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Hot Sheet: Baseball's 20 Hottest Prospects From The Past Week (9/7/22)



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. 6. 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. Blaine Crim, 1B, Rangers
Team: Double-A Frisco (Texas)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .500/.533/1.214 (14-for-28), 10 R, 2 2B, 6 HR, 15 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: A 2019 19th-round pick out of Division II Mississippi College, Crim has hit .290 or above with 20-plus home runs in his first two full minor league seasons. Last week he eclipsed the 20-home run threshold for the season on the back of a six-home run week. Crim homered in five consecutive games in the friendly confines of Amarillo, kicking off the streak with a two-home run effort last Wednesday. Crim hit 10 balls in play last week at 100-plus mph and each went for a hit, including five of his six home runs. Crim’s best game came on Friday as he went 5-for-6, becoming the first Roughriders hitter to record a five-hit game since 2013. With a strong combination of above-average contact, approach and power Crim has carved out a spot as one of the Rangers better performing hitting prospects the last two seasons. (GP)

2. Cade Marlowe, OF, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .667/.714/1.042 (16-for-24), 7 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Marlowe continues to be a divisive prospect. On one hand, he’s been old for every level he’s been at. On the other, his tools, physicality and production are undeniable. Marlowe continued his scorching second half by recording multiple hits in all six games against Midland last week on his way to going 16-for-24 in the series. After a slow start to the season, he is now batting .342/.434/.493 since June 25. With plus speed, plus raw power and a continuing ability to hit upper-level pitching, Marlowe is cementing himself as a legitimate prospect despite his age. (KG)

3. Beck Way, RHP, Royals
Team: High-A Quad Cities (Midwest)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 8 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 HBP, 4 BB, 10 SO

The Scoop: When a team faces Way, they don’t need a particularly lengthy scouting report. 0-0? Watch out for his slider. 2-0? Slider. 0-2? Slider. Way can touch 97-98 mph with his fastball, but it’s his mid-80s plus slider that he relies on most heavily. And that slider was working particularly well against Beloit last week. He did hit a couple of batters and walked four, but only two Beloit hitters drove balls to the outfield against him—both in the first inning. After the first, Beloit didn’t get a ball into the outfield again until there were two outs in the ninth against reliever Anderson Paulino. (JC)

4. Chase Silseth, RHP, Angels
Team: Double-A Rocket City (Southern)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Silseth struggled in his rushed major league debut, but he’s shown no ill effects since returning to Double-A. The righthander pitched the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter against Nashville last week. Silseth struck out the first five batters of the game to set the tone and was perfect through 6.2 innings before Garrett Whitley reached on catcher’s interference. After a wild pitch and a walk, Silseth settled down and got Wes Clarke to ground out to end the seventh and handed the ball off to his bullpen. Luke Murphy and Eric Torres each pitched a hitless inning in relief to wrap up the no-no. (KG)

5. Justin Foscue, 2B, Rangers
Team: Double-A Frisco (Texas)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .385/.467/.885 (10-for-26), 10 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Foscue, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2020, has put together a solid season in Double-A. His four home runs last week were 40% of the total he’d accumulated entering the series, giving him 14 for the season. The outburst also closed a solid two-month stretch between July and August during which he hit .303/.367/.497 with eight home runs and just 21 strikeouts in 196 plate appearances. (JN)

6. Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers
Team: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 0-1, 3.00, 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: Miller hasn’t missed a step since being promoted to Triple-A last month. The Dodgers top pitching prospect struck out a career-high 14 batters over six innings against Round Rock on Sept. 1, although he took the hard-luck loss. Even so, Miller was singularly dominant. He struck out the final eight batters he faced, averaged 99 mph on his fastball and got 20 swings and misses in the start, including at least four each on his fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. (KG)

7. Tyler Locklear, 3B, Mariners
Team: Low-A Modesto (California)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .360/.429/.920 (9-for-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO.

The Scoop: The hulking Locklear took a while to find his power stroke after the Mariners drafted him in the second round in July, but he discovered it in a big way last week. After homering just once in his first 19 professional games, Locklear hit four homers in six games against Fresno. He kicked off the series with a solo shot in the opener, hit another in the penultimate game and saved his best for last, homering twice in the final game of the series to lift Modesto to a 12-0 rout. (KG)

8. Michael Baumann, RHP, Orioles
Team: Triple-A Norfolk (International)
Age: 26

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Following three different stints in the major leagues over the first three months of the season, Baumann has made nine appearances and seven starts for Norfolk since July 1. Over that time he’s posted a 2-1 record with a 2.95 ERA and 50 strikeouts to 14 walks over 36.2 innings. Before Baumann returned to the majors to start against Toronto on Monday, he tossed a gem last Wednesday against Lehigh Valley. Baumann struck out 13 batters over six innings without allowing a walk. The righthander generated 11 swinging strikes and 19 called strikes en route to a better than 70% strike rate on the day. The righthander has a powerful pitch mix, sitting 95-97 mph on his fastball with above-average ride. He pairs that with a cutter-like slider at 89-91 mph, a hard downer curveball at 82-83 mph and a changeup he’ll show as a fourth look against lefthanded batters. Already back in the big leagues, Baumann could be a rotation option for the Orioles early in 2023. (GP)

9. Carson Seymour, RHP, Giants
Team: High-A Eugene (Northwest)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.42, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Seymour was part of the package the Giants received from the Mets in the Darin Ruf deal. The righthander was New York’s sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Kansas State and has been impressive in his first full season as a pro. The big-bodied Seymour brings a big-time fastball and backs it primarily with a cutter and a slider, though he will mix in a changeup from time to time. He’ll need to improve his command to stick as a starter, but he has the ingredients for an intriguing relief option if he does move to the pen. (JN)

10. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pirates
Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .478/.536/.826 (11-for-23), 5 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Gonzales has missed a good chunk of the year with an injury, but he made strides toward getting back on track with a strong week at Double-A. The New Mexico State alum slammed his sixth home run of the season in 224 at-bats with the Curve. While the power he showed in 2021 at hitter-friendly Greensboro hasn’t shown up, he’s maintained his excellent on-base skills. His OBP last year was .385. This year, albeit in a small sample, that mark is .392. (JN)

11. Travis Swaggerty, OF, Pirates 
Team: Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .467/.579/.867 (7-for-15), 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Drafted 13th overall in 2018, Swaggerty made his major league debut earlier this summer over a five-game stint with the Pirates in June. He hasn’t returned to the major leagues since, but has performed reasonably well in Triple-A, hitting .264/.361/.428 with nine home runs and 15 stolen bases. Last week Swaggerty had a hit in all four games he played in, including multi-hit efforts on Friday and Sunday. Swaggerty recorded an extra-base hit in each of the final three games of the series, hitting a double, triple and home run. The former South Alabama standout has a combination of on-base ability, average power and speed that could translate into an average everyday outfielder. At 25 years old, he needs an opportunity to see if he can contribute in the major leagues. (GP)

12. Luis De Avila, LHP, Braves
Team: High-A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: A 2021 minor league Rule 5 selection by the Braves, De Avila is on his third organization in four years, but is enjoying by far the best season of his career. The diminutive lefthander has made 23 starts for Rome this season with a 3.66 ERA and 121 strikeouts to 44 walks over 120.1 innings. He works primarily off of a slurvy breaking ball that he throws equally to his fastball. He mixes in a changeup as well and moves the ball well around the zone. De Avila enjoyed his second 10-strikeout game over the last month and a half to continue his impressive season. (GP)

13. David Calabrese, OF, Angels
Team: Low-A Inland Empire (California)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .542/.571/.917 (13-for-24), 8 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 4-for-5 SB

The Scoop: Calabrese failed to do much of anything offensively last year in the ACL or the first four months of this season, but he has suddenly and unexpectedly found his stroke. Calabrese recorded multiple hits in five of six games against Rancho Cucamonga last week to continue his late-season surge, including three separate three-hit games. After batting .208/.286/.329 the first four months of the season, the small, speedy Canadian is batting .345/.419/.535 since the start of August while showing significantly more power and impact with the bat. (KG).

14. Shane Sasaki, OF, Rays
Team:
Low-A Charleston (Carolina)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .529/.636/.882 (9-for-17), 5 R, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 3 SB

The Scoop: It would have been hard to rank Sasaki among the Rays top 40 prospects just a couple of months ago. At the end of June, he was a speedy, but light-hitting outfielder who was slugging .374 with a .071 isolated power number at Low-A Charleston. Now? Now he’s just a few days away from wrapping up a sabermetric triple crown in the Carolina League. He leads the league in batting average (.328), on-base percentage (.411) and slugging percentage (.507) and he’s seventh in the league in extra-base hits (39) and total bases (170). Sasaki has managed to get stronger during the 2022 season, and his newfound thump has helped transform him as a prospect. (JC)

DL Hall Photo By Douglas P. Defelice Getty Images

Best Sliders Among 2023 Top 100 Prospects

The best sliders thrown by Top 100 Prospects during the 2022 minor league season.

15. Benny Montgomery, OF, Rockies
Team: Low-A Fresno (California)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .462/.533/.808 (12-for-26), 10 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Montgomery’s first full season as a pro has been limited to just 57 games (51 not counting rehab games) at Low-A. In that time, though, he’s shown the mix of hittability, on-base skills and power expected for a player the Rockies chose with their first-round pick. His four doubles last week represent 26.6% of his total two-baggers this year and were part of a close to a strong month of August. During the season’s final full month, Montgomery slashed .289/.407/.500 with a pair of home runs. (JN)

16. Tucker Bradley, OF, Royals
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .389/.542/.889 (7-for-18), 7 R, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO, 3 SB.

The Scoop: Bradley is going to have to really hit, as he’s played almost exclusively in left field this year. Despite modest power, Bradley has managed to do just that this year, blending solid hitting for average with plenty of walks that have given him a well-rounded .293/.382/.455 season with 12 home runs and 19 steals in 25 attempts. (JC)

17. Tyler Callihan, 3B, Reds
Team: High-A Dayton (Midwest)
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .458/.500/.917 (11-for-24), 6 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Callihan was fully recovered from his 2021 Tommy John surgery, but a hand injury suffered in a car accident delayed his return. When he did make it back, he seemed out of sorts for much of the next two months. Just as he’s starting to pull out of what has been a pretty dismal season, the days left in the season are running short. But Callihan has raised his batting average by 31 points and his OPS by .168 since Aug. 1. (JC)

18. Jeferson Quero, C, Brewers
Team: High-A Wisconsin (Midwest)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .455/.478/.818 (10-for-22), 2 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Quietly, Quero has had a solid season in his first year outside the Rookie levels. He’s made plenty of contact—his strikeout rate entering Tuesday was just 15.7%—and has shown hints of power along the way. Counting his home run on Tuesday, Quero has already hit three round-trippers in 17 games with High-A. That’s half the output he produced during his 75 games with Low-A Carolina, where he earned the nod as the Best Defensive Catcher in the league. (JN)

19. Willian Suarez, RHP, Giants
Team: Low-A San Jose (California)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 3 G, 1 SV, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 16 SO

The Scoop: Making it onto the Hot Sheet as a reliever is exceptionally hard. Relievers just don’t pile up enough innings during a normal week to rise to the very high level needed to crack a list of the 20 hottest prospects in the game. But maybe more relievers need to follow Suarez’s example. Suarez faced 22 batters last week. He struck out 16 of them. Merely making contact against Suarez was a win. This is Suarez’s first exposure to full-season ball, even though he first signed with the Giants in 2016. His control is shaky at times, and his low-90s fastball doesn’t have exceptional velocity or movement, but he’s piling up strikeouts with his slider and changeup. He’s now struck out 31 batters in just 13 innings with San Jose. (JC)

20. Dasan Brown, OF, Blue Jays
Team: High-A Vancouver (Northwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .450/.556/.550 (9-for-20), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 5 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-3 SB

The Scoop: The native Canadian was selected in the third round of the 2019 draft out of high school and is enjoying his finest season as a professional. A standout athlete with a top-of-the-scale run tool and 70 or better defense in center field, Brown has made adjustments to his swing that have translated to improved contact and power. Brown got on base twice in all six of his games last week, and had hits in five out of six contests. While Brown only had two extra-base hits on the week, he crossed the plate seven times over the six-game series at Spokane. He’s a tooled-up center fielder who’s taken a step forward with the bat in 2022. (GP)

Helium

Landen Roupp, RHP, Giants
Age: 23

A 12th-round pick out of UNC-Wilmington in 2021, Roupp has raced three levels up to Double-A in his first full season and excelled at every one of them. After his latest dominant outing (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K against Harrisburg), Roupp is now 10-3, 2.51 with 144 strikeouts and 30 walks in 97 innings. Roupp sets batters up with a 92-95 mph two-seam fastball and finishes them with a high-spin, 76-80 mph curveball that opposing managers voted the best breaking ball in the California League this year. He also has an above-average mid-80s slider and a usable upper-80s changeup to give batters a different look, and he ties it all together with above-average control. (KG)

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