Prospects of the Week: April 30 – May 6

Each week we pick the hitting prospect and pitching prospect from each level (AAA, AA, A+, A, and later in the season Short Season-A and Rookie league) who, in our opinion, had the best week. We are always on the lookout for candidates, so tweet us (@Prospects1500 or @PaulTheMartin) when you see a great performance. Thanks to @Baseball-viz and Keith Lott (@WeTlkFntsySprts) for providing MiLB statistics to assist in our determining the best hitting and pitching performances of the week.

AAA

Hitter: Franmil Reyes, OF (San Diego Padres, #39)

El Paso Chihuahuas [7 G, .607/.645/1.517 SLG, 8 HR, 14 RBI, 16 H, 3:4 BB:K]

Franmil Reyes put on an absolute show this week. Almost half of his hits were home runs; he posted an OPS over 2.500 and lit Twitter on fire when he hit 2 HR three days in a row. This performance was nothing short of incredible. The 22-year-old looks right at home in AAA to start the year despite being young for the level. Early promotion is a common theme throughout the San Diego Padres system, and all of their players seem to perform. Reyes is a massive figure that stands 6’5″, 240 lbs. He led the entire organization in HR last season and is on a burning path to get there once again. The walks are improving at a higher level, and he already has 13 HR in only 30 G. Reyes may surprise at the big league level sometime this year, but my dream is to see him and Josh Naylor in the same lineup mashing. What a sight to behold!

Pitcher: Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Minnesota Twins, #1)

Rochester Red Wings [2 GS, 2-0, 14.1 IP, 14:2 K:BB, 4 H, 1 ER]

The #1 ranked Minnesota Twins prospect by Michael Grennell here on Prospects1500 shined after his promotion to AAA this week. His first two starts did not disappoint as he was able to start two games and rack up 14 K over 14.1 IP. One bad home run relinquished to a hot hitting Mitch Walding for Lehigh Valley was the only hiccup. Outside of the home run he only allowed 3 other hits, one of which was a double. This truly dominant week was a huge step for the 23-year-old as last year’s AAA sample did not bode well. The major league call-up is imminent if he continues to pitch as he has thus far with everything working from the SwStr% over 12% to the limiting of line drives. His walks are a big difference over the past two starts in AAA so let’s hope this trend stays consistent throughout the year. Fernando Romero just found himself in Minnesota this past week, and Gonsalves may be the next one.

AA

Hitter: Victor Roache, OF (St. Louis Cardinals, #N/A)

Springfield Cardinals [7 G, .379/.438/1.000, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 11 H, 3:5 BB:K]

Since it seems like a unwritten rule for me to do so, let me add the St. Louis Cardinals prospect in now. Victor Roache is a deep name in the strong system. When late 20-year-old St. Louis hitters succeed after being traded from another team, they always entice me. Interestingly enough, Roache is a decent power asset that hit 22 HR in his first taste of pro ball at 21-years-old in 2013, then never surpassed 18 in any other season. Last year in just 57 G he had 6 HR moving from Milwaukee to LA. Now after reaching a minor league deal with the Cardinals, he finds himself with 10 HR in 111 PA, improved FB%, improved ISO, and you have to wonder if the Cardinals are doing it again. Roache was the 28th overall pick by the Brewers in 2012, and the Cardinals waited to pick up the athletically-built outfielder at the right time as they usually do. Anytime someone pops off for 6 HR and 11 H in 7 G there is intrigue. This prospect has a little bit more attached than seen at first glance.

Pitcher: Touki Toussaint, RHP (Atlanta Braves, #12)

Mississippi Braves [1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 10:2 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER (Batting: 2-3, 2 RBI)]

Touki Toussaint‘s career is as tumultuous as it gets for a 21-year-old starting in AA. Since being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks 16th overall, he has been a coveted prospect for the wipeout stuff. However, the continued command issues have plagued him throughout his career in the minors. With that said, he is still young for his level and proving that he can miss bats anywhere he goes. This week he was even able to help his cause by going 2-3 against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, driving in two runs on the day. This performance at the plate went along with 10 K and 60/89 pitches falling in for strikes. Toussaint’s start this week comes off the back of another 7 IP outing with no walks at all. If the command is getting better for this kid, there is no telling how his ceiling can grow. Three above-average pitches, at least two of them being devastating whiff generators, is the calling card here and they were all on display this week.

A+

Hitter: Roberto Ramos, 1B (Colorado Rockies, “Other to Watch”)

Lancaster JetHawks [7 G, .555/.562/1.333, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 15 H, 3:3 BB:K]

Roberto Ramos is a potential hidden gem within this Colorado Rockies system. Outside of being a first base prospect, Ramos has a path to Coors Field one day with excellent power, and he’s improving the approach. So far this season he has increased the BB% dramatically to go along with a massive power surge. Ramos already has 9 HR in 26 G, whereas last year it took him 122 to achieve merely 13 longballs. The 23-year-old listed at 6’5″ 220 lbs, can easily be viewed as a power threat based on his size alone. However, the lack of defensive flexibility causes him to put up performances like this to get some notice. Well, Roberto Ramos, I will let you and your .555 AVG shine this week as I could have also given it to your Lancaster teammate Alan Trejo who also had 15 H in 7 games. These two both had exceptional showcases for the JetHawks totaling 8 HR, 27 RBI, 18 R and only 6 K total.

Pitcher: Dylan Cease, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #4)

Winston-Salem Dash [2 GS, 2-0, 13 IP, 18:2 K:BB, 10 H, 1 ER]

The performance by Cease this week was one of the best at any level this year. Posting 18 K in 13 IP is mighty impressive. One of these two starts was a 7 IP, 12 K gem with 0 BB and 18 swinging strikes. Cease has looked on point this year, and his ground balls were even more prevalent this week. He generated 17 worm-killers on top of his 18 K, and that screams stud. Only one extra-base hit showed the ability to limit hard contact. Cease could be an incredible prospect given his velocity and swing-and-miss stuff. A few more performances like this and the 22-year-old should be moving through the system quickly this season. Keep an eye out for a promotion within the next few starts as he should push the move to AA as he eclipses double digits. Cease has looked crisp when healthy ever since draft day and this year is no different.

A

Hitter: Hendrik Clementina, C (Cincinnati Reds, #N/A)

Dayton Dragons [5 G, .533/.696/1.467, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 8 H, 7:5 BB:K]

The hitters this week are coming from way off-the-grid. In A-ball, Henrik Clementina deserved the crown by posting a ridiculous .533/.696/1.467 triple slash with 7 BB to 5 K. The 20-year-old catcher is outside of Doc Riddle’s Reds Top 50 on our site. Being traded from the Dodgers to the Reds last season has not hurt this kid at all. Never progressing past the rookie team in Los Angeles, Clementina quickly moved up to A-ball after 27 games played last season for Cincinnati. He has rewarded them for their promotion by mashing 6 HR and 5 2B in just 18 G so far this season. It is also interesting to see young catching prospects hitting the ball well and wondering where it will end up in the long run. Clementina needs to be paid attention to for the outside chance that he does stick at catcher. The bat should be generating some buzz at the moment, but his position and defensive ability is also something to monitor.

Pitcher: Garrett Whitlock, RHP (New York Yankees, #N/A)

Charleston RiverDogs [1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 10:1 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER]

I received a text from Ralph Lifshitz, @ProspectJesus on Twitter and Content Provider for Razzball/Fantrax, this Sunday that asked, “What do you know about Garrett Whitlock?” I replied by basically saying, not much. Unranked on this site, and even the great SAL scout John Calvagno (@SALNotes) said he was relatively unfamiliar with the name going into his first viewing. However, this week the 21-year-old draftee out of UAB was en fuego, much as he has been since his debut. Whitlock handled a better-than-decent Lexington Legends lineup that includes Nick Pratto, Seuly Matias, and MJ Melendez. He went 7 strong and posted 10 K to only 1 BB and 2 H. Whitlock has also held a strong GB% and gathered 8 GB during this outing. Needless to say, Ralph, I think there is some upside in this unknown prospect. The navigation through a hot-hitting lineup provides a lot of hope in this mysterious ceiling. He’s a big-bodied New York Yankees pitching prospect which means he’s most likely destined for the bullpen. However, the stories of Jordan Montgomery, Domingo Germán, and even Luis Severino ring throughout those minor league stadiums. Garrett Whitlock could be another overlooked upside piece that eventually surprises a lot of people.

Featured image – 2014 Bowman Chrome Franmil Reyes blue refractor and 2018 Bowman Stephen Gonsalves #bowmantrending insert

About Paul Martin 16 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.

1 Comment

  1. Yeah, can’t say that I saw Clementina coming. The early production is impressive, but I’d like to see how he’s doing a month or so from now. The numbers at Ogden last year may have been a harbinger of things to come, on the other hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*