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 on our Prospect Watch is eligible.
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Astros top prospectKyle Tucker headlines the latest Prospect Team of the Week after a torrid six-game stretch for Triple-A Fresno during which he batted .577 with 15 hits. Ranked No. 10 overall, Tucker is the lone MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospect to crack this week's team, and it marks the third time in four weeks that only one Top 100 prospect has garnered PTOW honors.
This week's installment also features a trio of returnees in Taylor Ward, Rylan Bannon and Daz Cameron, all of whom have taken home PTOW honors twice within the past five weeks.
2018 Prospect Teams of the Week
The Pirates are well represented this week with Mason Martin and Oneil Cruz both earning PTOW nods. It gives the organization eight PTOW members for the season, tying them with the Rockies, Astros and Blue Jays for the most among all 30 clubs. Bannon, along with Will Smith, gives the Dodgers a pair of representatives for the first time in 2018.
Here's the complete Prospect Team of the Week for games of June 18 through June 24.
C: Will Smith, Tulsa Drillers (Double-A)
(Dodgers' No. 8 prospect)
5 G, .350/.381/1.000, 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Smith went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Monday, but he rebounded to homer in four consecutive games to close out his week. The 23-year-old backstop has hit six homers in his past 10 games and 11 homers in 44 games for the season, matching the career-high total he posted over 73 games in 2017.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Smith's go-ahead homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2190072383
1B: Mason Martin, Bristol Pirates (Rookie)
(Pirates' No. 25 prospect)
6 G, .375/.483/.958, 10 R, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 CS
Martin, a 17th-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2017, homered in his season debut for Bristol on Tuesday, added another homer two days later, and then put a bow on his week Saturday with his second career two-homer game. The 19-year-old also hit safely in five of six contests, including four two-hit efforts, and led all Top 30 prospects in runs scored.
2B: Rylan Bannon, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Class A Advanced)
(Dodgers' No. 29 prospect)
4 G, .643/.737/1.214, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 CS
Bannon appeared in just four games last week, but the 22-year-old recorded at least one RBI in each contest and tallied multiple RBIs on three occasions to garner PTOW honors for a second time this season. He was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate on Friday, and he homered in back-to-back contests over the weekend, ultimately pacing qualified Top 30 prospects in all three triple-slash categories as well as on-base plus slugging percentage (1.951).
3B: Taylor Ward, Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
(Angels' No. 12 prospect)
6 G, .400/.464/.840, 8 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 SB
Ward earns PTOW honors for the second time in four weeks after another strong showing for Salt Lake. His week was highlighted by a 4-for-4 performance on Tuesday in which he belted a pair of homers, as well as a double, and also reached twice via walk. The 2016 first-rounder is hitting .311/.373/.554 at the Triple-A level and .333/.427/.532 with 10 homers in 61 games this season between Salt Lake and Double-A Mobile.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Ward's fourth Triple-A homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2194708783
SS: Oneil Cruz, West Virginia Power (Class A)
(Pirates' No. 13 prospect)
3 G, .571/.600/1.071, 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Cruz, 19, tallied at least two hits and one RBI in all three games last week as he extended his hitting streak to 12 games for West Virginia. The 6-foot-6, 175-pound shortstop is hitting .426 with nine extra-base hits during his aforementioned streak and owns a .318/.375/.547 batting line through 66 games in the South Atlantic League. What's more, Cruz has already matched his career-high total in both home runs (10) and RBIs (44), all while showing an improved approach and plate discipline.
OF: Brandon Lowe, Durham Bulls (Triple-A)
(Rays' No. 14 prospect)
6 G, .400/.464/1.080, 9 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K
Lowe rounded out his week by homering in four straight games for Durham, highlighted by his first career multihomer performance on Saturday. Seven of his 10 hits went for extra bases, while his five home runs and 27 total bases were tops among all Top 30 prospects. The 23-year-old has hit 13 homers in 68 games this season to surpass his previous career-high total of 11, which he produced over 114 games in 2017.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Lowe homers in fourth straight - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2194015783
OF: Kyle Tucker, Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A)
(Astros' No. 1 prospect/No. 10 overall)
6 G, .577/.607/.769, 6 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 SB
Tucker posted four straight three-hit games for Fresno to finish the week with 15 hits, the most among outfielders and tied for first among all Top 30 prospects. The 21-year-old also hit safely in all six contests to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, during which he owns a .500 average (28-for-56). With 10 home runs and 13 steals on the season, Tucker is more than halfway towards achieving his second straight 20-homer, 20-steal campaign, and he ranks among the Pacific Coast League leaders with 57 RBIs (second), 56 runs scored (second), 89 hits (tied for third) and 144 total bases (third).
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Tucker tallies third hit again - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2181492183
OF: Daz Cameron, Erie SeaWolves (Double-A)
(Tigers' No. 10 prospect)
6 G, .440/.500/.840, 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 SB
Cameron's first week in Double-A was a resounding success, as he recorded hits in all six games for Erie. He homered in back-to-back games over the weekend, too, hitting a solo shot on Saturday before connecting on a grand slam the following day. The toolsy 21-year-old was promoted to the Eastern League after slashing .259/.346/.370 with 15 extra-base hits and 10 steals in 58 games with Class A Advanced Lakeland.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Cameron hits grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2194611083
LHP: Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A)
(Twins' No. 11 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0.29 WHIP
Thorpe, 22, carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning in his start on Thursday before completing a season-high seven scoreless innings of one-hit, one-walk ball. He racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts along the way, ultimately facing two batters over the minimum and throwing 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes in the season-long outing. Thorpe has struck out 21 batters across his past two starts and ranks fourth in the Southern League with 86 strikeouts (in 69 2/3 innings).
RHP: Jordan Yamamoto, Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A Advanced)
(Marlins' No. 20 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K, 0.29 WHIP
Yamamoto was at his best last week in his lone start for Jupiter, as he set a career high with 13 strikeouts and allowed just two hits, both singles, over seven scoreless innings. Acquired during the offseason from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich blockbuster deal, Yamamoto, 22, is 3-0 in five starts so far this season, with a 1.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 33-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 27 2/3 innings.
RP: Andres Munoz, Tri-City Valley Cats (Class A Short Season)
(Padres' No. 20 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.00 WHIP
Munoz was perfect across his three relief appearances for Tri-City, as he struck out six of the 10 batters he faced without issuing a walk. A standout in last year's Arizona Fall League, the 19-year-old righty flamethrower has made just four appearances for the Valley Cats so far this season after a balky right elbow delayed the start to his season.