Yanks trio leads Prospect Team of the Week

July 26th, 2021

Few players have boosted their prospect stock this season as much as Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, whose rise will be reflected when we update MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list and organization Top 30s next month. A 2019 first-round pick out of The Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.), where he teamed with 2021 No. 2 overall pick Jack Leiter, he batted .215/.349/.355 in his pro debut before the coronavirus pandemic limited him to remote development last year.

Known for his bat-to-ball skills and high baseball IQ as an amateur, Volpe now is displaying power as well. He slammed his first three High-A homers last week and now has 15 in 65 games between that level and Low-A. He leads the Minors with 44 extra-base hits and 69 runs while also ranking second with a 1.078 OPS, fifth with a .455 on-base percentage and seventh with a .623 slugging percentage

Volpe's exploits last week earned him his third Prospect Team of the Week accolades of 2021. That ties him for the most for any player this year, matching Rays left-hander John Doxakis, Pirates first baseman Mason Martin, Padres outfielder Joshua Mears, Yankees right-hander Glenn Otto and Athletics outfielder Cody Thomas.

Below is our latest PTOW, based on games from July 19-25:

C: Keibert Ruiz, Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A)
(Dodgers No. 1/MLB No. 41)
.444/.483/1.037, 6 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO

Ruiz crushed three homers and added a double on Friday, part of a week in which he led all Top 30 Prospects in OPS (1.520) and extra-base hits (eight) while tying for top honors in hits and doubles. One of the game's best catching prospects, he's batting .299/.371/.632 with 17 homers in 56 Triple-A games and ranks third in the Minors in slugging and ninth in OPS (1.004).

1B: Jhonkensy Noel, Lynchburg Hillcats (Low-A)
(Indians No. 30)
.450/.500/.900, 5 G, 20 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB

When he hasn't been sidelined by hand and ankle injuries, Noel has raked this year, batting .349/.381/.642 with eight homers in 27 games. Most of that action has come in Low-A, though he hadn't played at that level in six weeks before returning last week and hitting safely in all five games while recording a pair of three-RBI efforts.

2B: Ezequiel Duran, Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A)
(Yankees No. 15)
.385/.500/.962, 6 G, 26 AB, 9 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 9 SO, 1 CS

Volpe's double-play partner at Hudson Valley also is no stranger to the PTOW, with Duran earning his second mention of 2021 thanks in large part to two homers on Tuesday and four hits on Thursday. He's batting .290/.374/.533 with 12 homers and as many steals in 67 games while ranking among the High-A East leaders in several categories, including third in extra-base hits (33) and total bases (138).

3B: Elehuris Montero, Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A)
(Rockies No. 9)
.350/.423/.950, 6 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO

The best prospect the Rockies received in February's Nolan Arenado trade with the Cardinals, Montero is batting .280/.370/.539 and ranks second in the Double-A Northeast in total bases (131) and RBIs (52) and third in homers (17). He went deep in three games last week, including two blasts with four RBIs on Sunday.

SS: Anthony Volpe, Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A)
(Yankees No. 11)
.381/.519/.952, 5 G, 21 AB, 10 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 7 SO, 1 CS

Volpe scored four runs on Tuesday and three more on Sunday as he tied for the lead among Top 30 Prospects last week with 10. He's hitting .306/.449/.629 with 15 homers and 21 steals in 65 games between Low-A and High-A.

OF: Osiris Johnson, FCL Marlins (Rookie)
(Marlins No. 27)
.353/.389/1.059, 4 G, 17 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 3 SO

After struggling in Low-A to start the season, Johnson has dominated in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League, including a three-homer, seven-RBI game last Monday. He's batting .333/.415/.754 in 15 FCL games and paces the circuit in runs (16), doubles (seven), homers (five), RBIs (22), extra-base hits (22), total bases (43) and slugging.

OF: Jhailyn Ortiz, Jersey Shore BlueClaws (High-A)
(Phillies No. 20)
.407/.407/1.111, 6 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 11 H, 1 2B, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 6 SO

Ortiz's power potential earned him a $4 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, and it was on full display last week. He had back-to-back two-homer games on Saturday and Sunday, driving in 10 runs in the two contests, and topped all Top 30 Prospects in homers, RBIs, total bases (30) and slugging for the week. He stands second in the High-A East with 18 homers and is hitting .260/.358/.516 overall through 70 games.

OF: Jairo Pomares, San Jose Giants (Low-A)
(Giants No. 14)
.458/.500/.750, 6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO

Pomares hit safely in all six of his games last week, including four multihit efforts and consecutive three-RBI performances on Saturday and Sunday. He missed the start of the season with back issues but is now hitting .344/.400/.687 with 10 homers in 33 games. He'd be leading the Low-A West in batting, slugging and OPS if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

LHP: Matthew Liberatore, Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A)
(Cardinals No. 1/MLB No. 27)
0-0 W-L, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 0.67 WHIP

Just two weeks after giving up 14 hits while getting shellacked at Louisville, Liberatore got his revenge on the Bats with his best outing of the season on Wednesday, fanning nine during six shutout innings. While his 4.82 ERA is uncharacteristically high, he does have a 60/16 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 Triple-A innings.

RHP: Luis Gil, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
(Yankees No. 5)
1-0 W-L, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO, 0.33 WHIP

No team has hogged one PTOW position more than the Yankees, who have placed a right-handed starter on the squad five times in 13 weeks. Promoted to Triple-A in mid-June, Gil turned in his best start at that level last Wednesday, when he twirled six no-hit innings with nine whiffs. He owns a 3.32 ERA with a .200 opponent average and 86 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

RP: Bobby Miller, Great Lakes Loons (High-A)
(Dodgers No. 5)
1-0 W-L, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0.20 WHIP

Miller did most of the work in the first no-hitter in Great Lakes franchise history, a combined effort Friday in which he pitched innings three through seven while striking out seven and yielding only a walk. The Dodgers have managed the 2020 first-rounder's workload carefully, but if he had enough innings to qualify he'd be leading the High-A Central in ERA (2.03), opponent average (.175) and WHIP (0.88). He also sports a 53/11 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings.