Hot Sheet: Baseball’s 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (8/15/23)


Image credit: Jonathan Aranda (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

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 how minor league players performed through Aug. 14. Contributing this week were Josh Norris and Geoff Pontes.

This simply recognizes how the hottest prospects in the minors did in the past week—it’s not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.

Geoff Pontes answered questions regarding today’s Hot Sheet. You can read the transcript here.

1. Wilyer Abreu, OF, Red Sox 
Team: Triple-A Worcester (International) 
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .591/.625/1.500 (13-for-22), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 16 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Last week Abreu’s power display was similar to a fireworks show, as he built up with each game, culminating in a three-home run game on Sunday. Over the course of the series with Buffalo, Abreu reached base two or more times in all six games while hitting a home run in four out of the six games. Acquired from the Astros alongside Enmanuel Valdez at the 2022 trade deadline, Abreu is hitting .268/.380/.521 with 20 home runs over 80 games with Triple-A Worcester this season. He has above-average on-base skills, solid bat-to-ball skills, average power and the ability to play all three outfield positions. Abreu is able to get the most out of his average raw power with excellent launch angles, as he consistently shows the ability to elevate the ball on his best-struck contact and to his pull side. (GP) 

2. Jonathan Aranda, 2B, Rays
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .435/.552/1.130 (10-for-23), 10 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 1,000 times: Jonathan Aranda can hit. And in two seasons at Triple-A Durham, he’s hit, hit and hit some more. This past week, he went bananas. In a series against Memphis, he crushed five home runs, including two apiece in the final two games of the set. The outburst accounted for a full 20% of his season total and continued adding to the career-best he’s established this year. (JN)

3. Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals 
Team: Low-A Fredericksburg (Carolina) 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .414/.469/.763 (12-for-29), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 14 RBIs, 3 BB, 8 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Scoop: The top position player in the most recent draft kicked off his professional career with a bang last week. He reached base in five out of six games and collected three multi-hit efforts. Crews started the week with a 4-for-5 game with a home run, four RBIs and a walk on Tuesday. He then ended his week with a 5-for-5 showing on Sunday, connecting for two home runs for the first multi-home run game of his professional career. He reached base all six times he stepped to the plate on Sunday and drove in six. It’s clear that an advanced college hitter like Crews is far too much for Low-A pitching to handle. (GP) 

4. Junior Caminero, SS, Rays
Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .381/.435/.810 (8-for-21), 4 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Caminero’s season has been equaled by few in the minor leagues this year. The 20-year-old infielder obliterated High-A and has been excellent in Double-A as well. Most of last week’s production came during one monster day, in a doubleheader on Aug. 12. He collected five hits that day, including a three-homer explosion in the first game. Caminero’s Southern League pyrotechnics haven’t been the same as in the South Atlantic League, but he’s still hitting .300 and running a strikeout rate lower than 20%. (JN) 

5. Drew Thorpe, RHP, Yankees
Team: Double-A Somerset (Eastern)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Thorpe is one of the better pitching prospects in the Yankees’ system, and this past week he got his first test at the upper levels of the minor leagues. He passed. The righthander rung up nine strikeouts over eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball. The outing was Thorpe’s sixth of the season with nine or more strikeouts (though his only one with exactly nine) and helped place him in a tie with Cincinnati’s Connor Phillips as the overall leader in the minor leagues. (JN)

6. Kyle Teel, C, Red Sox
Team: High-A Greenville (South Atlantic) 
Age: 21 

Why He’s Here: .500/.583/.600 (10-for-20), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: The Red Sox first-round pick began the week in the Florida Complex League and made the jump to High-A Greenville on Tuesday. He began his time with the Drive by collecting three hits in each of his first three games. Teel reached base four times on both Thursday and Saturday and showed how advanced his hit tool is right off the bat against High-A pitching. Teel is a plus athlete with a chance to stick behind the plate. His advanced plate skills, combined with power projection and defensive value, make him one of the top prospects in a strong Boston system. (GP)  

7. Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Dodgers
Team: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Pepiot missed a significant chunk of time this year while recovering from a strained oblique muscle and was optioned to Triple-A after completing a rehab assignment at the same level. He took a perfect game into the sixth inning in his most recent outing and struck out 11 hitters. The punchout total tied a career high-water mark, which he set with Double-A Tulsa on July 4, 2021. Pepiot, the owner of one of the system’s finest changeups, gives Los Angeles pitching depth down the stretch. (JN) 

8. Yordanny Monegro, RHP, Red Sox
Team: Low-A Salem (Carolina)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Monegro is proving to be one of the top players to emerge from the complex leagues into full-season ball this summer. He combines a four-seamer that sits 94-96 mph, touching 97 mph at peak, with a high-80s slider and a high-70s curveball with good depth. Last week the tall righthander enjoyed arguably his best start as a professional. He went five scoreless on Friday, striking out 11, walking one and allowing three hits. He generated a career-high 18 swinging strikes in this game, eclipsing his previous high of 16 in his Low-A debut on June 25. He showed command of his high-powered arsenal and the ability to overpower age-appropriate competition. He’s a riser in a deep Red Sox system. (GP) 

9. Michael Busch, 2B, Dodgers
Team: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .286/.444/.857 (6-for-21), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Much like fellow Hot Sheeter Jonathan Aranda, Busch has been a hitting machine throughout his minor league career. This past week, the North Carolina alum went off, slugging a quartet of home runs against Tacoma, including a two-homer game on Aug. 9. The 25-year-old now has 23 home runs in Triple-A this season, two more than his mark at the same level in 2022 despite playing in 29 fewer games. (JN)

10. Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays
Team: Low-A Charleston (Carolina)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .476/.458/.714 (10-for-21), 5 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Tampa Bay’s first-round pick from 2022 has had an excellent first full season as a pro. His production dipped a bit in July but has gotten back on track in the early part of the season’s final full month. He’s collected 14 hits in the first 10 games in August, just four shy of his total in 20 games in July. Isaac has shown bat-to-ball ability and power all summer long, but he does have a stark platoon split; his OPS against lefties is just .615, more than 300 points lower than his mark against righties. (JN)

11. Parker Messick, LHP, Guardians
Team: High-A Lake County (Midwest)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Unsurprisingly, Cleveland has found another college arm for its pitching assembly line. The lefthanded Messick starred at Florida State before being selected by Cleveland in the second round of the 2022 draft. After a rough first two starts at High-A, Messick has settled in nicely. Since July 9, Messick is 1-1, 2.70 and has struck out 36 hitters in 30 innings over six outings (four starts). His 11 strikeouts in his most recent turn established a new career best. (JN)

12. Chad Dallas, RHP, Blue Jays
Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.80, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: The Tennessee product went the first five innings of a seven-inning doubleheader last Wednesday and brought his swing-and-miss stuff. Dallas struck out 10 with no walks, while generating 15 swinging strikes. After dealing with injuries and conditioning woes, Dallas has taken a leap forward this season into prospect relevancy. His sweepy mid-80s slider is one of the best breaking balls in the Blue Jays system, as the pitch sits 83-85 mph with 12-15 inches of horizontal break and spin rates in the 2,800-2,900 rpm range. He shows remarkable command of the pitch, generating whiffs, chases and weak contact at above-average or better rates. Dallas also uses a four-seam fastball at 92-94 mph with above-average shape but fringy command and a low-80s curveball with more depth. He’ll flash a cutter and a changeup but neither are major parts of his repertoire. He has a back-end starter’s ceiling thanks to his ability to handle a starter’s workload and no split issues against righthanded or lefthanded batters. (GP) 

13. Jakob Marsee, OF, Padres
Team: High-A Fort Wayne (Midwest)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .565/.630/.957 (13-for-23), 9 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 5-for-6 SB

The Scoop: Marsee was the Padres’ sixth-round selection in the 2022 draft, out of Central Michigan. He’s spent the entire season at High-A Fort Wayne and has shown an impeccable knowledge of the strike zone. Marsee has more walks (84) than strikeouts (77) and has burned up the basepaths with 41 stolen bases. His walk total leads the Midwest League and the steals are tied for second. His two home runs put him in the double-digits for the season. (JN)

14. Carson Seymour, RHP, Giants 
Team: Double-A Richmond (Eastern) 
Age: 24 

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.93, 9.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: Seymour has enjoyed a strong season with Double-A Richmond to little fanfare. While his strikeouts numbers are down overall year over year, he’s seemed to have overcome some early struggles to find his swing-and-miss stuff. Over his first 10 starts Seymour struck out just 15.2% of batters he faced. In the eight appearances since July 4, Seymour boasts a 34.5% strikeout rate. Last week the 6-foot-6 righthander made two starts against Bowie, allowing one run across 9.2 innings, striking out 12 batters to just three walks. He went five innings on Tuesday to earn the victory in Richmond’s 10-2 win. He followed that up with 4.2 scoreless innings on Sunday. Seymour mixes a fastball at 93-95 mph with a mid-to-high-80s slider. Though he’ll show an occasional changeup, he primarily throws the fastball and slider. (GP) 

15. Matt Shaw, SS, Cubs 
Team: High-A South Bend (Midwest) 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .435/.435/.870 (10-for-23), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Shaw has taken to his surroundings in the Midwest League right out of the blocks and enjoyed a notable first full week with South Bend. The Cubs first-round pick in 2023, Shaw collected a hit in all five games last week. He had multi-hit efforts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. His standout game of the week came on Thursday as he finished a double short of the cycle. Shaw was one of the top college hitters in this summer’s draft. After winning the Cape Cod League MVP award in 2022, Shaw enjoyed another standout season at Maryland in 2023. The shortstop is likely to move to second base long term, but his combination of contact, approach, power and speed drive his profile. (GP) 

16. Jack Brannigan, 3B, Pirates
Team: High-A Greensboro (South Atlantic)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .370/.355/.963 (10-for-27), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBIs, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Brannigan was taken out of Notre Dame in the third round of the 2022 draft and spent the first 49 games of this season at Low-A Bradenton while also missing a month with an injury. Since July—which has been split between Low-A and High-A—Brannigan has been on a tear. Beginning on July 1, the 22-year-old is hitting .340/.398/.679 with nine home runs. (JN)

17. Mason Albright, LHP, Rockies
Team: High-A Spokane (Northwest)
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: Acquired by the Rockies for Randal Grichuk at the 2023 trade deadline, Albright is a young pitchability lefty with some upside. He mixes four different pitches in a four-seam fastball in the low 90s with bore, a gyro slider at 81-84 mph, a curveball in the mid-to-low 70s and a low-80s changeup. Albright mixes his pitches up well and keeps hitters off balance, while throwing a high rate of strikes. Last week Albright made one start, striking out nine and walking none over five innings. He allowed four runs but none of them were earned. Albright projects as a back-end starter with room to add some velocity in the coming years. (GP) 

18. Brayden Taylor, 3B, Rays
Team: Low-A Charleston (Carolina) 
Age: 21 

Why He’s Here: .300/.481/.650 (6-for-20), 9 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBIs, 7 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: An appearance on the Hot Sheet is not a bad way to celebrate your first full week as a professional. Taylor, the Rays first-round pick this July out of TCU, showed why he was viewed as one of the most advanced hitters in the most recent class. He walked more than he struck out on the week while showing extra-base power over the course of five games. He split the week between the complex and Low-A, but did most of his damage against Low-A pitching—three of his four extra-base hits on the week came during his three games with Charleston. Taylor reached base four times on both Thursday and Saturday, his first two games with the RiverDogs, putting his advanced plate skills on display. He’s another star collegiate hitter from the most recent draft with above-average regular upside. (GP) 

19. Pedro Leon, OF, Astros
Team: Triple-A Sugar Land (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .364/.400/1.091 (8-for-22), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: Leon was signed by Houston in 2021 and has spent 230 games over the last three years in Triple-A. The 25-year-old entered last week’s series with 15 homers on the year, then promptly hit a third of that total over the course of 22 at-bats. He is one of just six players in the minors with 20 or more doubles, 20 or more homers and 10 or more stolen bases. (JN)

20. Dyan Jorge, SS, Rockies 
Team: Low-A Fresno (California) 
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .500/.545/.550 (10-for-20), 3 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Scoop: The Rockies international scouting in recent years has been top notch, as the team has signed notable prospects like Adael Amador, Yanquiel Fernandez and Jordy Vargas, among others. The next in line looks to be 20-year-old Cuban infielder Dyan Jorge. After beginning his summer in the Arizona Complex League, Jorge has spent the last month-plus with Low-A Fresno. Last week Jorge showed off his advanced plate skills and bat-to-ball ability, collecting multiple hits in three of six games and reaching base in five out of six. While Jorge hasn’t flashed much in-game power, his wiry 6-foot-3 frame portends potential power gains as his body and offensive approach evolve. (GP) 


Matthew Etzel, OF, Orioles
Team: Low-A Delmarva (Carolina)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .364/.391/.682 (8-for-22), 4 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 6 SO, 6-for-7 SB

The Scoop: An impressive athlete who fell to the Orioles in the 10th round in 2023, Etzel sticks out for his Duck Dynasty fashion sense but also his loud tools. Promoted to Low-A Delmarva last week, Etzel showcased his power and speed combination, hitting a pair of home runs and swiping six bases. He’s capable of playing all three outfield positions with plus speed. If he can refine his approach and bat-to-ball skills Etzel could develop into another in a long line of promising Orioles positional prospects. If there’s any organization that’s had success in refining the hit tools of tooled-up athletes, it’s the Orioles. (GP) 

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