BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (8/24/21)

Baseballamericahotsheet

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 Aug. 24. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Kyle Glaser, Ben Badler 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.


1. Dustin Harris, 1B, Rangers
Team: High-A Hickory (East)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .529/.579/1.000 (9-for-17), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Each week, Harris looks more and more like one of the shrewdest pickups at last season’s trade deadline. The Rangers got him as part of the package for Mike Minor, and he hasn’t stopped hitting all season long. The corner infielder has shown power and patience in spades, and he’s been especially hot since earning a promotion to High-A Hickory. In fact, since moving up a level, Harris has gotten a hit in every game he’s started. The only time he’s finished a Crawdads game without a hit was after a late-game pinch-hitting appearance. (JN)

2. Nick Yorke, 2B, Red Sox
Team: Low-A Salem (East)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .478/.500/1.000 (11-for-23), 11 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Credit to the Red Sox scouting department, which went against the grain in a difficult year to evaluate players by taking Yorke with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft. The returns a little more than a year later have been excellent, as Yorke is showing why Boston considered him such a polished hitter coming out of high school. He has a mature approach for his age, the barrel skills to make frequent contact and his power is showing up as well, with three home runs over the past week to give him 10 on the season with a .321/.409/.500 slash line and a promotion to High-A Greenville. (BB)

3. Drey Jameson, RHP, D-backs
Team: Double-A Amarillo (Central)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.63, 14.1 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 22  SO

The Scoop: Pour one out for hitters who have to face Jameson. While he was very good with High-A Hillsboro, the righthander from Ball State has been on another level since joining the Sod Poodles. At Double-A, Jameson has whiffed 41 and walked just six in 27.1 innings, including double-digit strikeouts in three of his four starts. Jameson’s emergence, combined with fellow Poodles Brandon Pfaadt and Ryne Nelson, as well as Blake Walston at High-A and Luis Frias in Triple-A, gives Arizona very enviable pitching depth. (JN)

4. Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals
Team: Triple-A Omaha (East)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .400/.444/.960 (10-for-25), 7 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: The Pratto renaissance continues. After struggling through the 2019 season at High-A Wilmington, Pratto, the Royals’ first-round pick in 2017, has mashed at two upper-level stops. The swing changes he made during the lost 2020 season have clearly carried over into the regular season, and have helped re-establish him as one of the key pieces in Kansas City’s rebuild. There are seven players in the minors with 25 or more home runs—the Royals have three of them: Pratto, Bobby Witt Jr. and M.J. Melendez. (JN)

5. Bryson Stott, SS, Phillies
Team:
Double-A Reading (Northeast)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .571/.593/.810 (12-for-21), 3 R, 5 2B, 5 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0-1 SB

The Scoop: Stott has bounced back from a rough July and been white-hot this month at Double-A Reading. The 2019 first-round pick has hit .397/.432/.658 in 19 games in August and extended his hitting streak to eight games with a sensational series against Bowie last week. Stott recorded multiple hits in five of the six games and reached base in 16 of 27 plate appearances against the Baysox. He doubled in each of his final four games. (KG)

6. Jordan Groshans, SS/3B, Blue Jays
Team:
Double-A New Hampshire (Northeast)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .474/.524/.895 (9-for-19), 5 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: For a player whose full-season experience entailed just 23 games at Low-A coming into the year, Groshans has handled the jump to Double-A well, batting .289/.369/.455 through 290 plate appearances. Groshans fits best defensively at third base, with a chance to break into the big league picture in Toronto at some point next year if he keeps hitting at Triple-A. (BB)

7. Matt Brash, RHP, Mariners
Team:
Double-A Arkansas (Central)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 SO.

The Scoop: A promotion to Double-A Arkansas? No problem for Brash. In fact, in this week’s start against a loaded Frisco lineup, Double-A looked like not enough of a challenge. With a fastball that he dotted on the corners at 97-98 mph, a nasty power slider and a changeup with a significant velocity separation, the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect was in complete control as he picked up a seven-inning complete game one-hitter. (JC)

8. Nolan Gorman, 3B, Cardinals
Team:
Triple-A Memphis (East)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .474/.600/.842 (9-for-19), 8 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Gorman needed time to adjust after being promoted to Triple-A at the end of June but has been on fire the last five weeks. The 2018 first-round pick has hit .324/.385/.556 with seven doubles, a triple and eight homers in his last 36 games and was particularly locked in last week. Gorman reached base in 15 of his 25 plate appearances in the Redbirds’ series against Nashville, including three multi-hit efforts in his final four games. (KG)

9. Daniel Espino, RHP, Indians
Team: High-A Lake County (Central)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 SO

The Scoop: Espino was promoted to High-A Lake County in mid July. His ERA (4.50) with Lake County would seem to indicate that he has struggled, but that’s a story more of a couple of poorly timed home runs than anything else. High-A Central hitters are hitting .184 against him. He has struck out 56 batters in just 28 innings and he’s only walked 12. Espino has been excellent, and he’s leaving a string of impressed observers throughout the league. (JC)

10. Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers
Team: Low-A Carolina (East)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .550/.640/.700 (11-for-20), 7 R, 3 2B, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 2 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: A lot of scouts didn’t think Frelick would make it past the top 10 picks in the draft a month ago, so the Brewers had to be pleased to be able to snap him up with the 15th overall pick. So far, Frelick has come as advertised, making a ton of contact and taking advantage of his plus-plus wheels. After a quick tuneup in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League, Frelick is hitting .417/.481/.562 through 10 games with Low-A Carolina. (BB)

11. Eddys Leonard, SS, Dodgers
Team: High-A Great Lakes (Central)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .455/.556/.864 (10-for-22), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: The breakout prospect of the Dodgers system has continued to rake since being promoted to High-A earlier this month. Leonard has hit .381/.480/.683 since joining Great Lakes and was particularly hot last week, with multiple hits in four of six games against Lansing. Leonard has spent time at second base, shortstop, third base and center field since joining the Loons and faces questions about what position he’ll eventually play, but his electric hands and balanced, direct swing leave little doubt that he can hit. (KG)

12. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pirates
Team: High-A Greensboro (East)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .444/.464/.704 (12-for-27), 3 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Gonzales missed five weeks with a shoulder injury and took some time to round back into form after he returned, but he’s shown this month why he was considered arguably the top pure hitter in last year’s draft. Gonzales has hit .373/.434/.667 with eight doubles, a triple and four home runs in 16 games in August and recorded a hit in all six games of the Grasshoppers’ series against Bowling Green last week. While there was concern in the draft about Gonzales’ size and the fact he put up big numbers against mid-major competition, his mature approach and ability to drive all types of pitches to his pull side or up the middle have solidified his reputation as a potential plus or better hitter. (KG)

13. Yolbert Sanchez, 2B, White Sox
Team: Double-A Birmingham (South)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .435/.458/.826 (10-for-23), 3 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Sanchez has been one of the brighter spots in a disappointing season on the White Sox farm. The 24-year-old performed admirably for most of the season at High-A Winston-Salem but has turned it up a couple of notches with Double-A Birmingham. Since the promotion, Sanchez has gone hitless in just three of 26 games. He’s currently riding an eight-game hitting streak. Sanchez has also turned up the power, with three home runs this past series after hitting five in all his time at High-A. (JN)

14. Kai-Wei Teng, RHP, Giants
Team: High-A Eugene (West)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO

The Scoop: Teng was ejected from a start earlier this season and suspended 10 games after umpires found a foreign substance on his glove and confiscated it. Teng struggled for about six weeks after the suspension, but he’s adjusted and pitched more effectively recently. Teng pitched a season-high seven innings and tied his season high with 11 strikeouts in Eugene’s 3-1 win over Everett on Aug. 21. He is now 3-0, 1.29 over his last five starts with 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in 28 innings. (KG).

15. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Cardinals
Team: Triple-A Memphis (East)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: There are times when Liberatore’s velocity has raised concerns. He generally sat 91-92 mph early this season, but now he’s sitting 94-95. Liberatore's stuff has kept getting better and better while also pitching with his usual advanced command as the season has worn on. He topped out at 98 mph and touched 97 on his 98th pitch in this week’s start. He was also spotting a 90-91 mph slider. He dotted the inner corner with his fastball for several called strike threes against righthanded hitters. (JC)

16. Oswald Peraza, SS, Yankees
Team: Double-A Somerset (Northeast)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .393/.433/.607 (11-for-28), 4 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Peraza is one of the Yankees’ most prized prospects, and he’s begun to find his footing in Double-A as one of the league’s youngest players. His performance (and spot on the 40-man roster) even earned him a spot on the Yankees’ taxi squad. Over the last month, he’s been especially hot. In August, Peraza has hit a whopping .375/.426/.554 with a pair of home runs and eight RBIs. With the breakout performances from Peraza and Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ middle-infield future is looking quite bright.  (JN)

redsox-900x6351

Nick Yorke: Red Sox 2021 Minor League Player Of The Year

The reason the Red Sox valued Yorke so highly in the 2020 draft became apparent in 2021 as he turned in an elite hitting performance.

17. Robert Hassell, OF, Padres
Team: Low-A Lake Elsinore (West)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .391/.500/.609 (9-for-23) 7 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 3 SB.

The Scoop: With a month left in the season, it’s worth checking in on how the first round prep bats from last year are faring in their first pro season. Hassell (picked eighth overall) is hitting .315/.410/.464 with six home runs and 30 steals in 36 attempts. Veen (picked ninth overall) is hitting .301/.398/.510 with 14 home runs and 30 steals in 46 attempts. Both Hassell and Veen are playing in the Low-A West. Austin Hendrick (picked 12th overall) is hitting .214/.389/.391 with six home runs and four steals in five attempts. Pete Crow-Armstrong (picked 19th overall) has only played six games this year because of a shoulder injury. (JC)

18. Alberto Rodriguez
Team: Low-A Modesto (West)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .455/.500/.773 (10-for-22), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 2BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Rodriguez joined the Mariners a year ago in the trade that sent righthander Taijuan Walker to the Blue Jays. The right fielder has some tweener questions regarding whether his power will be enough to carry him in a corner, but he has been a doubles machine this year, with his 27 doubles one off the league leader, with Rodriguez hitting .286/.379/.475 overall with eight home runs in 82 games. (BB)

19. Jairo Pomares, OF, Giants
Team: High-A Eugene (West)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .407/.407/.556 (11-for-27) 5 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO.

The Scoop: If you are picking out the best performers of the 2021 MiLB season, Pomares should be quickly mentioned as one of the top candidates. The Giants didn’t send Pomares to San Jose until mid June, so he doesn’t yet qualify for the MiLB batting crown, but his .376/.426/.677 slash line would make him the minors' batting leader if he did have enough at-bats (he currently has 226). A jump to High-A this week has done nothing to slow Pomares down. He actually raised his batting average with an excellent introduction to Eugene. (JC)

20. Victor Acosta, SS, Padres
Team: DSL Padres
Age: 17

Why He’s Here: .500/.600/.917 (6-for-12), 5 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Acosta is a true shortstop with quick feet, smooth actions and a nose for the ball at shortstop. As an amateur, he was still wiry and lacked the strength to do a ton of damage at the plate, but in his pro debut, he has been one of the top offensive performers in the Dominican Summer League. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in January for $1.8 million, Acosta is hitting .313/.449/.482 with 16 walks and 19 strikeouts through 26 games and belted his second home run of the season last week. (BB)

HELIUM

Ian Lewis, SS, Marlins: Get ready for another prospect on the rise out of the Bahamas. Lewis was one of Miami’s top international signings from what’s shaping up to be an excellent 2019 international class, with righthander Eury Perez and shortstop Jose Salas also in the mix. A $950,000 signing, Lewis is a quick-twitch athlete with plus speed, good body control in the field and a switch-hitter who showed good hitting traits as an amateur, but he was physically behind his peers. As Lewis has gotten stronger, he’s shown more ability to drive the ball, and it has translated to a .267/.325/.495 line through 30 games in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League. (BB)

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining