This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from May 19-25. Number in parentheses indicates players’ ages.
Remember, this feature simply recognizes what the hottest prospects in the minors did in the past week—it’s not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.
1. Scott Kingery, 2b, Phillies (23)
Among the best hitters in the Phillies’ system, Kingery has exceeded expectations through the first seven weeks of the season. He clubbed five home runs this week, enough to lead the minor leagues with 14. What’s more, his longballs are split nearly evenly among road stadiums and Reading’s cozy home park. His home run total is not only the most in the minor leagues, but is one shy of Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge for the most in all of baseball, too.
2. Domingo Acevedo, rhp, Yankees (23)
After dominating in high Class A, Acevedo turned it up a notch in his first two turns at Double-A. The massive 6-foot-7, 240 pound righthander spun 13.2 shutout innings with 14 punchouts against just two walks. Acevedo has come into his own with his three-pitch mix of mid-90s fastball, above-average changeup and developing slider.
3. Jake Bauers, of, Rays (21)
Bauers has struggled some this season, but that’s perfectly acceptable for a 21-year-old in Triple-A. Simply being at that level implies a lofty pedigree. Bauers went off this week, with two doubles and a home run over the course of eight hits in 15 at-bats. He’s young, athletic and in Triple-A, which is a pretty darn good combination.
4. Gio Brusa, of, Giants (23)
San Jose (California)
A sixth-rounder last year out of Pacific, Brusa started slowly in the high Class A California League but turned it on this week. He clubbed four home runs in seven games, good for half of his season total. Brusa has come as advertised as a powerful switch-hitter with considerable swing-and-miss to his game. He ranks among the Cal League leaders in both home runs and strikeouts.
5. T.J. Friedl, of, Reds (21)
After slipping through the cracks in last year’s draft and signing with the Reds as an undrafted free agent, Friedl has thrived in low Class A Dayton with a .295/.383/.512 mark to open the year. After hitting one home run all season, the Nevada alum hit three in his last two games.
6. Michael Chavis, 3b, Red Sox (21)
Chavis’ development has been a slow burn, but he’s starting to make good on his considerable potential this year with high Class A Salem. Still just 21 years old, the 2014 first-rounder has slugged .705 this month, which is actually down from his .727 mark in April. He leads the Carolina League in all three triple-slash categories.
7. Lucas Giolito, rhp, White Sox (22)
After a rocky season, Giolito found his groove on Thursday night in Charlotte during the course of a seven-inning no-hitter against Syracuse. One of three pitchers sent over from Washington to Chicago in the Adam Eaton deal, Giolito struck out three and walked three during his gem and lowered his season ERA to 5.44.
8. Jordan Humphreys, rhp, Mets (20)
Columbia (South Atlantic)
Amid all the hoopla surrounding Tim Tebow, Humphreys has flown far under the radar. The 2015 18th-rounder continued his dominant season with 10 strikeouts over seven four-hit innings. It was his second double-digit strikeout start of the season and his fifth with nine or more. He has struck out 65 in 51.2 innings while allowing just 29 hits.
9. Mike Soroka, rhp, Braves (19)
The beat goes on for the Canadian righthander who has dazzled in Double-A after skipping over high Class A. Soroka punched out 10 over 5.2 innings and has shown no struggles in the upper minors as a teenager. He’s punched out 51 in 48.2 innings, tied for sixth in the Southern League.
10. Austin Hays, of, Orioles (21)
Baltimore’s third-rounder from a year ago hit well in his first taste of pro ball and has continued to do so this year. The 21-year-old hit two home runs this week and ranks among the top five in batting average and slugging percentage in the Carolina League. His eight home runs this season put him in a tie with a bevy of prospects for third in the league.
11. Victor Robles, of, Nationals (20)
Robles is one of the most tooled-up players in the minors, and he continued to show off this week with a two triples and two homer nestled among a week in which he hit .360. He’s got standout skills on both sides of the ball, and has done nothing to remove himself from the discussion of the best prospects in the game.
12. Jose Miguel Fernandez, 2b, Dodgers (29)
Another in the Dodgers’ flotilla of Cubans, Fernandez has adjusted quite well to the minor leagues. Yes, he’s 29 years old, but he’s quickly showing the feel to hit and the contact skills he was lauded for before he left the island. In 138 at-bats with Double-A Tulsa, Fernandez has struck out just 15 times.
13. Beau Burrows, rhp, Tigers (20)
Lakeland (Florida State)
After facing questions about his low strikeout rate last season, Burrows has upped his game. He entered his most recent start with more than nine punchouts per nine innings, and whiffed 11 this week over two outings (with one abbreviated due to rain). The Tigers’ 2015 first-rounder has allowed two or fewer earned runs in every start this season.
14. Corbin Burnes, rhp, Brewers (23)
Burnes continued his standout season with seven more scoreless innings in his most recent start. He fanned 10, and now sports an even 50 punchouts in 54.1 innings this year. He has worked primarily with a low-90s fastball and a pair of breaking balls this season, and has limited the opposition to 35 hits all year—including only one home run. He has allowed more than one earned run only once in nine starts.
15. Kyle Funkhouser, rhp, Tigers (23)
Lakeland (Florida State)
After whiffing 14 hitters per nine in low Class A West Michigan, Funkhouser moved up to the Florida State League and didn’t miss a beat. The burly righthander whiffed 10 over 7.2 innings in his debut and now has 59 strikeouts over 39 innings this season.
16. Jose Adolis Garcia, of, Cardinals (24)
Adonis Garcia’s younger brother signed with the Cardinals early in spring training and hasn’t missed a beat with Double-A Springfield. The 24-year-old hit .417 with a pair of home runs this week and has done a little bit of everything over the course of his first season in the U.S.
17. Tomas Nido, c, Mets (23)
After asserting himself with a strong season last year at high Class A St. Lucie, Nido has continued to show offensive skills at a premium position. He hit an even. 500 this week with a pair of doubles and a home run. After a tepid April, Nido is hitting .344/.397/.544 in May and is quietly placing himself among the best offensive catchers in the minors.
18. Cionel Perez, lhp, Astros (21)
Quad Cities (Midwest)
Signed to a $2 million bonus this offseason, Perez has opened his pro career with an uneven season. This week, however, Perez showed what he’s capable of at his peak. The lefthander whiffed 10, notching the first double-digit strikeout game of his career, to bounce back from a four-inning outing his previous start.
19. Mickey Moniak, of, Phillies (19)
Lakewood (South Atlantic)
The No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft has had a steady if unspectacular beginning to his first full pro season with low Class A Lakewood. He started to heat up this week with a pair of triples and his first home run of the season. During the week when he put together a 1.283 OPS.
20. Bo Bichette, 2b, Blue Jays (19)
Part of Lansing’s terrific teenage twosome with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bichette continued raking this week. Dante’s son hit .360 with four doubles and is among the top three in the Midwest League in all three triple-slash categories.
Bryan Mata, rhp, Red Sox: Signed for $25,000 out of Venezuela last year, Mata pitched well in the Dominican Summer League and ranked as a Top 20 DSL prospect. Now, the Red Sox are hitting the accelerator on Mata’s path, skipping him over the short-season leagues with a promotion this week to low Class A Greenville. Still 18, Mata has a projectable 6-foot-3 frame, throws strikes with a low-90s fastball and shows feel for a curveball and changeup to stick as a starter.