Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Week: April 29 – May 5

If you're in a New York State of Mind, the MiLB Players of the Week should be to your liking, with a Mets arm and Yankee bat taking the title.

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - MARCH 15, 2024: Blade Tidwell #29 of the New York Mets looks on during the fourth inning of a spring training Spring Breakout game against the Washington Nationals at Clover Park on March 15, 2024 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

We’re one full calendar month into the Minor League season, and we are witnessing high-end performances across all levels. Last week, I highlighted those that had a heck of an opening month to their season, which led to them being named the April Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Month.

Now, we are breaking into May when Complex Level play and the Dominican Summer League will start to kick off. It has been truly incredible to see how teams across the league have invested in their Minor League development and we are now seeing it pay off across every level.

Let’s take a look at which players have started off May with a bang.

For more information on the Top Prospects that find themselves on Just Baseball’s Top 100, you can find that list here.

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Pitcher of the Week: Blade Tidwell (RHP) – New York Mets (Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies)

Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K
Season Stats: 5 App., 3 GS, 29.1 IP, 15 H, 10 BB, 36 K, 1.23 ERA, 1.90 FIP, 11.1 K/9

The Mets are coming off a week where they promoted their top pitching prospect in Christian Scott. They have to love what he did in his debut against the Rays on Saturday, May 4th. However, Scott isn’t the only arm making waves in the Mets’ farm system.

Right-hander Blade Tidwell is coming off an outing in Double-A where he went eight innings against the Hartford Yard Goats, pitching a season-high 94 pitches and striking out nine batters, including striking out the side in his final inning of work.

What made it more impressive was that, in his postgame interview, Tidwell referenced his “worst bullpen” before a game. Coming in as Just Baseball’s No. 7 Prospect in the Mets system, if Tidwell is able to continue his hot start to the season, there is no doubt he will be able to break into the Top-100 list come the mid-season update.

His near 40% ground ball rate and the ability to limit the long ball to zero thus far have proven successful, and he should be able to continue having success throughout the 2024 season.

Hitter of the Week: Jared Serna (SS) – New York Yankees (High-A Hudson Valley Renegades)

Weekly Stats: .429/.455/.952, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .524 ISO
Season Stats: .244/.358/.477, 5 HR, 19 RBI, .233 ISO, 138 wRC+

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Coming into the season, Aram referenced Jared Serna as a name to watch when he ranked the prospects in the New York Yankees farm system. Due to his stature, being compared to someone like Jose Altuve was the easy way out. But with his ability to not only steal bases at a high rate and the 19 home runs he hit in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, Serna looks to be someone who is going to pop up on a lot of Top Prospect lists around the industry.

In this past week, most of Serna’s production came in one game, where he swatted three home runs in one game. Thus far, Serna is also rocking a 15.1% BB% against a K% of only 11.1%. While that on its own is impressive, Serna also continues to make waves on the defensive side as well.

A home run-to-flyball rate of nearly 14% is something to watch for someone of Serna’s profile. While the size might be unprecedented, there is no denying that someone of this talent can continue to produce at a high level and work his way up through a talented Yankees farm system.

Honorable Mentions:

Pitcher: Zach Messinger (RHP) – New York Yankees (Double-A Somerset Patriots):
Weekly Stats: 1 GS 5.2 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 11.2 K/9

Hitter: Jay Allen II (CF) – Cincinnati Reds (High-A Dayton Dragons):
4/29 – 5/5 Stats: .333/.500/.619, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB, .286 ISO