Prospect Hot Sheet (April 8): New Season Dawns

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet, the first of 2016, looks at what minor leaguers did at spring training. Remember, this feature simply recognizes what the hottest prospects in the minors did in spring training—it's not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.

Contributing: J.J. Cooper, Josh Norris and Vince Lara-Cinisomo


1. Christian Arroyo, ss, Giants
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Team: Double-A Richmond (Eastern)
Age: 20
Spring Training Stats: .556/.619/.944 (10-for-18), 6 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

Why He's Here: Arroyo had an excellent spring training, but the bad news is that it doesn't really offer any clarity as to where he will play for the Giants down the road. He's a versatile leatherman of an infielder who could fit at second or third base or maybe even shortstop, but those positions are all filled for the foreseeable future in San Francisco.


2. Marco Hernandez, ss/2b, Red Sox
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Team: Triple-A Pawtucket (International)
Age: 23
Spring Training Stats: .579/.619/.895 (11-for-19), 6 R, 6 2B, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-2 SB

Why He's Here: Hernandez will team with fellow prospect Deven Marrero at Pawtucket, but considering that Hernandez was seemingly on a slow track to a utility infielder job before his trade to the Red Sox (for Felix Doubront), this jump to significant spring training relevance is a well-earned reward after a breakout 2015 season.


3. Josh Hader, lhp, Brewers
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Team: Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: 0-0, 1.29, 1 GS, 3 G, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO

Why He's Here: It's going to be a rough season in Milwaukee during the club’s full rebuild. So Brewers prospect-watchers should pay close attention to young pitchers such as Hader, Jorge Lopez, Cody Ponce, Kodi Medeiros, Devin Williams and others who populate virtually every minor league roster. With his mid-90s fastball and funky delivery, Hader should be one of the first to arrive and make life brutal for lefthanded hitters.


4. Cody Bellinger, 1b, Dodgers
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Team: Double-A Tulsa (Southern)
Age: 20
Spring Training Stats: .393/.541/.679 (11-for-28), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 9 BB, 6 SO

Why He's Here: After swatting just four home runs in first 98 minor league at-bats, Bellinger crushed 30 last season at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga and firmly established himself as one of the stars of the loaded Dodgers system. He got an extended look in spring training this year and impressed, with a pair of home runs and a .541 on-base percentage.


5. Ozzie Albies, ss, Braves
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Team: Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
Age: 19.
Spring Training Stats: .371/.421/.486 (13-for-35), 8 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 7 SO, 2-for-3 SB

Why He's Here: Even though the Braves have the No. 1 pick from last year's draft playing shortstop at high Class A Carolina, they have not conceded that Dansby Swanson is assured to be the shortstop of the future. That’s how good Albies has been. Swanson is the more traditional candidate because he's bigger, but don't rule Albies, for he has outstanding range, feel and hands.


6. Mallex Smith, of, Braves
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Team: Triple-A Gwinnett (International)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: .346/.393/.808 (9-for-26), 8 R, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 2-for-2 SB

Why He's Here: Smith's Atlanta ETA keeps getting closer. The Braves jettisoned Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher at the end of spring training, choosing to eat the remaining money on their contracts rather than carry either of the veterans. With both gone, the Braves are carrying Jeff Francoeur and Drew Stubbs as backups. Atlanta expects Smith to be the team's leadoff hitter in the new ballpark next year, but he'll probably arrive before then.


7. Cody Reed, lhp, Reds
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Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: 1-2, 2.87, 16 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 16 SO

Why He's Here: The Reds used a ton of rookie pitchers last year. The Reds are probably going to give rookie pitchers a ton of time this year, and they already summoned righthander Robert Stephenson, the team's No. 1 prospect. When the team goes looking for new blood again, Reed will likely be considered. Acquired from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto deal last year, Reed dominated the Southern League for a half-season, and used his fastball-slider-changeup mix to impress again in the Cactus League.


8. Colin Moran, 3b, Astros
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Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Spring Training Stats: .349/.417/.628 (15-for-43), 10 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0-for-1 SB

Why He's Here: The sixth overall pick by the Marlins in 2013, Moran has flourished with his new organization. Yet he still is in danger of being overshadowed by lower-pedigree players such as Tyler White and Matt Duffy, both of whom made the big league roster. While all three are pedestrian in the field, all three can hit, and Moran showed some of the power the Astros believe he still has in the tank.


9. Joey Gallo, 3b/of, Rangers
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Team: Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: .286/.429/.607 (8-for-28), 8 R, 0 2B, 0 HR, 7 RBIs, 6 BB, 9 SO

Why He's Here: The minors' most prodigious slugger of recent vintage (127 home runs through his age-21 season), Gallo added six more bombs in the majors last year, including one off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. He smashed two more this spring with the big club, including one that hit a parked car and another that got under the skin of the Brewers’ Matt Garza. He's back at Triple-A for now, but if Gallo improves his contact rate, it might not be long before he's back mashing in Arlington.


10. Matt Chapman, 3b, Athletics
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Team: Double-A Midland (Texas)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: .295/.360/.750 (13-for-44), 8 R, 2 2B, 6 HR, 14 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO

Why He's Here: Since the trades of Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays and Brett Lawrie to the White Sox, the Athletics have been left without a long-term solution at third base. With that in mind, Chapman got a very long look this year in the Cactus League. All he did was finish tied second in the league in home runs, behind only Robinson Cano. He's got profile corner-infield power, though he could stand to improve his plate discipline. He's also got range at third base and a rail-gun of an arm.


11. James Hoyt, rhp, Astros
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Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 29
Spring Training Stats: 1-0, 3.97, 11.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 21 SO

Why He's Here: At 29, Hoyt is old for a prospect, but he's had a pretty circuitous route to the cusp of the majors. He spent time in the independent leagues and Mexico before signing with the Braves. A trade later, he will be able to help the Astros' bullpen at some point in 2016 with a fastball, slider and splitter.


12. Blake Trahan, ss, Reds
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Team: high Class A Daytona (Florida State)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: .429/.409/.571 (9-for-21), 3 R, 3 2B, 4 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-2 SB

Why He's Here: There would have been no shame if big league spring training was too much for Trahan, a 2015 third-rounder from Louisiana-Lafayette. Instead, he thrived, showing the steadiness that made him a college star.


13. Sam Coonrod, rhp, Giants
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Team: high Class A San Jose (California)
Age: 23
Spring Training Stats: 0-0, 0.00, 2 G, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO

Why He's Here: Coonrod spent all of last season in low Class A Augusta, so it's not surprising that he was used only briefly in big league camp by the Giants, but it was a very impressive look. Coonrod has improved his control steadily in pro ball. Some scouts still believe he'll end up moving to the bullpen, but he heads to San Jose with another chance to show he can start.


14. Lewis Brinson, of, Rangers
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Team: Double-A Frisco (Texas)
Age: 21
Spring Training Stats: .364/.391/.545 (8-for-22), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO

Why He's Here: After a breakout 2015 campaign that saw him climb all the way to a Triple-A cameo, Brinson is back at Double-A to complete his work. Brinson has the potential to be a plus defender in center field with plenty of offense as well. He's got power and last season showed signs of sharpening his plate discipline.


15. Manuel Margot, of, Padres
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Team: Triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast League)
Age: 21.
Spring Training Stats: .318/.348/.545 (7-for-22), 7 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

Why He's Here: You always want to make a good first impression. Dress up for your first day of work. Spend a little extra time getting ready for a first date. Oh, and spray line drives everywhere in your first spring training with a new club. Margot did exactly that, showing the Padres that he's not too far away from trying to help a lineup that could use a lot of help.


16. Raimel Tapia, of, Rockies
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Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 22
Spring Training Stats: .389/.405/.528 (14-for-36), 9 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO, 1-for-1 SB

Why He's Here: The Rockies' No. 10 prospect was the first batter in the Yard Goats history. The lithe Tapia has lightning in the bat and uncoils out of a deep crouch that unleashes his lasers around the field. He's an electric player and seems to have found a place in the outfield, where he'll be be average but be able to run to balls others might not get.


17. Jamie Schultz, rhp, Rays
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Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 24.
Spring Training Stats: 0-0, 0.00, 8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 SO

Why He's Here: Schultz has one of the best arms in the Rays system, which he showed again this spring. It’s all about how well he’s locating his fastball. Schultz has an extremely fast arm, so if he can even show fringe-average control, he should have a future as at least a useful reliever.


18. Steven Moya, of, Tigers
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Team: Triple-A Toledo (Internationa)
Age: 24
Spring Training Stats: .367/.378/.800 (11-for-30) 7 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO

Why He's Here: After the signing of Justin Upton, Moya really had no shot at making the Opening Day roster, but he definitely gave the Tigers pause, slamming four homers in just 30 at-bats. Moya has trouble with premium velocity and at 6-foot-7 has an enormous strike zone that he has problems controlling. His power is still intriguing, but a team has to be willing to live with 170 strikeouts a season for the possibility of 25 homers.


19. Mac Williamson, of, Giants
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Team: Triple-A Sacramento (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25.
Spring Training Stats: .298/.388/.614 (17-for-57), 13 R, 3 2B, 5 HR, 14 RBIs, 6 BB, 17 SO

Why He's Here: As was mentioned with Arroyo, the Giants have a lot of upper-level prospects who are going to be spending more time in the minors. Williamson spent the second half of last year in Triple-A and got a late-season big league callup, but there's no room for him in San Francisco right now.


20. Christian Walker, of/1b, Orioles
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Team: Triple-A Norfolk (International)
Age: 25.
Spring Training Stats: .227/.245/.636 (10-for-44), 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBIs, 2 BB, 11 SO

Why He's Here: Walker's path to the big leagues got a lot tougher this offseason. With Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez ahead of him, first base/DH is blocked. So the Orioles are going to give Walker work in left field to try to add versatility. He has sacrificed some of his hitting ability to gain more power.

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