Prospect Hot Sheet
This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from May 26-June 1. Number in parentheses indicates players' ages.
Remember, 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. Brendan Rodgers, ss, Rockies (20) High Class A Lancaster (California)
The third overall pick in the 2015 draft missed most of April with a hand injury but made a triumphant return in May, batting .409/.434/.748 with 21 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs in 27 games. Rodgers leads all minor league batters in hitting (.397) and ranks third in slugging (.692). He cracked four home runs this week, a total topped only by veteran minor league shortstop Eric Stamets.
2. Scott Kingery, 2b, Phillies (23) Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Kingery, the improbable minor league home run leader with 17, went deep 10 times in May while stealing eight bases, making him a no-longer-stealth power-speed target for fantasy leagues. The hit barrage shows no sign of abating after Kingery logged six (!) multi-hit games this week, which included three homers.
3. Bo Bichette, ss, Blue Jays (19) Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
The 2016 second-rounder compiled a 1.035 OPS in April and followed with a 1.108 mark in May. Bichette now leads the Midwest League in average (.381), on-base percentage (.458) and slugging (.619) after walloping three home runs this week while going 11-for-25 at the plate. He ranks third in the minors in OBP.
4. Chance Adams, rhp, Yankees (22) Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)
From college reliever at Dallas Baptist to impact starter in the Yankees system, Adams has recorded a 1.24 ERA this season through 10 starts as he tackles the high minors. He struck out a career high 12 batters on Wednesday in his fourth Triple-A start.
5. Ronald Acuna, of, Braves (19) Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
The Braves have one of the youngest Double-A rosters in the business after promoting 19-year-old Acuna to join 19-year-old starters Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka at Mississippi. While Acuna won’t continue to hit .500 on balls in play, he’s developing secondary skills to make that point moot. Acuna is growing into power as he matures—he hit one homer this week—and has developed into a prolific basestealer with 26 swipes on the season.
6. Tom Eshelman, rhp, Phillies (23) Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Vince Velasquez and Mark Appel were viewed as the Phillies' prizes from the Ken Giles deal with the Astros, but the control-oriented Eshelman keeps plugging away and has made a nice transition to Triple-A, going 3-0, 1.40 in five starts. The 2015 second-rounder tossed a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts against Indianapolis on Wednesday.
7. Jake Junis, rhp, Royals (24) Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Junis streamlined his delivery, found more arm speed and reached new velocities in 2016, and he has blossomed fully in 2017. He led all minor league pitchers with 21 strikeouts this week and ranks second in the Pacific Coast League with a 2.34 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Junis made his major league debut in April.
8. Derek Fisher, of, Astros (23) Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
The only minor leaguer to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in both 2015 and 2016, Fisher is on track to do so again this season—if he doesn't get called up to Houston first. He has hit 14 homers and stolen nine bases through 50 games while hitting .338 in his first extended shot at Triple-A.
9. Miguel Andujar, 3b, Yankees (22) Double-A Trenton (Eastern)
The Dominican third baseman has continued to produce power while making lots of contact as he demonstrates mastery of Double-A in his second go-round at Trenton. Andujar clubbed two home runs and drove in 10 runs this week.
10. Enyel de los Santos, rhp, Padres (21) Double-A San Antonio (Texas)
The Padres acquired de los Santos from the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit after the 2015 season, and he has progressed rapidly to Double-A. While he has taken his lumps in the Texas League (4.88 ERA in 11 starts), de los Santos throws a mid-90s fastball and could be turning a corner after two promising starts this week.
11. Dylan Cozens, of, Phillies (23) Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Coming off a 40-homer, 125-RBI season at Double-A, Cozens fizzed at Triple-A in April, hitting .136 with four home runs. The 6-foot-6 slugger got back on track in May, batting .330 with nine home runs. Don’t look now, but Cozens leads the International League with 13 homers and 41 RBIs.
12. Stephen Gonsalves, lhp, Twins (22) Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Gonsalves came down with a sore shoulder this spring and didn't make his 2017 debut until May 20. His early performance in terms of control could be a blip—or a sign of growth. After walking 4.5 batters per nine innings at Double-A last year, Gonsalves' rate through three starts this year is 1.1.
13. Nick Williams, of, Phillies (23) Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Williams hasn't improved his walk rate this season, but improved plate discipline could be manifesting in improved power output, which could be the product of working more hitter's counts. He hit four homers this week and in his past 15 games has hit .351/.373/.789 with eight homers.
14. Taylor Trammell, of, Reds (19) Low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
A strong work ethic and refined baseball skills for a two-sport high school star define Trammell, whom the Reds drafted 35th overall last year. The lefthanded batter hit .287 in May and already shows outstanding secondary skills, including 13 stolen bases and 27 walks, which both rank among the Midwest League leaders.
15. Brett Cumberland, c, Braves (22) Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
The Pacific-12 Conference player of the year in 2016 at California, Cumberland fell to the Braves in the supplemental second round but didn't produce in Rookie ball. This season he appears in the Rome lineup most often at DH while catching two or three times a week. After a big May (.357/.520/.757 in 22 games), the switch-hitter leads the South Atlantic League with a .453 on-base percentage.
16. Jacob Faria, rhp, Rays (23) Triple-A Durham (International)
Faria tossed seven shutout innings on Thursday with six strikeouts, pushing his minor league-leading total to 84. The Rays have taken their time developing the 2011 draft pick, and he could soon be ready to contribute to the big league rotation.
17. J.P. Crawford, ss, Phillies (22) Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Crawford’s average bottomed out at .089 on April 25—that’s 5-for-56—but he tweaked his swing after reviewing video and has rebounded to hit .261 since his early swoon. He leads the International League with 32 walks but, tenuously, has a .070 isolated slugging percentage that would look more at home on a utility infielder or backup catcher.
18. Garrett Williams, lhp, Giants (22) Low Class A Augusta (South Atlantic)
The Giants don't shy away from pitcher development projects, even if those projects happen to be collegians with 61 walks in 73 career innings. Williams, a seventh-round pick last year, has shown off a streamlined delivery and two plus pitches in his four South Atlantic League appearances, in which he has yielded a 0.93 ERA and 21-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19.1 innings.
19. Kyle Funkhouser, rhp, Tigers (23) High Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
The Tigers nabbed Funkhouser in the fourth round last year after he had been an unsigned first-rounder the year before. He has rediscovered the velocity—93-96 mph—that made him a hot draft prospect while at Louisville, and this season he ranks seventh in the minors with 73 strikeouts while generating an extreme groundball rate.
20. Jose Siri, of, Reds (21) Low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Siri spent most of his first four seasons in Rookie ball. He hit .145 in 27 games at Dayton last year before being reassigned, but he appears to be up for the challenge of the Midwest League this time. The center fielder has exciting hitting potential, speed—Siri leads the MWL with 19 steals—range and arm strength.
Jordan Humphreys, rhp, Mets
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The 20-year-old Crystal River (Fla.) High product has pitched nearly flawlessly at low Class A Columbia this season, going 8-1, 1.40 with just seven walks in nine starts. The Mets drafted Humphreys in the 18th round in 2015 based on his lively low-90s fastball and advanced feel for pitching. Those traits have served him in pro ball, where he has touched 96 mph, while carving up South Atlantic League competition this season with rates of 11.4 strikeouts and 1.1 walks per nine innings. Humphreys leads the minors with a 0.66 WHIP.