Actually the first full week of minor league baseball. Some prospects saw promotions, some saw season ending injuries, and everything in between.
Andrew Benintendi saw his 130th AB last Tuesday, making him no longer a prospect. Adrian Morejon replaces him as #100 on MLB’s top 100 prospects list.
Jay Groome – Placed on DL. Exited 1st start with Lat injury after letting up 9 ER in 1.1 IP. Retroactive 4/11.
Cody Bellinger – 9 for 26, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 4 SB. The top Dodgers prospect has come out hot and now has 4 doubles, 3 HR, 4 SB and 1.202 OPS on the year. Simply raking. Bellinger has spent time at both 1B and OF and could see MLB time if the Dodgers need help at either position.
Lucas Giolito – 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 4 K. Gio also hit 3 batters last Saturday and now holds a 7.56 ERA and 8:6 K:BB. Rough first two outings from the former top prospect, whose FB has been sitting in the low 90’s for two straight outings. If you weren’t worried yet, it may be time to start.
Dane Dunning – 2 starts, 14 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 21 K. The White Sox #10 prospect had one of the best starts in the early MiLB year Thursday, going 8 innings, allowing 1 unearned run and striking out 13. A Nationals 2016 1st round pick and the often forgotten 3rd pitcher in the Adam Eaton trade is quickly making an impact in Chicago.
J.P. Crawford – 2 for 25, 5 BB, 8 K. Atrocious start for Crawford, who can’t seem to do anything right. He’s now hitting .086 on the season
Willy Adames – 3 for 28, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 2 errors. Another top SS prospect having a tough start to the year. Adames was a tad better at the plate compared to Crawford, but much worse in the field. All eyes will be on these two SS next week to see how (or if) they rebound.
Brent Honeywell – 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K. I included Honeywell in last week’s rundown, but couldn’t help myself from throwing him in again this week due to my massive man crush on him. Honeywell now has a 2.08 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and a 20:4 K:BB in 13 IP this season and was promoted to AAA Durham on Sunday.
Jorge Mateo – 12 for 27, 7 SB. Mateo now has 9 SB on the year in 10 games. I had to check a second website because I thought maybe it was a typo. 80 grade speed at its finest. Mateo also got 4 starts in CF this week, so it will interesting to see if the Yanks elect to move him into the outfield full time or if it’s simply a versatility thing.
Ian Happ – 11 for 34, 4 HR. Happ now leads the minors in homeruns with 6. Happ is ultimately blocked at the major league level by a plethora of talent, so don’t be surprised to see Happ moved at the deadline might the Cubs need help. Happ has played 2B, LF, and RF this season. Happ’s teammate Jeimer Candelario also had 6 doubles this week and is now hitting .316 with 11 XBH.
Mike Soroka – 2 starts, 11.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 K. Just another Braves pitching prospect looking good. Control has always been strong for Soroka, but a 14:0 K:BB in the early going is still impressive. Good, projectable sinker/slider combo and still only 19 years old. Ian Anderson was also more than impressive over 2 starts this week, allowing 1 run and striking out 16 in 9.2 IP.
Juan Soto – 13 for 35, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 2 SB, 3:3 K:BB. One of my favorite prospects there is. Still just 18, Soto has extremely enticing power/speed, and is now hitting .400 this season. I fully expect Soto to be one of the biggest risers in prospect rankings this season.
Travis Lakins – 2 starts, 11 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 12 K. A 6th round pick in 2015, Lakins was told to scrap his slider coming out of college and work on his 3 core pitches. Fast forward to today, Lakins has added cutter to his arsenal and has moved from the first base side of the rubber to the third base side and the initial results have been great. Lakins now has a 1.65 ERA and a 21:3 K:BB in 16.1 IP this season and will be someone worth monitoring.
Christian Arroyo – 15 for 30, 3 XBH, 3 K. Scorching hot start for Arroyo, who now is hitting .457 on the year. “This kid is knocking on the door now,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday. Arroyo is listed at SS but is not going to be removing Brandon Crawford from any playing time. Arroyo has been putting in time at second and third base as well.
Christin Stewart – 8 for 29, 5 XBH, 7 walks. No, not the chick from Twilight. One of the biggest power bats in all MiLB, Stewart powered his way to 30 HR last season. He doesn’t always hit the ball (.255, 25% K in 2016), but when he does, he hits it hard.
Luis Escobar – 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 12 K. Another double digit strikeout performance from the Pirates #14 prospect, who now has a 23:1 K:BB over 11 IP this season. His control took a major step forward from ’15 to ’16, but it needs to take another one this season. So far, he’s been coasting against lesser talent with the velo on his fastball, something he won’t be able to do at higher levels, but his change and curve flash above average. He is starting to make some serious noise, and his start to the year is eerily similar to the start Mitch Keller saw last season. Watch this kid; after a sneaky good 2016, Escobar has serious breakout potential.
Enyel De Los Santos – 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. De Los Santos was perfect through 6 innings on Friday before being pulled due to an innings limit. The Padres #17 prospect has a mid-90s fastball with a squeaky clean delivery. His secondaries need a lot of work. Definitely someone to monitor.
Yoan Moncada and Franklin Barreto both cooled off, hitting .200 and .179 this week, respectively. Despite his good start, Moncada is still really struggling again LHP, hitting just .083.
Reds prospect Jesse Winker and Rockies prospect Raimel Tapia both got their first taste of the MLB. Winker got 2 AB in 2 games before being optioned back to AAA. Tapia is presumably only up until Rockies OF Gerardo Parra returns from paternity leave on Monday.
Rockies prospect Mike Nikorak and Yankees prospect James Kaprielian will both need Tommy John Surgery. Their 2017 seasons are over.
Brewers prospect Angel Ventura pitched 2.0 innings last Monday and let up 11 runs, but escaped the start with a 0.00 ERA. That’s right… 11 runs, but not a single one was earned.
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