Prospects of the Week: July 30 – August 6

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: Joey Meneses, 1B (Philadelphia Phillies, N/A)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (9 g, .400/.455/.833, 12 H, 2B, 4 HR, 7/11 R/RBI)

Meneses is beasting ever since the Phillies acquired him this offseason. He currently leads the International League with 21 HR even though his career high to date is only 9. This week showed a continuation of the power boost the 26-year-old is discovering in 2018. He is hitting .280 during his 6-year MiLB career and is finally adding the power to his barrel ability. The slugging percentage is above .500 for the first time, plus his body is built for dingers. Meneses is popping up due to performances like this one that earned him the #POTW award.

Scott Greene’s AAA Hitter: Gabriel Guerrero, OF (Cincinnati Reds, #47)
Louisville Bats (7 G, .310/.333/.862, 9 H, 2B, 5 HR, 7/8 R/RBI)


Pitcher: JT Brubaker, RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates, #27)
Indianapolis Indians (2 GS, 1-0, 15 IP, 14:0 K:BB, 10 H, ER, 9% SwStr%)

Brubaker impressed opposing fans two times while on the road this week. He put together a couple starts with no walks against decent lineups. The latest outing was an 8 inning gem versus the Toledo Mud Hens in which Brubaker allowed 3 baserunners in total. His name is in consideration quite often and popped up in the article at least one other time this season. The Pirates prospect is moving his name up lists the closer his proximity becomes. He is older, not very exciting, and reminds me of Nick Kingham, another winner of this award earlier in the season. There isn’t too much to hold onto with this one, but the performance was stellar.

Greene’s AAA Pitcher: Michael Kopech, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #3)
Charlotte Knights (2 GS, 1-0, 14 IP, 17:2 K:BB, 12 H, 4 ER, 17% SwStr%)


AA

Hitter: Skye Bolt, OF (Oakland Athletics, #45)
Midland RockHounds (7 G, .379/.471/.828, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 9/12 R/RBI)

Here is a strong, switch-hitting player with an 80-grade name and no hype. The latter is deserved based on his numbers in AA as a 24-year-old. However, Bolt went off this week with a true stat-sheet stuffer. He showed off the speed, the power, plate discipline, and the ability to contribute runs. Hopefully, there are more of these performances to come so we can all enjoy the success of a young stud named “Skye Bolt.” Until that happens, keep the name on your radar until he drops from our Top 50.

Greene’s AA Hitter: Jose Pujols, OF (Philadelphia Phillies, #15)
Clearwater Threshers –> Reading Fightin Phils (6 G, .435/.458/.870, 10 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

Honorable Mention: Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Boston Red Sox, #8)
Salem Red Sox –> Portland Sea Dogs (5 G, .429/.556/1.214, 6 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI)


Pitcher: Dylan Cease, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #4)
Birmingham Barons (2 GS, 12 IP, 16:2 K:BB, 6 H, 0 ER, 11% SwStr%)

Another week, another award for the Chicago White Sox right-hander. It seems that I’m writing about Kopech or Cease every single time this article drops. Not that this is bad, if anything, it’s amazing to see two pitchers with this kind of hype performing to their expectations. Cease dominated again with 16 strikeouts to 2 walks and no earned runs. This outing gives the Sox #4 prospect 3 straight scoreless starts with a 26:3 K:BB in 19 IP. This run is incredible and inflating his dynasty value significantly. Owners of Cease should be looking to deal before deadlines, but enjoy the production if you’re stuck holding him at the end of the season.

Greene’s AA Pitcher: Nick Neidert, RHP (Miami Marlins, #6)
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (1 GS, 1-0, 8 IP, 13:0 K:BB, 5 H, ER, 17% SwStr%)


A+

Hitter: Jared Walker, 3B (Los Angeles Dodgers, #44)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (6 G, .409/.519/1.091, 9 H, 3 2B, 4 HR)

Walker is still roaming the lower levels of the Dodgers system. Coming up on Rule 5 eligibility, he needs to have a decent walk year in 2019 to be in consideration for rostering. This week shows exactly what the athletic corner-infielder can do at his peak. The slugging numbers show what this kid is working on in Rancho Cucamonga. He continues to increase his power output with 19 HR on the season, which is already 8 HR higher than his career-best. Walker could be an interesting name to pay attention to now that there is excitement in the profile to match the athleticism.

Greene’s A+ Hitter: Connor Wong, C (Los Angeles Dodgers, #17)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (5 G, .524/.545/1.000, 11 H, 2B, 3 HR, 10 R)


Pitcher: Riley Smith, RHP (Arizona Diamondbacks, N/A)
Visalia Rawhide (2 GS, 2-0, 11.1 IP, 13:3 K:BB, 13 H, 0 ER, 15% SwStr%)

Smith is an older prospect at a lower-level performing in a way that does not jump off the page. However, this week was different for the 23-year-old 2016 draft pick. Somehow, he allowed 0 ER despite giving up 13 H, including 10 in his last outing. Smith needs more performances like this if he wants to continue moving up the ranks within a Diamondbacks system desperate for some rotation arms. After trading away Jhoan Duran (see him below), there is room for another top arm in their minors; Smith has quite a distance to travel to reach that spot.

Greene’s A+ Pitcher: Joe Cavallaro, RHP (New York Mets, N/A)
St. Lucie Mets (2 GS, 1-0, 11.1 IP, 17:5 K:BB, 8 H, 3 ER, 14% SwStr%)


A

Hitter: Ryan Noda, OF (Toronto Blue Jays, #26)
Lansing Lugnuts (6 G, .333/.462/.905, 7 H, 4 HR, 14 RBI)

Noda has the profile of a true-three-outcome player. He walks, he strikes out, he hits home runs, and he did all three this week to earn him a spot on our list. The power is legitimate within this left-handed bat. His home runs this week put Noda at 15 for the year which is double his total from last season in less-than-half the games. The low-level prospect can skyrocket on lists with a taming of his strikeouts. Right now he provides a slugging ceiling that is higher than most players drafted earlier than him last season.

Greene’s A Hitter: Jarren Duran, 2B (Boston Red Sox, #23)
Greenville Drive (6 G, .520/.556/.720, 13 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 SB)

Honorable Mention: Ryan Jeffers, C (Minnesota Twins, N/A)
Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 G, .538/.613/1.115, 14 H, 6 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)


Pitcher: Angel Rondon, RHP (St. Louis Cardinals, N/A)

Peoria Chiefs (2 GS, 12 IP, 15:4 K:BB, 7 H, ER, 18% SwStr%)

Rondon begins the charge of low-level Cardinals prospects to win awards this week. Patrick Dayton, Jacob Schlesener and Nolan Gorman pop-up later in the article, but this exciting Dominican is tearing up the Midwest league since his promotion. This week he missed more bats, struck out 15 batters, and only allowed 1 ER in 2 no-decisions. His ERA improved by over 1.00 since the move to High-A. Rondon is only 20-year-old with a ton of upside and room to grow. Look for him to be more relevant on off-season organizational lists.

Greene’s A Pitcher: Jhoan Duran, RHP (Minnesota Twins, #7 [Diamondbacks preseason list])
Cedar Rapids Kernels (2 GS, 1-0, 13.1 IP, 17:2 K:BB, 5 H, 3 ER, 21% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Patrick Dayton, LHP (St. Louis Cardinals, N/A)
Peoria Chiefs (2 G, 4 IP, 10:1 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 21% SwStr%)


A-

Hitter: Henry Pujols, 3B (Cleveland Indians, N/A)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (7 G, .556/.586/.926, 15 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

Pujols had multi-hit efforts in 5 of 7 games last week. His 15 hits in 7 games is an awe-inspiring feat. This performance is outside the norm for the 19-year-old Dominican. He raised the batting average from .194 to .259 from the beginning to the end of this 7 game stretch. He is yet to produce long-term quality results, but this week could change the tide for a kid who has plenty of room to grow. Raw prospects like this are always exciting to see on this list. Look for Pujols to continue improving with more experience and possibly jump onto organizational Top 30s with more of these weeks.

Greene’s A- Hitter: Curtis Terry, 1B (Texas Rangers, N/A)
Spokane Indians (6 G, .444/.583/1.000, 8 H, 2 3B, 2 HR)


Pitcher: Jacob Schlesener, LHP (St. Louis Cardinals, N/A)
State College Spikes (2 GS, 1-0, 11.1 IP, 14:3 K:BB, 9 H, 2 ER, 14% SwStr%)

Schlesener is another St. Louis Cardinals pitcher getting recognition this week. It just so happens to coincide with his return to the starting rotation for the State College Spikes. After pitching out of the bullpen most of this season, the left-hander sat batters down 2 games straight. It will be interesting to see how he closes out the season stretched out as a starter. The Cardinals know how to take a pitcher with upside and help them actualize that ceiling. Schlesener could be the next Austin Gomber-type lefty that comes out of the system, without much hype, to produce some MLB results later in his career.

Greene’s A- Pitcher: Chase Cohen, RHP (Oakland Athletics, N/A)
Vermont Lake Monsters (2 GS, 6 IP, 12:3 K:BB, 0 ER, 4 H, 17% SwStr%)


Rookie

Hitter: Nolan Gorman, 3B (St. Louis Cardinals, #3)
Johnson City Cardinals (6 G, .542/.577/1.042, 13 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7/8 R/RBI)

Gorman is one of the most hyped prospects to come out of this year’s draft. He is doing nothing but solidify that excitement by performing to an extremely high-level. This week was standout for the young 3B as he accumulated 13 hits with nearly half of them going for extra bases. He should be considered near the top of first-year player drafts in all dynasty leagues and provides one of the gaudiest fantasy profiles in the lower levels. Gorman should be moved up quickly with more performances like this that prove his high-school bat is more developed than most.

Greene’s Rookie Hitter: Rochest Cruz, 2B (Chicago Cubs, N/A)
DSL Cubs 1 (6 G, .474/.542/.526, 9 H, 2B, 11 SB)


Pitcher: Cristofer Melendez, RHP (Chicago White Sox, N/A)
DSL White Sox (2 GS, 1-0, 10 IP, 18:4 K:BB, 6 H, 0 ER)

Melendez has been in the White Sox system for a few years now but is showing the talent that he never displayed in the past. The 20-year-old Dominican right-hander is making weeks like this one look like the norm. Allowing only 10 ER in 54.2 IP, Melendez is finally striking out more than 1 batter per inning en route to his most impressive season by far. He is clearly developing more of his raw talent into game skill. I will be watching Melendez to see how much he can polish this profile as he moves up the ranks in Chicago.

Greene’s RK Pitcher: Ronny Henriquez, RHP (Texas Rangers, N/A)
DSL Rangers 2 (1 GS, 6 IP, 13:0 K:BB, 3 H, 0 ER)

Honorable Mention: Marcelo Martinez, LHP (Kansas City Royals, N/A)
Burlington Royals (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 12:0 K:BB, H, 0 ER, 32% SwStr%)

 

Featured image of Ryan Noda – via Marshall Dunlap 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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