Prospect Hot Sheet (June 3): Blooming Meadows

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players have done from May 27-June 2. 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, Kyle Glaser, Josh Norris and Vince Lara-Cinisomo


1. Austin Meadows, of, Pirates
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Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .483/.515/.828 (14-for-29), 6 R, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 5-for-6 SB

The Scoop: An orbital fracture suffered in March set Meadows back at the outset of the season, but the 2013 first-rounder has shown signs of catching up with the speed of the Double-A game in May. The center fielder hit .483 with six extra-base hits this week, including his first home run of 2016. Since May 1, the 21-year-old Meadows is hitting .309/.374/.515 with 13 extra-base hits, 12 walks and seven steals in 28 games. (ME)


2. Tyler Jay, lhp, Twins
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Team: high Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 11 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Jay worked as a reliever for most of his career at Illinois, but the Twins appear to have struck gold by converting him into a starter in pro ball. He starts his repertoire with a mid-90s fastball and a hard-biting slider and is working on sharpening his curveball and changeup. Jay has whiffed 55 in 52 innings this year, good for fourth in the Florida State League. (JN)


3. Alex Reyes, rhp, Cardinals
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Team: Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 2.45, 11 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 18 SO, 4 BB

The Scoop: After sitting out 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse in the Arizona Fall League, Reyes returned on May 22 and has shown absolutely no signs of rust. He whiffed 18 in 11 innings this week and 26 over the 15 frames since he returned. With his three-pitch mix of high-90s heat, a top-shelf curveball and changeup, he's one of the few pitchers in the minors with ace potential. (JN)


4. Chad Pinder, ss, Athletics
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Team: Triple-A Nashville (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .419/.500/.645 (13-for-31), 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The Texas League MVP last season, Pinder struggled in April in the traditionally more hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but his production has ticked up since May 1. He’s an intelligent hitter who projects to provide steady defensive play and heady overall play. (VLC)


5. Willson Contreras, c, Cubs

3ds_cubs79Team: Triple-A Iowa (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .455/.520/1.045 (10-for-22), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: An early-career third baseman, Contreras has embraced catching since first donning a chest protector in 2012. He enjoyed a breakout 2015 that included a Southern League batting title, and his production at the outset of this season indicates that he's no fluke. Contreras has hit .337 and ranks fourth in the Pacific Coast League with a .427 on-base percentage. (ME)


6. Hunter Renfroe, of, Padres
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Team:
Triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast)
Age:
22
Why He's Here:
.400/.400/.900 (12-for-30), 9 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 0 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: The mechanical swing changes Renfroe made at the suggestion of Padres coaches have paid off. He’s quicker to the ball without sacrificing power, and while the right fielder won’t hit at the level his current record suggests, he should be at least an average hitter with 20-homer power. (VLC)


7. Adalberto Mejia, lhp, Giants
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Team: Double-A Richmond (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 10 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Mejia is mastering Double-A in his third straight year at that level, ranking second in the Eastern League in WHIP (0.94) and tied for third in ERA (1.87). His latest outing, in which he came within one out of his first career shutout, ran his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 consecutive innings. It has been a strong bounceback campaign for the 6-foot-3 Dominican. Last year he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a stimulant and missed part of two more months with shoulder tendinitis. (KG)


8. Sam Howard, lhp, Rockies
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Team: high Class A Modesto (California)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 10 SO, 3 BB

The Scoop: The 2014 third-round pick out of Georgia Southern continued to dominate the California League, tying his career-high in strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.65 in his lone start of the week. Ranked the Rockies No. 25 prospect before the season, Howard now leads Colorado's pitching-rich system in strikeouts (66) and is second in ERA and WHIP (1.00). The 6-foot-3 Georgia native can get up to 95 mph with his fastball and has lowered his ERA and WHIP each successive year as a pro. (KG)


9. Carlos Munoz, 1b, Pirates
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Team: low Class A West Virginia (South Atlantic)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .542/.500/.750 (13-for-26), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Munoz mashed his way to a .325/.427/.587 line with 11 home runs in 56 games last year in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, by far his biggest offensive outburst in his first five pro seasons. In his first year of full-season ball, Munoz has continued to show a keen batting eye, though with three homers and a .385 slugging percentage, he will have to pick up the pace in terms of power. (BB)


10. Rowdy Tellez, 1b, Blue Jays
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Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .458/.533/.875 (11-for-24), 9 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: A rough start to the season saw Tellez's OPS bottom out to .574 on May 8, when he was hitting just .143. Since then, he has been on a tear, which has boosted his season numbers to .250/.362/.477 through 49 games. Tellez has the blend of hitting ability, power and patience to hold down the first-base position as a regular at the major league level within the next couple of years. (BB)


11. Roman Quinn, of, Phillies
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Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .394/.417/.697 (13-for-33), 9 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 10 SO, 2-for-5 SB

The Scoop: Quinn is by far the speediest players in the Phillies system, and one of the fastest in the minors. But he's more than a pair of quick-twitch legs. Quinn has more than a little bit of power, and he's showing it at Reading. He led off consecutive games with homers this week, and projects to be a little more than a slash-and-burn player in the majors. (JN)


12. Tyler O'Neill, of, Mariners
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Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .462/.516/.692 (12-for-26), 5 R, 6 2B, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: A third-round pick out of high school in British Columbia in 2013, O'Neill tightened his strike zone this season and has thrived in a jump to Double-A. The powerful, righthanded-hitting right fielder has improved his walk and strikeout rates while continuing to drive the ball to all fields. O'Neill leads the Southern League with 64 hits, 41 RBIs and 27 extra-base hits. (ME)


13. Miguel Andujar, 3b, Yankees
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Team: high Class A Tampa (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .364/.462/.636 (8-for-22), 6 R, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Through the early part of his pro career, Andujar had been known for starting a level slowly before turning it on the second half. This year, in a return to Tampa, he has found his stroke early. He OPSed .869 in May and ranks second in the Florida State League with nine home runs. The righthanded batter tends to struggle against lefthanders—.189 this year—which bears watching. (JN)


14. Joey Gallo, 3b, Rangers
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Team: Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .421/.542/.842 (8-for-19), 4 R, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: At least Gallo had great seats to some major league games when the Rangers brought him up for a week at the end of May. He received one plate appearance as a pinch-hitter but otherwise warmed the bench. Despite the inactivity, Gallo didn't lose any rhythm at the plate when he got back to Round Rock, where he's hitting .294/.438/.676 in 29 games with 10 home runs, 27 walks and 31 strikeouts. (BB)


15. Josh Ockimey, 1b, Red Sox
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Team: low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .393/.485/.536 (11-for-28), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 8 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Ockimey has had no trouble executing his hitting plan during his full-season debut. He leads the South Atlantic League with nine home runs, 42 walks and a .966 OPS, indicating that he knows how to wait for his pitch—and then punish it when he gets it. (ME)


16. Manuel Margot, of, Padres
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Team:
Triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast)
Age:
21
Why He's Here:
.414/.469/.517 (12-for-29), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2-for-4 SB

The Scoop: The Padres acquired Margot and shortstop Javier Guerra from the Red Sox last November in the Craig Kimbrel deal, and while Guerra has struggled at high Class A, Margot has made a case for a callup while at El Paso. He shows a mature hitting approach, with plus bat speed, gap power and plus instincts for center field. The speedy Margot has hit .299 this season with 16 stolen bases in 23 tries. (VLC)


17. Brandon Dixon, 2b, Reds
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Team: Double-A Pensacola (Southern)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .647/.667/1.647 (11-for-17), 7 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 14 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: The 2013 third-round pick and former Pacific-12 Conference batting champion has found new life after being traded from the Dodgers to the Reds in the three-team deal that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox last offseason. Dixon had back-to-back multi-home run games Sunday and Tuesday, and he capped the week with another homer Thursday. He is now hitting .312 with a .922 OPS in his first year with the Reds after never hitting better than .263 with a .746 OPS in three seasons with the Dodgers. (KG)


18. Andy Ibanez, 2b, Rangers
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Team: low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .350/.480/.700 (7-for-20), 3 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: As Roberto Baldoquin (Angels), Yoan Lopez (Diamondbacks), Eddy Julio Martinez (Cubs) and Omar Estevez (Dodgers) struggle, Ibanez continues to look like a bargain among young Cuban signings who were subject to the international bonus pools. At 23, Ibanez needs to prove himself in a league with a greater difficulty level, but he can only play where he's assigned, and at .313/.407/.511 with more walks (29) than strikeouts (28) and a near equal number of extra-base hits (24), Ibanez is doing all he can to get promoted. (BB)


19. Socrates Brito, of, Diamondbacks
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Team: Triple-A Reno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .393/.400/.714 (11-for-28), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 3B, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: Arizona's reigning organizational player of the year broke out of his season-long slump in a huge way this week, capping it off with a 4-for-5 performance Thursday in which he finished a home run shy of the cycle. The scorching stretch raised his season average from .224 to .258 and nearly doubled his extra-base hit total (from seven to 13) on the year. After beginning the year in the majors but struggling after a mid-April demotion, it was a step in the right direction for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Dominican, who also started 2015 slow before taking flight in the second half. (KG)


20. Ryan Kellogg, lhp, Cubs
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Team: low Class A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 2.13, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 15 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: The big Canadian lefthander turned down the hometown Blue Jays to attend Arizona State and was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round last June. Though he's 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Kellogg is more about pitchability than blow-it-by-you stuff, with a fastball that sits 88-91 mph with good sink. (VLC)


HELIUM WATCH

Brock Stewart, rhp, Dodgers. Stewart spent most of his time at Illinois State at third base, but the Dodgers were intrigued by his arm strength and drafted him in the sixth round in 2014 as a righthanded pitcher. Now, his fastball has touched 96 mph with advanced command. He now throws two types of sliders, one he tries to get batters to chase and one he can throw for strikes, though one evaluator graded the pitch as fringy. His changeup has progressed to where it is now a fringe-average pitch.

Stewart has little mileage on his arm, and his feel for pitching is understandably raw, but his baseball upbringing—his father Jeff is a Padres scout—gives him a high baseball IQ. For the season, the 24-year-old has struck out 59 and walked nine in 49 innings. The Dodgers will continue to develop him as a starter, but if the need arises he could move quickly as a reliever. (VLC)

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