Prospects of the Week
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.
Coming off the heels of the Futures Game and various minor league all-star games, it was a short week for many of the game’s top prospects. But that doesn’t mean it was uneventful. Here are the players who stood out over the past week (July 8-July 14) with notable performances all the way from Rookie Ball to Triple-A.
We’re Not Worthy, We’re Not Worthy
Luis Robert, OF, Charlotte (CWS), Triple-A
(7-16, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB)
They say that first impressions are the most lasting. Charlotte (and White Sox) fans aren’t going to forget Robert any time soon. The 21-year-old clubbed two home runs in his Triple-A debut against Gwinnett on Thursday, knocking in a career-high seven runs in the process. His breakout season (.353/.406/.634) across three levels doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Nibal Crismatt, RHP, Arkansas (SEA), Double-A
(9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K)
The 24-year-old from Colombia tossed a complete game shutout with a career-high 14 strikeouts against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Wednesday. The gem included an immaculate inning and just two hits allowed (both infield singles) on 95 total pitches. While not exactly a household name in the prospect world, Crismatt now leads the Texas League in both ERA (1.94) and WHIP (0.81).
Cal Raleigh, C, Modesto (SEA), High-A
(7-20, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB)
Say goodbye to the California League. Raleigh, a third-round pick out of Florida State in 2018, put his plus raw power on display again this week, launching five bombs in just six games. The barrage earned him a promotion to Double-A Arkansas on July 15, just days after he took over the home run lead (22) in the league. Incredibly, he has nine home runs in the month of July alone.
Just Another Week at the Office
Gavin Lux, SS, Oklahoma City (LAD), Triple-A
(7-16, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)
Does Lux ever stop hitting? Fresh off an appearance in the Futures Game, the red-hot Lux collected three more multi-hit efforts for Oklahoma City in just four games. He’s now hitting .478 in 11 games after earning a promotion to Triple-A on June 27.
Jo Adell, OF, Mobile (LAA), Double-A
(6-14, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 SB)
The 20-year-old homered twice in a come-from-behind win against Tennessee on Friday, sending both shots to the opposite field. Adell’s solid week offers another tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store for Angels fans when he inevitably gets the call to Anaheim.
Josiah Gray, RHP, Rancho Cucamonga (LAD), High-A
(14 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 13 K)
Gray carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against San Jose on Friday, capping off a big week where he allowed just 1 ER in 14 innings. The converted shortstop lowered his ERA to 2.08 and he now owns a greater than 5:1 K:BB rate across two levels of A-Ball.
On the Rise
Spencer Howard, RHP, Clearwater (PHI), High-A
(9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K)
After missing nearly two months with shoulder soreness, the Phillies’ promising starter returned to High-A with a dominant week, capped off by five no-hit frames and seven Ks against Florida on Sunday. He still needs to build up innings as he has yet to go deeper than six frames in an outing all year, but it’s encouraging that the swing-and-miss stuff appears as strong as ever.
Cole Freeman, 2B, Potomac (WSH), High-A
(12-24, 5 RBI, 5 R, 5 SB)
Freeman is a bit old (24) for the level but with four more multi-hit games this week, he’s now hitting .314 with a .404 OBP and 23 stolen bases. The Nationals infielder is enjoying a breakout campaign at the plate after a modest pro debut (.266/.354/.371) at Single-A last year.
Don’t You Forget About Me
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Indianapolis (PIT), Triple-A
(8-18, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 7 R, 1 SB)
A buzzy prospect name over the winter, it’s mostly been a quiet season for Hayes in his first stint at Triple-A. But three straight multi-hit games to end the week could be a sign of a turnaround. Hayes also homered in back-to-back games over the weekend and now has as many home runs in July (3) as he had the first three months combined.
Kevin Smith, SS, New Hampshire (TOR), Double-A
(6-15, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)
After a breakout campaign in 2018, Smith has struggled mightily (.195/.253/.397) in his debut season at Double-A. But the 23-year-old finally got off the schneid with home runs in three straight games to cap off a strong week that could point to better days ahead.
Luis Medina, RHP, Charleston (NYY), Single-A
(6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 10K)
It’s been a truly ugly season (7.59 ERA) for the hard-throwing 20-year-old, but he bounced back in a big way against Rome on Thursday, hurling six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. It was easily Medina’s best outing of the year, reminding everyone that he’s still one of the top raw talents in the Yankees farm system.
New Kids on the Block
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Kannapolis (CWS), Single-A
(10-24, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB)
The Cal Bears product adapted quickly to competition in the South Atlantic League, posting four multi-hit games in six contests this past week. The No. 2 overall pick is now sporting a .353/.452/.500 slash line through nine games in Single-A. Is it too soon to ask for another promotion?
Josh Jung, 3B, AZL Rangers (TEX), Rookie Ball
(10-17, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB)
Jung, the No. 8 overall pick in the June draft, promptly hit a home run in first pro at-bat on Wednesday and then collected six more hits over the weekend. It turns out his days of feasting on AZL pitching were short-lived, as he earned a promotion to Single-A Hickory after just four games in Arizona.
(Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire)