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: SS Adael Amador, COL, Low A
Stats: (5 games) 9-for-23, 4 HR, 7 RBI
Amador received some love from me previously on the most recent episode of On The Farm but looking at his numbers this week, he deserved taking home the POTW golden bat (I just made that up but we’ll go with it). The 6″ teen from the DR has been on a torrid pace throughout the opening month of April, surpassing last year’s HR total already (he hit 4 in 200 PAs in 2021, he’s hit 6 in 95 PAs this season) and preparing to set other career highs in doubles and RBIs by the end of May.
Here’s where we encounter our first (but probably not last) logistical issue with MiLB TV. The Fresno Grizzlies were at Lake Elsinore and Stockton this past week, two Low A teams that do not broadcast. So the above gif is actually a homer from the week before. With that said, you can see how explosive Amador’s pull side power can be. What impresses and excites me with this home run, is that it’s a mistake from the Lake Elsinore pitcher. The previous pitch was also supposed to be a fastball away that he ended up missing by about a foot inside to Amador. This is what happened:
You can tell Amador is thinking “Okay, he got away with that one…was just a bit early…the next fastball he leaves in my wheelhouse I’m sending.” And then what happens? A young hitter recognizing and punishing mistake pitches like this in the low minors is a good indicator that he’s developing an eye for the zone faster than his competition can pitch to him. At this rate, I am crossing all possible appendages that Colorado recognizes game and promote this kid to High A quick fast.
Honorable Mention: SS Luis Garcia, WAS, AAA
Stats: (4 games) 7-for-14, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 runs
Here’s the line that the Nationals SS posted in the past week: 5/22 2R 2 RBI. Yes, Major League pitching is more difficult than AAA, yes, Luis Garcia has looked average at best in his first two stops in The Show. However, at this point what else does this man need to do to earn a shot at the job? And almost as important: what do the Nationals have to lose by offering it to him? #Justice4Luis
Pitcher of the Week: SP Kyle Harrison, SFG, High A
Stats: (1 start) 4 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, 2 BB, 11 Ks
Okay, so this is somewhat of a technicality as Andrew Painter probably had the strongest two most recent performances but unfortunately for him, they both fell outside of the eligible period (1 start was April 23rd, the other was May 1st). Tough break, but rules are rules.
Not complaining about giving this week’s award to Kyle Harrison however. He looked good all of last season and this year he’s really been rounding into form as the top-of-rotation guy that the Giants envisioned.
Well whaddya know, yet another situation where an affiliate doesn’t broadcast. This time it’s the Tri-City Devils that are MIA on MiLB TV. So we have to go back two weeks to a nine-K effort at home against the Spokane Indians. First, he throws a changeup that should be illegal:
Can a catcher have a K strut? I don’t even know but the Eugene Emeralds backstop is the closest I’ve ever seen to doing so. It must be an amazing feeling when you’re sitting back there, knowing this guy is about to strike out. It’s like catching a thunderbolt from Zeus. What chance does this mere mortal have with his wooden stick?
Honorable Mention: P Eury Perez, MIA, AA
Stats: (1 start) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 HBP, 12 K
The 6’7 phenom had a somewhat rude introduction to Double-A this season as he gave up three or more runs in his first three starts while also walking and/or hitting a couple of batters each game. This start finally looked like the Perez that rose up prospect rankings last year. More in control and with all of his stuff working for him. Hopefully, that’s the confidence booster he needed to show himself that he deserves his place in the upper minors. Let’s see if he’s able to jump from honorable mention to POTW status next week.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)