Prospects of the Week: July 11 – July 17

Gain Williams, Akron Rubberducks, June 19, 2022, Hartford, CT. Photo credit Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame 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 League) 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.

Triple-A

HITTER: Ezequiel Duran, 3B (Rangers #4)
Round Rock Express (6 G, .423/.429/.962/1.391, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R, BB, SB)
Duran has had his call-up to the big leagues already this year and held his own over 62 at-bats (.258/.281/.435). At the end of June, he returned to Round Rock in an effort to allow him to get consistent at-bats and to start training in the outfield, a position that he hasn’t played much of as a professional. If he can prove himself to be a capable outfielder, the former Yankee farmhand might find himself back in Texas to stay next time.

Honorable Mentions:
Richie Palacios, OF (Guardians #19)
Columbus Clippers (5 G, .444/.524/.944/1.468, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 SB)
Taylor Kohlwey, OF (Padres NR)
El Paso Chihuahuas (6 G, .455/.571/682/1.253, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB)
Will Benson, OF (Guardians #23)
Columbus Clippers (5 G, .368/.429/.789/1.218, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 SB)
C.J. Hinojosa, IF (Padres NR)
El Paso Chihuahuas (6 G, .348/.348/.739/1.087, 8 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R)

PITCHER: Peyton Battenfield, RHP (Guardians #18)
Columbus Clippers (1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
Battenfield fell a few spots to #21 in our Guardians midseason top-50 update (released today). Part of the reason for that may be the drop in his strikeout rate. In 2019, he averaged 10.5 K/9 and then 11.5 in 2021. This year he has dropped down to 6 K/9 against Triple-A hitting. He has remained fairly effective with a 2.91 ERA and 1.15 WHIP so if he can find that strikeout pitch again he might get back some of that fantasy appeal.

Honorable Mentions:
Janson Junk, RHP (Angels #26)
Salt Lake Bees (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K)
J.P. France, RHP (Astros #36)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (1 GS, 7 IP, H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)
DL Hall, LHP (Orioles #4)
Norfolk Tides (2 GS, 10.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 18 K)
Bryce Elder, RHP (Braves #5)
Gwinnett Stripers (1 GS, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

Double-A

CO-HITTERS:
Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B (Twins #19)
Cedar Rapids Kernels/Wichita Wind Surge (6 G, .461/.517/1.269/1.786, 12 H, 4 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, SB)
Have yourself a week, Mr. Encarnacion-Strand! The heavy-hitting third baseman got promoted to Double-A a few days ago and didn’t miss a beat. Over the past seven days, he has had thirteen hits, with six of those being home runs. His grand entrance to Wichita culminated by hitting for the cycle over the weekend. He is someone to keep an eye on as he looks like someone who will rise up my personal rankings going forward. (@sportz_nutt51)

Chris Williams, C (Twins NR)
Wichita Wind Surge (6 G, .462/.500/1.269/1.769, 12 H, 3 2B, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB)
Chris Williams was a relative unknown to me due to a lackluster 2021 season, but his impact on the field in 2022 needs some recognition. He has adapted well to Double-A pitching which was on full display this past week. The suddenly power-hitting catcher/first-baseman hit six home runs and drove in twenty runs this week. It remains to be seen if this is a hot streak or something more substantial, but it’s made for a fun week nonetheless. (@sportz_nutt51)

Honorable Mentions:
Niko Hulsizer, OF (Rays #49)
Montgomery Biscuits (6 G, .400/.385/.800/1.185, 10 H, 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 9 R, 4 SB)
Yoelquis Cespedes, OF (White Sox #11)
Birmingham Barons (5 G, .412/.565/.941/1.506, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 6 BB, 4 SB)
Justin Dirden, OF (Astros #17)
Corpus Christi Hooks (5 G, .591/.640/1.091/1.731, 13 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, SB)
Kyle McCann, C (Athletics NR)
Midland RockHounds (5 G, .429/.520/1.190/1.710, 9 H, 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB)

PITCHER: Jared Shuster, LHP (Braves #2)
Mississippi Braves (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K)
The Braves’ new #2 prospect put his talent on full display this week against Rocket City. He threw 7 scoreless frames with 12 punchouts, 2 hits, and zero walks. In a system known for developing pitching, Shuster deservedly occupies the top of the Braves’ minor league pitching throne. (@MKelley_ND)

Honorable Mentions:
Garrett Stallings, RHP (Orioles #39)
Bowie Baysox (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K)
Noah Davis, RHP (Rockies #47)
Hartford Yard Goats (1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K)
Sean Boyle, RHP (Yankees NR)
Somerset Patriots (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K)
Gavin Williams, RHP (Guardians #3)
Akron RubberDucks (1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K)

High-A

HITTER: J.C. Correa, SS (Astros #18)
Asheville Tourists (6 G, .500/.519/.962/1.481, 13 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, BB)
J.C. does not display the power that his older brother does, but he is proving to be a pretty good hitter in his own right. He owns a .311 average this year and is striking out less than 9% of the time. If he can tap into more power his profile may get more interesting. Something to monitor with Correa is a potential positional change. He has caught in 37 games this season, a new position for him.

Honorable Mentions:
Stanley Consuegra, OF (Mets #36)
Brooklyn Cyclones (6 G, .440/.481/.920/1.401, 11 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, SB)
Evan Carter, OF (Rangers #7)
Hickory Crawdads (5 G, .333/.400/1.056/1.456, 6 H, 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, BB)
Leo Jimenez, SS (Blue Jays #9)
Vancouver Canadians (6 G, .400/.536/.800/1.336, 8 H, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 2 SB)


Luis Toribio, 3B (Giants #47)
Eugene Emeralds (6 G, .421/.500/1.105/1.605, 8 H, 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB)

PITCHER: Ben Brown, RHP (Phillies #8)
Jersey Shore BlueClaws (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K)
Brown was a 33rd round pick in 2017 out of high school. He is fully healthy after undergoing Tommy John surgery and is putting up some big numbers this year. After struggling a bit last year, he’s put himself into consideration for a promotion soon. This week’s performance against Aberdeen gives him 101 strikeouts in 69.1 innings to go with a 1.01 WHIP. (@tonybps1)

Honorable Mentions:
Ignacio Feliz, RHP (Orioles NR)
Aberdeen IronBirds (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K)
Carson Seymour, RHP (Rays NR)
Brooklyn Cyclones (1 GS, 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 11 K)
Bryce Miller, RHP (Mariners #18)
Everett AquaSox (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K)
Prelander Berroa, RHP (Mariners #26)
Everett AquaSox (2 GS, 9 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 12 K)

Single-A

HITTER: Juan Brito, IF (Rockies NR)
Fresno Grizzlies (6 G, .520/.600/.840/1.440, 13 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 5 BB, 3 SB)
Single-A Fresno Grizzly middle infielder Juan Brito continued a hot July (.333/.406.544) by wearing out the Rancho Cucamonga Dodgers pitching for the week of July 12. The 20-year old from the Dominican Republic raked his way to Prospects1500 player of the week by raking a lofty slash line of .520/.600/1.040. For the week, the middle infielder banged out a total of 13 hits, including 5 extra base hits–3 doubles, a triple, and belted his 6th home run of the year. Brito displayed a keen eye and speed on the bases as he drew 5 walks, and swiped 3 bases on 4 attempts (14/19 on the season). Brito currently sits among California League Leaders in doubles, triples, walks, and is presently ranked 7th in on base percentage for qualified players. The switch hitter joins a nucleus of young and talented Rockies infielders under the age of 20. (@100percent3G)

Honorable Mentions:
Kadon Morton, OF (Braves #23)
Augusta GreenJackets (6 G, .471/.526/.941/1.467, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB)
Juan Mora, 2B (Cubs NR)
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6 G, .375/.423/.750/1.173, 9 H, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB)
Carson Williams, SS (Rays #5)
Charleston RiverDogs (6 G, .320/.370/.800/1.170, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB)
Noah Cardenas, C (Twins NR)
Fort Myers Mighty Muscles (6 G, .409/.480/.909/1.389, 9 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB)
Walking Cabrera, OF (Mariners #24)
Modesto Nuts (6 G, .500/.565/.950/1.515, 10 H, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 5 BB, 3 SB)

PITCHER: Jack Kochanowicz, RHP (Angels #47)
Inland Empire 66ers (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K)
Kochanowicz has had a late start to the season due to injury but has now got his feet under him and has started to dominate the competition! Over his last 2 starts he has a 38% CSW with 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. His ability to throw strikes has improved this season compared to last where he was at 64% and now sits at 68%. (@A_Rhodes77)

Honorable Mentions:
Tink Hence, RHP (Cardinals #8)
Palm Beach Cardinals (1 GS, 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 8 K)


Thad Ward, RHP (Red Sox #25)
Salem Red Sox (2 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 10 K)
Stiven Cruz, RHP (Brewers #29)
Carolina Mudcats (1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K)
Kyle Virbitsky, RHP (Athletics NR)
Stockton Ports (1 GS, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
Ryan Long, RHP (Orioles NR)
Delmarva Shorebirds (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K)

Rookie Leagues

HITTER: Oliver Carrillo, OF (Padres NR)
DSL Padres (7 G, .474/.607/1.105/1.712, 9 H, 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 8 BB)
Carrillo was signed this January after bursting onto the scene in the Mexican Winter League where he was named MVP after just missing the triple crown. He is shorter in stature (5’9″) and is considered a bit of a late bloomer but it is possible that the Padres got the steal of this years international signing period. Dynasty owners need to keep an eye this one as he climbs the organizational ladder.

Honorable Mentions:
P.J. Hilson, OF (Giants NR)
ACL Giants Black (6 G, .364/.417/.955/1.372, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R, BB, SB)
Miguel Bleis, OF (Red Sox #18)
FCL Red Sox (4 G, .471/.471/.941/1.412, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 4 SB)
Yasser Mercedes, OF (Twins NR)
DSL Twins (5 G, .500/.522/818/1.340, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, 8 R, BB, 4 SB)
Denzer Guzman, IF (Angels #13)
ACL Angels (5 G, .350/.364/..750/1.114, 7 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, BB, SB)

PITCHER: Leandro Calderon, RHP (Rangers NR)
DSL TEX Blue (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K)
In a week full of good pitching performances in the Rookie Leagues, Calderon’s 5 inning, 1 hit, 12 K, 0 walk performance came out on top. The 20-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic is off to a great start this year. In 20 innings, he has 39 K, 1.35 ERA, and a 0.65 WHIP.

Honorable Mentions:
Sandy Mejia, RHP (Astros NR)
DSL HOU Blue (1 GS, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 12 K)
Jose Cabrera, RHP (Diamondbacks NR)
ACL D-Backs (1 GS, 7 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Victor Simeon, RHP (Rangers NR)
DSL TEX Blue (1 GS, 5.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K)
Luis Perales, RHP (Red Sox NR)
FCL Red Sox (2 G/1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K)
Adrian Ogando, RHP (Nationals NR)
FCL Nationals (1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 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




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