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Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (5/20/19)

Logan_Gilbert_TonyFarlow.jpg
Logan Gilbert (Photo by Tony Farlow)

Welcome back to the Hot Sheet, which ranks the 20 hottest prospects from the previous week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from May 13-19. Contributing this week were Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Josh Norris, Kyle Glaser and Justin Coleman.

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. Logan Gilbert, RHP, Mariners
Team: High Class A Modesto (California)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.00, 12 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Gilbert didn’t pitch last year after the Mariners made him the 14th overall pick due to a bout of mononucleosis and a toe surgery. His professional debut this year was worth the wait. Gilbert overwhelmed low Class A hitters in four starts to begin the year and has been similarly dominant since his promotion to high Class A. His delivered 12 scoreless innings over two starts this week, capped by Sunday’s seven-inning, two-hit, 11-strikeout performance at Rancho Cucamonga. Overall, Gilbert is 3-0, 1.75 with 53 strikeouts and nine walks in 36 innings, with opponents batting just .157 against him. (KG)


2. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals
Team: Double-A Springfield (Texas)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .417/.481/1.083 (10-for-24), 5 R, 1 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: The advanced switch-hitter continues to grow into his power and has nine doubles, five triples, seven home runs and a .544 slugging percentage this year as one of the youngest players in the Texas League. He homered three times in four games to finish last week and is in the midst of an eight-game hit streak. (KG)


3. Yordan Alvarez, 1B/LF, Astros
Team: Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .458/.519/.958 (11-for-24), 6 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB (2 IBB), 4 SO

The Scoop: Alvarez has 18 home runs in 39 games. He's hitting an obscene .411/.494/.884, leading the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in batting average and slugging while trailing Carter Kieboom by just two points for the best OBP in the league as well. The No. 32 prospect on the Top 100 and trending up, Alvarez shouldn't expect to spend much more time in Round Rock, with his major league debut likely coming soon. (BB)


4. Jasseel De La Cruz
, RHP, Braves
Team: Double-A Mississippi (Southern)

Age: 21
Why He's Here: 

1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: De La Cruz tossed the first no hitter in high Class A Florida’s history, needing just 89 pitches to do so. The righthander was economical, allowing just two walks while striking out four. Atlanta’s No. 29 prospect has struggled with his control in the past, but hasn’t walked more than two batters in any of his eight starts this season. (JC)


5. Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox
Team: High Class A Salem (Carolina)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .444/.515/.741 (12-for-27), 7 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Those waiting for Duran to slow down are going to have to wait awhile longer. The early breakout star of the season extended his hit streak to 10 games with another scorching week and leads the minors with a .406 batting average this season. Duran is starting to be written up as a consensus future everyday player among scouts, especially as his center field defense continues to improve. (KG)


6. Adam Haseley, OF, Phillies
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .360/.407/.760 (9-for-25), 6 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Reading’s first-round outfield has not had an easy time. Cornelius Randolph is hitting .230/.310/.410, and Mickey Moniak is hitting .237/.266/.421. But after a rough April, Haseley has bounced back this month and has hit as many home runs this week as he had in the first month and a half of the season. Haseley has shown some encouraging signs this year. He is drawing nearly as many walks as strikeouts, and he’s showing the best power of his pro career. That said, even the encouraging numbers are solid more than spectacular. (JJ)


7. Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Cubs
Team: Low Class A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.80, 10 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 12 SO, 3 BB

The Scoop: As it turns out, being a lefthander with a mid-90s fastball has its advantages. Marquez, the organization’s top pitching prospect, has whiffed 42 hitters in 30 innings. He has been particularly devastating on lefthanders, whom he’s held to three hits in 9.1 innings while whiffing 16. He still has some control and command issues to iron out, but he holds a ton of promise in his left arm. (JN)

8. Mark Vientos, 3B, Mets
Team: Low Class A Columbia (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .357/.345/.679 (10-for-28), 3 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 0 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: The Mets traded some of their better prospects this offseason—righthander Justin Dunn and outfielder Jarred Kelenic chief among them—but the next wave is bubbling at low Class A Columbia. Vientos is part of a pack of talented teenagers with the Fireflies. After a rough April, Vientos has rebounded in May. Buttressed by a strong week, Vientos is hitting .276/.317/.517 in the season’s second month. (JN)


9. Yerry Rodriguez, RHP, Rangers
Team: Low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 1-1, 3.27, 2 GS, 11 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 15 SO.

The Scoop: Even in a farm system that has a way-too-crowded group of pitchers rehabbing from Tommy John surgery at the club’s Arizona complex, the Rangers have some very encouraging things happening in Class A. Rodriguez is one of the highlights as his 93-96 mph fastball plays even better because he locates it so well and it has excellent late movement. Rodriguez needs to develop both his curveball and his changeup, but the arm is so good that you have reasons to believe that the secondaries one day will start to catch up to the fastball. (JJ)


10. Kevin Cron, 1B, D-Backs
Team: Triple-A Reno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 26
Why He’s Here: .435/.517/1.261 (10-for-23) 8 R, 4 2B, 5 HR, 14 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The new baseballs in Triple-A have helped create the conditions in which this year is more likely to see a 50-home run hitter than any other year this century. And Cron is the player most likely to reach that massive number. Cron is a consistent power hitter—he’s averaged 25 home runs a season over the past four years. And he’s playing in Reno, one of the best hitters’ parks in baseball. Yordan Alvarez may be matching Cron home run for home run, but Alvarez is a first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter playing for an American League club. The chances he gets a promotion to the majors that takes him out of the 50-home run chase is quite good. Cron is a first baseman who plays for a National League team, giving him very few paths to a big league job this year short of an injury to Christian Walker. Cron already has a three-home run game this year and he’s yet to have even a week pass where he didn’t homer. With 19 home runs (just eight off his career high), Cron is currently on pace to hit 62 home runs in 140 games at Reno. Even if he gets some short big league promotions, he’s building in some cushion in the chase for 50. (JJ)


11. Jeremy Peña, SS, Astros
Team: Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .387/.457/.742 (12-for-31), 10 R, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Peña's greatest asset is his defense, but he has been a steady contributor at the plate this year as well. A third-round pick out of Maine last year, Peña—who entered the season as Houston's No. 26 prospect—is batting .261/.359/.408 through 37 games while earning praise for his soft hands and above-average arm at shortstop. (BB)


12. Robert Dugger, RHP, Marlins

Team: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern)

Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 1.93, 14 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 17 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: 

The Marlins’ No. 22 prospect had two solid outings this past week, both of which were seven-inning performances. The righthander needed 104 pitches to get through his first game against Biloxi, allowing three earned runs while striking out a season-high 12 batters. Dugger makes the most of his robust arsenal which includes two different fastballs and three secondary pitches which help to keep hitters guessing. His pitch-mix helped him to go seven scoreless against Montgomery and should be what helps him to get to the big leagues as a mid- to back-of-the-rotation starter. (JC)


13. Will Benson, 1B, Indians
Team: Low Class A Lake County (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .391/.462/.783 (9-for-23), 8 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Benson already made headlines this year by becoming the first minor leaguer since 2014 to swat four homers in a game. He’s not a flash in the pan, though, as his nine long balls are tied with Peoria’s Nolan Gorman for the Midwest League lead. His .550 slugging percentage is the best in the league, and his .905 OPS puts him in fourth. (JN)


Drew_Waters_TonyFarlow.jpg

Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (6/17/19)

Ranking baseball's 20 hottest prospects from last week, led by a Braves outfielder who is one of Double-A's most productive hitters.

14. Zac Lowther, LHP, Orioles
Team: Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.00, 12.2 IP, 11 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 15 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Lowther won’t light up the radar gun, but he’ll get you to swing and miss. The former Xavier Musketeer had an exceptional week, using his 88-90 mph heater that he can sink or elevate as needed and a changeup that flashes plus to carve hitters. Scouts noted that he likes to work north and south with the fastball to change hitters’ eye levels. (JN)


15. Brian Mundell, LB/1B, Rockies
Team: Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He's Here: .545/.600/.773 (12-for-22), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Mundell is taking advantage of the new, souped-up Triple-A baseballs and the always offensively supercharged home ballpark in Albuquerque. After batting .263/.345/.372 last year at Double-A Hartford, Mundell is hitting .394/.459/.626 this season. (BB)


16. Parker Dunshee, RHP, Athletics 

Team: High Class A (Carolina)

Age: 21 

Why He's Here:

 1-0, 3.00, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 SO, 2 BB

The Scoop: Dunshee earned a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas after the righthander had pitched to a 1.89 ERA in 38 innings pitched for Double-A Midland. Dunshee tossed six innings in his first appearance with Las Vegas. It’s a hitters' environment, but he managed to hold Tacoma to just two runs while striking out nine batters. Dunshee has had success in the upper minors due to his ability to manipulate his fastball and secondary offerings to give hitters a variety of different looks. (JC)


17. Devin Mann, 2B, Dodgers

Team: High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California) 

Age: 22

Why He's Here:

 .423/.423/.692 (11-for-26), 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Mann put together a three-game clip where he had 11 hits in 14 at-bats against the Lancaster JetHawks. The righthanded-hitting second baseman has been known more for his bat than his defense, and he is starting to unlock some of the power that evaluators saw when he was a college player. Mann’s four extra-base hits on the week were a welcomed sight, as the he went hitless in his previous 15 at-bats. (JC)


18. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .471/.500.941 (8-for-17), 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Kieboom scuffled in his 11-game big league trial this year, but there isn't any long-term cause for concern for the No. 20 prospect in baseball. Kieboom is one of the top offensive-minded shortstops in the minors, with a robust .368/.496/.674 line this year for Fresno that is good enough for the top OBP in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. (BB)


19. Owen Miller, SS, Padres
Team: Double-A Amarillo (Padres)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .448 /.484/.517 (13-for-29), 3 R, 2 2B, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Miller raced to Double-A after being drafted last year and continues to show it wasn’t a fluke. The gifted pure hitter put together five multi-hit games this week to pull into the Texas League lead in hits, and he’s also tied for ninth in the league in total bases. Miller has more power to grow into, and once he does, it won’t be long before he finds himself in San Diego (KG).


20. Jordan Holloway, RHP, Marlins
Team: High Class A Jupiter (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00. 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO

The Scoop: A couple of years ago, when the Marlins had a different owner and were more pro bat dog, Holloway was one of the best sleeper prospects in the system. Since then, he’s had Tommy John surgery and he’s battled control trouble as he builds his innings back up this year. But this week, Holloway offered a reminder of how he has one of the best fastball’s in the system. With Holloway, if he throws strikes, he has enough stuff to blow away high Class A hitters. This week, he threw strikes and he reached double digits in strikeouts for the first time in his pro career. (JJ)


Helium


Zach Plesac, RHP, Indians

The nephew of former pitcher and current MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac turned evaluators’ heads at Double-A Akron to start of the year and is continuing to do so at Triple-A Columbus. Plesac fired six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in his first Triple-A start on May 11, and he followed up with seven strong innings and nine punchouts on Sunday. Plesac, 24, had Tommy John surgery two months before the 2016 draft and was selected in the 12th round by the Indians. His stuff has come back in full force, sitting 93-95 mph and touching 96 mph on his fastball with an above-average changeup and an average curveball with downer action and good depth. With three quality pitches at his disposal and excellent control (career 2.1 BB/9), Plesac is another good-looking arm the Indians have in their trove of pitching.

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