Hot Sheet: Baseball’s 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (5/9/23)

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 8. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, J.J. Cooper and Kyle Glaser.

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.

Josh Norris hosted a chat to discuss today’s Hot Sheet. You can read the transcript here.

1. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox
Team: High-A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .516/.516/1.000 (16-for-31), 8 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: When Mayer’s Greenville team played at Greensboro a few weeks back, most of the team was under the weather … and it showed. Since getting healthy, things have changed. In the past two sets, Mayer is 21-for-51 with eight doubles and three home runs. Most of those extra-base hits came this past week, when he and his teammates got to feast on the conditions at the offensive paradise that is Asheville. Favorable conditions or not, one of the game’s best prospects looks to be back in the swing of things. (JN)

2. Eury Perez, RHP, Marlins
Team: Double-A Pensacola (Southern)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.64, 11 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO, 2 HR

The Scoop: In two starts against Mississippi this past week, Perez was electric. The 20-year-old righthander turned in his first game of the season with double-digit strikeouts—an 11-punchout masterpiece on May 2—followed by nine more Ks over six innings in the series finale. After a so-so April, Perez turned it on in the season’s second month. He struck out 22 in four starts in April and already has 20 in two turns in May. (JN)

3. Justin Dirden, OF, Astros 
Team: Triple-A Sugar Land (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .500/.519/1.192 (13-for-26), 7 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBIs, 1 BB, 9 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Dirden went on a hitting spree beginning on Thursday, as he homered in four consecutive games. He went 4-for-5 on Thursday, hitting three doubles and a home run and adding six RBIs. Dirden followed up Thursday’s big game with a two-hit effort on Friday, a three-hit day on Saturday and a four-hit game on Sunday. This was a welcome sign for the Astros No. 9 prospect, who entered the week hitting .192/.284/.295 on the season. The effort raised his line to .269/.339/.519. (GP)

4. Andrew Abbott, LHP, Reds
Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 2.70, 2 GS, 10 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 3 BB, 17 SO.

The Scoop: A pitcher having to face the same lineup twice in one week is never an easy task, and it’s especially difficult when you shut them out for five innings in the first outing. Abbott was up to the task last week, handling Omaha twice in the span of five days. In his first outing, Abbott relied a little more on his changeup and fastball, while in the second start, it was his power 80-81 mph curveball that left the Storm Chasers relatively helpless. With three pitches he can throw for strikes, the countdown to Abbott’s arrival in Cincinnati gets louder with every start. (JC)

5. Jordan Beck, OF, Rockies
Team: High-A Spokane (Northwest)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .440/.444/1.000 (11-for-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 12 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: It’s not often that one player can beat up on three teams in a single series. In six games this past week, Beck laid waste to the Emeralds, the Exploding Whales and the Monarcas—all identities used by Eugene in the teams’ recent series. No matter which name the opposition was playing under, Beck proved he could brutalize just about any fastball he saw. The Tennessee alum entered the series with three home runs all year, then slammed four in six games. (JN)

??6. Ethan Wilson, OF, Phillies
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .480/.500/.960 (12-for-25), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: After a rough first full season, the 2021 second-round pick is finding his stride at Double-A. Wilson ripped off five consecutive multi-hit games against Hartford last week to help the Fightin’ Phils rack up 51 runs in six games against the Yard Goats. Wilson started the week by hitting a game-winning two-run homer in the 11th inning of the series opener, homered again the next night and drilled a two-run double the following night. He followed that with his best game of the season on May 5, going 3-for-5 with a double, a homer and a career-high five RBIs. Wilson already has five home runs in 14 games this season, a year after he hit only eight home runs in 130 games. (KG)

7. Noelvi Marte, 3B, Reds
Team: Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .417/.481/.958 (10-for-24), 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS.

The Scoop: Marte has managed to turn around his season with one excellent week. He left April with just five extra-base hits in 20 games, and way too many instances of soft contact. In six games last week, he equaled that mark. His two-run home run on Friday was a walkoff shot with two outs in the ninth inning. Marte’s power is his calling card, so it’s a very solid sign to see him starting to easily clear the fences in Chattanooga. (JC)

8. Matt McLain, SS, Reds
Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .440/.483/.920 (11-for-25), 5 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB.

The Scoop: McLain’s 2023 season could not have started any better. He already has 14 multi-hit games. His nine home runs are tied for sixth most in the International League, and he leads the league with 32 RBIs. He’s making a pitch to join the big league club before long, although such a move may be somewhat dependent on what the Reds’ plans are for fellow Louisville Bats Elly De La Cruz and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. McLain struggled significantly in the second half of last year, but this start has him back on track to get to Cincinnati before too long. (JC)

9. Drew Gilbert, OF, Astros
Team: High-A Asheville (South Atlantic) 
Age: 22 

Why He’s Here: .455/.478/1.000 (10-for-22), 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 0 BB, 8 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The Astros 2022 first-round pick capped off a productive week with a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi. Gilbert enjoyed his time in the hitter-friendly confines of Asheville’s McCormick Field. The outfielder collected four multi-hit games during the series with Greenville, including a two-homer effort on Wednesday. Gilbert is a strong all-around player with the ability to contribute in a meaningful way on both sides of the ball. After hitting .360/.421/.686 over his first 21 games Gilbert is trending up as a prospect. (GP)

10. Jared Serna, 2B, Yankees
Team: Low-A Tampa (Florida State)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .579/.652/1.158 (11-for-19), 4 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Serna was one of the stars of the Yankees’ FCL championship team in 2022. He earned that rep by making a ton of contact and producing loud exit velocities, leading to his name being peppered all over the league leaderboard. That trend has continued this year in the Florida State League, where he ranks among the top five in all three triple-slash categories. Until this past week, Serna’s output had mostly come from singles. He collected six extra-base hits against Bradenton, including his first triple and first two homers of the year. (JN)

11. Masyn Winn, SS, Cardinals
Team: Triple-A Memphis (International) 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .417/.548/.875 (10-for-24), 9 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 BB, 3 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Winn kicked off the week with a three-hit effort on Tuesday and recorded four more multi-hit efforts over the course of the week. His biggest game came on Friday, when he hit two home runs against Jacksonville. It was Winn’s first multi-home run game of his career. Winn entered the week hitting .224/.291/.319 and the strong performance last week raised his slash line to .257/.342/.414 on the season. Winn is the best throwing infielder in baseball but has made four errors in 24 games at shortstop this season, raising some eyebrows. It’s easy to forget that Winn was the youngest player to begin the season at Triple-A this year. (GP)

12. Joey Cantillo, LHP, Guardians
Team: Double-A Akron (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Cantillo was limited by a shoulder injury in 2021 and an oblique injury in 2022, but he impressed when he was on the mound. The native Hawaiian is back healthy and dealing this season. Cantillo pitched five scoreless innings with one hit allowed, two walks and a career-high 13 strikeouts in a dominant start against Portland last week. The 6-foot-4 lefthander got stronger as the game went on, striking out nine of the final 10 batters he faced and closing out the fifth by striking out the side swinging. Cantillo is 1-0, 0.55 in four starts with 25 strikeouts in only 18.1 innings so far this year and is making a compelling case for a promotion to Triple-A. (KG)

13. Clayton Beeter, RHP, Yankees
Team: Double-A Somerset (Eastern)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Beeter struggled to throw strikes or last deep into his starts with the Dodgers, but he’s made great strides in both areas since the Yankees acquired him for Joey Gallo last year. Beeter pitched six scoreless innings and set a career high with 11 strikeouts in his start last week against Binghamton. The Texas Tech product struck out the side in both the first and second innings and cruised from there, recording at least one strikeout in every inning. Beeter never threw more than four innings in 46 career appearances in the Dodgers system. With the Yankees, he’s completed at least five innings in four of his last six starts dating back to last year. (KG)

14. Jonny DeLuca, OF, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas) 
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .400/.400/.800 (10-for-25), 5 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: The former Oregon Duck is tied for second in Double-A in home runs and looks like the next Dodgers outfield prospect to break through in the big leagues. DeLuca possesses strong plate skills, with good contact numbers and low chase rates, and his power and speed combination makes him an exciting prospect. DeLuca opened the week with consecutive three-hit efforts, connecting for a home run in each. Those were two of DeLuca’s three multi-hit efforts on the week, as he tallied a hit in five consecutive games to open the week. His biggest game came on Wednesday, when he collected three hits, including a home run, and walked off the game with an RBI single. DeLuca is now hitting .284/.376/.598 on the season and he looks like he could see a promotion to Triple-A shortly. (GP)

15. Hayden Birdsong, RHP, Giants
Team: Low-A San Jose (California)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Birdsong is handling the hitter-friendly California League without issue. The 2022 sixth-round pick out of Eastern Illinois tossed consecutive starts of four scoreless innings against Modesto last week. He pitched four scoreless with three hits in the series opener and was even better in the series finale, tossing four no-hit innings against a talented Nuts offense. Overall, Birdsong has a 2.75 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 19.2 innings to start the year. With continued performance like that, it won’t be long before he’s promoted to High-A Eugene. (KG)

16. Hunter Goodman, C, Rockies
Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern) 
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .320/.346/.800 (8-for-25), 3 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: A season after Goodman hit 36 home runs, he’s showing surprising improvement in 2023. Goodman is flashing improved bat-to-ball skills and approach and hasn’t sacrificed any of his game-changing power to do so. Last week was another feather in the cap for Goodman, who is now up to eight home runs on the season after opening the week with three multi-hit efforts, including a two-home run game on Wednesday. Goodman collected a hit in five out of six contests in the series against Hartford. Goodman has some of the most eye-popping power in the minor leagues and his underlying exit velocity data backs it up with a 90th percentile exit velocity above 108 mph. The improvements to Goodman’s approach and contact could push his profile over the edge into everyday regular territory, though his defensive home remains a bit of a question. (GP)

17. Eddys Leonard, SS, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .500/.545/1.000 (10-for-20), 5 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB

The Scoop: Leonard needed a week like this. The Drillers’ shortstop came into May hitting .129/.247/.129 without an extra-base hit to his name. That’s a pretty shocking month for a shortstop who had 51 extra-base hits in 2022 and 55 in 2021. But as soon as the calendar flipped to May, Leonard’s power returned. He doubled three times and homered in Tulsa’s first game of the month against San Antonio, driving balls down the left and right field lines, finding the left field power alley and depositing one deep beyond the seats in left field. That four-hit game seemed to let Leonard relax. After having no multi-hit games in April, he had three last week. Leonard still has a lot of work to do to bring his slash line back to respectability, but last week was a very good start. (JC)

18. Johan Rojas, OF, Phillies
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .519/.567/.741 (14-for-27), 10 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Rojas has one of the more well-rounded skill sets in the Phillies’ system. He’s a slam-dunk center fielder with elite speed that also plays on the basepaths, where he has excellent instincts as well. He can be a bit too passive at times at the plate and there are some mechanical flaws to correct, but the upside is there to become a player who provides impact at the plate as well as in the field. (JN)

19. Carson Williams, SS, Rays
Team: High-A Bowling Green (South Atlantic)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .429/.478/.952 (9-for-21), 2 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO.

The Scoop: Every now and then, a player has a game where they single-handedly put the team on their back and grab a win. Williams had one of those last week. In the first inning he homered against Rome to give Bowling Green a 1-0 lead. After Rome rallied to go up 4-1, Williams hit a three-run home run in the fifth. Rome managed to tie the game and send it to extra innings, but Williams drove in the winning run in the 11th with an RBI single. He finished with four hits, two runs scored and five RBIs. Williams has a pull-heavy approach, but last week offered a reminder about how his power plays to all fields. His first triple was just inside the right field line, while his second split the gap between the center and right fielder. (JC)

20. Tyler Black, 3B, Brewers
Team: Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .350/.500/.600 (7-for-20), 5 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 7-for-7 SB

The Scoop: Black is primarily known for his patience and contact skills at the plate, but he showed off his basestealing acumen last week, too. Despite being a fringy runner, Black was a perfect 7-for-7 on stolen bases against Montgomery last week and is now 17-for-18 on stolen bases on the year. In only 23 games, Black has already set new career highs for home runs (four) and steals (17) in a season, a promising start for the 2021 supplemental first-round pick after injuries plagued him last year. (KG)


Roman Anthony, OF, Red Sox

Anthony’s numbers this season might not jump off the page, but scouts who have seen him believe the ingredients are there for a potentially special player. He has a gorgeous swing from the left side, an outstanding knowledge of the strike zone and raw power that belies his meager slugging output this year at Low-A Salem. That raw juice also shows up in his 90th percentile exit velocity, which hovers around 108 mph. For that power to really begin manifesting itself on the stat sheet, he’ll need to get the ball in the air much more often. Nonetheless, the 18-year-old Anthony has shown a lot of positive markers in his first full season as a pro.  (JN)

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