By Kevin Goldstein
August 30, 2005
While the Hot Sheet focuses only on what's going in the minor leagues
played here in the States, we do want to throw out some props to Red
Sox first baseman/outfielder Carlos Fernandez, who owned the Venezuelan
Summer League, which just like the Gulf Coast League or the International
League, is part of the NAPBL. Fernandez, an 18-year-old lefthanded hitter,
led the VSL in batting (.347), RBIs (48) and hits (68), while finishing
among the top three in doubles (21), on-base percentage (.416) and slugging
(.505). Fernandez, who will likely make his U.S. debut in 2006, finished
strong, finishing the year with a 10-game hitting streak in which he
It's our weekly snapshot of baseball's hottest prospects, combining prospect
status with recent performance. This list isn't a replacement or an update
to our Top 100
it often will change drastically from week to week based on performance.
We aren't replacing Delmon Young or Felix Hernandez as the top prospects
in baseball; rather, we are giving you a snapshot of the hottest prospects.
Keep up with news on these prospects plus many more on a daily basis with
the Daily Dish
Baseball America Prospect Report
We love to hear your opinions, so send your list to Kevin at email@example.com, but keep in mind there are only 20 spots on the Hot Sheet, and chances are there are more than 20 hot prospects during a week-long span. We aren't intentionally forgetting your guythere's just only so much room. Also remember the key word in the titleprospectso, 25-year-old Class A organizational players who are tearing the cover off the ball rarely apply.
|1. Kendry Morales, 1b, Angels (Double-A Arkansas)
|Generally considered the best position player
to ever defect from Cuba, Morales signed a six-year deal in
December that could be worth as much as $10 million. It took
until late May to get him into the country because of tighter
immigration laws. Morales has proved worth the wait. In a combined
90 games between high Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Arkansas,
Morales is batting .315-21-68, including a Playstation-like
21-for-34 (.618) with four home runs and 14 RBIs in his last
|2. Brandon Wood, ss, Angels (High Class A Rancho Cucamonga)
|With seven games left in the regular season, Wood's
chances to reach 100 extra-base hits improved last week, with
three more doubles (extending his minor league lead to 51) and
three more home runs (extending his minor league lead to 42),
giving him 97 on the season to go with 72 singles.
|3. Francisco Liriano, lhp, Twins (Triple-A Rochester)
|In 13 International League starts, the 21-year-old
fireballer has recorded twice as many strikeouts (102) as hits
allowed (51), while limiting his opponents to two or fewer earned
runs in eight of his last nine outings.
|4. Howie Kendrick, 2b, Angels (Double-A Arkansas)
|Kendrick's 0-for-3 mark on August 21 is his only
hitless game in the last 28. In just 104 games, Kendrick has
amassed 99 runs, 168 hits, 42 doubles, 18 home runs, 88 RBIs
and 23 stolen bases.
|5. Ryan Zimmerman, ss/3b, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
|The fourth overall pick this June out of Virginia,
Zimmerman is likely to become the first position player from
the 2005 draft to reach the major leagues. Batting .323-9-32
in 61 Eastern League games, Zimmerman has been on fire of late
(.387 in his last 25 games) as he prepares for a September look
in the big leagues.
|6. Jeff Clement, c, Mariners (Low Class A Wisconsin)
|Drafted one slot ahead of Zimmerman, Clement hit
.224 in his first 14 games for the Timber Rattlers, but his
been the hottest hitter in the Midwest League since, going 20-for-39
(.513) in his last 10 games with four home runs and 13 RBIs.
|7. Lastings Milledge, of, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
|Now batting .337 in 48 Double-A games at the tender
age of 20, Milledge is placing himself in line for a job in
the big leagues next year, thanks to much improved plate discipline.
|8. Billy Butler, of, Royals (Double-A Wichita)
|It didn't take long for Butler to adjust to Double-A
pitching. Despite being just 19, Butler is batting .431 (14-for-31)
in his last eight games with three home runs, and now has 108
RBIs in 115 games overall.
|9. Chuck James, lhp, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
|Because he's played at three levels, it's hard
to appreciate what a great season the 23-year-old lefty has
had, so we'll do the addition for you. 13-5, 1.84 in 27 starts
with 187 strikeouts and just 35 walks in 152 innings.
|10. Shane Lindsay, rhp, Rockies (Short-season Tri-City)
|The 20-year-old Aussie has made 13 starts for
the Dust Devils, and he's remarkably recorded more strikeouts
than innings pitched every time out. According to the always
industrial Jeff Chernow at STATS, Inc., the longest major league
streak of games with more strikeouts than innings pitched since
1980 is 14, by all-time strikeout king Nolan Ryan in 1989.
11. Chad Billingsley, rhp, Dodgers (Double-A Jacksonville)
|Billingsley entered the year as one of the top
pitching prospects in baseball, but dropped off the radar a
bit after going 4-4, 4.79 over 16 starts in the season's first
three months. Billingsley has looked more like the 2004 model
of late, going 4-1, 1.09 in five August starts, while allowing
just 14 hits in 33 innings.
|12. Daniel Haigwood, lhp, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
|In 10 Southern League starts, Haigwood has allowed
less than two earned runs in all but one outing, limiting Southern
League batters to a miniscule .159 average (35 hits in 65 innings)
in the process.
|13. Erick Aybar, ss, Angels (Double-A Arkansas)
|The reason Brandon Wood is still in the California
League, the ultra-toolsy Aybar has gone 20-for-41 in his last
nine games, and now leads the Texas League with 157 base hits.
|14. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c, Braves (High Class A
|After going 12 games without a home run, Salty
powered out three this week, raising his season totals to .314-19-76
-- remarkable numbers for a catcher who played half of his home
games at Coastal Federal Field.
|15. Ray Liotta, lhp, White Sox (High Class A Winston-Salem)
|You think he's funny? You think he's a clown?
Carolina League hitters certainly don't, as the 2004 second-round
pick has gone 6-1, 1.05 in seven starts since a promotion from
the Sally League.
|16. Travis Wood, lhp, Reds (Rookie-Level Billings)
|With the Gulf Coast League over, the Reds sent
the leagues' most dominant pitcher to the Carolina League, where
the 18-year-old is still rolling along, with a 1.80 ERA in four
appearances and just nine hits allowed in 15 innings.
|17. Kevin Slowey, rhp, Twins (Low Class A Beloit)
|A second-round pick out of Winthrop, Slowey warmed
up as a pro in the Appy League by striking out 15 in 7 2/3 innings
while allowing just two hits. Moved into the Beloit rotation,
Slowey has a 2.34 ERA in 12 games for the Snappers, with a nifty
62-6 strikeout-walk ratio in 58 innings.
|18. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, White Sox (High Class A Winston-Salem)
|The third White Sox lefty on this week's edition,
Gonzalez has found his groove again in the Carolina League,
with a 1.44 ERA in his last four starts while allowing just
14 hits in 26 innings.
|19. Alberto Callaspo, 2b, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
|I guess the Angels have some middle infielders,
huh? Promoted to Triple-A in mid-July to make room for Howie
Kendrick at Arkansas, Callaspo upped his average 30 points (to
.302) in just four days, going 11-for-20.
|20. Andrew McCutchen, of, Pirates (Short-season Williamsport)
|After going 10-for-19 in the final five games
of the Gulf Coast League season, the 11th overall pick this
June has stayed hot since moving up to the New York-Penn League,
going an identical 10-for-19 in his first four games for the
Special Mention Category
|Vince Faison, of, Yankees (High Class A Tampa)
The 20th overall pick of the 1999 draft, Faison
was never able to translate his athleticism into on-the-field
performance, batting just .241/.315/.367 in six pro seasons.
Without a job entering 2005, the 24-year-old Faison hooked
on with Jackson in the independent Central League, where he
hit .303-15-66 in 83 games before getting another shot with
the Yankees. Assigned to shore up the roster at Tampa, Faison
has been unstoppable, batting .455 in eight games with four
doubles, three triples and a home run.
In The Team Photo
Josh Barfield, 2b, Padres (Triple-A Portland)
Daric Barton, 1b, Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Travis Buck, of, Athletics (Low Class A Kane County)
Eric Campbell, 3b, Braves (Rookie-level Danville)
Cesar Carrillo, rhp, Padres (High Class A Lake Elsinore)
Chris Carter, 1b, Diamondbacks (Double-A Tennessee)
Stephen Head, 1b, Indians (High Class A Kinston)
Ian Kinsler, 2b, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
George Kottaras, c, Padres (Double-A Mobile)
Gerald Laird, c, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
Nick Markakis, of, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Dustin Nippert, rhp, Diamondbacks (Double-A Tennessee)
Ricky Nolasco, rhp, Cubs (Double-A West Tenn)
Garret Olson, lhp, Orioles (High Class A Frederick)
Jonathan Sanchez, lhp, Giants (Low Class A Augusta)
Nick Stavinoha, of, Cardinals (Low Class A Quad Cities)
Taylor Teagarden, c, Rangers (Short-season Spokane)
Shane Victorino, of, Phillies (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
Corey Wimberly, if, Rockies (Rookie-level Casper)
Kyle Yates, rhp, Blue Jays (High Class A Dunedin)
Joel Zumaya, rhp, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)