With 120 teams and 5,000+ players spread through four levels (not to mention the Dominican Summer League and the renamed Complex leagues in Arizona and Florida), keeping up with minor league performances can be difficult. If you wait until end-of-season wrap-ups, a breakout prospect may no longer be available. You can scout stat lines all year, but that can be tedious, and it’s difficult to keep an eye on every tweet of a new highlight. But fear not, intrepid dynasty league manager: Welcome to Pitcher List’s MiLB Player and Pitcher of the Week!
This is a weekly column where I’ll select one hitter and one pitcher who performed outstandingly in the prior week. Not only will you get a name, but also we’ll dive into what powered their results and where their future value stands.
Player of the Week: 2B Nolan Gorman, STL, AAA
Stats: (5 games) 10-for-21, 5 HR, 5 RBI
Similar to the opening week, there were hitters who may have put up a more well-rounded line, but Gorman having 10 hits and five of them being homers just catches the eye. Add in the fact that he went deep in three straight games, and here we are. Gorman holds some unique dynasty value since his positional conversion, essentially wielding a third baseman’s power potential as a second baseman.
A meatball of a pitch, I know, but it’s still gratifying to see Gorman deposit it into the right field stands, as he should. He’s pretty much ready for the big leagues now. The Cardinals never promoting their prospects on time is a running joke, but Gorman isn’t giving them much of an option. Dynasty managers should prepare themselves for Gorman to be in the next wave of prospects promoted in 2022.
Honorable Mention: OF Denzel Clarke, OAK, Low A
Stats: (6 games) 11-for-28, 3 HR, 11 runs, 9 RBI, 3 SB
Another week and another Athletics’ prospect in the honorable mentions. Clarke was given the “raw athlete” tag when drafted as a late comer to the sport. For a man of his size (6-foot-5 and 200+ lbs.), he moves quite well in the outfield. His raw power is evident, but the question has always been translating it in game. If he can make quality contact consistently, the hit tool and game power will get a bump. This week is certainly heartening for the Athletics and any Clarke managers. It’s a line indicative of Clarke’s ceiling as a middle-of-the-order bat that can create runs as well as drive them in.
Pitcher of the Week: SP Brayan Bello, BOS, AA
Stats: (1 start) 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 hits, 1 BB, 10 K
Bello has been rising up organization and overall rankings since the middle of last season. Bello’s pitch mix and overall arm talent give him an SP3 ceiling; even if his efficiency flags, he throws his FB/SL well enough to be valuable out of the bullpen.
Here we have the second of two sliders thrown in this AB, this one with horrifying vertical break, almost splitter-like. Even after seeing a previous slider, the batter is looking fastball and has no chance of making contact with this pitch. It’s not inconceivable that Bello could challenge Mayer and Yorke as the #1 organizational prospect come this time next year.
Honorable Mention: P Royber Salinas, ATL, Low A
Stats: (1 start) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 0 BB, 13 K
Given his lack of pedigree and the level of competition, I’m reticent to give Salinas the PoTW crown, but I can’t ignore the results of his second start. He’s a strikeout machine, overwhelming the hitters he’s facing. Can he force the Braves to promote him to a more challenging level? Can he force me to ever name him Pitcher of The Week? We’ll have to stay tuned …
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)