Hot Sheet: Baseball’s 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (8/29/23)


Image credit: Matt Shaw (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/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. 28. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes and J.J. Cooper.

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 hosted a chat at 1 p.m. ET to discuss this week’s Hot Sheet. You can read the transcript here.

1. Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs
Team: Triple-A Iowa (International)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .458/.462/1.125 (11-for-24), 5 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Canario has lost a chunk of this season due to injury, but he’s making up for lost time. The former Giants prospect clubbed four home runs this past week, continuing what has been a white-hot August. In the season’s penultimate month, Canario is hitting .326/.379/.684 with seven of the nine home runs he’s hit all season. (JN)

2. Zach Dezenzo, 3B, Astros 
Team: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas) 
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .321/.387/.857 (9-for-31), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 11 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: It’s been a breakout season for Dezenzo as he blew through the High-A level to Double-A. For a player less than a year out of the draft he’s handled Double-A extremely well, hitting .255/.344/.490 over 51 games with the Hooks. Last week Dezenzo enjoyed arguably his best week as a professional, as he tallied multi-home run games on Friday and Sunday. After starting the series with Springfield 0-for-9 with four strikeouts, Dezenzo collected four consecutive multi-hit games to end the week, going 9-for-19 with seven extra-base hits in that time. Dezenzo’s fusion of plus contact, above-average approach and fringe-average contact make him another potential uncovered Astros gem. (GP) 

3. Hunter Goodman, C, Rockies
Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .588/.650/1.353 (10-for-17) 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 CS

The Scoop: Goodman’s last week in the minor leagues was an excellent way to say farewell. His four home runs pushed him into the MiLB home run lead with 34. And while his promotion may make it hard for him to hold onto that home run crown, Luken Baker (33 home runs) is also up in the majors, so this is a home run race where neither player is hoping to get a chance to add to their total. (JC)

4. Colt Keith, 3B, Tigers
Team: Triple-A Toledo (International)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .458/.531/.958 (11-for-24) 10 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 6 BB, 1 SO.

The Scoop: To say that Louisville didn’t really ever figure out a way to attack Keith is quite obvious. He had six extra-base hits, five singles, six walks and one lonely strikeout. Keith went through a stretch in July not long after he was promoted to Toledo where he struck out 16 times in 44 plate appearances. Now that he’s settled in, he’s showing again how he’s a pure hitter with excellent bat-to-ball skills. Since Aug. 15, he’s struck out just three times in 54 plate appearances while clubbing eight extra-base hits. (JC)

5. Wenceel Perez, SS, Tigers 
Team: Triple-A Toledo (International) 
Age: 23 

Why He’s Here: .409/.500/.955 (9-for-22), 7 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: In the not too distant past, Perez was considered an exciting prospect with a higher-end hit tool and some power projection. While Perez’s prospect status has long since faded, he’s enjoyed solid performances over the last two seasons. Perez earned a promotion to Double-A in July and so far has hit .304/.434/.569 over his first 28 games. Last week Perez continued his hot hitting for the Mud Hens, going 8-for-14 over the first three games of the week with seven extra-base hits. He had a hit in four of five games and reached base twice in all but one game. Perez is showing advanced approach and bat-to-ball skills and is perhaps scratching the surface of that power projection promised all those years ago. (GP) 

6. Ronny Mauricio, SS, Mets 
Team: Triple-A Syracuse (International) 
Age: 22 

Why He’s Here: .435/.536/.870 (10-for-23), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Anytime Mauricio walks more than he strikes out he makes the Hot Sheet, as that is typically a sign that Mauricio is locked in and seeing the ball well. Not since Justin Upton’s heyday have we seen a player as streaky as Mauricio. After opening the season scorching hot for two months, Mauricio hit a prolonged slump through June into July, hitting .218/.268/.420 from June 1 to July 17. Since then Mauricio has caught fire, finishing his season in a similar fashion to how it opened. Last week Mauricio collected a hit in the first five games of the series with Buffalo, hitting five extra-base hits from Tuesday to Saturday. Mauricio is a twitchy athlete with plus power and an aggressive contact-driven approach. (GP) 

7. Ian Seymour, LHP, Rays
Team: Low-A Charleston (Carolina)
Age:  24

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 2 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 12 SO

The Scoop: When the 2022 season began, Seymour seemed to be all out of sorts. It turned out he had an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He’s working his way back now, but it’s probably time to send him to a more challenging assignment than Charleston. Seymour has allowed just two runs in five starts and 19.1 innings this month. He’s also struck out 13 batters since he last allowed a walk. Seymour’s changeup looks back to its pre-injury form, and his slider looks a little sharper as well. (JC)

8. Ben Rice, C, Yankees
Team: Double-A Somerset (Eastern) 
Age: 24 

Why He’s Here: .360/.407/.760 (9-for-25), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: In the summer of 2021, Rice was playing competitive baseball for the first time since July 2020. An unheralded Ivy League product, Rice took advantage of his opportunity to play with Cotuit in the Cape Cod League, hitting .265/.372/.353 over 13 games and earning a 12th-round selection by the Yankees. The Massachusetts native has made the most of his opportunity this season, hitting .322/.437/.620 across 57 games over three levels. He’s been especially hot over the last few weeks and collected a hit in five of six games, including three multi-hit games last week. A lefthanded bat with advanced approach, bat-to-ball skills and power, Rice might just be a true sleeper bat. (GP) 

9. Victor Scott II, OF, Cardinals
Team: Double-A Springfield (Texas)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .444/.483/.704 (12-for-27) 7 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO, 3 SB, 1 CS

The Scoop: Scott remains locked in a very friendly battle with Chandler Simpson for the MiLB stolen base crown. At this point, it’s clear that one of the two is going to win it. Simpson has 85 steals. Scott has 81. No one else has more than 65. The second question is whether either of them will become the first minor leaguer to steal 100 bases since Billy Hamilton set the all-time MiLB record with 155 steals in 2012. Yes, the stolen base rules have been liberalized, but Scott’s 81 steals are already more than the MiLB leader in 15 of the past 30 years. (JC)

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

Why He’s Here: .476/.522/.905 (10-for-21), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: So far, so good for the Cubs’ first-round selection out of Maryland. Shaw skipped Low-A and instead headed directly to High-A South Bend after a brief tuneup in the ACL. In 20 games in the Midwest League, he’s done a little bit of everything. He has four home runs—including two this past week—and seven stolen bases in eight chances. His addition gives the Cubs another middle-diamond talent in a system that is clearly on the rise. (JN)

11. Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Braves 
Team: High-A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: The 24th overall pick in the draft, Waldrep has been tremendous since turning pro, as he’s now made four total starts, striking out 25 to just six walks over 15 innings. Waldrep boasts a cut fastball in the mid 90s, a slider and his famous splitter. Waldrep struck out 10 in his last start, showing improved command of his arsenal. Under the Braves tutelage Waldrep has a chance to develop into one of the top pitching prospects in the minors. If Waldrep lands his fastball consistently, his secondaries will dominate. (GP)   

12. Thomas Saggese, SS, Cardinals
Team: Double-A Springfield (Texas)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .391/.464/.783 (9-for-23), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Saggese was part of the two-player package the Rangers sent St. Louis in July in exchange for lefty Jordan Montgomery. With Texas, he was one of the system’s better-performing prospects. With St. Louis, it’s been more of the same. He already has a cycle to his credit with his new organization, and has bashed an astonishing nine home runs in 24 games since switching from Frisco to Springfield in the Texas League. (JN)

13. Denzer Guzman, SS, Angels 
Team: Low-A Inland Empire (California) 
Age: 19 

Why He’s Here: .409/.435/.727 (9-for-22), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: While Guzman has been young for the level in 2023, he’s really struggled with Inland Empire this season. Last week, however, Guzman collected a hit in all five games, including three multi-hit games. Guzman shows average plate skills with fringe-average power, but he’s at an age where his power could flourish in the coming years. (GP)

14. Jadher Areinamo, SS, Brewers
Team: Low-A Carolina (Carolina)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .500/.542/.773 (11-for-22), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Areinamo won’t wow you with any one tool, but he’ll do enough of everything to make himself an interesting prospect. This week, he showed off literal light-tower power when he clanged a home run off the … light tower … in left-center field at his home park of Five County Stadium. Areinamo is very difficult to strike out—his rate this season is just 12.4%—and he can ably handle second base and third base with occasional turns at shortstop. His batting average (.305) and hit total (111) are both second in the Carolina League. (JN)

15. Tai Peete, SS, Mariners
Team: Low-A Modesto (California)
Age: 18

Why He’s Here: .381/.409/.762 (8-for-21), 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Most of Peete’s production this week can be boiled down to two at-bats on Sunday. In the seventh inning of Modesto’s game with San Jose, Peete hit a grand slam. An inning later, he stepped up with the bases loaded and repeated (RePeeted?) the feat, giving him grand slams for each of his first two professional homers, and in consecutive innings. No matter what he does for the rest of his career, Peete—who was the 30th overall pick in the 2023 draft—already has a day he’ll remember for the rest of his life. (JN)

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

Why He’s Here: .421/.455/.842 (8-for-19), 5 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: What more is there to say about Caminero, who has been tremendous for the large majority of the 2023 season. He destroyed the High-A Midwest League before reaching Double-A as a teenager. Since then, he’s been excellent. Caminero crunched two more home runs this past week, giving him 13 in 65 games in the Southern League and 24 for the season. That total leaves him tied with Washington’s James Wood for players 20 years old or younger. (JN)

17. Trey Dombroski, LHP, Astros
Team: Low-A Fayetteville (Carolina)
Age: 22

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

The Scoop: Coming into his Aug. 23 start, Dombroski had allowed 16 hits and 15 runs in just 11.1 innings this month. He’s added nearly a run to his ERA and seemed to be struggling to finish the season strong. But when Dombroski is clicking, he can be something special. He’ll rarely brush past 90-91 mph, but he can locate the fastball well and his changeup can truly baffle a Class A hitter. Everything clicked against Down East. Dombroski’s five perfect innings were truly perfect. He struck out 11 of the 15 batters he faced. But he’s been just as perfect before this season. He also threw five perfect innings in a May relief appearance against Myrtle Beach and he threw 4.2 hitless innings against Columbia in April. (JC)

18. Matt Gorski, OF, Pirates 
Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern) 
Age: 25 

Why He’s Here: .350/.391/.800 (7-for-20), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Few players are as tooled-up as Gorski is. While he might not be the most popular name in the Pirates system his combination of elite athleticism, power and plus defensive tools makes Gorski an underrated player. Last week Gorski was locked in as he collected a hit in all five games he played in. He had five extra-base hits, including two home runs against Akron. Gorski has the look of a fourth outfielder who can provide power-hitting value off the bench, speed on the bases or strong defense at any spot in the outfield in a pinch. (GP)

19. Spencer Horwitz, 1B, Blue Jays 
Team: Triple-A Buffalo (International) 
Age: 25 

Why He’s Here: .579/.625/.842 (11-for-19), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop:  Few teams draft late-round sleeper bats quite as well as the Blue Jays. Horwitz and Davis Schneider are cut from a similar cloth. Both have advanced plate skills, contact and power. Schneider’s power is more actualized in terms of home runs while Horwitz is content with stinging liners all over the field. Last week Horwitz collected multiple hits in four of six games—he reached base 14 times in the series with Syracuse. Horwitz has the ability to see everyday playing time with a second division team and could be an above-average offensive performer over a full season. (GP)

20. Eddys Leonard, SS, Tigers
Team: Triple-A Toledo (International)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .461/.565/.941 (8-for-17) 7 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO.

The Scoop: In April this year, Leonard hit a putrid .129/.247/.129 in 81 plate appearances. But as bad as Leonard was to start the year, he’s finishing in incredibly impressive fashion. He’s hitting .349/.416/.555 since July 1, and has been even better (.358/.416/.627) since he arrived in Toledo after being acquired by the Tigers when the Dodgers designated him for assignment. While the Dodgers didn’t have room for Leonard on the roster, he’s worth a long look for the Tigers. He’s athletic, has plenty of defensive versatility (the Tigers have already played him at second and third base, shortstop and center field) and solid power. He’s posted a 91 mph average exit velocity and a 107.9 mph 90th percentile exit velocity since he joined the Tigers. And he’s done that while striking out just 14% of the time this month.  (JC)


Jhancarlos Lara, RHP, Braves
Lara is an up-arrow arm in Atlanta’s system who has a wide variety of outcomes. He’s a physical righthander with a big-time fastball whose velocity can sit in the mid 90s for the duration of outings. His slider will flash above-average and his changeup is a clear third pitch in its nascent stages. If that pitch comes along, he has a chance to become a rotation piece. Doing so will also require that he develops a bit more feel to pitch. Even if neither of those things comes true, Lara could be a weapon in the back end of a bullpen. (JN)

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