The Houston Astros should call up these two prospects next month, but the die could already be cast for September roster spots.
Having only two roster spots for September call-up spots leaves a lot less mystery as to who will make the list, as opposed to a few years ago when MLB rosters would expand all the way to 40 in the season’s final month. The Houston Astros have had several players bounce between AAA-Sugar Land and Houston this season, so the likelihood of those two roster spots going to a player that hasn’t played in the big leagues this year is slim.
The two players that the Astros will most likely call up are J.J. Matijevic and Parker Mushinski. Matijevic is already with the team, but he wouldn’t be if Aledmys Diaz was healthy. There could also be consideration for pitcher Brandon Bielak as he has made four appearances for the Astros this season. Bielak has sported a 3.48 ERA over 10.1 innings with the Astros this year, giving up a total of four runs.
J.J. Matijevic, despite resounding success at AAA, has struggled so far for the Astros, slashing a meager .189/.246/.340 with a .585 OPS, 2 HR, and 4 RBI. Parker Mushinski, on the other hand, has a 3.68 ERA with 3 runs given up over 7.1 innings, and more importantly he adds another southpaw to the bullpen. These candidates are unsurprising but who really should be the Astros September call ups?
Top prospect Hunter Brown has undoubtedly deserved a call up to the big leagues for the Astros for a while. His 99-100 MPH fastball is reason enough but Brown has dominated AAA this season, sitting at 7-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 20 appearances (13 starts). He has been a powerhouse pitcher, striking out 118 over 91 innings, and is sporting his best WHIP of his professional career at 1.124. To put the exclamation point on why he should be called up, his HR/9 sits at an uncanny 0.3 and he averages 6 hits per 9 innings. Hunter Brown needs to be one of the guys filling that September call-up, and it would be an easy decision if there were more roster spots available.
Corey Julks should be the next man up on the list for a September call-up. Julks’ versatility is one of his best assets as he has played 32 games at third base, 22 in left field, 4 in center, and 30 in right this year. He is slashing .258/.345/.492 with an OPS of .837, as well as 22 home runs and 55 RBI. The Astros could use his versatility and if he continues to develop into a big leaguer he could be a great utility guy off the bench when regulars need a rest day.
I can see him getting plenty of time in centerfield, left field, or third base. The Texas native and University of Houston product is not currently on the Astros 40 man roster, but changes could be made later this month to include him. I think Astros will wait until next season to add him to the 40-man but they should cut Niko Goodrum, who is in AAA and hit .116 in 15 games in the big leagues this year. Either way, I love Julks’ power and versatility, and he could have a good chance at making the roster next season depending any big off-season moves (i.e. – Brantley re-sign, signing another outfielder).