Each week during the Minor League Baseball season we pick the hitting and pitching prospects from each level (Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Single-A) who, in our opinion, had the best week. The team awards the Prospects of the Week hitters and pitchers for each level, while also presenting other names at each level that are just as deserving of POTW honors. Feel free to reply in the comments with any player who deserves to be mentioned that may not have made our cut.
Any issues with this week’s POTW? Did we miss anyone deserving? Hit us up and set us straight! As always, tweet us @Prospects1500 when you see a great performance that warrants consideration for Prospect of the Week. Enjoy, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for these prospects in your dynasty leagues.
HITTER: Josh Palacios, OF (Pirates NR)
Indianapolis Indians (5 G, .556/.667/1.389/2.056, 10 H, 3 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 5 R, 6 BB, SB)
International League Player of the Week!
Things are going well for Pirates fans right now. The Pirates are on top of the NL Central, three of their four minor league clubs have winning records, and there’s more talent on the way. Things are going so well that a 27-year-old well traveled outfielder put on a McCutchen like performance last week. On Tuesday, Palacios had a career high five RBI game, then four days later he matched that with a two home run, five RBI performance. He is also providing great centerfield defense including a sliding grab in Saturday’s game. Nothing to jump on in dynasty leagues just yet, but a great story in a season full of great stories so far.
If you didn’t know, now you know:
Josh Palacios is on a heater. pic.twitter.com/qXhXe8s8Zt
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) April 30, 2023
Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B/1B (Reds #9)
Louisville Bats (6 G, .458/.519/1.000/1.519, 11 H, 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, BB)
Encarnacion-Strand was acquired by the Reds at the deadline last year in the Tyler Mahle trade and he seems to be the heir apparent to Joey Votto here in Cincy. Many wanted him to make the Opening Day roster with Votto on the IL but unfortunately CES also hit the IL in Spring Training. Recently activated in AAA Louisville, CES has put his massive 70 grade power on display with 4 bombs in only 32 plate appearances. It is a small sample size, but he is hitting .448/.500/.931. He doesn’t draw walks, but does strikeout at a respectable rate. He just has a knack for hitting the ball and when he hits it, it goes very far. (@darylhauck)
Dominic Canzone, OF (Diamondbacks #18)
Reno Aces (6 G, .500/.571/.917/1.488, 12 H, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 4 BB)
Cade Marlowe, OF (Mariners #20)
Tacoma Rainiers (5 G, .370/.370/.704/1.074, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 4 SB)
PITCHER: Drew Parrish, LHP (Royals #35)
Omaha Storm Chasers (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K)
The 25-year-old lefty is known for his above average command and plus changeup, but has struggled with free passes since his promotion to triple-A last summer. The walk rate has dropped a point (from a troublesome 13% to a concerning 12%) and the K% has jumped to 24%, but with a .196 BABIP and 1.71 ERA (3.58 FIP) regression is all but guaranteed. Nevertheless, Parrish is attacking hitters and might be next for a spot on the 40, if one opens up. (@adamhalpin)
Cody Bradford, LHP (Rangers #36)
Round Rock Express (1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
Matthew Liberatore, LHP (Cardinals #9)
Memphis Redbirds (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K)
How much longer can the Cardinals justify keeping him in Triple-A?
Tanner Tully, LHP (Yankees NR)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (1 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)
A 26th round pick in 2016, the left-handed Tully worked his way to the majors for the first time in 2022, appearing out of the Guardians bullpen three times. He spent the bulk of the 2022 with Triple-A Columbus, where he started 24 of 28 outings, posting a 4.72 ERA with 98 strikeouts and just 26 walks. This week with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he had a career-high nine strikeouts, while giving up just four hits, zero earned runs and zero walks over 80 pitches through 5.2 innings vs the Worcester Red Sox. He could be a left handed option out of the bullpen for the Yankees before the season ends. (@PaulWoodin1)
Gavin Stone, RHP (Dodgers #5)
Oklahoma City Dodgers (1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 8 K)
His next start will be his MLB debut on Wednesday against the defending National League Champions.
HITTER: Denzel Clarke, OF (Athletics #9)
Midland RockHounds (4 G, .500/.579/1.438/2.017, 8 H, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB, SB)
Texas League Player of the Week!
Tough to imagine a better season debut than that. Seven of Clarke’s eight hits went for extra bases and he chipped in 3 walks, all totaling a 2.017 OPS through four games. His tools are electric and it is hard to find a more enjoyable guy to watch play the game. As he enters his second full season in the organization, he will look to improve his approach and cut into his K rate (over 30% last year). If he is able to take that next step in his development, the sky could be the limit.
Nick Yorke, 2B (Red Sox #4)
Portland Sea Dogs (5 G, .391/.417/.783/1.200, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, BB, SB)
Yorke, Boston’s surprise 1st round pick in 2020 who debuted with guns blazing in 2021, had a tough 2022 and struggled with injuries. His stock has fallen some, but he came back healthy and made some adjustments in the 2022 Arizona Fall League. With Portland to start this year, the 21-year-old is showing why he could be the Red Sox future second baseman. He’s coming off a very solid week at the dish, and don’t look now but he’s put up a .967 OPS in his first 18 games at Double-A. (@Scotty_Ballgame)
Jeremiah Jackson, SS (Angels #9)
Rocket City Trash Pandas (5 G, .611/.636/.889/1.525, 11 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 SB)
Southern League Player of the Week!
Troy Johnston, 1B/OF (Marlins #27)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (6 G, .292/.414/.875/1.289, 7 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB)
Lawrence Butler, OF (Athletics #10)
Midland RockHounds (6 G, .444/.483/.556/1.039, 12 H, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 SB)
Dynamic Duo!! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/WePzeIawQI
— Midland RockHounds (@RockHounds) April 26, 2023
PITCHER: Brandon Komar, RHP (Cardinals NR)
Springfield Cardinals (1 GS, 7 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K)
Texas League Pitcher of the Week!
Komar joined the Cardinal organization in the offseason as a Rule 5 pick up from San Diego. He had a fantastic start last week against Wichita, allowing just two base runners over seven innings, a third inning walk and a fourth inning single. His minor league career profile points to a middle reliever with the capability to make the occasional spot start. Nothing to get overly excited about from a fantasy baseball perspective, but right now any success from a Cardinal starting pitcher is a win.
What a performance from RHP Brandon Komar (AA) this afternoon to earn his first win of the season:
7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO 💥
Komar extended his scoreless inning streak to 11.0. pic.twitter.com/qAl2Wjg4II
— Cardinals Player Development (@CardsPlayerDev) April 26, 2023
Patrick Monteverde, LHP (Marlins NR)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K)
Alan Rangel, RHP (Braves #43)
Mississippi Braves (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Jordan Wicks, LHP (Cubs #11)
Tennessee Smokies (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K)
Southern League Pitcher of the Week!
Evan Fitterer, RHP (Marlins NR)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K)
Bryan Woo, RHP (Mariners #12)
Arkansas Travelers (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
Cade Povich, LHP (Orioles #18)
Bowie Baysox (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K)
Eastern League Pitcher of the Week!
HITTER: Jonatan Clase, OF (Mariners #10)
Everett AquaSox (6 G, .393/.469/.964/1.433, 11 H, 4 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB, 4 SB)
Northwest League Player of the Week!
70-grade speed with a .386 ISO? That is a superstar! OK, we can slow down a little bit since the increase in power output is only over 101 plate appearances. The speed is for real though, as he stole 55 bases in A-ball last year. IF the power uptick is for real you will not want to wait to get this guy on your dynasty roster. The potential of a future outfield with Clase in the middle of JRod & Kelenic should definitely make Mariners fans smile.
70-grade speed has turned into a trot for Jonatan Clase.
The No. 12 @Mariners prospect connects on a three-run blast for the @EverettAquaSox: pic.twitter.com/ke2ZrbenEG
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 24, 2023
Blake Dunn, OF (Reds NR)
Dayton Dragons (6 G, .550/.667/1.050/1.717, 11 H, 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 4 SB)
Midwest League Player of the Week!
Dunn, a 2021 15th round pick of the Cincinnati Reds, has hit the ground running. The Reds have been taking it slow with Dunn, who is definitely old for High-A ball at 24 but he is coming back from multiple injuries he has suffered in every season, not playing more than 33 in any one season. When he has been healthy he has hit well, stolen some bases, and played stellar defense. He is slashing a remarkable .286/.538/.702 with 5 home runs and 11 stolen bases. He needs to be moved up and if he can continue to hit this is a guy to keep an eye on. (@darylhauck)
Junior Caminero, SS (Rays #6)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (6 G, .435/.458/.957/1.415, 10 H, 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R)
Mike Jarvis, OF (Pirates NR)
Greensboro Grasshoppers (5 G, .412/.444/1.294/1.738, 7 H, 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, BB, 2 SB)
South Atlantic League Player of the Week!
Sterlin Thompson, OF (Rockies #10)
Spokane Indians (6 G, .435/.500/.870/1.370, 10 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, SB)
PITCHER: Josh Stephan, RHP (Rangers #28)
Hickory Crawdads (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
Stephan, a 21-year-old right-hander from Grand Prairie, Texas, is off to a blistering start for High-A Hickory. In his first three starts, he’s logged 18 IP and an ERA of 0.50 while winning all three games. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Stephan came in at #28 on the pre-season Top 50 list but is likely skyrocketing up that list if this kind of performance continues. (@byrontx)
Josh Stephan is off to quite the start this season! pic.twitter.com/vzlibaRIxO
— Hickory Crawdads (@HickoryCrawdads) April 28, 2023
Alex Cornwell, LHP (Cardinals NR)
Peoria Chiefs (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
Will Dion, LHP (Guardians #29)
Lake County Captains (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP (Braves #9)
Rome Braves (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K)
South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week!
Yon Castro, RHP (Dodgers NR)
Great Lakes Loons (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
Midwest League Pitcher of the Week!
Carlos Pena, LHP (Tigers NR)
West Michigan Whitecaps (2 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 10 K)
HITTER: Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF (Phillies #19)
Clearwater Threshers (5 G, .400/.520/.800/1.320, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB, 5 SB)
Florida State League Player of the Week!
Rincones was Philadelphia’s 3rd round pick last year out of Florida Atlantic college. He has a good feel for hitting with plus power. His defense is average so he may not stick in the outfield as he moves up the ladder but that’s a problem for another day. Even though he grades low on speed, he has already stolen 13 bases this season. With his potential to hit and hit for power, the DH-risk is worth the gamble to get him now before he keeps putting up weeks like this. He was ranked 19th in our Preseason Top 50 but is making a move to rise even higher when the mid-season rankings are released. (@tonybps1)
Daylen Lile, OF (Nationals #18)
Fredericksburg Nationals (6 G, .333/.367/.667/1.034, 9 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, SB)
Chris Newell, OF (Dodgers NR)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (5 G, .412/.565/.824/1.389, 7 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, SB)
California League Player of the Week!
Alex Iadisernia, OF (Cardinals NR)
Palm Beach Cardinals (5 G, .444/.522/.944/1.466, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB)
Dillon Dingler, C (Tigers #13)
Lakeland Flying Tigers (6 G, .526/.591/1.105/1.696, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 SB)
Dingler laid waste to Single-A pitching last week while on a rehab assignment.
Joseph Montalvo, RHP (Rangers NR)
Down East Wood Ducks (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K)
Carolina League Pitcher of the Week!
Drafted in the 20th round of the 2021 draft out of Central Pointe Christian High School in Kissimmee, FL, Montalvo turns 21 this month and celebrated by giving up a lone hit in 6 innings of shutout baseball. Sporting a very projectable 6’2”, 185lb frame, the young right-hander is looking to continue stacking solid starts on top of each other. (@byrontx)
Blake Adams, RHP (Rockies NR)
Fresno Grizzlies (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
Adams has pitched brilliantly for Fresno in 3 April starts. On Tuesday April 26, the 2022 13th round pick limited the San Jose Giants to a mere 3 hits, striking out 6 and not allowing a walk. In April, Adams held right-handed hitters to a mere .162 average. Over 17 innings, Adams has recorded 20 strikeouts, while walking just two. (@100percent3G)
Alexander Vallecillo, RHP (Brewers NR)
Carolina Mudcats (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
Brandon Schaeffer, LHP (Mariners NR)
Modesto Nuts (1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 10 K)
Rafael Ohashi, RHP (Blue Jays #28)
Dunedin Blue Jays (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Special Mentions of the Week
Christopher Morel, OF (Cubs)
Iowa Cubs (5 G, .455/.520/1.045/1.565, 10 H, 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 2 SB)
JJ Bleday, OF (Athletics)
Las Vegas Aviators (6 G, .458/.581/1.000/1.581, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 12 R, 7 BB, SB)
Mickey Moniak, OF (Angels)
Salt Lake Bees (5 G, .500/.522/1.273/1.795, 11 H, 3B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, BB)
Pacific Coast League Player of the Week!
None of this trio of outfielders are prospect eligible anymore, but they all put up noteworthy performances last week. You have to think that each of these guys will get a shot to contribute at the MLB level again soon. If any of them were dropped in your league, this might represent a cheap buying opportunity.
Jeremy covers the St Louis organization and contributes on Prospects of the Week for Prospects1500. Born and raised in the Midwest, he is a lifelong fan of the Birds on the Bat. You can follow him on Twitter @JMahyfam for more baseball content.
"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too." -Yogi Berra
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