Williams among prospects off to hottest starts this season

May 9th, 2023

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We’re about a month into the Minor League season, so let’s take a look into the prospects who are off to the best starts.

I assembled the team below based on Minor League performance by players ranked on our organization Top 30 lists, using prospect-y goodness to settle close calls. My 11-man squad includes five Top 100 Prospects, two of them former No. 1 overall picks:

Henry Davis, C, Pirates (.292/.446/.611 in Double-A)Fully healthy after multiple wrist injuries a year ago, he’s showing why he was the top choice in the 2021 Draft.

Mark Vientos, 1B, Mets (.339/.424/.696 in Triple-A)He mashed in Triple-A last year as well but still seeks an opening with the Mets.

Jorbit Vivas, 2B, Dodgers (.333/.433/.586 in Double-A)One of the Minors’ top contact hitters is showing more power than ever.

Junior Caminero, 3B, Rays (.356/.408/.678 in High-A)Another example of why it’s always dangerous to trade with Tampa Bay.

Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles (.352/.486/.580 between Single-A & High-A)I’ve predicted 2022’s No. 1 selection will be baseball’s best prospect by season’s end. He may not need that long.

Drew Gilbert, OF, Astros (.360/.421/.686 in High-A)Houston’s 2022 first-rounder — its first in three years — will make his Double-A debut today.

Heston Kjerstad, OF, Orioles (.300/.388/.656 in Double-A)Healthy after two years of setbacks, he won Arizona Fall League MVP honors in the offseason and continues to rake.

Joey Loperfido, OF, Astros (.329/.430/.634 between High-A & Double-A)His numbers keep getting better as he rises, and he homered four times in his first four Double-A games.

Matt McLain, DH, Reds (.333/.448/.667 in Triple-A)He looks more like his normal self after hitting .232 in Double-A and .190 in the AFL in 2022.

Andrew Abbott, LHP, Reds (2.05 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 60 SO in 30 2/3 IP between Double-A & Triple-A)The Minor League leader in whiffs struck out 36 in 15 2/3 Double-A innings to earn a swift promotion.

Gavin Williams, RHP, Guardians (0.73 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 31 SO in 24 2/3 IP between Double-A & Triple-A)After leading the Minors with a .173 opponent average last season, he has lowered that mark to .120 this year.