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Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (6/28/22)



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 June 27. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, Kyle Glaser and J.J. Cooper.

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 chatted regarding today's Hot Sheet from 1-3 p.m. ET. You can read the transcript here.


1. Deyvison De Los Santos, 3B, D-backs
Team: Low-A Visalia (California)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .577/.607/.885 (15-for-26), 6 R, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: De Los Santos turned 19 last week and celebrated his birthday in style. The hulking Dominican masher had five three-hit games in Visalia’s series at Inland Empire and launched a pair of home runs to give him 11 on the season. De Los Santos has steadily improved his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage each month while successively cutting down his strikeout rate, showcasing an impressive ability to adjust at a young age. (KG)

2. Kyle Harrison, LHP, Giants
Team: Double-A Richmond (Eastern)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 2.25, 12 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 20 SO, 2 HR

The Scoop: Ladies and gentlemen, your minor league strikeout leader. Harrison took the ball twice this past week and finished his first half with quite the flourish. With Richmond’s first playoff berth since 2014 on the line, Harrison spun seven magnificent innings, allowing two runs on two solo homers while striking out 11 (tying a season-high) and walking just one. The strikeout total vaulted him into the overall minor league lead, besting Boston’s Brayan Bello by three. Over two seasons in the minors, Harrison has faced 689 hitters and struck out 266 of them. That’s a rate of 38.6%, which is sixth-best in the minors over the last two seasons among pitchers with 100 or more innings. (JN)

3. Niko Kavadas, 1B, Red Sox
Team: Low-A Salem (Carolina)/High-A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .478/.500/1.261 (11-for-23), 7 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBIs, 1 BB, 6 SO.

The Scoop: Considering his age and experience level, it was surprising that Kavadas was sent to Low-A Salem to start the season. But it did give the Notre Dame slugger a chance to show he could dominate the level and generate plenty of confidence. When he was promoted to Greenville this week, Kavadas left Salem with a 1.062 OPS, as he leads the league in home runs (14), on-base percentage (.453) and slugging percentage (.609). The jump to High-A hasn’t seemed very hard so far, either. In his first three games with Greenville, he has two home runs and two doubles. (JC)

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

Why He’s Here: .474/.546/1.000 (9-for-19), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Few players from last year’s draft have improved as dramatically as Arroyo, who has transformed from a slick-fielding shortstop with a light bat to a game-changing force on both sides of the ball. The 18-year-old Puerto Rican continued his season-long tear with a hit in all five games he played last week to raise his batting average to .322, second in the Cal League, and hit two more homers to give him 12 on the year, fifth in the league. With a growing ability to hit for average and power to go with consensus plus defense at shortstop, Arroyo is garnering reviews as the Cal League’s second-best prospect behind only Visalia’s Jordan Lawlar. (KG)

5. Griff McGarry, RHP, Phillies
Team: High-A Jersey Shore (South Atlantic)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.69, 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO.

The Scoop: As good as Mick Abel and Andrew Painter are, the argument can be made that McGarry has an even higher upside. At his best, McGarry can be nearly unhittable. He struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced this season, and 13 of the 21 batters he faced this week. The problem for McGarry arises when his control wanders. It sounds so simple, but it really is at the core of many young pitchers’ (and McGarry’s) development. In outings where he has a 60% or higher strike percentage, McGarry has a 2.35 ERA with 18 hits allowed in 30.2 innings with nine walks and 58 strikeouts. In his outings when he has thrown less than 60% strikes, he’s posted a 10.80 ERA in 10 innings with 14 hits allowed, 11 walks and 13 strikeouts. (JC)

6. Evan Carter, OF, Rangers
Team: High-A Hickory (South Atlantic)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .455/.412/.903 (10-for-22), 8 R, 1 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 4-for-5 SB

The Scoop: Carter fouled a ball off of his foot earlier this season and got into a bit of a funk as a result. Now he’s healed up and looking more like the player who drew raves early in the season as well as in his brief time healthy in 2021. Widening the sample a bit, Carter has raked for two Hot Sheet periods (or as non-Baseball Americans call them: Weeks) now. He’s slashed .343/.538/.629 in that sample while showing a tremendous sense of the strike zone, which has shown up in 15 walks and just seven strikeouts. For the season, he’s swinging and missing at a rate of just 7.6%, which makes him one of just 11 teenagers in the minor leagues with 200 or more plate appearances and a swinging-strike rate of less than 10%. Out of that group, he’s the only one who’s currently playing above Low-A. (JN)

7. Oscar Colas, OF, White Sox
Team: High-A Winston-Salem (South Atlantic)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .522/.577/.739 (12-for-23), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Colas is the latest in a line of high-profile White Sox signings from Cuba. Colas jumped to High-A (just a level ahead of another high-profile Cuban, Norge Vera, at Low-A) in his first year and has been up and down this season. His OPS in April was .842. In May, the figure dipped to .638, and he spent about a week on the IL. In June (with most of the month complete) Colas boasts an OPS of 1.008 and has gone hitless just thrice in the month. Interestingly, Colas appears to have made a change to his swing mechanics. Check out the two video clips below this capsule. The first swing, which shows his big leg kick, came during the first series of the year. The second swing, where Colas utilizes more of a pivot on his front foot, was taken in Winston-Salem’s most recent series, when he sprayed the ball around the park for six games. (JN)

8. Mason Montgomery, LHP, Rays
Team: High-A Bowling Green (South Atlantic)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.13, 2 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 17 SO.

The Scoop: Last year, the best pitcher in the South Atlantic League was Rays prospect Taj Bradley. This year, the best pitcher in the South Atlantic League is Rays prospect Mason Montgomery. Montgomery currently ranks third in the minors with 105 strikeouts. Montgomery’s lively fastball consistently gets above hitters’ bats up in the zone, and he’s steadily improved his secondaries. He’s on an impressive run, with 47 strikeouts and nine walks in his last 26.2 innings. He’s making a pretty strong argument for a midseason bump to Double-A Montgomery. (JC)

9. Alec Burleson, OF, Cardinals 
Team: Triple-A Memphis (International) 
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .500/.593/.727 (11-for-22), 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Burleson got on base in every game this week while racking up four consecutive multi-hit games to end the week. From Thursday through Sunday Burleson collected 10 hits over 16 at-bats and walked three times. The 23-year-old is hitting .343/.389/.578 with 15 home runs over 63 Triple-A games while spending a majority of his time in left field for Memphis. (GP)

10. Samad Taylor, OF, Blue Jays 
Team: Triple-A Buffalo (International)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .364/.400/.955 (8-for-22), 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO, o-for-1 SB

The Scoop: After a loud 2021 season, Taylor traded some power for contact and he’s continued to see strong results this season at Triple-A. Taylor started the week with three consecutive multi-hit games, including a two-home run game in Buffalo’s series opener with St. Paul. He finished the week with four home runs as he raised his season total from five to nine. Taylor is hitting .267/.348/.444 with improvements to his contact rate, chase rate and in-zone whiff rate this season. Taylor is an excellent base runner and is currently tied for first in the International League in stolen bases with 23. He’s a bit of a tweener defensively, seeing a majority of his time split between second base and left field for the Bisons, but can impact the game in a variety of ways offensively. (GP)

11. Robinson Pina, RHP, Angels
Team: High-A Tri-City (Northwest)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Pina hit a bit of a speed bump in June after a brilliant start to the season, but he returned to dominant form against Eugene on June 23. The 6-foot-4 righthander pitched seven scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts to help Tri-City pick up a 6-5 win and was in control from start to finish. He struck out the first four batters of the game, all swinging, and retired his final six batters, four via strikeout. In all, 11 of his 13 strikeouts were swinging, a testament to how overwhelming his downhill fastball, tight slider and devastating splitter can be when he’s on. (KG)

12. Dermis Garcia, 1B, Athletics
Team: Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .438/.550/1.125 (7-for-16), 6 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Dermis’ all-world power was on display last week as he had five extra-base hits and put six balls in play at 100-plus mph. Most impressively Garcia walked more than he struck out last week, as he’s seemingly turned a corner in Triple-A. Garcia for the first time since his 2017 rookie ball season has a strikeout rate below 30%. This has seen a 62-point jump in his batting average year over year as Garcia is now hitting .272/.354/.500 with eight home runs over 45 games. He’s a first base-only prospect, but the improvements in contact and approach have allowed Garcia to close up some of his holes at the plate without trading his ability to hit for power. (GP)

13. Elijah Dunham, OF, Yankees
Team: Double-A Somerset (Eastern)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .500/.560/.727 (11-for-22), 5 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 4-for-5 SB

The Scoop: Dunham was highlighted this week by Geoff Pontes in the most recent edition of FAAB because of an excellent combination of power and speed. He’s been particularly prolific on the basepaths this month, with 11 steals in 12 tries and has been successful at an 88% rate this season. In all, Dunham, an undrafted free agent in 2020 out of Indiana, is one of just 11 minor leaguers with 12 or more doubles, three or more triples, eight or more home runs and 20 or more stolen bases. The Yankees have been working with him to get the ball in the air more often, and his overall groundout-to-airout ratio has improved by .28 year over year. (JN)

Evan Carter (Tom Priddy Four Seam Images)

Hot Sheet Podcast: Deyvison De Los Santos, Evan Carter, More

In the second edition of the Hot Sheet Podcast, we discuss Deyvison De Los Santos, Evan Carter and more.

14. Wil Jensen, RHP, Giants
Team: High-A Eugene (Northwest)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.00, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 12 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Jensen made two starts for Eugene this week, totaling 10 innings, and did not allow an earned run across either outing. In each start Jensen succeeded in different ways as he brought his strikeout stuff on Tuesday, punching out seven over five innings, generating 18 swinging strikes. In Sunday’s contest, Jensen relied on weak contact, generating nine ground balls over 5.2 innings. Jensen primarily mixes his fastball, slider and changeup, sitting 91-93 mph and touching 95 mph on his four-seam with his slider sitting in the low 80s and his changeup in the mid 80s. His slider is his best pitch as he shows the ability to land it in the zone consistently while generating whiffs at a rate of 43%. (GP)

15. Nasim Nuñez, SS, Marlins
Team: High-A Beloit (Midwest)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .474/.615/.947 (9-for-19), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 6 BB, 1 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Nuñez’s calling card is always going to be his outstanding glovework. He’s the best infield defender in a system loaded with middle infield talent, but he’s never been known for the thump in his bat. The home run he hit this week was his first as a pro, but it was part of an excellent overall month. In June, Nuñez, still just 21 years old, has hit .290/.437/.435. There are just six extra-base hits included in that total, but the two triples he hit represent two-thirds of the total he’d had in his career prior to this week. His offensive skill set fits best at the bottom of an order, but this month lends a bit of optimism to the idea that there may be more in the tank. (JN)

16. Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B, Red Sox
Team: Low-A Salem (Carolina)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .500/.556/.833 (12-for-24), 5 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB 1 SO.

The Scoop: Jordan may have been famous in high school for hitting 500-foot home runs and winning home run derbies, but he’s showing he’s a more refined hitter than expected this year. Jordan is hitting .417 this month and has raised his slash line to .311/.364/.502. He does have eight home runs this year, but he’s also working on a 16-game hitting streak. A 1-for-4 day on Sunday actually ended an eight-game multi-hit streak. (JC)

17. Matt Mervis, 1B, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .333/.385/.905 (7-for-21), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: A two-way player at Duke, Mervis signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 draft and has exploded with his focus solely on being a position player. Mervis had his latest big week at Double-A with five extra-base hits in six games against Chattanooga and is now batting .323/.371/.647 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs in 62 games on the season. Though he’s older, Mervis is ascending the minors quickly and asserting himself as one of the Cubs’ best pure offensive prospects. (KG)

18. Logan Allen, LHP, Guardians
Team: Akron (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: A week after striking out 11 over six scoreless innings on June 16, Allen tossed seven one-run innings, striking out 11 once again as he allowed just three batters to reach base. Over four starts in the month of June Allen has 39 strikeouts to six walks over 25.2 innings. This was a return to normalcy for Allen, who struggled in May after a stellar opening month. The lefthander mixes four pitches with a four-seam fastball, cutter, slider and splitter. His fastball sits 90-91 mph, touching 93 mph, but features a lot of ride from a low release height, giving Allen’s fastball a flat plane of approach, making it deadly when elevated. His slider and splitter are his primary weapons and each boasts a whiff rate above 40% and a strike rate above 60%. Allen has the rare ability to miss bats with three pitches at a plus rate while mixing in a cutter to give batters a variety of looks. What Allen lacks in power he makes up for in pitchability and distinctive shapes across a variety of offerings. (GP)

19. Grant McCray, OF, Giants
Team: Low-A San Jose (California)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .387/.412/.903 (12-for-31), 8 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 10 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Another week, another loud performance from McCray. The 21-year-old center fielder continued his torrid season with eight extra-base hits, including four home runs, in six games at Stockton to push his batting average up to .300 and his home runs into the double-digits. McCray is still striking out more than ideal, but his combination of power, speed, defense in center field and overall athleticism continue to make him one of the Giants’ biggest breakout prospects of the season. (KG)

20. Matt Wallner, OF, Twins
Team: Double-A Wichita (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .429/.556/.952 (9-for-21), 7 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 BB, 7 SO, 1 CS.

The Scoop: In 66 games played in 2021, Wallner had 68 hits with 14 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs. This year in 65 games played, Wallner has 63 hits with 13 doubles, one triple and 16 home runs. Despite what that may look like, Wallner is actually having a much better season in 2022. He’s made the jump to Double-A. He’s hitting the ball harder and making better swing decisions. And that’s meant he’s walking more and he’s posting a .422 on-base percentage this year (up from .350 last season). Wallner is showing he can be the corner outfield prospect the Twins hoped he could be when they picked him in 2019. (JC)

Helium

Ryan Spikes, 2B/3B, Rays
Team:
Low-A Charleston (Carolina)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .400/.500/.850 (8-for-20), 8 R, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Taken with the 100th pick in the 2021 draft out of the Georgia prep ranks, Spikes is flashing plus power in games since returning from a quad injury earlier this month. He’s put nine balls in play at 100-plus mph, including a home run he hit at 108 mph in Friday’s contest. His approach is aggressive at the plate leading to some swing and miss and a tendency to expand the zone. Spikes has the arm to handle multiple spots on the infield as a former two-way player in high school who was up to 93 mph on the mound. His short, compact swing leads to success against velocity. The ingredients are there for an above-average hitter with flexibility defensively, it’s just a matter of Spikes refining his approach in the coming years. (GP)



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