MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list in our Prospect Rankings is eligible.
The third week of the Minor League season is in the books and the outstanding performances continue. In this week’s Prospect Team of the Week, the Royals and Tigers have multiple appearances for the first time this season and the Yankees double up again for the third time in a row.
We have a player snuggling with his bat and another from the same organization hitting for the cycle. In other words, a little something for everyone in this edition of the Prospect Team of the Week, covering games from May 17-23.
C: MJ Melendez, Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A)
(Royals No. 14)
.474/.600/1.000, 5 G, 19 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 2 SO, 1 CS
Melendez went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers on Opening Day and then proceeded to go 0-for-19 before picking up another hit on May 14. It looks like he might be settling in now as he’s hit in every game since then. That includes the five games this past week that started with a two-hit game on Tuesday and ended with a two-homer affair on Sunday. He’s now tied for the Double-A Central lead in homers (six) and stands third in RBIs (15).
Others receiving votes: Korey Lee, Asheville Tourists (High-A, Rockies)
1B: Nick Pratto, Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A)
(Royals No. 9)
.412/.560/1.118, 5 G, 17 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB
Pratto is now tied with his teammate Melendez for the Double-A Central home run lead after a week that was highlighted by a four-hit, three-homer game on Friday. He drove in six in that game to help catapult him into the top 10 in RBIs. The biggest key for Pratto has been a huge drop in his strikeout rate, from just over 31 percent over the past two seasons to just 20 percent so far this year while still drawing a ton of walks.
2B: Ezequiel Duran, Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A)
(Yankees No. 15)
.320/.346/.680, 6 G, 25 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS
Duran did most of his damage last Wednesday and Thursday when he went a combined 5-for-8 with a double, triple, home run and four RBIs. The uptick in production actually had started with a four-hit performance last Sunday that’s enabled the infielder to bring his average up over .300 for the season, his first in full-season ball, and he now leads the High-A East with three triples.
3B: Jordan Diaz, Lansing Lugnuts (High-A)
(A’s No. 12)
.400/.478/1.000, 5 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 6 SO
Diaz started the week with a season slash line of .189/.220/.351. By the time the week was over, he was up to .263/.313/.579 and was second in the High-A Central in RBIs, tied for fourth in homers and seventh in slugging percentage. He hit in all five games he played, homering in four of them, including in three straight games Tuesday-Thursday. That Thursday game was his standout performance, with three hits and four RBIs.
Others receiving votes: Jake Burger, Charlotte Knights (Triple-A, White Sox)
SS: Gage Workman, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Low-A)
(Tigers No. 12)
.385/.515/.808, 6 G, 26 AB, 8 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 5 SO, 2 SB
The Tigers’ fourth-round pick from last year’s Draft began his week on Tuesday with three hits and a stolen base, and he ended it by hitting for the cycle on Sunday. The outburst helped the infielder bring his season line to .288/.376/.534 with five steals during his pro debut.
Others receiving votes: Gunnar Henderson, Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A, Orioles)
This is Trammell’s second straight appearance on PTOW as he continues to try to hit his way back to the big leagues. Trammell actually saw his Triple-A average go down after hitting .440 this week, after hitting .611 last week. He kicked off the week with three hits (two doubles and a homer) and five RBIs, then closed it out with a 4-for-4 game and another home run. He’s now hit in all 10 games he’s played with Tacoma and carries a .512/.511/.977 line sincce being optioned.
After an 0-for-4 start to the week on Monday brought his season line to .226/.311/.321, Greene did what anyone would do under the circumstances: He slept with his bat. That resulted in a three-hit, five-RBI game on Wednesday to kick off a five-game hit streak that included two homers on Thursday and another one on Saturday to bring his line to .274/.365/.479 for the year.
OF: Hudson Haskin, Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A)
(Orioles No. 14)
.500/.609/.778, 5 G, 18 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 4 SB, 1 CS
The Orioles’ second-round pick out of Tulane last year now has a nine-game hitting streak going, picking up multiple knocks in three of his five games this past week. The weekend was particularly productive, as the outfielder went 5-for-8 with a pair of doubles, a homer and five RBIs. He’s now seventh in the Low-A East with his .355 average and he’s one of five Delmarva hitters in the top 15 in OPS.
Others receiving votes: Tyler Gentry, Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A, Royals)
Lodolo now has three starts under his belt this year and two of them have been double-digit strikeout performances. One Wednesday, Lodolo gave up just one hit, in the third inning (and promptly picked him off), and certainly didn’t seem tired when he struck out the last batter he faced in the eighth inning for K number 11. He now has a 0.57 ERA, .151 batting average against, 0.83 WHIP and a 13.8 K/9 rate over his first 15 2/3 IP this season.
RHP: Glenn Otto, Somerset Patriots (Double-A)
(Yankees No. 28)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 SO, 0.56 WHIP
Otto now has a pair of shutout starts sandwiched around an rough outing that has inflated his overall numbers. On Thursday, he came out of the gate by striking out eight of the first nine hitters he faced and walking the other one. He didn’t give up a hit until the fifth and struck out at least two in every full inning he pitched. He’s now tied for fourth in the Double-A Northeast in strikeouts and has an eye-popping 28/2 K/BB ratio for the year.
Others receiving votes: Hayden Wesneski, Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A, Yankees); Adonis Medina, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A, Phillies)
RP: Demarcus Evans, Round Rock Express (Triple-A)
(Rangers No. 27)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO, 0.75 WHIP
Evans continued to dominate the Triple-A West with four hitless innings across two outings and has put up zeros in four of his five outings for the season. The nine strikeouts brings him to 16 for the season in 7 2/3 IP for an 18.8 K/9 rate. That’s not surprising for a guy who has struck out 13.9 per nine in his Minor League career, a number that has ticked up with a full-time move to the bullpen back in 2018.