Each week we pick the hitting prospect and pitching prospect from each level (AAA, AA, High-A, Low-A, and Rookie ball) 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.
Here are our Prospects of the Week for the week of July 3 – July 9, 2017:
Hitter: Dominic Smith (Prospects1500 overall #60, Mets #2)
1B – Las Vegas 51s
Smith had an impressive week assaulting baseballs across the PCL. Smith went 11-for-26 on the week. He also flashed tons of power, hitting 4 home runs and driving in 12 runs while slugging an even 1.000 on the week. On July 3 against Salt Lake, Smith went 3-for-5 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBIs. This 1st round pick from 2013 has now pushed his OPS on the season up to .882, with his season batting average standing at an excellent .329.
Pitcher: Rogelio Armenteros (Astros #23)
RHP – Fresno Grizzlies
An excellent 2-start week from this Cuban right hander should have Astros fans feeling very secure in the overall state of their farm system. Rogelio went 2-0 this week with wins against Sacramento and Reno. On July 3 against Sacramento, Armenteros was very sharp, pitching 6 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits, and striking out 8. On July 8 against Reno, a more workmanlike performance saw him go 6 innings, scattering 3 hits and 2 walks while only allowing 1 earned run. His 2017 ERA across 12 starts at AA and AAA now stands at an impressive 1.75. Grab him if he’s available in your dynasty league.
Hitter: Eric Haase (Indians – unranked)
C – Akron RubberDucks
A bit on the older side for AA ball (24 years old), Haase had a brilliant week swinging the bat for the RubberDucks. Haase hit safely in every game this week, including 3 multi-hit efforts. Haase also flashed some impressive power potential this week, hitting 2 home runs in 2 different games this week, and driving in 7 runs. His season OPS at AA is now up to .966, with 17 HR, 11 2B, and 5 3B.
Pitcher: Taylor Clarke (Diamondbacks #24)
RHP – Jackson Generals
Our AA pitcher of the week also had an impressive 2 starts this week. Clarke went 2-0 across 2 starts this week, bringing his season record in the Southern League to an excellent 8-4. Clarke pitched 12 innings this week, striking out 13 batters, giving up only 6 hits, and only giving up 1 earned run. Clarke’s 2017 ERA is now down to 2.66.
Hitter: DJ Peters (Dodgers #14)
CF – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Peters has been rolling lately, riding a 10 game hitting streak to this week’s High-A prospect of the week. Peters’ week included 3 multi-hit efforts, 3 home runs, and 7 RBIs. Also on July 2, had an incredible 4-for-4 effort with 3 home runs. Peters might be as hot as anyone in the minors as of late. A 4th round pick in 2016, his OPS this season is now up to .941.
Pitcher: Triston McKenzie (Prospects1500 overall #56, Indians #2)
RHP – Lynchburg Hillcats
McKenzie has been one of the best pitchers in the Carolina League this season, despite the fact that he is only 19 years old. He had a dominant start this week on 7/4 against Wilmington. McKenzie went 7 strong innings, scattering 3 hits, giving up no walks, no earned runs, and fanning 11 batters. The Wilmington hitters were helpless against this top prospect. McKenzie is now 7-4 on the season with a 2.91 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 115:32 K:BB ratio. Time to move him up the ladder.
Hitter: Edward Olivares (Blue Jays – unranked )
CF – Lansing Lugnuts
Lanky young Venezuelan prospect had a great week for a loaded Lansing Lugnuts team. Olivares hit safely in every game this week. His best performance was on 7/8, when he went 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 4 runs batted in. He’s pushed his season batting average up to .287, and has shown an impressive power/speed combo, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 16 bases for Lansing.
Pitcher: Jason Groome (Prospects1500 overall #41, Red Sox #3)
LHP – Greenville Drive
Young (18) lefthander with tons of upside, Groome looked great in picking up the win for Greenville on the 4th of July. Groome went 5 innings in his start, punching out 7 batters while allowing only 1 walk and 1 hit in a scoreless outing. The 2016 1st rounder has a long journey to the majors ahead of him, but it is easy to drool over his size (6-6, 220) and potential as a front line starter for the Red Sox in the future.
Hitter: Luis Paz (Dodgers – unranked)
C – Ogden Raptors
Brazilian backstop is still on fire, tearing up the Pioneer League this week with 3 multi-hit efforts. Paz went 4-for-4 with 4 runs scored and 4 RBIs on 7/5. Paz also hit a home run in 3 straight games this week. Currently unranked in our Dodgers Top-50, but Paz should definitely be on your radar.
Pitcher: Chris Rodriguez (Angels #11)
RHP – Orem Owlz
Rodriguez has looked strong in his last 2 Pioneer League starts for the Owlz. On July 5, Rodriguez went 5 scoreless innings, striking out 4 batters while allowing 1 hit, 0 walks, and 0 earned runs. He looked great in pitching to his 5 inning limit, throwing 40 of his 51 pitches for strikes.
Looking for more? Check out previous editions.
Featured Image Credit: BaseballCensus