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 third week of the season, April 16 thru April 22, 2018:
Jalen Beeks – Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
A dominant start propelled Beeks to PotW honors this week. Beeks put together a strong start against a talented Gwinnett Stripers (Braves) lineup on April 21. He went 6 strong innings, walking 2 and allowing 2 hits while surrendering 0 runs. Beeks used a combination of fastballs and cutters to fool hitters all night long, generating 10 strikeouts in the process. 5 of the Ks came swinging, and 5 came looking, several on a backdoor cutter. He was stopped after 6 innings and 98 pitches, coming in just under his 100 pitch limit.
Ranger Suarez – Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies)
This Venezuelan lefty checked in with a dominating Eastern League performance on April 16 to push him to POTW honors this week. Suarez delivered 8 strong innings against Harrisburg, punching out 10 batters, walking none, and scattering 6 hits. Suarez allowed no runs on the night, picking up the win. Suarez’s also added in a 7 inning start on the 22nd, allowing only 2 ER. Suarez showed pinpoint control this week, allowing 0 walks in 15 total innings pitched.
Genesis Cabrera (Rays) – 2 GS, 1 W, 13 IP, 10 K, 8 BB, 4 H, 4 ER
Mitch Keller (Pirates) – 2 GS, 1 W, 12.2 IP, 12 K, 5 BB, 9 H, 4 ER
Shane Bieber (Indians) – 2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 11 K, 0 BB, 14 H, 3 ER
Connor Grey – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks)
Connor struck out a career high 12 batters in his start against the Stockton Ports on Thursday this week. Grey dominated the opposition over 7 innings of work, allowing 0 earned runs while scattering 3 hits and 2 walks. Grey commented after the game that he was able to throw and control all 4 pitches in his arsenal, a promising sign for this up and coming starter in the D-Backs organization. Grey struck out the side in 3 separate innings. He’s now 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 0.93 WHIP so far this young season.
Dane Dunning (White Sox) – 2 GS, 13 IP, 15 K, 1 BB, 15 H, 6 ER
Jorge Alcala (Astros) – 1 GS, 1 SV, 9 IP, 13 K, 2 BB, 5 H, 1 ER
Conner Menez (Giants) – 2 GS, 1 W, 10 IP, 15 K, 5 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Zac Lowther – Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles)
Back-to-back PotW awards for a dude who is just dominating the Sally League at the moment. Lowther made 2 more starts this week for the Shorebirds, racking up an 18:1 K:BB ratio in 10 innings of work. He also scattered 5 hits and gave up a single earned run. Adam McIntuff of 2080 sports (@2080adam on Twitter) gave us the following scouting report after seeing Lowther’s April 17th start against Hagerstown:
Really deceptive and has excellent ride on his fastball. TrackMan darling, as it were. Closed front side and the spin get many more swings through his grade of velo than one often sees. He can elevate in a way someone in that band usually can't as a result.
— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) April 19, 2018
The Carolina League is calling.
Brady Puckett (Marlins) – 2 GS, 14 IP, 11 K, 0 BB, 13 H, 3 ER
Antonio Santos (Rockies) – 2 GS, 12 IP, 18 K, 1 BB, 12 H, 8 ER
Kade McClure (White Sox) – 2 GS, 2 W, 13.1 IP, 15 K, 3 BB, 11 H, 1 ER
David Fletcher – 2B – Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
The Angels have turned around their farm system since Billy Eppler took over, to the point that their depth prospects are producing good returns. This week, it was David Fletcher’s turn. Fletcher was a 6th round pick in 2015 out of Loyola Marymount, and looks like a potential top of the order hitter (.400 OBP so far this season) in the future. This week, Fletcher scored a hit in every game, including 4 separate 3-hit games. He also did not strike out in 30 at-bats this week. Against Sacramento on the 17th, he logged 3 runs. He also hit a HR and swiped a bag this week for good measure.
Austin Riley – 3B – Mississippi Braves (Braves)
The Braves system is jam-packed with great prospects right now, and Austin Riley might be rising faster than any other Braves prospect at the moment. Riley saw the ball extremely well this week, finishing 12-for-23 and slugging an extraordinary 1.043. His season slash line thus far: .386/.435/.754 with 3 HR, 2 3B, and 8 2B in 57 ABs. Buy now if you can, it might be your last chance.
Buddy Reed – CF – Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
As good as Austin Riley was this week, it was Buddy Reed that was the runaway top hitter in all of MiLB. Originally from the Bronx, Reed was San Diego’s 2016 2nd round draft pick out of the University of Florida. A great athlete with great size (6’4″, 210), Reed used all of his tools this week en route to finishing 15-for-24 with an eye-popping 32 total bases in 5 games. He hit a home run in 3 of those games this week, including 2 against Inland Empire on April 17th, both a bomb and an inside-the-parker. Then on the 18th against Inland Empire, Reed went 4-for-4, scored 2 runs, and stole a bag.
Reed spent this winter playing ball in the Australian Baseball League, where he said he “found a new identity”. Whatever he did down there worked, as his 2018 OPS currently stands at 1.129.
Calvin Mitchell – LF – West Virginia Power (Pirates)
Mitchell lit up the Sally League this week, hitting safely in every game, and logging 5 multi-hit efforts. Against Asheville on April 21, Mitchell went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI and a triple. He knocked in 9 runs this week to make a season total of 15, putting him behind only Nationals prospect Juan Soto (21) for the Sally League lead. He added a combo meal (1 HR, 1 SB) against Asheville on the 19th, while going 2-for-4 and driving in 3 more runs. A 2017 2nd-round pick out of high school, Mitchell’s 2018 OPS now stands at 1.070 after his impressive week.
Tyler Frost (White Sox): 8-for-21, 22 total bases, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 1.047 SLG