Prospect Hot Sheet (May 27): Emerging Eloy

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players have done from May 20-26. Remember, this feature 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.

Contributing: Ben Badler, Matt Eddy, Josh Norris and Vince Lara-Cinisomo

1. Eloy Jimenez, of, Cubs
Team: low Class A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .385/.484/.846 (10-for-26), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Jimenez’s stats above don’t even include his May 19 game in which he cranked two home runs, or the day before when he had four hits, or the previous four games when he combined for seven hits. Jimenez ranked as the No. 1 prospect on the international market in 2013, when the Cubs signed him for $2.8 million and envisioned him as a potential middle-of-the-order masher. Now, he looks like he’s in the midst of a breakthrough season, batting .335/.378/.553 with seven home runs in 43 games. There’s still some swing-and-miss to his game, but his combination of hitting ability and power that’s now showing up in the games is exciting for a player who’s remarkably athletic for his size. (BB)

2. Jon Harris, rhp, Blue Jays

3ds_bluejays81Team: low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 11 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Harris struggled in his pro debut last year, but that’s not the case in 2016. His scoreless streak now stands at 32 innings, and he has posted consecutive 11-strikeout games, with just two walks in that span. Harris’ fastball can touch 95 mph and he has an above-average curveball, but it’s his slider that makes the difference. Lansing pitching coach Jeff Ware said Harris has tweaked his slider to get more depth and power—it now reaches the mid-80s. He uses it to get swings and misses and soft contact. (VLC)

3. Alex Bregman, ss/3b, Astros

HoustonAstrosTeam: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .357/.438/.607 (10-for-28), 6 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB (3 IBB), 2 SO, 1 GDP, 1 HBP

The Scoop: Bregman is so dangerous at the plate right now that Midland walked him intentionally three times in big spots this week. It’s easy to see why. He paces the Texas League with a .338 average, .434 on-base percentage and .685 slugging percentage, and this week he played third base in four of his seven games. (ME)

4. Cody Bellinger, 1b, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .348/.464/.739 (8-for-23), 4 R, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: Early in Bellinger’s career, scouts wondered whether he would have the power to play first base. He answered that question last year in the hitter-friendly high Class A California League, but he has shown he can launch balls just as far this year in the Texas League. One of the youngest players in Double-A, Bellinger has shown power to all fields with big loft in his swing and, at least early on, he has cut his strikeout rate to 22 percent after posting a 28 percent whiff rate last year. (BB)

5. Willy Adames, ss, Rays

3ds_rays5Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .421/.560/.684 (8-for-19), 7 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: The Rays’ top prospect, Adames is also the second-youngest player in the Southern League now that the Braves’ Ozzie Albies has moved to Triple-A. He has shown a particularly impressive set of skills with Montgomery, including a .926 OPS and a nearly 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Evaluators believe Adames will hit, no matter which position he ultimately plays. (JN)

6. Jeimer Candelario, 3b, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .440/.500/.720 (11-for-25), 3 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: After a torrid spring training spent mostly with the big club, Candelario scuffled a bit to begin the year. He has picked it up of late, and it shows in his power numbers. He hit four doubles and a homer this week, and he has shown impressive plate discipline all year with just six more strikeouts than walks. (JN)

7. Willie Calhoun, 2b, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .375/.464/.708 (9-for-24), 5 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Sure, there are a few college hitters from the 2015 draft who are already in Double-A—Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman and Andrew Benintendi. Then there’s Calhoun, a fourth-round pick out of Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, who has sped through the system. After a slow start, he has hit .281/.350/.517 in 24 games in May. Small and compact at 5-foot-8, 187 pounds, Calhoun’s bat speed, hand-eye coordination and ability to keep the barrel in the hitting zone for a long time make him a dangerous hitter. His bat will have to carry him because Calhoun still has plenty of work to do on defense. (BB)

8. David Dahl, of, Rockies
Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .385/.370/.654 (10-for-26), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 0 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Construction delays at the Yard Goats’ new yard could leave Hartford with no place to call home this season, but Dahl doesn’t seem to mind the nomadic existence. He continued to hammer the ball this week and ranks among the Eastern League leaders in home runs (11), RBIs (32), slugging (.565) and runs (35). (ME)

9. Jacob Faria, rhp, Rays
Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 11 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: Faria turned in his finest start of 2016 last Saturday, when he shut down Birmingham on one hit over seven innings. A subscriber to the Rays’ pitching philosophy—emphasizing fastball command and changeup action—he ranks second only to Blake Snell in the system with 57 strikeouts. Faria has recorded a 2.77 ERA over his last four starts, striking out 28, walking 12 and allowing 14 hits in 26 innings. (ME)

10. Daniel Mengden, rhp, Athletics
Team: Triple-A Nashville (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 2 GS, 14 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 13 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: Mengden allowed a run in his last start, which is news itself because he has allowed just five runs all season. For the season, the pitchability-over-stuff righthander is 4-0, 0.79 with 56 strikeouts and 17 walks in 57 innings. While Jacob Nottingham was regarded as the prize in the deal with the Astros for Scott Kazmir a year ago, Mengden is thriving in the Oakland system, with his velocity touching pre-back injury levels. Nottingham has been traded to the Brewers. (VLC)

11. Brandon Nimmo, of, Mets
Team: Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .417/.517/.833 (10-for-24), 4 R, 4 2B, 3 3B, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Nimmo has stepped up his power production at Triple-A this season while maintaining his fine walk (11.5 percent) and strikeout (17.5 percent) rates. The lefthanded hitter ranked among the minor league leaders this week with seven extra-base hits and five walks. (ME)

12. Mike Yastrzemski, of, Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
Team: Triple-A Norfolk (International)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .500/.577/.900 (10-for-20), 6 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 1 HBP, 4-for-4 SB

The Scoop: The Orioles promoted Yastrzemski to Triple-A on May 16, and he has hit .405 (15-for-37) with eight extra-base hits and four stolen bases through his first 10 International League games. With some speed, some power and some outfield flexibility—not to mention a lefthanded bat—he appears to be well on his way to a big league role of some stripe. (ME)

13. Yandy Diaz, 3b, Indians
Team: Triple-A Columbus (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .400/.444/.880 (10-for-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The Indians signed Diaz out of Cuba for a reasonable $300,000 in 2013, but his ability to control the strike zone has helped him succeed through the upper levels. He has an excellent eye at the plate, so after hitting .286 with 24 walks and 16 strikeouts in 26 games at Double-A Akron this season, the Indians promoted him to Triple-A two weeks ago. Diaz’s lack of power is a product of his swing plane, which doesn’t produce much loft, and his overall approach is geared toward using the opposite field. If the righthanded-hitting Diaz can add more lift to his swing, his profile would be much more intriguing to go with his on-base skills. (BB)

14. Jacob Nix, rhp, Padres
Team: low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 0-1, 1.80, 2 G, 2 GS, 10 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 11 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: You might remember Nix from such films as “I Got Tangled Up In The Brady Aiken Signing SNAFU.” But Nix is making his own name now in full-season ball. Pitching in tandem at Fort Wayne, he has found a groove by throttling back a bit on velocity in exchange for better command. Nix has a durable body with room for additional strength and the physicality of a starter. He tantalizes with easy fastball velocity up to 95 mph, but his secondary offerings are fringy. (VLC)

15. Michael Gettys, of, Padres
Team: low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .478/.571/.870 (11-for-23), 3 R, 3 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 4-for-5 SB

The Scoop: Gettys has outstanding physical tools and has begun to see success by scaling back. A tool shed of an athlete, he struggled last season with pitch recognition, striking out nearly 31 percent of the time. The center fielder has dialed back the whiffs to 26 percent this season, and he’s concentrating more on meeting the ball and finding the barrel. Gettys stole 20 bases last season in 122 games, but he’s got 20 steals in 23 tries in 46 games this season. (VLC)

16. Shawn Morimando, lhp, Indians
Team: Double-A Akron (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 2 GS, 12 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 12 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Cleveland has been aggressive in pushing Morimando, and a move to Triple-A is probably not far off. He didn’t get a decision Thursday against Altoona but pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking none. The biggest hurdle to Morimando’s promotion is his control, but in his past 12 innings, he has walked only one. He leads the Eastern League in wins (eight) and ERA (1.65), while ranking among the leaders in WHIP and opponent average. (VLC)

17. Adam Brett Walker, of, Twins
Team: Triple-A Rochester (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .286/.348/.857 (6-for-21), 4 R, 4 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: Walker’s calling card is his power, and he showed it off this week. He hit four home runs, three of which came in one game at Durham. One of those blasts came against a 93 mph fastball from rehabbing Rays closer Brad Boxberger. Walker still has major issues with strikeouts and is particularly vulnerable against breaking pitches. He’ll need to close that hole before he’s a major league option. (JN)

18. Ariel Jurado, rhp, Rangers
Team: high Class A High Desert (California)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: Pitching in High Desert can be a nightmare, but Jurado’s sinker has been an effective antidote for the Cal League winds. He slings a heavy two-seamer more notable for its life than its velocity from a low three-quarters slot, which has helped him rack up a 64 percent groundball rate. He also fires strike after strike, with a career mark of 215 strikeouts and just 32 walks in 228 innings. Jurado is still trying to define his secondary stuff to come up with a pitch that will miss more bats at the upper levels. (BB)

19. Julio Urias, lhp, Dodgers
Team: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: This might be the last time you see Urias on the Hot Sheet. That’s because he’s scheduled to make his major league debut on Friday in New York opposite the Mets’ Jacob deGrom. Urias spun five shutout innings in his last turn for Oklahoma CIty, extending his scoreless-innings streak to 27. He has shown the Dodgers enough to make them believe he’s ready to be tested on the biggest stage. (JN)

20. Tim Anderson, ss, White Sox
Team: Triple-A Charlotte (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .455/.520/.545 (10-for-22), 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: After a rough start to his Triple-A tenure, Anderson has come on strong in May. He’s currently riding a nine-game hitting streak with multiple hits in eight of those nine games and is boasting a .958 OPS in May. More impressive though, are his three walks this week. He walked just 24 times all of last year, but he has eight in 24 games this month. (JN)


Luis Arraez, 2b, Twins: If you’re looking for a young, flashy shortstop who’s going to immediately grab your attention with loud tools and physical upside, that’s not Arraez. He’s not a great runner, his arm limits him to second base and he’s not going to show you huge raw power in batting practice. Yet, everywhere he goes, Arraez hits.

A 5-foot-10, lefthanded hitter, Arraez manages his at-bats well, staying within the strike zone and maintaining a line-drive approach. He makes contact at a high rate and rarely mis-hits the ball, with an approach geared toward spraying line drives to the opposite field. As a 19-year-old at low Class A Cedar Rapids, Arraez is batting .323/.386/.483 with 13 walks and 16 strikeouts in 33 games. A $40,000 signing three years ago out of Venezuela, Arraez could end up a bargain with his bat and overall game savvy quietly carrying him through to the majors. (BB)

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