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MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

April 29, 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. Featuring four players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, this week’s Prospect Team of the Week

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.

Featuring four players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, this week’s Prospect Team of the Week is absolutely loaded with high-end talent.

No prospect in that group had a bigger week than Luis Urias, as he led all qualified Top 30 Prospects in home runs (six), runs (11), total bases (35), slugging (1.250) and OPS (1.750). He hit five of those home runs over the weekend, going deep twice on Saturday and following it with a three-homer outburst on Sunday.

The latest PTOW also features a pair of teenage standouts in Wander Franco and Jarred Kelenic, both of whom recorded their first career multi-homer performance and hit better than .400 on the week for their respective Class A affiliates.

Franco, 18, spent most of the week extending his hit streak before having it snapped at 12 games on Sunday, while the 19-year-old Kelenic’s 15-game streak is still going strong after he hit safely in all six games.

Here’s the complete Prospect Team of the Week for games of April 22-28.

C: Sam Huff, Hickory Crawdads (Class A)
(Rangers’ No. 21 prospect)
7 G, .348/.444/1.000, 7 R, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K, 2 SB

After an 0-fer to begin his week, Huff went deep in four consecutive games and once more on Sunday as he pushed his season total to 11 home runs, good for first in the South Atlantic League and a share of the Minor League lead. The 21-year-old showed plenty of power last season at the same level, hitting a career-high 18 home runs in 118 games that he already seems poised to surpass in 2019.

1B: Matt Thaiss, Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
(Angels’ No. 8 prospect)
5 G, .588/.680/.824, 7 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Thaiss, 23, had gotten off to a slow start but caught fire last week as he collected multiple hits in four of five games while finishing tied for the most walks among Top 30 prospects. The 2016 first-rounder had an especially good game on Sunday, hitting a three-run homer and reaching base four times en route to a season-high four runs.

2B: Luis Urias, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
(Padres’ No. 3/No. 22 overall)
6 G, .429/.500/1.250, 11 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP

Optioned by the Padres to El Paso on April 21, Urias returned to the Minors and put on an uncharacteristic power clinic by hitting six home runs in a four-game span. The 21-year-old enjoyed his first ever multi-homer performance on Saturday, hitting a pair of solo shots in a three-hit effort, then one-upped himself the next day by homering in his first three at-bats. When it was all over, Urias had homered five times in less than 24 hours. With seven home runs in his first 11 games at El Paso, he’s one long ball away from matching the career-high total he established last year over 120 Triple-A games.

3B: Austin Riley, Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A)
(Braves’ No. 5 prospect/No. 35 overall)
6 G, .391/.462/.957, 6 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K

Riley found his power stroke last week as he homered in three straight games for the Stripers. The 22-year-old also tallied two hits in four games to finish with the most total bases (22) among Top 30 prospects at the position. Overall, he’s produced a .256/.323/.489 line with five homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games.

SS: Wander Franco, Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class A)
(Rays’ No. 1 prospect/No. 12 overall)
6 G, .429/.500/1.000, 7 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 1 CS

The 18-year-old had his 12-game hit streak napped with an 0-for-4 performance on Sunday, but not before he had put together a typical Wander Franco week at the plate. The highlight was his first career two-homer game on April 25, which came one day after the switch-hitter had connected on his first home run of the season. He’s off to a terrific start in his first full season, hitting .311/.393/.568 with 11 extra-base hits and more walks (11) than strikeouts (9) through 20 games.


Prospect Team of the Week
Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19
20 | 21

OF: Skye Bolt, Las Vegas Aviators (Triple-A)
(A’s No. 19 prospect)
6 G, .409/.500/1.045, 6 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K

After going deep on both Friday and Saturday for the Aviators, Bolt tied a bow on his big week with his third career two-homer game on Sunday. The 25-year-old outfielder finished tied for third in home runs among Top 30 prospects as he pushed his season total up to six with the four-homer week. He’s hitting .342/.398/.711 on the season.

OF: Yonathan Daza, Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A)
(Rockies’ No. 14 prospect)
6 G, .480/.517/.960, 6 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS

Daza, 25, did not strike out in 29 plate appearances and collected at least two hits in all but one game to finish the week tied for the overall lead in hits (12) among Top 30 prospects. He did the bulk of his damage on Saturday, going 6-for-8 with a home run, a triple and four RBIs during the Isotopes’ doubleheader sweep of Salt Lake.

OF: Jarred Kelenic, West Virginia Power (Class A)
(Mariners’ No. 2 prospect/No. 53 overall)
6 G, .409/.480/1.389, 6 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 SB

The 2018 No. 6 overall Draft pick’s first career multi-homer game on Saturday highlighted a week in which he hit safely in all six games for West Virginia. He pushed his hit streak to 15 games in the process, a stretch during which he’s compiled a .450/.507/.833 line with eight doubles, five home runs and eight multihit efforts.

LHP: Lewis Thorpe, Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A)
(Twins’ No. 8 prospect)
1-0, 1.13 ERA, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, 0.38 WHIP

Thorpe’s 12-strikeout performance on April 23 was his second in as many starts, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 23-year-old Australian is among the International League leaders in strikeouts (33, second). He had 11 swinging strikeouts and retired 18 straight after allowing a first-inning homer in his most recent outing, which was also the longest in his seven-year career.

RHP: Tanner Houck, Portland SeaDogs (Double-A)
(Red Sox’s No. 6 prospect)
2-0, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0.00 ERA, 2 GS, 11 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.64 WHIP

Houck, 22, fired five one-hit innings with a season-high nine strikeouts on Monday, then fanned six more batters over six scoreless frames in a seven-inning home game against Binghamton on Saturday en route to his first career complete game and shutout. The 2017 first-rounder has allowed one run over his last 16 innings (three starts) after being tagged for seven runs and 11 hits in four innings in his season debut.

RP: Alec Hansen, Winston-Salem Dash (Class A Adv)
(White Sox No. 15 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.25 WHIP

The 2016 second-rounder was nearly untouchable last week, striking out nine of 13 batters during a pair of two-inning relief appearances for the Dash. In his first season as a reliever, the 24-year-old righty has posted 18 strikeouts against one hit and two walks in 10 scoreless innings spanning seven appearances.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.