Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Week: April 2-7

A pair of first round picks from just a year ago lead the pack in our first installment of the Hitter and Pitcher of the Week.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 18: Colt Emerson, the Seattle Mariners 22nd overall draft pick, takes batting practice at T-Mobile Park on July 18, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The baseball season is officially in full swing!

Aside from the lower-level Complex League and Dominican Summer League, all of Minor League Baseball is off and running. And if you are as much of a baseball nut as I am sure a majority of you are, watching all of the newly drafted prospects, as well as those that have developed throughout your favorite teams system, is just *chef’s kiss*.

If the first week of the Minor League season is any indication as to what the entirety of the year is going to bring, we are all in for an incredible season and the likelihood of multiple breakouts.

By now, I am sure that you are all well in tune with Just Baseball’s Top-100 Prospect list. As we continue to highlight an MiLB pitcher and hitter of the week throughout the season, there is no doubt that some of these prospects will be brought up. We all saw the Norfolk Tides put up season-long numbers in just a week of play.

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It also would be unfair of me not to mention Paul Skenes making minced meat of Triple-A lineups and how smooth it sounded coming from our very own Jack McMullen.

However, what we aim to do here at Just Baseball is also mention players that may be flying under the radar. Aram Leighton wrote up two articles highlighting Top Breakout Pitching Prospects to Watch for in 2024 as well as one for hitters.

Now, without further ado, let’s reveal this weeks Minor League pitcher and hitter of the week.

Pitcher of the Week: Chase Dollander (RHP) – Colorado Rockies (High-A Spokane Indians)

Stats: 1 GS 5.0 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 8 K

Before we dive into Chase Dollander’s debut start for the Spokane Indians, I would be remiss not to mention how incredible this draft class may look in the next couple of years.

With that out of the way, Chase Dollander had an incredible debut. In his first start, he showed the talent that had him in consideration to be taken first overall in last year’s draft and is making this selection by the Rockies look even more like a steal.

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The hard-throwing right-hander seemed to be comfortable from the very first pitch. Aside from the three walks he had, Dollander was able to settle in nicely and recorded three 1-2-3 innings in his five total innings pitched.

In his 85 pitches thrown, he had 8 strikeouts, generated 2 ground balls, and three fly balls.

Hitter of the Week: Colt Emerson (2B/SS) – Seattle Mariners (Single-A Modesto Nuts)

4/5 – 4/7 Stats: .308/.357/.769, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 4:1 K:BB

If you were only scrolling through Minor League twitter this weekend with your eyes closed, I can assure you that Colt Emerson’s highlights from this weekend could be identified just by the sound alone.

Emerson had two home runs in the opening weekend of Single-A ball for the Seattle Mariners, one of which came in his very first at-bat of the season.

The former first-round pick from the 2023 draft is off to a great start to the 2024 season after bursting onto the scene in his first season of Minor League baseball where he had 12 extra-base hits and a .375 average in just 91 ABs.

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In the pre-season breakdown of Just Baseball’s number 46 prospect Colt Emerson, his profile mentioned how much he would ultimately be able to produce would be indicative of his overall success in 2024. Well, if this first weekend tells us anything, it is that Emerson may have taken full advantage of this off-season and has the opportunity to continue to ascend throughout rankings by the end of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

Pitcher: Noah Schultz (LHP) – Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem Dash):
Stats: 1 GS 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 10 K

Hitter: Zyhir Hope (OF) – Los Angeles Dodgers (Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes):
4/5 – 4/7 Stats: .417/.533/1.250 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 3:3 K:BB