Every year, MLB seems to see a top prospect or two deserving of cracking the Opening Day roster fail to make the initial squad as their team buys an extra year of contract control by manipulating that player’s service time.
This year is no different with the exception that the reduced 60-game schedule is allowing for those players to be called up as early as Thursday.
Here is a list of five players that have a very good chance of being summoned by their big league club in the coming days as a result of this service time dates arrival.
Jo Adell – Los Angeles Angels
Adell has been the Angels’ top hitting prospect since being drafted by the club with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft. The five-tool outfielder was presumably to be the heir of the starting right field position after Kole Calhoun departed for Arizona as a free agent this offseason. The abbreviated 2020 season and one-week wait to get an extra year of service time out of the Scott Boras client should lead to his arrival at the Big A soon.
Expect to see Adell added to a potent lineup already featuring Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, and a red-hot David Fletcher as early as this week’s homestand versus Seattle and Houston. Adell will find himself in right field regularly as the Angels have been buying time with Brian Goodwin and Taylor Ward splitting time at the position.
Dylan Carlson – St. Louis Cardinals
The left-handed, power-hitting Dylan Carlson was many experts’ pick for National League Rookie of the Year heading into the original 2020 season this spring. Now, the 21-year old outfielder awaits the call from the Cardinals from the club’s alternate site of Hammond Field in Springfield, Mo.
Carlson will instantly provide the Cardinals’ lineup with an upgraded defensive and offensive outfield by splitting playing time with Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dexter Fowler. Expect Carlson to play every day with the Cardinals and be a factor for a team looking to win their division this season. Fantasy baseball owners would be wise to snatch Carlson now if he’s still available in their waiver pools.
Casey Mize – Detroit Tigers
Mize was advanced as a pitcher when drafted as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 draft out of Auburn. Mize has advanced on schedule through the Tigers’ farm system and continued to excel after his promotion to Double-A last season. Mize struck out six and walked two batters across four innings of Spring Training baseball this year and seems poised and ready for the greatest challenge of his career.
The 23-year-old right-hander should find himself inserted into the rebuilding Tigers rotation for the bulk of the shortened 2020 season and be a mainstay at the top of their rotation for years to come. Fellow starting prospect Matt Manning is another service time candidate that could be joining Mize within the coming weeks.
Nate Pearson – Toronto Blue Jays
The 23-year-old right-handed Pearson is the first official service time call-up as Toronto has already announced him as their starter for Wednesday evening’s game against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. Pearson will join the rebooted Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation and a cast of young and talented MLB offspring looking to reach the 2020 expanded playoffs.
Expect Pearson to fit in well alongside Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Shoemaker, Tanner Roark, and Trent Thornton in the improved Toronto starting rotation. The 6-foot-6 Pearson is MLB-ready, has a power arm, and should have no trouble facing hitters this year.
Alec Bohm – Philadelphia Phillies
The 23-year-old Bohm finished last season at Double-A Reading where he hit .269/.344/.500 with 14 home runs and 42 runs batted in throughout 62 games. Bohm was one of the Phillies’ hottest hitters this spring in Clearwater as he slashed .357 (10-for-28) in the shortened preseason competition. While Bohm has only appeared in 165 professional games in the Phillies’ system, he’s managed a career .293 average and his ability to make contact gives him huge upside in the Philadelphia lineup.
Expect to see Bohm as the Phillies’ regular third baseman when he gets the call to Philadelphia as fellow infielder Jean Segura will be relegated to a utility role. The Phillies should also be expected to call on right-handed hurler Spencer Howard to join their rotation soon after he impressed in last year’s Arizona Fall League and this year’s Grapefruit League competition.