Welcome to the second installment of our Weekly Hot Prospects Report ranking the top minor-league performances from the week of April 17th through 23rd
1. Jonatan Clase, OF, Mariners (High-A Everett)
Clase (pictured above) started out the week with a 2-homer, 3-steal game on Tuesday in High-A and finished with a homer-steal combo meal on Sunday. In between, Clase drew 4 walks and had 3 stolen bases to put up a massive triple-slash of .333/.481/.810 with 3 homers and 7 steals. He was limited by repeated hamstring and quad strains around the pandemic, but the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Dominican outfielder broke out with 13 homers and 55 steals in 107 games for Low-A Modesto last year. Clase has 70-grade speed to go with plus power and he draws a lot of walks, but he had 133 strikeouts in 488 plate appearances last season. Just 20 years old and already putting up a 1.049 OPS in 14 games in High-A, Clase could be a dynamic fantasy asset if he can make progress lowering his strikeout rate.
2. Jonny DeLuca, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa)
DeLuca finished the week with homers in four straight games, including a combo meal on Friday. For the week, DeLuca had a 1.390 OPS with 2 steals along with the 4 homers. Just a 25th-round pick as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2019 out of Oregon, DeLuca has been producing fantasy-friendly stats ever since before starting to gain attention last year when he combined for 25 homers and 17 steals in just 98 games between High-A and Double-A. The 5-foot-11, 196-pound outfielder was one of the top prep long jumpers in the state of California and it shows up in his tremendous athleticism. Scouts have pegged DeLuca as a reserve outfielder, but with plus power and 60-grade speed, he’s pushing his way up prospect lists as he keeps hitting.
3. Jorbit Vivas, 2B, Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa)
Vivas has been showing off his excellent hit tool all season, coming out of the gates on a 15-game hitting streak. The 5-foot-10, 171-pound second baseman is supposed to be lacking in power, but he homered three times over the weekend to finish the week with a .417/.481/1.000 triple-slash. Before, the 22-year-old Venezuelan appeared headed to a role as a contact-heavy reserve infielder. If this power burst keeps on going, Vivas could become an offensive-minded starting second baseman, whether it be in LA or elsewhere after a possible trade.
4. Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva)
The No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, Holliday reached Low-A in his pro debut but mostly walked (15 in 12 games) while failing to hit a homer. So Baltimore sent the 19-year-old back to Delmarva to start this season, and it looked like he’s already mastering the level last week when the 6-foot-, 185-pounder posted a triple-slash of .450/.577/.800 with 2 homers and 1 steal. He’s still walking a lot (14 in 13 games), but he has doubled his slugging percentage to .667 and was just promoted to High-A. Holliday’s hot start combined with No. 2 overall pick Druw Jones’s cold start has already convinced us to move Matt Holliday’s son past Andrew Jones’ son in our weekly-updated Top 500 Rankings.
5. Brandon Pfaadt, RHP, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno)
The 24-year-oldcame into the week with a 5.40 ERA through three starts, but with the D’backs designating Madison Bumgarner for assignment last Thursday, Pfaadt came out and tossed 7 dominant innings in Triple-A that same night. Pfaadt posted 8 strikeouts, allowing just three hits and one walk at Salt Lake. Drafted in 2021 out of little Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., Pfaadt led the minors with 218 strikeouts between Double- and Triple-A last year. As his 25-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio shows, Pfaadt has a lot to offer fantasy owners once he makes his way to the Arizona rotation.
6. Gavin Williams, RHP, Guardians (Double-A Akron)
Williams was dominant yet again last week, striking out 8 in 5 hitless innings on Thursday against Harrisburg, lowering his season ERA to 0.63. The 23rd overall pick in the 2021 draft out of East Carolina, Williams has compiled a microscopic 1.81 ERA over 28 minor-league starts. With a 70-grade fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has touched 101 mph, Williams will be in Cleveland by this summer if he keeps destroying minor-league hitters like this.
7. Henry Davis, C, Pirates (Double-A Altoona)
The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021 out of Louisville, Davis did it all last week with a .357/.550/.857 triple-slash, 2 homers, 3 steals and 6 walks. After leading the minors with 20 hit by pitches last year, Davis hasn’t been drilled since wearing one in the season opener. Repeating Double-A, where he put up just a .703 OPS last year, Davis is off to a 1.041 OPS this season and could be in Triple-A before summer at this rate.
8. Dalton Rushing, C, Dodgers (High-A Great Lakes)
Backing up the aforementioned Davis while the two catchers were at Louisville, Rushing was hiding in plain sight when the Dodgers popped him with the 40th overall pick in last year’s draft. Rushing has done nothing but hit since turning pro, including last week when the 22-year-old hit 3 homers to go with a 1.383 OPS. He now has a career 1.219 OPS and 11 homers in 43 minor-league games. With the Dodgers already set at catcher with Will Smith starring in LA and ballyhooed prospect Diego Cartaya in Double-A, Rushing could become trade bait this summer, which could help him reach the majors sooner.
9. Brycen Mautz, LHP, Cardinals (Low-A Palm Beach)
The 59th overall pick in last year’s draft out of San Diego, the 6-foot-3 lefty dazzled with 6 perfect innings against Dunedin last Wednesday with 11 strikeouts. The deceptive lefty dominated Vanderbilt in an NCAA Tournament stunner last year, so it shouldn’t take Mautz long to get the promotion to High-A. Already pitching exclusively out of the stretch, Mautz may wind up in the bullpen, but we’ll be moving him into our next weekly-updated RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings.
10. Frank Mozzicato, LHP, Royals (Low-A Columbia)
Mozzicato was the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft out of East Catholic High School in Connecticut, but he struggled a bit last year in his pro debut with a 4.30 ERA for Columbia. Back in Low-A to start this season, Mozzicato has been dominant, especially last week when the 6-foot-3 lefty struck out 13 in 6 scoreless innings on Tuesday and followed with 6 strikeouts in 4 innings allowing just one hit on Sunday. Mozzicato has allowed just 5 hits with 26 strikeouts in 15 innings for Columbia, but has given out 8 free passes. Those control problems could cause an eventual move to the bullpen, but he has plenty of bat-missing ability to become a fantasy asset as a starter.