Each week during the Minor League Baseball season we pick the hitting and pitching prospects from each level (AAA, AA, A+, and A, then Short Season-A and Rookie league later in the summer) who, in our opinion, had the best week. We’re always on the lookout for candidates, so tweet us (@Prospects1500, @berrys_baseball and @Scotty_Ballgame) when you see a great performance.
Jake Berry and Scott Greene pick their 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. Enjoy, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for these prospects in your dynasty leagues!
Hitter: Austin Riley, 3B (Atlanta Braves #3)
Gwinnett Stripers (.478/.538/1.261, 5 HR, 3 2B, 11 H, 5 SO, 3 BB)
Riley has been on a tear this season, especially this last week, and has many Braves fans shouting for a call up. That is an article for another day. For now, let’s just focus on the week that was. The 2015 draft pick has already hit five homers in the month of May and has posted just four strikeouts. He has done so mainly while playing at his primary hot corner position, but also got a start at first base as well. There are some rumblings about getting Riley some outfield experience, so there is a small possibility of multiple position eligibility down the road.
ANOTHER Austin Riley tater! That’s two 🥔🥔
492 feet, according to the call!
The #Braves‘ No. 5 prospect is now 4-for-4 with 11 total bases for @GoStripers today. 4 doubles & 5 homers in his past 6 games.@Braves prospect stats: https://t.co/P7q4BPpFir pic.twitter.com/EcR0Banh16
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 1, 2019
Yordan Alvarez, OF (Houston Astros #3)
Round Rock Express (.650/.708/1.000, 13 H, 1 HR, 4 2B, 2 SO, 4 BB)
Josh VanMeter, 1B (Cincinnati Reds #20)
Louisville Bats (.304/.429/.957, 5 HR, 7 H, 3 SO, 5 BB)
Pitcher: Dario Agrazal, RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates #42)
Indianapolis Indians (13.1 IP, 13 K, 2 BB, 2 ER, 9 H)
Agrazal got the call from Double-A to Triple-A and impressed in his first two starts at the minor league’s highest level. The right hander delivered two quality starts including seven innings of shutout ball in his second outing of the week. 13 total strikeouts compared to just two walks to start out a Triple-A career will get you off on the right foot.
Home sweet home for Dario Agrazal’s @TripleABaseball debut! 🏠
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) April 29, 2019
Devin Smeltzer, RHP (Minnesota Twins #36)
Rochester Red Wings (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
Hitter: Dom Thompson-Williams, OF (Seattle Mariners #15)
Arkansas Travelers (.522/.593/.870, 12 H, 2 HR, 1 SB, 5 SO, 4 BB)
Thompson – Williams reached base 59% of the time last week, more than any hitter in Double-A with at least 20 plate appearances. He was also tied for the Double-A lead in hits and popped two homers. The 24-year-old hit safely in every game last week, including four multi hit performances.
Dom “Gon Give It To Ya” Thompson-Williams with his second HR in two days. He came into today’s game slugging .500 with a wRC+ of 143. pic.twitter.com/VZ7WplAKLJ
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 5, 2019
Jazz Chisholm, SS (Arizona Diamondbacks #3)
Jackson Generals (.300/.417/.900, 4 HR, 6 H, 1 SB)
Edward Olivares, SS (San Diego Padres #22)
Amarillo Sod Poodles (.393/.433/.857, 4 HR (3 in one game!), 11 H, 3 SB)
THREE. HOME. RUNS.
Yours, Edward Olivares. pic.twitter.com/dYMgxb0TQn
— Amarillo Sod Poodles (Blue Checkmark) (@sodpoodles) May 5, 2019
Pitcher: Casey Mize, RHP (Detroit Tigers #1)
Erie SeaWolves (14 IP, 2 W, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)
No surprise here as the number one pick in last year’s draft made national headlines after tossing a complete game no hitter in his Double-A debut. He followed that performance up with five innings of two hit ball five days later for a pretty impressive Double-A stat line. The Auburn product is the second straight Tigers farmhand to take home the Double-A Pitcher of the Week.
Imagine pitching a no-hitter.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 4, 2019
Rico Garcia, RHP (Colorado Rockies #23)
Hartford Yard Goats (2 W, 13.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 18 K)
Great 11 pitch AB for Bobby Dalbec. Still nothing to show for it as a strikes out swinging after a bunch of fouls. Rico Garcia with 6.2 IP, 4 H and 11K! Wow he was dealing tonight. Lowers his ERA to 1.82. #RedSox @PortlandSeaDogs #Rockies @GoYardGoats pic.twitter.com/S6cLqA0OrA
— Scott Greene (@Scotty_Ballgame) May 1, 2019
Hitter: Jack Larsen, OF (Seattle Mariners, NR)
Modesto Nuts (.433/.514/.867, 3 HR, 4 2B, 11 H, 1 SB)
It was a pretty good week for the 24-year-old UC San Diego product who socked three dingers, more than he had the rest of the year combined. Larsen added four doubles to the offensive outburst and had five multi hit games on the week. It is also worth noting the nine strikeouts were balanced out a little bit by five walks. Of course this is a 24-year-old in the California League we are talking about, but it was still a notable performance.
Jack Larsen’s last 8 games:
.294/.429/.559/.988, 10H, 3 2B, 2HR, 6R, 11RBI, 8BB, 12K. #GoNuts
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) May 3, 2019
Joe Rizzo, 3B (Seattle Mariners #30)
Modesto Nuts (.500/.531/.733, 15 H (most in MiLB last week), 1 HR, 4 2B, 3 SO, 5 BB)
Pitcher: MacKenzie Gore, LHP (San Diego Padres #2)
Lake Elsinore Storm (9.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 18 K)
It was a two start week for one of the game’s best left handed pitching prospects and he impressed in both outings. Gore struck out 11 over just 4.1 IP in his first trip to the mound, then tossed five scoreless with seven K’s on Cinco De Mayo. Gore has been carving up California League hitters as he has struck out at least seven in five of his six starts this year. Of course that is all coming while allowing just four earned runs over 31.1 IP.
There’s a new career high for MacKenzie Gore: 11 K in 4.1 IP.
18 swinging strikes
For context, only 3 #MLB pitchers have had a higher % of swinging strikes this year in a game with at least 86 pitches thrown.#Padres prospect stats: https://t.co/qhxUsyE11e pic.twitter.com/YeAwRKPrOO
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 30, 2019
Michael Baumann, RHP (Baltimore Orioles #25)
Frederick Keys (6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K)
Baumann and Travis Seabrooke kept the Wilmington Blue Rocks hitless over 8 innings, but Frederick Keys lost the no hitter and game in the 9th inning.
Michael Baumann strikes out the side in the 4th including Seuly Matias. Baumann is perfect thru 4 with 7 strikeouts. pic.twitter.com/yEFvvBbN8i
— Carolina League Prospects (@league_carolina) May 1, 2019
Hitter: Rodolfo Castro, INF (Pittsburgh Pirates #43)
Greensboro Grasshoppers (.409/.458/1.182, 5 HR, 2 2B, 9 H, 11 RBI, 5 SO, 1 BB)
Castro had two multi homer games on his way to the five total he hit last week. South Atlantic League pitchers offered little resistance to the 19-year-old as he crushed them for a 1.640 OPS while driving in 11 runs. A true indicator of a dominant weeks is when you homer just as many times as you strikeout.
Keep an eye on #Pirates 2B Rodolfo Castro. 19 years old. Switch hitter. Homered from both sides of the plate tonight. Both balls were crunched. 104 mph exit velo on the second dinger.
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) May 5, 2019
Samuel Huff, C (Texas Rangers #19)
Hickory Crawdads (.333/.391/.810, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 7 H, 1 SB)
Josh Breaux, C (New York Yankees #15)
Charleston RiverDogs (.500/.556/1.313, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 8 H)
Pitcher: Jake Wong, RHP (San Francisco Giants #24)
Augusta GreenJackets (12 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)
The Giants number 24 prospect got two starts last week and didn’t allow a single hit during either one of them. He went six frames in both outings, but the first one was much more dominant with 6 K’s as opposed to just two in the second start. However, the second start was incredibly efficient as Wong lived in the strike zone. 38 of his 52 pitches went for strikes.
Jake Wong hasn’t allowed a hit since April 24. 6IP of no hit baseball in his last start.
6 IP of no hit baseball today. Only at 53 pitches right now.
— Rylan Kobre (@RylanKobrePxP) May 5, 2019
Daniel Bies, RHP (New York Yankees, NR)
Charleston RiverDogs (W, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)
6’8” Daniel Bies (@ChasRiverDogs) with a sublime performance tonight: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K (75 pitches). In two starts, he has allowed no runs on four hits with a 17/0 K/BB over 12.2 IP. #Yankees #milb
— Tom Kosensky (@mryclept) May 3, 2019
Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP (Houston Astros, NR)
Quad Cities River Bandits (W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
Trey Cumbie, LHP (Tampa Bay Rays, NR)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (2 G, 2 SV, 4 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K)
Strikeout #3 for Trey Cumbie
Hot Rods 5
Lugnuts 3 pic.twitter.com/afelNdGmYt
— BG Hot Rods (@BGHotRods) April 28, 2019
I reside in Carrollton, Georgia and love everything baseball. I graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. I have a passion for the minor leagues and have high hopes of visiting as many minor league parks as I can. I enjoy the statistical side of the game, especially sabermetrics. I am also an avid baseball card collector and fantasy baseball player.