Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet (Nov. 4)

This edition of the Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet takes into account what AFL players did from Oct. 28-Nov. 3.

Contributing: Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Vince Lara-Cinisomo and Josh Norris.

1. Eloy Jimenez, of, Cubs
Team: Mesa
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .455/.500/.909 (5-for-11), 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Sure, the Cubs’ major league roster is young, gifted and controllable, but their farm system has a few gems left. Jimenez, who also starred in this year’s Futures Game, put together a fine week in the AFL following an excellent year in which he was named the MVP of the Midwest League. The 19-year-old clubbed his third home run of the fall to pull into a logjam for second place behind Twins catcher Mitch Garver. (JN)

2. Tyler O’Neill, of, Mariners
Team: Peoria
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .545/.615/.727 (6-for-11), 3 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: O’Neill’s breakout season has continued through four weeks in the AFL. The muscle-bound Canadian continued to pummel the ball this week, adding two doubles to his ledger. His eight extra-base hits are tied with Rays outfielder—and Peoria teammate—Justin Williams for the lead on the circuit. O’Neill gets positive reviews for his defense in right field, too. (JN)

3. Brandon Dixon, 3b, Reds
Team: Peoria
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .556/.600/.778 (5-for-9), 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: The Reds know Dixon can hit, but he’s yet to find a position that fits. Dixon played everywhere but shortstop and catcher at Double-A Pensacola this season and he’s played first, second and third in the AFL. He has good bat speed and could have average to a tick above power. (VLC)

4. Francis Martes, rhp, Astros
Team: Glendale
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: Martes is the best pitching prospect in the AFL. Sure, Royals righthander Josh Staumont and Red Sox righthander Michael Kopech throw 100 mph, but Martes sits 94-96 and has touched 100 himself. He also throws a hard breaking ball and changeup that both grade as plus to double-plus at their best. Martes stands in a similar place as the Cardinals’ Alex Reyes was at the end of 2015, though Martes has consistently thrown more strikes than Reyes. (JJ)

5. Michael Kopech, rhp, Red Sox
Team: Surprise
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: The latest in a long line of hard-throwing Texans is continuing to show elite stuff in the AFL. Kopech, the 33rd overall pick in 2014, sits 97-99 mph and touches 101, with his 86-90 mph slider drawing whiffs one-third of the time. Oh, and batters have yet to record a hit on his 90-92 mph changeup, per Brooks Baseball. He was particularly unhittable in his most recent start, allowing one hit over four scoreless innings while striking out six. Kopech now has a 1.93 ERA with 18 strikeouts and one walk in 14 AFL innings. (KG)

6. Ryan O’Hearn, 1b, Royals
Team: Surprise
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .400/.438/.600 (6-for-15), 1 R, 3 2B, 2 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: O’Hearn has been a great find for the Royals as an eighth-round pick who has proven to have much more power than he showed in college. His plus raw power plays in games, though it’s been surprisingly absent this fall in Arizona. These three doubles this week are the first extra-base hits, but his reduced power has been balanced out by a lot of singles. He has hit two or more more hits in six of his 14 games with Surprise. (JJ)

7. Dawel Lugo, 3b, Diamondbacks
Team: Salt River
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .500/.500/.643 (7-for-14), 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBIs, 0 BB, 0 SO

The Scoop: Lugo was chosen for the Fall Stars Game despite a lackluster AFL season priro this week. But he broke out Monday, going 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs and carried it through the week. He got in better shape this season and showed more explosiveness and athleticism. He’s coming off a strong season at high Class A and Double-A in which he hit 17 home runs. (VLC)

8. Andrew Stevenson, of, Nationals
Team: Glendale
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .375/.412/.563 (6-for-16), 2 R, 3 2B, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Stevenson’s offensive game is built on his ability to put the ball in play and use his speed. He doesn’t have much power—he hit just three home runs this year—but the ball has carried well for Stevenson in the AFL, where he’s hitting .306/.327/.490 in 12 games with six extra-base hits, including a home run. While it’s a small sample, it’s at least a positive takeaway at the end of the season for Stevenson after he hit just .238/.296/.313 in 64 games at Double-A Harrisburg. (BB)

9. Taylor Ward, c, Angels
Team: Scottsdale
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .462/462/.538 (6-for-13), 1 2B, 3 RBIs, 0 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Many wrote off Ward, a 2015 first-round pick, after a horrendous first half at high Class A Inland Empire, but he quietly hit .274/.359/.415 with nine home runs after the 2016 all-star break. He continued to hit in the AFL, posting three consecutive multi-hit games last week to raise his average to .342 with an .806 OPS. Ward has focused on being more aggressive by jumping on the first pitch and also moving off the plate to allow him to get around on inside pitches. (KG)

10. Scott Kingery, 2b, Phillies
Team: Scottsdale
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .400/.500/.667 (6-for-15), 4 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Kingery hit just .250/.273/.333 in 37 games following a second-half promotion to Double-A Reading, so getting more upper-level reps in the AFL will be beneficial. Kingery, who has the short, repeatable swing and strike-zone discipline that should translate well as he continues to climb the ladder. (BB)

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