Prospects of the Week: June 18 thru June 24

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 twelfth week of the season, June 18 thru June 24, 2018:

Pitchers


AAA

Cy Sneed – Fresno Grizzlies (Astros)

Sneed’s Fresno Grizzlies teammate Josh James passed on the AAA pitcher PotW honors this week, making it a month straight of Grizzlies hurlers to finish as the AAA PotW. Sneed just missed a ‘Maddux’ this week, working a complete game shutout and just using 105 pitches in the process. He scattered 2 hits and 2 walks, while punching out 11 Albuquerque Isotopes batters in the process. And Sneed faced a tough Isotopes lineup featuring Garret Hampson, Raimel Tapia, Mike Tachman, and Josh Fuentes. He was the obvious choice for the PCL pitcher of the week this past week.

Sneed, 25, has put together a solid season in his second shot at AAA this year. He’s started 12 games for the Grizzlies, posting a 7-3 record with a 2.97 ERA and a 76:24 K:BB in 78.2 innings of work. The Grizzlies have a nice stable of starting pitching should the big club need reinforcements for their inevitable 2018 championship push.

Also considered:

Trevor Oaks (KC)
2 GS, 1 W, 11.1 IP, 11 K, 4 BB, 6 H, 1 ER
Dakota Hudson (STL)
2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 9 K, 3 BB, 15 H, 2 ER


AA

Lewis Thorpe – Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins)

This is Thorpe’s second PotW win of 2018. The left-hander from Oz dominated the Biloxi Shuckers at home on June 21, punching out 12 batters while only allowing 1 free pass and 1 hit. The Shuckers feature top prospects Corey Ray and the red-hot Keston Hiura. The 12 strikeouts were a career high for Thorpe, who missed 2 years of development time due to TJS and mononucleosis. Thorpe started the outing perfect through 4 2/3 before a Blake Allemand single broke it up. Thorpe was extremely efficient with his pitches on the night, throwing 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

Thorpe has had an up and down year in 2018. He’s 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 13 starts. But he also rattled off 3 straight performances recently where he didn’t allow an earned run. Also, his 86:22 K:BB ratio in 69.2 innings this season is very strong, making his xFIP a very respectable 3.20. Keep your eye on him in the second half and see if he can make his ERA align more closely with those underlying skills.

Also considered:
Nabil Crismatt (NYM)
1 GS, 1 W, 8 IP, 9 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 1 ER
Keegan Akin (BAL)
1 GS, 1 W, 7 IP, 9 K, 3 BB, 5 H, 1 ER


A-Advanced

Jordan Yamamoto – Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins)

The kid from Honolulu continued to dominate hitters in the Florida State League this week, beating a worthy slate of opponents to take home PotW honors. Yamamoto faced off against Braves affiliate Florida Fire Frogs on June 20. The Fire Frogs feature top prospect Cristian Pache, who had a rough time against Yamamoto, striking out 3 times. But Pache shouldn’t feel bad, as Yamamoto was just dominant in the outing, striking out a total of 13 batters over 7 innings of work, walking none, and scattering 2 hits. Yamamoto had excellent control of his fastball in the outing and relied on his slider as his strikeout pitch. It worked. His 13 K outing was the highest in the Hammerheads franchise history.

Yamamoto, 22, had his 2018 season delayed until May 27 due to right shoulder impingement, but he’s been excellent once he got rolling. He’s now 3-0 in 5 starts with a 1.63 ERA (1.78 FIP) with a 33:6 K:BB ratio in 27.2 innings.

Also considered:
McKenzie Mills (PHI)
2 GS, 9 IP, 13 K, 3 BB, 9 H, 1 ER
Garret Whitlock (NYY)
1 GS, 1 W, 7 IP, 11 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 0 ER
Jeremy Walker (ATL)
2 GS, 1 W, 14 IP, 10 K, 2 BB, 13 H, 2 ER
Adonis Medina (PHI)
1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 10 K, 3 BB, 3 H, 1 ER
Kenny Rosenberg (TB)
1 GS, 6 IP, 10 K, 0 BB, 1 H, 0 ER


A-Full Season

John Gavin – Augusta GreenJackets (Giants)

Gavin, 22, was an unheralded 8th round pick out of Cal State Fullerton in 2017. This season, he’s been tormenting hitters in the Sally League. This week, it was the Rome Braves turn. Gavin put in 7 innings of no-hit ball against the Braves on June 23, striking out 9 batters. A single walk was the only thing preventing Gavin from putting together a perfect outing. Gavin throws both a changeup and curveball as secondary offerings, and when they are both are working this 6’6″ lefty can be really tough to hit.

Gavin’s 1.72 ERA is currently 4th in the Sally League. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .167 against him thus far in 2018.

Also considered
Tyler Thomas (CHC)
1 GS, 1 W, 6.2 IP, 11 K, 0 BB, 5 H, 2 ER
Erick Julio (COL)
1 W, 4 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER
Brusdar Graterol (MIN)
1 GS, 1 W, 5 IP, 9 K, 3 BB, 2 H, 0 ER


A-Short Season

Roansy Contreras – Staten Island Yankees (Yankees)

Like the Yankees don’t have enough random pitching talent in the system, here comes a live-armed 18 year old Dominican Righty storming into the NY-Penn league. Roansy made his second short-season start this week, putting together 6 great innings of work, striking out 10 batters, walking 1, allowing 2 hits and 0 earned runs. Baseball Farm contributor Jason Woodell has this brief take on Contreras’s potential:

Fangraphs prospect writer Kiley McDaniel is also on board, putting a potential future 60 grade on his slider:

Also considered
Jaison Vilera (NYM)
2 GS, 1 W, 10 IP, 13 K, 3 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Chad Donato (HOU)
1 GS, 1 W, 5 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 0 ER


Rookie

Yerry Rodriguez – AZL Rangers (Rangers)

Lots of live-armed kids were plying their trade in the AZL this week, but it was Texas Rangers young farmhand Yerry Rodriguez who beat out the competition for our PotW honors. Rodriguez made 2 appearances this week, starting 1 game. He racked up 15 Ks in 11.1 innings while only walking 1 batter and allowing 1 earned run. According to Fangraphs Eric Longenhagen, Rodriguez threw an immaculate inning in his June 18 outing, sitting down 3 AZL Dodgers on 9 straight fastballs. Yerry has a 2.12 ERA in 20 MiLB games, and should probably be occupying some space on your dynasty radar.

Also considered
Yeffersson Yannuzzi (CLE)
2 GS, 1 W, 9.2 IP, 15 K, 3 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Dilmer Mejia (ATL)
2 GS, 11.1 IP, 12 K, 2 BB, 10 H, 2 ER
Seth Corry (SF)
2 GS, 7.2 IP, 12 K, 4 BB, 4 H, 0 ER
Taylor Varnell (CWS)
2 GS, 7.0 IP, 12 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 0 ER

Hitters


AAA

Brandon Lowe – LF – Durham Bulls (Rays)

Former Maryland Terrapin Brandon Lowe picked up well-deserved AAA hitter of the week honors with a power-binge this week, hitting 5 home runs and racking up 27 total bases. Lowe hit a home run in 4 straight games this week, driving in 10 runs while scoring 9 of his own, and finishing the week with a 1.080 slugging average. Lowe was drafted as a 2B prospect, but this season the Rays organization has been experimenting with him in LF. He’s played 33 games in left and 31 games at 2B thus far this season, seeing time at both positions in both AA and AAA. The positional versatility definitely helps his fantasy baseball stock moving forward. His newfound power stroke will help as well, as Lowe posted a .216 ISO in AA and a .333 ISO for AAA Durham so far this season. The power numbers are bound to regress some, but if he can live up to his 50-grade power potential he becomes a much more intriguing fantasy asset.

Also considered:
Taylor Ward (LAA)
3 multi-hit games, 21 TB, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9 Runs, 2 SB, .840 SLG
Kyle Tucker (HOU)
Hit safely in all 6, 5 multi-hit games, 20 TB, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 Runs, 3 SB, .576 AVG


AA

Zach Green – 1B – Reading Fightin’ Phils (Phillies)

The Phillies have been very patient with their 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft, as Green is repeating AA ball this year after spending parts of the previous 3 seasons in the Florida State League. But with his performance this week, it looks like Green is starting to hit his stride. He hit safely in all 7 games he played in this week, leading all of the Minors with 30 total bases. He also drove in 13 runs, slugging 1.250 on the week. His 2018 slash line is up to .279/.363/.563. He topped some excellent prospects this week in Mountcastle, Alvarez, Cameron, and Roberto Ramos.

Also considered
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL)
4 multi-hit games, 23 TB, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 Runs, .437 AVG
Yordan Alvarez (HOU)
Hit safely in all 7, 23 TB, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 6 Runs, .400 AVG
Daz Cameron (DET)
Hit safely in all 6, 21 TB, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 Runs, 2 SB, .440 AVG, .840 SLG
Roberto Ramos (COL)
Hit safely in all 3, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 5 Runs, 1.583 SLG


A-Advanced

Luke Williams – 3B – Clearwater Threshers

Another Phillies bat doing work this week and taking home PotW honors is Luke Williams of the Clearwater Threshers of the Florida State League. Williams, 21, was a 3rd round pick out of high school in 2015. He’s taken some time to adjust to the level of play in the FSL this season, but he has improved his batting average from .194 to .246 over his last 10 games. This week, Williams hit safely in all 7 games, racking up 27 total bases, 4 home runs, and 11 RBIs. He also stole a bag for good measure, his 6th of the year.

Also considered
Jared Oliva (PIT)
3 multi-hit games, 20 TB, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 Runs, 2 SB


A-Full

Pablo Olivares – CF – Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)

The Yankees, not satisfied with the embarrassment of young arms at their disposal, have also managed to collect a lot of nice toolsy OF prospects as well. Charleston RiverDog Pablo Olivares fits that bill, and he put together a nice week earning PotW honors. He hit safely in all 4 games he played in this week, racking up 19 total bases and 3 home runs. He also drove in 11, stole a bag, and finished the week with a .950 slugging average. This Venezuelan center fielder is now hitting .353 in the Sally League in 2018. You’d have to imagine that he’s about due for a call-up to A-Advanced Tampa in the Florida State League.

Also considered
Ryan Noda (TOR)
Hit safely in all 4, 18 TB, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 Runs, 1.125 SLG


A-Short Season

Enmanuel Valdez – 2B – Tri-City ValleyCats (Astros)

NY-Penn League speedster Enmanuel Valdez took home our PotW honors this week by adding some pop to go with his speed. Valdez hit 2 home runs this week and slugging .913, but also stole 3 bags. Valdez had a combo meal (HR+SB) on June 21 against Lowell when he also went 3-for-4 on the night. He’s lighting up the A-Short Season NY-Penn League in his first time hitting the level as a 19-year-old, slashing .324/.429/.765 through 9 games thus far. He was a 2015 J2 signing for the Astros, who signed him out of the Dominican for $450k. He’s little (5’9″, 171), but the Astros have had some success with undersized players in recent years…

Also considered
Diego Rincones (SF)
Hit safely in all 6, 21 TB, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 Runs, .807 SLG
Seth Beer (HOU)
4 multi-hit games, 19 TB, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 Runs, .826 SLG


Rookie

Brock Deatherage – GCL Tigers West (Tigers)

Looks like the Tigers whiffed on the initial placement of their 2018 10th round pick, who was promoted after 2 insane games for the GCL Tigers this week. Deatherage went 5-for-9 in those 2 games, with 4 of the 5 hits being home runs. He drove in seven runs and racked up 17 total bases in 2 games!

I’m not going to run through the litany of pop culture references which run through my head when I read his incredible name. I just ask you this: is there a minor leaguer with a better one?

Also considered
Mason Martin (PIT)
4 multi-hit games, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 10 Runs, .958 SLG
Coco Montes (COL)
Hit safely in all 7, 23 TB, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 Runs, 1 SB, .482 AVG
Edwin Sano (MIL)
5 multi-hit games, 21 TB, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 Runs, 2:2 BB:K, .913 SLG
Kyle Isbel (KC)
19 TB, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 8 Runs, 6:2 BB:K, 2 SB

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