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Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (5/03/22)



The Hot Sheet is back! Baseball America's staff ranks the 20 hottest prospects from the previous week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did through May 2. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, Kyle Glaser and Ben Badler.

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.

Kyle Glaser answered questions regarding the Hot Sheet from 2-3 p.m. ET. You can view the chat transcript here.


1. Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs
Team: High-A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .500/.536/1.000 (13-for-26), 7 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: The Cubs already appear to have done well for themselves by acquiring righthander Caleb Kilian from the Giants in last year’s deadline trade for Kris Bryant. Now Canario, the other prospect the Cubs acquired in the deal, is starting to heat up. The Dominican right fielder had five multi-hit games last week, starting the week off with a two-homer game and finishing it with homers in back-to-back games. It was a welcome explosion after he began the year 9-for-51 (.177) and provided a glimpse of the impact power he possesses. (KG)

2. Adael Amador, SS, Rockies
Team: Low-A Fresno (California)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .423/.500/.962 (11-for-26), 8 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Scoop: The Rockies’ farm system has been excellent so far this season, with Amador, Ezequiel Tovar (also on this week’s Hot Sheet) and Drew Romo leading the way. Amador’s start has been particularly electric. He is among the top five in the California League in all three triple-slash categories and his 28 hits, 51 total bases and six home runs pace the circuit. Even more impressive, he’s got more walks (16) than strikeouts (12). (JN)

3. Anthony Garcia, OF, Yankees
Team: Low-A Tampa (Florida State)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .615/.667/1.615 (8-for-13), 6 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Garcia has long been known as one of the most powerful prospects in the Yankees’ system. In 33 games at Low-A Tampa over the last two seasons, Garcia has clubbed 12 home runs. The average exit velocity of the 11 home runs registered by Hawkeye? A whopping 107.9 mph. Moreover, Garcia is showing early signs of improved plate discipline, having walked and struck out 20 times apiece. His six home runs and 20 walks lead the FSL as well. (JN)

4. Royber Salinas, RHP, Braves
Team: Low-A Augusta (Carolina)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.00, 9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 21 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: Across a pair of starts against Delmarva this week Salinas struck out 72.4% of the batters he faced, allowing a single hit—a home run in Sunday’s contest. He began the week going four scoreless innings where he struck out 12 of the 17 batters he faced without allowing a hit. He was a bit wild on the day, walking five, and didn’t see a ball enter play. On Sunday, Salinas was even better, despite the run crossing the plate. He went five innings, allowing just one hit—a home run—while walking one batter and hitting another. Salinas now leads the minor leagues in total strikeouts by a sizable margin. (GP)

5. Michael Harris, OF, Braves
Team: Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
Age: 21

Why He's Here: .370/.433/.778 (10-for-27), 8 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: We might be seeing just how much High-A Rome's home park suppressed Harris' numbers last year. After hitting seven home runs in 101 games last year—with all of those homers coming on the road—Harris has four home runs in 21 games this year. Harris regularly was producing exit velocities in the low 110s last year, so the early power numbers shouldn't be a surprise. He's hitting .333/.396/.586 overall, continuing his upward trend ever since the Braves signed him as a third-round pick three years ago. (BB)

6. Juan Yepez, 1B/3B, Cardinals
Team: Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24

Why He's Here: .429/.520/1.000 (9-for-25), 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: Yepez is limited on the defensive side, but at the plate, he just keeps hitting. He hit .290/.382/.589 in 92 games with Triple-A Memphis last year. He has kept it up this season, batting .281/.326/.634 with eight home runs through 21 games. At some point this year, Yepez is going to force his way to the big leagues, whether that comes with St. Louis or in another organization with more playing time opportunity. (BB)

7. Eury Perez, RHP, Marlins
Team: Double-A Pensacola (Southern)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Perez entered the season at just 18 years old, making him the youngest player at any level above Low-A. The assignment marked a lightning-quick path for a player who made his official pro debut in 2021. His first three starts flashed with promise, but his most recent turn showed what Perez could look like if he puts it all together. The righthander whiffed 12 across five one-hit innings, establishing a new career high for strikeouts in the process. His 30 strikeouts rank third in the Southern League, and his 15.88 strikeouts per nine innings rank fourth among qualified minor leaguers. His 19.7% swinging-strike rate is tied for 10th in the minors. (JN)

8. Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Rockies
Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .478/.556/.913 (11-for-23), 6 R, 0 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 4-for-4 SB

The Scoop: Tovar already plays outstanding defense at shortstop (he earned nods as the system’s best infield defender and having the strongest throwing arm). Now, he’s showing signs of busting out with the bat, too. Tovar is among the Eastern League’s top five players in all three triple-slash categories, which is especially impressive considering he entered the year as the league’s third-youngest player, behind only Francisco Alvarez (Mets) and Orelvis Martinez (Blue Jays). Tovar’s 12 extra-base hits place him in a three-way tie for the EL’s top spot. (JN)

9. Edwin Arroyo, SS, Mariners
Team: Low-A Modesto (California)
Age: 18

Why He’s Here: .391/.482/.826 (9-for-23), 6 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Arroyo’s defense is unimpeachable, but his bat was a question mark entering the season. So far, he’s doing his part to quell concerns about how much he’ll hit. Arroyo reached base in five of six games last week and had the first multi-home run game of his career at San Jose, a ballpark that stifles power. After hitting .174 with two extra-base hits through the first 11 games of the year, he’s hit .433 with five extra-base hits in his last eight games (KG).

10. Kyle Harrison, LHP, Giants
Team: High-A Eugene (Northwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 2.25, 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Harrison’s 2021 season was mighty impressive, and his stuff played well both via the eye test and analytically. He entered the year needing to tighten his command and control, however, and the early results are promising. He’s whiffed 32 hitters so far this season—a mark which places him second in the NWL behind only Everett’s Adam Macko—exactly half of the 64 he’s faced over four starts. Put another way, Harrison has gotten 45 outs this season, 32 of which have come via strikeout. (JN)

11. Shea Langeliers, C, Athletics
Team: Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .333/.482/.905 (7-for-21), 6 R, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: The top prospect the A’s acquired from the Braves in the Matt Olson trade, Langeliers is greatly enjoying the hitter-friendly confines of Las Vegas. He reached base in every game last week and finished on a five-game hitting streak. That included a two-homer game on April 30, a continuation of the power show he has put on early this season. Langeliers has nine home runs in only 21 games this year—all coming at Las Vegas. (KG)

12. Coby Mayo, 3B, Orioles
Team: High-A Aberdeen (South Atlantic)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .333/.364/.905 (7-for-21), 6 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBIs, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: The third baseman opened the week with a 3-for-5, two-home run performance on Tuesday night and followed it up with consecutive multi-hit, one-homer efforts on Wednesday and Thursday. He drove in 10 runs on the week and has gotten on base in nine of his 10 games. Mayo hit three of his four home runs this week 100-plus mph, highlighted by a reported 109 mph home run in the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game. Mayo enters play on Tuesday hitting .260/.326/.558 through 19 games as a 20-year-old at High-A. (GP).

13. Seth Johnson, RHP, Rays
Team:
High-A Bowling Green (Midwest)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.17, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 16 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: The former Campbell Camel made two starts for Bowling Green this week, going four innings on Tuesday and 3.2 on Sunday against Brooklyn. He sat 94-96 mph on his fastball, mixing in his slider predominantly as his go-to secondary. He generated 25 swinging strikes on the week with many against his fastball early in counts and leaned on his mid-80s slider with two strikes. He punched out nine batters on Tuesday and seven on Sunday, for the second-highest strikeout total in the minor leagues this week, trailing only Augusta’s Royber Salinas. Across 123 career minor league innings, Johnson has a 2.78 ERA and has struck out 29.3% of the batters he's faced. Through his first four starts of 2022, Johnson has slowly built up his pitch count, throwing 68 pitches on Tuesday and 57 on Sunday. (GP)

Pete Crow Armstrong Photo By David Durochik Diamond Images Via Getty Images

Podcast: Top 100 Prospect Risers

Kyle Glaser and JJ Cooper look at prospects who made the biggest leap on the new BA Top 100 Prospects update.

14. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs
Team: Low-A Myrtle Beach
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .480/.519/.640 (12-for-25), 7 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Crow-Armstrong is acquitting himself quite well in the Cubs organization. Acquired in last year’s trade with the Mets for Javier Baez, Crow-Armstrong is batting .382 and riding a nine-game hitting streak. That included a scorching showing at the plate against Columbia last week. The dynamic center fielder recorded multiple hits in five of six games and hit his first home run in his power-stifling home park, a sign of the power gains he's made in his return from shoulder surgery. (KG)

15. Oscar Gonzalez, OF, Guardians
Team: Triple-A Columbus (International)
Age: 24

Why He's Here: .393/.393/.643 (11-for-28), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Make a mistake into a hot zone for Gonzalez and he can make pitchers pay with his above-average raw power. Gonzalez is still a free-swinger, something that will always hinder his ability to get on base and could end up leaving him as a 4-A player. But his ability to drive the ball for damage is clear, with a .319/.340/.596 line through 22 games. (BB)

16. Michael Massey, 2B, Royals
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He's Here: .418/.429/.792 (10-for-24), 5 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: A fourth-round pick out of Illinois in 2019, Massey continues to show an intriguing mix of hitting ability and power for a second baseman. He has a compact lefthanded swing, fast bat speed and plus raw power, producing a .298/.333/.560 line through 20 games. It's early, but Massey shouldn't need much more time this year in Double-A. (BB)

17. Andrew Abbott, LHP, Reds
Team:
High-A Dayton (Midwest)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: A week after making the Hot Sheet for his 11-strikeout relief appearance, Abbott is back after a masterful outing on Sunday. He went toe-to-toe with fellow 2021 second round college lefthander Robert Gasser and out-pitched the Fort Wayne starter. He was perfect through three before allowing a hit to lead off the fourth. He struck out 10 on the afternoon, getting 16 swinging strikes, 15 of which came against his fastball or changeup. His three-pitch mix was effective all day as he sat 91-94 mph on his fastball, mixing in his mid-80s changeup and high-70s curveball. Across 21 High-A innings, Abbott has allowed just two earned runs. (GP)

18. Hunter Gaddis, RHP, Guardians
Team: Double-A Akron (Eastern)
Age: 24

Why He's Here: 2 G, 1 GS, 10 IP, 10 H 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 SO

The Scoop: Gaddis has a superb 22-3 K-BB mark through 16 innings this year. He operates off a low-to-mid-90s fastball, getting a bundle of swing and miss this year on offspeed stuff. His slider doesn't have the biggest break on it, but he's effective at starting it on the outer edge to righthanded hitters and getting them to chase it off the plate, while his changeup is another effective pitch for him that he will use for swing and miss against both lefties and righties. (BB)

19. Curtis Mead, 3B, Rays
Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .500/.625/.889 (9-for-18), 6 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 BB, 1 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: It’s hard to have a better week than Mead had last week, as he reached base in 14 of his 23 plate appearances and only struck out once. Only one player 21 years of age or younger in the upper minors has a higher wRC+ than Mead’s 171 marker (Hartford’s Ezequiel Tovar). He had four multi-hit games during the week, reaching base three times or more in each of those contests. Mead combines above-average contact with plus raw power and a patient approach, making him one of the best pure hitters in the Rays system. (GP)

20. George Kirby, RHP, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 2.70, 10 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO, 2 HR

The Scoop: After a so-so season debut, Kirby has strung together four consecutive solid starts at Double-A to continue his progression as one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Kirby limited Wichita to three hits and one run over five innings in his first outing and held the Wind Surge down a second time with five innings, two runs and seven strikeouts in the series finale. Kirby now has a 1.82 ERA with 32 strikeouts and five walks through five starts at Double-A. With the way he is pitching, it shouldn’t be long before he receives a promotion to Triple-A. (KG)

Helium

Luis Rodriguez, OF, Dodgers

A prized international signee out of Venezuela, Rodriguez grew into power and began overswinging badly the last two seasons to fall to the fringes of prospect consideration. After struggling badly in the complex league last year, Rodriguez has made adjustments and rediscovered the patient, contact-first approach that made him such a touted prospect in the first place. He is currently riding a 13-game on-base streak and is up to a .299 batting average with 20 walks against 24 strikeouts at Low-A Rancho Cucamonga. He had his best series last week against Visalia, going 7-for-15 (.467) with more walks (nine) than strikeouts (seven). (KG)

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