Prospect Hot Sheet

D.J. Peters Takes Bumgarner Deep Twice

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from June 30-July 6. Number in parentheses indicates players’ ages.

Remember, this 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.


1. D.J. Peters, OF, Dodgers (21)
High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)

Statistics bear out that Peters, a fourth-round pick in 2016 from Western Nevada JC, had the most impressive week of any minor leaguer. But he also gets bonus points for cracking two homers against rehabbing Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, which accounted for two of his five longballs for the week.

The 6-foot-6 Peters has plus power but a long swing that makes him prone to strikeouts. After a manageable 21.8 percent whiff rate a year ago, he’s striking out 32 percent of the time in 2017, albeit with a .276 isolated slugging percentage.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.462 .517 1.192 8 2 0


2. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians (19)
High Class A Lynchburg (Carolina)

The rail-thin teen is moving into the upper echelon of pitching prospects thanks to a fastball he can push to 94 mph, a curveball that scouts grade as future plus and solid-average command. If he can bulk up, which is his goal, he could check off boxes for physicality and durability, two keys to achieve success as a big league starter.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 7 3 0 0 11

3. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres (18)
Low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest League)

Tatis has been overshadowed in the Midwest League by the Blue Jays’ duo of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr, but he has asserted himself of late. The son of former big leaguer Fernando Tatis, he has size and strength and is driving the ball with regularity. Tatis needs to improve his strike-zone discipline, but according to scouts, he doesn’t have to cheat to hit for power.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.476 .560 .857 4 4 1

4. Jacob Gonzalez, 3B, Giants (19)
Rookie-level AZL Giants (Arizona)

The son of the Diamondbacks’ World Series hero Luis Gonzalez is off to a great start as a pro. The 58th overall pick last month,Gonzalez went 4-for-4 Tuesday against his father’s former organization and is 12-for-15 in the Arizona League. He is thicker-bodied than his dad and has present strength with a projection of plus power.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.682 .720 .955 5 3 0

5. Heliot Ramos, OF, Giants (17)
Rookie-level AZL Giants (Arizona)

One of the youngest players in the 2017 draft class, Ramos has not been intimidated in his pro debut after the Giants made him a first-round pick. The Puerto Rico native has loud tools, including plus bat speed, but his plate approach will need refinement to reach his ceiling.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.409 .480 .818 6 3 3

6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (18)
Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)

Son of Vlad enjoyed his final week in the Midwest League. Reports circulated Thursday that he and Bo Bichette will be promoted to high Class A Dunedin. Guerrero has plus raw power and can drive the ball out to all fields and also projects to be an above-average hitter. For a teenager, he has tremendous strike-zone awareness and bat-to-ball skills.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.381 .500 .714 3 6 0

7. Jorge Mateo, SS/OF, Yankees (22)
Double-A Trenton (Eastern)

Mateo ranked as the Yankees’ top prospect entering 2016, but underperformance, off-field issues and an influx of talent made him almost a forgotten man. After a pedestrian start in his third year at high Class A, a promotion to Double-A has reinvigorated Mateo. With his top-of-the-scale speed and surprising pop, Mateo is likely the organization’s most tradeable asset this month.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.483 .531 .897 7 2 2

8. Dillon Tate, RHP, Yankees (23)
High Class A Tampa (Florida State)

The Rangers made Tate the fourth overall pick in 2015 but traded him to the Yankees last summer for Carlos Beltran. Injury and underperformance have hurt his stock. A shoulder injury delayed his 2017 debut, but he has come back strong. Tate threw 69 strikes in 88 pitches in his gem of a start this week and hit 97 mph.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 7 6 0 0 11

9. Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals (23)
Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)

Bader has seen his strikeout rate spike the past two seasons but his power has grown accordingly, a tradeoff many teams seem willing to make these days. The Florida alum has an aggressive approach but pairs that with solid plate awareness. If he can play center field, his value rises.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.393 .433 .929 6 1 0

10. Joey Wentz, LHP, Braves (19)
Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)

A two-way prep player, Wentz is all about the mound now. He uses his 6-foot-5 frame to drive the ball down and has cleaned up the control issues he encountered in his pro debut. Wentz doesn’t overpower batters but his fastball has good armside run, and he has feel for his curveball and changeup as well.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 6 1 0 1 9

11. Jorge Guzman, RHP, Yankees (21)
Short-season Staten Island (New York-Penn)

The Yankees acquired Guzman and Albert Abreu from the Astros in the offseason for Brian McCann. While Abreu has more name recognition, Guzman is a prospect in his own right. Though he lacks a consistent secondary pitch, the fire-balling Guzman so far has gone 3-0, 1.53 with 21 strikeouts and four walks in 17.2 innings.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 6.2 2 0 0 10

12. Carlos Tocci, OF, Phillies (21)
Double-A Reading (Eastern)

The Phillies have long waited for Tocci to break through, and it might be happening this year. Still just 21, Tocci is showing improved control of the strike zone and he’s using a more level swing path. His average on balls in play is a career-high .367, meaning some regression is likely.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.550 .640 .850 2 4 0

13. Jose Adolis Garcia, OF, Cardinals (24)
Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)

The brother of the Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, Jose Adolis was one of the most tooled-up players in Cuba. His bat-to-ball skills have been better than advertised, and he shows gap power, has plus speed and a plus-plus arm.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.579 .600 .789 2 0 0

14. Mike O’Reilly, RHP, Cardinals (22)
Low Class A Peoria (Midwest)

A 27th-round pick from Division II Flagler (Fla.) in 2016, O’Reilly doesn’t have the knockout stuff of teammate Jordan Hicks, but he has great pitchability and command. Opponents were hitting just .171 against the extreme flyball pitcher, whose fastball sits 88-90 mph.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 15 6 0 1 18

15. Framber Valdez, LHP, Astros (23)
Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)

The 5-foot-11 Dominican has seen his walk rate spike this season but remains effective because he is holding opponents to a .176 average. Valdez throws a four-seam fastball with heavy life, a two-seamer with sink and tail, a changeup with fade and a curveball.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
1.50 6 2 0 3 9

16. Billy McKinney, OF, Yankees (22)
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)

The 2013 first-rounder has picked a great time to get hot because the Yankees are limping through a spate of injuries. McKinney has long been known as a hit-over-power player, but since his move to Triple-A he has shown the ability to pop the ball over the wall and could find himself getting the next shot in the bigs.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.407 .467 .852 5 2 0

17. Sam Howard, LHP, Rockies (24)
Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)

 

Known for pitchability in college, Howard’s velocity has ticked up as a pro, and he has maintained his sharp command. The lefthander lives dangerously with a flyball profile in a system full of hitter’s parks, but he might have the command to get away with it, even in Coors Field.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 8 3 0 0 10

18. Yeyson Yrizarri, SS, Rangers (20)
High Class A Down East (Carolina)

After spending two seasons at low Class A Hickory, Yrizarri hit his way to high Class A this season. He has good bat speed and solid power for a shortstop but almost never walks. If he can ever learn some plate awareness, he might have something to build upon.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.480 .483 .760 4 0 0

19. Carmen Benedetti, OF, Astros (22)
Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)

A two-way player at Michigan,Benedetti was drafted as a position player by the Astros. After hitting just .219 in April, he worked with hitting coach Ben Rosenthal and began studying pitchers’ habits, and it paid off. Benedetti shows a greatly improved control of the strike zone, and he leads the team in walks and on-base percentage.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.591 .679 .773 4 6 1

20. Rylan Bannon, 3B, Dodgers (21)
Rookie-level Ogden (Pioneer)

The eighth-round pick last month from Xavier has eased into pro ball with little difficulty. The Big East Conference player of the year projects to have fringe-average power but belted three homers in the past week in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League. He’s a plus defender at third base despite not playing there until college.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.556 .600 1.000 4 0 0

HELIUM

Yunior Severino, SS, Braves (17)
Rookie-level GCL Braves (Gulf Coast)

The Dominican shortstop signed last July for $1.9 million and has already come to the U.S. after just 37 at-bats in the Dominican Summer League. Scouts believe Severino could develop big power because of his strength and bat speed, which is propelled by his quick wrists. For a 17-year-old, he shows precocious strike-zone awareness. Signed as a shortstop, Severino has played only second base in the GCL as he teams up with shortstop Kevin Matian, a Top 100 Prospect, in the middle infield.

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