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 eleventh week of the season, June 11 thru June 17, 2018:
Josh James – Fresno Grizzlies (Astros)
This makes three in a row for James, who turned in another fine start for the Fresno Grizzlies in the PCL this week. James worked 6 innings, racking up 11 strikeouts while walking 2 and scattering 3 hits. James only allowed 1 earned run in the start, bringing his AAA ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL down to 2.36. If you have been watching this space in recent weeks, you are already paying attention to James. If you are new here, welcome. Make sure James is on your radar, because if the Astros need a starter for an extended period of time or some bullpen depth, he’s been pitching better than anyone else in AAA over the past month of the season.
Kyle Funkhouser – Erie SeaWolves (Tigers)
Tough choices this week in AA, but we had to go with Funkhouser as he did not allow an earned run over 2 starts. Funkhouser, 24, was Detroit’s 4th round pick in 2016 out of that college baseball player producing factory, the University of Louisville. He faced 2 good lineups this week, in the Rockies affiliate Hartford and Yankees affiliate Trenton.
He’s old for his level (24), but the Tigers have already advanced him once this season. Don’t be surprised to see him jump up again to AAA if his current good run of form holds. In his last 3 starts, Funkhouser has allowed just 1 earned run in 18 innings while also striking out 21 batters.
Adrian Morejon – Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
The Lake Elsinore rotation this summer is ridiculously loaded, with Chris Paddack dominating and Michel Baez turning in 2 very strong starts this week. But it was young (19) Cuban phenom Adrian Morejon who took home the A-Advanced PotW honors this week. Morejon, a lefty, turned in his first truly dominant performance of 2018, fanning a career high 12 batters at home on June 15 against the Lancaster JetHawks. As you prospectors know, Lancaster, a Rockies affiliate, always has a highly potent offense, but Morejon shut them down this week, striking out 12, walking 1, and scattering 3 hits in a 6 inning start. His curveball was especially effective on the night. Morejon has been working with pitching coach Pete Zamora to create more vertical break on the pitch, trying to emulate his favorite pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. He also mixed in sliders and changeups during the start, flashing a nice 4-pitch arsenal which Padres fans are starting to get really excited over.
Michel Baez (SD)
2 GS, 10.1 IP, 14 K, 4 BB, 11 H, 3 ER
Sterling Sharp (WAS)
2 GS, 1 W, 13 IP, 10 K, 2 BB, 9 H, 1 ER
David Parkinson – Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies)
Parkinson picked up his 2nd POTW award of 2018 this week with a dominant start against Hickory on June 17. Parkinson, 22, was a 12th round pick out of Ole Miss in 2017. He posted 11 Ks in this weeks start while walking 0 batters. Parkinson hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 5 starts, with 0 ER allowed in 7 of his last 10. He’s obviously well advanced of the competition in the Sally League, and a promotion should be imminent for this tricky lefty. His 1.07 ERA is the lowest out of any starter in the Minors in 2018.
Socrates Brito – CF – Reno Aces (Diamondbacks)
We bent the ‘prospect’ rules a bit this week to include Brito as our AAA PotW. Brito, 25, has registered 145 ABs in 66 major league games for Arizona, including 8 games with the big club this year. He’s had difficulty hitting at the big league level (.200/.216/.352 career slash line), but has been murdering baseballs in the PCL thus far this season (.353/.391/.544 slash line).
This week, Brito went crazy, hitting safely in all 6 games and also recording 6 multi-hit games. He launched 4 home runs, picked up 31 total bases, drove in 11, scored 10, and walked (3) more than he struck out (2). He finished the week with a 1.240 slugging average. When they are ready to give him another shot in Arizona, Brito looks like he’s ready to come out swinging. He absolutely clobbered this 473-foot bomb:
473 feet. No big deal for Socrates Brito.
Aces lead this one 12-3 after three innings of play. pic.twitter.com/gPcJN9ho23
— Reno Aces (@Aces) June 16, 2018
Will Craig – 1B – Altoona Curve (Pirates)
There were some really strong hitter performances at AA this week, but Altoona’s Will Craig muscled his way to POTW honors by slugging 1.260 on the week with 5 home runs. Craig hit safely in all 6 games this week, and homering in 5 of the 6, and racking up 29 total bases. The 1st round pick out of Wake Forest in 2016 looked the part of a potential middle of the order hitter this week, driving in 12 runs. Craig’s 11 home runs lead all of the Pirates minor leaguers in 2018.
Nathaniel Lowe (TB)
5 multi-hit games, 25 TB, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 Runs, 7:2 BB:K, .961 SLG
Trent Giambrone (CHC)
22 TB, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 Runs, 2 SB, .814 SLG
Tyler Krieger (CLE)
17 TB, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 7 Runs, 4:2 BB:K, 5 SB, .894 SLG
Jo Adell – CF – Inland Empire 66ers (Angels)
The kid is a complete toolshed. Fantasy owners were already drooling his potential, and then he drops a week like this where he just completely stuffs your stat sheet all week long. 4 multi-hit games, 29 total bases, 4 home runs, 8 RBI, 9 Runs, and why not, 3 steals too just for fun. Slugging average of 1.035 on the week. .990 OPS with 14 HR and 11 SB (and only 1 CS) across both levels so far this season. He’s only 19 years old. Roster him now if he’s not rostered already in your dynasty league for some reason. He’ll be joining Mike Trout in the Angels OF before you know it.
Ryan McKenna (BAL)
6 multi-hit games, 23 TB, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10 Runs, 5:3 BB:K, .821 SLG
Nolan Jones – 3B – Lake County Captains (Indians)
Jones has been sniffing around the PotW charts recently, as it looks like he’s starting to find his power stroke. This week, he logged 5 multi-hit games, bringing his 2018 batting average in the Midwest League up to .276. He also launched 2 home runs and picked up 20 total bases, ending the week with a .833 slugging average. He’s a lanky (6’4″ 185 listed, looks bigger) 20 year-old who probably has some projection left in him. Give him time to figure out the power-hitting, and appreciate his ability to hit for contact and take a walk (.395 OBP) right now. His 136 wRC+ puts him third among all Indians minor leaguers in 2018.
Jose Azocar (DET)
Hit safely in 6 of 7, 22 TB, 7 RBI, 7 Runs