Each week, we search 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 fifth week of the season, April 30 thru May 6, 2018:
Stephen Gonsalves – Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
Gonsalves, a 2013 4th round draft pick out of high school, has been untouchable thus far this season between AA and AAA. Hitters have managed a measly .134 batting average against, and Gonsalves has posted a 1.30 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 5 starts this season. This week, Gonsalves made his debut with the Red Wings in the International League. The rest of the International League probably wishes he stayed behind at AAA. Gonsalves made two starts this week for the Red Wings, frustrating both the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He struck out a total of 14 batters, only walked 2, and allowed a single earned run.
Trevor Richards (MIA)
2 GS, 1 W, 14.1 IP, 13 K, 0 BB, 11 H, 4 ER
Jesus Luzardo – Midland RockHounds (Athletics)
Luzardo just takes the bump and puts in solid work every time out. This week it was 2 starts, each with 5 IP, resulting in a no-decision and a win against Frisco on May 6th. Luzardo has a true put-away pitch in his tight breaking ball which he can either throw for strikes or bury below the zone. Here’s a look at the breaking ball in action, courtesy of the excellent @prospectgifs:
Jesus Luzardo 👀 (5/6) pic.twitter.com/N1TNM4jgPC
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) May 7, 2018
Luzardo used his arsenal effectively this week, generating 7 Ks in each outing. He’s also excellent at limiting the free passes and the damage they cause. So far this season, Luzardo has allowed only 1 walk in 5 of his 6 starts. This 20-year-old lefty is really one of the most promising arms in the minors this season. We will have to stay tuned to see how aggressive Oakland plans on being with his development this summer.
Keegan Aiken (BAL)
2 GS, 1 W, 11.2 IP, 17 K, 5 BB, 7 H, 4 ER
Beau Burrows (DET)
2 GS, 2 W, 12 IP, 11 K, 3 BB, 9 H, 2 ER
Chris Paddack – Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
What’s that sound? Is another stud prospect rising up the Padres system? Yes! This week it is Chris Paddack, who made his debut for Lake Elsinore in the California League. Paddack is now 21 months removed from TJS. His fastball hit 95 this week and is a potential plus pitch going forward. In addition, from all available reports, his changeup is absolutely disgusting.
Paddack made 2 starts this week. He posted 6 innings in his start against Inland Empire on April 30, striking out 7 and walking none. Then on May 6, he worked 4 innings against Modesto, punching out 9 batters and walking none. That’s a 16:1 K:BB ratio in 10 innings this week. His ERA thus far is 0.00. As much as it pained me to not select Dylan Cease this week, Paddack was a worthy PotW pick.
Dylan Cease (CWS)
2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 18 K, 2 BB, 10 H, 1 ER
Ian Anderson (ATL)
2 GS, 0 W, 12 IP, 13 K, 2 BB, 5 H, 0 ER
Patrick Sandoval – Quad Cities River Bandits (Astros)
Sandoval, a lanky (6-3, 190) left-hander out of Mission Viejo, CA, had a fantastic week for Quad Cities in the Midwest League. On May 1 against the Great Lakes Loons, Sandoval was credited with the seldom-awarded 3+ out save when he worked 4 innings to finish the game. Sandoval looked sharp, striking out 7 in those 4 innings and surrendering 0 walks. Then on May 6, Sandoval started against the Lansing Lugnuts and was fantastic, pitching 6 innings, picking up the win, striking out 7, and walking none. His 14:0 K:BB ratio on the week was brilliant. Although his ERA this year is high (4.85), he has struck out 30 batters while only walking 4 in 26 innings. He should be monitored in dynasty leagues.
John Gavin (Giants)
2 GS, 0 W, 10 IP, 12 K, 5 BB, 2H, 0 ER
Franmil Reyes – El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
Ok, I try not to swear on here. It’s unprofessional. “Vulgarity is the fool’s fig leaf” and all that. But holy shit did Franmil Reyes have a week!
Reyes played in 7 games this week. He finished with 44 total bases this week, which is our highest weekly total of the season so far. He crushed everything. He had 8 total home runs on the week. He hit 2 home runs in 3 straight games! He hit a home run in 5 straight games. He knocked in 14 runs and scored 13. He batted .607 and slugged an other-worldly 1.571. He’s still only 22 and eating AAA pitching alive at the moment.
Eloy Jimenez – RF – Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
Eloy had a rough start to 2018. His start to the season was delayed by a pectoral strain, and he started the year on a cold streak. Forget it. Eloy has now hit safely in his last 10, and is assaulting baseballs at will in AA. This week, Eloy strung together six multi-hit games, hitting 2 home runs, bagging 23 total bases, and slugging .851 on the week. He was a triple away from the cycle on May 4.
He’s now tied for the Southern League lead with 6 home runs, despite missing the first 11 games of the season. A big question is whether the White Sox will be conservative with Eloy this year. He’s still 21, and he did come into the season with an injury. The big club is on pace to lose over 100 games. Are they going to push him up the ladder, or will they play it safe?
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)
3 multi-hit games, 10-for-32, 25 TBs, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 9 Runs, .781 SLG
Roberto Ramos – 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)
Ramos continues to smash baseballs at the Lancaster Launchpad. This week, he slugged his way to Player of the Week honors over big weeks from Juan Soto and teammate Alan Trejo. Ramos slugged 1.259 on the week, racking up 34 total bases and equaling Franmil Reyes by driving in 14 runs. On May 6 against San Jose, he went 4-for-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored, and 5 driven in. With a season slash line of .320/.416/.701, you have to wonder how long the Rockies will keep the 23-year-old Ramos will be kept at A-level baseball.
Juan Soto (WAS)
Hit safely in all 6 games, 4 multi-hit games, 29 TB, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 10 Runs, 5:2 BB:K
Alan Trejo (COL)
Hit safely in all 6 games, 5 multi-hit games, 29 TB, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 Runs, 3:3 BB:K
Hendrik Clementina – C – Dayton Dragons (Reds)
A 20-year-old catcher from Curacao, Clementina paced Dayton this week, beating out teammate Michael Beltre to snag our PotW. He hit safely in all 5 games this week and is currently riding a 6 game hitting streak. Clementina clubbed 4 home runs, drove in 11, and tallied 22 total bases. Clementina displayed a strong batting eye this week, finishing with a 7:5 BB:K ratio. Batted .533 with a 1.466 slugging average. He’s been fantastic this season, with a .390/.479/.814 slash line, 6 HR and 5 2B.
Jonathan Arauz (HOU)
12-for-23, 24 TB, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 Runs, 4:3 BB:K
Michael Beltre (CIN)
Hit safely in all 6 games, 20 TB, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 Runs, 6:6 BB:K, 3 SB