5 AAA Starters Who Could Be Up Soon

We are entering the dog days of the season and this season is of course particularly unique because we’re coming off the pandemic year. The dog days could hit harder than normal and have teams pushing hard for reinforcements to ensure their major league arms can get to the finish line of the regular season and beyond if they are contenders. Here are five guys who be called up (or back up) to make a late-season impact.

Joe Ryan | MIN – 35% K, 5% BB, 3.63 ERA, 0.79 WHIP in 57 IP

Ryan was in the Nelson Cruz deal and though the Twins are toast for the year, they should still consider giving the 25-year-old righty a look soon. Brilliant command of his fastball has fueled elite K%-BB% all the way up the minor league ladder along with being a bit old for each level, too. He fared pretty well for Team USA in the Olympics, too, with 10 K and 1 BB in 4.7 IP. It’s time to see if this heater is going to find MLB success and if they turn him loose, he could be a nice SP pickup in a lot of formats.

Aaron Ashby | MIL – 36% K, 12% BB, 4.48 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in 62.3 IP

Ashby made his debut earlier this year and it didn’t go well, allowing seven runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks while getting just two outs. He struggled in his first two outings back in Triple-A after the debut, but then settled down with a 2.08 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 38 K, and 6 BB in 21.7 IP. He is actually back today (Tuesday, August 10th) for the doubleheader against the Cubs and could be a key piece to helping Milwaukee rest the three aces down the stretch. This is a volatile profile, but the huge strikeout ability gives him some real upside.

Shane Baz | TBR – 36% K, 9% BB, 1.96 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in 23 IP

Baz was excellent in Triple-A before heading off to the Olympics with Team USA. He was even better in 32.7 IP at Double-A before that promotion, too. My concerns are that he is just 22 years old with some relief risk in his profile that could see the Rays putting him in that role upon arrival this year. They could even just end his season once the Durham Bulls wrap up since he is so young and can probably finish up with around ~65 IP depending when he returns from Tokyo.

Jackson Kowar | KCR – 35% K, 10% BB, 2.71 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 63 IP

A rough start to his MLB career saw finish just two innings in his first two starts as he allowed eight earned on eight hits and five walks. He has been a strikeout machine in Triple-A, including a 36% mark since his return in mid-June. The walks have surged in his last two outings with nine across eight innings, but he had a solid 8% mark before those two starts. The tough part with the guys like Kowar whose MLB teams are toast is that they could just be shelved due to innings limits. You should be waiting for Kowar to get the call before speculating anyway so the fact that he could be limited shouldn’t impact fantasy moves.

Hunter Greene | CIN – 32% K, 9% BB, 3.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 44.7 IP at AAA

Threw him in as a wildcard, but if the Reds called up the 21-year-old, it would likely be as a reliever. He missed all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John and then of course had to work at the alt site last year so it has been a while since we have seen him in pro games. He is making his mark in a two-level season that included seven dominant starts at Double-A (1.98 ERA/1.00 WHIP in 41 IP) before his jump to Triple-A.

He was a little bumpy initially, allowing 4 runs in three of his first four outings there, but since then he has put together a 1.98 ERA/1.03 WHIP in 27.3 IP with 37 strikeouts and 7 walks. The #2 pick from 2017 is showing that his upside remains sky-high, and we could see his MLB career down the stretch for the contending Reds.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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2 years ago

Edward Cabrera!