MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

July 15th, 2019

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.

Since signing with the Mariners for $854,000 as a third-rounder last summer at the deadline, Cal Raleigh has been one of the most productive catchers in professional baseball. He has batted .270/.346/.535 with 30 home runs in 120 games and currently tops the Class A Advanced California League with 22 dingers.

Raleigh has heated up in July, earning Prospect Team of the Week recognition in back-to-back weeks. He topped all organization Top 30 Prospects with five homers and 11 RBIs last week, and he also tied for the lead with 22 total bases. He's one of just seven players to earn PTOW honors in consecutive weeks, joining Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez (three straight), Mariners outfielder Jake Fraley, Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard (see below), Indians reliever James Karinchak, Braves third baseman/outfielder Austin Riley (three straight) and Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker.

Here's our complete Prospect Team of the Week squad, based on games from July 8-14:

C: Cal Raleigh, Modesto Nuts (Class A Advanced)
(Mariners No. 13 prospect)
.350/.480/1.100, 6 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 2 SO

Raleigh homered and collected multiple RBIs in four of his six games last week, including a two-homer, four-RBI performance on Wednesday. He's batting .261/.336/.535 with 22 homers in 82 games this year and also paces the California League in extra-base hits (41) while ranking second in slugging and RBIs (66).

1B: Jared Walsh, Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
(Angels No. 18 prospect)
.471/.526/1.118, 4 G, 17 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO

Triple-A players had a short week because of the All-Star break (which included the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday), but Walsh had a huge weekend that included eight hits, three homers (two on Friday) and nine RBIs in three games. He even pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday and became just the fifth player to make the PTOW at least three times in 2019, joining Alvarez (five), Tucker (four), Riley and Rays shortstop Wander Franco. Walsh is batting .321/.428/.630 with 18 homers in 65 Triple-A games and ranks second in the Pacific Coast League in OPS (1.058).

2B: Terrin Vavra, Asheville Tourists (Class A)
(Rockies No. 13 prospect)
.444/.444/.593, 6 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS

Vavra led all Top 30 Prospects with 12 hits last week, hitting safely in all six of his games, including five multihit efforts. He's batting .328/.409/.506 with nine homers and 15 steals in 84 games, topping the South Atlantic League in batting average, on-base percentage, runs (65) and doubles (27).

3B: Ke'Bryan Hayes, Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A)
(Pirates No. 2 prospect/MLB No. 37]
.444/.474/.833, 4 G, 18 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB

Hayes posted so-so numbers in his first taste of Triple-A before fracturing his left index finger in mid-June, but he has heated up since returning to Indianapolis this month. He had his best four-game stretch of the season last week, including a homer and three hits on Sunday to boost his season line to .259/.345/.429 with six homers in 67 contests.


SS: Kevin Smith, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-A)
(Blue Jays No. 5 prospect)
.400/.389/1.267, 4 G, 15 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO

After a huge first full pro season (.302/.358/.528 with 25 homers) in 2018, Smith hasn't crossed the Mendoza Line since the end of April. He connected for home runs in each of his games over the weekend, including two blasts on Friday, and paced all Top 30 Prospects with his 1.267 slugging percentage for the week. His season line now stands at .195/.253/.397 with 12 homers in 72 games.

OF: Sam Hilliard, Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A)
(Rockies No. 9 prospect)
.417/.533/1.000, 3 G, 12 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB

Hilliard made his second straight PTOW largely on the strength of his performance on Friday, when he homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs. A starter in the Triple-A All-Star Game, he leads the PCL in runs (73) and extra-base hits (51), ranks second in homers (26) and RBIs (75) and is hitting .259/.321/.563 in 89 games.

OF: Kyle Lewis, Arkansas Travelers (Double-A)
(Mariners No. 7 prospect)
.333/.379/.815, 7 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 6 SO

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Lewis tore up his right knee during an otherwise scintillating pro debut and hasn't been as productive since. He's putting up the best full-season numbers of his career in 2019, however, and he had the most extra-base hits (seven) and tied Raleigh for the most total bases (22) among Top 30 Prospects last week. Four multihit games and three homers helped improve his season line to .269/.364/.411 with seven home runs in 83 games.

OF: Luis Robert, Charlotte Knights (Triple-A)
(White Sox No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 5)
.438/.500/.938, 4 G, 16 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SO, 1 SB

One of the best prospects in baseball and owner of one of the most impressive Minor League stat lines this season, Robert had no trouble handling a promotion to Triple-A. He homered twice and drove in seven runs in his first game at that level to collect his second PTOW accolade of 2019. He's now hitting .353/.406/.634 with 18 homers and 30 steals in 79 games between Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A.

LHP: Kris Bubic, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Class A Advanced)
(Royals No. 8 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0.43 WHIP

One of three PTOW honorees this week to appear in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game (along with Robert and Twins right-hander Jordan Balazovic), Bubic struck out 10 of the 22 batters he faced during seven shutout innings on Friday. He's a combined 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA, 124 strikeouts (fifth in the Minors) and a .196 opponent average in 91 2/3 innings between two Class A stops.

RHP: Spencer Howard, Clearwater Threshers (Class A Advanced)
(Phillies No. 5 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 GS, 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 SO, 0.22 WHIP

After missing two months with shoulder soreness, Howard has allowed zero earned runs in three of his four starts back, including a pair of scoreless outings last week. The first Phillies prospect to make the PTOW in 2019, Howard has a 1.55 ERA, 44/5 K/BB ratio and .173 opponent average in 29 Florida State League innings.

RP: Jordan Balazovic, Fort Myers Miracle (Class A Advanced)
(Twins No. 5 prospect/MLB No. 99)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0.25 WHIP

The Twins eased Balazovic back into the Florida State League with a relief appearance after he worked in the Futures Game, and he responded with six strikeouts in four nearly perfect innings. He owns a 2.58 ERA, 97/19 K/BB ratio and .195 opponent average in 69 2/3 innings between two Class A assignments.