Cubs trio highlights Prospect Team of the Week
Bryant, Schwarber, Vogelbach earn honors with combined eight homers and 20 RBIs
MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.
In his first month with the Cubs, Kris Bryant has done nothing but add to the belief that he'll become a superstar. Despite missing Chicago's first eight games in an apparent attempt to leverage his service time, he leads the team with 24 RBIs and 24 walks in 29 games while batting a cool .291/.426/.476.
Big league pitchers were loathe to challenge Bryant as soon as he arrived, and he responded by displaying impressive patience. Now that opponents realize he won't get himself out by chasing pitches, they're having to throw him strikes -- and he's making them pay.
No prospect performed better during the week of May 11-17 than Bryant, and he did it at the game's highest level. He went 10-for-22 (.455), slammed his first three Wrigley Field homers and drew seven walks in as many games.
This edition of the Prospect Team of the Week has a heavy Cubs flavor, which isn't surprising considering that they have the best collection of young hitters that baseball has seen in years.
C: Kyle Schwarber, Cubs (No. 4 prospect)
7 G, .360/.467/.880, 8 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 7 SO
The PTOW has existed for four weeks, and Schwarber has earned the nod at catcher three times. It's still uncertain he can make it behind the plate -- the Cubs are more optimistic than scouts outside the organization are -- but everyone agrees that he can mash. In his first full pro season, he leads the Double-A Southern League in homers (nine), total bases (71) and slugging (.657). He also ranks second in walks (24) and on-base percentage (.448) behind . . .
1B: Dan Vogelbach, Cubs (No. 15 prospect)
7 G, .421/.633/.684, 7 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 11 BB, 4 SO
He's defensively challenged and won't displace Anthony Rizzo from first base in Chicago, but if Vogelbach keeps hitting like this, someone will find a place for his bat. He's hitting .344/.464/.549 overall, topping the Southern League in OBP and walks (28) while ranking second behind Schwarber in slugging.
2B: Robert Refsnyder, Yankees (No. 5 prospect)
7 G, .400/.471/.733, 6 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 SO, 3 SB
If he can play passable defense, Refsnyder could take over at second base in New York and offer a significant offensive upgrade. The 2012 College World Series MVP is the best pure hitter in the Yankees system, and he has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games. A two-homer game on Sunday boosted his Triple-A numbers to .304/.361/.430.
3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs (No. 1 prospect)
7 G, .455/.567/.955, 6 R, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 6 SO
After somehow going homerless in his first 20 big league games, Bryant has gone deep in four of his last nine contests. He now has 59 homers in 210 games as a pro.
SS: Hanser Alberto, Rangers (No. 30 prospect)
8 G, .481/.500/963, 8 R, 4 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO
The lowest-ranked prospect on this week's team, Alberto is a contact-hitting utility type who produced some uncharacteristic power last week. If he can maintain his .305/.321/.443 line in Triple-A, he'll post his highest OPS in four years of full-season ball.
OF: David Dahl, Rockies (No. 3 prospect)
7 G, .452/.452/.710, 5 R, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 SO, 2 SB
Dahl got a rude welcome to Double-A, batting just .237/.275/.325 with one homer in 27 games before last week. Five multi-hit games and two more homers have boosted his numbers to .283/.311/.407, which is respectable for the youngest regular (age 21) in the Eastern League.
OF: Michael Reed, Brewers (No. 18 prospect)
7 G, .350/.481/.800, 7 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 4 SO, 2 SB
Reed landed a $500,000 bonus as a 2011 fifth-rounder in part because the Brewers believed in his power potential. It's starting to come to fruition, as his three homers in 36 Double-A games are two short of his career high, and he's on pace for a personal best in all three slash stats at .306/.396/.450. He also has 10 steals.
OF: Domingo Santana, Astros (No. 3 prospect)
7 G, .478/.647/.739, 9 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 11 BB, 4 SO
No Minor League hitter was more patient last week than Santana, who led them all in OBP and tied Vogelbach for the most walks. He also did a lot of damage when he swung the bat and is hitting .314/.424/.620 with eight homers in 35 Triple-A games, placing third in on-base and slugging percentage in the Pacific Coast League.
LHP: Jordan Guerrero, White Sox (No. 28 prospect)
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 GS, 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 18 SO, .692 WHIP
Guerrero bounced back from his worst outing of the year on May 4 with a pair of scoreless starts last week, and has yielded more than one earned run just once in seven starts. He tops the low Class A South Atlantic League with five victories, 50 strikeouts and 46 innings, while ranking second with a 1.37 ERA.
RHP: Jose Berrios, Twins (No. 4 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, .444 WHIP
The Southern League's second-youngest pitcher (age 20) also has been one of its best. After his two-hit shutout last Wednesday, Berrios is 4-1 with 2.60 ERA in seven starts, and ranks second in the circuit with 53 strikeouts in 45 innings.