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 fourth week of the season, April 23 thru April 30, 2018:
Austin Gomber – Memphis Cardinals (Cardinals)
It was one hell of a week for the big (6’5″, 230) lefty out of FAU. Gomber made an incredible start for the Memphis Cards on April 23 against the Iowa Cubs. Gomber tied the single-game record for strikeouts in the history of the Cardinals minor leagues with 16 Ks through 8 innings of shutout work. Gomber threw 112 pitches on the day (85 for strikes). Gomber said he relied on throwing his curve early in the count to fool Iowa’s hitters, who were sitting on his fastball early on. Here he is getting fired up after a swinging strikeout:
I love Austin Gomber
You should, too.
He's filthy, and he gets fired up. Like this: pic.twitter.com/EBatpLvVWD
— Kyle Reis (@kyler416) April 29, 2018
As if his week wasn’t going well enough, Gomber was called-up to the big club on Sunday, while Jack Flaherty rode the shuttle back to AAA. With the Cardinals not needing a 5th starter for the next couple of weeks, Gomber will bring his strike-out stuff to the St. Louis bullpen.
Ryan Helsley (STL)
2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 17 K, 2 BB, 8 H, 2 ER
Luis Perdomo (SD)
2 GS, 1 W, 14 IP, 14 K, 3 BB, 7 H, 7 ER
Adam Plutko (CLE)
2 GS, 1 W, 12.2 IP, 11 K, 3 BB, 8 H, 4 ER
Touki Toussaint – Mississippi Braves (Braves)
Now kind of a forgotten piece of the Braves pitching prospects, Toussaint had a strong week this week in AA. Touki looked sharp in 2 starts for the Mississippi Braves, posting 6 strikeouts in 5 innings on the road at Mobile on April 23, and then logging 7 strikeouts in 7 strong innings of work against Jackson on April 28.
Touki was a 1st round pick out of high school in 2014, and is still only 21. Here’s a look at his hook, courtesy of the legendary @PitchingNinja:
Touki Toussaint, Soul-Stealing Curveball (home plate view). 👻 [@BravesHotTakes request] pic.twitter.com/eXiZC1CUKi
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) November 5, 2017
Taylor Widener (ARI)
2 GS, 0 W, 9.2 IP, 15 K, 4 BB, 3 H, 2 ER
Logan Allen (SD)
2 GS, 1 W, 13 IP, 12 K, 4 BB 7 H, 2 ER
Edgar Arredondo – Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers)
This 20 year-old prospect out of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico cruised to A-Advanced League PotW honors thanks to 9 masterful innings against the Buies Creek Astros in the Carolina League this week. According to the team, Arredondo’s performance was the greatest single-game pitching performance in the history of the Wood Ducks. Arredondo struck out 12 batters while allowing no walks. Amazingly enough, Arredondo now has not allowed a walk in 22 of his 45 career professional starts. He now has a stellar 25:2 K:BB ratio in 18.2 innings of work for the Wood Ducks this season.
Ryan Olson (CIN)
2 GS, 1 W, 12 IP, 14 K, 1 BB, 10 H, 1 ER
Bailey Falter (PHI)
2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 13 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 2 ER
Ofreidy Gomez (KC)
1 GS, 1 W, 8.2 IP, 14 K, 2 BB, 6 H, 1 ER
Nick Nelson – Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
The Yankees 4th round pick in 2016, Nelson stifled Sally League pitching this week, allowing 0 ER in 12 innings of work across 2 starts. Nelson also posted an 11:1 K:BB ratio. Now sitting at 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA, a dig into Nelson’s under the surface stats shows that he’s been even better than that initial impression. Batters have only managed a .198 batting average against him this season, his WHIP is sitting at a pretty 1.01, and he’s posted 35 Ks against 7 BBs in 24.2 innings. He’s relied on a mix of fastballs, curves, and more change-ups, which seems to be a pitch he’s developing at the moment.
Kutter Crawford (BOS)
2 GS, 0 W, 15 K, 3 BB, 10 H, 1 ER
Emmanuel Ramirez (SD)
1 GS, 1 W, 5.1 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 0 ER
Dustin Fowler – OF – Nashville Sounds (Athletics)
Fowler was running through the 2017 season with tons of promise and potential, but that all came to a crashing halt with his season-ending patellar tendon rupture that he suffered running down a fall-ball against the White Sox in his MLB debut. Fowler was subsequently traded to the rebuilding A’s in the Sonny Gray deal, and he’s now leading the Nashville Sounds in AAA, which is potentially one of the most exciting offenses in all of the MiLB.
This week, Fowler recorded 3 multi-hit games for the Sounds, racking up 20 total bases, 2 HRs, 5 RBI, 7 Runs scored, and a stolen base for good measure. He exploded against the New Orleans BabyCakes on April 29, going 3-for-5 and finishing a single short of the cycle (2B, 3B, HR). He doesn’t walk much (only 84 BB in 1,786 career MiLB at-bats), but at least he looks healthy coming back from that freak injury. He could see some time in Oakland’s OF later this summer.
Gavin Cecchini (NYM)
Hit safely in every game (11-for-23), 4 multi-hit efforts, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R
Peter Alonso – 1B – Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets)
Alonso was probably the hottest hitter in all of the Minors this week, finishing the week with a HR in 4 straight games to go with a current 7-game hit streak. He drove in 8 runs on the week. His 2018 slash line is now a stellar .403/.500/.778 so far this season in the Eastern League. He has a nice, compact swing which generates a lot of power, which should continue to play as he moves up levels. I would not be surprised to see him move up to AAA sooner rather than later.
Austin Allen (SD)
3 multi-hit games, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB
Monte Harrison (MIA)
Hit safely in 6 of 7, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R
Nathaniel Lowe – 1B – Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays)
A 13th round pick out of Mississippi State in 2016, Lowe stuffed the stat sheets this week. He hit safely in 5 of the 6 games on the week, hitting 3 dingers, driving in 9 runs, and scoring 6 runs of his own. His 20 total bases left him with a .833 slugging percentage on the week. He had a massive game against the Tampa Tarpons on the 27th. He had 4 hits, including 2 home runs, and 6 RBI, driving the Stone Crabs to a 10-4 victory. He is now raking to the tune of a .393 batting average and 1.100 OPS early on this season, with 5 HR and 7 2B. Watch to see if the Rays plan to push his advancement up to the challenge of AA ball this season.
David Rodriguez (TB)
Hit safely in every game, 20 TB, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, .833 SLG
Travis Blankenhorn (MIN)
3 multi-hit efforts, 3 HR, 2 SB, 7 RBI, 4 R
Kevin Smith – SS – Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays)
Toronto’s 4th-round pick is doing his best to make Lugnuts fans forget about the hot young prospects (Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette) they had the pleasure of watching last season. This week, Smith hit safely in every game, as he has done in each of his past 10 outings. Smith also racked up 3 multi-hit efforts, a HR, and a stolen base. He walked 3 times this week while only striking out twice. He’s swinging the bat really well out of the gate (.330 BA and .950 OPS), and is looking like a dangerous offensive force, bagging 3 HR, 10 2B, and 6 SBs.
Also, he’s a Terp!
Wilkerman Garcia (NYY)
10-for-30 on the week with 3 multi-hit efforts, 23 TB, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 3 SB
Kacy Clemens (TOR)
4 multi-hit games, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 10 R, 6 BB, .758 SLG