Prospect Hot Sheet

This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from April 23-29. Contributing this week were JJ Cooper, Ben Badler, Matt Eddy and Kyle Glaser.

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. Willy Adames, SS, Rays
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .421/.478/.789 (8-for-19), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Adames has done everything the Rays could have asked in a repeat of Triple-A. He is walking more, striking out less and hitting for more power, and as a result his .430 on-base percentage ranks fifth in the International League. A recent surge by the big league Rays had them flirting with .500, and shortstop happens to be their weak link on offense because of the all-glove, no-hit stylings of Adeiny Hechavarria. In other words, the stars could be aligning for fans to see Adames in St. Petersburg sooner rather than later. (ME)

2. Austin Gomber, LHP, Cardinals
Team: Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 16 SO, 0 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: Gomber had quite the week to remember. The big lefty kicked it off by striking out 16 batters over eight scoreless innings against Iowa, including two separate stretches of five consecutive strikeouts, and ended the week by earning his first big league callup on Sunday. Gomber’s curveball remains his go-to out pitch, but he’s showing improved fastball command to dot the corners and keep it out of hitters’ hot zones. With a promising fastball-curveball combination, an imposing 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame and a proven track record of durability, Gomber has all the ingredients to stick in St. Louis. (KG)

3. Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern) 
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .545/.667/1.136 (12-for-22), 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 8 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Alonso’s plus raw power has long been his carrying tool. He hit well last year in the high Class A Florida State League, but he’s showing signs of becoming an even more complete hitter in 2018. He’s off to a scorching .403/.500/.778 start with seven home runs in 88 plate appearances. He doesn’t strike out excessively and he’s displaying more plate patience than he did a year ago, with 14 walks in 20 games this year compared to 27 in 90 games last year. (BB) 

4. Kevin Smith, SS, Blue Jays
Team: Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .433/.471/.933 (13-for-30), 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Smith was one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball last year when the Blue Jays drafted him out of Maryland in the fourth round. He’s an instinctive defender with good range and agility at the position to go with a strong arm. So it’s even more encouraging that he’s been crushing the ball at the plate in his first full season, batting .330/.381/.568 through 22 games. Smith has solid-average raw power, and if he can keep his strikeouts in check like he has so far with a 15 percent K-rate, he can be an everyday shortstop in the big leagues. (BB)

5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, Blue Jays
Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .550/.700/.600 (11-for-20), 3 R, 3 2B, 10 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO.

The Scoop: After Sunday’s game, Guerrero has played in a nice, even 200 games as a pro. What stands out is his consistency day after day. He’s gone hitless in only 50 of his 200 games. He’s had two or more hits in 62 games. Getting on base is even more of Guerrero’s specialty. Guerrero has gotten on-base by a hit, walk and hit-by-pitch four or more times in 16 of his 200 pro games. He’s been kept off base entirely only 21 times as a pro. (JJ)

6. Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers
Team: Triple-A Toledo (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .435/.458/.783 (10-for-23), 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Stewart led the Double-A Eastern League with 28 home runs last year, and he has cracked three so far at Triple-A this year—but that’s not the most notable thing about the slugger’s early-season exploits. After collecting five extra-base hits this week against two strikeouts, Stewart sports a 15 percent strikeout rate thanks to 10 walks and 13 strikeouts on the season. Last year, he fanned in a quarter of plate appearances, so it’s worth monitoring to be seen whether his recent contact trend is a blip or new baseline. (ME)

7. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays
Team: High Class A Charlotte (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .381/.381/.714 (8-for-21), 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 0 BB, 5 SO.

The Scoop: A week into the season, Sanchez was hitting .100/.100/.150. He was putting the ball in play and just not getting any results. But hitters as good as Sanchez don’t slump for long. He has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games and has nine multi-hit games over that span. including two three-hit games and one four-hit game. Sanchez has moved to right field almost full-time and he’s not much of a defensive asset, but his bat is enough of a weapon to make him one of the best outfield prospects in the game. (JJ)

8. Alex Faedo, RHP, Tigers
Team: High Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.42, 12.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: The 2017 College World Series hero has made a seamless transition to pro ball after sitting out last summer because of his high amateur workload. Last week, Faedo allowed two earned runs in two starts in Florida State League play to lower his ERA to 2.48 through five starts. Thanks to sharp control and a deep arsenal, he has allowed just 1.2 walks per nine innings and 18 hits in 29 innings overall. (ME)

9. Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs
Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 8 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: Duplantier missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury suffered late in spring training, but the D-backs’ No. 1 prospect has been on point since getting to Double-A. Duplantier has won both of his starts with Jackson, going 2-0, 1.80 with 14 strikeouts in 10 innings, and resumed the dominance that saw him post the lowest ERA in the minors in over a decade last year. (KG)

10. Dustin Fowler, OF, Athletics
Team: Triple-A Nashville (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .357/.357/.714 (10-for-28), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Fowler’s bat crackled to life last week with five of his seven extra-base hits for the season. He’s hitting .283 on the year and shows solid gap power and speed. The sticking point for the young lefthanded batter could be his on-base ability. Without top-shelf power, he probably fits best near the top of the order, yet his walk rate hovers near 4 percent in most seasons. That will be too low unless he amps up his hitting ability or power. (ME)

11. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers
Team: High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .417/.517/.708 (10-for-24), 5 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Hitters’ eyes must light up when they see “@Lancaster” on their minor league travel itineraries. Lux, a 2016 high school first-rounder from Wisconsin, spent his past three games there and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a homer, three doubles and six RBIs. He now leads the California League with eight doubles and ranks second with 15 walks, making for a well-rounded résumé this season, enhanced by his ability to play second base in addition to shortstop. (ME)

12. Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, Athletics
Team: Triple A Nashville (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .375/.444/.625 (9-for-24), 6 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-2 on SBs.

The Scoop: Barreto made it back to the big leagues briefly this year, although his lone game with the A’s was as a late-inning defensive replacement. Upon his return to Triple-A, he’s resumed his aggressive approach, generating plenty of hard contact. Barreto has one of the more extreme reverse platoon splits you’ll see. After hitting .091 against lefties at the big league level last year (and an empty .259 in Triple-A), he’s slashed .143/.200/.357 against lefties in Triple-A this year, but he’s mashing righthanders so much (.429/.500/.786) that it hasn’t mattered. (JJ)

13. Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds
Team: High Class A Daytona (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .385/.467/.577 (10-for-26), 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The arrows are pointing up on Trammell, the game’s No. 47 prospect. He’s a well-rounded player with a good balance of tools and baseball skills across the board, with physicality, athleticism, speed, power and patience, producing a .286/.394/.512 slash line with nearly as many walks (15) as strikeouts (17). (BB)

14. Jonathan Hernandez, RHP, Rangers
Team: High Class A Down East (Carolina)
Age: 21.
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 1 GS, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO.

The Scoop: Hernandez has steadily, if slowly, climbed through the Rangers’ system. He made the jump to high Class A Down East in his fifth professional season for the second half of last year and has been dominant in four starts with the Wood Ducks this season. Still only 21, Hernandez’s fastball has plenty of run and his delivery generates some deception, but a little bit better control this year has made everything play up so far this season. (JJ)

15. Ryan Helsley, RHP, Cardinals
Team: Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.38, 13 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 17 SO, 2 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: Helsley struggled for the first time in his pro career at the start of this season, posting a 7.47 ERA over his first three starts with 15 hits and 12 walks allowed in 15.2 innings. The Cardinals’ No. 8 prospect quickly self-corrected, reining in his control and winning both of his starts this week while leading the minors in strikeouts. Helsley’s upper-90s fastball, power curveball and upper-80s cutter give him three power pitches to keep batters on their heels, and if his control improves, he goes from a late-inning relief profile to a potential high-octane starter. (KG)

16. Greg Allen, OF, Indians
Team: Triple-A Columbus (International)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .412/.600/.647 (7-for-17), 6 R, 4 2B, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SO.

The Scoop: Allen has largely been a defensive replacement/pinch runner at the big league level so far, but the speedy switch-hitter keeps showing what he can do with regular at-bats at Triple-A. Allen knows he’s best as a table-setter and has done extremely well fulfilling that role this year. His .464 on-base percentage has been helped by an unreal seven hit-by-pitches in just 16 games. Allen has always been a ball magnet, but he’s stepping it up a notch this year. (JJ)

17. Roman Quinn, OF, Phillies
Team: Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .400/.438/.733 (6-for-15), 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: We know what Quinn can do when he’s on the field. The question is how often he can stay on the field, as he turned pro in 2011 but has yet to stay healthy enough to ever play more than 100 games in a season. His talent still tantalizes, with explosive athleticism and top-end speed to cover plenty of ground in center and wreak havoc on the bases, with nine stolen bases in 10 attempts this year. Quinn’s durability is a major risk factor, but he’s showing he’s still productive when healthy, with a .318/.384/.439 line through his first 17 games. (BB)

18. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins
Team: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .333/.357/.704 (9-for-27), 4 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB,12 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Harrison was one of four top prospects traded by the Brewers to the Marlins for Christian Yelich, and he very may well end up being the best of them. The athletic, physical specimen snapped out of an early-season slump by notching a hit in eight of his last nine games, punctuated by a 2-for-4 effort with a home run on Sunday. Harrison’s main issue has long been strike-zone discipline, and that continued to be an issue with 12 strikeouts and just one walk during the week. But, when he makes contact, he provides thunderous impact. (KG) 

19. Yusniel Diaz, OF, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .294/.429/.588 (7-for-27), 5 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Diaz was held back in extended spring training due to general soreness, but he’s been the terror of the Texas League since going out to Tulsa a little over a week ago. Diaz is batting .400 with multiple hits in five of his eight games since joining the Drillers, with more walks (6) than strikeouts (5). A strong, long-levered player who has rapidly adjusted and improved his offensive game, Diaz is tapping into his enormous potential and figures to push some of the established Dodgers veterans in the outfield before long. (KG)

20. Isaac Paredes, SS, Tigers
Team: High Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .294/.500/.529 (5-for-17), 4 2B, 3 RBIs, 6 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: It’s been a quick progression for Paredes, who signed with the Cubs in 2015, was traded to the Tigers two years later and now is one of the youngest players in the Florida State League. At 5-foot-11, 225 pounds with a thick lower half, Paredes isn’t built like a typical shortstop nor does he have the explosiveness a lot of scouts like to see at the position, but he has hitterish actions and a mature offensive approach beyond his years. He has a good eye for the strike zone with a knack for finding the barrel, producing a .270/.371/.500 slash line in 21 games. (BB)


Elehuris Montero, 3B, Cardinals: Montero’s $300,000 signing bonus in 2014 was the highest the Cardinals gave an international prospect that year. He’s rewarding their conviction in his offensive ability, showing an impressive combination of hitting polish and plus raw power with low Class A Peoria, where he’s batting .371/.436/.543 through 19 games. At 19, Montero has good balance at the plate, recognizing pitches well and drives the ball in the air well to take advantage of his power. Montero’s footwork and first-step quickness aren’t ideal for third base, but his strong arm and reactions off the bat are good for the position. (BB)

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