MiLB Player & Pitcher of the Week: May 15 – 21

Looking at the best performances from MiLB's second week of the season.

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: C Logan O’Hoppe, PHI, AA

Stats: (7 games) 12-23, 6 HR, 8 RBI, 10 runs, 1 SB

The last time I saw Mr. O’Hoppe, it was mid April and he was being victimized by Daniel Espino. Similar to Michael Jordan, it seems he took that personally. While in the middle of a ridiculous tear this week, O’Hoppe hit a homer in 3 straight games. Here’s one against Somerset right-hander Sean Boyle:

I’ve been a fan of O’Hoppe’s since seeing him in the Arizona Fall League last year. I think he has good power and above average plate skills to be a good fantasy add. Unfortunately he plays on a team where there’s not going to be any sort of timeshare behind the plate. Given the fact that the Phillies just sunk more money into trying to compete now, it’s incredibly unlikely Realmuto gets dealt anytime soon. Maybe there’s a trade to a catcher deficient team in Logan O’Hoppe’s future, allowing him a real chance to tap into his potential as a .245ish/.320ish OBP with 12-15 HRs.

Honorable Mention: 2B/OF Trevor Hauver, TEX, A+

Stats: (4 games) 8-15, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 runs

Hauver was part of the delegation traded from the Yankees to the Rangers last year and while he’s not as highly rated as Ezequiel Duran, he has the potential to be a helpful utility bat at the ML level. In his second go-round at High A, he’s lowered his K rate by 10% while pushing his walk rate percentage into the 20s. This is all while wielding an extremely suppressive .268 BABIP. If his all fields approach can begin to bring that number up, he could become a quick mover through the Rangers system.

 

Pitcher of the Week: SP Grayson Rodriguez, BAL, AAA

Stats: (1 start) 5.1IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, 3 BB, 11 Ks

Is my Orioles bias showing? Am I simply coasting on a Rutschman rush? Possibly. But also:

 

 

Yes that’s 2021 folk hero and cannonball shaped human, Yermin Mercedes, being summarily dismissed by Rodriguez with a nasty slider with vertical movement. But it’s not just Rodriguez mowing down competition that puts him in this week’s #1 spot. It’s also moments of him really having to execute pitches time over time.

So let’s step back an inning to the 3rd: After a leadoff double to #9 hitter Micker Adolfo, Rodriguez gives up another hard hit ball, this time to the right side for a single by Adam Haseley. So with a 2 run lead, still early in the game, Rodriguez is facing 1st and 3rd with no men out. Contact needs to be limited if any and soft if at all possible. But he obviously can’t avoid the strike zone entirely because walking batters isn’t an option. Pop quiz hot shot, you staring down the barrel of an ugly inning. What do you do?

Strikeout swinging, strikeout looking, weak groundball to the shortstop, 6-3 putout. That’s how an SP1 gets out of a jam with no harm done. I have goosebumps on my arm from watching that.

Honorable Mention: P Wilmer Flores, DET, AA

Stats: (1 start) – 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 BB, 7 Ks

Flores continues to move through the seven stages of popup prospect-dom, from Fun (“Oh hey, Wilmer Flores has a younger brother with the same exact name!”) to Interesting (“Oh this kid throws gas…”) to Watchlisted (“Why hasn’t CBS/Yahoo/ESPN, etc. added this guy to the pool yet?!”). This past week. he made his first AA start and officially graduated to the Respectful stage (“Wilmer Flores is legit.”). With each start this season, he’s shaking off the reliever risk concerns that I’ve had and I’m eager to see his next stage.

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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