by Jason Martinez
Players on the verge of a big league call-up, in my opinion, are considered to be 'Knocking Down the Door'.
Lars Anderson, 1B/OF - Boston Red Sox: This is one of those rare occasions when I'm making a pick based on the expectation that the player's big league opportunity will almost certainly come with a different team. Even in the case of Steve Pearce last week, I thought there was a place for him on the Yankees bench but it wasn't until he was acquired by the Orioles that he officially 'knocked down the door'. Anderson, who was actually traded last July to the A's in a deal that was negated when Rich Harden failed a physical, has no clear path to Boston. While his slow start made it all but certain he'd be playing in Pawtucket for the foreseeable future, his stock could be on the rise now that he's begun to heat up.
In his last eight games, the 24 year-old first baseman/left fielder has 13 hits in 27 at-bats with 4 HR and 12 RBI. During that span, he's reached base in 18 of 32 plate appearances. There's no doubt his overall stock has dropped over the past few years but there are still a few teams out there that could use an upgrade at first base and could send the Sox back a useful player that can help them compete for the AL East crown. After all, if Harden had actually been healthy at the time of last year's nixed trade, Anderson would very likely be the Oakland A's starting first baseman right now.
|Clement was the 3rd pick in the 2005 draft|
Picture courtesy of US Presswire
After going homerless in April and most of May, Clement has 6 long balls since May 26th and has raised his average to .316 with 15 hits in his last 33 at-bats. The Pirates have handed the first base job to Matt Hague, who was deserving after a solid Triple-A season in 2011. But he's just 11-for-42 with 0 HR, 2 BB, and 8 K. If Clement is ever going to get a chance for some regular big league playing time once again, there may not be a better opportunity than now.
The 24 year-old, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2008, was recently promoted to Triple-A where he threw a scoreless inning in his debut. In parts of five professional seasons, Geltz has 308 K in 220.2 IP. It's only a matter of time before the Halos will want to find out if his pitches can miss big league bats, as well.
Danny Hultzen, LHP - Seattle Mariners: When the Mariners drafted Hultzen with the 2nd pick in the 2011 draft, he was thought to be very close to being big league ready. After 11 pro starts with Double-A Jackson, he's putting himself in position to be the next in line for a spot in the big league rotation. The 22 year-old has a 1.44 ERA, having allowed more than 1 ER just one time. In that game, he walked 7 batters and allowed 1 hit and 2 ER. Since then, he's allowed only 2 ER and 17 hits in 31.2 IP with 7 BB and 31 K.
The M's don't really have a spot for Hultzen at the moment, but Felix Hernandez is dealing with a minor back injury and youngsters Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan could probably use a break at some point. Someway and somehow, I'd expect Hultzen in Seattle before long.
Click HERE to see the 'Knocking Down the Door' archive for 2012.