One month down, five to go in the minor league baseball season. Above are the qualified leaders as of May 1.
As pitchers accumulate the qualifying number of innings pitched, some new names will pop up in the leaderboards. A prime example of that is, my favorite underrated prospect, Jose Ferrer. I’ve mentioned Ferrer in my pre-season prospect watchlist and in numerous other pieces. Now the southpaw showing everyone what he’s made of. The hard-throwing 22-year-old has yet to yield a run in 10 innings coming out of the pen and, maybe more impressively, has not walked or hit a batter.
The TalkNats Co-Player of the Month for April, Cole Henry, also reached the amount of innings needed to make the leaderboard, so he joins Ferrer as the only two qualified pitchers to remain scoreless.
Carl Edwards Jr. also find himself on the leaderboard after notching his tenth inning last week. The offseason free-agent signee has been a bright spot in a bleak Rochester bullpen. He’s rocking a 0.87 ERA and 85.7% left on base percentage.
On the hitting side, Brady House has hit somewhat of a rut in the past week. He’s still hitting .326 in a system leading 103 plate appearances, but he isn’t putting up the godly numbers he was to start the season.
As the season goes on regression is not only normal, but expected. It can be said that Luis García is also seeing a drop-off in production as he has one hit in his last 11 at-bats. Hitting is very very hard, and no one can be Barry Bonds forever (well, expect Barry Bonds).
Standing at 5′ 8″ 148 pounds, Viandel Pena does not come off as a offense-heavy player — but so far this season, he’s been tremendous. On the leaderboard, Pena is leading in half of the categories. Off the board, he’s top five in stolen bases and has two long balls to his name. With any breakout player, there is speculation about just how legit this streak is and Pena is no different. As of May 1st, he has a .471 BABIP hinting that he could be getting somewhat lucky with the placement of his batted balls. Regardless, Pena is balling out right now and is stealing the spotlight in a lineup full of top-tier prospects.
A familiar name making his way onto the leaderboard is Taylor Gushue, the Senators catcher. Drafted by the Pirates in 2014 out of the University of Florida, Gushue found himself in the Nationals organization by 2017. After a few years with the Nats, he moved on to the Cubs and would make his major league debut in 2021 before electing free agency and once again landing in Washington’s farm system. So the now 28-year-old backstop is back, and better than ever with a remarkable .946 OPS and 163 wRC+.
Still missing the cut are Matt Cronin and Zach Brzykcy, but rest assured, they’re still shoving in their respective level.