We are more than halfway through the minor league season, and we have
now even had the short-season and rookie leagues going for a few weeks.
That means we are starting to see more and more of the 2006 draftees on
the Hot Sheet.
This week’s list includes four players who were selected in last
month’s draft and there will only be more to come. We had the Future’s
Game yesterday, but we are already looking forward to some of the guys
who will be playing in next year’s game.
Remember, this is not a rewrite of our Top 100 prospects list. This is simply a snapshot of which prospects are currently riding the biggest hot streaks.
|1. Cameron Maybin, of, Tigers (Low Class A West Michigan)
19-year-old hit .529 last week to raise his season line to
.314/.412/.466 with 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts. He capped the week
off by going 2-for-3 in the Future’s Game as the youngest player on the
victorious American team.
|2. Jose Arredondo, rhp, Angels (Double-A Arkansas)|
took just 68 at-bats in 2004 for the Angels to realize that Arredondo
was not a shortstop, but a pitcher. It looks like a good decision, as
Arredondo is now just one strikeout behind Yovani Gallardo for the
minor league lead. Promoted to Double-A last Wednesday, Arredondo
tossed a complete game shutout in his debut. The righthander has struck
out at least seven batters in all but two of his starts on the season.
|3. Chris Iannetta, c, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs)|
his play this season the 23-year-old has at the very least forced his
name in the discussion for top Rockies position prospect. Since getting
bumped to Triple-A in late June, Iannetta has hit .405, buoyed largely
by the .563/.708/1.063 he hit last week (with five extra-base hits).
|4. Evan Longoria, 3b, Devil Rays (High Class A Visalia)|
hit four home runs in 33 at-bats in the short-season New York Penn
League and has added four more in 36 at-bats for Visalia. Now
slugging .812 as a pro.
|5. Tyler Clippard, rhp, Yankees (Double-A Trenton)|
on the Not-So-Hot-Sheet early on, but is back to his 2005 form. Has
given up just four runs in his last five starts that span 33 innings
with 43 strikeouts to go with it.
|6. James Loney, 1b, Dodgers (Triple-A Las Vegas)|
was at it again last week, going 12-for-28 (.429) to bring his season
mark to a PCL-best .385. The power has started to come for the
22-year-old Loney, too, as his .556 slugging percentage ranks fifth in
|7. Adam Ottavino, rhp, Cardinals (short-season State College)|
first-rounder out of Northeastern has faced 76 hitters as a pro, and
allowed just five hits. In 20 innings, he has not allowed an earned run.
|8. Adam Jones, of, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)|
had his 20-game hit streak snapped Sunday (he drew two walks), but that
doesn’t diminish what he accomplished last week when the 20-year-old
hit three home runs and slugged .842. Perhaps most impressively, he
didn’t strike out once. Not bad for a guy with 67 on the
|9. Ryan Braun, 3b, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville)|
hitting well in the Pioneer League last season, the Brewers promoted
Braun to Low Class A West Virginia. He struggled early on with the
Power by going 5-for-33. Braun then caught fire, ending the year with a
.355 average at the level. This season, Braun struggled again upon a
midseason promotion, collecting just 4 hits in his first 25 Double-A
at-bats. Since then Braun has reached base in nine consecutive games, a
streak which included 12 hits.
|10. Thomas Diamond, rhp, Rangers (Double-A Frisco)|
lonely in Double-A without the rest of the DVD trio, Diamond is finally
making a strong push for a promotion. While the 2004 first-round pick
has maintained a healthy strikeout rate all season, he has seemingly
just found his control. Just three times in his first 15 starts did
Diamond walk less than three batters, but the righthander has now done
so in three consecutive outings.
|Mark Reynolds, if, Diamondbacks (High Class A Lancaster): The
22-year-old doesn’t really have a position yet, but we can’t ignore
someone who is leading the California League in the Triple Crown
|Hainley Statia, ss, Angels (Low Class A Cedar Rapids): After
a slow June, Statia is 18-for-32 in July with more walks then
strikeouts. Is five-for-his-last-six in stolen bases too, though
9-for-20 before that.
|Garrett Mock, rhp, Diamondbacks (Double-A Tennessee):
Mock was consistently mediocre to start the season, allowing three
earned runs or more in 12 of his first 16 starts. However, the
righthander has put together back-to-back seven-inning shutout. And
he’s done so in the way you wouldn’t expect as his 7-18
groundball-flyball rate during that time has significantly lowered a
ratio that was previously at 1.71.
|Carlos Quentin, of, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Tucson): The
23-year-old led all PCL batters with a .571 average (and 1.771 OPS)
last week. His four doubles brought his PCL-leading total to 29.
|Jay Bruce, of, Reds (Low Class A Dayton):
We can probably just start cutting and pasting these blurbs from week
to week as they are starting to sound the same. This past week it was
10-for-25 with two home runs and three doubles.
|Chase Headley, 3b, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): Two
months ago, the Padres looked ambitious with Headley’s opening day
assignment; the third baseman was hitting .239. His average reached a
season-high on Sunday, his 3-for-5 effort raised his average to .290.
It also continued a 9-game hitting streak, during which time the
Volunteer has seven extra-base hits and an astounding 11 runs scored.
|Jason Hirsh, rhp, Astros (Triple-A Round Rock): The
most consistently dominant performer in the minors since May
began. Hirsh has not lost in his last 13 starts (9-0, 1.14 during the
streak). Even better, he has not allowed an earned run in his last four
outings. At this point, it seems the only thing that will get Hirsh off
the Hot Sheet is a callup.
|Shane Lindsay, rhp, Rockies (short-season Tri-City):
At this point, you just get the feeling that Lindsay loves Pasco, Wash.
The majority of Shane’s damage in his Northwest League repeat has come
at home, where has not allowed a run in 3 starts. In those 16 innings,
Lindsay has allowed 6 hits while striking out 31.
|Carlos Gomez, of, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): Since
returning from an injury in mid-June, Gomez is hitting .321 and is
14-for-32 in July in what is the best offensive run of his career.
Plate discipline is still a problem though as he has 58-13
strikeout-walk ratio in 245 at-bats.
|Matt Garza, rhp, Twins (Double-A New Britain):
A string of bad mid-June starts could have landed Garza on the Not Hot
list, as the righthander allowed 11 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Since
then, Garza looks as good as ever, tossing eight scoreless innings in
his last two outings. Back on the same staff as Kevin Slowey, Garza has
taken a page from his book by walking just one in 20 innings.
|Billy Butler, of, Royals (Double-A Wichita): Butler
didn’t have a great week for Wichita, but we figured we’d give him some
love for winning MVP of the Future’s Game. He is the second straight
Royal to do so. That has to mean something, right?
|Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Devil Rays (short-season Hudson Valley):
Following the path of Wade Davis and Jacob Magee, Hellickson is
dominating the New York-Penn League following months of extended Spring
Training. Signed away from Louisiana State last season, Hellickson has yet to allow
more than one earned run in each of his four starts. In 19 innings, the
righthander has flashed big stuff, allowing 9 hits while striking out
|Aaron Bates, 1b, Red Sox (short-season Lowell):
The North Carolina State alum is having his way with the New York-Penn
League as he is hitting .394/.449/.606 in his first 71 at-bats as a pro.
|Jon Jay, of, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): While much of the Cardinals
collegiate draft contingent is playing in short-season State College,
St. Louis brass thought higher of Jay. The former Hurricane couldn’t be
making the Cards look any smarter, hitting .372 in his first ten
professional games. Only better baserunning (0-for-3 in stolen bases so
far) remains on Jay’s to-do list.
|Jeff Bianchi, ss, Royals (Rookie-level Arizona League): Did he lose a bet or something? If not, what does this guy have to do
to get out of the AZL? He hit .408/.484/.745 there last year in 98
at-bats. He did not get a full-season assignment in 2006 and is back in
the AZL where he is hitting .429/.537/.667.
|Mike Hinckley, lhp, Nationals (High Class A Potomac)|
luster is fading fast on this one-time top prospect. The 23-year-old
has a 5.23 ERA on the season and gave up nine earned runs in his only
start last week and seven and five runs in the two starts before that.
Back in 2004 he was 5-2, 2.87 in 94 innings at Double-A before being
sidetracked by shoulder woes.
|Anderson Hernandez, ss/2b, Mets (Triple-A Norfolk)|
was Wally Pipped in New York by Jose Valentin and it has only gotten
worse in Norfolk. No Met did more to improve their prospect status in
2005, but he is hitting .246 for Norfolk on the season and is 6-for-34
in July with 10 strikeouts and zero walks.
|Ryan Harvey, of, Cubs (High Class A Daytona)|
have gone from bad to worse for Harvey who is 4-for-23 in July and down
to .202/.243/.329 on the season with 84 strikeouts and 15 walks in 292
|Michael Kirkman, lhp, Rangers (Rookie-level Arizona League)|
is clearly wrong with Kirkman, a fifth-rounder in 2005, who seems to
have come down with a case of Steve Blass Disease. After beginning the
season at low Class A Clinton, he was demoted after posting a 6.98 ERA
with more walks then strikeouts. The wheels have falling off in Arizona
where he has 16 walks and four strikeouts in 8 innings. He had a 58-19
strikeout-walk ratio in the AZL last season, so let’s hope his case of
SBD is temporary.
|Jason Hammel, rhp, Devil Rays (Triple-A Durham)|
Devil Rays rarely hesitate to give their pitching prospects a chance,
but Hammel has done little to instill confidence. He has had an ERA
over 4.00 in his last three months and gave up nine runs without
getting out of the third inning in a start last week.
|Fernando Tatis, 3b, Orioles (Triple-A Ottawa)|
one glorious season, Tatis was on top of the baseball world. He hit
.298/.404/.553 and clubbed 34 home runs in 1999, but faded badly
afterward and did not play professionally at all in 2004 or ’05. Now
with his fifth organization, Tatis, 31, is hitting .309 in the IL–good
for seventh in the league–while enjoying a mini resurgence.
|Ben Harrison, of, Rangers (High Class A Bakersfield)|
24-years-old Harrison is old for his league, but he has been hampered
by injuries in the past and there is no denying his performance this
season. A seventh-rounder out of Florida in 2004, Harrison is hitting
.306/.403/.550 with 18 home runs. A promotion to Double-A is probably
in the cards for him soon and if he continues his performance there, we
have ourselves a late-bloomer on our hands.