Each week we pick the hitting prospect and pitching prospect from each level (AAA, AA, High-A, Low-A) who, in our opinion, had the best week. We are always on the lookout for candidates, so tweet us (@Prospects1500 or @PhilOfSports) when you see a great performance.
This week we’d like to give a shout-out to Chip Bourne (@ccbournejr) who compiles weekly MiLB stats on his site, which we use to help compile our POTW list: ultrad.dyndns-ip.com/MiLB/MiLBStatsHittersThisWeek.html
Here are our Prospects of the Week for the week of June 5 – June 11, 2017:
Hitter: Ryan Cordell (Brewers #22)
CF – Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Another piece that the Brewers received from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade, Cordell blistered 4 home runs for the Sky Sox this week. Cordell hit safely in 6 of the 7 games he played in, finishing the week with a .384 batting average and an .884 slugging percentage. Cordell also stole a base on June 9 against Iowa. Cordell’s had some issues with striking out this season (48 Ks in 221 ABs), but his power and contact profile bears watching for dynasty owners. He went 6-for-9 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the Sky Sox doubleheader on June 10. Not bad for a day’s work.
Pitcher: Nik Turley (Twins – unranked)
LHP – Rochester Red Wings
Probably too old (27) to include on most prospect lists, Turley posted a crazy performance on June 6 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Turley struck out an incredible 15 batters in only 6 innings of work. He allowed 4 hits and 2 walks on the night, but he did not allow a run to score. Turley has his off-speed pitches working wonders lately, and 14 of the 15 strikeouts he recorded on the night were swinging strikeouts. Turley capped off his big week by getting called up by the Twins to start against the Giants on June 11, where he got shelled, giving up 4 runs in 4 innings.
Hitter: Francisco Mejia (Prospects1500 overall #32, Indians #1)
C – Akron RubberDucks
Cleveland’s top prospect lit up the Eastern League this week. Mejia had multiple hits in every game this week, including 4-hit games on June 7 at Portland and June 11 at New Hampshire. Mejia launched 5 home runs en route to a 1.333 SLG % for the week. Mejia also raked to the tune of a .555 batting average. His best game of the week came on June 7 against Portland, when Mejia went 4-for-5 with a walk, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 6 runs batted in. His OPS on the season is now up to an impressive 1.043. Time for a call-up?
Pitcher: Spencer Adams (White Sox #12)
RHP – Birmingham Barons
Birmingham has a solid rotation this season, with Michael Kopech, Jordan Guerrero, and now Jordan Stephens who is back from injury. However, it was Spencer Adams who had the best week out of any of them, throwing a “Maddux” on Friday night. Adams cruised to a win against Mobile at home on Friday night. Adams allowed three-hits and a walk in a 9 inning shutout, while striking out 8. Adams was super-efficient, only throwing 96 pitches in the 2 hour, 11 minute outing.
Hitter: Brendan Rodgers (Prospects1500 overall #8, Rockies #1)
SS – Lancaster JetHawks
Rodgers is another top-ranked P1500 hitter who had a great week for his club. His advanced hitting approach landed him in the 1st round in the 2015 draft, and he hasn’t disappointed upon turning pro. This week, Rodgers registered a hit in every game he played, including a fantastic 5-hit performance against Inland Empire on June 9, in a game where he also added 3 runs, a home run, and 2 runs batted in to his season totals. For the week, Rodgers hit an impressive .416, bringing his season average up to .402. His California League OPS this season is now 1.129, tops in the league by a large margin. Not bad for a 20-year old.
Pitcher: Triston McKenzie (Prospects1500 overall #56, Indians #2)
RHP – Lynchburg Hillcats
Indians fans were spoiled this week, as both of their top prospects (Mejia, McKenzie) shone brightly en route to earning Prospect of the Week honors. McKenzie spun a gem of a start on June 8 against the Frederick Keys. McKenzie racked up 13 strikeouts in 7 innings of work, only allowing 1 run on 2 hits. And both of the hits against McKenzie came courtesy of Frederick’s Austin Hays, who is familiar to POTW readers as he has been completely on fire this season. McKenzie now leads the Carolina League with 84 strikeouts, and his season line is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Hitter: Ronnie Gideon (Brewers – unranked)
1B – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Milwaukee’s unsung 23rd-round draft pick last season out of Texas A&M, Gideon surprised this week with an excellent hitting performance for the Timber Rattlers. Gideon hit safely in every game this week en route to a 7-for-17 hitting performance. Gideon flashed some power, launching 2 home runs and driving in 5. Gideon also posted an impressive 1.153 slugging % for the week.
Pitcher: Ranger Suarez (Phillies #43)
LHP – Lakewood BlueClaws
Suarez has baffled Sally League hitters all season. On June 6, it was the Kannapolis Intimidators turn to be stifled. Suarez pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, but didn’t pick up the win in a game that finished in a 16-inning Kannapolis victory. Suarez racked up 9 strikeouts in those 7 innings, only giving up 1 walk and 2 hits, throwing 62 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Suarez is an under-the-radar prospect, but he’s now 4-1 in 10 starts with a 1.72 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 69:18 K:BB ratio on the season.
Article featured image – 2017 Bowman Chrome Green Refractor Triston McKenzie autograph, courtesy Scott Greene (@Scotty_Ballgame)