National League Prospects Who Could Get Called Up Soon

Among the top prospects in the National League, there is a list of guys who have shown they are ready to make a big league impact very soon.

Paul Skenes
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 14, 2024: Paul Skenes #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training Spring Breakout game against the Baltimore Orioles at LECOM Park on March 14, 2024 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

The early part of the season often correlates with a lot of roster shuffling as teams work to figure out their core that will take them to the next level. A complicated aspect of that sorting out process is determining when to call upon top prospects.

Our prospects podcast, The Call Up, recently broke down a variety of prospects who should make their way to the MLB level in the near future. We decided to discuss those players in written format, and teams have moved quickly in recent weeks.

In the process of writing this series on prospects who deserve a call up, numerous players have been called up by their respective organizations. Our American League article was set to feature a few players that received a call up recently and this one was going to include Rockies prospect Jordan Beck.

Beck got off to an excellent start to the year with a .999 OPS through 25 Triple-A games and is now set to make an impact in Colorado. He’ll be given a shot to earn a starting role moving forward for the Rockies in the coming weeks.

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Despite some being called up, there are still a fair amount of players that we believe should get a shot at the highest level sooner than later. Here are some top prospects who should be on an MLB roster soon.


Paul Skenes (Pirates)

Season Stats: 6 GS, 23.0 IP, 0.39 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 41 SO

There is little left Paul Skenes can do to show he is ready for the big leagues. He’s been untouchable so far in Triple-A this season, striking out 51.5% of batters that he’s faced.

It seems the one thing holding back the 21-year-old from a promotion is the Pirates’ caution in stretching him out. Skenes has totaled only 23 innings this season, but he reached six innings in his last start, potentially signaling that he’s reached a full build up.

With his fastball that reaches 102 and his filthy slider, Skenes is the best pitching prospect in the game by many accounts. He’s been working in some interesting extra pitches as well, with both a high-80s changeup and a mid-90s splinker being thrown this year. However he rounds out his repertoire, he will be fun to watch once he reaches the Majors, and he could arrive at any time.

Last year’s No. 1 overall pick entered this season as Just Baseball’s No. 9 overall prospect and has looked all of the part so far. Whenever the Pirates decide the time is right, Skenes will be an immediate impact arm at the Major League level.

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Christian Scott (Mets)

Season Stats: 5 GS, 25.1 IP, 3.20 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 36 SO

After a massive breakout season in 2023, Christian Scott entered this year as the most obvious Mets prospect set to make starts eventually.

In 87.2 innings last year, Scott struck out 107 batters and walked just 12 while maintaining a 2.57 ERA. His blend of inducing whiffs and attacking the zone simultaneously makes him an impressive pitcher and one that is ready for the next level.

This season, Scott has gotten fairly unlucky by allowing more home runs in five starts than he did in 19 starts last year. Aside from the home runs, he has been excellent with a 36 strikeouts in comparison to six walks and just 12 total hits allowed.

New York is off to a solid start despite facing injuries in their rotation and elsewhere. While they’ve held it together for now, their rotation could get a massive boost with the addition of Scott soon. He could very quickly become one of their better starters and luck in terms of home runs should swing his way in the near future.

Mason Black (Giants)

Season Stats: 5 GS, 22.2 IP, 1.19 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 25 SO

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The top of the Giants rotation is set in place with Logan Webb, Jordan Hicks, Kyle Harrison, and Blake Snell (who is on the IL right now), but they don’t have someone that has truly locked down the fifth spot.

Especially with Snell on the shelf, the Giants should consider looking towards Mason Black. He does not have elite stuff, but Black is consistent which makes for a great back-of-the-rotation starter.

He was very consistent last year in 29 starts between Double-A and Triple-A despite some command problems and has taken his game up another notch this year while pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He has walked just five batters in five starts while allowing just one home run and minimal hard contact.

Black looks more refined this season and appears to be ready for MLB after a total of 18 starts in Triple-A. Especially for now with Snell out, Black should get a shot in the San Francisco rotation in the near future.

Sem Robberse (Cardinals)

Season Stats: 5 GS, 29.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 29 SO

The Cardinals have had a lackluster start to the year, especially when it comes to the depth in their starting rotation. They still remain within five games of the NL Central leading Brewers and, with some help from their minor league system, could still end up playing competitive games down the stretch.

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Right-hander Sem Robberse has clearly positioned himself as the next man up in St. Louis. He was acquired by the Cardinals from Toronto in the Jordan Hicks deal last year and struggled with walks in his first Triple-A stint, but a large improvement in command has fueled early success for him this year. Through five starts, Robberse has a sub-2.00 ERA and a 20.5 K-BB%.

Robberse, who entered the season as Just Baseball’s No. 11 Cardinals prospect, has good secondary stuff in his curveball and changeup. He has managed to contain the damage against his fastball much better this year than last, which was a key in his development.

For St. Louis, Steven Matz is likely the pitcher who would have to get bumped from the rotation for a Robberse promotion. Although Matz is only in the third year of his 4-year, $44M contract, his production has not justified his chunk of the payroll.

With the Cardinals looking to turn their early-season rotation struggles around, the 22-year-old Robberse has a solid chance of making his Major League debut soon.

Carson Palmquist (Rockies)

Season Stats: 4 GS, 22.0 IP, 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 32 SO

It has been some time since the Rockies have been able to develop pitching in their farm system. Now, after a few years of drafting and development, they find themselves with multiple arms that look as if they can be strong producers for them at the Major League level.

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By this point, you likely know the names of Chase Dollander and Sean Sullivan but let’s now go ahead and add left-handed pitcher Carson Palmquist who, even though he might be flying under the radar, may be pitching his way into consideration for a call up sooner rather than later.

In a recent article that you can find on Just Baseball, Aram highlighted what Palmquist has done this year in his latest edition of the Pitching Prospect Roundup series he has started. Coming into April 30th, Palmquist ranks third in all of Double-A competition in Called Strikes + Whiffs (CSW) with a 37.4% CSW.

Since being drafted by the Rockies in the third round of the 2022 Amateur Draft out of Miami, Carson Palmquist has continued to produce at a consistent level across all stats, including inducing strikeouts a above 12 K/9 at every level he has pitched. Since his debut in professional baseball, Palmquist has been able to add a change-up to his pitching repertoire that consisted of an above-average fastball/slider combination.

Should Palmquist continue to show he can pitch at a high level, he finds himself in a perfect organization to get the opportunity to make his debut during the 2024 season.

Hurston Waldrep (Braves)

Season Stats: 4 GS, 19.0 IP, 5.68 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 17 SO

A rational mind would assume the 19-9 Braves can’t possibly have more young talent to draw upon. However, right-hander Hurston Waldrep has all the makings of an impact player that could reach the Majors sometime soon.

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The Braves snagged Waldrep with the No. 24 pick in last year’s draft, and he immediately proved the pick as a good one by rocketing through the lower minor leagues. He wound up with a 1.53 ERA in eight starts spread out all the way from Single-A to Triple-A. He was sent back to Double-A to begin 2024, where his first two starts were rocky but he has looked more like himself since.

Waldrep has a devastating splitter that is the best pitch in a deep arsenal of solid pitches. He entered the season as Just Baseball’s No. 100 overall prospect and was widely viewed as a nearly MLB ready arm. Limiting walks is an important focus for Waldrep as he tries to break through to the Majors.

The path within the organization is slightly more obscured for Waldrep than some of the other names in this article. Atlanta recalled 2023 All-Star Bryce Elder last week and he holds the No. 5 rotation spot as things currently stand. However, if any injury were to happen or if Elder regresses from his quality first two starts, Waldrep could be seen as the next man up.

If he gets back on track pitching like he did last year, Waldrep is one of the better arms in minor league baseball. The Braves have little to lose with bringing up the 22-year-old, and it is possible that he becomes a part of their push for a World Series trophy sometime soon.


James Wood (Nationals)

Season Stats: .326/.434/.484, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .158 ISO, 144 wRC+

A slightly more optimistic answer, James Wood has only played 23 games in Triple-A, but he has looked great. He was excellent in spring training as well, where he hit four homers. The Nats could call up the 6-foot-7 center fielder and allow him to adjust to the Majors on a team that won’t be under much pressure to win down the stretch.

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Wood has a 147 wRC+ so far this season. His strikeout rate is just 22.2%, which is a more than 10% decrease from last season. There isn’t much in terms of center field competition in the Majors for Washington, which would allow Wood to step in with a clear runway.

Power is the calling card of Wood’s game, with his hit tool having provided issues in the past. He may have turned a corner there given his whiff improvements so far this year, although his power production has been slightly down as well. Wood also has good speed and has stolen seven bases already this season.

The Nationals are truly beginning to reap the benefits of the Juan Soto deal with C.J. Abrams and MacKenzie Gore in the midst of breakout seasons in the Majors and Wood on the verge of joining them. They could add even more explosive young talent to their lineup by bringing him up, and the 21-year-old seems ready to handle the challenge.

Tyler Black (Brewers)

Season Stats: .303/.393/.525, 5 HR, 18 RBI, .222 ISO, 136 wRC+

We have reached a Joey Loperfido-like situation with the Milwaukee Brewers and the need to promote Tyler Black up from Triple-A Nashville.

After losing out to Jake Bauers in Spring Training for a spot on the Opening Day roster, Black has done nothing but prove to the Brewers Front Office that he was deserving of the opportunity at the time.

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Likely the more underrated aspect of Tyler Black’s game is his knowledge of the strike zone, which shows in his 0.81 BB/K rate, striking out at a low 13.7% and walking at almost the same rate at 11.1%. The biggest improvement from 2023 to 2024 was the lowering of the ground ball rate. Last season, he was hitting a ground ball at 50.8%, compared to the 34.1% he is this year. Coinciding with that, he has been able to improve his home run to fly ball rate that is allowing for him to tap into more power and continue to accumulate extra base hits as a result.

Jake Bauers has not done anything to justify holding Tyler Black down in Nashville any longer. With Rhys Hoskins sitting comfortably in the DH role, it should be a 1-in-1 flip with Bauers and Black on the Major League roster.