Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Week: June 17-23

Do the Washington National have a pop-up pitching prospect on their hands? Plus, a DSL dandy for the Orioles.

SARASOTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 21, 2023: A closeup view of a Baltimore Orioles batting helmet prior to a minor league spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at the Buck ONeil Baseball Complex on March 21, 2023 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

It would be hard to believe this right now with how you may be feeling, but the weather is nowhere near as hot as some of these prospects have been lately.

As the Minor League season has fully settled in, prospects are acclimated to their new environments and are given the runway to get the reps needed to continue to develop, and we are seeing true separators among each level. Aside from those who came out of the gates hot, each week we seemingly find ourselves enthralled with the performances of prospects that we were not expecting much from, or those who have been able to turn their season around completely.

The quick approach of the deadline, as I mentioned in last week’s article, is prime time for many of these minor leaguers to continue showcasing themselves for their potential future employers. With teams now investigating all avenues to improving their Major League rosters, some of the names I have mentioned in this series will start to create far more buzz as players who could be packaged together.

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: Brad Lord (RHP) – Washington Nationals (Triple-A Rochester Red Wings)

Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Season Stats: 12 GS, 70.2 IP, 23 BB, 75 K, 1.40 ERA, 9.55 K/9

This could have been Brad Lord’s second appearance in this series, but his incredibly high fastball usage at the Double-A level, combined with his experience, made me skeptical of his outings.

Skeptical no more.

The Nationals have something cooking as they head into their next phase of competing. We know about the hitting prospects in their system, but now their arms are slowly developing alongside them. The 18th-round pick in the 2022 draft has been nothing short of dominant this season. The 1.40 ERA across 12 starts has earned him a promotion to Triple-A from Double-A Harrisburg.

The walk numbers are a little high, but he has been able to generate ground balls at such a high mark that his performance thus far looks as if it could be sustainable going forward.

Hitter of the Week: Jordan Sanchez (OF) – Baltimore Orioles (Dominican Summer League Orioles)

Weekly Stats: .476/.538/1.538, 2 HR, 10 RBI, .524 ISO, 529 wOBA
Season Stats: .400/.492/.760, 3 HR, 17 RBI, .360 ISO

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For the second week in a row, we have a hitter coming out of the Dominican Summer League as our Minor League Hitter of the Week.

The 18-year-old Cuban-born player was signed last year on December 1 for $450,000. While his overall hit tool might not be as developed, the power tool is going to be one that will have his name popping up on prospect radars once he is stateside.

Given the recent history of the Orioles development system, it would not surprise me if they are able to maximize Sanchez’s potential and have him ascend through the minors.

Honorable Mentions:

Pitcher: Austin Krob (LHP) – San Diego Padres (Double-A San Antonio Missions)
Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 12 K

Pitcher: George Klassen (RHP) – Philadelphia Phillies (High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws):
Weekly Stats: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 8 K

Hitter: Matt Shaw (2B/3B) – Chicago Cubs (Double-A Tennessee Smokies):
Weekly Stats: .429/.519/1.567, 4 HR, 9 RBI, .412 ISO, 268 wRC+

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Hitter: Brayden Taylor (3B) – Tampa Bay Rays (High-A Bowling Green Hot Rods):
Weekly Stats: .440/.533/1.213, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .238 ISO, 221 wRC+