Top Prospect Promotions Rumors
Second baseman/shortstop Nick Franklin has been called up and will join the Mariners today, tweets Ryan Divish of The News Tribune. Franklin will have to be added to the team's 40-man roster; he'll take the place of a minor leaguer, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The news comes on the heels of Carlos Triunfel's season debut, which occurred Friday. Triunfel's one start came at second base, though both Mariners prospects can play both middle infield positions. Former first-rounder Dustin Ackley, meanwhile, has limped to a .205/.266/.250 line and will join Jesus Montero at Triple-A, according to Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710.
Franklin, 22, was drafted 27th overall by the Mariners out of high school in 2009. He was hitting .324/.440/.472 in 177 Triple-A plate appearances, a vast improvement from his production at that level last year. Franklin's rankings on top 100 prospect lists prior to the season: 69th by ESPN's Keith Law, 79th by Baseball America, and 43rd by MLB.com. BA ranked him fifth among Mariners prospects prior to the season, noting, "He profiles as a solid regular who could play in a few All-Star Games."
If he stays up all year, Franklin will accumulate 126 days of big league service, making Super Two arbitration eligibility possible after the 2015 season. It's unknown whether that amount of service will put Franklin within the top 22% of the two-to-three class at that point. Super Two players go to arbitration four times instead of the usual three.
The Orioles are calling up right-hander Kevin Gausman, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Gausman will make his big league debut on Thursday night, taking the mound against the Blue Jays.
Gausman ranked No. 26 on both Baseball America's and Keith Law's prospect rankings for ESPN, while MLB.com listed him ten spots lower at No. 36. Prior to the season, BA wrote that Gausman's "aptitude and intelligence help set him apart." The youngster, who is second only to Dylan Bundy in Baltimore's system, is praised by BA for his premium fastball and changeup.
If he sticks on the O's roster, Gausman could potentially gain Super Two status and trigger arbitration a year early. Had the the Orioles waited until mid-June or later to promote the pitcher, they could have avoided the possibility of him becoming a Super Two player after the 2015 season. For now, the 22-year-old is slated to be under team control through 2019.
Martinez, 21, was a consensus Top 40 prospect among Baseball America (No. 38), MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (No. 33) and ESPN's Keith Law (No. 39). The Dominican native has totaled just 83 innings at Double-A and has a 2.82 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 17 starts. In total, he has 277 strikeouts in 259 2/3 minor league innings.
Baseball America, Law and Mayo all praise Martinez's fastball, which sits at 94-98 mph and can be dialed up to 100 when he needs it. Martinez's curveball draws more praise than his changeup, though BA notes that the changeup could develop into a third plus pitch for him. Mayo adds that it's a circle change with nice fade, and he doesn't feel it's that far behind Martinez's sharp 12-to-6 curveball.
Martinez is listed at 6'0" and 185 pounds. In addition to eliciting comparisons to Pedro Martinez (no pressure, Carlos), his size has led many to question whether or not he will be durable enough to handle a starter's workload. Martinez already missed a month with shoulder tendinitis last season but was able to bounce back. In his write-up, Law noted: "If the shoulder issue recurs, he may end up a shutdown reliever with two pitches near the top of the 20-80 scale." Upon learning of Martinez's promotion, Baseball America's J.J. Cooper wondered whether or not Martinez would ever start again, given the Cardinals' bounty of talented starters (Twitter link).
The Cardinals have kept Martinez in the minor leagues long enough to delay his free agency by a season, but his call-up falls well short of the June barrier that would prevent him from becoming a Super Two player. If he sticks on the roster from this point forward, Martinez will pick up 150 days of Major League service time and be under team control through the 2019 season.
The Marlins have promoted 22-year-old right fielder Marcell Ozuna, who will make his big league debut tonight against Jeremy Hefner and the Mets. Ozuna, who was already on the team's 40-man roster, replaces slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton hit the DL with a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will be out a few weeks in the best case scenario, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald among others.
Ozuna ranked 75th on Baseball America's top 100 prospects list, but failed to place on Keith Law's list for ESPN or the MLB.com list. Prior to the season, BA wrote that Ozuna "oozes tools, particularly with his plus-plus raw power and a cannon arm." He opened the season on the DL with a broken left wrist but showed no ill effects in ten Double-A games. If Ozuna manages to stick in the Majors permanently, a tall order, he'll accumulate 153 days of big league service this year and qualify for arbitration as a Super Two player after the 2015 season. He'd be under team control through 2019.