Image credit: Credit: © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Minor League Update. Every day, we tell you the latest about what happened to the prospects you care about, and maybe a few more you should. Here’s who made waves this weekend:

Hitter of the Weekend

Blaze Jordan, 1B, Boston Red Sox (High-A Greenville): 6-11, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K.
In a weekend where no one player stood out, Jordan gets the nod for solid play each day of the weekend. That’s encouraging from the 20-year-old would-be-slugger, who cracked his first big fly of the year and raised all his offensive numbers dramatically after a frosty first week and a half. While the young hitter handled his first month with the Drive well last year, it’s no shock to see Jordan receive more patient development. The strong righty hacker has a swing geared for line drives and the strength to punish the ball, but the consistency of any contact has always been the question mark. 

Pitcher of the Weekend:

Joe Boyle, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A Chattanooga): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 4 BB, 12 K.
If there are three-true-outcome hitters, why shouldn’t there be TTO pitchers? That’s Boyle, a flamethrower set to spray like a shotgun who cannot track down the user manual to adjust the settings. The one time Fighting Irish standout now towers at 6-foot-7 over his Double-A opponents, pumping effectively wild heat and breaking balls in the general direction of the plate. Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 draft by the Reds, Boyle has racked up 220 strikeouts and 108 walks (plus 8 hit by pitches) and 7 big flies, for a staggering TTO rate of 61.4%. This is what it can work like when it’s all firing for Boyle, however, as he overpowers hitters to elude jams—even those of his own making.

Friday, April 21st

Jackson Holliday, SS/2B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-6, 2 HR, K.
The 1.1 of the 2022 draft has been matching his hype thus far. The Shorebirds infielder now has a 1.190 OPS through his first 13 games of the season.

Ben Brown, RHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HRA.
The Cubs nabbed Big Ben Brown from the Phillies in exchange for veteran reliever David Robertson last year, a worthy deal considering the bullpen help was vital in the Phils’ pennant run. Now it’s Brown’s turn to shine, though, as the 6-foot-6 righty has struck out 22 opponents in his first 15 innings in 2023.

Matt Wallner, OF, Twins (Triple-A St. Paul): 3-4, 2B, HR, BB, K.
He’s been up and down already this year, but Wallner’s power should be enough to eventually stick in the bigs.

Brenton Doyle, OF, Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 K.
With the Rockies losing multiple outfielders to injury over the weekend, Doyle’s torrid start has earned him a call up to the show.

Victor Juarez, RHP, Rockies (High-A Spokane): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Joey Loperfido, UTIL, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-4, 2 HR, BB, K, SB.
Patrick Monteverde, LHP, Marlins (Double-A Pensacola): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
Liover Peguero, SS/2B, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 2-3, BB, 3 SB.
Braden Shewmake, 2B/SS, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 3-5, 2B, HR.
René Pinto, C, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 2-4, 2 HR.
Cade Marlowe, OF, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-5, 2 2B, 2 K, SB.
Luisangel Acuña, SS/2B, Rangers (Double-A Round Rock): 3-4, 2B, HR.

Saturday, April 22nd

Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 3-3, 2B, 2 HR.
It’s not as though the red-hot Birds by the (Chesapeake) Bay seem to need him, but Cowser continues banging the drum that his debut may be the next big one in Baltimore.

Kai-Wei Teng, RHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 4 IP, 1 H, 0R/ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP.
It’s early, as the Giants have been measured with Teng’s workload to open the season after a hefty usage rate in 2022, but the righty has struck out over half of his opponents faced.

Gordon Graceffo, RHP, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HRA.
A start like this was a quality reset for Graceffo, who’d eluded trouble at times but had put far too many runners on for free given the quality of his repertoire.

Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-4, 2 HR, BB.
There are a decent number of players in Triple-A who have cracked as many big flies as Manzardo already this year; however, only one other (Ronny Mauricio) is under the age of 23.

Parker Meadows, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 3-8, 2 2B, HR, K.
Luis Palacios, RHP, Marlins (High-A Beloit): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K.
Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 3-5, 2B, HR, SB.
Juan Carela, RHP, Yankees (High-A Hudson Valley): 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 9 K.
J.R. Ritchie, RHP, Braves (Low-A Augusta): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP, Braves (High-A Rome): 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
Juan Carela, RHP, Yankees (High-A Hudson Valley): 5.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP.
Justin Jarvis, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Biloxi): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 10 K.
Darren McCaughan, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 10 K.
Gavin Stone, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
Royber Salinas, RHP, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 10 K.

Sunday, April 23rd

Luis Vazquez, SS, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-4, 2 HR, BB.
Now in his seventh season as a pro, Vasquez has crept up slowly on the back of stellar glovework. His multi-homer Sunday matched or outdid his round-tripper total from the entire 2017, 2019, and 2021 seasons.

Henry Davis, C, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-3, 2 HR, BB.
Pittsburgh’s top pick is off to a crackerjack start, and has approached or eclipsed several offensive totals already from his time at Altoona last season.

Zane Mills, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Peoria): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
While Mills ate innings ably last year in Peoria, the 2021 fourth rounder struggled to convert grounders into outs. This outing helped check a worrying trend in that same direction this spring.

Drew Thorpe, RHP, Yankees (High-A Hudson Valley): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K.
It’s not likely that Thorpe will be able to aid the ailing Yankees rotation this year, but the athletic hurler should have some say in filling out the Bronx Bombers’ depth in the coming seasons.

Blade Tidwell, RHP, Mets (High-A Brooklyn): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
Jase Bowen, OF, Pirates (High-A Greensboro): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, SB.
Cole Winn, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Jud Fabian, OF, Orioles (High-A Aberdeen): 2-3, HR, BB, SB.
Jorbit Vivas, 2B, Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa): 2-3, 2 HR.
Jack Pineda, SS, Royals (High-A Quad Cities): 4-5, 2B, SB.
Ryan Webb, LHP, Guardians (High-A Lake County): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Twins (Triple-A St. Paul): 2-4, 2 HR, BB.
Tyler Locklear, 1B/3B, Mariners (High-A Everett): 2-2, 2B, HR.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Matthew Gold
Do the Yankees really have two Juan Carelas who both pitched on Saturday?