The Year Of The Call-Up

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It’s a helluva time to be a prospect buff.

Every year a wave of top prospects arrive in the majors, but this season’s crop was particularly strong and has been arriving in the majors at a particularly rapid pace recently. It’s been very exciting.

Nine of the top dozen prospects on Baseball America’s preseason list have already been called up and it’s only mid-June.

No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant of the Cubs and No. 8 prospect Joc Pederson of the Dodgers are fighting each other for the NL Rookie of the Year award. No. 3 prospect Addison Russell and No. 12 prospect Jorge Soler have also been everyday players for the Cubs, playing big roles in Chicago’s turnaround, and No. 11 prospect Noah Syndergaard is entrenched in the Mets’ starting rotation.

And within the past two weeks No. 2 prospect Byron Buxton of the Twins, No. 4 prospect Carlos Correa of the Astros, No. 6 prospect Joey Gallo of the Rangers, and No. 9 prospect Francisco Lindor of the Indians have all been promoted to the big leagues for the first time. Buxton and Lindor both made their MLB debuts Sunday (and Buxton did so in a game that featured Gallo’s fourth homer in 11 games).

That leaves the Dodgers’ duo of No. 5 prospect Corey Seager and No. 10 prospect Julio Urias, plus No. 7 prospect Lucas Giolito of the Nationals as the only members of Baseball America’s top-12 prospects coming into the season who’ve not yet been called up to the big leagues. And based on Seager’s strong performance in the minors and Jimmy Rollins’ weak performance for the Dodgers his call-up could be right around the corner.

Not all of these guys will go on to become stars and some will probably become flat-out busts, just because that’s how top prospects tend to work, but the wave of young, high-upside talent arriving in the majors already this season is pretty spectacular.

Fan hit by foul ball during Sunday’s Rockies-Dodgers game

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Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.

After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”

Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]

Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”