Pitchers dominated the last two weeks on the Prospect Hot Sheet, so
you’d have to figure it was only a matter of time before hitters
started raking their way onto the list.
So here it is: While arms occupy the top two spots, hitters rank in
seven out of the top 10, led by Double-A Jacksonville outfielder Matt
Kemp–who was cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation
by the Dodgers in a brawl against Birmingham two weeks ago.
Speaking of the Dodgers, we’d like to throw out some special props to
lefthander Greg Miller, who, after multiple shoulder surgeries, is 1-0,
0.82 coming out of the pen for the Suns. And it looks like the velocity
is all the way back–Miller hit 97 mph in his last two outings.
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
|1. Nick Adenhart, rhp, Angels (Low Class A Cedar Rapids)|
Tommy John survivor appears 100 percent healthy and 100 percent
dominant. The 19-year-old righthander has allowed just two earned runs
in 21 May innings and is now 6-0, 1.60 on the season with a 54-10
strikeout-walk ratio in 51 innings.
|2. Radhames Liz, rhp, Orioles (High Class A Frederick)|
already has two double-digit strikeout performances this season, and
while he only posted six K’s in as many innings in his last start
against Kinston, he didn’t allow a hit until his final inning of work.
Liz is dominating the Carolina League to the tune of 4-0, 1.18 with 56
strikeouts in 38 innings. Only Adenhart’s 17 K’s in his last two
outings keep Liz out of the top spot.
|3. Matt Kemp, of, Dodgers (Double-A Jacksonville)|
we banged him last week after he allegedly punched Birmingham manager
Chris Cron in the face in one of three brawls between the two teams
last Saturday. But the Dodgers say Kemp never hit anyone and since
then, all he’s done is hit baseballs . . . hard. Over his last 24
at-bats, Kemp is hitting .413 with a pair of homers and nine RBIs.
|4. Josh Fields, 3b, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte)|
career .263 hitter entering this season, the former Oklahoma State
quarterback seems to have discovered his swing–consistently. Fields is
the best hitter on the best team in the minors, hitting .357/.432/.670.
|5. Luis Montanez, of, Cubs (Double-A West Tenn)|
will never live up to the expectations that come along with being the
third overall pick in the 2000 draft, but he’s closer than he’s ever
been at giving the Cubs a return on their investment. Converted to the
outfield from shortstop two years ago, Montanez is now leading the
Southern League in batting with 368/.441/.474 numbers.
|6. Brian Barton, of, Indians (High Class A Kinston)|
24, Barton might be a little old by Carolina League standards, but a
22-game hit streak through Sunday lands him in the top 10. In 95
at-bats, Barton is hitting 347/.443/.642 with six homers. Not bad for a
guy who went undrafted out of Miami in 2004 and had to fight for a
starting job in high Class A to start the year.
|7. Shawn Riggans, c, Devil Rays (Triple-A Durham)|
there is a hotter hitter in the minors, please let us know. After
hitting .197 in April, Riggans is raking at a .485 clip this month and
is now up to .293/.374/.525, picking up the slack for a suspended
|8. Ryan Patterson, of, Blue Jays (High Class A Dunedin)|
should make this list for his May 8 performance alone. In that game,
Patterson went 6-for-6 with two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.
The LSU product is now hitting .309/.362/.544 in the pitcher-friendly
Florida State League.
|9. Zach Segovia, rhp, Phillies (High Class A Clearwater)|
Florida State League could not contain him. After going 5-1, 2.19, he got the call to Double-A Reading and dominated in his first start,
throwing seven shutout innings in his debut. No, he’s not the next Cole
Hamels, so save the Chuck Norris-like blogs . . . for now.
|10. Drew Macias, of, Padres (Double-A Mobile)|
hit out of his shoes last week, raking at a .542 clip. A 35th-round
pick in 2002, Macias has added strength and continues to impress in the
Southern League. “He just has a whip through the zone,” a scout from a
National League club said. “He’s leaps and bounds ahead of where he was
last year at this time.” Overall, Macias is hitting .327/.415/.478.
|Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b, Indians (Double-A Akron): Kouzmanoff
has always been known as a prototypical third baseman–there’s nothing
fancy about him, he just makes all the plays. Finally healthy after
back problems dogged him last season, Kouzmanoff is now hitting
|Thomas Diamond, rhp, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): Finally
cracking the list after several up and down performances, it’s been
mostly positive lately for the Rangers’ first-rounder in 2004. Overall,
Diamond is 2-1, 3.72 with 41 strikeouts in 29 innings.
|Billy Buckner, rhp, Royals (High Class A High Desert): In what might be
the most impressive stat of the year thus far, Buckner has yet to allow
a home run in 47 innings and he plays his home games in the homer haven
that is High Desert.
|Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Brewers (High Class A Brevard County): Bumped
down from the Top 10 last week, but still in the mix. Gallardo lost his
only start this past week, but still whiffed nine in six innings.
|Gabby Sanchez, 1b/c, Marlins (Low Class A Greensboro): Homered in seven of his first 11 games, and now has homered in four of the last five to bring his total to 11. Streaky much?|
|Kyle Blanks, 1b, Padres (Low Class A Fort Wayne): The
big fella has cut down on the homers, but a seven-game hit streak has
his average up to .343 and he has 18 walks compared to 20 strikeouts.
The latter is a positive sign that he likely won’t become the next
|Mike Stodolka, 1b, Royals (High Class A High Desert): Stodolka
abandoned the mound for the first time this season, and he couldn’t
have picked a better place–or a better league–to try his hand at
hitting to breathe new life into his career. The first-round pick of
the Royals in 2000 is hitting .316/.434/.633 and belted three of his
five homers last week.
|Josh Anderson, of, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): Went
10-for-24 (.416) last week to improve his overall numbers to
.345/.392/.448 and is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
|Kevin Slowey, rhp, Twins (High Class A Fort Myers): We
bumped Slowey off the Top 10 this week, though he did little to warrant
that move. The command and control pitcher has 19 strikeouts in May,
and has yet to issue a walk this month. But then again, that’s been the
case all year, as Slowey owns a 53-2 strikeout-walk ratio in 41 innings.
|Jason Botts, of, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma): After
breaking out two weeks ago, Botts improved to hit .444 over the last
seven days, adding three home runs and upping his overall numbers to
|Tom Gorzelanny, lhp, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): Next
in line for a callup to PNC Park? Gorzelanny has been solid all year
long at Indy, whiffing nine over eight shutout innings in his last
start. He’s now 2-2, 3.02 with 49 strikeouts in 44 innings.
|Lance Broadway, rhp, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): Now leading the Southern League with a 1.42 ERA and living up to that first-round status.|
|Jensen Lewis, rhp, Indians (High Class A Kinston): Lewis
was brutal in April, carrying a 6.52 ERA in 19 innings. But he’s turned
it around this month, reeling off four straight wins and is 3-0, 2.50
this month overall.
|Jared Lansford, rhp, Athletics (Low Class A Kane County): Carried
a no-hitter into the sixth in his season debut two weeks ago, then
threw a seven inning no-hitter Sunday. Has allowed just seven hits in
17 innings overall.
|Chip Cannon, 1b, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): Has three homers in his current seven-game hit streak, but needs to watch the whiffs. Cannon has 40 in 117 at-bats.|
|Andy Marte, 3b, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo)|
Tribe doesn’t expect him to be ready until next season, but they
probably didn’t expect .238/327/.331 numbers in a return trip to the
International League. Marte has just 10 extra-base hits in 130 at-bats.
He did hit his first homer since Aug. 23 of last year over the weekend
|Chris Seddon, lhp, Devil Rays (Triple-A Durham)|
|Three straight losses, and during that span he’s allowed 18 earned runs on 18 hits in 16 innings.|
|Jake Stevens, lhp, Braves (High Class A Myrtle Beach)|
last start and has only lasted 10 innings over his last three outings.
In his last start, Stevens allowed five earned runs and five walks over
five innings. He’s now 1-5, 8.71 with an 18-22 strikeout-walk ratio.
|Van Pope, 3b, Braves (High Class A Myrtle Beach)|
|Stevens’ teammate hasn’t fared much better with the bat. Pope is hitting just .221/.295/.344 in 97 at-bats.|
|Greg Golson, of, Phillies (Low Class A Lakewood)|
|We haven’t rolled out Golson since Week 1 of the season, but unfortunately he’s just as deserving now as he was then. Golson hasn’t had a hit since May 9 and his overall numbers have dropped to .141/.204/.207 with 41 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 135 at-bats.|
|Travis Driskill, rhp, Astros (Triple-A Round Rock)|
|After spending much of the spring in camp with the Devil Rays, Tampa Bay released the 34-year-old righthander and he signed with the Astros. He’s back in Round Rock–where he spent much of 2005. In 17 relief innings, Driskill is 3-1, 0.52 with five saves for the Express.|
|Juan Salas, rhp, Devil Rays (Double-A Montgomery)|
|A converted infielder who struggled with his command when he first moved over to the mound, Salas is now slamming doors all over the Southern League. In 18 innings, the 27-year-old righthander is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and has nine saves. Left exposed to the Rule 5 draft last year, but no other clubs took a chance on him, Salas has a 27-9 strikeout-walk ratio as a Biscuit.|