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Prospect of the Weekend:

Chris Shaw, 1B, Giants (Double-A, Richmond): 6-8, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, BB, 6 RBI.
It may be hard to view Shaw as a major contributor at first base in the big leagues, but that doesn’t change the fact that in just two games this weekend (Friday/Saturday), he put up some monster numbers. Shaw is off to a great start in his return trip to the Eastern League, and he should be in line for a promotion if this type of production continues through May. The Giants always seem to get a little extra out of guys that are consistently underrated coming through the minor leagues, but Shaw profiles as more of a fringe regular than lineup stalwart.

Friday, April 7th

Juan Soto, OF, Nationals (Low-A, Hagerstown): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI.
It’s tough to find a prospect that has gotten off to a better start and helped his prospect stock fly higher in the process than Soto. Though he technically broke out last year, Soto is breaking out even more in his full-season debut, flashing the potential plus hit, plus power profile that could make him one of the game’s rising prospects by mid-season.

Lucas Erceg, 3B, Brewers (High-A, Carolina): 3-4, R, 2 2B, K, 2 RBI.
After a monster pro debut in 2016, Erceg is at it again in the Carolina League, ripping two doubles on Friday, and looking like a guy already primed for a greater challenge in Double-A. If the Brewers can keep him on the right track off the field, they could have a potential middle-of-the-order bat.

Ryan McMahon, 3B, Rockies (Double-A, Hartford): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K.
McMahon struggled last year, continuing to strikeout more than once per game for the third consecutive season, but this time around more advanced arms were able to carve him up and prevent him from doing damage in spite of his swing and miss issues. Back in Double-A to start the year, McMahon his off to a much better start and there’s still a glimmer of hope that he could put it together and become an impact player with the stick.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants (Triple-A, Sacramento): 4 IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K, HRA.
I’ve been a Beede backer since his high school days when I watched nearly ever start his senior season, but he’s always been prone to this kind of “stinker” when he just doesn’t have his best stuff and command in the same outing. I still think there’s a no. 3 or no. 4 starter hidden in here, but he needs a good stretch of consistent performance to get a real big-league shot.

Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (Low-A, Rome): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 K.
The Braves top pick last summer, Anderson turned in his second electric start of the early season on Friday, fanning another eight hitters (he whiffed eight in 4 2/3 innings his first time out) in just five frames. He may only be in Low-A, but Anderson has a chance to be a front of the rotation starter on the next Braves contender.

Saturday, April 8th

Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (High-A, Buies Creek): 4-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, SB, 7 RBI.
Tucker is a well-rounded player that continues to emerge as a bona fide prospect with above-average potential at the big-league level. The emergence of more power—whether that be gap or over the fence—could take Tucker’s prospect status to another level.

Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A, New Hampshire): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB, SB, 2 RBI.
I’m anxious to get a good look at Alford in Double-A this summer, and I should be able to catch 15-20 games throughout the season, particularly since I haven’t seen him since he first began to focus on baseball. Early returns this spring have frequently mentioned the impact athlete with tools across the board, making me even more excited for my first look in the next few weeks.

Nick Williams, OF, Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 3-3, R, HR, 2 RBI.
Williams is a divisive prospect with tools galore and some struggles performing consistently. I desperately want to believe everything will click at some point because that would result in an extremely exciting player, but it’s hard to truly envision that happening at this point.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI.
Hoskins destroyed the Eastern League last summer and it is extremely easy to chalk some of his performance up to a cozy home ballpark. With two home runs on Saturday, Hoskins already has three bombs this season, along with three doubles, and as many walks as strikeouts.

Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (High-A, Florida): 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 HRA.
In my experience with Toussaint, his control and command are far more likely to escape him than he is to just get pounded, but that’s not what happened in this outing. Toussaint was hit hard on Saturday, resulting in an ugly line. He’s a bit of a flaky prospect that can go from good to bad in a hurry, and his two starts in 2017 have been perfectly indicative of that fact.

Sunday, April 9th

Daniel Palka, 1B, Twins (Triple-A, Rochester): 5-7, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2K.
I don’t have much to say about Palka as a prospect, as I don’t believe he’s a true big league contributor, but it’s pretty tough to ignore this type of performance. I’ve seen a lot of Palka, dating back to his college days at Georgia Tech, and if he can control the strikeouts without sacrificing his power, he might be able to carve out a niche role in Minnesota.

Joe Jimenez, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A, Toledo): IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Tiger fans have made quite the stink over Jimenez’s trip back to Toledo, but he’ll be back soon enough on the heels of dominating outings like this one. With an electric upper-90s fastball and occasionally plus slider, there’s a chance he ends up closing games in Detroit at some point over the next couple of years.

Thank you for reading

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heterodude
4/17
Two notables that I'd add:
Corey Ray made his debut in High A and went 2-5 with a triple and a stolen base, so I guess the knee is okay.

Estevan Florial went 3-4 on Saturday with a home run, a double, and two stolen bases.
jhardman
4/17
He did.....but he was also obviously exasperated either verbally or physically about every called strike on him.
juice133
4/17
Thanks for adding these to the list!
markczarniecki
4/17
Walker Buehler had 8 Ks in 3 innings on Saturday.
juice133
4/17
Great catch. You'd think I would have remembered to include him given how much time I spent talking to a couple of scouts about him yesterday.
rdf8585
4/17
If you can disclose it, I'd love to read what those couple of scouts said.
mdickson
4/17
Someone named Ryan Olson pitched a Maddux Friday night for Dayton.
juice133
4/17
Pretty impressive performance....curious to see him against more advanced competition. He pounds the zone with four pitches (FB,CH,CB,SL), highlighted by an average fastball that he manipulates well, sinking it and putting some run on it at times.
mdickson
4/17
Thanks for the info! I had never heard of him before.
edmega332
4/17
For the year 2017, for every Dominic Smith update we shall be given, there needs to be 1 Tim Tebow update that must be included, to balance bias and <3 for Dom Smith.

#TebowingFTW
SansRig
4/17
I feel like I’m turning into a Touki apologist, but I really want to think that he made improvements last year that gave him a solid ending of the season, albeit with a rough beginning. I don’t like to think of him as “flaky.” Is that the reputation that he had as an amateur?

Anyway, thanks.