Prospect Hot Sheet (July 29): Marquez Silences Opponents

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players have done from July 22-28. 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.

Contributing: Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Kyle Glaser and Josh Norris.


1. German Marquez, rhp, Rockies

3ds_dodgers83 Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.13, 16 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 15 SO, 5 BB

For the second time this season, Marquez, whom the Rockies acquired from the Rays in last winter’s Corey Dickerson deal, took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. His 118 strikeouts pace the Eastern League, and his 2.66 ERA ranks third in the circuit. Marquez also has shown impressive durability this season by pitching into the seventh inning in 11 of his 20 starts. (JN)


2. Isan Diaz, 2b, Brewers

Team: low Class A Wisconsin (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .450/.560/1.050 (9-for-20), 3 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 7 SO, 1-for-1 SB

In April, Diaz was bad. The next month, he was worse. His OPS bottomed out at .588 on May 24, and his struggles were surprising given that he’s one of the top offensive players in the Midwest League. In 57 games since May 25, Diaz has hit .323/.399/.605 while making more frequent contact and driving the ball for power. As he gets closer to the majors, he will spend more time at second base, where he has a chance to develop into an above-average regular. (BB)


3. Aristides Aquino, of, Reds

3ds_dodgers83Team: high Class A Daytona (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .650/.650/1.250 (13-for-20), 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO

Aquino is the toolsiest outfielder in full-season ball for the Reds, with a higher ceiling than Jesse Winker, Phillip Ervin or Kyle Waldrop—though he is much riskier than that trio. Aquino has prototype right-field power, and he shows some indication that his hit tool has taken a step forward this year. Since June 1, he has hit .333 with 11 doubles, nine triples and nine home runs in 174 at-bats. (JJ)


4. Luke Weaver, rhp, Cardinals

Team: Double-A Springfield (Texas)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.20, 2 GS, 15 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 14 SO, 1 BB, 1 HBP

A flyball pitcher with excellent control and a swing-and-miss changeup, Weaver has carved up Texas League competition this season after he returned from a fractured wrist on June 5. The 2014 first-rounder has turned in only one dud in 11 starts this season, while recording a 1.29 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 70 innings. Weaver did allow two home runs this week—both solo shots—which is about the only valid criticism of his work. (ME)


5. Jose Berrios, rhp, Twins

Team: Triple-A Rochester (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-1, 2.57, 2 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 17 SO

Yes, Berrios got hammered in a couple of his starts for the Twins, but it’s about time for Minnesota to give him another look as they attempt to build for the future in the midst of a disastrous season. While he is unlikely to be a future ace, Berrios does have a shot to be a mid-rotation starter. Look for him and trade pickup Adalberto Mejia to battle for spots in the big league rotation next spring. (JJ)


6. Rob Whalen, rhp, Braves

3ds_dodgers83Team: Triple-A Gwinnett (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-1, 1.32, 2 GS, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 HR, 12 SO, 5 BB, 1 HBP

The Braves acquired Whalen a year ago when they traded Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to the Mets. He had an offseason surgical procedure to clean up both knees, and the curveball specialist came out firing in 2016. Whalen breezed through 18 starts at Double-A Mississippi to reach Gwinnett on July 17, where he has recorded a 1.93 ERA through three starts while striking out 18 and not allowing a home run through 19 innings. (ME)


7. Scott Schebler, of, Reds

3ds_dodgers83Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .600/.630/1.280 (15-for-25), 8 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO

Will Schebler break through into a major league role, or is he destined to be a 4-A player? When Schebler has been in the big leagues, he hasn’t been productive, albeit in just 109 plate appearances. After a modest Triple-A campaign a year ago, he has rebounded by batting .315/.371/.570 in 72 games for Louisville. If Jay Bruce gets moved before the trade deadline, Schebler could get an opportunity at the major league level. (BB)


8. Tom Murphy, c, Rockies

3ds_dodgers83Team: Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .440/.517/.840 (11-for-25), 6 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO

Albuquerque pumps all hitters’ stats full of air, but Murphy—who is hitting .309/.342/.652 in his last 55 games—has legitimately plus power. His swing can get uphill to generate that power, leaving him with exploitable holes that lead to strikeouts, so he’s going to have to take a more selective approach to have more offensive value beyond just the power. (BB)


9. Dustin Fowler, of, Yankees

3ds_dodgers83Team: Double-A Trenton (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .409/.536/.818 (9-for-22), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 BB, 1 SO

The athletic, lefthanded-hitting Fowler found his footing in Double-A in June. In his past 60 games at Trenton, he has hit .291/.317/.457 with 26 extra-base hits, 11 steals and just 38 strikeouts. Fowler can defend center field and offers an intriguing combination of power and speed that makes him an under-the-radar prospect to watch. (ME)


10. Rhys Hoskins, 1b, Phillies

3ds_dodgers83Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .350/.517/.850 (7-for-20), 4 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 7 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

First basemen have to mash to keep their prospect status simmering, and Hoskins has done just that all year long. His three home runs this week got him to 30 for the season and gave him a four-homer cushion on his Reading teammate Dylan Cozens for the minor league lead. (JN)


11. Reynaldo Lopez, rhp, Nationals

Team: Triple-A Syracuse (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO

Lopez has now had a taste of the majors, where he combined plenty of strikeouts and plenty of hits allowed. He had no such problem at Triple-A this week. He dominated against Rochester by staying out of trouble while very efficiently racking up a complete game—he threw strikes with 70 percent of his 99 pitches. If the Nationals are looking for a cheap, internal  fix for their bulllpen, Lopez could be a viable option. (JJ)


12. Brent Honeywell, rhp, Rays

Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 11 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 12 SO, 5 BB

The Rays’ top pitching prospect in our midseason update continues to dominate since his promotion to Double-A earlier this month. Honeywell has a 1.21 ERA while holding opponents to a .262 average in his four starts with the Biscuits by using a deep arsenal of pitches headlined by a mid-90s fastball, above-average changeup and a screwball. (KG)


13. Francis Martes, rhp, Astros

Team: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO

When Martes is on, you get outings like this. It’s always hard to drive the ball against the Astros’ young righthander, for he has allowed just three home runs all season. But when he’s not giving up walks to ignite innings, he can make it look easy with a fastball-slider combination that’s nearly unhittable. (JJ)


14. Tyler O’Neill, of, Mariners

3ds_dodgers83Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .381/.480/.762 (8-for-21), 2 R, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO

O’Neill has slowed since the Southern League all-star break—he’s hitting .250/.325/.490 since June 23—but he keeps pouring on power with seven home runs and 21 RBIs in those 27 games. The British Columbia native has enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough season in which he ranks among the SL leaders with a .301 average, 19 homers, 76 RBIs and a .533 slugging percentage. Look for O’Neill’s name on the league’s Best Tools winners next week. (ME)


15. Travis Demeritte, 2b, Braves

3ds_dodgers83Team: high Class A High Desert (California)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .417/.500/1.059 (8-for-17), 5 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

Demeritte has benefited from playing his home games at high Class A High Desert this season, but his power plays in any league, which is why the Braves targeted him as the return in this week’s trade that sent Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez to the Rangers. Pitch recognition and plate coverage are still issues for Demeritte, whose swing-and-miss issues could become magnified once he gets to the upper levels, but his hand speed, plus power and improved glove make him a potential power-hitting second baseman. (BB)


16. Anthony Alford, of, Blue Jays

Team: high Class A Dunedin (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .318/.444/.727 (7-for-22), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1-for1 SB

Alford was slowed by two separate injuries—an unspecified knee injury and a concussion—earlier this season, but he is starting to round into form. The speedy outfielder has reached base in 11 consecutive games for Dunedin and overall is hitting .305/.425/.542 in his last 16 games. He capped off the week with three runs scored in back-to-back games, and he hit his first two triples of the season in the same game against Lakeland on Wednesday. (KG)


17. Chance Sisco, c, Orioles

3ds_dodgers83Team: Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .387/.441/.516 (12-for-31), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO

Sisco has proven he can hit wherever he goes, thanks to excellent barrel control and a polished approach. He is a line drive machine, using the middle of the field and rarely mis-hitting a ball. If Matt Wieters leaves Baltimore as a free agent after the season, Sisco might not be ready to take over on Opening Day, but he should be able to push his way to a big league job at some point in 2017. (BB)


18. Blake Rutherford, of, Yankees

3ds_dodgers83Team: Rookie-level Pulaski (Appalachian)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .500/.519/.792 (12-for-24), 3 R, 1 2B, 3 3B, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Yankees took Rutherford with the 18th overall selection in this year’s draft, and he has quickly adjusted to pro ball. He finished strong this week by carding back-to-back four-hit games, which included a triple each day. With a sweet swing from the left side, Rutherford’s potential makes it easy to dream. (JN)


19. Adrian Rondon, ss, Rays

Team: Rookie-level Princeton (Appalachian)
Age: 18
Why He’s Here: .346/.370/.808 (9-for-26), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 0 BB, 8 SO

One of the Rays’ brightest young prospects, Rondon is adjusting nicely to his first season outside of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He’s got plus bat speed and athleticism, and he has rebounded nicely from a rough pro debut in 2015 in which he hit .166 with zero home runs. Just three weeks past his 18th birthday, he’s one of a very talented pack of teenagers in the Appalachian League. (JN)


20. Meibrys Viloria, c, Royals

Team: Rookie-level Idaho Falls (Pioneer)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .435/.458/.609 (10-for-23), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 SO

Viloria is hitting .457 and has a chance to hit .400 for the season if he can keep hitting in August. His average is 57 points better than anyone else in the Pioneer League and 36 points better than any other qualified batter in baseball. Viloria always has had bat-to-ball skills, but this year he’s shown a bit of thump—a roughly league-average rate for the PL—to go with the soft singles he hit in the past. (JJ)


HELIUM WATCH

Brandon Woodruff, rhp, Brewers. Drafted in the 11th round in 2013 out of Mississippi State, Woodruff has turned his career arc around over the last year. Scouts in 2015 saw him as little more than organization fodder. This year, they see a potential rotation piece. Woodruff’s fastball sits at 94 mph and peaks around 96, and he complements the pitch with an average or better slider that he uses to combat lefthanders as well as a developing changeup. Scouts have also noticed more aggression in the way he pitches. He has permitted just five home runs in 106 innings this year and is whiffing nearly 10 batters per nine innings. (JN)

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