Knocking Down The Door: June 17, 2021

“Knocking Down The Door” is a weekly column highlighting minor leaguers who are making a case for a major league promotion. Listed below are the names of this week’s picks and the player’s team, age, level(s), prospect ranking, and last 10-14 days of statistics.

The analysis can be viewed in the embedded video of the previous day’s episode of The RosterResource Show, a weekly live stream focused on all things related to rosters, transactions, and RosterResource content at FanGraphs.

Jahmai Jones (23), 2B/OF, Triple-A Norfolk | Baltimore Orioles | Prospect Rank: 14 (organizational) | June 4-June 15: 12-for-28, 3 HR, 2 2B, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 3 SB

The closest the Orioles currently have to a “2B of the Near Future”, Jones should only be a few good weeks from getting an opportunity in the majors. And he’s in the midst of a hot streak that began when he returned to action after missing nearly a month with a strained oblique.

Kevin Smith (24), INF, Triple-A Buffalo | Toronto Blue Jays | Prospect Rank: 14 (organizational) | June 5-June 15: 13-for-32, 4 HR, 3 2B, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 8 K, 3 SB

There’s no path to playing time at shortstop or second base, but moving Cavan Biggio back to a super-utility role could allow the Jays to rotate hitters in the DH spot — Rowdy Tellez entered Thursday’s game with a 71 wRC+ — and possibly open up some at-bats at third base for Smith.

Andy Ibañez (28), 2B/3B, Triple-A Round Rock | Texas Rangers | Prospect Rank: n/a | June 5-June 15: 14-for-37, 3 HR, 6 2B, 3B, 16 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K

With Khris Davis out of the picture after he was released last week, the Rangers should have some at-bats available for a DH who can hit lefties. Ibañez’s first MLB stint in May didn’t go well, likely because he hadn’t been playing in official games while waiting for the MiLB season to begin. And then he only got a handful of starts to prove himself at the major league level. Since being sent to Triple-A, the 28-year-old Cuban is doing everything he can to earn a second opportunity with nine hits in his last 15 at-bats. He’s also 13-for-29 with two homers and five doubles against left-handed pitchers.

Drew Rasmussen (25), RP, Triple-A Durham | Tampa Bay Rays | Prospect Rank: n/a | June 1-June 16: 8.1 IP, 0 R, 3 H,  BB, 17 K

The Rays could be without ace Tyler Glasnow for a while after he was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament. It’s impossible to replace his production in the rotation, but adding another dominant arm to the bullpen could help some. Rasmussen, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the Wily Adames trade, could be that dominant arm. In addition to a 6.1 scoreless innings streak out of the Brewers’ bullpen at the time of the trade, the 25-year-old now has 11.1 scoreless innings for Triple-A Durham with two walks and 23 strikeouts.

Tylor Megill (25), SP, Triple-A Syracuse | New York Mets | Prospect Rank: 23 (organizational) | June 4-June 11: 9.1 IP, 3 ER  6 H, 4 BB, 11 K

Jacob deGrom’s latest injury only strengthens Megill’s chances of making his MLB debut in the near future. In his second start since a promotion to Triple-A, the 25-year-old allowed one run on two hits in 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts. He now has a 3.06 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 35.1 innings between Triple-A and Double-A, putting him in a good spot to be the next starting pitcher in line if the Mets look to their farm system for help.

 

This week’s “Knocking Down The Door” segment was cut into two different clips for some reason. The first is embedded below. The second half can be found HERE.

 





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Nathan
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Nathan

I appreciate the time taken to write this up as opposed to only video.