Prospects of the Week: April 15 – April 21

Brusdar Graterol - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

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 POTW 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!


Triple-A

Hitter: Ty France, INF (San Diego Padres #43)
El Paso Chihuahuas (.571/.636/1.500, 16 H, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 2 K)
Over the course of the last week, France posted one of the gaudiest stat lines you will ever see. The 24 year old has always been able to go deep, but 7 home runs over a span of 33 plate appearances catches your eye no matter who does it. Throw in four more extra base hits and you get a 1.500 slugging percentage from France over the last seven games. Perhaps the most impressive feat during this span? France struck out just two times during this hot streak. Fun fact, France also led all of Triple-A in hit by pitches over the course of the last week. I’m not sure what you do with that information, but now you know it!

Honorable Mentions:
Ryan Mountcastle, 3B (Baltimore Orioles #1)
Norfolk Tides (24 PA, .370/.357/.889, 4 HR, 2 2B)

Seth Brown, 1B/OF (Oakland A’s #41)
Las Vegas Aviators (28 PA, .313/.333/.906, 10 H, 6 HR)

Pitcher: Logan Allen, LHP (San Diego Padres #11)
El Paso Chihuahuas (11 IP, 11 SO, 3 BB, 3 ER, 8 H)
Some of the top Triple-A pitchers from the last week aren’t prospect eligible anymore, but we are going to put them in the “Honorable Mention” category anyway thanks to their performance. However, for the pitcher of the week, we are sticking with a pretty good up and coming arm in the game’s top system. Allen made two impressive starts over the last week and while the 21 year old isn’t necessarily getting strecthed out in Triple-A, he is holding his own during his time on the mound. The performance last week will have people taking notice, but it will be interesting to see if Allen goes deeper into games and gets exposed by the 21% line drive rate he had last week.

Honorable Mention:
Lucas Sims, RHP Cincinnati Reds
Louisville Bats (11.2 IP, 23 K, 1 BB, 4 ER, 11 H)

Elieser Hernandez, RHP Miami Marlins
New Orleans Baby Cakes (9.2 IP, 13 K, 4 BB, 0 ER, 7 H)


Double-A

Hitter: Omar Estevez, 2B (Los Angeles Dodgers #33)
Tulsa Drillers (.571/.591/.905, 1 HR, 4 2B, 2 K, 1 BB)
Estevez led all of Double-A with 12 hits over the course of the last week, five of which went for extra bases with four doubles and a homer. The 21 year old did draw only one walk last week, but struck out just two times in his 22 plate appearances. He ended the week with a huge series against Arkansas where he collected eight hits over three games against the Travelers.

Honorable Mention:
Santiago Espinal, SS (Toronto Blue Jays #28)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (.400/.444/.640, 1 HR, 3 2B, 5 K, 2 BB)

Pitcher: Brusdar Graterol, RHP (Minnesota Twins #3)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7 IP, 8 K, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB)
What a start it was for the Twins top pitching prospect last Tuesday. The Biloxi Shuckers couldn’t touch the 20 year old over his seven inning start where he struck out eight, walked just one, and allowed one hit. Graterol threw 69% strikes in that start and got a swinging strike rate of 23% as his stuff was in peak form.

Honorable Mentions:
Justin Dunn, RHP (Seattle Mariners #6)
Arkansas Travelers (5.2 IP, 8 K, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB)

James Karinchak, RHP (Cleveland Indians #42)
Akron RubberDucks (3,1 IP, 7 K, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 H)

High-A

Hitter: Seth Beer, OF (Houston Astros #8)
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (.391/.440/.957, 3 HR, 4 2B, 3 K)
Beer went yard three times last week after starting the season homerless through the first 10 games. Of Beer’s eight hits last week, seven were of the extra base variety as he added four doubles to the three homers. Beer had two three hit games last week and struck out just three times over his five games.

Honorable Mention:
Luis Robert, OF (Chicago White Sox #3)
Winston-Salem Dash (.474/.565/.684, 1 HR, 4 SB, 9 H)

Dermis Garcia, 3B (New York Yankees #30)
Tampa Tarpons (.333/.360/.917, 4 HR, 2 2B, 7 K)

Pitcher: Tarik Skubal, LHP (Detroit Tigers, NR)
Lakeland Flying Tigers (6 IP, 10 K, 0 BB, 0 ER, 3 H)
Skubal had his third straight great outing to begin the season with last Monday’s start against the Palm Beach Cardinals being the highlight thus far. The 6’3 lefty struck out 10 over his six innings without issuing a free pass and allowing just three hits. Of the 58 strikes he threw in that game, 39 nine of them were swinging. Perhaps the most impressive feat of the outing was allowing just one line drive through the entire day. Probably should have been in our Tigers Top 50 back in January and will be come midseason.

Honorable Mentions:
Bryan Abreu, RHP (Houston Astros #9)
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (9.2 IP, 18 K, 4 ER, 4 BB)

Chris Rodriguez, RHP (Los Angeles Angels #13)
Inland Empire 66ers (4 IP, 7 K, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 H)


Single-A

Hitter: Jarred Kelenic, OF (Seattle Mariners #3)
West Virginia Power (.462/.500/.769, 1 HR, 5 2B, 12 H)
Kelenic is riding a nine game hitting streak and had three multi-hit games in his six contests last week. We were leaning towards Will Benson for this honor, but after breaking down his game by game performance, it was really just one huge outlier of a game that led to his eye-catching numbers.

Honorable Mentions:
Will Benson, OF (Cleveland Indians #14)
Lake County (.444/.500/1.333, 5 HR (4 in one game), 12 RBI)

Chris Betts, C (Tampa Bay Rays, NR)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (.400/.538/1.000, 4 HR, 8 H, 10 RBI, 6 K, 6 BB)

Brice Turang, SS (Milwaukee Brewers #2)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (.400/.444/.480, 10 H, 4 SB)

Pitcher: Freddy Pacheco, RHP (St. Louis Cardinals, NR)
Peoria Chiefs (5.1 IP, 11 K, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB)
Pacheco tossed 5.1 innings across two appearances last week and was about as good as they come. Of the 18 batters the Venezuelan faced last week he punched out 11, walked zero and allowed just one hit. A 30% swinging strike rate over 77 pitches is nothing to scoff at and for that reason, Pacheco is our Single-A pitcher of the week. Plus, he had a birthday last week!

Honorable Mentions:
Logan Gilbert, RHP (Seattle Mariners, #7)
West Virginia Power (2 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K)

Joe Ryan, RHP (Tampa Bay Ray, NR)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)




About Jake Berry 39 Articles
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.

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