Prospects of the Week: August 1 – August 7

Elly De La Cruz (and Eric Davis), Futures Game, July 16, 2022, Denver, CO. Photo credit Alex Sanchez, @Alex_W_Sanchez on Twitter

Each week during the Minor League Baseball season we pick the hitting and pitching prospects from each level (Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, Single-A, and Rookie Leagues) who, in our opinion, had the best week. We award 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.

Triple-A

HITTER: Michael Helman, 2B (Twins #40)
St. Paul Saints (6 G, .400/.387/.933/1.320, 12 H, 2 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R, SB)
Helman came into this season as someone who may have been lost after missing all of 2020 like so many others. Now, at age 26, he is developing himself at AAA by showing some power and speed while being versatile all over the field. Since the beginning of August, he has gone 12/30 with four home runs, eight runs batted in, and a steal. Highlighted by a five-hit barrage to open the month, Helman now finds himself with a .278/.357/.505 line this season, and might find himself on the Twins later this season if their current run of injuries continues. (@sportz_nutt51)

Honorable Mentions:
Kerry Carpenter, OF (Tigers #31)
Toledo Mud Hens (7 G, .417/.500/.958/1.458, 10 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 5 BB, SB)
International League Player of the Week!
Eguy Rosario, 2B (Padres #11)
El Paso Chihuahuas (5 G, .565/.593/.957/1.550, 13 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, SB)
Pacific Coast League Player of the Week!
Luis Campusano, C (Padres #6)
El Paso Chihuahuas (5 G, .381/.440/.810/1.250, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB)

PITCHER: Michael Plassmeyer, LHP (Phillies NR)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 11 K)
Plassmeyer came over from the Giants in June and has pitched well in Lehigh Valley’s rotation. Against Syracuse earlier this week, he went 7 innings with a career-high 11 strikeouts. At 25 and showing some success in his new organization, Plassmeyer get his first call to the majors later this season. (@tonybps1)

Honorable Mentions:
Xzavion Curry, RHP (Guardians #12)
Columbus Clippers (1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K)
Andre Jackson, RHP (Dodgers #21)
Oklahoma City Dodgers (1 GS, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K)
Brian Keller, RHP (Red Sox NR)
Worcester Red Sox (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 10 K)

Double-A

HITTER: Elly De La Cruz, SS (Reds #2)
Chattanooga Lookouts (6 G, .429/.484/.821/1.305, 12 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 2 SB)
De La Cruz had vaulted himself to the top of the Cincinnati Reds farm system rankings. With the trade for Noelvi Marte (among others during the most recent trade deadline), a lot believe the former Seattle infielder is the Reds top prospect. With all due respect, De La Cruz is still a potential game changer for Cincinnati. Looking at his recent week, the 20-year-old has had no issue adjusting to his new home in Chattanooga (Cincinnati’s AA affiliate). De La Cruz maintained a slash line of .429/.484/.821 over the last 7 days. This is in addition to his 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 8 RBI’s over that same time frame. It’s just a matter of time before De La Cruz is an everyday player in Cincinnati. This week was just evidence that, in addition to being a consistent major league batter, he’s going to be a special one as well. (@DGentleman9288)

Honorable Mentions:
Yonathan Perlaza, 2B (Cubs NR)
Tennessee Smokies (6 G, .417/.500/1.125/1.625, 10 H, 2 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB)
Southern League Player of the Week!
Perlaza was an IFA bonus baby ($1 million) in 2015, the same class as Christopher Morel, Isaac Paredes, Miguel Amaya, and Brailyn Marquez. He’s always been a decent hitter, but the power numbers have exploded in the last two seasons. And, to be clear, he hasn’t just been hot this week. His combined numbers for the months of June and July are .285/.376/.518. In a system very deep in high upside OFs (Brennen Davis, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario, Kevin Alcantara, Owen Caissie, Yohendrick Pinango), Perlaza has been lost in the mix. But as an age-appropriate 23-year-old in AA, he’s making his case to be included in that group. (@CubsProspector)
Joey Ortiz, SS (Orioles #16)
Bowie Baysox (6 G, .417/.533/.795/1.325, 10 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 11 R, 6 BB, SB)
Connor Norby, 2B (Orioles #11)
Bowie Baysox (6 G, .423/.531/846/1.377, 11 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 10 R, 4 BB)
Brett Auerbach, C/IF (Giants #38)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (5 G, .450/.522/1.050/1.572, 9 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 2 SB)
Eastern League Player of the Week!
Mike Siani, OF (Reds #34)
Chattanooga Lookouts (6 G, .261/.469/.391/.860, 6 H, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 8 R, 9 BB, 8 SB)
Eight stolen bases in a week will get you a mention. Make it 39 on the year for him so far.

PITCHER: Jordan Wicks, LHP (Cubs #8)
Tennessee Smokies (2 GS, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 15 K)
Wicks was recently promoted to AA, and after a bumpy first two outings, he’s picked up right where he left off in High-A. Dominating. He faced the Rocket City Trash Pandas twice this week. In the first game, they couldn’t figure him out as he allowed two hits, no walks against eight strikeouts in 5 innings. But in their second time facing him… they still couldn’t figure him out. On the week, Wicks struck out 43% of the batters he faced while walking 5.7% allowing a BAA of .156 and zero runs over nine combined innings. Jordan is arguably the best pitching prospect in the Cubs system at the moment and is the most likely to be a future mainstay in their rotation. (@CubsProspector)

Honorable Mentions:
Wil Jensen, RHP (Giants NR)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Eastern League Pitcher of the Week!
Darius Vines, RHP (Braves #17)
Mississippi Braves (1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 9 K)
Jesus Vargas, RHP (Mets NR)
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
John Doxakis, LHP (Rays #27)
Montgomery Biscuits (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K)
Southern League Pitcher of the Week!
Levi Stoudt, RHP (Reds, was Mariners #6)
Chattanooga Lookouts (1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
Nice first start in his new franchise (part of blockbuster Luis Castillo trade).

High-A

HITTER: Zavier Warren, C/3B (Brewers #16)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (6 G, .480/.552/1.200/1.752, 12 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB)
Midwest League Player of the Week!
Warren was selected in the third round of the 2020 draft out of Central Michigan. He might have had his coming out party last week with an incredible six-game run for the Timber Rattlers in last week’s series at Quad Cities. He started the series with the River Bandits hot on August 2 with a double, two triples, and three RBI. For an encore on Wednesday, the switch-hitter followed with four more hits, including a home run from both sides of the plate, and five RBI. For the series, he went 12-for-25 with ten extra-base hits.

Honorable Mentions:
Heriberto Hernandez, OF (Rays #10)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (5 G, .421/.542/1.105/1.647, 8 H, 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 5 BB)
South Atlantic League Player of the Week!
Luis Santana, 2B (Astros #42)
Asheville Tourists (6 G, .318/.444/.955/1.399, 7 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB, 4 SB)
Ynmanol Marinez, SS (Marlins NR)
Beloit Sky Carp (6 G, .538/.538/.692/1.230, 14 H, 2 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 7 R, SB)
Denzel Clarke, OF (Athletics #10)
Lansing Lugnuts (5 G, .400/.500/1.000/1.500, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 2 SB)
Clarke became the first person to hit two inside-the-park home runs in back-to-back days for the first time in pro baseball history. The kid can flat out fly.

PITCHER: Andrew Painter, RHP (Phillies #1)
Jersey Shore BlueClaws (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 11 K)
Painter, the team’s 1st round pick in 2021 (13th overall) has not skipped a beat since moving up to High-A ball for Jersey Shore. This week against Hudson Valley, he showed why he’s considered a future ace for the Phillies striking out 11 in 7 innings, giving up no runs and only 2 hits. It’s the 2nd straight scoreless outing for the right-hander. Maybe a promotion to AA is in the cards soon? (@tonybps1)

Honorable Mentions:
Cade Povich, LHP (Orioles, was Twins #15)
Aberdeen IronBirds (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week!
Another dominant first start with a new franchise (Jorge Lopez trade).


Mason Englert, RHP (Rangers #37)
Hickory Crawdads (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 7 K)
Patrick Wicklander, LHP (Rays #41)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (1 GS, 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K)
Scott Randall, RHP (Diamondbacks #32)
Hillsboro Hops (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)

Single-A

HITTER: Axel Sanchez, SS (Mariners NR)
Modesto Nuts (6 G, .370/.433/.889/1.322, 10 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, SB)
California League Player of the Week!
Sanchez has begun the process of finding his star potential among the Mariners farm system. With Edwin Arroyo no longer a part of the Seattle system, Sanchez, who has spent time in High-A and the Complex League this season, might be the new hot rising shortstop prospect in Seattle. The 19-year-old hit .370/.433/.889 during the Nuts recent series against the Stockton Ports. He capped that off with 4 home runs (including a streak of 3 straight games with a home run from August 1st-4th) Expect Sanchez to shoot up the Mariners farm system rankings in the coming months. (@DGentleman9288)

Honorable Mentions:
Junior Sanquintin, SS (Guardians #41)
Lynchburg Hillcats (6 G, .440/.483/.840/1.323, 11 H, 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB)
Connor Blair, OF (Braves NR)
Augusta GreenJackets (4 G, .429/.619/1.214/1.833, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 7 BB, SB)
Carolina League Player of the Week!
Yunior Garcia, OF (Dodgers NR)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (5 G, .571/.571/.905/1.476, 12 H, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R)
Freuddy Batista, C (Mariners NR)
Modesto Nuts (5 G, .455/.520/.909/1.429, 10 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R)

PITCHER: Samuel Strickland, LHP (Braves NR)
Augusta GreenJackets (1 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 11 K)
Carolina League Pitcher of the Week!
Strickland was selected out of Sanford in the 19th round of the 2021 Draft by Atlanta. The book on him is that he’s a strike thrower, with a fastball up into the mid-nineties. As of now, he gives up far too many hits to be a viable starter, but could force his way into a middle relief role. Any organization would be happy with that outcome from a guy taken towards the end of the draft. (@MKelley_ND)

Honorable Mentions:
Joel Diaz, RHP (Mets #10)
St. Lucie Mets (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K)
Emiliano Teodo, RHP (Rangers #46)
Down East Wood Ducks (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 10 K)
Victor Juarez, RHP (Rockies #44)
Fresno Grizzlies (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K)
California League Pitcher of the Week!
Richard Fitts, RHP (Yankees NR)
Tampa Tarpons (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 7 K)
Florida State League Pitcher of the Week!
Alexander Cornielle, RHP (Brewers NR)
Carolina Mudcats (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)

Rookie Leagues

HITTER: Miguel Bleis, OF (Red Sox #18)
FCL Red Sox (5 G, .450/.542/.950/1.492, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 5 SB)
Florida Complex League Player of the Week!
The 18-year-old Dominican Republic native, Boston’s top international signing back in January 2021, is putting up solid numbers in his second rookie league season with the Red Sox. Some of the impressive Bleis stats Red Sox Nation should be excited about: .870 OPS and 16 SB through 36 games. Five of his SB were this week, three of which came on Wednesday. (@Scotty_Ballgame)

Honorable Mentions:
Yasser Mercedes, OF (Twins NR)
DSL Twins (5 G, .450/.450/.900/1.350, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 4 SB)
Edinson Duran, C (Yankees NR)
DSL NYY Bombers (4 G, .615/.667/1.385/2.052, 8 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, SB)
Dominican Summer League Player of the Week!
Romy Gonzalez, SS (White Sox #14)
ACL White Sox (5 G, .471/.526/1.176/1.702, 8 H, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R, BB)
Yeison Morrobel, OF (Rangers #27)
ACL Rangers (4 G, .529/.529/1.059/1.588, 9 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)
Florida Complex League Player of the Week!

PITCHER: Anthony Bello, RHP (Orioles NR)
DSL BAL Black (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
The 23-year-old Venezuelan right-hander was a late international sign in May of this year and has made his debut in the Dominican Summer League. In six starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He is averaging 11.3 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9. Look for the Orioles to be aggressive with his assignment if he continues to post these kinds of results.

Honorable Mentions:
Gabriel Torres, LHP (Rangers NR)
DSL Rangers Red (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
Rodolfo Garrido, RHP (Mets NR)
DSL Mets 1 (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
Ulices Campos, RHP (Tigers NR)
FCL Tigers (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K)
Arielbi Gonzalez, RHP (Brewers NR)
ACL Brewers Blue (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)

Jeremy covers the Oakland organization and contributes on Prospects of the Week for Prospects1500. Born and raised in the Midwest, as a lifelong baseball fan he is passionate about the game from Little League to the Big Leagues. 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




3 Comments

  1. Love seeing these every week, crazy that these are not behind a paywall (really glad they are not). Side note, love seeing the input from the different writers in these as well.
    It was mentioned that Axel Sanchez might shoot up the Mariners rankings. Is that more from his talent or the loss of middle infield talent out of the system at the deadline?

    • I truly believe it’s a bit of both in regards to Sanchez. If Arroyo and Marte (and other names) weren’t dealt he’d obviously be below a few of those names. However, Axel would still have gotten into Top-25 range with them there. In just the 2 weeks in Modesto, Sanchez has shown improvement to his batting stance and defense. With these other names being dealt, he could (and likely will) go from Top-25 to Top-15

  2. Thanks for the comments Joseph. Wanted to get @DGentleman9288 to answer your specific question since he covers the Mariners organization here at Prospects1500.

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