part of the Javier Vasquez deal in 2008. Flowers did struggle with his average at Triple-A this year, hitting just .220 but clobbering 16 homers and driving in 53. However, Flowers minor league totals are .277-65-283 with 125 doubles, and that totals an .874 OPS (.391 OBP and .482 SLG). Flowers, 24, is next in line with the Pierzynski train moves along.
Not much I can say about Aroldis Chapman that most fantasy fans don't already know. Let's leave it with a couple of thoughts. First, he went 9-6, 3.57 this season at Louisville, starting 12, then moving to the pen where he closed out 8 and was super dominant (125 strikeouts over 95.2 innings). Second, he was clocked at 104 MPH Sunday. Think of Chapman as the Neftali Feliz of 2011.
With Brian Fuentes in Minnesota, Fernando Rodney has claimed the closer role, but look for Jordan Walden to claim the role before Rodney is done with this two-year extension. Like Chapman, Walden throws 100-plus heat, and struck out 302 over 330.1 minor league innings, allowing 295 hits, walking 126. Converted to the closer role this year, Walden saved 8 over 38 games at AA Arkansas, and briefly moved to Salt Lake (six games, 6.2 innings, 0-0, 0.00) before his September summons.
Jumping back to the White Sox, manager Ozzie Guillen has called third baseman Brent Morel the future of the team. The 23-year old was a third round pick of the Sox in 2008, and over his three minor league seasons, Morel has moved smoothly up the team ladder with aggregate totals of .305-32-170, and handled both AA (.326-2-30 over 203 at-bats) and AAA (.320-8-34 over 306 at-bats) this season. Expect him to man the hot corner full time by spring of 2012. In fact, the "future" Guillen refers to could even begin in 2011.
Cory Luebke was clearly sought after, having been drafted in 2004 by the Pirates in 18th round, in 2006 by the Rangers in the 22nd round, and finally in the first round by the Padres in 2008. At 25, Luebke has similarly moved up the rungs of his franchise's system, culimating in a terrific 2010 split between Double-A San Antonio, where he went 5-1, 2.40, then to Triple-A Portland where Luebke went 5-0, 2.97, giving a total of 10-1, 2.68, with 88 strikeouts to 83 hits and 29 walks over 114 innings (a WHIP of 0.982).
The pedigree on the Mets first sacker, Lucas Duda is much like his compatriots on today's list. A seventh round pick of the Mets in 2007, Duda has similarly moved quickly up the franchise rungs, compiling .284-47-238 numbers 1537 at-bats. Duda also tackled two levels successfuly in 2010, going .286-6-34 at Binghamton before a promotion to Buffalo where he went .314-17-53, making .304-23-87 totals for the year, including 40 doubles and a .987 OPS. The biggest roadblock for Duda is likely Ike Davis, but they will have to take a look at Duda whether they like it or not.
Brian Bogusevic is an Astro, and one of those who has pitched (14-21, 5.05 as a starter over 64 starts) and hitter (.284-23-186 over 1171 at-bats). At 26, the former first round pick of the 'Stros in 2005, Bougusevic is interesting simply because he can do both, although hitting clearly seems to be the future. An outfielder, Bogusevic did put up a .363 OBP and swiped 54 bases, and on a team going on a youth movement, the flychaser might not have the resume of his mates, but he is interesting.
Finishing with a favorite, Atlanta is rich in hot young outfielders, and 20-year old Freddie Freeman is next on their list. Spending all of 2010 at AAA Gwinett, Freeman went .319-18-87, with 35 doubles and a .378 OBP. The former second rounder in 2007, Freeman has minor league totals of .301-50-270 over 424 games, along with 102 doubles and 133 walks to 206 stikeouts (.363 OBP), a .472 SLG, and very good .835 OPS, numbers terrific for such a young player.