Prospects of the Week: July 2 – July 8

Each week we pick the hitting and pitching prospects from each level (AAA, AA, A+, A, Short Season-A and Rookie league) who, in our opinion, had the best week. We’re always on the lookout for candidates, so tweet us (@Prospects1500@PaulTheMartin and @Scotty_Ballgame) when you see a great performance.

Martin picks his POTW hitters and pitchers for each level, while Greene presents other names at each level that are just as deserving of POTW honors. Enjoy, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for these prospects in your dynasty leagues.

AAA

Hitter: Forrestt Allday, OF (San Diego Padres, #N/A)
El Paso Chihuahuas (7 G, .600/.657/1.033, 18 H, 2 HR, 3B, 5 2B, 4 SB)

Allday is an older prospect, drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, who hasn’t been exciting despite having a decent approach at the plate. His career slash includes a .274 AVG and a .388 OBP, but only 5 HR and 42 SB in 1317 AB. This week he slaughtered the PCL by accumulating 18 hits, 2 HR, and 4 SB for a remarkable 7 games stretch. In his last 10, Allday raised his batting average from .230 to .323, and the 2 homers match his career high in a full season. It was a career-best performance that deserved recognition as one of our Prospects of the Week.

Scott Greene’s AAA Hitter: Taylor Ward, 3B (Los Angeles Angels, #13)
Salt Lake Bees (7 G, .615/.656/.769, 16 H, 4 2B, SB)

Pitcher: Justus Sheffield, LHP (New York Yankees, #3)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (2 GS, 2-0, 12.1 IP, 13:5 K:BB, 8 H, 2 ER, 13% SwStr%)

The left-handed Yankees prospect continues to push for a major league role. Sheffield celebrated the announcement of his Future’s Game start by tossing 12.1 dazzling innings this week. His walk rate combined with the strikeouts and lack of hits display the effective wildness of the breaking ball. The Yankees could use another arm in pinstripes at some point this season and Sheffield should get his shot. For now, he is making his name well-known throughout the ranks by posting these starts more consistently.

Greene’s AAA Pitcher: John Means, LHP (Baltimore Orioles, #37)
Norfolk Tides (2 GS, 1-0, 14 IP, 15:2 K:BB, 10 H, 2 ER, 15% SwStr%)

AA

Hitter: Cavan Biggio, 2B (Toronto Blue Jays, #OTHER NAMES)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (7 G, .286/.500/.762, 6 H, 3 HR, 2B, 2 SB, 9 BB)

The son of former major leaguer Craig Biggio continues to rake for the Fisher Cats. This week he showcased the impressive approach by taking 9 walks and getting on base 50% of the time. Biggio was able to steal 2 bags as well as mash a few homers to bring his season total to 19 HR and 11 SB. He is quickly rising prospect ranks with the .402 OBP and .549 SLG. It was a special performance by one of the biggest pop-up prospects of the year. Biggio has always had the tools and the pedigree but lacked the excitement that he’s showing over the last two seasons. The power proceeds to impress, and it has been awesome to watch his progression with the swing.

Greene’s AA Hitter: Trent Giambrone, 2B (Chicago Cubs, #N/A)
Tennessee Smokies (7 G, .346/.433/.808, 9 H, 3 HR, 3 2B, 4 SB, 11 RBI)

Pitcher: Bryse Wilson, RHP (Atlanta Braves, #14
Mississippi Braves (2 GS, 1-0, 13.1 IP, 16:1 K:BB, 0 ER, 9 H, 12% SwStr%)

Wilson is one of my favorite prospects in the minors. The high-school linebacker is a physical specimen on the mound, and that Hulk-ness came out on the mound this week. He struck out 16 batters to only 1 walk while leaving the opponents scoreless over 13.1 IP. These lineups included top prospects like Zack Collins, Luis Alexander Basabe, from the Chicago White Sox system, TJ Friedl, Jose Siri, and Shed Long, from the Cincinnati Reds system. It is nice to see him finally adjusting to AA because the first handful of starts have been quite rough. Hopefully, Wilson can piece together some more hot performances and win a promotion to go along with more of these awards.

Greene’s AA Pitcher: Nick Neidert, RHP (Miami Marlins, #6)
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (2 GS, 1-1, 16 IP, 15:2 K:BB, 13 H, ER, 8% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Matt Hall, LHP (Detroit Tigers, #19)
Erie Seawolves (2 GS, 2-0, 12.1 IP, 18:2 K:BB, 6 H, 0 ER, 19% SwStr%)

A+

Hitter: Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Boston Red Sox, #13)
Salem Red Sox (7 G, .481/.484/1.185, 13 H, 4 HR, 5 2B, 3B, 14 RBI)

If you’ve been around prospects for a while, you’re familiar with the name Bobby Dalbec. The once highly touted Red Sox prospect is still in the system, and still keeping himself somewhat relative with these performances. His season stats are more of the same, a lot of power and not a lot of plate discipline. His slugging percentage is improving as a 23-year-old in A+, including a massive 1.185 this week, but until he puts up some of these weeks at the higher levels, I am wary of the production. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic showing by Dalbec and deserves Prospect of the Week status.

Greene’s A+ Hitter: Wilson Garcia, 1B (Baltimore Orioles, #N/A)
Frederick Keys (7 G, .370/.393/.852, 10 H, 4 HR, 2B)

Honorable Mention: Max George, 2B (Colorado Rockies, #N/A)
Lancaster JetHawks (6 G, .353/.500/.882, 6 H, 3 HR, 2 SB)


Pitcher: Ian Anderson, RHP (Atlanta Braves, #6)
Florida Fire Frogs (2 GS, 1-0, 11 IP, 18:1 K:BB, 0 ER, 5 H, 14% SwStr%)

Would you look at that, another Atlanta Braves prospect tearing up the lower levels of the minors? It seems we have one of these names on the list every week, or multiple, but Anderson is no doubt deserving of this nod. The 20-year-old, 2016 Draft Pick tossed 11 scoreless innings with a devastating 18:1 K:BB. Opposing lineups did not stand a chance in these two starts and could only muster 5 total hits. Anderson has now lowered his ERA under 3.00 and has 94 K in 76 IP. He is another top Braves pitching arm to monitor constantly.

Greene’s A+ Pitcher: Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (Boston Red Sox, #18)
Salem Red Sox (2 GS, 2-0, 11.2 IP, 17:7 K:BB, 5 H, 0 ER, 15% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Eli Morgan, RHP (Cleveland Indians, #21)
Lynchburg Hillcats (2 GS, 12 IP, 14:1 K:BB, 7 H, ER, 16% SwStr%)

A

Hitter: Brewer Hicklen, OF (Kansas City Royals, #
Lexington Legends (7 G, .387/.444/.677, 12 H, 2 HR, 3 2B, 7 SB)

Hicklen has done nothing but hit since being chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round of the 2017 draft. Since his debut, the slash line is .313/.382/.528, and is showing much more power this season with the Legends. Being on a roster with Seuly Matias, Nick Pratto, and MJ Melendez will rightfully overshadow someone like Hicklen. However, the athletic, college wide receiver can steal bases and barrel the baseball, which is always a decent profile to monitor. So to Brewer Hicklen, thank you for mashing this week and putting yourself on my radar, as well as the radar of our readers.

Greene’s A Hitter: Chad Spanberger, 1B (Colorado Rockies, #20)
Ashville Tourists (6 G, .542/.538/1.083, 13 H, 3 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 2 SB)

Pitcher: Kirk McCarty, LHP (Cleveland Indians, #N/A)
Lake County Captains (2 GS, 1-1, 13.1 IP, 18:1 K:BB, ER, 6 H, 18% SwStr%)

Just as Ian Anderson is another interesting Atlanta Braves arm to follow, Kirk McCarty seems to be another boring Cleveland Indians pitcher to covet. He is simply a command and control college pitcher who doesn’t throw very hard, yet kept his walk rate under 2 BB/9 throughout his final season for Southern Miss. In his professional debut, McCarty is only waking about 7% of batters, which is higher than his previous samples but not high enough to worry. Plus, the strikeouts have come more naturally for the lefty. This week was a combination of what made him exciting coming out of school, and the changes he’s made in the swing-and-miss department since joining the Indians.

Greene’s A Pitcher: Mitchell Jordan, RHP (Oakland Athletics, #N/A)
Beloit Snappers (2 GS, 1-0, 11.2 IP, 15:3 K:BB, 8 H, ER, 20% SwStr%)

A-

Hitter: Gilberto Celestino, OF (Houston Astros, #12)
Tri-City ValleyCats (7 G, .393/.433/.786, 11 H, 3 HR, 2 2B, 5 SB)

The 19-year-old Dominican is stepping out of rookie ball for the first time this year, and loving what he sees. Celestino is slashing .322/.380/.489 with 13 total SB, 5 swipes this week alone. He is currently one of the hottest Tri-City ValleyCats and has 5 straight multi-hit games. His 6-game hitting streak includes 3 HR, 4 SB, and runs and RBI in each game. It is an incredible stretch for Celestino as he is making an impact as another tooled up Astros international prospect producing in lower levels of the minors.

Greene’s A- Hitter: Daniel Jipping, OF (Colorado Rockies, #49)
Boise Hawks (7 G, .348/.516/.739, 8 H, 3 HR, 5 SB)


Pitcher: Luis Oviedo, RHP (Cleveland Indians, #N/A)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (2 GS, 1-0, 12 IP, 13:2 K:BB, 0 ER, 9 H, 10% SwStr%)

To win this award two weeks in a row, you have to dominate everything you touch. Oviedo is doing that and then some for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The Venezuelan 19-year-old continues to showcase strikeout ability, control, and the ability to pitch into the 6th inning. He currently sits atop the NYPL leaderboards in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Oviedo has also allowed only 5 BB, 1 ER, and 14 hits in his first 28 IP outside of rookie ball. There is something special within this 6’4″ frame, and the Indians have an excellent development system to harness that upside.

Greene’s A- Pitcher: Luis Garcia, RHP (Houston Astros, #N/A)
Tri-City ValleyCats (GS, 5 IP, 10:1 K:BB, H, 0 ER, 22% SwStr%)

ROOKIE

Hitter: Tyler James, OF (Kansas City Royals, #N/A)
Idaho Falls Chukars (6 G, .385/.484/.423, 10 H, 2B, 13 SB, 0 CS)

James is a speedy prospect drafted in the 25th round last year out of William Carey University. “Speedy” may be putting it mildly for the Kansas City Royal project. James was able to rack up 13(!) steals this week and now has 18 in 19 appearances this season. So far in his 65 minor league games, the total is 49 steals while being caught only 4 times. He also finds himself on base nearly 40% of the time which allows him more opportunity to show off the wheels. James is quite interesting as an older name in rookie ball that could rise the ranks quickly because of one exceptional tool.

Greene’s ROOKIE Hitter: Eddy Diaz, SS (Colorado Rockies, #N/A)
DSL Colorado (5 G, .500/.565/.500, 10 H, 3 HR, 4 SB)

Honorable Mention: Pedro Martinez, SS (Chicago Cubs, #N/A)
DSL Cubs2 (5 G, .429/.520/.571, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 8 SB)

Pitcher: Austin Cox, LHP (Kansas City Royals, #N/A)
Burlington Royals (2 GS, 8.2 IP, 18:2 K:BB, ER, 4 H, 20% SwStr%)

Cox is looking stellar as the Kansas City Royals 5th round pick of this year’s draft. Their 6th College pitcher taken appears to be one of their sneakiest, coming out of his final college season with a 4.52 ERA along with the 2nd highest strikeout rate amongst D1 lefties. In his first three starts, the swing-and-miss ability is shining. Cox only needed 8.2 innings to generate 18 K on 20% SwStr% this week. The numbers are staggering and should propel this 2018 draft pick into the forefront of the college arms taken this season.

Greene’s ROOKIE Pitcher: Fitz Stadler, RHP (Toronto Blue Jays, #N/A)
Vancouver Canadians (2 G, 1-0, 5.2 IP, 12:1 K:BB, 4 H, ER, 30% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Yorlenis Noa, LHP (Oakland Athletics, #N/A)
DSL Athletics (2 G, GS, Save, 9 IP, 13:0 K:BB, H, 0 ER)

 

Featured image of Ian Anderson – via Bryan Green on Flickr

About Paul Martin 20 Articles
Paul Martin graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in Political Science and American Studies. After college the drive to become a baseball writer became real when Lenny Melnick asked for a podcast substitute. Ever since late-2017, Paul has been providing content for LennyMelnickFantasySports.com, Razzball, Pitcher List, and now Prospects1500. Living in the Connecticut area there are plenty of options for minor league coverage with the closest team being the Hartford Yard Goats. This die-hard Yankees fan has transitioned into a well-rounded cover of all things fantasy baseball and prospects.

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