MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

July 22nd, 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.

MLB Pipeline’s latest Prospect Team of the Week features a slew of familiar of names, with five of the 11 spots on the squad belonging to players who’ve already garnered PTOW honors at least once this season.

The group is headlined by one of the hottest hitters in the Minors in Dodgers No. 2 prospect Gavin Lux, who’s erupted to hit 20 home runs this season, including five in a four-game span last week. The 21-year-old shortstop is hitting .487 with seven homers in 18 games since his promotion to Triple-A and sports a .352 average in 82 games across two levels in 2019.

In terms of pitching performances, no hurler was better last week than Orioles No. 24 prospect Michael Baumann, who fired a 94-pitch no-hitter with 10 strikeouts on Tuesday for Double-A Bowie. It was the latest dominant performance by the 23-year-old right-hander in a breakout campaign that’s seen him post a 2.80 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings across two levels.

Speaking of breakout seasons, Tigers No. 17 Tarik Skubal added to his by striking 13 batters over six one-hit frames in his third start for Double-A Erie. The 22-year-old has racked up 34 strikeouts in 16 innings for the SeaWolves thanks a trio of double-digit strikeout performances.

Here’s the complete Prospect Team of the Week for games of July 15 through July 21.

C: Alex Jackson, Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A)
(Braves’ No. 22 prospect)
6 G, .333/.444/.905, 6 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI, BB, 4 HBP, 8 K, SB

The former first-round pick by Seattle (2014) pushed his career-best home run total up to 22 as he went deep four times in six games for the Stripers last week, which he began on Monday with his fourth multi-homer game of 2019. What’s more, the 23-year-old backstop has homered seven times in his past nine contests, while racking up 19 RBIs in that span.   

1B: Nick Pratto, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Class A Advanced)
(Royals’ No. 5 prospect)
6 G, .429/.500/.857, 6 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 SB

Pratto, the Royals’ first-round pick from the 2017 Draft, has struggled with the move up to Wilmington this year, hitting just .187/.283/.303 over 92 games. But the 20-year-old began to show signs of turning the corner last week as he hit safely in five of six games, notched four multihit performances and homered twice in a three-game span over the weekend. He also swiped a pair of bags, giving him 15 stolen bases on the season after a 22-steal full-season debut in ’18.

2B: Isan Diaz, New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A)
(Marlins’ No. 6 prospect)
6 G, .407/.448/.778, 7 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, SB

Diaz, 23, is making his second PTOW appearance in four weeks after another monster week in the Pacific Coast League. He recorded back-to-back three-hit games to open the week, the second of which included a home run, and then went deep in consecutive games on Thursday and Friday to push his season total to 24 home runs, a career high. To go along with his impressive power numbers, Diaz has produced a .305/.394/.586 line this year in what’s become his best pro campaign.

3B: Josh Fuentes, Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A)
(Rockies’ No. 9 prospect)
7 G, .370/.452/.852, 6 R, 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K

Fuentes collected at least one hit in all seven games last week and did so while flashing some power. The 26-year-old went deep in three straight games for the ‘Topes (Tues. through Thurs.) and added another on Saturday, giving him 11 home runs in 62 games on the season. Signed out of Missouri Baptist in 2014 after going undrafted, Fuentes, a career .296 hitter in the Minors, went 2-for-18 in nine games with the Rockies earlier this year in his first taste of the Majors.

SS: Gavin Lux, Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A)
(Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect/MLB No. 30)
7 G, .500/.595/1.133, 13 R, 2 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 7 BB, 6 K

Lux blasted five home runs in his first four games for Oklahoma City last week, a stretch that was highlighted by his third two-homer performance of the season on Wednesday. It gave him homers in five straight contests dating back to the previous week, and he’s now hit a career-high 20 homers in 82 games between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. And while his 17-game hitting streak was snapped on Saturday with an 0-for-4 showing, the 21-year-old’s 31-game on-base streak remains intact. The former first-round pick (2016) owns a .352/.415/.621 battling line for the season and is slashing a robust .487/.552/.961 over 18 games since his promotion to Triple-A.

OF: Jairo Pomares, AZL Giants Black (Rookie)
(Giants’ No. 11 prospect)
4 G, .550/.571/1.200, 7 R, 5 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, BB, K

Pomares, whom the Giants signed out of Cuba last July, continued his assault on Arizona League pitching as he recorded eight extra-base hits while authoring a pair of four-hit performances. The 18-year-old hit for the cycle and drove in five runs on Thursday, then finished a triple short of the feat in another five-RBI game on Saturday. Overall, Pomares has a hit in 20 of the 21 games he’s played to begin his career en route to a .413 average and 1.101 OPS.

OF: Cal Mitchell, Bradenton Marauders (Class A Advanced)
(Pirates’ No. 6 prospect)
6 G, .500/.571/1.167, 8 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, HBP

Mitchell played the hero Wednesday as he connected on a walk-off grand slam to cap a six-run ninth in Bradenton’s 7-3 win over Clearwater. He closed out the week with another grand slam on Sunday and drove in runs with each of his three hits en route to a career-high seven RBIs. The 20-year-old has hits in nine straight games, during which he's batting .394 (13-for-33) with three home runs, five doubles and 14 RBIs.

OF: Trent Grisham, San Antonio Missions (Triple-A)
(Brewers’ No. 30 prospect)
7 G, .536/.606/1.036, 9 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K

Grisham, 22, began the week on a tear by homering in back-to-back games and posting four straight multihit performances for the Missions, and he finished with at least one knock each of his seven games. After hitting .233 with seven homers over 107 games last year, the former first-round pick (2015) has exploded this season to hit .284 with 23 homers in 90 games across two levels. He’s been especially hot since his promotion to Triple-A, hitting .349 with 10 homers in his first 27 games.

LHP: Tarik Skubal, Erie SeaWolves (Double-A)
(Tigers’ No. 17 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 K, 0.33 WHIP

Skubal has been nearly unhittable since being promoted to Erie. The 22-year-old has pitched to a 0.56 ERA through three starts and racked up a ridiculous 34 strikeouts through 16 innings. Skubal, who has notched double-digit strikeouts in three straight starts, set a career high with 13 Friday as he threw 65 of his 94 pitches for strikes against Richmond. The 2018 ninth-round pick struck out the side twice in the outing and recorded multiple strikeouts in all six innings. In his first full season, the 6-foot-3 left-hander has pitched to a 2.24 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings across two levels.

RHP: Michael Baumann, Bowie Baysox (Double-A)
(Orioles’ No. 24 prospect)
1-0, 1.84 ERA, 2 GS, 14 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 14 K, 0.41 WHIP

Baumann needed just 94 pitches to complete the 10th no-hitter in Baysox history on Tuesday against Harrisburg. The 23-year-old faced two over the minimum in the outing, striking out 10 and issuing two walks, and then came within one out of quality start against Altoona in his second turn of the week. A third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Baumann owns a 1.10 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings since being promoted to Double-A, and overall he’s pitched to a 2.80 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings across two levels.

RP: Yoan Aybar, Greenville Drive (Class A)
(Red Sox's No. 28 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.00 WHIP

Aybar has had an up-and-down season pitching out Greenville’s bullpen, but the 22-year-old southpaw was untouchable last week while fanning five of the 10 batters he faced in a pair of relief appearances. Throwing strikes has been an issue for him in 2019, as underscored by his 34 walks in 38 1/3 innings, but he had no problem pounding the zone last week, as he threw 33 of 46 pitches for strikes without yielding a free pass between the two outings.