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 Low-A) who, in our opinion, had the best week. Jake Berry and Scott Greene award 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. Jake had the week off so Scott took the reigns for this week’s installment. If you agree or disagree with any of these prospects of the week, bother Scott, not Jake!
As always, tweet us (@Prospects1500, @BerrysBraves, and @Scotty_Ballgame) 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: Jo Adell, OF(Los Angeles Angels*)
Salt Lake Bees (5 G, .435/.480/1.130, 10 H, 4 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 7 RBI, SB)
*Adell wasn’t included on the Angels Top 50 as he was expected to quickly surpass the prospect threshold this season. 130 MLB at bats is what I am using as the threshold for POTW, so Adell finds himself on this list after a very good week at the dish. He has done a lot so far in 2021 to prove that he deserves another shot at the big leagues, and his four games last week may prove to be the icing on the cake. Nine hits in four games, seven of which were extra bases, is pure domination.
Wander Franco, SS (Tampa Bay Rays #1)
Durham Bulls (5 G, .478/.478/.739, 11 H, 1 HR, 3 2B, 8 RBI, SB)
Just another excellent offensive week for Franco. When does he get the call? Taylor Walls has been playing well since his promotion, and the Rays are in first place. The team doesn’t need the uber talent, but sooner than later the world will become more familiar with Wander’s World.
PITCHER: Aaron Ashby, LHP (Milwaukee Brewers #7)
Nashville Sounds (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, 11 K)
Milwaukee’s 4th round pick back in 2018 was dominant in his lone start this past week, and as luck would have it, ended up being the losing pitcher, giving up an unearned run in a 1-0 loss. The Brewers’ 2019 MiLB Pitcher of the Year has a sub 3.00 ERA and 12.7 K/9 after 6 starts.
Among AAA pitchers age 23 or younger with at least 20 IP, Aaron Ashby (@aaronashbyy) is tops in the following categories:
Opp. AVG (.170)
— Nolan Bratt (@BrewersFarm) June 7, 2021
Raynel Espinal, RHP (Red Sox NR)
Worcester Red Sox (1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K)
Tony Santillan, RHP (Cincinnati Reds #8)
Louisville Bats (1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 13 K)
HITTER: Jake McCarthy, OF (Arizona Diamondbacks #26)
Amarillo Sod Poodles (6 G, .318/.423/.636, 7 H, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 7 SB)
We wouldn’t say this was the traditional huge-power display, but McCarthy certainly deserves POTW honors following his performance last week. Some power and a lot of speed were on display. Jake had at least one stolen base in each game, tallying two in Friday’s game.
Jake McCarthy lands one in the LAZY RIVER! ⚾ 🌊
A good start for the Soddies tonight! McCarthy’s 5th blast of the season gives Amarillo a 1-0 lead early! pic.twitter.com/KTrnSRTzfz
— Amarillo Sod Poodles (@sodpoodles) June 5, 2021
Ji-hwan Bae, 2B/SS (Pittsburgh Pirates #14)
Altoona Curve (5 G, .524/.565/.762, 11 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
Diego Castillo, IF (New York Yankees NR)
Somerset Patriots (5 G, .500/.545/1.100, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI)
PITCHER: Ethan Small, LHP (Milwaukee Brewers #4)
Biloxi Shuckers (2 GS, 10.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 19 K)
Small basically shut down the Montgomery Biscuits on Tuesday and Sunday, not allowing a run in either outing, striking out 11 and 8 respectively. Brew Crew fans have to be excited about Ashby and Small sweeping AAA and AA pitcher honors this week. Amazingly, Small did not earn a W in either start.
Jake Eder, RHP (Miami Marlins NR)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (2 GS, 9.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 16 K)
15 up. 15 down.
Jake Eder with 5 perfect innings! pic.twitter.com/Puh5X2WoFs
— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) June 6, 2021
Cameron Bishop, RHP (Baltimore Orioles NR)
Bowie Baysox (1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K)
Matt Krook, LHP (New York Yankees NR)
Somerset Patriots (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K)
HITTER: Brett Baty, 3B (New York Mets #5)
Brooklyn Cyclones (6 G, .524/.615/1.190, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 5 BB, 1.806 OPS)
If any Prospect of the Week was a no-brainer, it was Baty for the High-A level. New York’s 21-year-old 1st rounder (2019) is laying the smackdown on High-A pitching lately.
Mets third base prospect Brett Baty entered this week with zero home runs, he hit his fourth today.
He’s hitting .369 with a 1.071 OPS on the season for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) June 6, 2021
Devlin Granberg, 1B (Boston Red Sox NR)
Greenville Drive (5 G, .611/.696/1.278, 11 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 1.973 OPS)
Matthew Fraizer, OF (Pittsburgh Pirates NR)
Greensboro Grasshoppers (6 G, .500/.600/1.000, 12 H, 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 10 R, 6 BB, 2 SB)
Kaden Polcovich, 2B (Seattle Mariners #21)
Everett AquaSox (5 G, .409/.435/1.136, 9 H, 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)
PITCHER: Cole Ragans, LHP (Texas Rangers NR, was #31 in 2020)
Hickory Crawdads (1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)
It was easily Ragans’ best outing of 2021, in his 5th start. He fell out of Jake Tweedie’s Rangers Top 50 prospects earlier this year as he was on his way back from a second Tommy John Surgery. Aberdeen had no answers for Ragans on this night except for a Shayne Fontana solo HR.
Here’s all 11 Ks in @ColeRagans brilliant 6 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K start
Ragans threw 86 pitches, 58 strikes (67.4% strikes) and got 18 swinging strikes on the night. His 3 offerings (FB, CH, and CB) were well located and showed nice movement. That’s a win for @TEXPlayerDev pic.twitter.com/EJDLRRGEjo
— Walker Adams (@YMBPatLSB) June 3, 2021
Ryan Jensen, RHP (Chicago Cubs #6)
South Bend Cubs (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)
Alec Kisena, RHP (New York Mets NR)
Brooklyn Cyclones (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K)
HITTER: Joe Gray Jr., OF (Milwaukee Brewers #18)
Carolina Mudcats (5 G, .421/.455/1.211, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, SF)
Gray notched base knocks in each of his games this past week, with 23 total bases. Called “one of the best pure athletes in the Brewers’ system” by David Gasper, the 21-year-old prospect is putting together a very solid 2021 campaign, hitting .299 with 10 HR, 35 RBI, and 6 SB to date.
Joe Gray Jr: Low-A East Player of the Week.
Leads Low-A East in:
R (25) pic.twitter.com/wU8fZ6nDj8
— Brewers Player Development (@BrewersPD) June 7, 2021
Josh Smith, 2B (New York Yankees #29)
Tampa Tarpons (6 G, .381/.519/.952, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 2 SB)
PITCHER: Rafael Marcano, LHP (Philadelphia Phillies NR)
Clearwater Threshers (1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
Marcano has quietly put together a very good first 6 appearances in 2021. He’s started 3 games and come into the other 3 in relief. Following this five-inning, no-hit outing, he lowered both his ERA and WHIP to 0.90, with 28 K in 20 innings pitched.
Rafael Marcano was straight perfection.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 6, 2021
Braydon Fisher, RHP (Los Angeles Dodgers NR)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (2 G, 7.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 12 K, SV)
Noel Vela, LHP (San Diego Padres NR)
Lake Elsinore Storm (1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)
Carson Ragsdale, RHP (San Francisco Giants #24)
San Jose Giants (1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K)