Each week we pick the hitting prospect and pitching prospect from each level (AAA, AA, High-A, Low-A, and new to this week, 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.
We’d also like to give a shout-out to Chip Bourne (@ccbournejr) who compiles weekly MiLB stats on his site, which we use to help compile our POTW list: ultrad.dyndns-ip.com/MiLB/MiLBStatsHittersThisWeek.html
Here are our Prospects of the Week for the week of June 26 – July 2, 2017:
Hitter: Ryan O’Hearn (Royals #8)
1B – Omaha Storm Chasers
8th round pick out of Sam Houston State in 2014, O’Hearn was fantastic in the PCL this week. O’Hearn had 3 multi-hit efforts en route to batting 8-for-21. He added 4 home runs on the week as well. On July 1 against Colorado Springs, O’Hearn went 2-for-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 5 runs driven in! He’s now hit 13 home runs on the year, but his plate approach still needs work (78 Ks vs 28 BBs in 283 ABs this season).
Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez (Prospects1500 overall #43, White Sox #3)
RHP – Charlotte Knights
This Dominican right hander came over to the Pale Hose in the Adam Eaton trade. He’s had an up-and-down season in AAA, but had a very nice outing for Charlotte this week. On June 29, Lopez pitched 6.2 innings and struck out 11 batters, using his entire arsenal in earning the win. His 4.22 ERA and 1.35 WHIP have been a little disappointing this season for the White Sox, but his 79:38 K:BB rate has been strong.
Hitter: Kody Eaves (Tigers – unranked)
3B – Erie SeaWolves
Eaves is now riding a 9-game hitting streak. He hit safely in every Eastern League game he played in this week for the SeaWolves. Eaves batted .400 on the week, picking up 5 runs and 5 RBI to go with a home run and a stolen base. His season average is now up to .281 and his OPS is at .824. A sneaky good season for this previously unranked 23 year-old prospect.
Pitcher: Eric Lauer (Padres #8)
LHP – San Antonio Missions
The Padres 2016 1st-round draft pick has impressed this season, gaining a promotion to AA this week. And Lauer impressed in his first start for AA San Antonio. Lauer pitched 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings en route to earning the win. He scattered 7 hits, walked none, and struck out 9 batters in an impressive debut. He’s posted a 93:19 K:BB ratio across High-A and AA this season.
Hitter: Aramis Garcia (Giants #17)
C – San Jose Giants
He missed a big chunk of 2016 due to a bizarre facial fracture, but this 24 year-old has bounced back nicely in High-A this season. He flashed some of his power upside this week in the California League, bashing 4 home runs and driving in 7 en route to POTW honors. Garcia has shown a lot of power this year, slugging .511 with 12 home runs and 16 doubles in 231 ABs. He’s way too old for his level (24), so at some point the Giants need to move him up the ladder to see if his gains hold against better competition.
Pitcher: Matt Hall (Tigers #13)
LHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers
He’s projected as a back-end starter for the Tigers in the future, but Hall looked like an ace in a dominant outing this week for Lakeland. On June 8 Hall earned the win while pitching 8 and 1/3 scoreless innings for the Flying Tigers. He only allowed 2 hits while posting an outstanding 11 Ks. He’s now 6-5 with a 3.08 ERA on the season, while posting a fantastic 84:26 K:BB ratio.
Hitter: Tucker Tubbs (Red Sox – unranked)
1B – Greenville Drive
This prospect (24) paced the Sally league with 13 hits this week. Tubbs had 4 multi-hit efforts, with his best game coming on June 29 on the road against Asheville. Tubbs was nearly perfect that game, going 5-for-6 while scoring a run and driving in 2 more. He batted an even .500 on the week, hitting a home run and stealing a base as well.
Pitcher: Zac Houston (Tigers – unranked)
RHP – West Michigan Whitecaps
A big reliever (6-5, 250) who had a dominant week out of the Whitcaps bullpen. Houston appeared in 2 games for 6 total innings of work for the Whitecaps this week, and was a dominant force throughout. On June 27 against Dayton he struck out 6 of the 9 batters he faced in 3 innings of work. On July 1 against the Loons, Houston punched out 8 more batters, giving him 14 strikeouts in 6 innings of work on the week! He now has a 14.09 K/9 rate on the season. Look for him to get more closing opportunities for the Whitecaps.
Hitter: Zach Clark (Brewers #44)
LF – Helena Brewers
This kid was a 19th round pick out of community college last season, who hit the ball fairly well in the AZL in 2016. He was on fire this week, racking up an incredible 12 RBIs in 5 games for Helena. Clark also hit 3 home runs and scored 7 runs of his own en route to a .409 batting average on the week. I’m a little surprised that this 21 year-old is still playing Rookie-level ball.
Pitcher: Carlos Herrera (Brewers – unranked)
RHP – Helena Brewers
19 year old Dominican pitching prospect earns our first ever Rookie level POTW honors. Herrera struck out 8 batters, walked 1, and gave up 2 hits in 5 innings against Great Falls.
Article featured image of Eric Lauer – courtesy of East Village Times