White Sox Potential September Call-Ups

20140124_mm_soxfest0230As the 2015 Major League Baseball regular season comes to a close, each team gets to expand its active roster. Some teams use the September roster expansion as an opportunity to better equip their team for a playoff push, and some teams use the roster expansion to give their young prospects a chance to play in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately, it looks like the Chicago White Sox will fall into the latter scenario described above since their hopes of reaching the postseason in 2015 have all but faded away.

Nevertheless, September is always an exciting month for baseball fans because new faces can be seen in new places. If your team is in a pennant race, you can enjoy the thrills and chills of the season’s home stretch. If your team isn’t so fortunate, you can at least have a look into the future as your organization opens the door for its most promising prospects.

As the calendar nears September 1st, here are some players in the Sox organization that we could see wearing the black and white pinstripes very soon:

Tim Anderson – SS – AA

It’s been known for quite some time now that Tim Anderson is the heir apparent to Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. As Father Time continues to tick, Anderson continues to develop in the minor leagues while Ramirez approaches his mid-30s in age. The Sox considered trading Ramirez this past off-season after the Cuban shortstop posted arguably the best season of his career, and how could you blame them for considering? Anderson is one of the organization’s highest rated prospects and what better time to trade a player than after a career year in his early 30s? The Sox failed to pull the trigger on trading Ramirez, however; and it was largely due to the fact that Anderson still had not reached a level of minor league ball higher than Single-A. But now, with the Sox all but out of the American League playoff picture, and Anderson tearing it up in Double-A, promoting the talented youngster to the big leagues seems imminent. In 117 games this year with the Birmingham Barons, Ramirez is hitting .311 with 20 doubles, 11 triples, and 46 stolen bases. Can you say “Jose Reyes”?

Francelis Montas – RHP – AA

Francelis “Frankie” Montas was a throw-in for the Sox in the July 2013 trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox and brought Avisail Garcia to the South Side. Considering Montas has touched 102 mph on the radar gun this season in the minors, that seems like a heck of a throw-in. Montas has been used as a starter at the Sox Double-A affiliate this year, and his numbers have been quite impressive. In 22 starts with the Barons, he has posted an ERA of 2.49 and is averaging just about one strikeout per inning. Opposing batters are hitting just .212 off of the hard-throwing right-hander on the year. If he gets called up next week, the Sox will likely place him in the bullpen, although the possibility of a few spot starts before the season is over could also be in the cards. The day could be coming very soon that the Sox begin to become desperate for a right-handed starter, and Montas could be the guy.

Micah Johnson – 2B – AAA

Plenty of you probably know of Micah Johnson by now. He was the story of Spring Training this year. He did so well, in fact, that he was able to win the starting job for the Sox at 2nd base over veterans like Emilio Bonifacio and Gordan Beckham who the team just signed as free agents. Johnson was with the big league team for about one month before being demoted to Triple-A. It was a move that was questioned by many Sox fans, including myself, since Johnson was hitting .270 at the time of his demotion. The Sox decided to call up Carlos Sanchez to replace Johnson, and ultimately decided to sacrifice hitting and baserunning for defense. Johnson has responded to the demotion very well thus far, as he is currently hitting .328 in 66 games with the Charlotte Knights while also swiping 26 bases.

Erik Johnson – RHP – AAA

Erik Johnson’s career has already been quite the rollercoaster ride, and he is still just 25 years old. He has already been considered the best pitching prospect in the Sox organization, lost that label, and then worked his way back up be considered a promising young arm again. His Major League debut came two years ago as a September call-up in the 2013 season. He performed well enough in both that stint and the following Spring Training to earn a spot in the team’s big league rotation to start the 2014 season. After just five starts, he was sent down to Triple-A where he continued to struggle for the rest of 2014. But this year has been quite the different story for Johnson in Triple-A. In 21 starts with the Knights, he has posted a team-leading 2.38 ERA while averaging greater than one strikeout per inning and less than one walk per three innings. Johnson may be receiving a second chance in the big leagues very soon.

Carson Fulmer – RHP – A

It is probably a stretch to think that Carson Fulmer will see time in the big leagues this season, but it’s not totally out of the question either. Working against Fulmer’s chances of a promotion is the fact that the Sox likely aren’t heading to the playoffs this year, and the fact that he has only been playing professional baseball for two months isn’t helping either. Working in Fulmer’s favor, much like Frankie Montas’ favor, is the fact that the Sox could be in desperate need of a right-handed starter very soon. The Sox only have one of them as we speak (Jeff Samardzija), and he isn’t even under contract next year. Fulmer was selected by the Sox with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft, so you know that they wont want to rush him to the big leagues if it will affect his development. Carlos Rodon, who was taken 3rd overall by the Sox last year, had to wait until his 2nd season of professional ball to make it to the big leagues.