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April 13, 2012

The Call-Up

Carpenter, Crawford, Dyson

by Kevin Goldstein

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The situation: With a bullpen that has been busy and Scott Downs getting spiked in Thursday's ugly loss to the Twins, the Angels bolstered their relief corps Friday by adding Carpenter, who will be making his major league debut.
Background: A ninth-round pick in 2009 out of a Texas junior college, Carpenter has spent his entire professional career as a reliever, putting up a career 1.73 ERA, and putting himself on the prospect map in 2011 with a miniscule 0.57 mark in 44 games split between High- and Double-A.

What he can do: Carpenter is a ground ball machine; his low-90s fastball features some of the best sink you'll find in the minors. It's far and away his best pitch, though he'll mix in a decent slider to keep hitters en garde.
Immediate big league future: There's no reason Carpenter can't find immediate success in the big leagues due to his ability to throw strikes and keep the ball out of the air.
Long-term: Carpenter should have a successful career as a reliever, but his projection ends in the seventh inning. In other words, he just doesn't have the kind of stuff to earn save opportunities.
 
The situation: With Lorenzo Cain (groin) landing on the disabled list, the Royals needed some outfield depth, particularly someone who can play center field. After playing 44 big league games over the past two years, Dyson was the obvious choice, and he was off to a hot start at Triple-A Omaha, batting .364 in seven games, with six stolen bases.
Background: A 50th-round pick (1,475th overall) in the 2006 draft, Dyson was drafted for his speed, as he's a true burner who earns a top-of-the-scale 80 scouting score in speed. In 395 minor league games, he's a career .280 hitter with 175 stolen bases.
What he can do: Dyson's wheels make him a base-stealing threat and give him tremendous range in center field, but his offense limits him to fourth-outfielder status. He has no power to speak of, with four career home runs in six seasons, and he lacks a leadoff man's approach.
Immediate big league future: Dyson might be a nice short-term fantasy pickup, as he's expected to be the club's primary leadoff hitter and center fielder until Cain returns. When he does get to first base, he's a threat to run, and could pick up 4-6 stolen bases over the next two weeks.
Long-term: Dyson likely will head back to Omaha when Cain returns, and his future is as a bench player. His ability to run will always give him at least some fantasy value.
 
The situation: After earning a save for the Blue Jays on Wednesday, closer Sergio Santos left the team for the impending birth of his child, leading to Crawford's first call-up to the big leagues.
Background: An eighth-round pick in 2008 out of Auburn, Crawford moved to the bullpen full-time in 2011 and had his best season, with a 3.35 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 45 appearances (51 innings).
What he can do: Crawford's plus curveball has always been his bread-and-butter pitch, but he has added some oomph to his heavy fastball, which now sits in the low 90s and can touch 94. While his control has improved during his minor league ascension, it remains no more than average.
Immediate big league future: Crawford is just an emergency arm on an as-needed basis, and likely will be sent back down early next week when Santos returns. This is basically a reward for an excellent spring in which he fired four hitless innings with the big league club.
Long-term: Crawford has the potential to be more than just a situational reliever, but he'll likely never be a closer.
 
A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider Insider.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  Jarrod Dyson

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