Prospect Roundup: Games of June 12

Rockies' Welker collects four hits; Royals' Lee keeps power going

Colton Welker has collected 24 extra-base hits in 55 games for Class A Asheville. (Tracy Proffitt/

By Sam Dykstra / | June 13, 2017 1:00 PM

Rockies 3B Colton Welker, Class A Asheville: 4-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB --  Both Triple-A circuits and the Eastern League were off Monday as much of the Minor League Baseball world turned its attention to the 2017 Draft, and as a result, this Roundup is all Class A. Welker, however, would've earned a spot regardless. In most organizations that don't feature Brendan Rodgers, Welker would have a case as the system's "player of the first half" with a .368/.410/.545 line, six homers, one triple and 17 doubles in 55 games. The Rockies' No. 11 prospect holds the South Atlantic League lead in batting average by 24 points and ranks second with a .955 OPS. Like Rodgers, Welker has some serious differences in his splits, though his .324/.362/.463 line over 28 games is impressive. A fourth-round pick in 2016, the 19-year-old third baseman has drawn his best grades on defense but is showing a bat that might already be ahead of the curve for his age.

Rockies RHP Antonio Santos, Class A Asheville: 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 8 K, 98 pitches, 75 strikes -- Staying with the same game, the Rockies' No. 27 prospect enjoyed his second scoreless start of the season. It couldn't have come at a better time for Santos, who had a 8.54 ERA over his last six starts. One thing the 20-year-old right-hander can do is find the zone with regularity -- his 4.4 percent career walk rate speaks to that. But he's one of those pitchers who can throw too many strikes, looking at his .295 average-against this season. There was good news on that front Monday as his eight strikeouts accounted for his second-highest total through 12 starts. The Rockies should hope he unlocked something that will help him limit hard contact going forward.

Padres 3B Hudson Potts, Class A Fort Wayne: 3-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, K -- For all the talent in the Padres system, many may have forgotten that Potts was one of their three first-round picks in 2016 -- along with Cal Quantrill and Eric Lauer. It's been a rough first full season for the 18-year-old third baseman, who's hitting .227/.263/.338 with 74 strikeouts and only seven walks in 228 plate appearances. But Monday brought good news in the form of his first multi-hit game in 10 days and his fourth homer of the season. There's also optimism in the fact that Potts was one of the youngest players taken in that Draft and won't turn 19 until Oct. 28. The Padres knew he was a long-term investment, and they won't lose faith in a player who's shown a good ability to hit in the past. A strong second half would do plenty to salvage 2017 for the Texas native -- if he can continue to make adjustments and handle the workload.

Royals OF Khalil Lee, Class A Lexington: 3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, R, K -- The Royals didn't take Lee in the third round out of a Virginia high school last season for his power, but he's done plenty to flex that tool of late in the Sally League. Monday's homer in an 11-6 win over Hickory was his 11th in 54 games on the season. Of those 11, five have come over nine games in June. Lee's .207 isolated slugging percentage is a team-best and ranks 10th out of 93 qualified South Atlantic League batters. It's an interesting development for a player listed at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds -- one worth keeping tabs on as the 18-year-old gets deeper into his first full season. Though the power jump is promising, Lee will have to work to make more contact as his 33.9 percent strikeout rate is a bit worrisome.

Mariners 3B Joe Rizzo, Class A Clinton: 2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB -- Deuces were wild for Seattle's No. 7 prospect. Rizzo loves to take a walk -- his 16.6 percent walk rate ranks second in the Midwest League -- and Monday marked the 10th time in 43 games that he's taken two free passes in a single contest. His double was his first extra-base hit of June and just his 10th in 193 plate appearances. As impressive as Rizzo's .399 OBP has been this season, it comes with just a .350 slugging percentage. The 19-year-old has the potential to be an above-average hitter, which his 121 wRC+ speaks to, but the M's would like to see him add a few more extra bases as the season progresses.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for 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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