Today is September 1, which means rosters can be expanded to include anyone on a team’s 40-man roster. With that in mind, we should see plenty of prospects and minor league veterans added to rosters over the next couple of days. We likely aren’t going to see big names like Dylan Bundy, Billy Hamilton and Wil Myers this month, but the Rangers are calling up Jurickson Profar, who is widely regarded the game’s top position prospect.
Bryce Harper was previously the youngest player in the big leagues, but that title now goes to Profar, who is four months younger and doesn’t turn 20 until next February. Yes, we have 1993 birthdays in MLB now. Try not to get too depressed by that.
Profar, a 6-foot-0 switch-hitter, batted .281/.368/.452 with 14 home runs, 62 RBI, 16 stolen bases and an .820 OPS in 126 games this season with Double-A Frisco. The Curacao native is blocked by Elvis Andrus at shortstop and by Ian Kinsler at second base, so he’s expected to serve as a backup middle infielder down the stretch and possibly during the postseason. But hey, at least Mike Olt has someone to hang out with on the bench.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.