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.
Welcome to MLBPipeline's inaugural Prospect Team of the Week for 2016. We're bending our rules slightly for this first edition and considering the entire season to date rather than the last seven days.
Three players on the PTOW are thriving in their first exposure to the big leagues. Rockies shortstop Trevor Story has set or tied several home run records. He's the first player ever to debut with two homers on Opening Day and the first to go deep in each of his first four big league games, and he also has become the quickest player ever to reach six homers (four contests) and seven homers (six games).
For the first time since the American and National leagues began recognizing players of the week in 1974, both of the initial awards of the year went to rookies. Astros first baseman Tyler White went 10-for-18 (.556) with three homers and nine RBIs in his first six games in the Majors to earn AL honors.
Outfielder Nomar Mazara didn't make the Rangers' Opening Day roster but got the call to replace the injured Shin-Soo Choo after a 6-for-12 (.500) start in Triple-A. Mazara delivered three hits and a homer off Jered Weaver in his first big league debut and has the best slash stats (.444/.452/.593) in the Texas lineup.
Here's our complete Prospect Team of the Week, based on games through April 17:
C: Austin Allen, Padres (No. 27 prospect)
10 G, .647/.675/.853, 10 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 5 SO
The top small college position prospect in the 2015 Draft, Allen was a fourth-round pick out of NCAA Division II Florida Tech. He didn't live up to his reputation as an offensive-minded catcher by hitting .240/.315/.332 in his pro debut at short-season Tri-City, but he is now at low Class A Fort Wayne. He currently leads the Minors in batting, on-base percentage, OPS (1.528) and hits (22), and he has hit safely in each of his 10 games.
1B: Tyler White, Astros (No. 13 prospect)
13 G, .357/.429/.714, 4 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 13 SO
He may have been the 977th player (33rd round) selected in the 2013 Draft, but White has hit everywhere he has gone, from Western Carolina (43 extra-base hits versus 26 strikeouts as a senior) to the Minors (.311/.422/.489 in three years) to the Dominican Winter League (he was named MVP this offseason after leading the circuit with seven homers, 32 walks, a .421 on-base percentage and a .494 slugging percentage). A.J. Reed is still Houston's first baseman of the future, though White could carve out a regular role at DH.
2B: Travis Demeritte, Rangers (No. 21 prospect)
9 G, .378/.415/1.027, 14 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 14 SO, 2 SB
A first-round pick in 2013, Demeritte led the low Class A South Atlantic League with 25 homers as a 19-year-old in his first full pro season but hit just five in two months in the SAL last season before drawing an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He has rediscovered his power stroke, homering twice in each of his first two games at high Class A High Desert. He ranks first in the Minors in homers, slugging, extra-base hits (10) and total bases (38), and second behind Allen in OPS (1.442).
3B: Joey Gallo, Rangers (No. 1 prospect)
10 G, .333/.432/.778, 11 R, 2 2B 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 10 SO
Gallo is the highest-ranked prospect on the PTOW (No. 7 on the MLBPipeline Top 100) and has as much raw power as anyone in baseball, so it's no shock that he delivered a pair of multi-homer games in the first 10 days of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League season. Adrian Beltre may have just signed a contract extension through 2018, but the Rangers will find a spot in their lineup for a guy who has averaged 52 homers per 162 pro games and launched a 439-foot blast off Clayton Kershaw last July.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Gallo goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=589389183
SS: Trevor Story, Rockies (No. 11 prospect)
12 G, .294/.327/.804, 12 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 22 SO, 1 SB
He won't maintain his 95-homer pace and he'll have to watch his strikeouts -- he leads the Majors with 22 whiffs in 55 plate appearances -- but Story does have legitimate power. He has some of the best bat speed in the Rockies' organization and slammed 20 homers last year between Double-A and Triple-A. He tops the big leagues in triples, homers, extra-base hits (10) and total bases (41).
OF: Donnie Dewees, Cubs (No. 12 prospect)
10 G, .421/.467/.737, 8 R, 4 2B, 4 3B, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SO, 3 SB
Dewees led NCAA Division I in slugging (.749) and ranked second in hitting (.422) at North Florida last spring, and he has posted similar numbers in the early going in the low Class A Midwest League. Though the Cubs are loaded with young position players, he eventually could claim a role in Chicago with his combination of hitting ability, power and speed.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Dewees legs out triple - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=587498183
OF: Nomar Mazara, Rangers (No. 3 prospect)
10 G, .462/.477/.641, 9 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO
Mazara has hit safely in six of his first seven games and looks right at home in the big leagues. He has the ability to hit for power and average and also possesses a strong right-field arm, so he could stay in the lineup when Choo returns from a calf injury sometime in May.
OF: Mike Papi, Indians (No. 18 prospect)
10 G, .314/.457/.800, 9 R, 5 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 BB, 7 SO
The top hitter on a Virginia team that finished runner-up at the 2014 College World Series, Papi was a supplemental first-round pick that June but batted a disappointing .221/.346/.334 in his first two years in pro ball. So far this season, he looks more like the guy the Indians thought they were getting. He's repeating high Class A and his four homers already match his total from 2015.
LHP: Sean Manaea, Athletics (No. 2 prospect)
2-0, 1.50 ERA, 2 GS, 12 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 17 SO, 1.000 WHIP
After the Royals sent him to the A's in the Ben Zobrist trade last July, Manaea was one of the hottest pitchers in Double-A down the stretch and then led the Arizona Fall League with 33 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. He remains on a roll and outdueled the best lefty prospect in the Minors (Julio Urias of the Dodgers) on Saturday, striking out 11 in 6 2/3 innings in his second Triple-A start.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Manaea strikes out batter - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=585725183
RHP: Max Povse, Braves (No. 26 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 GS, 13 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO, .462 WHIP
Povse got hammered to the tune of a 9.82 ERA in five high Class A starts toward the end of the 2015 season, but he's enjoying his return to the Carolina League this year. He has faced two prospect-heavy lineups (Salem/Red Sox, Myrtle Beach/Cubs) in his first two starts but has yet to allow a run while permitting just six baserunners in 13 innings.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Povse K's seventh batter - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=593008083