Welcome to the ninth installment of our Weekly Hot Prospects Report ranking the top minor-league performances from the week of June 12th through 18th:
1. Connor Phillips, SP, Reds (Double-A Chattanooga)
Phillips (pictured above) added to his minor league-leading strikeout total to 109 with 20 Ks in 12 innings over 2 starts last week. The 22-year-old right-hander has turned around his early-season control problems, walking just 1 last week and having handed out just 3 free passes in 23 2/3 innings in June. The fact that Phillips is racking up Ks for the same team in the pre-tacked-ball Southern League that the second-leading strikeout artist in the minors this season, Andrew Abbott, did most of his best work in has to make you wonder just a bit. It’s time the Reds promote Phillips to Triple-A so we can see if he can come close to keeping this up. Phillips had a 1.50 ERA and 0.92 WHIP last week to lower his season stats to a 3.23 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Phillips was the player to be named later in the Jesse Winker–Eugenio Suarez trade in March 2022. Phillips has big stuff led by a 70-grade upper-90s fastball that could soon fill out Cincinnati’s young rotation that are handicapped by having to play half their games in the launching pad that is Great American Ballpark.
2. Cade Povich, SP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Povich tossed the best singular pitching gem of the week with 13 strikeouts in 7 scoreless innings on Thursday against Richmond while allowing just 1 hit and no walks. The 23-year-old left-hander has been hit and miss this season with 3 double-digit strikeout games but coming off a three-start stretch where he struggled to a 11.12 ERA and 9 walks in 11 1/3 innings. Povich lowered his ERA to 4.83 with a 1.35 WHIP with 82 Ks in 54 innings. He came over from the Twins in the Jorge Lopez deal along with 3 other prospects at last year’s trade deadline. If Povich can use this as a springboard to a more consistent stretch, he could get promoted to Triple-A soon and possibly even Baltimore by the end of the summer.
3. Dalton Rogers, SP, Red Sox (High-A Greenville)
Rogers continued his breakout with best start yet – 6 no-hit innings with 11 Ks and just 1 walk on Wednesday against Greensboro. The 22-year-old has a 2.75 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings in High-A after posting a 2.49 ERA with 38 Ks in 21 2/3 innings in Low-A. A third-round pick out of Southern Mississippi in last year’s draft, the 5-foot-11 left-hander uses deception and good extension to get plenty of whiffs at the top of the zone.
4. Ben Brown, SP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa)
Brown supposedly didn’t have his best stuff in his start against Indianapolis on Wednesday, but he still managed 11 strikeouts in 6 scoreless innings with no walks. The 23-year-old right-hander did allow 6 hits and hit a batter, but lowered his ERA to 3.52 with 58 Ks in 38 1/3 innings in Triple-A after posting a 0.45 ERA with 30 Ks in 20 innings in Double-A. Brown had issued 11 free passes in his previous two starts, so he may need another few low-walk starts to convince the Cubs that it’s time for his MLB debut.
5. Spencer Jones, OF, Yankees (High-A Hudson Valley)
Jones batted .500 (12-for-24) with 3 homers and 2 steals last week, drawing 3 walks and limiting his strikeouts to 5. The 22-year-old outfielder has been very productive in his first full pro season with a .875 OPS, 10 homers and 16 steals, but he needs to improve his 32.8% strikeout rate. The best sign last week is that he finished by going 7-for-12 with no strikeouts over the weekend.
6. Jonathan Aranda, 2B, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Aranda is trying to beat the door down to Tampa Bay with another torrid week, going 12-for-22 (.545) with 3 homers and a 1.706 OPS. The 25-year-old is 31-for-60 in June to raise his average from .266 to .340. Considering that Aranda hit .318 with 18 homers last year in Triple-A, there’s not much more for the sturdy hitting machine to prove in the minors.
7. Trey Cabbage, 1B/OF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Cabbage just keeps stuffing the stat sheet, collecting 3 homers and 3 steals last week while going 10-for-23 with 10 RBIs. The 26-year-old slugger has a .971 OPS with 19 homers and 20 steals while the current starting first baseman in Anaheim, Jared Walsh, has a pathetic .125/.253/.234 triple-slash. Cabbage was breaking out last season in Double-A with a 1.098 OPS, 10 homers and 10 steals in 30 games before suffering a left-forearm fracture in a nasty collision at first base. Cabbage could be a sneaky power-speed source at first base if he soon gets the chance to provide a boost to the Angels’ lineup.
8. Zach Cole Jr., OF, Astros (Low-A Fayeteville)
Cole piled up 2 homers, 2 triples, 2 doubles and 4 singles in 6 games for what amounts to a 2-cycle week. The 22-year-old also drew 7 walks to help put up a .586 OBP with 9 runs and 4 steals. A 10th-round pick out of Ball State last year, Cole has a .930 OPS with 10 homers and 18 steals on the season – he will debut in our next weekly-updated RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings.
9. John Cruz, OF, Yankees (Rookie Florida Complex League)
Cruz entered last week 0-for-15 with 7 strikeouts, but went on a binge by hitting 3 homers, drawing 5 walks and producing an amazing 18 RBIs. The 17-year-old Dominican posted a .520 OBP and chipped in a steal. The Yankees showed confidence in the 6-foot-3 youngster by challenging him with an assignment to the FCL, so it’s worth keeping an eye on him and he’ll be debuting in our next weekly-updated Top 500.
10. Ronny Mauricio, SS/OF, Mets (Triple-A Syracuse)
Mauricio is heating up again now that he’s trying yet another position in an attempt to earn his way to New York, hitting 3 homers with 2 steals last week. The 22-year-old switch-hitting shortstop had already been playing second base to add versatility and last week made 3 starts in left field. Mauricio is batting .325 with 11 homers and 11 steals as he continues to make his case for a call-up.
11. Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B, Red Sox (High-A Greenville): 12-for-22 (.545), 7 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 5 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, ..607 OBP, 1.136 SLG, 1.743 OPS
12. Dominic Canzone, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 11-for-21 (.524), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, .542 OBP, 1.286 SLG, 1.828 OPS
13. Rece Hinds, OF, Reds (Double-A Chattanooga): 8-for-21 (.381), 8 R, 6 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, .500 OBP, 1.238 SLG, 1.738 OPS
14. Chris Williams, C, Twins (Triple-A St. Paul): 7-for-19 (.368), 8 R, 6 HR, 14 RBIs, 5 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, .500 OBP, 1.316 SLG, 1.816 OPS
15. Justin Wrobleski, SP, Dodgers (High-A Great Lakes): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0.60 WHIP
16. Brandon Pfaadt, SP, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-0, 3.09 ERA, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 16 SO, 0.94 WHIP
17. Coby Mayo, 3B, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 10-for-24 (.417), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 8 SO, 1 SB, .517 OBP, .958 SLG, 1.475 OPS
18. Samuel Zavala, OF, Padres (Low-A Lake Elsinore): 8-for-20 (.400), 7 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 8 BB, 7 SO, 1 SB, .571 OBP, .700 SLG, 1.271 OPS
19. Luke Waddell, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 12-for-24 (.500), 9 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 BB, 1 SO, .613 OBP, .958 SLG, 1.571 OPS
20. Jett Williams, SS, Mets (Low-A St. Lucie): 8-for-17 (.471), 8 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 7 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, .654 OBP, .765 SLG, 1.419 OPS