Prospect Hot Sheet (June 17)

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players have done from June 10-16. 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, Matt Eddy, J.J. Cooper, Josh Norris and Vince Lara-Cinisomo


1. Sandy Alcantara, rhp, Cardinals
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Team: Low Class A Peoria (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 21 SO, 5 BB

The Scoop: Alcantara has heated up with the warmer weather. The tall righthander—who admitted in April that the Midwest League’s cold climes affected his curveball grip—is having no such trouble now. He has struck out 21 in his past two starts, including 12 in just five innings against Burlington on Thursday. Alcantara has elite fastball velocity—he has touched triple digits—with a smooth delivery and great extension. His changeup has good separation and he needs to continue developing the curve. (VLC)


2. Jake Thompson, rhp, Phillies
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Team: Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.60, 2 GS, 15 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 9 SO, 3 BB, 1 HBP

The Scoop: Thompson and Jerad Eickhoff were the two key pitching prospects acquired from the Rangers last July for Cole Hamels. Eickhoff is a productive member of the big league rotation, and Thompson appears destined for same. He averaged a 70 game score in his two Triple-A starts this week, though none of his peripherals—6.7 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings, 44 percent groundballs—scream frontline starter. (ME)


3. Tyler Mahle, rhp, Reds
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Team: high Class A Dayton (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: Not one full-season pitcher threw a nine-inning no-hitter last season. But Mahle cruised through Jupiter's lineup with his combination of plus control and an ability to mix and match with a lot of average to above-average offerings. A hit-by-pitch was the only thing keeping him from a perfect game anad that lone baserunner was erased on a double play. In a system full of pitching prospects, Mahle has turned himself into one of the better arms Cincinnati has. Think of him as a bigger, slightly harder-throwing version of Mike Leake. (JJ)


4. Sean Reid-Foley, rhp, Blue Jays
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Team: high Class A Dunedin (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.64, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 16 SO, 4 BB

The Scoop: The righthander flourished in his return to the Florida State League Thursday, striking out a career-high 12. Toronto's No. 5 prospect said his fastball, curveball and slider have all been working for him. Reid-Foley was 4-3, 2.95 at low Class A Lansing before the promotion. He has a fastball that sits 92-95 that he throws to both sides and a slider that flashes above average. (VLC)


5. Kevin Newman, ss, Pirates

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Team: high Class A Bradenton (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .636/.615/1.182 (7-for-11), 3 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Newman has played in just three games since returning from an orbital fracture, but what a three games! The 2015 first-rounder, who hit just two homers in 674 college at-bats, already has hit three this season in 161 at-bats. He leads the Florida State League in batting and on-base percentage. Newman has good hand-eye coordination and good plate discipline. The Pirates believe he can stay at shortstop long-term. (VLC)


6. Felix Jorge, rhp, Twins
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Team: high Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.61, 2 GS, 14.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 14 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Jorge leads the Florida State League with a 1.59 ERA and 0.91 WHIP thanks to an average three-pitch mix. He throws a lot of strikes, shows poise and controls the running game, so he could be a future rotation member in Minneapolis. (ME)


7. Brady Rodgers, rhp, Astros
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Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 8 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: Rodgers has always had exceptional control and command. He walked just 1.1 batters per nine innings in his career at Arizona State and he's walked just 1.6 per nine innings as a pro. But while Rodgers has always hit his spots, this year he's doing any even better job of walking no one while missing more bats. He's pushing for a spot in Houston's rotation. This month he's allowed three hits, no walks and no runs with 16 strikeouts in 14 innings. (JJ)


8. Josh Bell, 1b, Pirates
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Team: Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .524/.630/1.000 (11-for-21), 6 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 BB, 1 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Bell's righthanded swing is visibly better than it used to be. He does a better job of using his lower half than he did before and the results are noticeable—he's hitting .338/.454/.550 this season against lefties. Defensively he's still working on first base. He's not smooth, but he is getting more reliable. John Jaso's hot start is starting to tail off. Bell keeps on hitting. He's making a push for a callup. (JJ)


9. Lucas Giolito, rhp, Nationals
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Team: Double-A Harrisburg (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-1, 1.50, 12 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 19 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: Slowly but surely, the command problems that hampered the early portion of Giolito's return to Double-A have dissipated. When he gets out of whack, he's able to correct himself more quickly. His stuff is still as dynamic as ever, too: In his most recent turn his fastball sat between 92-95 excellent life, his curve showed the same power break and his changeup, which checked in between 81-86 showed signs of progression. (JN)


10. Dan Vogelbach, 1b, Cubs

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Team: Triple-A Iowa (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .429/.571/1.071 (6-for-14), 8 R, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Vogelbach has drawn 98 walks in 136 games between Double-A and Triple-A dating back to last year, a sign of his outstanding plate patience and ability to manage the strike zone. The power came out this week too, bringing him up to .312/.433/.554 with 12 home runs this season. Yes, there are limitations with him defensively and it's not clear he's going to play many major league games with his current organization, but his bat is going to force Vogelbach into a big league lineup. (BB)


11. Francisco Mejia, c, Indians
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Team: low Class A Lake County (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .333/.379/.778 (9-for-27), 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: After topping this list last week, Mejia is back again. He added three more home runs this week, doubling his season total. He leads the Midwest League in average and OPS, and is just three points behind Eloy Jimenez for the slugging percentage lead. He's also caught 42 percent of runners trying to steal and has permitted just three passed balls. (JN)


12. Dylan Cozens, of, Phillies
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Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .435/.519/.870 (10-for-23), 8 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 4 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: The heart of the one of the most relentless lineups in the minor leagues, Cozens continues to mash. He swatted three more home runs this week, bringing his Eastern League-leading total to 19. He's also second on the circuit in RBIs. His power numbers drop off a bit away from cozy FirstEnergy Park, and he has a dramatic platoon split that bears watching as well. (JN)


13. Yeudy Garcia, rhp, Pirates
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Team: high Class A Bradenton (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.82, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 11 SO, 6 BB

The Scoop: After he pitched just 60 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2014, the Pirates eased Garcia into a starter’s workload in 2015, but he seems to have had little trouble adjusting. His fastball routinely sits at 94-95 mph and has been clocked as high as 98. He also throws a hard slider and a changeup, both of which flash plus but are inconsistent. (VLC)


14. Mark Mathias, 2b, Indians
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Team: high Class A Lynchburg (Carolina)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .471/.609/.765 (8-for-17), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Mathias' best skill is his ability to control the strike zone, which he's shown this year by drawing a walk in 10 percent of his plate appearances this season. What Mathias needs to show more of is the ability to make damage upon contact, as he's hit just two home runs with a .255/.345/.370 line overall in 53 games. (BB)


15. Rhys Hoskins, 1b, Phillies
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Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .409/.519/.909, 9-for-22, 3 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Don't write off Hoskins’ big season (.278/.341/.547) as entirely a creation of Reading’s fine hitting environment. For one, he's actually hitting nearly as well on the road (.289/.353/.529) as at home. Also, this follows on the heels of slugging better than .500 at low Class A Lakewood and high Class A Clearwater. Hoskins isn't an exceptional prospect, but he has legitimate power that bears watching. (JJ)


16. Patrick Weigel, rhp, Braves
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Team: low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 0-0, 1.50, 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 HBP, 9 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: Scouts have fun when they go in to see Atlanta's low Class A Rome club. The rotation is littered with interesting arms such as Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, Ricardo Sanchez and now Kolby Allard. Then there's Weigel, a seventh-round pick out of Houston last year who doesn't get the same attention, but stands out immediately for his size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds), then for his fastball that he can run up to 97 and for his performance, with a 2.66 ERA, 77 strikeouts and 30 walks in 74 1/3 innings. It's not the prettiest delivery and there's still a high level of bullpen risk with Weigel, but he's another name to know among Atlanta's pitching depth. (BB)


17. Ryan Mountcastle, ss, Orioles
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Team: low Class A Delmarva (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .464/.516/.857 (13-for-28), 9 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: After a year in the minor leagues, Mountcastle is shining in the South Atlantic League. Baltimore's first-round pick a year ago has five home runs this season, and three of them came this week. After a rough April, Mountcastle has settled in nicely, hitting .364/.424/.550 with four home runs and just 19 whiffs in 129 at-bats. (JN)


18. Yency Almonte, rhp, Rockies

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Team: high Class A Modesto (California)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 0-0, 1.13, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 8 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: The Rockies parlayed Rule 5 pick Tommy Kahnle into Almonte in a trade with the White Sox last November. While Almonte has moved slowly—he hasn't advanced past Class A in five pro seasons, and he has been traded twice—he made a mechanical breakthrough last season and has continued to excel this season. (ME)


19. Chase DeJong, rhp, Dodgers
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Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.71, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 10 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: A high school pitcher drafted by the Blue Jays in 2012 and acquired by the Dodgers last July, DeJong ranks among the Texas League leaders with seven wins, a 2.48 ERA and 66 strikeouts. The key number, however, is home runs allowed. DeJong, an extreme flyball pitcher, has allowed 10 this season but just four in his past eight starts, when he has gone 6-1, 1.32 with a .153 opponent average. (ME)


20. Willie Calhoun, 2b, Dodgers

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Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .357/.375/.857 (10-for-28), 6 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Calhoun doesn't look like a power hitter with his short, compact frame 5-foot-8, 190-pounds, yet he led Division I junior college hitters with 31 home runs in 61 games in 2015. Even in an aggressive assignment to Double-A Tulsa, Calhoun is still crushing the ball, with 14 home runs in 64 games and a .277/.340/.525 line overall. Calhoun has a special ability to control the barrel and hammer the ball with authority when he does connect, which is why he has nearly as many extra-base hits (30) as strikeouts (33).


HELIUM WATCH

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Enmanuel Valdez, 2b, Astros: The Dominican Summer League is underway, which means it’s time for the majority of the top July 2 signings from last year to make their official pro debuts. Few players are off to a better start than Valdez, a 17-year-old who signed for $450,000 last year out of the Dominican Republic. At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Valdez has a compact frame and has consistently performed in games before and after signing. In his pro debut, Valdez hit two home runs, and through 11 games, he’s hitting .357/.412/.762 with three home runs, five walks and five strikeouts. Valdez has a short lefthanded swing and good hand-eye coordination to make contact at a high rate, with a line-drive approach and surprising power early on in his career. Valdez’s defense will need to come along (he’s made seven errors in nine games at second base), but the early returns on his bat have been impressive. (BB)

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