Prospect Hot Sheet

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from Aug. 11-17. Number in parentheses indicates players’ ages.

Remember, this simply recognizes what the hottest prospects in the minors did in the past week—it's not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.


1. Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves (19)
Triple-A Gwinnett (International)

Just 19 years old and having already played his way to the top of the minor league ladder, Acuna has all the tools and is tearing up Triple-A. He homered in three consecutive games this week to give him 20 home runs on the season, and with his 37 steals became the third member of the 20-20 club this year, joining Scott Kingery and Fernando Tatis Jr. Overall Acuna is hitting .333/.403/.619 in 34 games since his promotion to Triple-A and cemented himself as one the game’s elite prospects.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.321 .345 .857 7 1 1

2. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres (18) 
Low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest)

Tatis already was having an outstanding season, but he turned it into a historic one last week when he entered the 20-20 club as an 18-year-old in the Midwest League. He kept on raking even after entering the exclusive club, adding another home run and finishing the week by going 3-for-5 with three doubles on Thursday.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.476 .593 1.000 7 6 0

3. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (20) 
Double-A Birmingham (Southern)

The White Sox have to be thrilled with their decision to pick the Cubs’ package over others for Jose Quintana. Jimenez has been on a mission since the trade, hitting 361 since joining the South Siders organization. Even a promotion to Double-A didn’t slow Jimenez. He homered in his first at-bat for Birmingham.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.333 .357 .704 4 1 1

4. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (21) 
Double-A Birmingham (Southern)

Another high-profile acquisition, Kopech is part of organization that has stockpiled great prospects, most of whom are performing to standards. The flame-throwing righthander fanned 10 in his most recent outing, giving him three double-digit strikeout performances in his past four starts. He has struck out nearly a third of batters faced this season, and his 155 strikeouts rank sixth in the minors.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 7 2 0 2 10

5. Joey Wentz, LHP, Braves (19) 
Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)

Wentz was already highly-regarded coming into the year, and the athletic lefthander keeps elevating his stock even more. He was sharp in both of his starts last week, delivering 5.2 scoreless innings in his first outing and following with six shutout innings and one hit allowed in his second start. Overall opponents are hitting just .201 with three home runs against Wentz this season.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 11.2 5 0 4 13

6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (18) 
High Class A Dunedin (Florida State)

With the exception of power, Son Of Vlad has been just as good in the Florida State League as he was in the Midwest. He is hitting .316 with high Class A Dunedin, the same mark he put up in low Class A Lansing, and his .442 on-base percentage is actually higher. Guerrero turned it up a notch at the end of the week, going 6-for-13 with a home run and seven RBIs in his final three games.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.393 .486 .571 2 5 0

7. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (19) 
Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)

As JJ Cooper wrote earlier this week, Whitley is already in rare company with a promotion to Double-A. He showed Thursday he wasn’t intimidated with a boffo performance of six scoreless innings, two hits allowed and 11 strikeouts. Whitley won’t turn 20 until next month, but has stuff and pitchability beyond his years. He has struck out 128 and walked just 30 in 83.2 innings this year.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 6 2 0 0 11

8. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP, Red Sox (20) 
Low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic)

Hernandez is showing signs of gaining better command of his pitches, which is bad news for hitters. He has walked three batters or less in four consecutive starts, an improvement that has kept him out of trouble and helped him lower his season ERA from 4.38 to 3.67. Hernandez has made that improvement while keeping his high strikeout totals, including an eight-strikeout performance last week.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 11.1 3 0 5 13

9. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays (22) 
Triple-A Durham (International)

There isn’t much left for Honeywell to prove in the minors. He’s commanding his pitches, missing bats and limiting damage. Honeywell been especially good in the past 10 starts, going 5-2, 2.75 with 69 whiffs in 52 innings. His latest start of six shutout innings was his fourth consecutive start where he’s allowed one earned run or less.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 6 2 0 0 5

10. Zack Collins, C, White Sox (22) 
Double-A Birmingham (Southern)

Collins’ promotion to Double-A just a year after he was the 10th overall pick was overshadowed by Jimenez’s promotion to Birmingham. But Collins has been just as hot if not moreso. He recorded a hit in all six games he played last week, including a 407-foot home run in his first game at Double-A.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.412 .565 .941 4 6 0

11. Anfernee Seymour, SS, Braves (22) 
High Class A Florida (Florida State)

Seymour doesn’t have a ton of impact with the bat—and strikes out an alarming amount for a player with little power—but he’s been insanely hot of late. He is 16-for-28 in his last eight games, including six multi-hit efforts. The scorching stretch has raised his average 32 points on the year, from .254 to .286.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.600 .647 .933 3 1 3

 


12. Juan De Paula, RHP, Yankees (19) 
Short-season Staten Island (New York-Penn)

An up-and-down season has turned the corner the past two starts for De Paula, acquired last August from the Mariners for Ben Gamel. De Paula did not give up a hit in six innings on Aug. 10 and then on Thursday carried a no-hitter into the seventh against Connecticut (Tigers) before giving up a triple with two outs. De Paula has a reputation as a strike-thrower but has not shown consistent control this season (4.28 walks per nine). He showed he can be almost unhittable when everything is working.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 7 1 0 1 7

13. Raudy Read, C, Nationals (23) 
Double-A Harrisburg (Eastern)

Read’s defensive skills got noticed last season when he was voted best defensive catcher in the Carolina League, but he is showing not to sleep on his bat. He has for multi-hit games in five contests last week to raise his average to .270, and his power development has been encouraging. He had a two-homer game over the weekend and delivered another longball on Wednesday to give him 15 homers this season.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.435 .500 .957 4 3 1

14. Beau Burrows, RHP, Tigers (20) 
Double-A Erie (Eastern)

Burrows hasn’t been as dominant in Double-A as he was in low Class A Lakeland, but that changed in his most recent start when he no-hit New Hamphire (Blue Jays) for six innings. He can overpower hitters with his upper 90s fastball, and his next step is refining his secondary pitchers so batters can’t sit on the heater.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
0.00 6 0 0 2 8

15. Dermis Garcia, 3B, Yankees (19)
Low Class A Charleston (South Atlantic)

Scouts are split on Garcia’s hitting ability because of his poor pitch recognition, but his power is real. The $3 million man hit three homers in the past four games, unlocking that plus-plus power.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.333 .385 .792 5 2 0

16. Enyel de los Santos, RHP, Padres (21) 
Double-A San Antonio (Texas)

Few pitchers in the deep Padres system have been as excellent as de los Santos in recent months. The hard-throwing righthander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Tulsa on Aug. 12, and overall is 7-1, 2.53 in his last 11 starts. That stretch includes 69 strikeouts against just 18 walks in 67.2 innings.

ERA IP H HR BB
SO
1.13 8 1 0 2 7

17. Brian Anderson, 3B, Marlins (24)
Triple-A New Orleans (Pacific Coast)

It’s fair to look back on the Arizona Fall League last fall as the turning point for the former Arkansas Razorback. After three middling offensive seasons, Anderson broke out in the AFL, clubbing six homers and putting himself squarely in the big league mix. He began the year at Double-A but is now tearing up Triple-A, giving rise to buzz he could end the season in Miami.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.500 .545 .889 3 3 0

18. Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers (21)
Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)

There’s a reason the Dodgers wouldn’t part with Alex Verdugo in their search for a high-end arm. Verdugo has top-end tools, and the Dodgers believe power will come last, as it often does for young players. He made strides toward that last week, slugging .727 during a six-game hitting streak.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.474 .565 .737 3 3 1

19. Brent Rooker, OF, Twins (22)
High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)

The Twins bought into the Brent Rooker Show and he’s brought that to the pro ball. He bashed seven home runs in 22 games in the Appalachian League, skipped over low Class A and now is turning it on in the FSL, with three homers and 14 RBIs in his last nine games.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.313 .542 .813 5 6 0

20. Aristides Aquino, OF, Reds (23)
Double-A Pensacola (Southern)

After a strong 2016, Aquino has regressed this season but finally had a breakout week. He hit four home runs, including a multi-home run game against Mobile on Aug. 13, and has three multi-hit efforts in his last seven games.

AVG OBP SLG XBH
BB SB
.348 .464 .957 6 5 0

HELIUM WATCH

Kody Eaves, 3B, Tigers (23) 
Double-A Erie (Eastern)

How big a week was it for Eaves? He had just 14 at-bats and still managed to gather 16 total bases. Eaves has always had the coveted power-speed combo, but his issues making contact had negated those tools somewhat. This year, he is cutting down on whiffs, still hitting for power and has posted a career-best .280 average.

Comments