As the lowly intern, I came into our Prospect Hot Sheet meeting with 14 low Class A players who I thought should receive consideration for the 20 spots on the Hot Sheet. Four Triple-A, eight Double-A and six high Class A jokers later, just two of my guys ended up on the list: No. 16 Sean Watson and No. 18 Jeff Manship.
Maybe the guys on my list didn’t measure up to Nate Schierholtz, Brandon Hynick, and Eulogio de la Cruz, but they still deserve a taste of the spotlight. That’s why we’re bringing you the Chris Marrero Hot Sheet, a Prospect Hot Sheet solely for the low Class A player:
1. Chris Marrero, of, Hagerstown (Nationals)
Should it really come as a surprise that Chris Marrero opens up as the No. 1 player on the Chris Marrero Hot Sheet? Yes, he went 8-for-23 last week, which isn’t blistering, but he had three home runs. So while it’s rare to find a low Class A left fielder who’s a prospect, Marrero is the exception that proves the rule. It’s not his fault the Nationals stuck him out there so quickly.
2. Jamie Richmond, lhp, Rome (Braves)
Richmond struck out 12 while walking one in 13 innings last week and has a 1.10 WHIP and 26-4 strikeouts-walks in 28.1 innings this season. Pair his hot start up with an excellent stint in the Appy league last summer (52-4 K-BB, 51 H in 67 innings) with a projectable frame and you have a player on the rise.
3. Jordan Smith, rhp, Dayton (Reds)
He pitched six one-hit, shutout innings and struck out seven while walking one last week. And with the benefit of an extra day for the Chris Marrero Hot Sheet, he gets the benefit of a strong Monday start (3 K, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB).
4. Jason Donald, ss, Lakewood (Phillies)
Donald had five multi-hit games last week–and had one hit in both of his other games. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder out of Arizona also mashed five extra base-hits (2 HR) in his 15-for-27 week. He’s hitting .358/.421/.509 through 106 at-bats.
5. Omar Poveda, rhp, Clinton (Rangers)
The 19-year-old Venezuelan struck out 17 batters in 14 innings last week while walking three and giving up six hits. The only blemish on Poveda’s week was that he allowed two runs in each of his starts. There aren’t yet any international players in low Class A who are matching what Fernando Martinez, Jose Tabata and Deolis Guerra did as 17-year-olds last season, but Poveda is making a mark on the mound.
Jeff Lyman, Rome: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Clayton Kershaw, Great Lakes: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K–missed scheduled Saturday start (hamstring)
Ryan Royster, Columbus: 12-for-27 with two home runs