Prospect Hot Sheet: May 29


See also: Previous Prospect Hot Sheet

As the draft clock continues to tick down and the international signing period set to begin in just five weeks, we happily bring you another version of the Prospect Hot Sheet.

This time around, the Sheet is dominated by arms, with Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo leading the way.

We’d like to throw out props to a couple of Red Sox this week, as Brandon Moss tore up the International League, hitting .444 with a pair of home runs, while high Class A Lancaster outfielder Bubba Bell refused to slow down.

Through 204 at-bats, Bell is hitting .368/.465/.657 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs.

It’ll take a promotion to Double-A to get a full read on the 24-year-old outfielder, as is the case with just about everyone on the Jet Hawks roster. Boston’s player-development staff likely feels the same way.
Anyway, so enough hullabaloo about the Sox, who only have one player ranking on this week’s Sheet: low Class A Greenville first baseman Lars Anderson.

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 comments, e-mail chriskline@baseballamerica.com.

1. Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Triple-A Nashville (Brewers)

Gallardo has been so good this season that it’s hard not to see him pitching for the NL Central-leading Brewers at some point this year. The 21-year-old leads the PCL in wins (7), strikeouts (84 in 60 innings) and ranks third with a 2.39 ERA. Oh, and he’s surrendered just one home run all year.

Gallardo gave up four runs in his first start of the season, but has given up three or fewer every time out since then. Granted, one of those three-run starts came last week, but Gallardo still managed to go 2-0, 3.09 while allowing seven hits, striking out 18 and walking five in 11 2/3 innings.

2. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, high Class A Tampa (Yankees)

Chamberlain has been dominant in the FSL since a hamstring injury delayed his start this season and he continued the trend last week. He yielded just six hits over 14 innings while striking out 16 and walking four.

3. Kasey Kiker, lhp, low Class A Clinton (Rangers)

After joining the Lumber Kings from extended spring training last week, the 2006 first-rounder tossed 10 shutout innings over his first two starts and struck out 17.

4. Josh Fields, 3b, Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox)

Hitting .220 for April is a good way to fall off the radar, but Fields’ big week has re-established him as one of the hottest prospects around. He went 11-for-22 last week to bat .500/.586/.909 with a pair of homers, seven runs batted in and eight runs scored. Even when the hits weren’t falling for Fields in April, he still managed to reach base (.350 OBP), and his season line now stands at .283/.398/.500.

5. Joey Votto, 1b, Triple-A Louisville (Reds)

Like Fields, Votto slumped in April, though also like Fields, he still managed to reach base (.192/.347/.346). Things have evened out for Votto in a big way since then, and his 17-game hitting streak concluded just Saturday. He went 10-for-20 (.500) last week with two home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs scored.

6. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, Double-A Birmingham (White Sox)

Gio was virtually untouchable in his last start, whiffing 12 over six innings. Though he’s 10 off the pace of minor league strikeout leader Gallardo, Gonzalez has fanned 74 in just 53 innings.

7. Will Inman, rhp, high Class A Brevard County (Brewers)

The Brewers’ third-ranked pitching prospect’s rising strikeout totals reached a crescendo on Friday when he fanned 12 Sarasota hitters in just six innings while yielding three hits and one earned run. Inman finished the week with 19 strikeouts in 11 innings with two earned runs and four walks.

8. Aaron Thompson, lhp, high Class A Jupiter (Marlins)

The 20-year-old lefty has emerged as the ace of a talented Hammerheads rotation, which includes the organization’s top-ranked prospect Chris Volstad, and further cemented his status with 17 strikeouts over 14 innings while yielding just one earned run in two starts last week.

9. David Huff, lhp, high Class A Kinston (Indians)

Huff made one mistake in his last start, leaving one up in the zone to Winston-Salem first baseman Micah Schnurstein. Other than that, Huff’s been very good over his last two outings, allowing a pair of runs and striking out 12 over 12 innings of work.

10. Carlos Triunfel, ss, low Class A Wisconsin (Mariners)

After struggling early, the 17-year-old is more than holding his own in the Midwest League. In 152 at-bats, Triunfel is hitting .309 with a .730 OPS–impressive numbers for a teenager in that circuit.

11. Heath Rollins, rhp, low Class A Columbus

Rollins kept rolling through the South Atlantic League again last week, collecting a pair of wins and striking out 12 over 11 innings for the Catfish.

12. Matt Garza, rhp, Triple-A Rochester (Twins)

Don’™t get us wrong: We like Kevin Slowey as much as anybody, but have you seen how well Garza has been pitching? Despite his bizarrely candid blow up Saturday, Garza might be the Twins best internal option to replace Ramon Ortiz in the rotation. He went 0-2, 0.64 with 11-6 strikeouts-walks in 14 innings last week.

13. Mitch Talbot, rhp, Triple-A Durham (Devil Rays)

The Bulls’ pitching staff, which also includes prospects Jeff Niemann, Jason Hammel, Andy Sonnanstine and J.P. Howell, has functioned smoothly all season long, and now Talbot has gotten into the act. Though two disastrous starts (18 runs in four innings) have deflated his season numbers, Talbot has rattled off four good efforts in a row. Last week, he went 2-0, 0.64 with 10-5 strikeouts-walks in 14 innings.

14. Andrew McCutchen, of, Double-A Altoona (Pirates)

Finally. McCutchen batted .400 last week to raise his overall average past the Mendoza Line. First Hot Sheet appearance (in a good way) this season.

15. Josh Bell, 3b, low Class A Great Lakes (Dodgers)

Finally, Part Two. Like McCutchen, Bell struggled in the cold weather, hitting just .216 in April. But he turned it around full-force last week, hitting .476 with three homers.

16. Lars Anderson, 1b, low Class A Greenville (Red Sox)

The Sure Thing. Anderson has been steady all season long for the Drive, and batted .407 last week to improve his overall numbers to .324/.411/.500 in 176 at-bats.

17. Wade Davis, rhp, high Class A Vero Beach (Devil Rays)

The hard-throwing 21-year-old is making his third Hot Sheet appearance this spring, and because of his consistency one could argue that Davis should have never been left off–he hasn’t yielded more than one earned in a start since April 18. Last week was a typical one for Davis: 11 innings, 13 strikeouts, two earned runs.

18. Mitchell Hilligoss, 3b, low Class A Charleston (Yankees)

Though Hilligoss appeared in the RiverDogs’ May 1 game, he did not record an official plate appearance, so his 34-game hit streak lives on. The 2006 sixth-round pick out of Purdue is hitting .330 overall, but has shown little, if any power–12 doubles, zero homers.

19. Eric Hurley, rhp, Double-A Frisco (Rangers)

Steady as she goes. Hurley just keeps getting consistent outs in the Texas League, improving his numbers to 6-0, 1.83 in 64 innings.

20. Blake DeWitt, 3b, high Class A Inland Empire (Dodgers)

It had been a rough spring for the highly-regarded Dodgers prospect before last week. He entered with a mere .219 batting average but finished hitting safely in five of six games to bump his average to .260. Dewitt had four multi-hit games and enjoyed an 11-for-15 stretch over three games at Lancaster (the slump-buster of all ballparks this season).
 

NOT-SO-HOT

George Kottaras, c, Triple-A Pawtucket (Red Sox)

David Wells, the man for whom Kottaras was traded last August, keeps rolling along in the big leagues at age 44. Kottaras, meanwhile, has yet to prove he’s ready for Triple-A. The 24-year-old backstop has hit just .194/.297/.291 in 103 at-bats, and has nabbed an just four of 37 basestealers (11 percent) on the year. Of note, Kottaras managed just a .210/.286/.361 line in his Triple-A trial last season.

Ubaldo Jimenez, rhp, Triple-A Colorado Springs (Rockies)

Jimenez has awakened somewhat from his nightmare season in the PCL–and that’s saying something, considering he went 1-0, 3.46 with 6-8 strikeouts-walks in 13 innings last week. On the year, Jimenez has given up 53 hits and 36 walks in 53 innings (1.68 WHIP), but, somewhat amazingly, he hasn’t hit a batter this year and has uncorked just four wild pitches.

Nick Adenhart, rhp, Double-A Arkansas (Angels)

We’ve been big Adenhart fans since his days at Williamsport (Md.) High, but the 20-year-old has been scuffling in the Texas League lately. The 2004 14th-round pick has allowed eight runs on 15 hits and walked seven over his last 11 innings.

Matt Sulentic, of, low Class A Kane County (Athletics)

We like to give players in their first full season the benefit of the doubt, but when you’re two months into the season with .156/.220/.184 overall numbers and you have just one hit in your last 21 at-bats, you find yourself here.

Brian Dopirak, 1b, high Class A Daytona (Cubs)

BA national writer Chris Kline predicted a comeback year for Dopirak. Chris Kline was wrong. But hey, it’s only May and Dopirak has already been reassigned from Double-A Tennessee to another turn through the Florida State League where he’s struck out 11 in his first 42 at-bats.

HELIUM WATCH

It’s all White Sox Helium this week as we break out:

Paulo Orlando, of, high Class A Winston-Salem (White Sox)

One of the fastest runners in the minors, the 21-year-old former track star in Brazil is holding his own in the Carolina League. Through 101 at-bats, Orlando is hitting .277/.333/.386.

Faustino De Los Santos, rhp, low Class A Kannapolis (White Sox)

De Los Santos struck out 15 last week, and the 21-year-old Dominican is now 4-1, 2.08 with 53 punchouts in 48 innings for the Intimidators. His fastball sits in the 90-93 mph range with heavy sink and also throws a mid-80s slider and changeup.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Craig Brazell, dh, Triple-A Omaha (Royals)

Which batter led the PCL in homers (eight), slugging percentage (1.310), extra-base hits (10), RBIs (14) and runs scored (nine) last week? Craig Brazell, of course. Power has always come easy for the 27-year-old Brazell, a fifth-round pick of the Mets in 1998 who has smacked 136 minor league home runs.

Minors | #2007 #Prospect Hot Sheet

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