Welcome to a new feature that we'll have every Friday, the minor league Players of the Week. By players, I mean a pitcher and a position player. Friday's will become our unofficial minor league day with weekly features on the draft, minor leagues, POTW, and of course a minor league recap.
Hitter of the Week
There are a handful of hitters that have played about six games and have posted OPS over 1.000 for the season so far. I'm not going to go over the list, but I will talk about the one who wins for the week. When you post 1.190 OPS over the first six games (and do so at the highest level of the minors), fans have to take notice.
Austin Wates missed almost all of the 2013 season with a fracture in his forearm and as a result, was almost left as an afterthought in the minds of many fans who follow the minors. This is his age 25 season which makes him a borderline prospect in the eyes of prospectors, but doesn't mean he can't provide value to an organization.
Wates has made the most of his return to the diamond in this first week of the season by posting a .417/.481/.708 batting line which has gotten some fans talking about him once again. He's drawn three walks and struck out just three times in 27 plate appearances. Add in his three stolen bases (without being caught) to his two doubles, triple, and one home run, he's been a threat in multiple ways offensively.
Pitcher of the Week
For the pitcher, we move to the last environment you expect for a pitcher to wow you. But, the Lancaster JetHawks are strutting around the California League with perhaps the most drool-worth pitching staff. I guess you can say they are showing some #rig.
But, perhaps the pitcher that has performed the best is the California native, Vincent Velasquez. VV pitched in two games this week and went four innings in both outings. His total line was 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, and 12 SO. All hits, runs, walks, and seven strikeouts came in the first game with the remaining coming in the second outing. Even if you aren't good at math, you can see that his second outing was perfect. No runs, No hits, and No walks.
I'm sure you could make an argument for many other players, especially with all the talent in this system. But, these are my picks. CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE! I won't change my mind because I can be quite stubborn, but hey that's half of the fun!