Prospects of the Week: July 9 – July 15

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: Dylan Cozens, OF (Philadelphia Phillies, #19)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (4 G, .313/.389/1.125, 5 H, 4 HR, 2B)

Hey everyone! Dylan Cozens is still around! Okay, so we can all pretty much forget about him again now, but this performance deserved recognition. In an All-Star shortened week, Cozens mashed 4 HR in 4 games including a multi-homer performance against veteran Nick Tepesch. The power is still intriguing to a certain degree. His display this week shows that the talent is still somewhere deep inside. Hopefully, that flourishes into something soon before the Phils… fill their roster with more vets of their own to make a run at the playoffs.

Scott Greene’s AAA Hitter: Eric Haase, C (Cleveland Indians, #16)
Columbus Clippers (4 GS, .471/.474/1.118, 8 H, 3 HR 11 RBI)


Pitcher: Michael Kopech, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #3)
Charlotte Knights (1GS, 6 IP, 11:1 K:BB, 4 H, ER, 19% SwStr%)

Kopech put together another stellar start against the Durham Bulls this week. The last time he won this award also included one start against the Bulls where he dominated. It must be a team that re-centers his chakras and turns him into the monster we all know and love. The Bulls’ lineup this week also contained two studs in Willy Adames and Brandon Lowe, the latter of whom has won #POTW multiple times at multiple levels. Kopech reigned in the control just a bit this time around and tossed a beautiful 6 innings with only 1 walk. The ceiling is still as glass as Willy Wonka’s elevator, and he may just be getting ready to bust through.

Greene’s AAA Pitcher: Brandon Waddell, LHP (Pittsburgh Pirates, #23)
Indianapolis Indians (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 9:1 K:BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 12% SwStr%)


AA

Hitter: Corey Ray, OF (Milwaukee Brewers, #10)
Biloxi Shuckers (7 G, .300/.382/.833, 9 H, 4 HR, 2 2B, 3B, 6 SB)

This performance by Ray is one of the finest weeks I’ve tracked all season. The counting stats are off the charts, 4 HR, and 6 SB, proving to all the doubters that prospects can indeed adjust their game. Last season Ray was one of the most volatile stocks to own in dynasty leagues. He went from a highly ranked draft pick to a lowly throw-in after reports of his slow reaction to high fastballs became more evident in the statistics. This year things have gone extremely different for Ray. With a promotion to AA, he already has more HR and SB than 2017 and has potential to reach a 30/30 season. His week included a 3-HR game in an 8-3 smashing of the Jackson Generals. Keep Corey Ray ALL OVER your radar!

Greene’s AA Hitter: Isan Diaz, 2B (Miami Marlins, #7)
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (6 G, .455/.520/1.091, 10 H, 4 HR, 2 2B, 12 RBI, 7 R)


Pitcher: Jimmy Lambert, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #N/A)
Birmingham Barons (2 GS, 2-0, 14 IP, 19:2 K:BB, 8 H, ER, 21% SwStr%)

Lambert cruised through the Mississippi Braves and Tennessee Smokies this week. Brother of top Rockies prospect Peter Lambert, Jimmy was able to rack up 19 K to only 2 BB in 14 innings of 1 run ball. Lambert is making strides with his strikeout ability this year that has stuck post-promotion. As a 23-year-old in AA, he is age-appropriate and performing to a very high level. He already has 6 more strikeouts than he did in 150 IP last season. This week was an alarm clock to how Lambert has done this year. There is no denying the swing-and-miss upgrade in his game, and he continues to prove that in his AA debut.

Greene’s AA Pitcher: Jesus Luzardo, LHP (Oakland Athletics, #6)
Midland Rockhounds (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 10:1 K:BB, 3 H, 0 ER, 27% SwStr%)
(FUTURES GAME: 2 IP, 2:0 K:BB, 3 H, ER, 2B to Brendan Rodgers)


A+

Hitter: Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Boston Red Sox, #13)
Salem Red Sox (6 G, .476/.577/1.048, 4 HR, SB, 10 R, 8 RBI)

If you’re gonna come at the #POTW award two weeks in a row, you best come correct. Dalbec did just that hitting .476 with 4 HR another SB and a whole bunch of RBI to add to his league-leading 24 HR, and 78 RBI. He’s also leading the league in strikeouts, so there is still that. However, Dalbec remains intriguing due to the potential for the gaudy fantasy stats and an ISO above .315. I worry that promotion will make the strikeouts stand out more. Right now, Dalbec continues to thrash Advanced-A ball. I would love to see him in the Portland Sea Dogs lineup soon with Michael Chavis and, fellow large human, Josh Ockimey.

Greene’s A+ Hitter: Kevin Smith, 3B (Toronto Blue Jays, #25)
Dunedin Blue Jays (6 G, .304/.385/.652, 7 H, 2 HR, 2 2B, 5 SB)

Honorable Mention: Trenton Kemp, OF (Boston Red Sox, #50)
Salem Red Sox (5 G, .462/.588/1.462, 6 H, 4 HR, 2B, SB)


Pitcher: Kyle Muller, LHP (Atlanta Braves, #19)
Florida Fire Frogs (14 IP, 19:2 K:BB, 8 H, ER, 21% SwStr%)

The 2nd round pick of the Braves in 2016, Muller decimated lineups this week. He had a 12 K start against the Daytona Tortugas. In that game, Muller struck out the MVP of the Futures Game, Taylor Trammell, 2 times on the way to his 4th win in Advanced-A. He brings 93-95 MPH velocity from the left-side with a developing breaker and a decent changeup that can get swings-and-misses. The 21% SwStr% proves that hitters have a hard time picking him up, and striking out Trammell twice is no small feat. Muller is just another young Atlanta Braves arm that needs to stick in the back of your mind in dynasty leagues.

Greene’s A+ Pitcher: Joey Wentz, LHP (Atlanta Braves, #7)
Florida Fire Frogs (2 GS, 1-0, 13.1 IP, 9:1 K:BB, 10 H, 0 ER, 10% SwStr%)


A

Hitter: Tristen Lutz, OF (Milwaukee Brewers, #12)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (6 G, .483/.577/1.048, 9 H, 2 HR, 3 2B, 2 SB)

Lutz is trying to rekindle a flame that he lit during his small stint in rookie ball last season. He is struggling a bit with the full season promotion. This week was different as the tooled-up outfielder displayed both power and speed along with carrying a .483 average. He has mostly been a disappointment with the plate discipline. If he could tap into a bit more patience and pitch recognition he could be an extremely quick mover on prospect lists. For now, the 19-year-old continues to improve his game in a rising Brewers organization and is one that can afford to take their time with this raw star in waiting.

Pitcher: Denyi Reyes, RHP (Boston Red Sox, #N/A)
Greenville Drive (2 GS, 2-0, 13 IP, 14:0 K:BB, 9 H, ER, 12% SwStr%)

Reyes finally can snag the award after being an Honorable Mention the week of June 4th – June 10th. This week he put up 2 impressive starts against the highly touted Lexington Legends and an interesting Asheville Tourists lineup that includes Chad Spanberger and Ryan Vilade. Reyes went longer than 6 innings in both of these starts with 8 K against the Tourists and 6 against the Legends. He is crushing the Sally right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 21-year-old move up a level very soon.  The slider he’s attempting to add this year seems to be working. The strikeouts have risen this year, and it shows again this week. Even though the velocity isn’t very exciting, these are two starts that should not be ignored due to the competition.

Greene’s A Pitcher: Carlos Hernandez, RHP (Kansas City Royals, #N/A)
Lexington Legends (2 GS, 1-1, 12.1 IP, 16:4 K:BB, 13 H, 2 ER, 13% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Willy Collado, RHP (Houston Astros, #N/A)
Quad Cities River Bandits (2 G, 5.2 IP, 13:1 K:BB, 3 H, 0 ER, including a 3.1 IP outing on 7/9 with 1 H & 9 K)


A-

Hitter: Wenceel Perez, SS (Detroit Tigers, #N/A)
Connecticut Tigers (8 G, .515/.556/.788, 17 H, 2 HR, 3 2B, SB, 10 R, 8 RBI)

The 2016 international signee of the Tigers was tearing through rookie ball last week. The team promoted Perez to the short-season affiliate, and we recognize him for the achievement. He’s still only 18-years-old despite signing in 2016. This kid was able to rack up 17 hits in 1 week of games including 2 homers, 2 doubles, and a stolen base. He’s gaining Twitter stardom through people like Ben Badler and Emily Waldon. I can’t wait to catch a game in Norwich to see one of the best names in the minors hit baseballs all over the park.

Greene’s A- Hitter: Joey Bart, C (San Fransisco Giants, #1)
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (6 G, .304/.360/.570, 7 H, 4 HR, 2B)

Honorable Mention: Francis Martinez, 1B (Arizona Diamondbacks, #N/A)
Hillsboro Hops (4 G, .308/.471/1.000, 4 H, 3 HR)


Pitcher: Jose Espada, RHP (Toronto Blue Jays, #N/A)
Vancouver Canadiens (2 GS, 1-0, 11 IP, 15:3 K:BB, 4 H, 2 ER, 20% SwStr%)

Espada posted an undoubtedly impressive week going 11 innings and racking up 15 strikeouts. He is repeating short-season ball to make strides in his game, which were clear after these two starts. The 21-year-old is trying to prove that he belongs in a Toronto Blue Jays system that is shallow when it comes to arms. These two starts are setting him on the right path, as is the overall strikeout percentage on the season for Espada. He is a long way from becoming relevant for dynasty leagues. However, this young pitcher reaches back for mid-90s velocity and flashes some raw ability.

Greene’s A- Pitcher: Hans Crouse, RHP (Texas Rangers, #4)
Spokane Indians (2 GS, 1-0, 8 IP, 11:1 K:BB, H, 0 ER, 15% SwStr%)

Honorable Mention: Chance Kirby, RHP (Detroit Tigers, #N/A)
Connecticut Tigers (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 12:0 K:BB, H, 21% SwStr%)


RK

Hitter: Wander Franco, SS (Tampa Bay Rays, #12)
Princeton Rays (7 G, .467/.484/.900, 14H, 3 HR, 2 2B, 3B)

The Wanderkid is starting to prove exactly why he is touted as the best international bat since Soto and Vlad Jr. The 17-year-old, who was born in 2001, cranked 14 hits this week, 3 of them being home runs and 3 other extra-base hits. He has a stop-and-stare swing that would make my jaw drop as an opposing pitcher. Franco is easily climbing up every prospect list at the moment and should be considering his extremely advanced plate discipline for his age. He should be owned and coveted in every dynasty league and is one of the next big stars in the minors.

Greene’s RK Hitter: Corey Zangari, 1B (Chicago White Sox, #43)
Great Falls Voyagers (6 G, .421/.480/1.368, 8 H, 5 HR, 13 RBI)


Pitcher: Victor Santos, RHP (Philadelphia Phillies, #N/A)
GCL Phillies East (2 GS, 2-0, 11.1 IP, 15:0 K:BB, 11 H, 2 ER)

This young Phillies arm has been in the system for two years now without much buzz. The numbers were not too impressive last year and, I mean, #TINSTAPP am I right?? This season he has done something cool though! Santos only walked batters in one game this season. Other than those 3 walks on June 3rd, he is displaying decent plate control. In these two starts, the strikeouts were also fantastic at 15. Santos could be another young international pitching prospect with some helium in the Phillies system.

Greene’s RK Pitcher: Brayan Herrera, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #N/A)
AZL White Sox (2 GS, 10 IP, 11:3 K:BB, 6 H, ER)

Honorable Mention: Luis Moreno, RHP (San Fransisco Giants, #N/A)
AZL Giants Black (2 G, Save, 8 IP, 10:2 K:BB, 6 H, ER)

 

Featured image of Kyle Muller – via Bryan Green on Flickr

About Paul Martin 24 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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