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.
Edwin Rios consistently has hit for power since signing with the Dodgers as a sixth-rounder out of Florida International in 2015. So it was surprising to see him go just deep four times in the first two months in Triple-A, especially with home runs rocketing out of parks at that level with those leagues now using the MLB baseball.
Rios homered twice in his first game in June, however, and hasn't let up since. He recorded a 1.061 OPS with eight homers that month, a 1.171 OPS with nine long balls in July and is off to a 1.600 start with two homers in his first three games in August. He led all organization Top 30 Prospects in slugging percentage (1.286), OPS (1.911) and RBIs (11) for games of July 29 through Aug. 4, helping him earn Prospect Team of the Week accolades for the second straight week.
A corner infielder and outfielder, Rios is blocked in Los Angeles by Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger. He did make his big league debut before the All-Star break, going 4-for-15 with a pair of extra-base hits, and if he keeps hitting like this he should find a role with the Dodgers or another club.
Here's the complete PTOW, which includes two prospects each from the Dodgers, Giants and White Sox:
C: Diego Cartaya, AZL Dodgers Mota (Rookie)
(Dodgers' No. 12 prospect)
.438/.524/.875, 5 G, 16 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SO
MLB Pipeline's top-rated international amateur in the 2018 signing class, Cartaya spent just three weeks in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer league before coming to the United States at age 17. He doubled his professional home run total with two last week and recorded three multihit games while improving his season line to .273/.330/.441 in 42 games.
1B: J.J. Matijevic, Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A)
(Astros' No. 18 prospect)
.429/.636/1.143, 5 G, 14 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 8 BB, 3 SO
Since returning in late June from a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, Matijevic has enjoyed the hottest extended stretch of his pro career. He homered in three of his first four games in August, paced all Top 30 Prospects in on-base percentage last week and is hitting .261/.335/.484 with nine homers in 49 Double-A contests.
2B: Isan Diaz, New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A)
(Marlins' No. 5 prospect/MLB No. 86)
.409/.458/.727, 5 G, 22 AB, 9 R, 9 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO
We'll have to ship this PTOW award to Miami, because Diaz is set to make his big league debut today in a doubleheader against the Mets. He hit safely in all five of his games and tied for the lead among Top 30 Prospects with nine runs to earn his third PTOW accolades of 2019, joining Astros outfielders Yordan Alvarez (five) and Kyle Tucker (four), Angels first baseman/pitcher Jared Walsh (four), Rays shortstop Wander Franco (three), Braves outfielder/third baseman Austin Riley (three) and Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubal (three) as the only players honored that often. Diaz has hit .305/.395/.578 with 26 homers in 102 Triple-A games.
3B: Edwin Rios, Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A)
(Dodgers' No. 19 prospect)
.500/.625/1.286, 5 G, 14 AB, 7 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 HR ,11 RBI, 8 BB, 4 SO
Rios drove in a run in each of his five games last week and homered in the three of them. He has gone deep in 10 of his last 16 contests and is now batting .267/.341/.557 with 25 homers in 91 Triple-A games.
SS: Ryan Vilade, Lancaster JetHawks (high Class A)
(Rockies' No. 6 prospect)
.500/.500/.958, 6 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB
Vilade homered twice on Friday and hit safely in all six of his games while not striking out a single time in 28 plate appearances. He's batting .293/.361/.452 with eight homers and 15 steals in 103 games and ranks among the high Class A California League top 10 in 10 different offensive categories (including second with 118 hits and eight triples).
OF: Alexander Canario, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (short-season)
(Giants' No. 7 prospect)
.440/.500/.920, 6 G, 25 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 6 SO
Canario grabbed a berth on the PTOW for the second time in six weeks by homering three times and hitting safely in each of his six games. He's emerging as one of the Giants' best prospects while batting .320/.392/.667 with 12 homers in 39 games between the Rookie-level Arizona and short-season Northwest leagues.
OF: Luis Gonzalez, Birmingham Barons (Double-A)
(White Sox No. 13 prospect)
.429/.520/.905, 6 G, 21 AB, 4 R, 9 H ,1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SO
Gonzalez has had trouble getting going offensively in Double-A, though that wasn't the case last week, his best of 2019. He went deep on three occasions and reached base safely in each of his six games to boost his season numbers to .247/.309/.365 with eight homers and 10 steals in 103 games.
OF: Steele Walker, Winston-Salem Dash (high Class A)
(White Sox No. 7 prospect)
.565/.607/.913, 6 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 13 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB
Walker played in six games last week and recorded multiple hits in five of them, including a three-hit effort with a homer on Thursday. Considered one of the best pure hitters in the 2018 Draft, in which he was a second-rounder, he's batting .299/.374/.475 with eight homers and 10 steals in 96 games between two Class A stops.
LHP: Seth Corry, Augusta GreenJackets (low Class A)
(Giants' No. 9 prospect)
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 GS, 12 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 17 SO, 0.24 WHIP
The Giants have worked to help Corry find a more consistent tempo with his delivery and things started to click in mid-June, as he has gone 8-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a 67/12 K/BB ratio over 54 innings in his last 12 starts. He hasn't allowed a run in his last four starts or in six of his last seven, including two scoreless outings last week. He has won PTOW honors twice in the last five weeks and now leads the low Class A South Atlantic League in ERA (1.72), strikeouts (136), strikeout rate (12.3 per nine innings) and opponent average (.160).
RHP: Luis Patino, Lake Elsinore Storm (high Class A)
(Padres' No. 4 prospect/MLB No. 33)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 0.36 WHIP
One of the most electrifying performers at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, Patino has surrendered just one run in three starts since. Wednesday's outing was the longest of his career, as he retired the first 15 batters and needed just 94 pitches to notch 25 outs. He's now 6-8 with a 2.63 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 82 innings, and he'd be topping the Cal League in ERA, opponent average (.185) and WHIP (1.07) if he weren't just shy of qualifying.
RP: Seth Elledge, Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A)
(Cardinals' No. 26 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0.20 WHIP
Elledge got pounded for an 8.10 ERA in his first 11 Triple-A appearances before retiring 14 of the 15 batters he faced last week, striking out eight of them. He has a 4.53 ERA and 65 strikeout in 51 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.