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 fourteenth week of the season, July 2 thru July 8, 2018:
Lucas Sims – Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
I bent the prospect rules for this one a bit (Sims has pitched 68.0 innings in 20 MLB appearances in his career), but I felt like I had to, because Sims turned in what was probably the best weekly performance of any minor league pitcher this season. Sims made 2 starts this week, one against a very good Durham Bulls team (TB affiliate) and one against a mediocre Charlotte Knights team (CWS affiliate). Sims was basically untouchable in both starts. In each game he worked 7 innings, scattering 2 hits and allowing no walks. Against Durham on July 3, he punched out 11 batters. Against Charlotte on July 8, he punched out 8. His final weekly line was 2 GS, 14 IP, 19 K, 0 BB, 4 H, 0 ER.
Sims is now 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 11 AAA starts this season. He’s made 6 appearances out of the bullpen for the Braves. If I had to guess, I think Sims stands a good chance of being used out of the bullpen this season as the Braves make a playoff push, with a spot start or two if needed depending on injuries. He’s 24, so there is still time for him to develop into a starting rotation candidate in an Atlanta system that is just dripping with SP prospects at the moment.
John Means (BAL)
2 GS, 1 W, 14 IP, 15 K, 2 BB, 10 H, 2 ER
Fernando Romero (MIN)
2 GS, 1 W, 12.2 IP, 14 K, 5 BB, 7 H, 2 ER
Matt Hall – Erie SeaWolves (DET)
There were tons of excellent AA pitching performances this week, but Erie’s Matt Hall impressed us the most by picking up 2 wins and allowing 0 earned runs in 2 starts this week. The Athletic’s Emily Waldon did a nice job recapping his recent performance:
ANOTHER 🔥🔥🔥 start for #Tigers Matt Hall.
6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. 👀
Scoreless start stretch for Hall has now reached 21.1 IP with only 2 BB and 26 K over four starts combined.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) July 8, 2018
Hall, a lefty, is 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA in 27 AA appearances in 2018. Most of Hall’s work this season has come as a reliever, but he pitched so well the Tigers decided to stretch him out to a starter with great results thus far. He’s limited batters to a .165 batting average against this season.
Brian Howard (OAK)
2 GS, 12 IP, 17 K, 1 BB, 11 H, 3 ER
Bryse Wilson (ATL)
2 GS, 1 W, 13.1 IP, 16 K, 1 BB, 9 H, 0 ER
Nick Neidert (MIA)
2 GS, 1 W, 16 IP, 15 K, 2 BB, 13 H, 1 ER
Sam McWilliams (TB)
2 GS, 1 W, 14.2 IP, 15 K, 4 BB, 9 H, 3 ER
Joel Payamps (ARI)
1 GS, 1 W, 5.2 IP, 14 K, 0 BB, 2 H, 0 ER
Ian Anderson – Florida Fire Frogs (Braves)
It was a banner week in a banner season for Atlanta pitching prospects this week. Lucas Sims was our AAA PotW winner, Bryse Wilson was very nearly our AA winner, and Ian Anderson was our runaway choice for the A-Advanced pitcher of the week. Anderson made 2 starts this week and excelled in both.
Against Jupiter on July 2 he matched his career-high with 11 strikeouts in 6 scoreless frames. Anderson relied on his fastball/curveball combo in the start, rarely throwing his changeup which has become a work in progress for him, according to Fire Frogs pitching coach Mike Maroth.
Against Palm Beach on July 8, Anderson worked another 5 scoreless innings. Anderson pointed to his fastball control as the reason for his recent ‘hot streak’, stating that he’s developed how to pitch instead of just being a thrower. At some point, we can stop calling Anderson’s stretch a ‘hot streak’ and start calling it an excellent season by a 20-year old at A-Advanced ball. He now has a 2.62 FIP in 16 starts.
Darwinzon Hernandez (BOS)
2 GS, 2 W, 11.2 IP, 17 K, 7 BB, 5 H, 0 ER
Eli Morgan (CLE)
2 GS, 2 W, 12 IP, 14 K, 1 BB, 7 H, 1 ER
Jackson Tetreault – Hagerstown Suns (Nationals)
It was tough to pick between the A-Full Season candidates this week, but Jackson Tetreault got the nod for making two excellent starts for the Hagerstown Suns of the Sally League. Tetreault went 7-innings in both of his starts this week, picking up the win in both games and finishing with a combined line of 2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 15 K, 2 BB, 4 H, 2 ER. He’s a tall (6’5″) righty who’s had a bit of a tough ride in Full-Season ball this year (3-7, 4.54 ERA), but maybe these couple strong starts this week are what he needs to hit his stride in the second half.
Kirk McCarty (CLE)
2 GS, 1 W, 13.1 IP, 18 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 1 ER
Mitchell Jordan (OAK)
2 GS, 1 W, 11.2 IP, 15 K, 3 BB, 8 H, 1 ER
Leovanny Rodriguez (HOU)
2 GS, 2 W, 10.2 IP, 15 K, 1 BB, 7 H, 2 ER
Luis Oviedo – Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Indians)
Oviedo was an easy choice for PotW this week, adding to his stellar short season line with 12 more innings, 13 more strikeouts, and of course 0 more earned runs. This kid’s ERA is now a stellar 0.32. He was our PotW last week, he made our June Prospect Team of the Month, and he was named the NYPL pitcher of the week for the past 2 weeks straight. He’s a young arm that must be monitored closely in dynasty formats.
Jose Mora (OAK)
2 G, 8.1 IP, 14 K, 3 BB, 7 H, 2 ER
Fitz Stadler (TOR)
2 G, 1 W, 5.2 IP, 12 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Simon Rosenblum-Larson (TB)
2 G, 1 W, 1 SV, 6.1 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 0 ER
Luis Garcia (HOU)
1 GS, 5 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 0 ER
Austin Cox – Burlington Royals (Royals)
Cox, 21, was a 5th round pick out of Mercer in this June’s amateur draft. He made 2 appearances for the Burlington Royals of the Appy League this week, punching out 18 total batters in 8.2 innings of work. He posted an immaculate inning on July 8th (3 strikeouts on 9 pitches). He’s a tall (6’4″) lefty with plenty of projection on his frame, so it will be fun to watch his development in the Royals system for the remainder of the summer.
Jared Solomon (CIN)
2 GS, 11 IP, 16 K, 3 BB, 6 H, 1 ER
Maikel Aguiar (CHC)
2 G, 1 W, 1 SV, 8 IP, 12 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER
Hanser Alberto – SS – Round Rock Express (Rangers)
Alberto led the offense for the always potent Round Rock Express this week. Alberto hit safely in all 7 games, racking up 4 multi-hit efforts and 23 total bases in the process. He was a run producing machine this week, driving in 12 runs in those 7 games. Alberto didn’t do much in his brief MLB stint earlier this season (.091/.167/.091 in 5 games), but he’s batting .315 for Round Rock in the PCL.
Tyrone Taylor (MIL)
4 multi-hit games, 22 TB, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 Runs, 1.000 SLG
Kevin Cron (ARI)
4 multi-hit games, 22 TB, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 Runs, 1.047 SLG
Will Smith – C – Tulsa Drillers
Smith was a 1st round pick out of Louisville in the 2016 draft and comes with great prospect pedigree. This week, he showed off all of his skills. He hit safely in each of the 5 games he played in this week, and 4 of those games were multi-hit efforts. He launched 3 home runs, drove in 10, slugged an outstanding 1.312, and even managed to steal a bag. Here’s a nice look at an oppo blast that he hit this week:
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) July 9, 2018
Smith has put together an excellent season as a 23-year-old at AA. He’s slashing .287/.384/.580 with 14 home runs in 52 games with a .418 wOBA and 156 wRC+. Buy now if he’s still available somehow in your dynasty league.
Eli White (OAK)
5 multi-hit efforts, 22 TB, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 Runs, 6:4 BB:K, 3 SB, .517 AVG
DJ Peters (LAD)
22 TB, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 Runs
Bobby Dalbec – 3B – Salem Red Sox
A long-time favorite of the Baseball Farm crew, Dalbec had an excellent week for the Salem Red Sox. He put together 4 multi-hit games and led all of the MiLB this week with 32 total bases. He also managed to drive in 14 runs and slug 1.185. He just turned 23, so the Red Sox need to get him moved up a level or two to test if his power holds up against competition that is his own age. But so far the 70 raw power grade seems legit, and he’s backing it up this season with a .299 ISO.
Omar Estevez (LAD)
Hit safely in all 7, 23 TB, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 10 Runs, 4:3 BB:K, 1 SB, .851 SLG
Connor Justus (LAA)
22 TB, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 Runs, 3:3 BB:K, .880 SLG
Chad Spanberger – 1B – Asheville Tourists
If you’ve been following our site, you know that we love Colorado’s power-hitting prospect Chad Spanberger. He’s got grown-man strength and he’s just a handsome lad as well (check out that fantastic profile picture). He’s been a consistent top performer for Asheville in the Sally League this year, and he put together another phenomenal week of hitting this week. He hit safely in all 6 games with 4 multi-hit efforts, 3 home runs, 9 RBI, 8 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, a .541 average, and a 1.083 slugging percentage! His 21 home runs on the season put him second in the Sally League behind Seuly Matias. But Spanberger is hitting nearly .100 points better than Matias (.317 vs .218).
Looking forward, the Rockies system is pretty jammed up with 1B/DH types, but you’d think that Chad can at least get a look at A-Advanced California League ball this summer. We anticipate that he will keep hitting for power at every stop, as his 70-grade raw power seems legit. He’s also worked his K-rate down to 21.4% on the season. He’s got a bit of a L/R split as well (.745 OPS hitting lefties vs. 1.059 vs. righties), but the only way for him to work on that is to continue battling against lefties as he works his way up the ladder. Worst case scenario might be him on the good side of a platoon playing half his games at Coors Field. Strong buy signals.
Brewer Hicklen (KC)
3 multi-hit games, 21 TB, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 Runs, 7 SB
Sebastian Rivero (KC)
Hit safely in all 5, 4 multi-hit games, 21 TB, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 Runs, .913 SLG
Luis Castro – 1B – Boise Hawks (Rockies)
This speedy Venezuelan 1B hit safely in all 6 games this week en route to earning our A-Short Season PotW honors. Castro sizzled with a .521 batting average for the Boise Hawks this week. He flashed wheels (5 SB and 8 runs scored) and some pop as well (2 HR and a .913 slugging percentage). Castro is blocked further up the ladder by the likes of Chad Spanberger (see above) and Sean Bouchard in Asheville. But as those pieces start moving in the 2H, look for Castro to get another look at the Sally League.
Gilberto Celestino (HOU)
4 multi-hit games, 22 TB, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 Runs, 5 SB
*Luis Castro (COL)
Hit safely in all 6, 4 multi-hit games, 21 TB, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 8 Runs, 5 SB, .521 AVG, .913 SLG
Nick Ames – 1B – GCL Tigers
Nick Ames only managed 6 hits this week, but 5 of those 6 hits were home runs for the GCL Tigers. Jason Woodell caught one of them:
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) July 4, 2018
That looks like some real easy left-handed power from Ames, almost as though he’s hitting a 9-iron. According to Emily Waldon, Ames got promoted to the NY-Penn League after his big debut in the GCL:
After hitting ALL the home runs last week, #Tigers 2018 15th-round pick Nick Ames has been promoted from the Gulf Coast League to the New York-Penn League.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) July 9, 2018
Jordan Qsar (TB)
Hit safely in all 7, 24 TB, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 Runs, 2 SB, .888 SLG
Nathan Eaton (KC)
22 TB, 7 RBI, 6 Runs, 6:6 BB:K, 3 SB, .916 SLG
Walter Rasquin (NYM)
17 TB, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 Runs, 4:4 BB:K, 5 SB, .523 AVG, .809 SLG