Wednesday's top offseason prospect performers

November 18th, 2021

Here's a look at Wednesday's top performers in the Fall and Winter Leagues from each team's Top 30 Prospects list.

Red Sox: Triston Casas (MLB No. 18), Scottsdale Scorpions
Another day, another hit for Casas, who now has at least one in 17 straight games, one shy of Curtis Mead’s season-best streak for the circuit. The second-ranked Red Sox prospect beat out an RBI infield single to third base in the fifth inning in Scottsdale’s eventual 4-3 win over Salt River. In 10 games this month, Casas is batting an eye-popping .469/.614/.594 with 15 hits in 32 at-bats, seven RBIs and 10 walks with only three strikeouts. For the season, the first baseman’s slash line sits at .372/.495/.487. Casas should be knocking on the door of the Major Leagues next year after reaching Triple-A Worcester for nine games at the end of this season.

Pirates: Michael Burrows (No. 14), Peoria Javelinas
Making his first start of the AFL in his final outing of the regular season, Burrows dominated over three scoreless innings. The Pirates prospect allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out six, tossing 35 of 55 pitches for strikes. Burrows sat in the mid-90s with his fastball while mixing in a curve and a changeup, dropping his AFL ERA to 3.52 in five total outings (including 2.79 over three appearances this month). He pitched just 49 innings over 13 starts this season with High-A Greensboro due to an oblique injury, but finished his fall campaign on a high note. More »

Astros: Korey Lee, C (No. 1), Glendale Desert Dogs
In his 16th AFL game, Houston’s top prospect cracked his first home run of the fall. Lee left the yard on a two-run blast in the sixth to pull Glendale even with Mesa en route to the Desert Dogs' 3-2 victory. He has cooled since a hot start to the Fall League campaign, going just 3-for-27 in seven November games after batting .344 with an .822 OPS in nine October contests, but Wednesday’s blast was his second extra-base hit in his last three contests. It also marked the 23-year-old’s first home run of any kind since July 15 with Double-A Corpus Christi. More »

Marlins: JJ Bleday (MLB No. 71), Mesa Solar Sox
Four days after capturing Fall Stars Game MVP honors, Bleday notched his first triple of the campaign, scored a run and added a walk for Mesa. The Marlins’ No. 5 prospect skied a ball to the outfield in the third inning that was deflected in center, enabling Bleday to get to third on the play. Of his 14 hits this month, eight have been for extra bases with three homers and four doubles. Overall, the Vanderbilt product is batting .315/.432/.587 in 23 AFL contests with five homers and 24 RBIs.

Cubs: Nelson Velazquez (No. 29), Mesa Solar Sox
The AFL MVP contender continued his torrid season with another two-hit performance, his fourth of November and 12th of the campaign. Velazquez laced an RBI single to center in the first before reaching on an RBI fielder’s choice to third that plated Bleday in the third. The Cubs prospect singled to left in the eighth to cap his day. In 25 games for Mesa, Velazquez is batting .366/.467/.693, an impressive continuation of the regular season in which he hit .270/.333/.496 in 103 games between High-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee.

Brewers: David Hamilton (No. 16), Salt River Rafters
Hamilton led off the game with a triple to right in the top of the first inning for the Rafters and scored on an RBI single by reigning AFL Player of the Week Buddy Kennedy (D-backs). Hamilton also singled to right in the second. The infielder has surged in November, batting .324/.465/.529 with 11 hits in 34 at-bats. Hamilton split 101 games between High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi during the Minor League season, combining to bat .258/.341/.419 in his first campaign after being drafted out of the University of Texas in the eighth round of 2019.

Blue Jays: Leo Jimenez (No. 11), Mesa Solar Sox
Jimenez put together his best performance of the Fall League with a three-hit day, half of his combined total through his first 13 games of the campaign. The infielder doubled to left in the second, singled through the left side in the fifth and lined a single to left in the ninth. Jimenez didn’t have a multihit day in the AFL prior to Wednesday’s showing. The 20-year-old infielder from Panama played 54 games with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays during the regular season (in addition to five in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League). With Dunedin, Jimenez showed remarkable command of the strike zone, reaching base at a .517 rate by collecting 51 walks in 54 games while batting .315 with a .381 slugging percentage. This fall, he’s shown a similar aptitude, walking eight times against seven strikeouts in 14 games while posting a .257/.371/.438 slash line.

Rangers: Justin Foscue (MLB No. 83), Surprise Saguaros
After scuffling a bit in October and opening November with an 0-for-4 game, Foscue has hit his stride toward the final days of the season. The Rangers’ No. 4 prospect went 2-for-4 and stole a base, giving him five hits in his last three games to boost his slash line to .308/.471/.654 for the month. Foscue made stops at three levels during the regular season, batting .275/.371/.590 between the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League, High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco. The second baseman went to the Rangers with the 14th overall pick in the 2020 Draft out of Mississippi State.