Arizona Fall League Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (10/14/19)
Welcome back to the Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet, which ranks the 10 hottest prospects in the AFL each week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what players did during the period covering Oct. 7-13. This week's list is curated by Josh Norris.
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. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins
Team: Salt River
Why He’s Here: .600/.692/.800 (6-for-10), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO
The Scoop: In a week capped off with a Fall Stars Game MVP, Lewis continued to hit the daylights out of the ball. The gregarious infielder (who has seen some time in the outfield of late) has made loud contact all fall, resulting in a 1.163 OPS that ranks third in the league. Lewis’ regular season was inconsistent, but he’s showing premium skills on both sides of the ball in the AFL.
2. Brandon Marsh, OF, Angels
Why He’s Here: .462/.500/.846 (6-for-13), 4 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO
The Scoop: Marsh’s regular season was abbreviated by injury, but he has shown big-time strength and production in the Arizona Fall League. The boisterous, bearded Marsh muscled a sacrifice fly to deep center on a broken bat in the Fall Stars Game and has .449 on-base percentage that ranks fourth in the league.
3. Josh Lowe, OF, Rays
Team: Salt River
Why He’s Here: .417/.429/.750 (5-for-12), 3 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO
The Scoop: Lowe has arguably opened the most eyes in the AFL. He finished his season at Double-A Montgomery with a strong second half and has flashed tools at the plate, in the field and on the bases. He had an RBI double and a stolen base in the Fall Stars Game, and his 1.021 OPS ranks fifth in the league.
4. Greg Deichmann, OF, Athletics
Why He’s Here: .364/.462/1.091 (4-for-11), 4 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO
The Scoop: Deichmann’s seven homers lead the AFL by three over the next closest competitors—Joey Bart and Royce Lewis—and his 1.218 OPS is second only to Bart. Deichmann missed 60 games of the regular season with a shoulder injury but is showing the power potential the A’s sought when they drafted him out of Louisiana State in the second round in 2017.
5. Spencer Howard, RHP, Phillies
Why He’s Here: 0-1, 3.86, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
The Scoop: Howard is one of the top pitching prospects in the AFL, and he showed why in his most recent start. The righthander worked in the upper 90s with his fastball and backed it up with a pair of nasty breaking pitches and a changeup that flashed plus but was inconsistent. If everything comes together, he has the look of a mid-rotation starter or better.
6. Kyle Isbel, OF, Royals
Why He’s Here: .429/.400/.857 (3-for-7), 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO
The Scoop: The Royals are high on Isbel, who missed a good chunk of the season with a broken hamate, and spent this Hot Sheet period showing that he still has power. He swatted a homer the opposite way in one game, then added a pull-side bomb in the Fall Stars Game. He’s got an interesting mix of speed and power that serves him well on defense and at the plate.
7. Bubba Thompson, OF, Rangers
Why He’s Here: .400/.500/.800 (4-for-10), 4 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO
The Scoop: Thompson’s season was marred by injuries and limited to just 57 games with high Class A Down East. The outfielder was highly sought out of high school for his athleticism and upside, and he’s showing those skills in the AFL with power at the plate, and speed on the bases and in the field. His three home runs have him tied for third in the league with Royce Lewis and Micker Adolfo.
8. Jared Oliva, OF, Pirates
Why He’s Here: .313/.313/.625 (5-for-16), 2 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO
The Scoop: Along with Deichmann, Oliva has been one of the AFL’s pleasant surprises. His 1.118 OPS is third in the league, and his .393 batting average and .493 on-base percentage are both second. He didn’t walk at all during this Hot Sheet period, but his 10 walks also place him among the league’s leaders.
9. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.80, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
The Scoop: Houck moved to the bullpen toward the end of the regular season but has been starting games in the AFL. He offers hitters a deceptive delivery and a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball and a sweeper slider. He still needs to iron out his command, but he has the weapons to get plenty of swings and misses. That’s backed up by 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings so far this fall.
10. Logan Driscoll, C, Padres
Why He’s Here: .667/.667/2.667 (2-for-3), 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 0 BB, 0 SO
The Scoop: Driscoll has played just one game in the Fall League, but it was a doozy. The 2019 second supplemental round pick out of George Mason swatted two homers in his AFL debut, giving him just the second multi-homer game of the AFL. The other belongs to Giants top prospect Joey Bart.