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.
HITTERS: “The Sugar Land Thumpers”
Justin Dirden, OF (Astros #10)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (5 G, .500/.519/1.192/1.711, 13 H, 4 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 7 R, BB)
Pacific Coast League Player of the Week!
Bligh Madris, OF (Astros NR)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (6 G, .452/.514/.968/1.482, 14 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB)
Grae Kessinger, 3B (Astros NR)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys ( G, .519/.563/.852/1.415, 14 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 11 R, 3 BB, SB)
J.J. Matijevic, 1B (Astros NR)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (6 G, .433/.452/.867/1.319, 13 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 7 R, BB)
The Sugar Land Space Cowboys enjoyed their trip down to Albuquerque last week. In the six game series they pounded out 76 runs on 97 hits capped off by a 24 run/8 HR day on Sunday. The foursome above were responsible for driving in 47 of those runs and 54 of the hits (29 extra base hits). For dynasty purposes Dirden is the one to know about. He went from being undrafted in the shortened draft of 2020 to now knocking on the door of the big leagues. He impressed the organization during Spring Training and carries a .269/.339/.519 slash line into play this week.
Matt McLain, SS (Reds #6)
Louisville Bats (6 G, .440/.483/.920/1.403, 11 H, 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, SB)
International League Player of the Week!
McLain, 1st round pick, #17 overall by the Reds in 2021, is off to an amazing start in AAA-Louisville. He is slashing .333/.448/.667 with 9 homers and 8 stolen bases in 143 plate appearances. He is really knocking on the door of the majors but there are a couple of factors holding him back. He is not on the 40 man as of yet and is primarily a shortstop. He has been getting some time at second as well. He is blocked in the majors by Jose Barrero and Jonathan India. With an injury to either or if Barrero struggles we could see McLain make his MLB debut shortly. (@darylhauck)
David Hamilton, SS (Red Sox #28)
Worcester Red Sox (6 G, .429/.556/.810/1.366, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R, 6 BB, 6 SB)
Does this player have what it takes to make it to the big leagues? He’s showing that he’s not that one dimensional, speed-only guy which some considered when he came over to Boston in the Hunter Renfroe-Jackie Bradley Jr. deal. He put up the numbers in AA, and now he’s producing week after week in AAA. Keep an eye on Boston’s injuries because Hamilton could be coming, sooner than later or expected. (@Scotty_Ballgame)
Masyn Winn, SS (Cardinals #2)
Memphis Redbirds (6 G, .417/.548/.875/1.423, 10 H, 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R, 6 BB, 3 SB)
After a slow start, Winn is really getting things going as the calendar has flipped to May. He has raised his average 24 points, his OBP 50 pts, and his SLG almost 100 points. All the more encouraging is that he has 6 BB/3 K in May after going 9 BB/27 K in April.
PITCHER: Drew Rom, LHP (Orioles #20)
Norfolk Tides (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K)
Drew Rom has found success at every level of the Baltimore system since being drafted in the 4th round in 2018. While he doesn’t have the dominant stuff of a potential ace, Rom has lowered his walk rate back to less than 3 BB/9 while maintaining his 9.2 K/9, showing his plus control. All of that was on display this week when Rom dominated Durham for 6 innings, allowing only 2 hits and punching out 11 in a 9-1 Norfolk win. (@RyanJames5)
Through the top of the 4th, @Drew_Rom10 has struck out nine batters! That ties his career-high!#RisingTide pic.twitter.com/4cRpVi3Mrd
— Norfolk Tides (@NorfolkTides) May 3, 2023
Quinn Priester, RHP (Pirates #5)
Indianapolis Indians (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
Jared Shuster, LHP (Braves #3)
Gwinnett Stripers (1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
Kyle Harrison, LHP (Giants #1)
Sacramento River Cats (1 GS, 4 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K)
Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week!
HITTER: Ethan Wilson, OF (Phillies #13)
Reading Fightin Phils (5 G, .480/.500/.960/1.460, 12 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, BB, SB)
Eastern League Player of the Week!
Wilson was the team’s 2nd round pick in the 2021 draft after a successful collegiate career for South Alabama. He was originally thought to be an advanced bat with power that would quickly move up in the organization but he struggled his first two years. That all has changed this season. Since he came off the IL in late April, Wilson has been scorching hot and is getting back on the prospect radar. Of course it’s only been a few weeks so small sample size applies but something may have clicked for the outfielder. He’s only owned in 4% of all Fantrax leagues so now is the time to gamble that the success will continue. (@tonybps1)
Make that home runs in back-to-back days for Ethan Wilson!
He stays HOT and the bats keep rolling for the Fightins! pic.twitter.com/QikiAqPZ0U
— Reading Fightin Phils (@ReadingFightins) May 4, 2023
Hunter Goodman, C/1B (Rockies #12)
Hartford Yard Goats (6 G, .320/.346/.800/1.146, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 3 R, BB)
Johan Rojas, OF (Phillies #7)
Reading Fightin Phils (6 G, .519/.567/.741/1.308, 14 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 10 R, 3 BB, 2 SB)
Noelvi Marte, IF (Reds #2)
Chattanooga Lookouts (6 G, .417/.481/.958/1.439, 10 H, 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, SB)
Southern League Player of the Week!
After a slow start, Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte, has come on strong, batting .277/.357/.485 in 115 plate appearances. The Reds really do have a logjam of infielders and Marte has been seeing some time at third. (@darylhauck)
Tyler Black, 2B (Brewers #8)
Biloxi Shuckers (5 G, .350/.500/.600/1.100, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 6 BB, 7 SB)
This guy should be a household name. The fact that he isn’t should be a really nice buying window in dynasty leagues. Even with the “experimental ball” in the Southern League he is walking more than he strikes out, his power is ticking up (.270 ISO), and he has stolen 17 bases so far. He will be inside my top-100 at next update.
Eddys Leonard, SS (Dodgers #17)
Tulsa Drillers (5 G, .500/.545/1.000/1.545, 10 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, BB, SB)
Texas League Player of the Week!
Chih-Jung Liu, RHP (Red Sox NR)
Portland Sea Dogs (1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K)
Eastern League Pitcher of the Week!
This was kind of out of nowhere. Liu had fallen out of favor for Ben Wilson and me in formulating our Red Sox Top 50 back in January. He was left off that list, and slotted #40 back in midseason 2022. He’s started five games in Double-A this year, putting up a respectable 3.65 ERA. Liu hasn’t been scored upon in three of the five starts, but this past week’s 7-inning, no hit outing was clearly the cream of his crop so far. (@Scotty_Ballgame)
Eury Perez, RHP (Marlins #1)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (2 GS, 11 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 20 K)
Perez had a couple of statement starts this week for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. In 2 starts against the Mississippi Braves (May 2nd and 7th) Perez totaled 11 innings, 20 strikeouts, 3 walks, 4 hits, and 2 earned runs, yes, those totals are for 2 games. While it does seem that they are working him on a pitch count or innings limit he has proven that he is ready for the next stage in development. Look for him to get a promotion to AAA Jacksonville soon and a September call up to Miami is not out of the question. Year to date Perez has pitched 31 innings in 6 starts with a 2.32 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP! (@stoffer81)
Domingo Robles, LHP (Braves NR)
Mississippi Braves (1 G, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K)
Southern League Pitcher of the Week!
Tanner Gordon, RHP (Braves #22)
Mississippi Braves (1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Sem Robberse, RHP (Blue Jays #14)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 7 K)
Clayton Beeter, RHP (Yankees #10)
Somerset Patriots (1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 11 K)
Joey Cantillo, LHP (Guardians #24)
Akron RubberDucks (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 13 K)
Mike Vasil, RHP (Mets #12)
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K)
HITTER: Marcelo Mayer, SS (Red Sox #1)
Greenville Drive (6 G, .516/.516/1.000/1.516, 16 H, 6 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 8 R, SB)
South Atlantic League Player of the Week!
Boston’s 1st round pick in 2021 (4th overall) got off to a slower start than many anticipated this year in High-A, but don’t blink now. He’s on fire lately, and his season slashline is up to .337/.414/.582/.996 after 23 games. This is one player I do not want Boston rushing to the majors, but I do feel that with continued success at this level, he’s going to see AA sooner than later. I’m calling for a promotion Portland by mid-to-late June, if not earlier. (@Scotty_Ballgame)
FINAL: Drive 7, Tourists 3
Have a week, kid. Marcelo Mayer is well, red hot. 4-for-4 with a homerun, 2 doubles, and 2 RBIs today.
Drive take five of six games in Asheville on the road trip. We’ll see you on Tuesday at Fluor Field! pic.twitter.com/nXgQlzjkSU
— Greenville Drive (@GreenvilleDrive) May 7, 2023
Drew Gilbert, OF (Astros #3)
Asheville Tourists (5 G, .455/.478/1.000/1.478, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, SB)
Austin Gauthier, SS (Dodgers NR)
Great Lakes Loons (6 G, .579/.667/.947/1.614, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 9 BB, SB)
Midwest League Player of the Week!
Carson Williams, SS (Rays #5)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (6 G, .429/.478/.952/1.430, 9 H, 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB)
Jordan Beck, OF (Rockies #16)
Spokane Indians (6 G, .440/.444/1.000/1.444, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R, BB)
Northwest League Player of the Week!
PITCHER: Jonathan Cannon, RHP (White Sox #12)
Winston-Salem Dash (1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K)
When the White Sox used their third round pick in the 2022 draft to nab Jonathan Cannon out of Georgia he was thought of as a guy that could move quickly through the system. His second season finds the 6’6” right-hander in High-A and he’s validating the Sox faith. Cannon is showing improved velocity that he is carrying deep into his starts. He was touching 97 mph 75+ pitches into his start against Asheville on 4/18. This week he threw seven shutout innings against Greensboro allowing only three hits. Additionally, he is minimizing damage by maintaining a 60% ground ball rate. Sox fans should keep a close eye on his progression as he works toward 35th and Shields. (@slydanno70)
Dustin Saenz, LHP (Nationals NR)
Wilmington Blue Rocks (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K)
Pierson Ohl, RHP (Twins #45)
Cedar Rapids Kernels (1 G, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K)
Kumar Rocker, RHP (Rangers #7)
Hickory Crawdads (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K)
Chad Dallas, RHP (Blue Jays #39)
Vancouver Canadians (1 GS, 6 IP, H, R, BB, 9 K)
Northwest League Pitcher of the Week!
Chandler Champlain, RHP (Royals #36)
Quad Cities River Bandits (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K)
Midwest League Pitcher of the Week!
HITTER: Jared Serna, 2B (Yankees #48)
Tampa Tarpons (5 G, .579/.652/1.158/1.810, 11 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, SB)
In 5 games against Bradenton this week, Serna went 11-19 (.579) for the Tampa Tarpons. He connected on 3 doubles and 2 home runs while driving in 7 RBI, also chipping in 1 steal. What was most impressive was his 4 walks to 2 strikeouts, raising his walk to K rate to 13:7 on the early season. Over his three year career, his walk to strikeout rate is 75:73 in just under 400 professional at bats (120 games). In his minor league career, the 20-year-old has hit .280 with 26 doubles, 11 home runs and 48 steals. He good plate discipline, barrels up balls well, and isn’t afraid to take the extra base or steal with his hustle and speed. He is someone to watch in the crowded middle infield prospect rankings and I believe a nice career as a utility man is on tap for the youngster. Serna is seeing time at 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop this year. (@PaulWoodin1)
Michael Curialle, 3B (Cardinals NR)
Palm Beach Cardinals (6 G, .706/.808/1.000/1.808, 12 H, 3 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 9 R, 9 BB, SB)
Florida State League Player of the Week!
The former UCLA Bruin was drafted in the 12th round of last years draft, but got off to a slow start to his professional career. His repeat of Single-A to start this going much better. He currently has a 1.160 OPS and is walking as much as striking out. A promotion is likely coming and if he has similar success as he moves along he could be one to monitor.
Brooks Baldwin, 3B (White Sox NR)
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (6 G, .375/.423/.792/1.215, 9 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 SB)
The versatile Brooks Baldwin has served capably as both an infielder and outfielder for Kannapolis. Last week in the six games series against Augusta the switch-hitting Baldwin filled the box scores, authoring a nifty .375/.423/.792 slash line. He added two doubles, a triple, two home runs and two stolen bases to his season totals. (@slydanno70)
Bryce Willits, 3B (White Sox NR)
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (5 G, .474/.476/.895/1.371, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB)
Zachary Cole, OF (Astros NR)
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (5 G, .429/.455/.905/1.360, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, BB, 3 SB)
Carolina League Player of the Week!
PITCHER: Hancel Rincon, RHP (Cardinals NR)
Palm Beach Cardinals (1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Rincon, an unheralded 2019 international signee, has had an up and down start to the season. Following two rough starts to start the year, he threw 7 scoreless innings on April 22nd allowing only two hits while striking out four. Last week against Daytona he topped that lasting a career high eight innings, allowing a lone unearned run, and lowering his ERA to 3.41. Could he be the next Cardinals pitcher to come out of nowhere? Time will tell.
Connor McCullough, RHP (White Sox NR)
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (1 GS, 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K)
Carolina League Pitcher of the Week!
Mason Albright, LHP (Angels #26)
Inland Empire 66ers (1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
Robby Snelling, LHP (Padres #6)
Lake Elsinore Storm (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 9 K)
California League Pitcher of the Week!
Fifth-ranked @Padres prospect Robby Snelling continues to dominate for @Storm_Baseball.
The 39th overall pick in last year’s Draft whiffed a career-high nine over five scoreless, lowering his ERA to 0.86: pic.twitter.com/4EZUDxL22V
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 6, 2023
Trevor Martin, RHP (Rays NR)
Charleston RiverDogs (1 GS, 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 8 K)
Hayden Birdsong, RHP (Giants NR)
San Jose Giants (2 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 13 K)
Special Mention of the Week
Chase Cohen, RHP
Midland RockHounds (Athletics Double-A)
Chase picked up his third win of the early season Saturday night coming on to pitch the 9th and 10th innings of a tie game. He is pitching well to start the season, but it was his defense that earns him this mention of the week. In a two on, no out jam in the top of the ninth, he turned in this web gem:
To say Chase Cohen was ready for this bunt is an understatement.
The @Athletics righty caught a popup to start a TRIPLE PLAY for the @RockHounds! pic.twitter.com/BJ6M6F9gN0
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 7, 2023
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
These weekly updates are the highlight of my fantasy baseball week. Having individual writers giving insight on the guys in their systems is so valuable. I cannot believe that this level of insight is free. Any thought about doing a segment on your weekly podcast highlighting some of these pop-up prospects more in depth?
Thanks for the feedback Joe. Glad to hear that you enjoy them. I know we enjoy putting them together every week.