Welcome to this week’s Big Movers in the weekly update of the RotoProspects Top 500.
The No. 1 riser is Matt Wallner, a 25-year-old Twins outfielder who smashed 2 homers on Wednesday after 1 dinger on Tuesday may finally be forcing his way into a more regular role in Minnesota. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound slugger went 0-for-7 in a 5-game stint in April, then a 7-for-12 with a homer in a 5-game taste in May before his latest chance in Minnesota started on July 17. Around the 3 cups of coffee in the majors this year, Wallner put up a .291/.403/.524 triple-slash with 11 homers in 67 games in Triple-A. Last season, Wallner destroyed the minors to the tune of a combined .953 OPS with 27 homers between Double- and Triple-A, getting an 18-game MLB debut with a .709 OPS and 2 homers. Wallner’s max exit velocity is 113.2 mph this season, putting him in the 8th percentile in MLB. Strikeouts are the main issue for Wallner, but he’s lowered his K rate from 38.5% in Minnesota last year to 27.4% this season. With 70-grade raw power, Wallner could be a 40-homer masher if the Twins give him full run. Wallner catapulted up 29 spots to No. 100.
Next up is Luis Baez, a 19-year-old Low-A outfielder of the Astros who is batting .333 over his first 10 games for Fayetteville after posting a 1.095 OPS with 7 homers in 17 games in the Florida Complex League. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.3 million in January 2022 shortly after he turned 18. Baez impressed in his pro debut with a .903 OPS, 9 homers and 10 steals in the Dominican Summer League, albeit while being a bit old for the level. Baez’s calling card is his 60-grade raw power and his hit tool has shown well in the lower levels with just a 13.3% strikeout rate so far in Low-A. Baez skyrocketed up 139 spots to No. 215.
Angel Bastardo, a 21-year-old High-A right-hander of the Red Sox who rides a 14-strikeout gam last Friday and 125 Ks in 91.2 innings for Greenville up over 126 spots into the rankings at No. 374.
Wikelman Gonzalez, a 21-year-old Double-A right-handed pitcher of the Red Sox who has hit the ground running with a 0.75 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 12 innings over his first 2 starts for Portland, and he jumps up 104 spots to No. 149.
Blake Dunn, a 23-year-old Double-A outfielder of the Reds who has a .976 OPS with 5 homers and 21 steals in 39 games for Chattanooga after posting a .871 OPS with 8 HR and 19 SB in High-A, so he &nbsp;jumps up 101 spots to No. 241.
Yordanny Monegro, a 20-year-old Low-A right-handed pitcher of the Red Sox who has a 0.48 ERA with 30 Ks in 18.2 IP for Salem after posting a 1.20 ERA with 20 Ks in 15 IP in Florida Complex League, leading to a 100-spot rise to No. 370.
Caden Dana, a 19-year-old High-A right-handed pitcher of the Angels who has a 1.42 ERA with 18 Ks in 12.2 IP over 2 July starts, so he shoots up 93 spots &nbsp;to No. 296.
Lawrence Butler, a 23-year-old Triple-A outfielder of the Athletics who has a .912 OPS with 3 HR and 6 SB in his first 12 games for Las Vegas after a .817 OPS with 10 HR and 13 SB in Double-A, so he vaults up 85 spots to No. 105.
Jorge Marcheco, a 20-year-old High-A right-handed pitcher of the Angels who has a 1.96 ERA with a 20-1 K-BB in 18.1 IP over his first 3 starts for Tri-City, leading to a 85-spot jump to No. 345.
Rayner Arias, a 17-year-old Dominican Summer League outfielder of the Giants who has an insane triple-slash of .414/.539/.793 with 4 homers and 4 steals in 16 games,, leading to a 83-spot jump to No. 216.
The biggest faller of the week is Austin Martin, a 24-year-old Triple-A 2B/OF of the Twins who has a paltry .501 OPS in 16 games for St. Paul and suffered an apparent foot injury on Tuesday, and he plummets 85 spots to No. 412.
The biggest riser inside the Top 100 other than Wallner is Everson Pereira, a 22-year-old Triple-A outfielder of the Yankees who has a .938 OPS with 4 HR in 15 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after posting a .907 OPS with 10 HR in Double-A – he shoots up 15 spots to No. 23.
The biggest faller of the week inside the Top 100 is Emmet Sheehan, a 23-year-old Dodgers right-handed pitcher who has a 12.41 ERA with more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) over 3 July starts – he dropped 20 spots to No. 48.
Check back next week to see who the biggest movers are when our next update for the Top 500 Prospects comes out.