Another week, another set of top prospects throughout the game making an impact for their clubs. Let’s take a look around the league and see who was the very best of the best this past week.
RHP Tyler Gilbert (Diamondbacks NR) – The life of a Rule 5 draft pick is tough. Rarely making a team’s top 30 list, they have to play extra well to warrant a spot on the big league roster. Success stories exist, think Johan Santana, but they are few and far in between. Selected in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft this past December, Gilbert made his major league debut in a relief appearance on Aug. 3. Gilbert made another two relief appearances before being named the starter for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Padres. How did Gilbert respond to the opportunity? By becoming the fourth player ever, and first since 1953, to throw a no-hitter in their first career start. Just a year after helping his father with electrician work to make ends meet, Gilbert tossed a no-hitter with his father in attendance. A truly special moment that Gilbert will never forget, no matter how his career turns out.
C Shea Langeliers (Braves No. 3) – Coming into the 2019 draft, Langeliers and every other catcher was easily overshadowed by Adley Rutschman, the new number one overall prospect in baseball. Langeliers was a glove first catcher, but did enough damage with the bat to make himself a first round pick in his own right, getting snagged by the Braves at number nine. Since then, he’s provided respectable numbers at the dish while continuing his excellent defense, but his bat gets him on this week’s list. Langeliers smacked a pair of homers for Double-A Mississippi as part of his fourth multi-homer game this season Tuesday night. He also added another two hits and ended with a four-hit night and four RBIs. Not bad for a glove first catcher.
SS Matt McLain (Reds NR) – At the time of writing this, midseason prospect re-rankings haven’t come out yet, so McLain and the other 2021 draft prospects don’t have a spot on their respective top 30 lists. Know this, McLain will be near the top of Cincinnati’s top 30. Making his full-season baseball debut Wednesday night, McLain went 4-for-5 with a home run, a deep double and five RBIs on the day as his High-A Dayton club routed Lansing by a 12-4 score. Cincinnati already has a plethora of intriguing middle infield prospects, and McLain adds to the impressive depth on that list. He completely skipped the Low-A level, so he’s someone Cincinnati believes can move quickly in their system.
RHP Emerson Hancock (Mariners No. 2) – Much like McLain, Hancock was seen as a polished college product who could move quickly up the minor league chain. His performance Wednesday shows he thinks the same thing. Making his Double-A debut, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft retired the first 14 batters in a row, tallying six strikeouts in the process. Hancock walked the next batter then exited the game after a solid 4.2 innings. For Hancock to reach Double-A in his first minor league season, it must mean Seattle has big plans for the talented right-hander. It’s not out of the question for Hancock to reach the majors by 2022.
3B Brett Baty (Mets No. 4) – Baty might have already made this list, putting up solid numbers over a nine-game hitting streak, but his play Thursday night solidified it. Baty crushed the ball en-route to a 4-for-5 night at the plate. Tallying two homers, a double and four RBIs, Baty extended his numbers to a .296 average with 12 homers and 52 RBIs in 75 games with Double-A Binghamton.
OF Everson Pereira (Yankees No. 13) – The other New York prospect to make this list, Pereira must have seen Baty’s night and decided to challenge it. Pereira came into Thursday night’s contest struggling in the month of August; he’d only tallied six total hits throughout the month. But by the end of the night, he’d nearly doubled that total. Pereira ended the night a perfect 5-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs on the night for High-A Hudson Valley. With a crowded outfield situation in the Bronx, Pereira has a challenge ahead of him to get to New York. With his .360/.462/.721 slash line in his first 30 High-A games however, Pereira is putting the pedal to the metal in his quest to make the majors.
RHP Quinn Priester (Pirates No. 2) – Priester was all business Friday night for High-A Greensboro, going seven scoreless innings with ten strikeouts on the night. An already impressive performance before we take into account his sixth inning of work. Priester lit up the crowd with an immaculate inning; three strikeouts on nine pitches, all swinging. His electric outing included, Priester has posted a 2.80 ERA in 15 starts with the Grasshopper this season, a run that will have him in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later.
Honorable Mention – LHP Reid Detmers (Angels No. 2) – We might have to rename this to the Reid Detmers report. This is the third time Detmers has made this list in four weeks. First, we covered his first Triple-A start. Then, we covered his major league debut. Now, we’re covering his first major league win. Facing the tough Astros lineup, Detmers went a full six strong innings, only giving up one earned run while adding six strikeouts on the day. After getting lit up for 11 earned runs over his first two starts, albeit against the also stacked Athletics and Dodgers lineups, Detmers turned it around and showed what he can do. That type of performance will get both the Angels’ fans and front office excited about his future.