MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.
Now well into the second month of the Minor League season, phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is showing no signs of slowing down at the plate.
Guerrero, MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 overall prospect, batted .393 with a .714 slugging percentage and a 1.128 OPS last week for Double-A New Hampshire to garner Prospect Team of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks. The 19-year-old third baseman kicked off his week with his second career multihomer game and collected hits in six of seven games, including four multihit performances, for the Fisher Cats.
Also earning PTOW honors for a second time this season is International League home run leader Christin Stewart, and the Pirates are well represented with a pair of up-the-middle prospects in Kevin Newman and Jason Martin.
Here’s the complete Prospect Team of the Week for games of May 7-13:
C: Patrick Mazeika, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A)
(Mets’ No. 25 prospect)
5 G, .368/.455/.842, 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
After an 0-for-4 performance to begin his week, Mazeika, 24, delivered at least one hit and one RBI in each of his next four games, highlighted by a pair of multihit performances. He homered in three of those contests, including in back-to-back games on May 8 and May 10, as he upped his season total to six home runs over 26 games in the Eastern League. Among Top 30 catching prospects, Mazeika finished second in all three triple-slash categories, as well as in total bases (16) and RBIs.
1B: Daniel Vogelbach, Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A)
(Mariners’ No. 11 prospect)
8 G, .429/.543/1.107, 9 R, 4 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 1 IBB, 1 K
The left-handed-hitting Vogelbach put up monstrous numbers last week with Tacoma as he led all qualified Top 30 prospects in runs scored, slugging and total bases (31) while also tying for first in home runs. The 25-year-old slugger’s power was on full display over the weekend when he connected on a solo homer Saturday before adding three more homers in a Sunday doubleheader, hitting a solo homer in the opener and then going deep twice in the nightcap. Altogether, Vogelbach has hit eight home runs in 64 at-bats with Tacoma, with a .328/.457/.781 batting line in 18 games.
2B: Kevin Newman, Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A)
(Pirates’ No. 7 prospect)
7 G, .519/.552/.778, 7 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 IBB, 2 K, 2 SB
Newman’s batting average jumped from .250 to .309 last week thanks to his four consecutive multihit games, which included a 4-for-4 performance (matching his career high) as well as two three-hit games. As a result, the 2015 first-rounder finished the week with a Top 30-leading 14 hits and led all Top 30 second baseman in both average and OPS (1.330).
As previously mentioned, the 19-year-old Guerrero continued his assault on Minor League pitching last week, posting a .393 average that was tops among Top 30 third baseman and ended the week hitting .397, the best mark in the Eastern League as well as among all Top 30 prospects with at least 140 plate appearances. Five of his 11 hits went for extra bases, as Guerrero went 29 plate appearances without a strikeout.
Kieboom, 20, hit safely in all seven games for Potomac last week as he raised his season batting average from .205 to .268, while also extending his hitting streak to nine games. He paced all Top 30 prospects on the week in average and hits (15), while also walking seven times to finish the week with a .657 OBP, the best mark at his position. After a rocky first month of the season, Kieboom has opened May by slashing .417/.525/.646 in 12 games.
OF: Christin Stewart, Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A)
(Tigers’ No. 10 prospect)
7 G, .333/.379/.963, 6 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
Stewart’s 26 total bases last week trailed only Vogelbach, whom he also tied in the homer department. He connected on three of those home runs in two games over the weekend, hitting a solo shot on Saturday and then delivering two more solo blasts Sunday in his first multihomer game of 2018. Stewart is hitting .304/.378/.648 on the season through 34 games and leads the International League with 11 home runs.
OF: Jason Martin, Altoona Curve (Double-A)
(Pirates’ No. 21 prospect)
6 G, .522/.577/.826, 7 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 1 IBB, 7 K, 1 SB
Martin posted five straight mutlihit games for the Curve, including back-to-back three-hit games to cap his week. The 22-year-old outfielder boosted his average from .286 to .346 in the process, and he’s now recorded multiple hits in seven of 11 games in May.
OF: Vince Fernandez, Lancaster JetHawks (Class A Advanced)
(Rockies’ No. 29 prospect)
5 G, .471/.526/1.000, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 2 BB
Speaking of multihit games, Fernandez, 22, recorded exactly two hits in four straight games for Lancaster. His 10 RBIs in that span tied for first among all Top 30 prospects, giving him 21 RBIs so far in a season that’s seen him slash .312/.433/.523 over 33 games in the California League.
LHP: Cole Irvin, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A)
(Phillies’ No. 23 prospect)
2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 GS, 14 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 K, 0.71 WHIP
Irvin earns his first PTOW nod after making a pair of impressive seven-inning starts last week for Lehigh Valley. The 24-year-old southpaw was particularly sharp Saturday, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. He threw a season-high 115 pitches in the outing, 71 for strikes. Irvin has completed seven innings in three straight starts and is tied for second among International League hurlers with 42 innings, during which he’s pitched to a 3.21 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP.
RHP: David Hess, Norfolk Tides/Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A/MLB)
(Orioles’ No. 16 prospect)
2-0, 2.08 ERA, 2 GS, 13 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 13 K, 0.62 WHIP
Hess began his week with Norfolk, where the 24-year-old right-hander fired seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts in a victory over Durham. The performance earned him his first big league promotion later in the week, as Hess, starting in place of an injured Chris Tillman on Saturday, turned in a quality start to win his Major League debut. Tossing six innings, he allowed three earned runs on six hits, striking out three.
RP: Thyago Vieira, Charlotte Knights (Triple-A)
(White Sox No. 27 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K, 0.00 WHIP
The flame-throwing Vieira did not allow a hit and recorded seven of his 12 outs via the strikeout last week over three relief appearances for Charlotte. While his overall ERA sits at 5.29 through 14 games, Vieira continues to show plenty of bat-missing ability — a notion underscored by his 29 strikeouts in 17 innings in 2018.