Prospects of the Week: Games Ending July 21
Prospects of the Week captures the best performances across all levels of the minor leagues. Because this covers a huge pool of players, its focus will generally favor prospects considered among the top of each organization.
This week includes games played July 15-21. You can read previous Prospects of the Week articles here:
|July 8- July 14|
Gavin Lux, 21, SS, Oklahoma City (LAD), Triple-A
(15-for-30, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 13 R, 7 BB)
When I write these recaps, I try to keep the same format and just erase the player’s names to replace with new ones each week. I’m going to stop erasing Lux’s name from now on. The minor league’s hottest hitter slugged five more home runs for OKC this week and added a five-hit effort on Thursday. He now has a .487/.552/.961 slash line in 18 games at Triple-A. There is no doubt the hitter-friendly PCL is providing a boost, as teammates DJ Peters and Will Smith also put up big weeks, but the numbers are so cartoonish they’re impossible to dismiss. A late season call-up is within his grasp though the Dodgers don’t really have a need for him at the moment.
Tarik Skubal, 22, LHP, Eerie (DET), Double-A
(6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 13 K)
I wrote about Skubal in the High-A roundup a few weeks ago and he’s somehow been even better since his promotion to Eerie earlier this month. The hard-throwing lefty has notched double-digit strikeouts in three straight outings, including a season-high 13 Ks against Richmond on Friday. He’s now sporting an absurd 58.6% K-rate in 16 innings at Double-A. The word is pretty much out on the 22-year-old, who is one of the highest risers among all minor league arms this year, so this might be the last chance to grab him cheaply in deep dynasty formats.
Knocking on the MLB Door
Isan Díaz, 23, 2B, New Orleans (MIA), Triple-A
(11-for-27, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 SB, 2 BB)
Díaz stayed hot this week with three multi-hit games, pushing his season average over .300 for the first time since April. Despite a slow start, he now owns a .305/.394/.586 slash line and has put a forgettable 2018 campaign (.232/.340/.399) behind him. With nothing really left to prove, Díaz seems primed for a call-up any day now, especially if the Marlins find a way to move Starlin Castro at the deadline.
Ryan Mountcastle, 22, 1B/3B, Norfolk (BAL), Triple-A
(10-for-29, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB)
The Orioles’ former first-round pick notched hits and at least one RBI in six consecutive games to round out another solid week in the International League. Consistency has become one of Mountcastle’s biggest weapons, as he has yet to hit below .279 (his current July average) in any month this year. It’s important to note he’s also moved to first base with Norfolk and has dabbled in left field as well, so he does give the Orioles some defensive flexibility. While I think he’s ready to hit big-league pitching, the 3.3% walk rate remains a long-term concern.
Trent Grisham, 22, OF, San Antonio (MIL), Triple-A
(15-for-28, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R, 5 BB)
The PCL has been kind to Grisham, who since his promotion to San Antonio in late June is on the best heater of his pro career. Over the past week he hit .535 and smacked three home runs, giving him 10 bombs in just 27 games at Triple-A. His slash line in those 27 games now sits at .349/.425/.698. I’m skeptical of his long-term outlook as he has never put up numbers like this in any previous minor league stop, but he is a former first-round pick and he shows good patience at the plate (career .371 OBP). He should be in line for a late season call if the Brewers need an outfield bat down the stretch.
The No-No Club
Michael Baumann, 23, RHP, Bowie (BAL), Double-A
(14.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 14 K)
Baumann had a wild week, tossing his first career no-hitter on July 16 in a 6-0 win against Harrisburg. It was the first time he’d ever gone nine innings as a professional, adding 10 Ks and allowing just two walks in the process. The former third-round pick’s next start wasn’t as glamorous (3 ER in 5.2 IP), but his ERA still sits at a minuscule 1.10 through six games at Double-A this year.
Jonathan Bowlan, 22, RHP, Wilmington (KC), High-A
(14 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 18 K)
Another day, another no-hitter. Bowlan, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, was nearly perfect on July 15, hurling nine no-hit innings in a 3-0 win over Carolina. Bowlan did not allow a walk but a throwing error prevented the perfect game. In a rematch against Carolina on Sunday, the 22-year-old didn’t fare as well, giving up four runs in just five innings, though he did record nine strikeouts.
The Kids Are Alright
Cal Mitchell, 20, OF, Bradenton (PIT), High-A
(9-for-18, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB)
Mitchell capped off a monster week with a grand slam and career-high seven RBI against Tampa on Sunday. The 20-year-old slumped badly in June but has regained his stroke in July (.286/.375/.589) and appears back on track for what is turning into a solid, albeit unspectacular, first season at High-A. By the way, this Bradenton lineup, which also features prospects Travis Swaggerty and Oneil Cruz, offers a fun glimpse into the Pirates’ future.
Jairo Pomares, 18, OF, AZL Giants (SF), Rookie
(11-for-20, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB)
An international signee out of Cuba last year, Pomares is making noise with the AZL Giants at just 18 years old. His two home runs and 12 RBI this week were actually overshadowed because he hit for the cycle on Thursday as well. Sure, it’s just Rookie Ball, but through 21 games, his slash line for the year is up to .413/.449/.652. He’s a name to watch as he moves up the organizational ladder the next few years.
Adolis Garcia, 26, OF, Memphis (STL), Triple-A
(8-for-23, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 7 R, 2 SB)
Kris Bubic, 21, LHP, Wilmington (KC), High-A
(6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 11 K)
Spencer Steer, 21, SS, Cedar Rapids (MIN), Class A
(11-for-25, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R, 2 SB)
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)