Remember, this is not a rewrite of our
prospects list. This is simply a snapshot of which prospects
are currently riding the biggest hot streaks.
|1. Evan Longoria, 3b, Devil Rays (Double-A Montgomery)
|Considered a safe pick coming into the draft, the Long Beach State product has exceeded the wildest expectations as a pro thus far. Longoria is already at his third level, and none has proved challenging. In his last five games he is 10-for-21 with three homers and is hitting .356/.410/.700 with 16 homers in 180 at-bats between the three levels, after hitting just 13 (and slugging .602) for Long Beach State.|
|2. Will Inman, rhp, Brewers (Low Class A West Virginia)|
|The South Atlantic League is loaded with premium pitching prospects, but none has been as consistently dominant as Inman this season. In two starts last week he fanned 20 and walked three over 14 innings of work and allowed only one run. He is now 9-1, 1.48 in 85 innings and has still not allowed a home run.|
|3. Homer Bailey, rhp, Reds (Double-A Chattanooga)|
|Bailey did not allow an earned run in two starts last week and in nine Double-A starts, has not allowed an earned run in six of them. He is now 5-0, 1.03 for the Lookouts and seems to be getting better as the season progresses.|
|4. Travis Snider, of, Blue Jays (Rookie-level Pulaski)|
|Snider hit .483 last week with two runs and is now hitting .335/.410/.585 with 10 homers. He leads the league in homers and RBIs (38) and is third in hitting. The Appy League triple crown is now a distinct possibility . . . that would be pretty sweet.|
|5. Alex Gordon, 3b, Royals (Double-A Wichita)|
|Gordon’™s last two months are enough to get Royals fans really excited. Since July 1, he is hitting .358 with 14 homers and has pushed his OPS over 1.000. His overall line is a cool .320/.420/.581.|
|6. Adam Miller, rhp, Indians (Double-A Akron)|
|The man who led the Hot Sheet last week just keeps on dealing. In his only start last week, the Indians righthander threw a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts. He really can’™t much more dominant than he has been, having not allowed more than one earned run in any of his last seven starts.|
|7. Carlos Carrasco, rhp, Phillies (Low Class A Lakewood)|
|While Inman has been the most consistently dominant pitcher in the SAL this season, Carrasco has been the most dominant of late. He threw seven innings of a combined no-hitter on Sunday and the 19-year-old is now 2-1, 1.33 in 20 August innings with a 26-10 strikeout-walk ratio and five hits allowed.|
|8. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo)|
|No one has had a bigger breakout performance than Kouzmanoff this season, and he has continued it at Triple-A. After going 7-for-8 over his last two games, he is now hitting .378/.462/.756 in 45 at-bats for the Bisons and .388/.451/.675 overall in 289 at-bats.|
|9. Bryan LaHair, 1b, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)|
|Meet Team USA’s first baseman. A classic late-bloomer who played for Team USA last fall (World Cup and Olympic first-stage qualifier), LaHair has really come into his own this season and built on a strong campaign in the Cal League in 2005. He hit .583 last week with six homers and is now hitting .325/.394/.515 with nine homers in 194 Triple-A at-bats.
|10. Billy Butler, of, Royals (Double-A Wichita)|
|If Gordon is reason No. 1 to be excited as a Royals fan, then Butler is reason 1A. After a recent stretch of seven straight multi-hit games, Butler now has his season line up to .327/.384/.494.|
IN THE TEAM
|Brent Brewer, of, Brewers (Rookie-level Arizona League): After a rocky summer on the showcase circuit in 2005, Brewer came on like gangbusters during his high school season, and it looks like it carrying over into pro ball, at least for the past week. The second-rounder from Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga. went 12-for-25 on the week while adding his third home run.|
|Emmanuel Burris, 2b, Giants (Short-season Salem-Keizer): The Kent State product gave Cyle Hankerd some competition for the best week in the NWL as he hit .429 with three stolen bases. His 29 stolen bases give him 13 more than his closest competitor in the league.|
|Tyler Clippard, rhp, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): After his rough start, Clippard has pitched consistently well for Double-A Trenton, forming an excellent 1-2 punch with Philip Hughes. He’s won six straight decisions and has 27 strikeouts in just 19 innings over his last three starts, giving him 146 in 140 innings overall.
|Adam Cowart, rhp, Giants (Short-season Salem-Keizer): The 35th-rounder from Kansas State threw 12 more shutout innings last week to improve his record to 8-0, 0.29. He now leads the NWL in wins and the minors in ERA. Control is the key for Cowart, who has not walked more than one hitter in any of his 11 starts.|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, of, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): After hitting .400 last week, the Oregon State alum is hitting .333/.385/.455 in 123 Double-A at-bats. There have been murmurs that the Red Sox are not thrilled with Coco Crisp, and the better that Ellsbury does should make it an interesting offseason (as always) in New England.
|Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): Another sparkling effort (seven innings, nine Ks, one run) from Gallardo in what has been an astounding year. His 1.44 ERA for Hunstville is more than half a run lower than his 2.09 ERA for high Class A Brevard County. His 163 strikeouts are the most in the minors.
|Cyle Hankerd, of, Diamondbacks (Short-season Yakima): Just another ho-hum week for Hankerd, who went 14-for-28 with two homers to raise his season line to .387/.424/.519. He now leads the NWL in hitting, hits (82) and doubles (16).
|Matt Harrison, lhp, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): In an organization lower than usual on pitching prospects, Harrison stands out. He’s been steady all year and has started to get the hang of Double-A after a mid-June promotion. He’s won his last three decisions, but more importantly, he hasn’t given up an earned run in his last three starts, spanning 17 innings, while giving up just seven hits.|
|Tyler Herron, rhp, Cardinals (Rookie-level Johnson City): Until three weeks ago, Herron’™s pro career had been a disaster, but we have to give credit where credit is due. Sure, he is repeating the Appy League, but in his three August starts he is 3-0, 0.46 with a 17-2 strikeout-walk ratio. This is what the Cardinals were expecting when they made him a supplemental first-rounder in 2005|
|Cedric Hunter, of, Padres (Rookie-level Arizona League): Since signing as a third-round pick, all Hunter has done is hit. And hit, and hit and hit. Hunter went 9-for-16 on the week and is hitting .377/.469/.465, with a 17-game hitting streak. He has no homers, but a remarkable 29-16 strikeout-walk ratio in 159 at-bats.
|Jeff Locke, lhp, Braves (Rookie-level Gulf Coast League): After a shaky first month, the second-rounder from Kennett High in Conway, N.H. has not allowed a run in his last three outings, with 16 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings. After giving up four home runs in 16 July innings, he has kept the ball in the park in August.
|Josh Outman, rhp, Phillies (Low Class A Lakewood): If Inman is the SAL’™s yin, then Outman is its yang–at least in name. As far as performance, Outman has been his peer of late. In his last three starts, all seven innings, he has not allowed a run on just four hits while striking out 26.
|Brian Pettway, of, Blue Jays (Low Class A Lansing): After an enormous career at Ole Miss, one would expect Pettway to be dominating the MWL but it hasn’t panned out that way. He did have a big week though, as he went 9-for-22 with a pair of homers. He will need to have a few more weeks like it if he wants to salvage this season.
|Alexander Smit, lhp, Twins (Low Class A Beloit): Smit was awful during his first attempt at the MWL in 2005, but he has been tearing it up of late. The Dutchman is 4-0, 2.36 since July 1 with 62 strikeouts and 17 walks in 46 innings. His increased (mid-90s) velocity helped him dominate in August, with 23 strikeouts in 13 innings and just three hits allowed.|
|Anthony Swarzak, rhp, Twins (High Class A Fort Myers): After fanning 11 over 7 2/3 innings in his last start, the 20-year-old is now 5-1, 1.35 since July 1. His 118 strikeouts in 126 innings this season are impressive, but the 51 walks are something to be wary of.
|Alcides Escobar, ss, Brewers (High Class A Brevard County)|
|OK, maybe the Brewers were a little too optimistic on Escobar’s bat. He’s just 19, but Escobar looks like his bat will keep him from jumping on the fast track. A 3-for-23 week continued his second-half swoon, as he’s hitting .204 (30-for-147) since July 1 with just four extra-base hits and a 23-3 strikeout-walk ratio.|
|Jeff Frazier, of, Tigers (high Class A Lakewood)|
|It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for the Tigers this year. Frazier, a third-round pick in 2004 out of Rutgers, went 3-for-21 last week and is hitting just .183 since June 1.|
|Zach Jackson, lhp, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville)|
|Sorry to pick on the Brew Crew, but Jackson has had nightmares since coming back to the minor leagues after his first big league promotion. His ERA is 8.22 in four starts (23 innings) since returning to the Sounds in late July.|
|Kieron Pope, of, Orioles (Short-season Aberdeen)|
|Pope, a strong, physical corner outfielder, was tearing up the Rookie-level Appalachian League (.341, .585 slugging) in a return trip there. But the jump to short-season ball hasn’t been a smooth one; he’s just 2-for-31 with 12 strikeouts in nine games for the IronBirds.|
|Sergio Santos, ss, Blue Jays (Triple-A Syracuse)|
|A 2002 first-round pick, Santos has just had a rough go of it in his first season in the Blue Jays organization. He’s 6-for-47 in August, dragging his overall batting average to .215, and his three home runs look puny coming from his 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame.|
BLAST FROM THE PAST
|Scott McClain, 3b, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)|
|In a different life, Scott McClain was an Orioles prospect, and the 34-year-old had some big power years, including 34 with Triple-A Durham in 1999. McClain also hit 39 for Seibu in Japan in 2001 and returned to the U.S. last season, hitting 30 homers for Triple-A Iowa. He’s at it again this year with 25 homers for Sacramento, tied for tops in the Pacific Coast League.|
|Sam Lecure, rhp, Reds (High Class A Sarasota)|
|Like Swarzak, he is another guy succeeding in the FSL without a great strikeout-walk ratio. In July and August, the former Texas Longhorn is 3-2, 1.15 with 26 strikeouts and 18 walks in 39 innings. It is hard to argue with the bottom line (i.e. few runs allowed), but his peripherals bear watching.|