Ranking The 20 Hottest MLB Prospects | Hot Sheet (5/21/24)


Baseball America’s Hot Sheet ranks the 20 hottest prospects from the previous week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers how minor league players performed through May 20. Contributing this week were Baseball America staffers Josh Norris, Geoff Pontes, J.J. Cooper and Matt Eddy.

This simply recognizes how the hottest prospects in the minors did in the past week—it’s not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.

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1. Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs

Team: Triple-A Iowa (International) 
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .389/.542/1.278 (7-for-18) 9 R, 1 2B, 5 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS

The Scoop: The clock is ticking for Davis, who’s on his second option since being added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster before the 2023 season. So having a hot streak like this is very well timed as Davis tries to show his back injury isn’t as much of an issue as it once was. Davis does still show some effects from the injury. His average sprint speed nowadays is 26.9 feet per second, which is a bit below average. He once was a plus runner. But if he can mash like this, that won’t matter. (JC)

2. Carson Williams, SS, Rays

Team: Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .444/.565/1.222 (8-for-18), 9 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: After spending most of the 2023 season at High-A Bowling Green and posting middling numbers, Williams moved to Double-A toward season’s end and had a scorching week. In 2024, he’s stayed hot. As one of the youngest players in the league, Williams—known for his big power and stellar defense—has been one of the most productive prospects in the Southern League. He added three more homers this past week, bringing his season total to a league-best seven. (JN)

3. Shay Whitcomb, SS, Astros

Team: Triple-A Sugar Land (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

Why He’s Here: .560/.593/1.120 (14-for-25), 9 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Despite a breakout season of sorts in 2025 where he tied for the minor league lead with 35 homers, Whitcomb was left unprotected ahead of last season’s Rule 5 Draft and went unselected. He’s returned to Sugar Land to begin 2024 and last week he caught fire. Over six games in hitter friendly Albuquerque, Whitcomb amassed five multi-hit games and reached base two or more times in all six contests. In the opening game of the series Whitcomb hit two home runs and on Friday he went 4-for-6, finishing a double short of the cycle. Whitcomb destroys fastballs but struggles to consistently hit breaking balls and offspeed. Whitcomb has a chance to be a second-division regular if given the opportunity to see if he can make enough contact in the major leagues. (GP)

4. Henry Bolte, OF, Athletics

Team: High-A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .455/.586/1.000 (10-for-22) 9 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 4 SB.

The Scoop: Bolte knows the strike zone, but he still strikes out 32% of the time because he gets beaten in the strike zone by quality pitches. That being said, he also does plenty of damage when he connects, as this week showed. Bolte is a center fielder with well above-average power potential. If he can improve his barrel control and timing, watch out. (JC)

5. Carson Palmquist, LHP, Rockies

Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.75, 12 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 16 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Palmquist has been a model of consistency for Double-A Hartford this spring. He’s pitched five or more innings in all eight of his starts and has yet to allow more than three runs in any single start. This week against New Hampshire, Palmquist had the two-step as he made starts on Tuesday and Sunday going six innings in each. While Palmquist earned the win on Tuesday it was his dynamic Sunday start that lands him on this week’s Hot Sheet. Palmquist struck out 12 on Sunday as he tossed six scoreless innings allowing two hits and two walks. While Palmquist sits just 91-93 mph, his flat vertical approach angle baffles hitters. His four-seam has a .193 wOBA against this season. Palmquist’s upper-70s slider is a unique pitch and like his fastball has a swinging strike rate of above 17% against in 2024. (GP)

6. Cooper Bowman, 2B, Athletics

Team: Double-A Midland (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .455/.586/.909 (10-for-22) 6 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 6 SB.

The Scoop: Bowman is working on a 16-game hitting streak, with a pull-heavy approach that wears out the left field foul line. He’s hitting .364/.462/.652 this month. Bowman is a second baseman who is overmatched at shortstop, so he’s going to need to hit, but in his favor, he’s also a true speedster. Bowman’s plus-plus speed is being put to good use. He’s now swiped 19 bases without being caught this year. (JC)

7. Angel Genao, SS, Guardians

Team: Low-A Lynchburg (Carolina)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .550/.550/.900 (11-for-20), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: In 2022, Genao was one of the best prospects in the Arizona Complex League. A year later, his performance at Low-A was limited and muted thanks to knee surgery. This season, the 20-year-old is in the midst of a rebound and has impressed evaluators all season and in spring training. He’s added some thump to his game, lending scouts to believe Genao will be a middle-diamond player with a budding combination of power and speed. His average (.328), slugging percentage (.540) and OPS (.909) are all second in the Carolina League. He also has five home runs this season, already one better than the total he produced in 73 games with Lynchburg last season. (JN)

8. Deyvison De Los Santos, 1B, D-Backs

Team: Double-A Amarillo (Texas)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .450/.542/.900 (9-for-20), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: The Guardians took a chance on De Los Santos in last winter’s Rule 5 draft and it didn’t work out, as he was returned to the D-Backs. While De Los Santos might not have been able to stick in the major leagues, his power upside has been on full display this season in Amarillo. De Los Santos laid waste to Texas League competition for yet another week as he passed Joey Loperfido for the MiLB home run lead. De Los Santos has produced “Bondsian” numbers all season hitting .372/.426/.696 over the first 38 games. This week, De Los Santos did his best hitting across three games between Thursday and Friday going 7-for-9 with a home run and seven RBIs. De Los Santos possesses double-plus raw power, but his early season production is overcoming some ugly whiff and chase rates. It will be worth watching to see if this continues. (GP) 

9. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Pirates

Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.90, 10 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Ashcraft’s career was stalled thanks to Tommy John surgery, but he returned in 2023 and re-established himself as one of the better prospects in a pitching-rich Pirates system. He moved to the upper levels toward the end of the year and was excellent and has mostly continued that run in 2024. Ashcraft has been particularly good in May. In the season’s second month, the righthander has allowed just five earned runs over 21 innings while striking out 24 and issuing just three walks. (JN)

10. Chase Petty, RHP, Reds

Team: Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.80, 2 GS, 10 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO

The Scoop: Petty regained the near triple-digit fastball velocity he’d shown in high school, sitting 95-96 mph this year as compared to the 92-93 mph he sat last season. But in April, his regained stuff kept getting tattooed. He finished the month with a .352 opponents average and a 9.52 ERA. This month, he’s turned a corner. Opponents are hitting .197 this month against him and he’s gone 4-0, 1.80. He’s throwing a few more strikes, and he’s falling behind in counts less often, but mainly he’s once again squelching hard contact. Petty gave up 11 extra-base hits in April (seven doubles, one triple and three home runs). He’s given up three doubles and no other extra-base hits this month, which is much more in line with last year, where he gave up only 10 doubles, two triples and no home runs all season. (JC)

11. Luke Keaschall, 2B, Twins

Team: High-A Cedar Rapids (Midwest)
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .500/.556/.864 (11-for-22), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Keaschall is batting .365 in May and has been one of the hottest hitters in the Midwest League all season. The 2023 second-rounder has incredible plate discipline, with low rates of zone miss and chase that contribute to a low strikeout rate of 15%. Keaschall is making the most of his batted-ball events with a .968 OPS that ranks seventh in the Midwest League. He has made his last 12 starts at DH while he battles an arm issue. (ME)

12. Quinn Mathews, LHP, Cardinals

Team: High-A Peoria (Midwest)
Age: 23

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

The Scoop: Mathews made the jump to High-A last week and in his Midwest League debut it was more of the same from the lefty. He tossed seven innings allowing one run on three hits, a walk and 11 strikeouts. Mathews generated 21 swinging strikes in this start mixing four pitches and attacking the West Michigan lineup. Mathews has seen a velocity spike in 2024 sitting 93-94 mph and touching 97 mph at peak with above-average ride on his fastball. He mixes slider, curveball and changeup and does an excellent job of changing speeds and eye levels. (GP) 

13. Nate Furman, 2B, Guardians 

Team: High-A Lake County (Midwest) 

Age: 22 

Why He’s Here: .538/.571/.769 (14-for-26), 6 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 1 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: The diminutive Furman is a hit-tool driven infielder with plus plate skills. Furman last week had the hit tool on full display as he collected 14 hits against Lansing while striking out just once. He had four multi-hit games in the series, including a pair of four hit games. Furman filled up the stat sheet throughout the week, as he flashed some home run power, going deep on Friday and Saturday, and speed on the bases. Furman is a well-rounded infielder with a limited profile but a shot to carve out a major league career. (GP)

14. Jansel Luis, 2B, D-backs

Team: Low-A Visalia (California)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .476/.522/.810 (10-for-21), 3 R, 3 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Luis was one of the best prospects in the 2023 Arizona Complex League and has made a smooth move to full-season ball. The 19-year-old infielder certainly has some swing-and-miss issues to resolve, but this past week showed the kind of havoc he can create when he makes contact. Luis’ outburst included his first two triples of the season—half the total he produced in 2023—as well as a pair of doubles and two stolen bases. (JN)

15. Josue De Paula, OF, Dodgers

Team: Low-A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Age: 18

Why He’s Here: .273/.393/.864 (6-for-22), 6 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: De Paula skipped the Arizona Complex League entirely in 2023 and held his own at Low-A during the regular season. He’s back in the California League in 2024 and has continued showing that he’s one of the game’s more intriguing prospects. With four home runs this past week, De Paula, still just 18 years old, has doubled his output at the level from a year ago. The lefty-swinging outfielder still hits the ball hard and controls the zone well, especially for somebody his age, lending credence to the notion that he’ll be an impactful major leaguer in the coming years. (JN)

16. Austin Charles, SS, Royals

Team: Low-A Columbia (Carolina)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: .261/.346/.783 (6-for-23), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: In a return to Low-A, Charles put together the best week of his career. Against Charleston, the shortstop swatted four home runs, showed off plenty of speed and solid shortstop defense and generally was electric all week long. The 20-year-old is on his second turn in the Carolina League after being aggressively promoted to the level in 2023. The righthanded hitter has a lithe, powerful frame that helps him put together plenty of explosive performances on both sides of the ball. There’s still polish to apply—he is prone to chasing breaking balls—but Charles’ ceiling is as high as any in the Royals organization. (JN)

17. Owen Murphy, RHP, Braves

Team: High-A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Murphy starred in two sports and as both a pitcher and hitter in high school. He was also Dana Brown’s final first-round selection for the Braves in 2022 before he left to head Astros baseball operations. Murphy has dominated South Atlantic League competition all season and leads the circuit with 60 strikeouts and 1.54 ERA. With an average fastball velocity near 91 mph, he succeeds more with riding life from a low release than overwhelming stuff, but it’s hard to argue with the results. He struck out at least 10 batters in three of his last five starts. (ME)

18. Chandler Champlain, RHP, Royals

Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 SO.

The Scoop: Champlain already had solid control last year, but this year, he’s shown consistent plus control. He’s able to land his big, 78-80 mph curveball for early count strikes, which makes his mid-90s fastball even more effective. That and his improving slider has given him a three-pitch mix that is handcuffing Texas League hitters. His ability to fill the zone has meant he’s efficiently getting through six innings despite being limited to 85-86 pitches so far. (JC)

19. Zach Penrod, LHP, Red Sox

Team: Double-A Portland (Eastern)
Age: 26

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Penrod has had a very unusual journey in professional baseball going from an NAIA school, to a DII where he signed with the Rangers as a nondrafted free agent in 2018. After he had Tommy John surgery in 2019, he was released the following season during the pandemic shutdown of the minor leagues. After two plus years bouncing around the independent Pioneer League, Penrod signed with the Red Sox last August. Penrod has made six starts with Double-A Portland in 2024 and producing very solid results. Last week the lefthander went into enemy territory and struck out 10 in an outstanding start against Double-A Somerset. Penrod mixes three pitches in a four-seam fastball that sits 93-95 mph touching 96-97 mph at peak with 19 inches of induced vertical break on average with a mid-to-upper-80s cut-slider and a changeup. It’s a powerful mix from the left side. Penrod is showing some starter traits, although he’ll likely fit best as a multi-inning relief option. (GP)

20. Chandler Simpson, OF, Rays

Team: High-A Bowling Green (South Atlantic)
Age: 23

Why He’s Here: .500/.522/.500 (11-for-22), 7 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4-for-4 SB

The Scoop: No minor league position player has stolen more bases than Simpson’s 125 the past two seasons. He tied Victor Scott II with 94 last season to lead the minors. Elite speed is Simpson’s carrying tool, but his strike-zone judgment and center field glove also grade out well. He hit .364 with 15 walks in 32 games for Bowling Green to earn a promotion to Double-A Montgomery effective this week. (ME)


Gary Gill Hill, RHP, Rays

In 2023, Gill Hill was an interesting pitcher with projection and decent present stuff. In 2024, his entire mix has taken a huge jump forward and his body still has room for more strength. The New York prep product has added plenty of heat to his fastballs and has added a cutter and re-shaped his breaking ball. The result is one of the highest risers in Tampa Bay’s system and a pitcher who can get hitters to beat the ball into the ground early and make them chase pitches when necessary. (JN)

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