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MiLB Player & Pitcher of the Week: June 12 – June 18

Looking at the best performances in the month of June 2022.

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 Vaughn Grissom, ATL, High-A

Stats: (6 games) 15-29, 2 HR, 4 doubles, 14 RBI, 11 runs, 2 SBs

Michael Harris II has barely been in the league for a month and Atlanta already has another young dynamic hitter making his way up their system. A 21-year-old SS in High-A, Grissom has taken another step forward after having a good year in 2021. Now in ’22, Grissom is on pace for a 20/20 season along with a .300 average and close to a .400 OBP.

Another lack of recent broadcast video means we go back one week to High-A Rome’s series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Here, Grissom shows his quick bat as he gets to a middle-in fastball that catches too much of the plate. Grissom has been on fire recently and he continues to show an ability to hit both for average and power. Given his talent, it seems probable that Grissom finishes his 2022 in Double-A Mississippi. Like Harris II, it’s very possible that Grissom shoots up rankings by the end of the year and through the offseason. Now is the time to add him in standard dynasty leagues and deep keepers.

 

Honorable Mention: OF Everson Pereira, NYY, High-A

Stats: (6 games) 10-26, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 10 runs, 1 SB

Pereira has been on the radar of most dynasty writers while attention was given to the likes of Volpe, Dominguez, and Austin Wells. However, it’s Pereira who is having a dynamic and valuable 2022, including a 1.313 OPS during this past week. Pereira does have a K rate closer to the high end of the spectrum but so far it’s been offset both by his double-digit walk rate (11.5%) and his above-average BABIP (.352.) during the year. Like Grissom, Pereira possesses a blend of power and speed at a premium position. Perhaps he’ll finally start to stand out with more weeks like this one.

 

Pitcher of the Week: SP Gavin Stone, LAD, Double-A

Stats: (1 start) 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, 2 BB, 11 Ks

Stone has quietly become the most likely of the Dodgers’ upper minors pitchers to earn an MLB promotion. His pitch mix of fastball/slider/change-up generates swings and misses at a high rate (41.5% at Double-A in 2022) while his command and control are proving to be major league caliber.

As the season progresses and expectations rise, we’re less concerned about pretty 1-2-3 innings; we want to find out how our Pitchers of the Week do when they’re facing adversity. Here Stone is facing two men on with one out and looking to hold onto a two-run lead.

He finishes Edouard Julien off with a changeup that tumbles and fades beautifully off of the plate for the strikeout. Next is non-prospect Chris Williams who he gets to wave through back-to-back sliders that both actually were hung in the middle of the plate. Stone creates his own luck here because of the movement of his changeup and his fastball velocity—it doesn’t look like Williams was expecting two sliders in a row to start the at bat. After a couple of balls, Williams fouls off the changeup twice. So it’s 2-2 and Stone is one strike away from leaving the inning unscathed. What does he do? Pull out the 97 MPH fastball on the outside and gets Williams swinging late.

Stone still is learning as you’d expect at Double-A but even among the likes of Clayton Beeter, Bobby Miller, and Landon Knack, Stone stands out as perhaps the next impressive Dodger pitcher. The NL West (and the rest of the league, honestly) should be worried.

 

Honorable Mention(s): P DL Hall, BAL, Triple-A

Stats: (1 start) 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 hits, 2 BB, 11 Ks

Hall has been showing off all of the strikeout potential the Orioles first saw in him when he was selected 21st overall in 2017. He looks to have overcome the elbow injury that cut his 2021 season short and now he’s on the cusp of joining former minor league battery mate Adley Rutschmann in the big leagues.

Hall still shows some concerning command issues regarding his walks and overall pitch efficiency, enough to make you wonder if he’ll constantly have traffic on the bases in the majors. If so, that could spell short outings and a big ERA but there’s still a chance that Hall comes to rest in the O’s bullpen as a high leverage lefty reliever, similar to what Baltimore has done this season with Keegan Akin (and Zach Britton before him). Either way, you might be able to grab Hall cheaply before he gets the call if the manager in question isn’t as high on his upside as a couple of seasons ago.

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

LaMar Gibson

A lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan that still hasn't forgiven Jeffrey Maier, Tony Fernandez, the 2014 Royals, or Edwin Encarnacion...and has no interest in doing so in the foreseeable future. You can read more of LaMar's thoughts by subscribing to his free monthly newsletter, Inside Fastball, for all things prospects.

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