Why a Junior Caminero call-up should happen in the 2024 season

With the Tampa Bay Rays still hanging right around .500 heading into the All-Star break, they will need an edge in the second half of the season to set their course towards a Wild Card spot. Junior Caminero could be the missing piece.
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The MLB All-Star break is fast approaching, which brings an end to the first half of the season (even though the Rays have played well over 81 total games). As it stands, Tampa Bay will find themselves right around .500 when the bell tolls and fighting to get back to contention for a Wild Card spot in order to make their sixth straight postseason trip.

However, the team has sat on the outside looking in for the majority of the 2024 season. A spark may be needed for a team that needs to compete hard in a division that has three teams ahead of them in position to take postseason spots as well. The answer may very well come from Tampa Bay's own farm system.

Junior Caminero currently ranks third MLB Pipeline's latest top 100 update. He currently is undergoing a rehab assignment with Tampa Bay's Florida Complex League affiliate. In his first game back, he was able to launch a home run.

Tampa Bay Rays top prospect Junior Caminero returns with a vengeance

Obviously it is going to take more than one game to get Caminero back up to speed, but the timetable indicates that he can get back to full health a little bit after the MLB All-Star break. This would be the perfect time to call him up.

The infield prospect got the opportunity briefly in the 2023 season and had 34 at-bats in seven games, recording eight hits with a home run and seven RBI. His impact kept the Rays well within the postseason seeding, and he helped lead them to a Wild Card matchup with the Texas Rangers.

Grant it, Caminero's 2024 minor league campaign has not been anything extraordinary. He is batting .261 and getting on base way less than he used to, but his 2024 season has been battered with injuries, like the quad issue he is recovering from currently in his rehab assignment.

Regardless, there very well could be moves made at the deadline that allow Caminero to make the jump or just repeat 2023, when he came in to get reps and fill out the Rays' infield depth. He has shown with .295+ batting seasons from 2021-2023 that he is ready to compete at the major league level. So, do not rule out the idea of him getting the call to play at Tropicana Field again in 2024.