Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending July 19

Michael Conforto has hit 12 home runs between two levels this season. (Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 20, 2015 5:24 PM

Here's a look at the top offensive performers in each league for the week ending July 19:

International League
Micah Johnson, Charlotte (CWS)
(.500/.524/.750, 4 G, 10-for-20, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 4 SB)
Because of the Triple-A All-Star break this week, players were limited to only four games. Johnson made the most of his opportunities from the top of the Knights lineup with hits in half of his 20 at-bats and four steals in those four contests. Johnson didn't represent the IL at the Triple-A midsummer classic Wednesday, but with a .326/.378/.478 line, six homers and 24 steals in 56 games, you could make the case that he should have. Regardless, by hitting .395 with a 1.078 OPS this month, the 24-year-old second baseman is putting himself in contention for a return to the Majors after starting the season with the South Siders.

Pacific Coast League
Christian Villanueva, Iowa (CHC)
(.533/.500/1.267, 4 G, 8-for-15, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
In recent years, Villanueva had started to become the Cubs prospect time had forgot with Kris Bryant and Addison Russell passing him by for spots in the Cubs infield while he struggled to break through offensively at the higher levels. That hasn't been the case of late for the No. 21 Chicago prospect, who has an .899 OPS with four homers, four doubles and 15 RBIs in 16 games this month. Villanueva is hitting .267/.330/.486 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in the Minors this season. Although he's received plus grades for his defensive work at third, the Cubs know he's not going to supplant Bryant at the hot corner and have tried to work out his flexibility at first as well this season. Villanueva has a spot on the 40-man roster and could be a bench option for the Cubs later this summer if he continues to show offensive strides.

Eastern League
Michael Conforto, Binghamton (NYM)
(.438/.500/1.000, 4 G, 7-for-16, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K)
Speaking of getting that Major League call, Conforto has added fuel to fires of Mets fans, who want the club to bring their No. 3 prospect and 2014 first-rounder to Queens after another strong week for the B-Mets. If you include Conforto's last game before heading to the Futures Game in Cincinnati, the 22-year-old outfielder is 10-for-21 in his last five Double-A games, a stretch that has pushed his Binghamton slash line up to .325/.404/.529 through 41 games. B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez noted Sunday that this week's break has done wonders for Conforto. The Mets, who sit only two games back in both the NL East and Wild Card races, are looking for some consistency in the outfield, and if they believe Conforto doesn't need any more development time -- and he's increasingly showing he doesn't -- the left-handed slugger could make the jump in his first full season.

Southern League
Kyle Skipworth, Pensacola (CIN)
(.313/.450/1.063, 5 G, 5-for-16, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 9 K)
Skipworth only hits home runs these days. Well, almost. The 25-year-old catcher, playing in his first season in the Reds organization, had four of his five hits last week leave the yard. He's gone deep in six of his last seven games and in seven of his last 10 contests with the Blue Wahoos. Over that 10-game stretch -- during which he's hit seven of his nine homers this season -- his Southern League slugging percentage has jumped from .446 to .581. Only Rochester's Oswaldo Arcia has hit more homers in July with eight.

Texas League
Yeison Asencio, San Antonio (SD)
(.458/.480/.833, 6 G, 11-for-24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K)
Asencio might not have been your go-to pick for this space heading into the week, given that he entered Monday on a 2-for-27 slump. But a two-homer, six-RBI game last Monday against Tulsa turned the tide in a big way, leading to the impressive numbers you see above. Perhaps most impressive has been the 25-year-old outfielder's ability to make consistent contact this season while still being fairly aggressive. Asencio did not strike out in any of his 24 at-bats last week and has been punched out in only 7.7 percent of his plate appearances this season while walking in only 3.6 percent. He owns a .297/.329/.429 line with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 85 games.

California League
Tyler Horan, San Jose (SF)
(.412/.450/1.059, 6 G, 7-for-17, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K)
Horan homered in three straight games from Thursday to Saturday and drove in at least one run in each of his first five games of last week to earn his spot here. A 2013 eighth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, the 24-year-old outfielder has found it difficult to match his 2014 numbers (.879 OPS, 25 homers between San Jose and Class A Augusta) so far this season. He missed a month between April and May with a hamstring injury and has just a .235/.332/.464 line with 10 homers in 49 games on the season. His four homers in 13 games in July, however, are one more than he mashed in 24 games between May and June, so there are signs his swing is returning.

Carolina League
Clint Frazier, Lynchburg (CLE)
(.462/.464/.731, 7 G, 12-for-26, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 SB)
With Bradley Zimmer joining Double-A Akron, Frazier has become the star of the Lynchburg outfield and has relished the role in the past week. The Indians' No. 2 prospect has earned rave reviews for his bat speed since being taken fifth overall back in 2013, but his numbers haven't entirely leaped off the page over his first two full seasons in the Minors, until recently. Frazier, who turns 21 on Sept. 6, has a .346/.442/.513 line with three homers and five steals in 22 games during the second half of the Carolina League season. His slash line for the season stands at .271/.361/.423.

Florida State League
Garrett Cooper, Brevard County (MIL)
(.478/.480/.826, 6 G, 11-for-23, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K)
Cooper's power has been strictly gap-to-gap this season down in the Sunshine State. With a pair of doubles last week, he sits second in the FSL with 26 on the season, one behind Dominic Smith's 27 for St. Lucie. But by homering Monday and Thursday -- and thus doubling his season home run total to four -- the 2013 sixth-rounder showed he's capable of putting them over the fence every now and again, too. The 24-year-old third baseman is hitting .284/.351/.410 in his second full season in the Brewers system.

Midwest League
Jeffrey Baez, South Bend (CHC)
(.538/.538/1.000, 6 G, 14-for-26, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 SB)
There are many reasons why Baez's award-winning week was a surprise. He started last Monday with a .181/.249/.271 line on the season. He had only eight multi-hit performances to his name in 2015. He had homered twice in 58 games. All he did last week was put together six straight mult-hit games that featured three long balls and jumped his line up to .224/.281/.360. His two steals also pushed in the total in that category to 15 through 64 contests in the Midwest League.

South Atlantic League
Aramis Garcia, Augusta (SF)
(.476/.455/.952, 5 G, 10-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
The Giants' No. 14 prospect was a South Atlantic League All-Star last month, but he looks even more like one now. After producing a .220/.333/.405 line with seven homers in the first half, Garcia has a .358/.376/.600 line with six roundtrippers in the second. That's despite playing 26 fewer games in the second half of the Sally League season than in the first. The 22-year-old catcher was thought to be an offensive-minded catcher when the Giants took him in the second round last year, and it looks like he's starting to live up to that potential now.

New York-Penn League
Rhett Wiseman, Auburn (WAS)
(.360/.452/.640, 7 G, 9-for-25, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 9 K, 2 SB)
Wiseman was outshined by first-rounders Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer and Walker Buehler at Vanderbilt but played a pivotal role in its College World Series-winning season in 2014 and its run back to Omaha in 2015. He hit .317/.415/.566 as a junior and tied with Swanson and Zander Wiel for the team lead with 15 homers. The Nationals grabbed the 21-year-old center fielder in the third round and signed him for a $554,100 bonus. Since then, he's continued to hit in the professional ranks, going 11-for-36 (.306) with three homers, a double, nine RBIs and three steals in 10 games with the Doubledays.

Northwest League
Justin Atkinson, Vancouver (TOR)
(.444/.464/.815, 6 G, 12-for-27, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
On Friday, Atkinson clubbed his first Minor League home run since May 17, 2014, with Class A Lansing. He liked the experience so much he went yard again in the same game for his first career multi-homer game. To put that into further perspective, the 21-year-old catcher/first baseman had gone deep just three times in 246 games (887 at-bats) before Friday's slugfest. To cap off his week, the Canada native went 4-for-4 (all singles) with an RBI in the Canadians' 16-5 win over Eugene. Atkinson has a .383/.408/.596 line since moving back to the Northwest League from Class A Lansing, where he had a .212 average and .496 OPS in 30 games.

Appalachian League
Kane Sweeney, Pulaski (NYY)
(.417/.533/1.167, 4 G, 5-for-12, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K)
As a 29th-round pick this year, expectations weren't incredibly high for Sweeney out of the gate in his Yankees career, although he did hit .353 with 15 homers as a senior at Kentucky's Morehead State. It took him some time to settle into professional ball, going 2-for-21 (.095) with 11 strikeouts in his first seven games but that eventually came last week. In 14 games with Pulaski, the left-handed-hitting first baseman has a .273/.373/.568 line with three homers and eight RBIs.

Pioneer League
Zach Fish, Great Falls (CWS)
(.375/.375/1.000, 5 G, 9-for-24, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
A 2014 11th-round pick out of Oklahoma State, this was supposed to be the year Fish began his climb up the Whie Sox ladder. Instead, he's gone the other direction for now after going 9-for-72 with 27 strikeouts in 20 games at Class A Kannapolis to start the season. Still, you can only hit where you're at, and the 22-year-old catcher has certainly done that with a .333/.393/.653 line with six homers and 20 RBIs in 18 games with Great Falls following the demotion.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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