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Future Sluggers? A Look at Who’s Hitting on the Farm

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at New York Mets Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s mid-May, and all four full-season teams have played between 27 and 34 games. Here are some performances of note from prospects on or near the radar ( ranking in parentheses). Jump in the comments to say what you think and to comment on tonight’s minor league games


It’s been a disappointing season for this squad (13-21), largely because guys knocking on the door haven’t done much.


JJ Matijevic - SLG .600 and the strikeouts are under control

Grae Kessinger: 25 walks, OBP of .454


Joe Perez (14): .272 OBP. He’s either going to hit his way up to Houston or off the 40-man

Luke Berryhill: .666 OPS; thought he would slug more.


Pedro Leon, Korey Lee, Justin Dirden (5,6,&7) But for recent hot streaks from Lee and Dirden in hitter-friendly Albuquerque, they would have been in the down category. Let’s hope it unlocks them. All three could force their way to Houston with a big month.



Shay Whitcomb: 8 bombs and SLG of .587 after disappearing last year

Joey Loperfido (16): Came up like a ball of fire, cooled down but still more walks than strikeouts (15/12) and slugging .648 in 15 games.

Colin Barber (3) : After an injury-plagued season, the still only 22 year-old OF is showing power (.203 ISO) and plate discipline (15 walks in 85 PAs). He missed a week of games but if he keeps up the .304/435/507 slash, he could be in Sugar Land by July.

Will Wagner (12): OPS is 1.148 but he’s missed a bunch of time.


JC Correa: hitting .128. He’ll turn it around.


Kennedy Corona (18): got the promotion to AA and has done fine with a .771 OPS.

Quincy Hamilton (22): Pretty good season, but only one HR, .831 OPS largely driven by 20 walks. He’s almost 25 & needs to hit better to provide MLB depth in 2024.


Unlike last year, guys by and large just aren’t yet posting cartoonish offensive numbers yet.


Drew Gilbert (1). He’s in AA now, but has only played in two games. In A+ his K’s were a bit high (22%) but he hit the ball very hard and convinced the brass he belonged in AA.

Zach Dezenso: 348/440/609. Yes, it’s hitter-friendly Asheville but that’s mashing. K rate a little high (26%), BABIP totally unsustainable, but a wRC+ of 172 from 2022 12th rounder. Happy 23rd birthday Zach!


Freudis Nova: .139 BA, .526 OPS. Would be surprised if he’s in the org. next year. He was better at the same level in 2021.

Logan Cerny (20): .173/264/316. Probably the biggest disappointment in the system on the hitting side so far. I’d be shocked if he didn’t have a huge month or two later this year.


Jacob Melton (2) : 203/370/391, 9 steals. It’s not the start we wanted but the walks are encouraging.

Miguel Palma (29): .727 OPS. That’s 250 points lower than it was in 104 ABs last year in Asheville. Here’s hoping he heats up.


With Ryan Clifford gone to Asheville, most of the excitement here is on the mound.


Clifford (4): one of the best stories this season and likely lands on some mid-season top 150 lists. He held his own in 41 ABs in 2022, with an .802 OPS. He came out so ready in 2023 that they could barely keep him down. I think he’s the 2nd 2022 high schooler in A+, not bad for an 11th rounder. His ISO was only 120 but his OBP was .488 on the basis of 25 walks. 19 year-olds just don’t have that kind of plate discipline. If he hits 15-20 HR in Asheville, he’ll be a consensus top 100 prospect by the end of the year.

Zach Cole: .856 OPS, 5 HR, 10 SBs. 10th rounder from a small conference. Age 22 season. This year’s Logan Cerny.


Sandro Gaston: destroyed the DSL last year and many were on the bandwagon. 158/245/221 one of the many reasons this team keeps losing.

Dauri Lorenzo: He’s only 20, but a hyped signee out of the Dominican. Not a great start in first 14 games (.492 OPS).


Ty Whitaker: started strong but now slashing 235/346/338. Not getting to his power (1 HR), not showing his speed (2 SB). Without a huge 2nd half he becomes an after thought and falls off top 30 lists.