Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (9/13/22)
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 Sept. 12. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, J.J. Cooper 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. Cade Marlowe, OF, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Why He’s Here: .480 /.552/1.280 (12-for-25), 11 R, 2 2B, 6 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Few players, if any, are finishing the minor league season stronger than Marlowe. The physical Mariners outfielder hit six home runs in as many games, recorded three hits in three consecutive games and had two multi-homer games against Amarillo. He went 3-for-5 with two homers on Sept. 8, went 3-for-5 with another home run the next day and went 3-for-5 with two homers again on Sept. 10. Overall, Marlowe hit .405/.486/.694 since July 31. (KG)
2. Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees
Team: High-A Hudson Valley (South Atlantic)
Why He’s Here: .400/.500/.950 (8-for-20), 5 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: After an inconsistent turn at Low-A, Dominguez’s 40-game stretch at High-A to close the season was incredibly impressive. He finished his year with a particular flair, by homering twice in his final game—once from each side of the plate—at a pitcher’s park in Wilmington. The lost pandemic season delayed the beginning of Dominguez’s career by a season, but after his second full year as a pro he’s begun to round into the form the Yankees envisioned when they signed him in 2019. (JN)
3. Mason Montgomery, LHP, Rays
Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Why He’s Here: 1-1, 1.00, 2 GS, 9 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 11 SO.
The Scoop: Montgomery’s lively fastball was too much for the South Atlantic League. The Southern League’s hitters haven’t found it enjoyable to face, either. With one more start scheduled this year, Montgomery ranks in the top 10 in the minor leagues in ERA (he’s sixth at 2.21) and strikeouts (fourth with 167). (JC)
4. Will Brennan, OF, Guardians
Team: Triple-A Columbus (International)
Why He’s Here: .516/.531/.710 (16-for-31), 6 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Brennan stands as one of the better breakout prospects in the Guardians system. The Kansas State alum was Cleveland’s eighth-round pick in 2019 and currently has 157 hits, the most in the minor leagues. His 38 doubles are just three off the MiLB lead as well, and his 101 RBIs places him eighth, 13 behind the Mariners’ Robert Perez Jr. His steps forward have been apparent all year, and now he’s part of an enviable collection of future Guardians. (JN)
5. Harry Ford, C, Mariners
Team: Low-A Modesto (California)
Why He’s Here: .474/.546/.579 (9-for-19), 4 R, 2 2B, 1 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Ford’s early season-struggles seem like a lifetime ago. The Mariners 2021 first-rounder finished his first full season with a flourish, reaching base 12 times in 22 plate appearances against Stockton to help Modesto finish the season with a .500 record. After batting .209 with a .661 OPS the first two months of the season, Ford hit .300/.446/.496 from June 1 onward. (KG).
6. Darick Hall, 1B, Phillies
Team: Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Why He’s Here: .421/.421/1.053 (8-for-19), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 0 BB, 1 SO
The Scoop: Despite finding some success in the major leagues this season, Hall is back in Triple-A and remains a prospect with just 129 at-bats at the big league level. Hall collected three multi-hits games last week, including a two-home run effort in Saturday's game. Hall possesses easy power as displayed by his production and exit velocity data at the major league level. His approach is extremely aggressive, which limits his overall upside as a power-first hitter. (GP)
7. Ryan Webb, LHP, Guardians
Team: Low-A Lynchburg (Carolina)
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 17 SO
The Scoop: The former Georgia standout returned from Tommy John surgery earlier this season, and he’s been up and down early in his professional career. He ended his season on a high note last week with a pair of strong performances against Fayetteville. He generated 25 swinging strikes across the two starts as well as nine groundball outs. Webb sat 89-91 mph on his fastball, mixing in a mid-70s curveball with depth, a changeup that acts as his go-to secondary against righthanded hitters and a low-80s slider. What Webb lacks in terms of raw power he makes up for with a variety of pitch shapes and speeds. (GP)
8. Michael Stefanic, 2B, Angels
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake (Pacific Coast)
Why He’s Here: .571/.654/1.095 (12-for-26), 8 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Stefanic’s first big league stint didn’t go well and he uncharacteristically struggled upon his return to Triple-A, but he’s clearly rediscovering his best self at the end of the season. Stefanic had five multi-hit games against Reno last week and finished on a high note, homering in two of the final three games of the series. Stefanic was batting .239 since his return to Triple-A entering the series. Now, he’s batting .303. (KG).
9. Brock Jones, OF, Rays
Team: Low-A Charleston (Carolina)
Why He’s Here: .400/.520/.850 (8-for-20), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 7 SO, 3-for-6 SB
The Scoop: The Rays second-round pick in 2022 out of Stanford, Jones is an exciting three true outcomes hitter with speed and the ability to play center field. Last week his full profile was on display, as he hit for power, got on base, stole some bases and struck out. He had a multi-hit game on Tuesday and Wednesday to open the series at Columbia, and then got on base four times and homered in Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Fireflies. A talented player with some warts at the plate, there’s plenty of upside in Jones’ profile if he can cut down on the whiffs. (GP)
10. Miguel Amaya, C, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Why He’s Here: .375/.476/.875 (6-for-16), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Amaya returned from Tommy John surgery in early July because the Cubs wanted him to develop offensively, even though his arm wasn’t ready for him to return behind the plate yet. That plan has worked out well. Amaya has been a DH exclusively since he returned and had his latest big showing against Pensacola last week, reaching base in all five games to boost his OPS to .864. Amaya is scheduled to return to catching in the Arizona Fall League, but in the meantime, he’s showing the time away did nothing to dampen his offensive abilities. (KG).
11. David Hamilton, SS, Red Sox
Team: Double-A Portland (Eastern)
Why He’s Here: .478/.556/.783 (11-for-23), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO, 4 SB, 2 CS.
The Scoop: A speedy and versatile defender who is a threat to steal any time he gets on base, Hamilton’s light bat has been his biggest hurdle. Until September, he hadn’t hit .300 in any month this season and hadn’t hit .250 in any month since April’s .294, but this month he’s hitting .412/.524/.735 with a hit in eight of nine games. Hamilton can play shortstop, second base and he’s toyed with center field as well. The bat has to keep getting better, but his athleticism and versatility give him a shot. (JC)
12. Gavin Cross, OF, Royals
Team: Low-A Columbia (Carolina)
Why He’s Here: .381/.458/.857 (8-for-21), 3 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 7 SO
The Scoop: The ninth overall pick in the 2022 draft has had as strong a post-draft summer as any player from the 2022 draft class. Over 26 games with Low-A Columbia, Cross has hit .293/.423/.596 with seven home runs. While it’s unsurprising a top college hitter would perform in the lowest levels of full-season ball, his production has been notable. Last week Cross collected three multi-hit games and reached base two or more times in four of five games. Cross has flashed strong exit velocities in his pro debut, as last week he put six balls into play at 95-plus mph, all of which fell for hits. (GP)
13. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox
Team: High-A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Why He’s Here: .421/.522/.684 (8-for-19), 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: When he’s been on the field, Mayer, Boston’s first-round pick a year ago, has been impressive. The shortstop was one of three teenagers in the minor leagues with 30 or more doubles, 10 or more home runs and 15 or more stolen bases—plateaus his final week helped him reach. Perhaps more impressive, Mayer’s 68 walks were the most of any player in that trio—the other two were fellow Red Sox prospect Eddinson Paulino and Mets farmhand Alex Ramirez—despite playing in the fewest games of the three. (JN)
14. Jared Oliva, OF, Pirates
Team: Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
Why He’s Here: .500/.517/.679 (14-for-28), 6 R, 5 2B, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS.
The Scoop: Oliva’s 2022 season will likely be remembered as a step back, not a step forward for the center fielder. He was designated for assignment before the season. Even though he has just 59 MLB plate appearances, his .179/.220/.214 slash line was always going to make it hard for him to get a longer MLB trial. But more importantly, his second season at Triple-A Indianapolis has seen him show better power, but still relatively modest overall numbers. Oliva is having a strong finish, which may help him get one more chance to push for a big league job, but time is starting to run out. (JC)
15. Ford Proctor, C, Giants
Team: Triple-A Sacramento (Pacific Coast)
Why He’s Here: .500/.550/.556 (9-for-18), 0 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO.
The Scoop: Traditionally, backup catchers in the major leagues provide excellent glovework and solid power. And in return, they are allowed to post can-you-believe it’s this low batting averages in return. Catching is hard enough that pretty much anyone who can field, hit for power and hit for average is a regular. If Proctor is going to make it as an MLB backup, he’s going to look to forge a different path. Despite his .222 batting average this year, he’s generally shown that he can get on base (he has a .366 career on-base percentage) and he provides solid defense. But he also has modest power (11 home runs this year and a .337 slugging percentage). There aren’t a ton of catchers in the majors with Proctor’s somewhat unusual skill set, but if he can hit for a higher average, he may forge a path. (JC)
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16. Tekoah Roby, RHP, Rangers
Team: High-A Hickory (South Atlantic)
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO, 0 HR
The Scoop: After a rocky first half of the season, Roby turned his year around from July onward. Since July 1, the righthander has thrown 45.1 innings and whiffed 59 against 13 walks in that span. He closed his season with a career-best 12 strikeouts in five innings against Rome. The effort was Roby’s second double-digit strikeout game of the year and first since June 7, when he fanned 10 against Bowling Green. (JN)
17. Dominic Hamel, RHP, Mets
Team: High-A Brooklyn (South Atlantic)
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
The Scoop: The 2021 third-rounder out of Dallas Baptist was promoted to High-A Brooklyn in July and has been impressive over his 11 starts with the Cyclones. During his time with Brooklyn, Hamel compiled a 5-1 record with a 2.59 ERA and 74 strikeouts to 25 walks over 55.2 innings. In his final start of the season, Hamel tossed seven scoreless frames, striking out eight while allowing five hitters to reach base. Hamel sat 91-93 mph on his fastball, using his low-to-mid-80s slider as his bread-and-butter secondary pitch. He mixes in his changeup and curveball effectively as well, and generated whiffs on all four pitches in this start. (GP)
18. Andrew Abbott, LHP, Reds
Team: Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 10 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR
The Scoop: Abbott’s season started extremely well, with 40 strikeouts in 27 frames with High-A Dayton before a promotion to the upper levels. There, things have not gone as smoothly. He's saving his best for last, however, with two stellar starts against Birmingham last week. Overall, he has 151 strikeouts in 112 innings across both levels. The figures make Abbott one of just six minor leaguers with 150 or more strikeouts in 110 or fewer innings. (JN)
19. Jordan Nwogu, OF, Cubs
Team: High-A South Bend (Midwest)
Why He’s Here: .429/.478/.810 (9-for-21), 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Nwogu got off to a slow start at High-A this year but has quietly found his form in the second half of the season. Nwogu had his latest big series against Cedar Rapids last week, notching a hit in all five games of the series and hitting a pair of homers. With the finish, Nwogu hit .299/.373/.611 after the all-star break—a stark difference from the .238/.346/.409 he hit before the break. (KG)
20. Benny Montgomery, OF, Rockies
Team: Low-A Fresno (California)
Why He’s Here: .455/.520/.818 (10-for-22), 4 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 CS.
The Scoop: Montgomery celebrated his 20th birthday last week by continuing to rake. Montgomery’s last hitless game came way back on Aug. 24. He finished the season with a 14-game hitting streak and his three doubles on the final day of the season helped edge his slugging percentage over .500 to .502. Injuries (quad, hand) didn’t do Montgomery many favors this year, but other than his limited plate appearances, there’s a lot to like about Montgomery’s first full season. (JC)
Josue De Paula, OF, Dodgers
Team: DSL Dodgers Bautista
Why He’s Here: Season Ended
The Scoop: While the Dominican Summer League ended weeks ago, the buzz around the Dodgers’ 6-foot-3 outfield prospect is substantial. Not only was De Paula one of the top performers in the DSL, there’s projection within his game, particularly with his power. De Paula hit .349/.448/.522 with 20 extra-base hits in 53 games, with more walks than strikeouts this summer. The tall outfielder shows an advanced approach and feel to hit, and it’s backed up by the data, with an 85% contact rate, 91% zone contact rate and 20% chase rate in his pro debut. De Paula hits from the left side with an open stance and a heavily hands-driven swing. He displays plus bat speed and adjustability in his hands, which allows him to cover the plate fairly well. The power is still coming as De Paula has a level swing and rarely gets into his raw juice. It’s easy to see De Paula’s power projection, however, with a strong and physical frame at 17. (GP)