Prospect Hot Sheet: Aug. 20

You may have noticed that the Prospect Hot
Sheet looks a little different this year. The content is the same, but
we’ve partnered with Bowman Baseball to present Hot Sheet. So in
addition to getting the skinny on which prospects are doing the
most to help their stock, you can also get a glimpse at the baseball
cards of some of baseball’s best prospects.

As we
have warned for years now, remember that this is not a re-ranking of
the Top 100 Prospects. This is a snapshot of which top prospects are
excelling and which ones are struggling right now. Stats cover from Aug. 13 through last night, Aug. 19.

Contributing: Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Conor Glassey, John Manuel and Jim Shonerd.

No. 1 ADAM WARREN, RHP

YANKEES

Team: Double-A Trenton (Eastern)

Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 15 SO, 1.0 G/F

The Scoop: Among Eastern League pitchers, only Harrisburg’s Tommy Milone (50) has more strikeouts than does Warren (44) since the latter joined the league on July 16. But Warren is gaining fast. Including his seven-inning, 15-strikeout gem against Bowie on Wednesday, he now has notched a 28-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his past three starts, covering 17 innings.

A fourth-round pick from North Carolina last year, Warren has raised his profile virtually with each start. He helped pitch short-season Staten Island to the New York-Penn League title in his pro debut and then this season made short work of the high Class A Florida State League, going 7-5, 2.22 in 15 starts, recording 67 strikeouts in 81 innings.

While Warren lacks true front-line stuff, it’s more than firm enough to succeed as a mid-rotation starter. He commands both a two-seam and four-seam fastball, pitches that range from 88-93 mph and give him go-to pitches every time out. Warren mixes in a solid-average change and a slider/cutter that he added after signing.

2010
Stats
No. 2 IVAN NOVA, RHP

YANKEES

Team: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)

Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.32, 2 GS, 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 15 SO, 1.6 G/F

The Scoop: Nova has pitched as well as any International Leaguer since the all-star break, going 5-1, 1.96 in six starts for division-leading Scranton. In those 41 innings, he’s fanned 37, walked eight and allowed two home runs. That last number typifies Nova, a groundball pitcher with a firm three-pitch mix. On the season, he ranks second among qualified IL pitchers with his 1.26 groundout-to-flyout ratio. (Who’s No. 1 you ask? It’s 25-year-old Indianapolis righty Mike Crotta at 2.35.) Nova completed two scoreless relief appearances for the Yankees in May, and there may be more of that in his future this September.

2010
Stats
No. 3 JUSTIN WILSON, LHP

PIRATES

Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)

Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 HBP, 11 SO, 2.3 G/F

The Scoop: With names like Wilson, Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens and Danny Moskos, the Altoona roster is littered with interesting names who might contribute to the next competitive Pirates team. A Fresno State product, Wilson has stumbled at times in the second half (3.94 ERA) as he finishes his second full season. But the New Hampshire Fisher Cats sure found him tough to hit last week.

A fifth-rounder in 2008, Wilson signed at the deadline and debuted the following year in high Class A. He’s got size (6-foot-2, 233 pounds), fearlessness and arsenal (lively low-90s heat, big-breaking curve) going for him, and he ranks third in the Eastern League with 112 strikeouts and first among starters with a .216 opponent average.

2010
Stats
No. 4 BLAKE BEAVEN, RHP

MARINERS

Team: Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast)

Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.93, 2 GS, 14 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 11 SO, 2.6 G/F

The Scoop: The forgotten man in the Cliff Lee trade, Beavan’s acquisition was overshadowed by that of Justin Smoak. But it’s Beavan who has been arguably the better performer thus far, particularly of late. He completed a pair of seven-inning starts this week against visiting Round Rock and Albuquerque, keeping the ball on the ground and showing fine command of his average-across-the-board arsenal.

2010
Stats
No. 5 LONNIE CHISENHALL, 3B

INDIANS

Team: Double-A Akron (Eastern)

Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .478/.571/.782 (10-for-21), 1 HR, 3 2B, 11 RBIs, 7 R, 6 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: The Indians’ July trades led to plenty of player movement at the upper levels of the system, but the organization has kept Chisenhall at Akron all year. He’s fashioned three consecutive steady months for the Aeros, with 14 homers in his last 67 games after hitting only one in his first 31 games. He also hasn’t committed an error in nearly two weeks, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he moved up to Triple-A Columbus for the International League playoffs, pushing Jared Goedert to DH or first base.

2010
Stats
No. 6 MATT MOORE, LHP

RAYS

Team: high Class A Charlotte (Florida State)

Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-1, 1.54, 11 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 17 SO

The Scoop: Moore just keeps racking up the strikeouts and is having a historic season in the Florida State League. With 17 more strikeouts this week, Moore’s total now stands at 187. To put that in perspective Twins righthander David Bromberg led the way with 148 in 2009. Working back from there, the leaders: Tigers lefty Duane Below (128); Rays lefty Jake McGee (145); Twins righthander Anthony Swarzak (131); and Yankees righthander Tyler Clippard (169) in 2005. But you actually have to go all the way back to 1992 to find that Yankees lefty Brien Taylor was the last to have as many strikeouts in the FSL as Moore has right now. If he records one more strikeout, he’ll have the most the league has seen since 1971.

2010
Stats
No. 7 TREVOR MAY, RHP

PHILLIES

Team: low Class A Lakewood (South Atlantic)

Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 2-0, 13 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 22 SO

The Scoop: The better question with May is probably, “Why is he still here?” Here would be Lakewood, where May has dominated the last two seasons. His control struggles at high Class A Clearwater (61 walks in 70 innings) prompted his demotion back to the BlueClaws, whom he pushed to a South Atlantic League championship last September. He earned victories in two more dominant starts this week, with double-digit whiffs in both starts, and he didn’t walk a batter for the second time all season in Wednesday’s outing. He now ranks third in the minors in strikeouts with 169 overall in 124 innings, but he’s still tied for the most walks in the minors (with Chorye Spoon) at 79.

2010
Stats
No. 8 PETE KOZMA, SS

CARDINALS

Team: Double-A Springfield (Texas)

Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .464/.500/1.107 (13-for-28), 4 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 10 RBIs, 9 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Kozma’s never been a guy who’s going to wow you with flashy tools, but he’s got a short swing with a good approach at the plate and solid instincts in the field. That’s until his hitting painted a different picture this week. Kozma had the first two-home run game of his career Wednesday night against Corpus Christi, and he’s reeled off an eight-game hitting streak. The Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2007, Kozma’s power surge this week gave him 13 home runs for the year, which matches the total he hit over his first three pro seasons combined.

2010
Stats
No. 9 SHELBY MILLER, RHP

CARDINALS

Team: low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)

Age: 19

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 2.57, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO

The Scoop: On the heels of Kozma we have Miller, St. Louis’ first-rounder from a year ago. The teenage fireballer went through his share of growing pains in the first half of the season, but he’s been nearly unbeatable lately. Ever since the Cardinals gave him a couple weeks off in June to refresh his arm, Miller’s gone 6-2, 2.73 in 52 2/3 innings while moving up to fourth on the Midwest League strikeouts leaderboard with 121 despite the time off. He’s won five of his last six starts and his 11 strikeouts against Burlington on Monday were a career high.

2010
Stats
No. 10 NOLAN ARENADO, 3B

ROCKIES

Team: low Class A Asheville (South Atlantic)

Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .433/.469/.800 (13-for-30), 4 R, 8 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: Arenado made an immediate impression when he first joined Asheville in May, but the 2009 second-round pick scuffled more in mid-June and July. Few SAL hitters have been better than Arenado lately, however. Arenado has shown why he’s one of the circuit’s top hitting prospects, batting .353/.384/.603 this month and riding a current streak of eight straight games with an extra-base hit, including three doubles yesterday.

2010
Stats
No. 11 WIL MYERS, C

ROYALS

Team: high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)

Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .318/.464/.722 (7-for-22), 6 R, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: It’s hard to find much to complain about when it comes to Myers’ season, but if you were nitpicking, you could have pointed out that Myers had no home runs since his promotion to Wilmington in early July. Well, that’s gone out the window now that Myers has hit three home runs in the past five games. But what’s more impressive is that Myers has 26 walks and 25 strikeouts since his promotion—his swing and batting eye is something else.

2010
Stats
No. 12 MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B

ROYALS

Team: Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)

Age: 21

Why He’s
Here:
.355/.394/.613 (11-for-31), 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 K, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Now that’s he been removed from the Coors Field-esque conditions of Northwest Arkansas’ Avrest Field, Moustakas’ statistics have come back to Earth. Take away his stats at Avrest Field and Moustakas is a .250/.301/.438 hitter this year. But the slugger has shown steady improvement after a slow start in Triple-A and this week is his best since the promotion—he’s working on a nine-game hitting streak. Moustakas’ ability to put the bat on the ball is noteworthy. He’s only walked 30 times this year, but he’s also only struck out 58 times in more than 400 at-bats.

2010
Stats
No. 13 DUSTIN ACKLEY, 2B

MARINERS

Team:  Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast League)

Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .343/.361/.543 (12-for-35), 6 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Ackley’s first month as a pro was a disaster. He couldn’t get his average above the Mendoza Line and he was struggling with the adjustment to second base. Now with the benefit of some time and perspective, we can see that it was just a minor pothole in Ackley’s career. Since that awful April, Ackley is hitting .310/.376/.438. In other words, since May 1, he’s been exactly the kind of hitter everyone expected him to be when he was considered the best college hitter in the 2009 draft.

2010
Stats

IN THE TEAM PHOTO

While Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon doesn’t stand out in any regard, he can do a little bit of everything and put together a nice week for Double-A Tulso, going 15-for-26 with four doubles and a triple. On the season, he is hitting .303/.369/.487 . . . A senior sign out of San Diego, Athletics RHP Matt Thomson blew threw the short-season Northwest League and earned a promotion to high Class A Stockton this week. Thomson’s not overpowering, but the 22-year-old found a way to strike out 20 hitters in 10 innings this week combining his last start in the NWL and his first at Stockton. He allowed only one run on three hits and four walks along the way . . . Making the transition from college to pro ball hasn’t posed any problems for Padres 3B Jedd Gyorko so far. A second-round pick in this year’s draft, the 21-year-old has already reached low Class A Fort Wayne, where he hit .409/.480/.818 (9-for-22) with two homers and three doubles this week . . . With the caveat that he’s spent the entire season in High Desert, the high Class A equivalent of late-’90s Coors Field, 1B Rich Poythress (Mariners) has had a loud year, batting .311/.372/.576 with 29 homers and 113 RBIs in 113 games. Sure, three of his four homers this week came at home, but of his seven extra-base hits (including three doubles), three were struck on the road. He went 10-for-24 (.417) with 11 RBIs. The 23-year-old Poythress hits for a much higher average at home (like any High Desert Maverick), but his power output on the road is virtually identical to his home production . . . Grade out his tools and you’ll find few better all-around specimens in the minors than CF D’Vontrey Richardson, a Brewers fifth-round pick last year from Florida State, where he starred in football. On the whole, it’s been a trying season for the 22-year-old Richardson, who is batting .231/.319/.333 with 147 strikeouts in 459 at-bats for low Class A Wisconsin. But this past week, he showed flashes of what he’s capable of now that he can concentrate on baseball full time. Richardson went 8-for-15 (.444) with a homer, two doubles, two triples (.944 slugging) and a six-to-four walk-to-strikeout ratio (.600 OBP). The Brewers would like to see many more weeks like this to justify their $400,000 investment—but now we know it’s in there . . . Braves RHP Brandon Beachy has gone from a relative unknown to one of the Braves’ best pitching prospects in an organization rich with arms. Triple-A hasn’t slowed down the 23-year-old, who in his last two starts has a 13-0 K-BB mark with three runs allowed in 11 innings . . . Padres OF Jaff Decker got off to a slow start for high Class A Lake Elsinore, but the 20-year-old lefthanded hitter has brought his numbers up to .262/.374/.500 through 79 games. This week certainly helped, as Decker went 8-for-17 with four home runs, giving him 17 on the season.

NOT-SO HOT
SHEET

Jon Gilmore, 3b, White Sox: Perhaps Gilmore has run out of steam. He’s hitting just .224/.250/.241 in August and hasn’t homered since June 25. His struggles worsened last week, when he was just 2-for-23 and both were singles. More nettlesome, the big picture for Gilmore, 21, isn’t adding up. He’s hit .321 this season, but it’s fairly empty with a 27/72 walk/strikeout ratio and just 28 extra-base hits. His .355 OBP and .402 slugging marks are greatly enhanced at home (.357/.391/.446 vs. .286/.318/.359), and he’s committed 35 errors while also grounding into 18 double plays. He’s a .321 hitter, but the rest of the numbers don’t scream “prospect.”

John Lamb, lhp, Royals: The lefty who could do no wrong in Wilmington has found the Texas League much less hospitable. Lamb, 20, went 0-0, 12.86 with 13 hits, six walks and 10 runs allowed in seven innings this week. He’s now given up 15 earned runs in four Double-A starts after giving up 19 earned runs in his first 21 starts. Lamb’s stuff is still plus, but it looks like he’s hit a wall. It’s not a long-term worry, but the minors ERA crown now looks out of his reach.

Alex Liddi, 3b, Mariners. Liddi is showing the signs of wearing down after a long, hot Double-A Southern League summer. Over the last week, Liddi, 22, went just 5-for-27. He did hit a double and a home run, but he also struck out 16 times over 27 trips to the plate. In the month of August, Liddi is hitting .177/.292/.306.

Kelvin de la Cruz, lhp, Indians: A month into the season, things were looking good for de la Cruz. After a strained ligament in his left elbow wiped out nearly his entire 2009 season, de la Cruz breezed through the first month of the season with high Class A Carolina before getting the bump to Double-A Akron. Since then, the wheels have fallen off. De la Cruz’s ERA with the Aeros floats at 5.99 in 88 2/3 innings with 62 walks. This week didn’t help his cause, as he’s allowed a combined 13 runs over eight innings in his last two starts.

MAN AMONG BOYS

Amaury Cazana-Marti, lf, Cardinals: Cazana-Marti, 35, qualified for this category the minute he was drafted. The former Cuban defector was 31 when St. Louis selected him in the 18th round of the 2006 draft. There is no fast track for a 31-year-old—you’re either already in the majors or you’re so far behind schedule as to make it nearly impossible to catch up—so Cazana-Marti has had a rather vagabond minor league career. He’s spent much of three seasons in the Mexican League (his family now lives there) and spent some more time there this year. But since returning to Triple-A Memphis, he’s proven to be one of the Redbirds’ best hitters. This week Cazana hit .552/.618/1.034 (16-for-29) with four home runs and 12 RBIs.

BLAST FROM THE
PAST

Marlins LHP Andrew Miller is lost. The 2006 first-round pick is 2-9, 5.35 overall in 21 starts; ranks sixth in the minors with 76 walks in just 101 innings; and is getting hammered by Double-A hitters, with an 0-3, 8.84 mark with Jacksonville this month. Whatever changes the Tigers and now the Marlins have made to Miller, 25, haven’t worked; scouting reports indicate he has enough velocity, at times sitting in the low 90s but at others in the upper 80s, and his slider has gone backwards. His delivery is out of whack, leading to command problems. Miller was a long-toss beast in college who threw across his body but also threw quality strikes, touched 98 mph and had a killer slider. That sounds like a better package than what is now pitching at Jacksonville.

HELIUM
WATCH

Ronald Torreyes, 2b, Reds: The Reds have had a handful of intriguing Latin American players on their Rookie-level Arizona League club. Lefthander Ismael Guillon and shortstop Junior Arias, both of whom we wrote about two years ago when they were July 2 prospects, have posted fine numbers in the AZL, although righthander Jonathan Correa (now in the Pioneer League) might be better than both of them, with a fastball up to 93 mph and an advanced feel for pitching. Yet the player on the club who is the most fun to watch might be Torreyes, a 17-year-old out of Venezuela. Generously listed at 5-foot-10, Torreyes isn’t the toolsiest guy, but he runs well and has remarkable feel for hitting. Torreyes hit .390/.468/.606 in 284 plate appearances with 11 strikeouts (no, not a typo) in the Venezuelan Summer League before the Reds brought him to Arizona a couple of weeks ago. He hasn’t slowed down, hitting .372/.426/.558 with three strikeouts in 47 PAs, leaving AZL observers with some puzzled looks on their faces after showing them surprising power for a player his size. Torreyes, who was a teammate with Guillon two years ago on Venezuela’s 16U youth national team that competed against players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, has played exclusively at second base since coming to the U.S., but he can also fill in at shortstop, third base or in the outfield.

Minors | #2010 #Prospect Hot Sheet

Add a Comment

comments powered by Disqus