Welcome to the first September issue of SI’s MLB Power Rankings. Accordingly, for this edition, we’re spotlighting ten teams with interesting call-ups—top prospects, familiar faces, and other intriguing candidates. (For last week’s list, click here.) Rank on!
30. Detroit Tigers (41-97; Last Week: 30)
29. Baltimore Orioles (46-94; Last Week: 29)
28. Miami Marlins (50-89; Last Week: 27)
Lefty reliever Brian Moran is not particularly exciting as a player; he’s not on any prospect list, and he never has been. The 30-year-old had been in the minors for a full decade when he finally got the call to make his big-league debut this week—which is already the foundation for a heartwarming story, but Moran took it one step further by using said debut to strike out his own younger brother. (That would Pirates third baseman Colin, who’s four years his junior.) Even if Moran doesn’t do anything else with his September, he’s already made history, not to mention earned bragging rights over his little brother for life:
27. Kansas City Royals (51-90; Last Week: 28)
26. Seattle Mariners (58-83; Last Week: 25)
Ryan Court is a 31-year-old utilityman who started this season in indy ball. (Shoutout Atlantic League.) He’d never made a big-league roster before 2019, and it certainly didn’t look like he’d have any chance to make a big-league roster in 2019. Now? He’s here—which isn’t especially significant in any baseball sense, but it sure is sweet in a human one.
25. Toronto Blue Jays (55-86; Last Week: 26)
24. Colorado Rockies (59-82; Last Week: 23)
23. Chicago White Sox (62-78; Last Week: 22)
22. Pittsburgh Pirates (61-79; Last Week: 24)
21. San Diego Padres (64-75; Last Week: 20)
Javy Guerra (no, not that one) came to the Padres in 2015, part of the return from the Red Sox for Craig Kimbrel. At the time, Guerra was a 20-year-old shortstop, with a promising glove and problematic bat. But after three years of work in the minors—and one brief try in the majors—his offense never got better, so the club decided to do something drastic: For 2019, San Diego converted Guerra to a pitcher. So far, that’s looked smart. The 23-year-old righty did well in Double A, and now he’s testing himself in MLB, looking to get back on his feet after a rough debut on the mound.
20. Los Angeles Angels (65-76; Last Week: 21)
It’s a two-way player! Jared Walsh is no Shohei Ohtani—the rookie’s definitely better suited as a slugging first baseman than a pitcher—but he still offers the potential for someone fun to watch.
19. San Francisco Giants (67-73; Last Week: 19)
18. Cincinnati Reds (66-75; Last Week: 17)
17. Texas Rangers (69-73; Last Week: 18)
If you guessed Edinson Volquez was out of MLB, guess again. The 36-year-old was just called up by Texas, after spending all of last season recovering from Tommy John and most of this season recovering from a separate elbow injury. His early returns haven’t been particularly inspiring, but, by God, he’s here, and he’s trying.
16. Milwaukee Brewers (71-68; Last Week: 15)
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (73-67; Last Week: 16)
14. Philadelphia Phillies (72-67; Last Week: 12)
13. New York Mets (71-68; Last Week: 14)
12. Boston Red Sox (75-65; Last Week: 13)
11. Chicago Cubs (76-63; Last Week: 9)
10. Tampa Bay Rays (83-59; Last Week: 11)
First baseman Nate Lowe is a premium prospect. He made his debut earlier this year, and he didn’t need any time to adjust; he came in and started slugging right away. (Seriously: Lowe’s 133 OPS+ is second-best on the team among hitters with at least 100 PA.) The Rays sent him back to Triple A last month, but now he’s back, and he may make a real impression on the club down the stretch.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (79-61; Last Week: 10)
8. Cleveland Indians (81-60; Last Week: 6)
7. Washington Nationals (78-61; Last Week: 8)
6. Oakland A’s (81-58; Last Week: 7)
5. Minnesota Twins (87-53; Last Week: 4)
Brusdar Graterol is only 21, but fans have been hearing his name for a while. The righty starter, who was signed out of Venezuela in 2015, can hit 100 mph, and he’s easily the club’s best pitching prospect. (Also on the Twins’ list for September? Fan favorite Willians Astudillo.)
4. Atlanta Braves (87-54; Last Week: 5)
There was a time when it seemed like Johan Camargo could potentially be as crucial to the Braves’ future as Ronald Acuña, Jr., or Ozzie Albies. That feels... very distant now. The 25-year-old infielder has been struggling for most of the year, and he was sent to Triple A in August. But he’s back now, looking to turn his season (and his narrative) around.
3. New York Yankees (92-49; Last Week: 3)
Former elite prospect Clint Frazier has received a lot of headlines in 2019—about his defense, his fit on the Yankees, his potential future with the team. The 24-year-old was sent to Triple A in June, and after two months of work (particularly on that defense), the outfielder is finally back, with a chance to redeem himself.
2. Houston Astros (91-50; Last Week: 2)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-50; Last Week: 1)
The Dodgers have already promoted several serious prospects in 2019, and it’s not like their roster needs much additional help. Still, this week, they added Gavin Lux—arguably their best prospect of all—and he’s wasted no time in making himself comfortable.