The Prospect Hot Sheet is not a re-ranking of the Top 100 Prospects. This is a snapshot of which top prospects are excelling and which ones are struggling right now. Stats cover the period April 20-26.

Contributing: Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy and Jim Shonerd.

No. 1 WILL MIDDLEBROOKS
RED SOX
Team: Triple-A Pawtucket (International)
Age: 23.
Why He's Here: .400/.520/1.100 (8-for-20), 7 R, 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB.
The Scoop: The two hottest hitters in the International League in April have been Middlebrooks and Toldeo first baseman Brad Eldred. The Tigers called up Eldred yesterday, but the 31-year-old minor league veteran may simply be enjoying one of the best months of his career. For Middlebrooks, however, this recent surge could mean oh so much more, especially in light of his youth. At 23, he's young for the Triple-A level.

Middlebrooks is an excellent athlete who last year started to turn his quality tools into on-field production. This year, we may be seeing him make the jump from top prospect to an elite one. He has excellent bat speed with a swing that produces both loft and backspin. At the rate he's going, he could reach double digits for home runs by the end of April. He hit a career-high 23 last year.

Middlebrook's early hot streak comes with no caveats. He's hitting nearly equally well against lefthanders and righthanders, and his home/road splits are close to identical as well. The below-average runner is even 3-for-3 on steals this month. But even in light of Boston's slow start, the Red Sox have little reason to rush Middlebrooks, not with regular third baseman Kevin Youkilis entering an option year in 2013.
2012 Stats

No. 2 JONATHAN SINGLETON, 1B
ASTROS
Team: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .429/.484/.929 (12-for-28), 3 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 9 RBIs, 8 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Singleton hit his first homer of the season last Friday, starting him on an extra-base hit binge that accounted for the bulk of his 26 total bases last week. Among the highlights: A two-double game on Monday and a two-homer game Tuesday in which he went deep against Athletics 2011 first-rounder Sonny Gray. Singleton's offensive barrage pushed him to second in the Texas League batting race (.368), third in slugging (.662) and fourth in extra-base hits (12). By virtue of his 11-to-15 walk-to-strikeout ratio, he also leads the TL in on-base percentage at .456.

Singleton dabbles occasionally in left field with the Hooks, but his future lies at first base for the Astros, a position he may assume during the second half of 2013. His feel for the strike zone and burgeoning power give him a chance to be a first-division regular there.
2012 Stats

No. 3 JOSE FERNANDEZ, RHP
MARLINS
Team: low Class A Greensboro (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO
The Scoop: If it wasn't for Dylan Bundy, Fernandez would probably be the talk of the South Atlantic League. The Marlins' 2011 first-rounder (14th overall) offers his own combination of a power arm and command. He's overmatched SAL hitters in his first four starts, allowing just nine hits, striking out 33 and walking eight in 23 innings. He's whiffed at least seven in each start. Fernandez leads league starters in opponent average (.120) and ranks second in strikeouts. On Tuesday, Fernandez and two relievers combined to no-hit Hickory, with walks in the third and fifth innings being the only baserunners he allowed.
2012 Stats

No. 4 WIL MYERS, RF
ROYALS
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas).
Age:
21.
Why He's Here:
.400/.483/.880 (10-for-25) 9 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 2-for-2 SB.
The Scoop:
Myers' April has been a palate cleanser that has managed to erase any lingering bad taste from a difficult 2011 Texas League season. Last year Myers proved vulnerable to being busted inside by fastballs and it took him a while to adjust. Pitchers can throw that scouting report away this year, as Myers has quickly proven that he can turn on pitches over the inner half of the plate, responding with pulled home run after pulled home run. After hitting only eight home runs all last year, he's picked up six this April. Like several Royals prospects before him, Myers is finding Avrest Field much to his liking, but it is worth noting that while his average dips when he hits the road, he has three of his six home runs away from home.
2012 Stats

No. 5 JAKE ODORIZZI, RHP
ROYALS
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 SO
The Scoop: With five shutout innings and eight strikeouts, Odorizzi started the 2012 season in the right direction, but his next two starts were either brief, ineffective, or both. He faced just six batters in his second start, allowing four runs and three walks while getting just two outs, then gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings over his next start. Odorizzi showed there's probably nothing to worry about with an outstanding rebound this week in which he shut down a quality Springfield offense that includes Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and second baseman Kolten Wong. Given the struggles that Mike Montgomery is having in Triple-A, Odorizzi has a chance to leapfrog him as the Royals' top pitching prospect if he can keep it up.
2012 Stats

No. 6 MATT HARVEY, RHP
METS
Team: Triple-A Buffalo (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 2.08, 13 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 15 SO
The Scoop: Harvey hasn't dominated the upper levels of the minors yet, as his ERA sits at 4.85 through five Triple-A starts this year after posting a 4.53 ERA in 12 Double-A starts last year. At times, like this past week, he shows flashes of frontline starter potential, with a plus fastball and a plus slider. Harvey is one step away from the big leagues, but there's still work to be done with his command and his changeup to be able to master Triple-A and be big league ready, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he spent the majority of the season in the International League.
2012 Stats

No. 7 TREVOR MAY, RHP
PHILLIES
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 SO
The Scoop: There are few pitchers in the minors who can miss bats as often as May. After ranking third in the minors with 208 strikeouts last year (and first in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.4), May has 26 whiffs through 23 innings thanks to his plus fastball, plus curveball and a solid-average changeup. May has made incredible strides with his control since early in his career—remember, he walked 61 batters in 70 innings in high Class A Clearwater in 2010—and while he'll never have pinpoint control, his ability to spot his pitches is the focus for May, since there isn't much doubt that he has the stuff to pile up strikeouts against big league hitters.
2012 Stats

No. 8 CODY BUCKEL, RHP
RANGERS
Team: high Class A Myrtle Beach (Carolina).
Age: 19.
Why He's Here: 1-0, 1.42, 6 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 SO
The Scoop: When the Rangers very publicly revamped their pitching development program a few years ago, they were bucking conventional wisdom by allowing pitchers to long toss at football-field length distances, emphasizing throwing between starts and letting pitching coaches—not pitch limits—determine when a pitching prospect would exit each start. Just a couple of years later, that approach is nearing closer and closer to being considered conventional wisdom thanks to a growing list of pitching success stories. Buckel is part of the next wave of young Rangers pitchers. On the heels of a dominant season in low Class A Hickory, Buckel has had no problems making the jump to high Class A—he's striking out more than a third of the batters he faces and he's yet to allow more than one run or two hits in any of his four starts this year.
2012 Stats

No. 9 AVISAIL GARCIA, RF
TIGERS
Team: high Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .476/.522/.905 (10-for-21), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO
The Scoop: Garcia is repeating the Florida State League, but he's still one of the league's youngest players. This time around, he's enjoying plenty more success in a pitcher-friendly circuit, batting .391/.440/.522 through 17 games. Given scouts' concerns about Garcia's plate discipline and ability to hit breaking pitches, we'll need to see a larger sample of work to say this is much more than a hot stretch to start the season, but Garcia does have plenty of tools and hits one-irons in batting practice, so the raw physical ability is certainly there for him to succeed.
2012 Stats

No. 10 CHARLIE CULBERSON, 2B
GIANTS
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .400/.423/.840 (10-for-25), 2 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 9 RBIs, 9 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Culberson probably expected to repeat Double-A following a subpar 2011 season with Richmond, but a hot start for Triple-A Fresno has eased any lingering concerns the Giants may have. The righty batter collected a hit in all six games this week, while homering off Reno lefty reliever Mike Zagurski and Rockies righthander Adam Ottavino. Culberson's aggressive approach persists (four walks versus 18 strikeouts), but the hits have been falling thus far and he's batting .313/.352/.506 through 83 at-bats for the Grizzlies.
2012 Stats

No. 11 CHRIS REED, LHP
DODGERS
Team: high Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 SO
The Scoop: Reed got himself in trouble in his previous two starts before Sunday's outing, having walked eight hitters in his previous 10 innings. The 2011 first-round pick got himself back on track though, tossing seven scoreless innings in the longest outing of his young career. Pitching so deep into a game is still a foreign experience for Reed, a reliever during his college career at Stanford. But he's got the stuff to be a big league starter, owning a strong arm from the left side and a quality slider. Once he proves his arm can handle the workload that comes with being in a rotation, he could start ascending quickly.
2012 Stats

No. 12 CONOR GILLASPIE, 3B
GIANTS
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .500/.533/.643 (14-for-28), 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBIs, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 SO
The Scoop: Gillaspie may not have profile power for third base, and he certainly doesn't have the overall potential to supplant big league regular Pablo Sandoval, but the lefty hitter does make steady hard contact while managing his at-bats. True to form, Gillaspie collected 14 hits in six games last week, reaching via a hit in every game and knocking five safeties in Tacoma on Saturday (including a double versus lefty Oliver Perez). He's now batted .302/.390/.452 with 13 homers in 592 plate appearances for Triple-A Fresno.
2012 Stats

No. 13 TAYLOR JUNGMANN, RHP
BREWERS
Team: high Class A Brevard County (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 0-1, 1.54, 2 GS, 11 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
The Scoop: The one knock on Jungmann's season so far is that he hasn't been missing as many bats as you'd like to see from a pitcher with his power arm. A Brewers first-round pick from Texas last year, Jungmann is making his pro debut this spring and has just 19 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings thus far. The better news is his strikeout rate was solid this week, and he turned in his best outing of the year in his last start on Thursday, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings against Tampa, with five strikeouts and one walk. And while he hasn't been missing bats, the hard, downhill fastball he generates from his 6-foot-6 frame has gotten him plenty of ground balls (2.53 groundout-to-airout ratio so far), and he's limited hitters to a .220 average.
2012 Stats


IN THE TEAM PHOTO

At this time last year, White Sox CF Jared Mitchell found himself completely over his head. Coming back from a serious ankle injury that had sidelined him for the entire 2010 season, he was promoted to high Class A Winston-Salem where he was most known for striking out (183 whiffs in 477 at-bats). A year later, Mitchell, 23, has somehow managed to catch up to an even more advanced league. His walks are up, his strikeouts are down and Mitchell is now hitting the ball with authority—.478/.586/.739 this week and now .347/.473/.573 for the season . . . Angels CF Mike Trout could have sulked after winning BA Minor League Player of the Year honors last year wasn't even enough to get him a spot in the big leagues to start the season. Instead he's settled down to produce the kind of stats you see when one of the game's best prospects gets to play in the hitter-friendly parks of the western side of the Pacific Coast League. Trout, 20, batted .471/.583/.882 this week and is now hitting .403/.467/.623 this year . . . Athletics 1B Chris Carter made the most of Triple-A Sacramento's trip to hitter-friendly Reno, belting three home runs there on Sunday. Those were his only homers of the week, but he's on a six-game hitting streak and batted .360/.433/.760 (9-for-25) with the three homers and a double on the week, as the 25-year-old continues waiting for another chance at the majors . . . Diamondbacks LHP Pat Corbin has been a model of efficiency so far for Double-A Mobile, completing seven innings in under 100 pitches in three straight starts. In his last outing on Tuesday, the 22-year-old Corbin tossed seven scoreless frames and allowed just three hits, while striking out five and walking two . . .  It's going to be tough for Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy to rank too high on the Hot Sheet given his light workload so far, but we want to acknowledge his continued brilliance. The 19-year-old was perfect again on Tuesday, throwing four unblemished innings for low Class A Delmarva, striking out six. Bundy has 21 strikeouts and has allowed only one baserunner in 13 innings this year . . . Diamondbacks fans are clamoring for RHP Trevor Bauer to move quickly to Arizona, and understandably so given his 1.26 ERA in five Double-A starts and tremendous stuff, which has helped him strike out 37 in 28 innings. Yet Bauer, 21, has also walked 17 and thrown six wild pitches, so until he figures out his control, he's probably best off developing more in the minors . . . For as long as he's been around, it's easy to forget that Wilmer Flores is still just a 20-year-old in the high Class A Florida State League. Now playing third base for the Mets, Flores is off to a .323/.355/.523 start through 19 games, including an 11-game hitting streak. With international prospects, it pays to be patient.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Travis Blackley, lhp, Giants. Last year the Giants signed a journeyman pitcher with recent experience in a foreign major league. Said pitcher made the National League all-star team and finished with the fourth-best ERA in the league. We're talking of course about righthander Ryan Vogelsong, who spent three years in Japan and all of 2010 kicking around Triple-A for the Phillies and Angels. The San Francisco pro scouting department may have struck gold again with its February signing of veteran lefty Travis Blackley, who like Vogelsong had a previous run in the Giants organization. A native of Australia, Blackley pitched close to home last year, spending his summer with Kia of Korea Baseball Organization and his winter with his hometown Melbourne club in the Australian Baseball League. This season, the 29-year-old has made successive seven-inning, no-run starts for Triple-A Fresno, and after four appearances and 23 1/3 innings he paces the Pacific Coast League with a 0.39 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and .163 opponent average.


NOT-SO HOT SHEET

Brian Dozier, ss, Twins. Dozier was off to a fine start with Triple-A Rochester before running into a bump in the road this week, batting .111/.158/.111 (2-for-18) in five games. He had just two strikeouts though, and Dozier is such a natural hitter that he's a good bet to turn things around as balls start to find holes again. The 24-year-old was hitting .333/.400/.500 prior to this week.

• Brad Peacock, rhp, Athletics. Peacock carried a 1.42 ERA into his Monday start for Triple-A Sacramento, but he was hit hard in a game at Reno. The good news was Peacock handed out only one walk in 4 1/3 innings of work. The bad news was he wasn't fooling Aces hitters, as he was knocked around for seven runs (all earned) on 10 hits, ballooning his ERA to 3.86 through 23 1/3 innings on the year.

Deck McGuire, rhp, Blue Jays. The 11th pick in the 2010 draft, McGuire has experienced a rough landing with Double-A New Hampshire to kick off the season. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits in three innings on Wednesday, and the big picture is just as unflattering. Though McGuire sports a fine 16-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio through four starts, he also has allowed 28 hits (including six homers) and 18 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings, good for a 8.44 ERA.

Keon Broxton, cf, Diamondbacks. Raw tools are great, but they can get a player only so far if he can't make enough contact to properly showcase them. Rangy center fielder Keon Broxton, a 21-year-old who returns to high Class A Visalia this season, is but one example. His strikeout rate per plate appearance hovers near 40 percent early this season following a 3-for-25 week that featured 11 whiffs, including his second four-strikeout game of the season on Saturday.


MAN AMONG BOYS

Matt Skole, 3b, Nationals: When the Nationals drafted Skole out of Georgia Tech last year in the fifth round, they knew they were getting a player with a mature offensive approach. So as a 22-year-old in the low Class A South Atlantic League it's no surprise that Skole is having success. He's hitting .371/.500/.645 and was a walk machine this week, drawing nine free passes including a five-walk game on Wednesday. Skole will have to show he can do more than just control the strike zone as he moves up the ladder, but it's certainly a valuable skill to possess.

HELIUM WATCH

Rice pitchers everywhere have heard the whispers of how Owls pitchers struggle once they hit pro ball. Reds lefthander Tony Cingrani is doing his part to erase the stigma. The 22-year-old finished 10 innings short of qualifying to win the Pioneer League ERA title last year when he went 3-1, 1.75. After skipping low Class A, he's been even better in his first four starts in the California League. He's now 2-1, 0.39 with only 14 baserunners (nine hits and five walks) in 23 innings. At 6-foot-5, Cingrani uses excellent extension to make hitters feel like his 92-94 mph fastball is on them extremely quickly.