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!
Hitter: Yordan Alvarez, OF (Houston Astros, #3)
Round Rock Express (.344/.488/.969/1.467, 11 H, 2 2B, 6 HR, 12 RBI)
Alvarez is the hottest hitter to start the 2019 Triple-A season as he has eight extra base hits in first nine games, six of which have been homers. The 21 year old Cuban hit just eight homers through his first 45 Triple-A games, so he is on pace to blow that performance out of the water. It is always fun to see a start where a guy is slugging almost 1.000, but it is also worth noting that Alvarez has struck out seven times to ten walks during this stretch.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) April 14, 2019
Roberto Ramos, 1B (Colorado Rockies, #27)
Albuquerque Isotopes (11 G, .364/.423/.682/1.105, 16 H, 4 2B, 4 HR, 15 RBI)
Mike Ford, 1B (New York Yankees, NR)
Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (9 G, .471/.525/1.029/1.554, 16 H, 4 2B, 5 HR, 14 RBI)
Pitcher: Zac Gallen, RHP (Miami Marlins, #17)
New Orleans Baby Cakes (2 GS, 13 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA, 0.23 WHIP, 13.2 K/9)
Over his first 13 innings of the year, Gallen has allowed just three hits, one earned run and issued exactly zero free passes. If you factor in his league-leading 19 strikeouts, he was the clear cut choice for Triple-A pitcher of the week. Gallen is throwing strikes at a 70% rate and is producing a great GB/FB ratio, but the .130 BABIP has also helped limit damage. Still, the K/BB rate is a promising sign.
One of my favorite young arms is Marlins righty Zac Gallen. Off to a terrific start thru 2 games (13 IP, 19 K, 0 BB, 0.69 ERA). Not a ton in front of him in Miami. Start queueing up if he’s available in your deeper and/or keeper leagues #FantasyBaseball #JuntosMiami
— 𝘼𝙣𝙙𝙮 𝙎𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙤𝙣 (@PeoplezPen) April 12, 2019
Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (Philadelphia Phillies, #8)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 19 K, 0.75 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 14.3 K/9)
Dylan Cease, RHP (Chicago White Sox, #4)
Charlotte Knights (2 GS, 2-0, 10 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 9.0 K/BB)
Hitter: Rhett Wiseman, OF (Washington Nationals, NR)
Harrisburg Senators (10 G, .424/.500/1.061/1.561, 14 H, 3 2B, 6 HR, 13 RBI, SB)
Wiseman is getting his first taste of Double-A after steadily progressing through the minors and so far he has proven that he belongs. The 25-year old hit .424 over the course of his first ten games and leads the Eastern League lead (and is tied for MiLB lead) with 6 home runs and leads all of MiLB with a 1.561 OPS. Wiseman is a guy that has had decent statistical seasons through his minor league career, so if he keeps homering, and keeps the K rate to about one per game, we could see him on this list again.
This is what happens when you hit .424 with SIX (!!!) homers in 10 games.
— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) April 15, 2019
Derek Hill, OF (Detroit Tigers, #42)
Erie Seawolves (7 G, .407/.452/.667/1.118, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, SB)
Buddy Reed, OF (San Diego Padres, #15)
Amarillo Sod Poodles (11 G, .244/.327/.644/.971, 11 H, 6 HR, 14 RBI, SB)
Buddy Reed with some oppo yard work. pic.twitter.com/2Ko42nVari
— Honcho (@Honcho1010) April 13, 2019
Brad Zunica, 1B (San Diego Padres, NR)
Amarillo Sod Poodles (11 G, .300/.391/.725/1.116, 12 H, 2 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI)
Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, LHP (Minnesota Twins, #36)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (2 GS, 2-0, 14 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 17 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 8.50 K/BB)
Through two starts and 14 innings, Smeltzer has yet to allow a run. He posted a very strong 18% swinging strike rate over that span which led to 17 K’s. Allowing just two walks and five hits, Smeltzer hasn’t had to worry about runners on the basepaths too much, especially when you consider none of those hits went for extra bases.
— Tom Froemming (@TFTwins) April 13, 2019
Matt Manning, RHP (Detroit Tigers, #2)
Erie Seawolves (2 GS, 2-0, 12 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 15 K , 0.75 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, 11.3 K/9)
Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (Boston Red Sox, #5)
Portland Sea Dogs (1 GS, 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 10 K , 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 18 K/9)
Ramon Rosso, RHP (Philadelphia Phillies, #27)
Reading Fightin’ Phils (2 GS, 2-0, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K , 0.00 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)
Darren McCaughan, RHP (Seattle Mariners, #37)
Arkansas Travelers (2 GS, 12 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K , 0.00 ERA, 0.58 WHIP)
James Karinchak, RHP (Cleveland Indians, #42)
Akron Rubberducks (4 G, 3 GF, 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K , 0.00 ERA, 0.27 WHIP, 27.0 K/9, 11.0 K/BB, 32% SwStr%)
Akron RubberDucks RHP prospect James Karinchak pitched another 0.2 scoreless innings tonight earning his 1st save of 2019. Over four outings every out Karinchak has recorded has been via strikeout.
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) April 14, 2019
Hitter: Luis Robert, OF (Chicago White Sox, #3)
Winston-Salem Dash (9 G, .475/.512/1.025/1.537, 19 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB)
A guy that we should all be excited to see a full season out of kicked things off with a super hot start. Robert slashed .475/.512/.1.025 through his first 43 plate appearances, he’s 4th among all of MiLB with a 1.537 OPS, and has already put the speed/power combo that we love so much on display. The Cuban standout has 19 hits through nine games and has homered five times, hit two triples, three doubles, and stolen three bases.
We’re going to be watching this on repeat all day.
Luis Robert: .452 AVG, .500 OBP, 1.065 SLG, 5 HR, 14 RBIs
— Winston-Salem Dash (@WSDashBaseball) April 12, 2019
Vidal Brujan, 2B (Tampa Bay Rays, #5)
Charlotte Stone Crabs (10 G, .361/.415/.417/.831, 13 H, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 8 SB)
It’s going to be a great year and I’m going to turn up, without bringing it down one bit. #NeverSacred
Sera un gran año y voy a prender, sin bajarle ni un chininin. #NuncaMiedo #CocoloCocolo pic.twitter.com/ubzN0tt9TR
— Vidal Brujan (@vidalbrujan) April 8, 2019
Anderson Tejeda, SS (Texas Rangers, #11)
Down East Wood Ducks (10 G, .395/.452/.658/1.110, 15 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB)
Pitcher: MacKenzie Gore, LHP (San Diego Padres, #2)
Lake Elsinore Storm (2 GS, 2-0, 10 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.5 K/9)
Just like the High-A hitter of the week, the pitcher of the week is a guy we should be excited for in 2019 and he too is off to a hot start. The lefty has given up six hits and two walks over his first 10 innings and has been finding the strike zone on a consistent basis, highlighted by 15 K’s. While it won’t necessarily be the stats we are watching with Gore this year, it is nice to see him off to a good start.
Ljay Newsome, RHP (Seattle Mariners, NR)
Modesto Nuts (3 GS, 2-1, 16.1 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 30 K , 1.08 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 16.2 K/9, 15.0 K/BB)
Meanwhile in Modesto, the Nuts have hung three runs on former LSU standout Jared Poche’. Ljay Newsome, who has 20 Ks in his first 10 innings this season, has pitched five no-hit, no-walk innings with seven (7) strikeouts. pic.twitter.com/px9hcNFoA4
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 14, 2019
Casey Mize, RHP (Detroit Tigers, #1)
Lakeland Flying Tigers (2 GS, 1-0, 11 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 15 K, 0.82 ERA, 0.45 WHIP, 12.3 K/9)
Nate Pearson, RHP (Toronto Blue Jays, #5)
Dunedin Blue Jays (3 GS, 2-0, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 17 K , 0.75 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 12.8 K/9, 17.0 K/BB)
Hitter: Nolan Gorman, 3B (St. Louis Cardinals, #2)
Peoria Chiefs (10 G, .395/.442/.868/1.310, 15 H, 4 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 13 RBI)
It is hard to argue against this one as Gorman is getting off to exactly the type of start you would expect him to. He has been feasting on MWL pitching and has been driving in runs left and right. Gorman slugged .868 thanks to his nine extra-base hits and is tied for the A-ball lead with 4 homers.
— VHS (@VanHicklestein) April 13, 2019
Jerar Encarnacion, OF (Miami Marlins, NR)
Clinton LumberKings (9 G, .432/.500/.676/1.176, 16 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, SB)
Willie MacIver, C (Colorado Rockies, NR)
Asheville Tourists (10 G, .382/.405/.824/1.229, 13 H, 4 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI)
Pitcher: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (Baltimore Orioles, #5)
Delmarva Shorebirds (2 GS, 2-0, 11 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 20 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 16.4 K/9)
The choice for Single-A pitcher of the week was not nearly as clear cut as the hitting selection. Ultimately if you prevent runs, you are doing something right on the mound and that is why I went with Rodriguez. The nineteen has tossed 11 impressive innings for Delmarva this season and still has a spotless ERA. He has allowed more walks than hits, 5/3 and has been getting swing and miss at 19% rate. Rodriguez has struck out 20 of the 40 batters he has faced in 2019.
In an unrelated note. Class A Delmarva’s Grayson Rodriguez named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week #orioles
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) April 15, 2019
Logan Gilbert, RHP (Seattle Mariners, #7)
West Virginia Power (2 GS, 1-0, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 14.0 K/9, 14.0 K/BB)
Shawn Semple, RHP (New York Yankees, NR)
Charleston RiverDogs (2 GS, 1-0, 9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 21 K , 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 21.0 K/9, 21.0 K/BB)
.@ChasRiverDogs righty @ShawnSemple has been the #Yankees version of Josh Hader to start the year. In two extended relief appearances, he has fanned 21 of 32 batters faced IN 9 INNINGS. 3 days since he last pitched and he’s still leading @MiLB in strikeouts and K% (65.6%).
— Matt Dean (@MattDeanGuy) April 13, 2019
Konnor Pilkington, LHP (Chicago White Sox, #29)
Kannapolis Intimidators (2 GS, 1-0, 11.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 K , 0.77 ERA, 0.51 WHIP, 10.8 K/9)