Baltimore Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday, the undisputed top prospect in baseball, is performing well in Double-A, and suddenly there's plenty of chatter about his big league debut.
While some top prospects go straight from that level to the big leagues (Nolan Schanuel, the Los Angeles Angels' first pick in this year's draft, debuted last week), that's probably not happening for Holliday this year.
But thanks to a rule in the new collective bargaining agreement that incentivizes teams to take the plunge and call up their best young players (and discourages them from service time manipulation), nine top prospects did make the jump to the big leagues last week. The change: If the eventual Rookie of the Year was on a club's Opening Day roster, the team gets a compensation pick at the end of the first round of the next year's draft. Last week was the earliest time a club could call a player up for good and not lose his 2024 ROY eligibility, so we saw Schanuel, Masyn Winn, Kyle Harrison, Noelvi Marte, Everson Pereira, Hunter Goodman, Lyon Richardson (who made a one-day MLB debut earlier in August), Parker Meadows and Wilyer Abreu all called up within a few days of each other.
For most of these guys, a 2023 call-up is just an extended warmup for a hopeful 2024 ROY campaign -- and MLB rosters expand to 28 players on Sept. 1, so teams will have two more spots to experiment with. Not all of those spots will go to prospects, but some certainly will, so let's break down the players who could have real short-term potential in the last month of the season -- and enough long-term ROY potential to justify the early reps.