- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
It may still feel like the season just started, but it's actually already a quarter over. Predictions about the season are safely in the rearview mirror, as teams now have large enough sample sizes to get an idea of what is working and what isn't.
The "Big Trade" is usually the headline-grabber when it comes to improving a team. While the blockbuster trades dominate the press, most in-season improvements have to be made internally. The player added may be a top prospect or merely a journeyman having a big season in the minors, but these moves can have as large an effect on a pennant race as adding the big star -- last year, Madison Bumgarner and Travis Wood were no smaller additions than Cliff Lee.
In that vein, here are 10 players, currently playing in the minors, who have real potential to improve the playoff chances of their parent clubs. For each player, I'm including their ZiPS Rest-of-Season projections (RoS), based on likely performance if the players were called up today.
Montero's not hitting as well as he did last year for Scranton and only has a .778 OPS for the month of May. But given the current situation with Jorge Posada -- even if he hadn't caused a fuss by not wanting to hit ninth, he remains a player hitting .165/.278/.349 who's turning 40 in a few months -- there's a definite need to get Montero into the mix in the near future. With Tampa Bay and Boston both rebounding from dismal starts, the Yankees may be forced to make a final decision on whether to get Montero in the lineup or trade him.
Dan Szymborksi examines 10 minor league players who, if called up, could increase their respective clubs chances of making the postseason.