This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet covers games from July 17-23. Remember, this feature simply recognizes the hottest prospects in the minors during the past week—it's not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.
Contributing: Ben Badler, Vince Lara-Cinisomo and Josh Norris
1. Clint Frazier, of, Indians
Team: high Class A Lynchburg (Indians)
Why He's Here: .480/.517/.880 (12-for-25), 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: The lightning-wristed Frazier has had an up-and-down season in high Class A, and had been a little bit in the shadows of teammate Bradley Zimmer before he was promoted to Double-A this past week. Now the highest-ranked prospect on his team, Frazier wracked up a pair each of doubles and home runs and hit better than .500 with a slugging percentage north of .900. The strong week is merely an extension of a scorching month in which he's put forth an OPS of 1.092.
2. Victor Robles, of, Nationals
Team: short-season Auburn (New York-Penn)
Why He's Here: .542/.571/.917 (13-for-24), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are the twin peaks of the Nationals' system, but Robles isn't far behind. The five-tool talent quickly bullied his way out of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and has made an early impact in his new surroundings. He opened his stay in the northeast with a three-hit game, and in launched his first home run just four games later. He's a five-tool player with arm strength and footspeed that both rank as plus-plus already.
3. Christian Walker, 1b, Orioles
Team: Triple-A Norfolk (International)
Why He's Here: .355/.412/.839 (11-for-31), 7 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Walker has carried a torrid June (.337/.411/.480) into July. The righthanded hitter spent a game with the major league club, but was most recently sent down on July 8. One scout noted that Walker's approach has changed from last season as he—early in the season—pressed to hit for power in the spacious Harbor Park.
4. Trevor Story, ss, Rockies
Team: Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Why He's Here: .300/.344/.700 (9-for-30), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 11 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Scouts might not be sold on his feel to hit, but Story flashed his power—which has been pegged as average to tick above—this week with three long blasts. His defense is solid average at shortstop, which might be just enough to allow him stick there.
5. Demi Orimoloye, of, Brewers
Team: Rookie-level Arizona Brewers (AZL)
Why He's Here: .375/.400/.875 (9-for-24), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO, 5-for-5 SB
The Scoop: It was a little surprising when Orimoloye fell to the fourth round, but the Brewers were happy to snap him up and eventually ink the hulking Canadian outfielder for $450,000. They have to like the results thus far. He's swatted four home runs thus far, including two across two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The toolsy Orimoloye also drove in 10 of his 17 career RBIs during this week's Hot Sheet period.
6. Brent Honeywell, rhp, Rays
Team: high Class A (Florida State)
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO
The Scoop: Honeywell was dominant in low Class A and has been less so in the FSL, but rolled over Tampa on July 18 in what was easily his best outing at the level. With his plus fastball and easy delivery, expect more outings like that one going forward.
7. Gavin Cecchini, ss, Mets
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Why He's Here: .467/.500/.667 (13-for-30), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: New York’s No. 6 prospect at midseason, Cecchini is converting scouts who were not believers by showing power and steady defense. He has toned down his leg kick, helping get his hands and bat quicker to the ball.
8. Trey Mancini, 1b, Orioles
Team: Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Why He's Here: .355/.375/.548 (11-for-31), 5 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: The Notre Dame alum’s hit tool is ahead of his power, according to scouts, but he’s blasted 15 long balls this season already at high Class A and now Double A. He remains aggressive at the plate so he’ll never walk much, meaning his on-base ability will be tied to his average.
9. Henry Owens, lhp, Red Sox
Team: Triple-A Pawtucket (International)
Why He's Here: 1-0, 2.25, 12 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO
The Scoop: The struggle is always the same for Owens, who continues to aim for better command of the strike zone and pitch efficiency. Mission accomplished on both accounts this week, when he fanned 15 against three walks over two starts. He's still operating primarily with a three-pitch mix of fastball, curveball and changeup and is working on commanding the former two pitches in an effort to sharpen himself before he moves to the next level.
10. Colin Moran, 3b, Astros
Team: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
Why He's Here: .478/.519/.783 (11-for-23), 7 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Moran’s season has been dogged by injuries, including a broken jaw when he took a throw in the infield off the face. When he returned in June, his timing was slow to come back, but he’s been outstanding in July, compiling an 1.021 OPS, although the over-the-fence power some scouts project has yet to show.
11. Andrew Benintendi, of, Red Sox
Team: short-season Lowell (New York-Penn)
Why He's Here: .318/.483/.818 (7-for-22), 4 R, 1 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: The No. 7 overall pick in this year's draft and our College Player of the Year, Boston valued Benintendi's combination of power, speed and defense in center field. He showed off his best assets this past week with a triple, three home runs and six walks against just three strikeouts. He's slight of frame, but his skill set is loud and he's not likely to finish the season in the New York-Penn League.
12. Rowdy Tellez, 1b, Blue Jays
Team: high Class A Dunedin (Florida State)
Why He's Here: .407/.414/.667 (11-for-27), 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2-for-2 SB
The Scoop: The Blue Jays have slow-played Tellez's development, paying him $850,000 as a 30th-round pick in 2013, then having him spend most of 2014 in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. This year, he's had the breakthrough the Blue Jays were hoping for, showing a strong combination of hitting ability and power in the low Class A Midwest League before earning a promotion to high Class A Dunedin a month ago. He's been even better since his promotion, with seven homers in 68 Midwest League games and another seven in just 25 games in the FSL. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Tellez is limited to first base, so the offensive bar he's going to have to clear to play every day is a high one, but Tellez has the plate coverage and power to make it happen and potentially hit in the middle of a lineup within a few years.
13. Jharel Cotton, rhp, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: After missing all of April and most of May because of a broken left wrist sustained on a comebacker, Cotton has come back with a mission, with his most recent outing a three-hit gem. Cotton’s fastball sits 88-94 with a plus change, but his pitchability and ability to throw strikes to both sides of the plate make him an interesting player to watch.
14. A.J. Reed, 1b, Astros
Team: Double-A Corpus Christi
Why He's Here: .381/.516/.714 (8-for-21), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 8 BB, 4 SO
The Scoop: Reed should become the next in a long line of prospects who went from Baseball America College Player of the Year to eventual MLB standout. A standout at the plate and on the mound last year at Kentucky, Reed slipped to the second round, where the Astros got a steal. One of the draft's elite college performers has had no trouble handling minor league pitching so far, and while much of his success this year has come at high Class A Lancaster, he's no ballpark fluke. In his first 10 games since getting promoted to Double-A, Reed is batting .333/.455/.576 with nine walks and seven strikeouts. He's 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, limited to first base and may not have the prettiest build, but he's a potential plus bat, plus power combo who understands the strike zone and can get on base at a high clip. He's not going to help them in Houston this year, but he should be their everyday first baseman very soon.
15. Reymond Fuentes, of, Royals
Team: Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Why He's Here: .440/.533/.680 (11-for-25), 6 R, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Fuentes was once a hot prospect with Boston, which made him a first-round pick in 2009, then sent him to San Diego along with Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly and Eric Patterson the next year so the Red Sox could acquire Adrian Gonzalez. Fuentes was the Padres' No. 4 prospect after the 2010 season, but his stock steadily slipped since then, to the point where the Padres sent him to Kansas City in the offseason in a seemingly inconsequential trade for righthander Kyle Bartsch. Now, Fuentes has rejuvenated his prospect stock, batting .313/.376/.433, showing a knack for putting the ball in play to go along with his plus speed and good range in the outfield.
Team: low Class A South Bend (Midwest)
Why He's Here: .435/.500/.696 (10-for-23), 5 RBIs, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3-for-3 SB
The Scoop: The Cubs are sure to be busy on the trade market over the next week, with Torres at the center of discussions. The Cubs aren't looking to sacrifice any of their big league-ready youngsters who have come in and helped their team immediately, including Kyle Schwarber, whose defense behind the plate still needs time but is a ready-made masher right now. That leaves Torres as their best trade chip, and while he's a valuable prospect, he's certainly not untouchable. Torres is an extremely smart, high baseball IQ player who can hit, understands the strike zone and won't have big power but has a chance to grow into 10-12 home runs with more strength projection. The same age as a 2015 high school draft pick, Torres is hitting .317/.384/.414 in 87 games, so his offensive game is well ahead of his peers at this stage. Scouts are split on whether he's going to stay at shortstop or flip over to second base, but that bat will give the Cubs (or any other team) an above-average offensive weapon somewhere in the middle of the infield.
17. Rafael Devers, 3b, Red Sox
Team: low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Why He's Here: .318/.348/.682 (7-for-22), 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: While most of Devers' peers from the 2013 signing class are just making their debuts in one of the Rookie-level complex leagues this summer, Devers has already played in the Futures Game and proven himself to be a .300 hitter with power in the low Class A South Atlantic League. After slumping in June, Devers has gotten himself back on track at the plate this month. For an 18-year-old kid going through the first long, 140-game grind of a minor league season, it would be understandable if we saw some drop-off in Devers' production the rest of the way, but he still looks like the same sweet-swinging lefty with plus power that has made scouts so excited about him from his amateur days in the Dominican Republic.
18. Mark Mathias, 2b, Indians
Team: short-season Mahoning Valley (New York-Penn)
Why He's Here: .481/.483/.815 (13-for-27), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS
The Scoop: The Indians made a couple of bets on injured players this past draft, popping Brady Aiken, who had Tommy John surgery this spring, with their first selection, and Mathias, who had surgery to repair his right shoulder, in the third round. While they'll have to wait a bit longer for Aiken, Mathias has rewarded his employers' faith so far. He's strung together a six-game hitting streak that's included five straight multi-hit contests.
19. Cody Reed, lhp, Diamondbacks
Team: short-season Hillsboro (Northwest)
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.75, 12 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO
The Scoop: The Diamondbacks' second-round pick a year ago out of high school in Alabama, Reed was no stranger to big strikeout totals as a prep star and he's continuing to pile up the whiffs as a pro. He punched out 13 against just one walk over 12 one-run innings this week, and has fanned 46 over 39 frames so far this year. The former Vandy commit utilizes a four-pitch mix headed by a fastball that reaches into the mid-90s.
20. Sean Newcomb, lhp, Angels
Team: high Class A Inland Empire (California)
Why He's Here: 1-0, 1.69, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 15 SO
The Scoop: The big lefthander from Hartford vaulted to the top of the Angels’ prospect list at midseason, thanks to improved fastball command and varying the shape and velocity of his plus curveball.