Brad Eldred, Toledo
(.400/.486/.933, 7 G, 12-for-30, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 10 R, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 SB)
After two seasons in the Pacific Coast League, the veteran Eldred has returned to the IL in a big way
. Thanks to his enormous week, he leads the Minor Leagues with eight home runs and 25 RBIs and has at least one hit in each of his 17 games this season. He went deep twice
and drove in five runs to help the Mud Hens outlast Louisville, 13-9, on Wednesday. The 31-year-old designated hitter also owns an eight-game RBI streak and has scored in seven of his last eight contests.
Eldred hits his second homer of the game
Pacific Coast League
Alex Castellanos, Albuquerque
(.440/.545/1.120, 6 G, 11-for-25, 1 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 4 K, 3 SB)
Returning to second base seems to be agreeing with Castellanos, the Dodgers' No. 13 prospect. The 25-year-old, whom the Dodgers acquired from St. Louis for Rafael Furcal last July, had four multi-hit games this week and missed the cycle by a single in a three-hit effort Tuesday. After going 6-for-9 with a pair of homers at Oklahoma City over the weekend, Castellanos leads the PCL in extra-base hits and runs scored after his first 17 Triple-A games.
Castellanos delivers an RBI triple
Castellanos crushes three-run blast against Iowa
Josh Rodriguez, Binghamton
(.500/.581/.808, 7 G, 13-for-26, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 3 K, 2 SB)
Rodriguez is off to a hot start in the Mets organization after spending parts of six seasons with Cleveland and a short stint with the Pirates that saw him play in seven Major League games last year. The 27-year-old infielder has reached base in 12 straight games and had four multi-hit games this week, capped by a 9-for-12 stretch over the weekend as the B-Mets completed a four-game sweep of visiting Portland. With four stolen bases in 14 games, he has already matched his total in 81 Minor League contests last year.
Scooter Gennett, Huntsville
(.448/.433/.828, 7 G, 13-for-29, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 0 BB 4 K, 2 SB)
It's no surprise that the 21-year-old Gennett is raking -- he's a career .307 hitter who hit for the cycle in Spring Training. The Brewers' No. 6 prospect was especially hot this week, going 3-for-4 with a pair of longballs on Monday, then adding three more hits on both Wednesday and Thursday. Gennett has gone hitless in just three of his 18 games this season and is one shy of the Southern League lead with 11 runs scored.
MiLB.com chats with Gennett
Brandon Barnes, Corpus Christi
(.391/.417/.870, 6 G, 9-for-23, 5 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 CS)
Now in his eighth season in the Astros organization, the 25-year-old Barnes is off to a remarkable start for anyone, let alone a hitter with a career .255/.315/.440 line in 645 Minor League games. He leads the Texas League in hitting (.417), hits (25) and runs (15) while only Tulsa's Nolan Arenado has even half of his 13 doubles (in 15 games). After a relatively slow start to the week, Barnes went 7-for-12 with two homers, three doubles, five RBIs and five runs scored over the weekend as Corpus Christi snapped a four-game skid with three straight wins over visiting Frisco. The hitting spree earned Barnes his second consecutive Player of the Week award.
Barnes hits two-run shot for Hooks
A.J. Kirby-Jones, Stockton
(.375/.483/.875, 7 G, 9-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K)
Though the rest of Kirby-Jones' week was solid, it was overshadowed by his performance against Lake Elsinore on Wednesday. The 23-year-old first baseman became the first Minor Leaguer this year to hit three home runs in a game, and he also drove in five runs as the Ports blanked the Storm, 8-0. Kirby-Jones closed out the week with four hits in six at-bats at Modesto over the weekend and leads the California League with a .484 on-base percentage. He ranks third in batting and fourth in slugging.
Ronnie Welty, Frederick
(.611/.632/1.111, 4 G, 11-for-18, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
After batting just .228 in 122 Double-A games last year, Welty found himself back in the Carolina League to start the 2012 campaign. Not for long, however, as his award-winning performance persuaded the Orioles to promote him to Double-A Bowie today. The Frederick outfielder posted a pair of four-hit games in the Keys' rain-shortened four-game week, capped by a five-RBI performance at Lynchburg on Friday that saw him triple and double twice. Welty ranks second in the league in batting (.415) and RBIs (17) and is tied for the circuit lead with seven doubles in 11 games.
Florida State League
Christian Yelich, Jupiter
(.500/.615/1.100, 6 G, 10-for-20, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
Yelich, the Marlins' top prospect, missed the end of Spring Training and the first week of the season with a bruised right elbow. He's shown no signs of rust since joining the Hammerheads on April 15, going 12-for-24 with two homers, two triples, two doubles, seven walks and nine runs scored in seven games. The 20-year-old outfielder has collected multiple hits in five of his seven outings and completed a variance on the cycle on Saturday, delivering a single, double, triple and solo homer in seven at-bats as Jupiter split a doubleheader against visiting Charlotte.
No. 35 prospect: Christian Yelich
Ender Inciarte, South Bend
(.550/.640/.950, 6 G, 11-for-20, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 5 R, 5 BB, 3 K, 2 SB)
Inciarte emerged from a five-game, 1-for-19 slump with a pair of hits Wednesday and has not let up yet, finishing the week with 11 hits -- seven of them for extra bases -- in 17 at-bats over five games. The 21-year-old outfielder went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three runs in the Silver Hawks' 12-10 win over Beloit on Thursday. It was Inciarte's second career four-hit game and first since Aug. 23, 2008, when he went 4-for-4 in the final game of his Dominican Summer League season.
South Atlantic League
Kyle Kubitza, Rome
(.440/.517/.920, 6 G, 11-for-25, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 SB, 1 CS)
Kubitza hit .321/.407/.475 in the Appalachian League last summer and this spring has picked up right where he left off -- while adding some power. The Texas State product has already collected four longballs and three triples in 15 games this season; he had just one homer and three three-baggers in 44 games with Danville last year. Kubitza opened the week with a three-hit, four-RBI performance against Savannah on Monday that saw him fall a double shy of the cycle. The 21-year-old added four hits -- three of them doubles -- at Asheville on Thursday, and blasted a solo shot on Sunday to give him a share of the Sally League home run lead.