MLB Pipeline’s Foresight Team of the Week honors the best performances of the previous seven days. Any Minor League currently on an organization’s Top 30 Leads list in our lead rankings is eligible.
Week three of the Minor League season is on the books and the outstanding performances continue. In this week’s prospective squad of the week, the Royals and Tigers have several first-time appearances this season and the Yankees have doubled again for the third time in a row.
We have a player huddled 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 Prospective Team of the Week, covering games from May 17-23.
C: MJ Melendez, Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A)
(Royals # 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 home runs on opening day, then proceeded to 0-for-19 before landing another shot on May 14. It looks like he could settle down now as he’s been hitting every game since then. That includes last week’s five games that started as a two-stroke game on Tuesday and ended in a two-homer affair on Sunday. He’s now tied for the lead of Double-A Central in home runs (six) and is third in RBI (15).
Others receiving votes: Korey Lee, Asheville Tourists (High-A, Rockies)
1B: Nick Pratto, Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A)
(Royals # 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 teammate Melendez for the lead of the Double-A Central homerun after a week that was marked by a four-stroke, three-homer game on Friday. He led six in that game to help propel him into the top 10 in RBI. The biggest key for Pratto has been a huge drop in his strikeout rate, from just over 31% over the past two seasons to just 20% so far this year, while still making a ton of steps.
2B: Ezequiel Duran, Renegades of the Hudson Valley (High-A)
(Yankees # 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 did a 5 for 8 combined with a double, triple, homerun and four RBIs. The production surge had actually started with a four-stroke performance last Sunday that saw the infielder raise his season average to over .300, his first of the full season, and he now leads. the High-A East with three. triplets.
3B: Jordan Diaz, Lansing Lugnuts (High-A)
(A n ° 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 slash line of .189 / .220 / .351. At the end of the week, he was at .263 / .313 / .579 and was second in High-A Central in the RBI, tied for fourth in homers and seventh in slugging percentage. He has struck in all five games he has played, making a homerun in four of them, including three consecutive games Tuesday-Thursday. This Thursday game was his outstanding 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 n ° 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 in last year’s draft started his week Tuesday with three hits and one stolen base, and he ended it with a hitting for the cycle on Sunday. The blast helped the infielder take his season line to .288 / .376 / .534 with five interceptions on his pro debut.
Others receiving votes: Gunnar Henderson, Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A, Orioles)
FROM: Taylor Trammell, Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A)
(Navigators n ° 6 / MLB n ° 84)
.440 / .407 / .880, 6 G, 25 AB, 2 R, 11 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 7 SO
This is Trammell’s second consecutive appearance on PTOW as he continues to try to come back to the big leagues. Trammell actually saw his Triple-A average drop after hitting 0.440 this week, after hitting 0.611 last week. He started the week with three hits (two doubles and one homerun) and five RBIs, then ended it with a 4v4 game and another homerun. He’s now hit in all 10 games he’s played with Tacoma and carries a .512 / .511 / .977 line since he was opted out.
FROM: Riley Greene, Erie SeaWolves (Double-A)
(Tigers n ° 2 / MLB n ° 16)
.333 / .429 / .750, 6 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, 3 SB
After a 0-for-4 start to the week Monday brought his season line to .226 / .311 / .321, Greene did what anyone would do under the circumstances: he slept with his bat. That culminated in a three-hit, five-RBI game on Wednesday to kick off a five-game streak that included two home runs on Thursday and another Saturday to take his line to .274 / .365 / .479 for the year. .
OF: Hudson Haskin, Delmarva shorebirds (Low-A)
(Orioles n ° 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 at Tulane last year is now on a nine-game streak, recording multiple strokes in three of his five games last week. The weekend was particularly productive, the outfielder going 5 for 8 with a pair of doubles, a homerun and five RBIs. He is now seventh in the Low-A East with his .355 average and he is one of five Delmarva hitters in the OPS top 15.
Others receiving votes: Tyler Gentry, Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A, Royals)
LHP: Nick Lodolo, Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A)
(Reds n ° 1 / MLB n ° 47)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0.83 WHIP
Lodolo now has three starts to his name this year and two of them have been double-digit takeout performances. One Wednesday, Lodolo gave up just one hit, in the third inning (and quickly knocked it out), and certainly didn’t look tired when he struck out the last hitter he faced in the eighth inning for the K number 11. He now has a 0.57 ERA, a .151 batting average, 0.83 WHIP and a 13.8K / 9 rate in his first 15 2/3 IPs this season.
RHP: Glenn Otto, Somerset Patriots (Double-A)
(Yankees # 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 white starts sandwiched around a tough outing that inflated his overall numbers. On Thursday, he walked out of the gate hitting eight of the first nine hitters he faced and stepping on the other. 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 a stunning 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 n ° 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 Triple-A West with four hitting innings in two outings and scored zeros in four of his five outings this season. The nine strikeouts take him to 16 for the season in 7 2/3 IP for a rate of 18.8 K / 9. This is no surprise for a guy who struck out 13.9 for nine in his career in Minor League, a figure that increased with a full-time move to the bullpen in 2018.