Top September Call-Ups: American League East
This is the first part in a six-part series where we breakdown each team's top 2011 September call-up. Links to other divisions can be found here.
Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton
Though Baltimore got off to a hot start this season, the Orioles have since fallen off the competitive map and out of contention. A key September call-up collectors will want to watch for is Zach Britton. Yes, the pitcher has struggled at times this season. However, he has won each of his last three starts while giving up only a trio of runs. Prospectors can still add the young pitcher to their collection relatively cheaply.
Boston Red Sox: Ryan Lavarnway
Currently right behind the Yankees, the Red Sox still stand a great chance of winning the AL Wild Card spot, even if they can't overtake New York. Of course, Boston will still do everything they can to pass their rivals and take the bragging right that come with a division title. The call-up to watch in Boston is catcher Ryan Lavarnway. Like the Yankees' Jesus Montero, Lavarnway will likely help the Red Sox primarily as a designated hitter, although a few spot appearances behind the plate should also be expected. The 24-year-old has already seen some time with Red Sox this season and made an offensive impact. With Boston, Lavarnway is hitting over .300 and has an on-base percentage above .400.
New York Yankees: Jesus Montero
With just a small lead in the American League East, the Yankees called up catcher Jesus Montero, hoping he'd add a little pop to their lineup. Though Montero didn't have a strong start to the season at Triple-A, the Venezuelan backstop began to heat up just in time to get the promotion. Montero's primary role with the Yankees will be as a designated hitter, although he could get some starts behind the plate to relieve Russell Martin. Montero made a huge early impression, knocking out two home runs on September 5 in an 11-10 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
JESUS MONTERO 2012 TOPPS CHROME ROOKIE AUTO
JESUS MONTERO 2012 TOPPS GOLDEN MOMENTS AUTOGRAPH AUTO
Jesus Montero #63 Single Signed Selig Baseball Hologram
Jesus Montero 2013 Topps Chrome Blue Sapphire 199!! Mariners!
Tampa Bay Rays: Desmond Jennings
The Rays have gone through a transition year in 2011 and find themselves well out of first place. Tampa Bay fans may not have many meaningful baseball games this month, but that doesn't mean they have nothing to look forward to. Some believe that Tampa has the perfect replacement for Carl Crawford in 24-year-old Desmond Jennings. The speedy outfielder demands attention on the base paths.
- 2008 Donruss Threads Autographs Desmond Jennings (/749)
- 2011 Bowman Chrome Autographs Desmond Jennings
Toronto Blue Jays: David Cooper
This year, the Blue Jays aren't contenders. But beyond 2011, fans can look forward to seeing the franchise's wealth of young talent get big league experience. With most of the team's top prospects already playing in Toronto, there aren't many well-known names still waiting in the wings, especially with the late-summer surge of Brett Lawrie. Collectors can keep an eye on David Cooper, who has already had a small taste of the majors. Cooper hit well in Triple-A, but now he will have to do better than the .121 average he had in his first 13 MLB games.