We’re back! The first Prospects of the Week list of 2018 is below, enjoy!
Each week, we scour the boxscores and use our own proprietary roto weighting system to pick one hitter and one pitcher who had the best week at each minor league level. Here are Baseball Farm’s Prospects of the Week for the opening week of the season, April 5 thru April 9, 2018:
Jack Flaherty – SP – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals #2)
Flaherty, #42 on our Plum Prospect rankings heading into the season, rode the shuttle back down to AAA after making a start for the big club at the beginning of the season. When he got back to Memphis this week, Flaherty dominated over 7 innings in his start on April 8. Flaherty struck out 11 batters, walked none, and only allowed 1 earned run. Still only 22 years old, Flaherty has to figure into the Cardinal’s MLB plans sooner rather than later.
Thomas Jankins – SP – Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers)
Jankins was Milwaukee’s 13th round pick in 2016 out of Quinnipiac. He’s moved to AA this year after a strong season at full-season A ball in 2017 (9-8, 3.62 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). Jankins spread 4 hits over 7 strong innings, striking out 6 batters while only walking 1. A deeper prospect that might merit your consideration this season.
Wennington Romero – SP – Daytona Tortugas (Reds)
A small (5-11, 175) 20-year old lefty out of the Dominican, Romero starred in his first start for the Tortugas this week. Romero pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits while striking out 4 and walking none.
John Parke – SP – Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox)
This left-hander, a 23rd-round pick out of South Carolina last summer, is so obscure that he doesn’t even have a photo on MiLB.com. However, he started his 2018 Sally League campaign with a bang. Parke posted a strong 7-inning outing for the White Sox affiliate, scattering 3 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 7 batters on April 8. He was a post-season AZL All-Star for the AZL White Sox last summer.
Tyler O’Neill – RF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals #4)
How long can the Cardinals keep this guy in AAA this year? While still only 22, this Canadian power-hitter has shown that he swings a bat which will play at the next level. This week, O’Neill homered in 3 consecutive games, hitting 4 total home runs in that stretch. He recorded 21 total bases in 21 at-bats. He drove in 10 runs, scored 6, and slugged an even 1.000. He’s got the bat to break through the outfield logjam in St. Louis. Somehow, he fell outside our aggregated top-100 prospect rankings this offseason, which seems foolish.
Hutton Moyer – SS – Mobile BayBears (Angels)
The son of ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, Hutton had a strong week for Mobile en route to earning our POTW honors. Hutton went 5-for-15 this week, racking up 12 total bases and slugging .800 for the week. Moyer had a great game on MiLB opening day, finishing 3-for-5 with a HR, 2 runs scored, and 2 runs driven in. Moyer also flashed good wheels this week, stealing 3 bags.
Roberto Ramos – 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)
Ramos got his season off to a great start by taking advantage of the Lancaster launchpad. Ramos went 5-for-12 on the week, but he did the majority of his damage with a huge game on April 8. The big (6-5, 220) left-handed hitter went 3-for-5, with each of his 3 hits leaving the yard. He drove in 6 runs on the day.
Juan Soto – RF – Hagerstown Suns (Nationals #2)
I strongly believe that Soto might be 2018’s breakout prospect. He came into the season ranked as the #35 overall prospect on our aggregated Plum Prospect list, but might find himself in the top-5 of the same list next season. This week, Soto tore through Sally League pitching to the tune of 6-for-16 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base. His 4-for-5 outburst against Rome on April 8 showed the full range of his skills. I can’t imagine he will be gracing the Sally League with his presence for very long this summer.