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.
Hitter: Brandon Lowe, OF (Tampa Bay Rays, #15)
Durham Bulls (6 G, .400/.464/1.080, 10 H, 5 HR, 2 2B)
It’s safe to say Lowe is adjusting to AAA. After a rough debut, the 2017 FSL MVP has 5 HR over the past 4 games. He was a huge fan of whatever JT Brubaker was tossing on Saturday when Lowe busted 2 bombs and tallied 5 RBI. It isn’t the first time he found trouble adjusting to a promotion. Last season, after tearing up A+, Lowe struggled in the Southern League slashing .253/.270/.389 in his final 24 games. It was quicker assimilation to AAA this season as he is only 14 games into the sample and beginning to scorch. Keep an eye on this hot streak; he could push his way up to the majors sometime soon.
Brandon Lowe is no longer welcome at Victory Field.
He hits his third home run of the series — second tonight — to put the Bulls back on top, 5-3.
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) June 24, 2018
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 25, 2018
Scott Greene’s AAA Hitter: Kyle Tucker, OF (Houston Astros, #1)
Fresno Grizzlies (6 G, .577/.607/.769, 15 H, HR, 2 2B, 3 SB)
Saturday’s doubleheader included us honoring the 10-year anniversary of @FresnoStateBSB‘s 2008 National Championship between games. Then Kyle Tucker hit a “Wonderdog Walkoff” to end a long day. The boys didn’t want to rough him up too much. 👀 #Growlifornia🐻 #FarmGrown🍃 pic.twitter.com/zz73coSQ67
— Fresno Grizzlies (@FresnoGrizzlies) June 24, 2018
Honorable Mention: Peter Alonso, 1B (New York Mets, #4)
Las Vegas 51s (6 G, .318/.444/.773, 7 H, 3 HR, 2B, 10 RBI)
GRAND SALAMI for Peter Alonso!
Second of the night and second of his Triple-A career. ⚾️💥☄️ pic.twitter.com/hc2YPrFKsZ
— Las Vegas 51s (@LasVegas51s) June 24, 2018
Pitcher: Cy Sneed, RHP (Houston Astros, #N/A)
Fresno Grizzlies (1 GS, 1-0, 9 IP, 11:2 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 14% SwStr%)
The Houston Astros have a plethora of pitching, and that could be why our POTW this week falls so far off the radar. After going unranked in the offseason Top 50, by Brandon Lute, Sneed finds himself with a 2.97 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 76 K in 78.2 IP. This week’s performance puts a cap on a solid first half. Sneed shut down an Albuquerque Isotopes lineup that includes Garrett Hampson, Mike Tauchman, and Raimel Tapia. He threw 105 pitches, 70 strikes, in a complete game shutout accumulating 11 K and only 4 baserunners. Time to put Cy Sneed on the map after this one, for sure.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 22, 2018
Greene’s AAA Pitcher: Dakota Hudson, RHP (St. Louis Cardinals, #13)
Memphis Redbirds (2 GS, 2-0, 14 IP, 9:3 K:BB, 2 ER, 15 H, 5% SwStr%)
Dakota Hudson fired eight brilliant innings last night to lead Triple-A Memphis to a 2-1 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
Hudson lowered his PCL-best ERA to 2.04. In his last four starts, Hudson is 4.0 with a 0.64 ERA. #STLCards
— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) June 24, 2018
Hitter: Roberto Ramos, 1B (Colorado Rockies, “Others to Watch”)
Hartford Yard Goats (3 G, .500/.538/1.583, 6 H, 4 HR, 2B)
It’s always nice to see a familiar face on this list. Ramos had zero issues with the promotion to AA mashing 2 HR in each of his first 2 games. He’s hit in all 3 games so far, which is the only sample we have, but it sure is impressive. The power is legit, 4 HR and a double, and he’s showing a knack for barreling up a ton of contact. Ramos is slashing a monstrous .314/.417/.690 with 21 HR in 63 games. Fans of the series will know his name already, but in the immortal words of Biggie Smalls, if you don’t know, now you know.
First two Double-A games for Roberto Ramos:
2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI
3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 23, 2018
Reading Fightin Phils
(Green: 7 G, .417/.517/1.250, 10 H, 5 HR, 3 2B, 3B, 13 RBI)
(Hall: 7 G, .429/.448/.714, 12 H, 2 HR, 2 2B, 15 RBI)
Honorable Mention: Randy Cesar, 3B (Houston Astros, #N/A)
Corpus Christi Hooks, (41 game hitting streak, 6 G, .409/.458/.727, 9 H, HR, 2 2B, 3B)
Randy Cesar enters the All-Star break riding a 41-game hit streak, the longest in Texas League history.
Here’s how he did it in last night’s game. pic.twitter.com/b0tHYQbZol
— Corpus Christi Hooks (@cchooks) June 25, 2018
Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, LHP (Minnesota Twins, #10)
Chattanooga Lookouts (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 12:1 K:BB, H, 0 ER, 24% SwStr%)
Welcome back to the list our friend from Down Undah. Thorpe took it to the Biloxi Shuckers hard, shutting down names such as Corey Ray, Keston Hiura, Jake Gatewood, Lucas Erceg and Trent Grisham. It surely is a stacked lineup that he dominated. Overall the night was spectacular for the Tommy John survivor, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk to 12 strikeouts. It’s nice to see Thorpe come back strong after a 9 run outing on June 8th. His last two starts came against a couple of solid teams. Over those outings he had a 21:2 K:BB and allowed only 2 ER and 2 BB. Hopefully, we see him pop up a few more times this season in his continuous recovery from 2 seasons off.
— Chattanooga Lookouts (@ChattLookouts) June 22, 2018
Greene’s AA Pitcher: Jeff Brigham, RHP (Miami Marlins, #16)
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
(2 GS, 1-0, 11 IP, 14:1 K:BB, 5 H, 0 ER, 21% SwStr%)
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 24, 2018
Hitter: Luke Williams, 3B (Philadelphia Phillies, #N/A)
Clearwater Threshers (7 GS, .429/.429/.964, 12 H, 4 HR, 2B, 3B, SB, 11 RBI)
Unranked in the preseason, Williams tallied 5 HR this week, which is 2 more than his prior career total. The newfound power stroke is coming together with a more patient approach at the plate. The 2015 3rd round pick finally pulled his OBP above .300 for the first time, tallying 18 BB to 29 K in 53 games. It’s beginning to look like the product the Phillies were hoping for when they drafted him out of high school. Speed has also been a prime factor in his game, stealing 29 bags last year and 1 this week. Some power and speed are lying somewhere within this profile. Williams displayed it all this week.
Greene’s A+ Hitter: Luis Arraez, 2B (Minnesota Twins, #17)
Fort Myers Miracle (7 GS, .469/.500/.625, 15 H, HR, 2 2B, SB)
Pitcher: Jordan Yamamoto, RHP (Miami Marlins, #22 [Milwaukee Brewers pre-season])
Jupiter Hammerheads (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 13:0 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 13% SwStr%)
Transferring from Milwaukee to Miami in the offseason has not phased the 22-year-old Hawaiian. Yamamoto dominated a Florida Fire Frogs team led by top Atlanta Braves prospect Cristian Pache. The young righty totaled 13 strikeouts with no walks and only 2 hits on the day. On the season he has yet to allow more than 2 ER or 5 hits in any start. Yamamoto is looking like a steal for the new regime in Miami. The sample is only 27.2 IP so far, but the future is bright.
Jordan Yamamoto has been named Florida State League pitcher of the week after striking out a franchise record 13 batters in seven innings on Wednesday! #HammerDown #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/8PDqGfQjY4
— Jupiter Hammerheads (@GoHammerheads) June 25, 2018
Greene’s A+ Pitcher: Oddy Nunez, LHP (Pittsburgh Pirates, #N/A)
Bradenton Marauders (2 GS, 1-0, 14 IP, 9:6 K:BB, 3 H, 0 ER, 9% SwStr%, including an 8 inning NO HITTER 6/24)
— Pirates Prospects (@pirateprospects) June 24, 2018
Honorable Mentions: Garrett Whitlock, RHP (New York Yankees, N/A)
Tampa Tarpons (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 11:1 K:BB, 3 H, 0 ER, 16% SwStr%)
McKenzie Mills, LHP (Philadelphia Phillies, #32)
Clearwater Threshers (2 GS, 9 IP, 13:3 K:BB, 9 H, ER, 10% SwStr%)
Hitter: Oneil Cruz, SS (Pittsburgh Pirates, #13)
West Virginia Power (3 G, .571/.600/1.071, 8 H, 2 HR, 2B, SB)
The raw, 19-year-old Dominican product is finally molding into his own this season slashing .318/.375/.547 in the Sally. An absolute monster on the field, Cruz stole a couple of bases, mashed a couple of homers, and hit in each of his last 10 games. At what point do we take the raw tag off of a prospect? Well, let’s see what happens after Cruz makes the obvious jump to the next level. Right now, he is showing no problem taking it to the competition in A-ball. He had 4 multi-hit games in his last 5, 3 of which he tallied 3 or more knocks. This week’s performance only satiates my love for Cruz.
— Jason Shetler (@Jason_Shetler) June 23, 2018
Greene’s A Hitter: Pablo Olivares, OF (New York Yankees, #N/A)
Charleston RiverDogs (4 G, .450/.476/.950, 9 H, 3 HR, 2B, SB, 11 RBI)
Pitcher: John Gavin, LHP (San Francisco Giants, #N/A)
Augusta Greenjackets (1 GS, 7 IP, 9:1 K:BB, 0 H, 0 ER, 23% SwStr%)
I always look for pitchers that dominated great lineups the previous week. Gavin popped up on my radar not only by tossing a no-hitter in 7 innings, but he did it against the Rome Braves. This roster includes hot prospects like Drew Waters, Riley Delgado, Jean Carlos Encarnacion, and William Contreras. Franklin Van Gurp stole the win and ruined the no-hit bid, but not before Gavin struck out 9 Braves while walking 1. The 6’6″ lefty has given up only 12 ER since being drafted in the 8th round last year out of perennial powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. This week’s performance puts him on the prospect wave.
Greene’s A Pitcher: Erick Julio, RHP (Colorado Rockies, #N/A)
Ashville Tourists (2 G, 1-0, 4 IP, 10:1 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 28% SwStr%)
Hitter: Seth Beer, OF (Houston Astros, #N/A)
Tri-City ValleyCats (6 G, .391/.500/.826, 9 H, 3 HR, 2B)
Let me get it out of the way, Beer’s performance this week was cold. It is interesting that we worried the power would not translate without having any Cape Cod League numbers at our disposal. After this week he has 4 HR on the short season and is displaying all of the plate discipline skills he promised with his elite collegiate statistics. Beer was on base 50% of the time last week and has a .476 OBP in his debut. You know the Astros are looking at this week’s line for Beer and thinking, I’ll have another.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 24, 2018
Greene’s A- Hitter: Yeral Encarnacion, OF (Miami Marlins, #N/A)
Batavia Muckdogs (6 G, .519/.519/.704, 14 H, 3 2B, 3B)
Pitcher: Roansy Contreras, RHP (New York Yankees, #N/A)
Staten Island Yankees (1 GS, 6 IP, 10:1 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 15% SwStr%)
Contreras just missed making his first two starts within this week’s parameters. If he did, the totals would be 11 IP, 17 K, 3 BB, and only 2 ER. The 18-year-old is shining in his debut for the Staten Island Yankees. His last start was against the Tri-City ValleyCats, which features our other winner Seth Beer. Contreras went 6 innings allowing no runs and only 3 baserunners to 10 strikeouts. The young fireballer has displayed nothing but dominance so far after a less-than-stellar debut in 2017. Watch the improvements on this raw arm as he bears resemblance to other small, international prospects that have come through the Yankees system like Luis Severino.
Greene’s A- Pitcher: Simon Rosenblum-Larson, RHP (Tampa Bay Rays, #N/A)
Hudson Valley Renegades (1 G, Save, 2.2 IP, 7:0 K:BB, 2 H, 35% SwStr%)
Hitter: Heriberto Hernandez, C (Texas Rangers, #N/A)
DSL Rangers 2 (4 G, .500/.533/1.417, 6 H, 3 HR, 2 2B)
The 18-year-old Rangers catcher is debuting spectacularly in the DSL. This week he went 6/12 with a .533 OBP and 3 bombs. I have to do a bit more digging into the profile but I’m always intrigued by hot starts to a professional career. This week puts the young catching prospect on my watch list for the rest of the Summer League and beyond.
Greene’s Rookie Hitter: Braian Fernandez, OF (Washington Nationals, #N/A)
DSL Nationals (5 G, .500/.542/.900, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, 10 RBI)
Honorable Mention: Yoyner Fajardo, 2B (Pittsburgh Pirates, #N/A)
DSL Pirates 1 (5 G, .563/.650/1.313, 9 H, HR, 2B, 4 3B, SB)
Pitcher: Yerry Rodriguez, RHP (Texas Rangers, #N/A)
AZL Rangers (2 G, 1 GS, 1-0, 11.1 IP, 15:1 K:BB, 6 H, ER)
Rodriguez is looking sharp in his 2nd time around rookie ball. This time it comes in the AZL rather than the DSL, but he was only able to make one start last season. Looking at this as a clean slate, we can see the upside the 20-year-old Dominican prospect brings to the table. This week he totaled 15 strikeouts in 11.1 innings and only walked 1 batter. Let’s watch for progression this season and continued performances leading to a call-up. The Rangers are building another exceptional system after their draft this season and some exciting starts in the lower levels.
Greene’s Rookie Pitcher: Yeffersson Yannuzzi, LHP (Cleveland Indians, #N/A)
AZL Indians 1 (2 GS, 1-0, 9.2 IP, 15:3 K:BB, 4 H, ER)
AZL Indians (1) 21yr old LHP Yeffersson Yannuzzi has been terrific over his first two starts of the season:
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) June 24, 2018
Featured image of Roberto Ramos – photo credit Gail Verderico (@1baseballchick) from Cal League HR Derby 6.19.18