Some repeat offenders as well as fresh faces constitute this week’s Minor League Players of the Week. While the pitching prospects showed up in droves, the main prospect hitters seemed to take the week off.

Minor League Players of the Week (v4):

Pitcher:
Shaeffer Hall, 23, LHP, AA
13.1 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 12 H, 4 ER (2.70 ERA)
Notable: 18 GBO, 10 FBO

NoMaas Ranking – Unranked

In his first full season of professional baseball, Shaeffer Hall absolutely dominated both the Sally and Florida State Leagues (137.0 IP, 2.89 ERA), displaying top flight control along the way (1.38 BB/9, 4.0 BB%), second in the system to only the freakish Craig Heyer (1.6 BB% in 2010). He hasn’t missed a beat since moving up to AA, unintentionally walking only two batters in thirty plus innings of work (0.59 BB/9, 1.6 BB%), good for second in the Eastern League (min. 20 IP). Unfortunately, while the results may paint the picture of a front end starter, the method presents a less rosy image.

Hall already fits the mold of the “crafty lefty.” His fastball will top out in the upper 80s and his two secondary pitches, a changeup and a curveball, don’t profile as plus. He does, however, have strong batted ball rates in his short career (GB% over 50 in 2010) that are likely the symptom of his ability to command pitches in and around the zone. That’s not exactly the most awe inspiring skill set and while people do succeed with it, they are few and far between. Here’s to hoping the Hall can beat the odds.

Hitter:
Slade Heathcott, 20, LHB CF, A
.391/.500/.652 in 28 PAs
Notable: 6 2B

NoMaas Ranking#4
Previous Wins1

Slade certainly was driving the ball this past week and as the weather warms up, some of these doubles might find themselves leaving the park. These two baggers could also be swing related, as Heathcott mentions in our recent interview that he’s not getting as much lift as he wants. For now, though, no one is complaining about the results (.434 OBP, .247 ISO).

Heathcott’s performance thus far is certainly alleviating worries about his rookie season (22.8 K % in 2011, 28.8 in 2010), while confirming the positives (10.9 BB% in 2011, 12.0 in 2010). He’s still got work to do (he readily acknowledges he needs to get better at base stealing) and we’re talking about small samples of information, but it’s a great start to the season for the former 2009 1st round pick. If Slade can avoid any extended slump for another month or so, he might find himself looking for apartments in Tampa, Florida.

Honorable Mentions:

Justin Maxwell, 27, RHB CF, AAA
.300 / .391 / .750 in 23 PAs

Cranked 5 HRs this past week. Nice OF depth for the Yankees.

Kevin Russo, 26, RHB UTIL, AAA
.345 / .457 / .517 in 35 PAs

We have a confirmed pulse for Kevin Russo. The past two seasons haven’t been kind to him.

David Phelps, 24, RHP, AAA
14 IP, 11 K, 3 BB, 15 H, 4 ER

Two strong starts for the fast riser. He’ll be in the mix all year as a possible call up.

Manuel Banuelos, 20, LHP, AA
9.1 IP, 8 K, 4 BB, 8 H, 3 ER

Banuelos’ hasn’t been as stingy as usual with walks, but I’d imagine he’s still working on his arm strength.

The 6’8″ New York Native Line of the Week:
Dellin Betances, 23, RHP, AA
3.1 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

Good to see the blister didn’t slow the big man down too much.

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