The Farmhands of the Week are back for a third season! A great resource for dynasty/keeper league players to find some under the radar prospects or breakouts before they happen. These ‘Farm Freebies’ can help rebuild your minor league system in no time!
Here are the Farmhands of the Week for May 20 thru May 26, 2019:
Leyba took advantage of the excellent PCL atmosphere/MLB ball combination by raking for Reno this week. He hit safely in every game and posted 4 multi-hit efforts. He also hit 3 longballs, giving him 7 on the season. Leyba is now having the best offensive season of his minor league career, posting a .925 OPS.
Leyba was originally signed by the Tigers. He moved to the D’backs org as part of a 3-way trade that sent Didi Gregorius to the Yankees, Robbie Ray to the Diamondbacks, and Shane Greene to the Tigers all the way back in 2014. He’s steadily climbed the ladder in the Arizona organization, but he’s still only 23 years old. If he’s able to maintain his newfound slugging ways, Leyba could conceivably get a shot at contributing in the MLB this year if the D’backs experience an injury that affects their middle infield depth.
Rojas tatooed the baseball this week to the tune of 6 HR, 37 TB, and a 1.193 slugging average. He had 3 separate 2 HR games, hitting 6 of his 7 home runs on the season in those 3 games. Rojas’s 2019 season line is now an impressive .317/.400/.545 with 7 HR, 13 2B, and 13 SBs. He’s seen most of his time at 2B, but has also played games at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF.
Rojas was a 26th round draft choice out of the University of Hawaii in the 2017 draft. He played well enough to earn himself a non-roster invite to spring training this past spring. While the Houston system is really loaded, the team likes to employ super-utility type players to keep the lineup regulars fresh (Marwin Gonzalez last year, Aldemys Diaz this year). That means a player like Rojas, who has some pop, some speed, and the ability to play multiple positions on the diamond, might have more of a path to playing time than a different prospect in the same situation as him.
A Michigoon hailing from South Haven and a product of small (1600 student) Adrian College, Dorow rode a 4 game hit streak to FOTW honors this week. During the streak, Dorow racked up 4 HRs in 3 contests against the Potomac Nationals. This 30th round choice in the 2017 draft now has launched 8 HR this season, driving in 31 runs. He’s also swiped 6 bags this year. Dorow has performed well as a super-utility player in the Rangers system, spending most of his time split between 2B/3B/SS and also seeing the occasional game in the OF. There’s a chance that he earns a promotion to AA ball later this summer.
I’ve been writing up and tweeting about Niko a ton recently. I selected him late in our Harvest prospect competition figuring that he’d be able to beat up on younger pitching in the A-Full Midwest League once the weather turned around. Well it’s not even June yet and Niko has already hit 12 HR and is slugging .604. I can’t imagine he sticks around with the Great Lakes Loons much longer this summer. He really needs to face more advanced pitching, as his plate approach and raw power will just continue patiently punishing mistakes at his current level.
Elieser Hernandez put together 6 innings of 1-hit ball for the New Orleans Baby Cakes, punching out 12 hitters as part of a record-setting 19K performance by the team as a whole:
The 'Cakes had 19 strikeouts to set a new club record for a nine-inning game, including 12 from Elieser Hernandez to tie the team mark, in a 9-1 one-hitter of Oklahoma City! https://t.co/0qPU6gTFdM
— New Orleans Baby Cakes (@cakesbaseball) May 23, 2019
Elieser got called up (again) by the Marlins today. He’s pitched 65.2 relief innings in the MLB thus far in his career. This time, Elieser just might be sticking around for a while.
This week’s AA list is a really good selection of potential top pitching prospects heading into the 2020 season. If you put a gun to my head and told me to guess which one will wind up being the top MLB pitcher, my guess just might be Kyle Muller. Muller was a 2nd round prep arm out of Dallas’s Jesuit College Prep. He’s now pitched 267 professional innings, going 16-5 with a 2.76 ERA.
Muller’s 2019 fastball velo is now touching the upper 90s. His slider and changeup both flash 6s, and he throws a separate curveball. He’s lefthanded. He’s a big-time athlete. He’s 6’6″ 230. All the pieces are there for him to be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball heading into 2020.
Kyle Bradish gets the FOTW honors this week for taking one of the hardest luck losses you can imagine. On May 21, Bradish took the bump against the Lancaster JetHawks for the Inland Empire 66ers. Bradish pitched 5.1 1-hit innings, punching out 12 batters. And for all that effort, he earned the loss. And he got hurt, going on the 7-day IL following the start.
Bradish actually has a losing record on the season, going 2-3 despite his 2.11 ERA and a .199 batting average against. The 4th round pick out of New Mexico State has been really good.
This is Vallimont’s 2nd FOTW award and I think now it is time to start paying attention to this popup guy out of D2 Mercyhurst. Vallimont pitched 13 innings this week, allowing just 1 hit and recording 18 punchies in the process. Vallimont swears by Driveline for his offseason conditioning and throwing program. He’s been a bit inconsistent at times, but his season line is now 3-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 10 starts.