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Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (7/12/22)



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 July 11. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, Ben Badler 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.


1. Elly De La Cruz, SS, Reds
Team: High-A Dayton (Midwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .467/.556/1.467 (7-for-15), 6 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: What more is there to say about Dayton’s most fiery Dragon? He can do just about anything on a baseball field, and every one of his at-bats is must-see MiLB TV. He popped five more homers this week, giving him 20 for the season. In doing so, he became the only member of the minor league 20-20 club. With a little more than two months left in the season, he has a real chance to join the 30-30 club. First up, though? A spot in the upcoming Futures Game. (JN)

2. Noelvi Marte, SS, Mariners
Team: High-A Everett (Northwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .455/.586/1.091 (10-for-22), 11 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: After hitting .229 with a .680 OPS over the first two-and-a-half months of the season, Marte is finally catching fire. The 20-year-old shortstop extended his hitting streak to seven games with a scorching series against Vancouver, highlighted by hitting four home runs in a span of five days. Marte is now batting .381/.487/.782 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in his last 17 games, a hopeful sign that his early-season struggles are behind him. (KG).

3. D.L. Hall, LHP, Orioles
Team: Triple-A Norfolk (International)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: When Hall is on, he’s darn near untouchable. The live-armed lefty struck out 14 in his most recent start, establishing a new career-best in the process. His previous peak was 11, which took place three weeks earlier. If he can find consistent control and command, Hall has a chance to be a tantalizing rotation piece. If not, he could be a true weapon out of the bullpen. For now, he and Gunnar Henderson will give Norfolk one of the best 1-2 punches in the minor leagues (and don’t sleep on Jordan Westburg, either). (JN)

4. Rodolfo Nolasco, OF, Pirates
Team: Low-A Bradenton (Florida State)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .455/.571/1.136 (10-for-22), 10 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Nolasco has had a tough go in his first full season, but he broke out in a big way last week. The 20-year-old Dominican homered in four consecutive games against Lakeland. He did that while recording a hit in all six games of the series and scoring a run in all six games. Nolasco is now on a seven-game hitting streak that has raised his season batting average from .210 to .234, a hopeful sign he's made the adjustments necessary to get to his enormous raw power. (KG).

5. Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers
Team: Low-A Carolina (Carolina)
Age: 18

Why He’s Here: .368/.400/.895 (7-for-19), 4 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Chourio’s stint in Low-A has been unbelievable, and he showed off the power swing in a big way over the past week. Against Kannapolis, the 18-year-old slammed three no-doubt homers, the loudest of which left the bat at 102 mph and traveled an estimated 406 feet. The blasts bring his season total to 12, which makes him one of two 18-year-olds with double-digit dingers this year. The other is the Mariners’ Edwin Arroyo, who is also a fantastic prospect. Chourio will get to flex his muscles on a national stage this coming Saturday, when he joins lefthander Antoine Kelly as the Brewers’ contingent at the annual Futures Game. (JN)

6. Yohendrick Pinango, OF, Cubs
Team: High-A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .482/.482/.741 (13-for-27), 4 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Pinango continues to solidify himself as the best pure hitter in the Cubs system. The 20-year-old Venezuelan recorded multiple hits in five of his six games last week, including a pair of three-hit games and a 2-for-4 night with a double and a home run. The week extended his hitting streak to eight games and gave him 85 hits on the season, most on a talented South Bend team by a wide margin. (KG).

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

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.50, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: What a year. What a prospect. At just 19 years old, Perez has spent the better part of the last two months simply toying with Southern League hitters. The only real blemish in his most recent start was a solo home run. Otherwise, he mowed through the Mississippi lineup with impressive ease. He got swings and misses on 24 of his 72 pitches (exactly one third), helping him rack up 10 strikeouts, his second game of the season with double-digit Ks. Next up for Perez? The Futures Game. (JN)

8. TJ Sikkema, LHP, Yankees
Team: High-A Hudson Valley (South Atlantic)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Sikkema has gotten better as he’s built up his workload following a long absence due to injuries, and his most recent start was a masterpiece. The lefty whiffed a career-best 11 over five innings. That start served as a continuation of the standard he’d set a week prior. Against Brooklyn, Sikkema spun 4.1 hitless innings with eight punchouts. Spliced together, the 23-year-old’s two turns in July make for a remarkable stretch: 9.1 innings, one hit, one unearned run, one walk and 19 strikeouts. (JN)

9. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF, Nationals 
Team: Low-A Fredericksburg (Carolina) 
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .381/.409/.810 (8-for-21), 4 R, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: In the not too distant past De La Rosa was a much ballyhooed signing with some helium. He failed to live up to expectations until this spring, as De La Rosa is hitting .315/.394/.505 in 2022. De La Rosa collected multi-hit games in three out of five contests last week. His seminal game came on Saturday when he went 3-for-5 and came a home run short of the cycle. A lefthanded-hitting outfielder with some power and an average combination of contact and on-base ability, De La Rosa is an up-arrow prospect. (GP)

10. Daniel Mateo, OF, Rangers
Team: Low-A Down East (Carolina)
Age: 20

Why He's Here: .500/.533/1.214 (7-for-14), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B,3 HR, 7 RBIs, 0 BB, 3 SO, 4-for-4 SB

The Scoop: Mateo showed off power and speed last week, slamming three home runs and going 4-for-4 stealing bases, bringing the center fielder to 28 steals on the year. Batting .281/.331/.427 this season, Mateo has just 16 walks in 269 plate appearances (a 5.9% walk rate), so he will need to develop a more selective approach once he starts to face more advanced pitchers. (BB)

11. Spencer Horwitz, 1B, Blue Jays 
Team: Triple-A Buffalo (International) 
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .391/.440/.696 (9-for-23), 3 R, 4 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: The Blue Jays first baseman didn’t waste much time getting acclimated to Triple-A as he made the Hot Sheet in his first week. Horwitz had two three-hit games on the week and collected a hit in five out of six contests. He collected his first Triple-A home run on Saturday in a 3-for-4 effort where Horwitz came a triple short of the cycle. With an excellent combination of above-average power, on-base ability and bat-to-ball skills, Horwitz is one of the more underappreciated bat-first prospects in the minor leagues. (GP)

12. Everson Pereira, OF, Yankees
Team: High-A Hudson Valley (South Atlantic)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .391/.462/.696 (9-for-23), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Pereira has been one of the better-performing prospects in the Yankees’ system this season. The 21-year-old center fielder now has the benefit of consistent playing time for the first time since 2019, when an injury cut short his season in the New York-Penn League. Pereira has been a steady force all season in the Hudson Valley lineup. He shows hints of being a true five-tool talent, though he does have a significant reverse platoon split—he’s hit .220/.291/.340 against lefties this year—as an area for developmental focus. (JN)

13. Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals
Team: Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23

Why He's Here: .353/.560/.882 (6-for-17), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 3 RBIs, 8 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: The No. 60 prospect in baseball, Pratto has been binging on walks and home runs through the first 10 games of July, hitting .278/.422/.611 in that stretch with four homers and nine walks. His 31% strikeout rate remains a significant concern, but the recent hot stretch brings him up to .240/.374/.484 on the season. (BB)

14. Trey Sweeney, SS, Yankees
Team: High-A Hudson Valley (South Atlantic)
Age: 22

Why He's Here: .300/.440/.750 (6-for-20), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: A first-round pick (20th overall) last year out of Eastern Illinois, Sweeney didn't look like a first-rounder through the first two months of the season. In June, however, things picked back up, with Sweeney hitting .270/.363/.472 in 23 games last month, and he has kept it up in July, hitting .297/.381/.568 through nine games. Overall, Sweeney is still at just .233/.322/.422 for the season and his prospect stock has dropped, but the last month and a half has been more encouraging. (BB)

Brewers

Jackson Chourio: Brewers 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year

Talented teenager Jackson Chourio rocketed from extended spring training to Double-A in his first season in the United States.

15. Yiddi Cappe, SS, Marlins
Team: FCL Marlins (Florida Complex) 
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .438/.444/.875 (7-for-16), 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, BB, 2 SO, 1-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Signed for roughly $3 million out of Cuba, Cappe made his stateside debut a few weeks ago and has shown an advanced feel to hit with plus power. Last week Cappe collected multi-hit games in three out of four contests and slugged multiple home runs in the week’s opening game against the FCL Nationals. His power is very much showing in games, as Cappe hit five balls in play last week at 95-plus mph. This is serious power from a teenager, but it’s Cappe’s ability to hit for consistent contact and limit swing and miss that sets him apart. Entering Tuesday, Cappe has struck out in 12.8% of his at-bats while running a contact rate well north of 80%. Cappe has a legitimate contact and power combination, with twitch and a projectable, athletic frame. (GP)

16. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Rays
Team: High-A Bowling Green (South Atlantic) 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .400/.500/.867 (6-for-15), 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Long before every young player grew a mustache, Manzardo was trend setting at Washington State, and he hit .366/.437/.640 in 2021. Taken in the second round of last July’s draft, Manzardo has continued to show an extremely advanced approach and plus bat-to-ball skills with average game power. Last week he homered in the first and last games of the series with Hickory, highlighted by a 3-for-4 effort in Sunday’s contest. Hitting .318/.425/.578 with 11 home runs through 48 High-A games, Manzardo is pushing for a second half callup to Double-A. (GP)

17. Heston Kjerstad, OF, Orioles
Team: Low-A Delmarva (Carolina) 
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .692/.778/.923 (9-for-13), 3 R, 3 2B, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: At this point you almost have to feel bad not just for the pitchers of the Carolina League but the actual balls. Since debuting professionally with Delmarva Kjerstad has torn the cover off of the ball. Last week was no different as he posted numbers that make video games look realistic. With multi-hit efforts in three out of his four games played, all of which he reached base three or more times, Kjerstad is showing no signs of rust in Low-A. Nearly 80% of the time Kjerstad stepped to the plate last week he got on base. In what has looked more like an extended rehab assignment, Kjerstad is ready to be challenged by upper-minors pitching. (GP)

18. Brandol Mezquita, OF, Braves 
Team: Low-A Augusta (South Atlantic) 
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .545/.706/.727 (6-for-11), 2 R, 3B, 2 RBIs, 6 BB, 2 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: The athletic outfielder had an electric week at the plate as he collected multiple hits in three out of four games last week and reached base safely twice in each game. His standout game came on Wednesday when he went 2-for-4, with two walks, two stolen bases and two runs driven in. It continues to be a breakout season for the young Braves outfield prospect, and his approach has improved during the year. (GP)

19. Kameron Misner, OF, Rays
Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 24

Why He's Here: .538/.667/.692 (7-for-13), 5 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: When Misner is at his best, he'll flash patience, power and speed as a center fielder. He has shown that in spurts this year, but he's also now 24 in Double-A and hitting .218/.376/.427 with 94 strikeouts in 282 plate appearances for a 33% strikeout rate. (BB)

20. Jose Gerardo, OF, Marlins
Team: DSL Marlins
Age: 17

Why He’s Here: .375/.500/.750 (6-for-16), 5 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Gerardo is one of the Marlins’ brighter prospects in the Dominican Summer League. He was signed in the most recent international period on the strength of a blend of quick-twitch athleticism and remaining projectability. So far, he’s been a one-man wrecking crew on his DSL club. His five home runs are just shy of half of the team’s total (11), and are also nearly one-third of his 18 hits on the season. He’s got big-time bat speed, and now the Marlins are working with him to improve the trajectory of his balls in play. (JN)

Helium

Jonathan Mejia, SS, Cardinals
Team: DSL Cardinals (Dominican Summer) 
Age: 17

Why He’s Here: .278/.350/.500 (5-for-18), 4 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBIs, BB, 8 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Ranking 12th in the 2021-22 international class, Mejia turned 17 just a few months before the season but is showing power, bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline. Despite a poor overall stat line, Mejia has shown some encouraging signs, as his contact rate sits at 71% with a max exit velocity of 104 mph this summer. With the pedigree and data to back it up, Mejia should be a player that continues to make strides as he gets acclimated to professional pitching. It’s important to keep in mind that Mejia is younger than the average age in the notoriously young Dominican Summer League. (GP)

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