Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Week: July 1-7

Another week, another White Sox prospect bursting onto the scene in the midst of their big league overhaul. And this time, it's a local kid.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 01: Newly-named senior vice president and general manager Chris Getz of the Chicago White Sox looks on during batting practice prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 01, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

One of the more telling instances of a team nearing the end of a retool process at the Major League level is when the performance of your prospects littered throughout a team’s farm system dramatically levels up.

Throughout this series of Players of the Week, there have been a couple of repeat names appearing, but many cases where a specific team has been referenced. For example, the Chicago White Sox have had a player named what feels like every week I have been doing these weekly articles, and this week is no different.

Throughout the years, we have seen plenty of situations where the talent level might not translate the same to the Major League level. Still, we have seen a few of the prospects highlighted previously already make positive impacts with their big league teams. With the emergence of players across each level, and the continued improvement of development in the Minor Leagues, I will continue to stand behind saying that the future of baseball truly is in good hands.

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: Jack Kochanowicz (RHP) – Los Angeles Angels (Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas)

Weekly Stats: 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 14 K
Season Stats: 16 GS, 91.0 IP, 23 BB, 79 K, 4.55 ERA, 3.65 FIP

Entering his first season on the 40-man roster for the Angels after they decided to protect him from the Rule V draft last winter, Jack Kochanowicz is coming off of his strongest start of the season where he went the distance for the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

He only allowed one run, limiting the opposing lineup to just five hits, and striking out seven.

The Angels have been represented in this series a few times because of Caden Dana and what he has been able to accomplish this year. While Kochanowicz might not be a prospect that many people gravitate toward because of his lack of wipe-out stuff, the Angels have been hurting for capable arms in their rotation, and he certainly fits the mold of a potential back-end rotation option for the Angels if he is able to continue to string together strong starts.

Hitter of the Week: George Wolkow (OF) – Chicago White Sox (Single-A Kannapolis Cannon Ballers)

Weekly Stats: .455/.556/1.646, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .636 ISO, .708 wOBA
Season Stats: .277/.376/.584, 8 HR, 21 RBI, .307 ISO

George Wolkow’s season so far has been an absolute head-scratcher. To quote Cal Naughton Jr from one of my favorite movies, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, “I’ve got a pretzel in my head.”

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The 18-year-old has been impressive so far in Single-A Kannapolis. He possesses massive raw power but is currently striking out at a rate over 40%. However, that should not diminish what he was able to accomplish this past week. A .636 ISO is nothing to scoff at.

His raw power has been compared to some of the bigger names in baseball today. As evident by the video above, he can easily drive the ball to all fields with such ease. Throughout the years, we have seen prospects with his profile scattered throughout the minor leagues. If he is able to control his K-rate, he could be a fast riser through the White Sox farm system.

Honorable Mentions:

Pitcher: Melkis Hernandez (LHP) – Cleveland Guardians (Cleveland Guardians Complex League)
Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 12 K

Pitcher: Matt Wilkinson (LHP) – Cleveland Guardians (High-A Lake County Captains)
Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 12 K

Hitter: Braylin Morel (OF) – Texas Rangers (Texas Rangers Complex League):
Weekly Stats: .368/.520/1.678, 4 HR, 7 RBI, .789 ISO, 267 wRC+

Hitter: Andres Chaparro (1B/3B) – Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno Aces):
Weekly Stats: .625/.643/1.768, 3 HR, 15 RBI, .500 ISO, 319 wRC+

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