Prospect Hot Sheet: June 12-19

Last week the Braves Scott Thorman ranked No. 9 on this list, and with
another strong week was a candidate to make the list again. However,
with the Braves in the midst of their worst stretch in recent history,
the Canadian first baseman was summoned to the big leagues to hopefully
breathe some life into an Atlanta club that is currently on life
support.

Thorman’s promotion makes him the 21st Canadian to play in the big
leagues this season. According to Luc Hebert at Baseball Canada, it is
the new record for the most Canadians to play in the big leagues in one
season.

Another name you won’t see on this list is the Twins Matt Garza. This
is not because he has played poorly, it’s just that sometimes we like
to give other players a chance. However, since a promotion to Double-A
the righthander is 4-1, 1.26.

Special mention also goes to the Diamondbacks Greg Smith, who has been
omitted in the past but deserves some props. The lefthander was 9-0,
1.63 in 88 innings at High Class A Lancaster before a promotion to
Double-A. It didn’t take long for him to take his first loss of the
season as he dropped his first Southern League start.

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.

If you have any comments, feel free to e-mail Chris Kline or Matt Meyers with your kudos or complaints.

THE HOT SHEET

1. Micah Owings, rhp, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Tucson)
Owings
welcomed himself into the Tucson clubhouse quickly, throwing six no-hit
innings in his Triple-A debut. Arizona challenged the former two-way
star by starting his season in Double-A, and the righthander has
responded. In his last four starts, three before his promotion, Owings
has allowed just one earned run and is riding a 25-inning scoreless
streak.
2. Humberto Sanchez, rhp, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)
The
burly righthander was called to Toledo to patch a shortchanged
rotation. But even that station may be temporary as Sanchez, 23,
continues his climb toward Detroit. He was 2-0, 0.00 in 13 innings last
week, notching 12 strikeouts and just three walks.
3. Joey Votto, 1b, Reds (Double-A Chattanooga)
No
homefield advantage here, as Votto has collected hits in eight
consecutive games, all on the road. With two home runs on Father’s Day,
Votto brought his week extra-base hit total to eight.
4. Billy Butler, of, Royals (Double-A Wichita)
With
11 hits last week, Butler is now hitting .375 in June and has his
season line up to .319/.382/.500. Not bad for a 20-year-old in Double-A.
5.  Andy Marte, 3b, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo)
Maybe
this is what the fuss was about. The 22-year-old launched six
extra-base hits–five of them home runs–last week for a .962 slugging
percentage to go with his 12 RBIs and seven runs scored.
6. Kory Casto, 3b, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
11-for-22
last week with four home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs–that will
usually get you noticed. With Ryan Zimmerman doing his thing, a new
position is likely in Casto’s future.
7. Carlos Gonzalez, of, Diamondbacks (High Class A Lancaster)
Gonzalez
didn’t go yard this week, but he made his presence felt, knocking in
nine runs. The Lancaster outfielder has reached base at least twice in
his last five games, during which he went 10-for-22.
8. Matt Albers, rhp, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi)
Just
three earned runs allowed in his last three starts (all victories),
Albers is now 8-2, 2.08. There were murmurs about his lack of
dedication entering this season, but his performance this year
indicates that may no longer be a problem.
9. Chris Iannetta, c, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa)
We
have been a little slow to react on this former Tar Heel, but he can
longer be ignored. Is now hitting .441 with five homers in June and has
23 walks and 23 strikeouts on the season.
10. Jacob McGee, lhp, Devil Rays (Low Class A Southwest Michigan)
While
fellow uber-prospect Wade Davis has been struggling, McGee has kept on
rolling. Has allowed just two earned runs over his last four starts
with 26 strikeouts in 23 innings. His 98 strikeouts lead the Midwest
League.

IN THE TEAM PHOTO

Ubaldo Jimenez, rhp, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa):  With
just one start this week, Jimenez didn’t quite have enough to make the
top 10. But he has a case to be the hottest pitcher in minor league
baseball, winning his last five starts while allowing just three earned
runs. Jimenez has not allowed a home run since May 2, a span of 48
innings.
Mark Rogers, rhp, Brewers (High Class A Brevard County): Count
Rogers as one player who was not ready for the midseason All-Star
break. The 2004 first round pick did not need time to cool off,
striking out 29 batters in his last three starts, including ten in a
seven inning, one-hit shutout before the break.
Joe Koshansky, 1b, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa):
Blocked by Ryan Shealy in Triple-A and Todd Helton in the big leagues,
Koshansky keeps pushing the bill for a promotion. The first baseman hit
four home runs last week, bringing his June total to seven in just 17
games.
Kurt Suzuki, c, Athletics (Double-A Midland): Suzuki
managed three multi-hit games in the last week, while staying behind
the plate in every game. His big week helped raise his June average to
.339, in which the catcher has struck out just five times in 62 at-bats.
Luis
Valbuena, 2b, Mariners (Low Class A Wisconsin):
A 10-game hitting
streak has him up to .269/.374/.381. He hit his first two homers of the
year last week as well and has more walks (37) then strikeouts (33).
15-for-19 in stolen bases for good measure.
Steven Shell, rhp, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): Overshadowed
by Salt Lake rotation-mates Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders for most of
the season, Shell, 23, gets the Hot Sheet nod for his work last week
(11 IP, 0 ER, 6 hits).
Colby Rasmus, of, Cardinals (Low Class A Quad Cities): Went hitless last night for the first time in 13 games and is up to .304/.369/.477.
Nick Hundley, c, Padres (Low Class A Fort Wayne): Had one of the best weeks anyone has had this season as the 2005 second-rounder out of Arizona hit .538 with five homers.
Jason Hirsh, rhp, Astros (Triple-A Round Rock): Hirsh’s
two wins led the PCL last week, as did his 15 innings pitched, and
he pushed his winning streak to seven games. In fact, since May 1, he’s
7-0, 1.49. A nice turnaround for the 24-year-old who had a 6.46 ERA in
April.
Josh Outman, rhp, Phillies (Low Class A Lakewood):
The man with arguably the funkiest delivery in baseball is confounding
hitters in the SAL. Now 3-0, 0.00 in June with 23 strikeouts in 19
innings.
Aaron Laffey, lhp,, Indians (Double-A Akron): Shakin’ that Laffey Taffy to the tune of 3-0, 2.30 since promotion from high Class A Kinston where he was 4-1, 2.18.
Eric Hurley, rhp, Rangers (High Class A Bakersfield):
With three earned runs allowed over his last three starts the
20-year-old is now third in the Cal League in ERA (2.54) and strikeouts
(80).
James Loney, 1b, Dodgers (Triple-A Las Vegas): 
After two so-so seasons at Double-A, Loney, 22, might be turning a
corner in his fifth pro season. Last week he hit .455 (15-for-33) with
two home runs, seven RBIs and seven runs.
Mitch Boggs, rhp, Cardinals (High Class A Palm Beach): Boggs
took a perfect game into the ninth inning in his last start and is now
2-0, 0.41 in June. It was two and ‘cue for Georgia at the CWS, but this
former Bulldog is in top form.
Eric Campbell, 3b, Braves (Low Class A Rome): A
10-for-19 week has him on the verge of .300. Second in the SAL in runs
and hits, but 41-to-12 strikeout-walk ratio is cause for concern.

THE NOT-SO-HOT SHEET

Clint Nageotte, rhp, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)
It
could be worse. Despite giving up 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings last
week, just one loss was added to Nageotte’s permanent record. Two home
runs may not be a lot for one week’s worth, but Nageotte, 25, had gone
six starts prior to last week without surrendering a home run and
hadn’t given up blasts in consecutive games all season. The 16 hits and
four walks are the more likely culprit.
Dave Haehnel, lhp, Orioles (High Class A Frederick)
The
switch to the starting rotation has not gone well for the 23-year-old.
Has allowed 21 earned runs in his last 13 innings and is now 0-5, 6.55
with 41 strikeouts and 36 walks in 58 innings.
Ryan Tucker, rhp, Marlins (Low Class A Greensboro)
Lagging
behind other 2005 first-round arms he is teamed with in Greensboro. Has
issued 14 walks in last 21 innings and his ERA is now 6.67 overall, and
10.07 away from home.
Eude Brito, lhp, Phillies (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
The
27-year-old has pitched a little worse each month, as his
month-by-month ERAs have risen from 2.82 to 3.82 to 13.50 (!) in two
June starts. The June damage: 8 2/3 innings and 13 earned runs on 19
hits, five home runs, seven walks and six strikeouts.
Cody Haerther, of, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield)
Haerther
received just one start in the week, pinch hitting in three other games
as his bat has hurt the Springfield lineup in June. After a 1-for-6
week, Haerther is now hitting .088 in June without a single extra-base
hit.

BLAST FROM THE PAST



Bobby M. Jones, lhp, Tigers (Double-A Erie)
Usually
we reserve this space for a veteran playing well, but we had to take
note of Jones’ performance last night. The 34-year-old allowed 11
earned runs in 3 2/3 innings thanks to four home runs. We don’t want to
pick on Jones too much; however, as he did spend parts of six seasons
in the big leagues after the Brewers made him a 44th-round pick in
1991.  Their first three picks that season were Kenny Henderson,
Tyrone Hill and Judd Wilstead and Jones had a better career then all of
them.

For those who still can’t tell them apart, Bobby M. Jones is the
African-American lefthander and Bobby J. Jones is the soft-tossing
righty who one-hit the Giants in Game Four of the 2000 NLDS for the
Mets.

HELIUM WATCH



Lucas Harrell, rhp, White Sox (High Class A Winston-Salem)
Lucas
Harrell, rhp, White Sox (High Class A Winston Salem) Fans of Missouri
high school baseball will remember Harrell for handing Blake DeWitt his
first high school loss in the state playoffs in 2004 when Harrell threw
a complete game and homered off of DeWitt. Now, Harrell is making a
name for himself as a pro.

A fourth-rounder in 2004 out of Ozark (Mo.) High, Harrell has allowed
more then two earned runs only once all season and is now 6-1, 2.04 in
72 innings. His 54-32 strikeout-walk ratio is pedestrian, but he is
inducing twice as many ground balls as fly balls and opponents are
batting just .163 off of him.

Minors | #2006 #Prospect Hot Sheet

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