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Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (6/24/19)

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 June 17-23. 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. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees
Team: Double-A Trenton (Eastern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 15 SO, 1 BB

The Scoop: Garcia continued one of the best seasons by a pitching prospect by spinning a masterpiece against Richmond. He struck out the first eight batters and was in complete control the rest of the way. The performance boosted his strikeouts per nine innings to 15.1, the best in the minors among qualified starters. It also tied the Trenton franchise record for strikeouts in a game, which was set by Adam Warren in 2010. And because the Eastern League switched its schedule from full-season to half-season, Garcia was able to clinch the division for the Thunder twice in a span of 289 days. He did the same in his Double-A debut in 2018. In potential division-clinchers for Trenton, Garcia has gone 2-0, 0.00 with 22 strikeouts in 11 innings. (JN)

2. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants
Team: Arizona League Giants
Age: 17
Why He's Here: .385/.448/.885 (10-for-26), 9 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Luciano ranked as the top 16-year-old international prospect in the 2018 class, with the Giants signing him out of the Dominican Republic for $2.6 million. Luciano drew attention from international scouts for his snappy bat speed, easy swing and big power, which has been on display in his pro debut. There's big upside for Luciano if everything clicks, with a chance to stick at shortstop and the potential for 70-grade power. (BB)

3. C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres
Team: Arizona League Padres
Age: 18
Why He's Here: .522/.542/.783 (12-for-23), 7 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The bouncy, explosive athleticism sticks out immediately with Abrams, a quick-burst runner with 80 speed. He pairs that elite athletic ability with excellent hand-eye coordination, which enables Abrams to produce a high contact rate. That combination has helped Abrams, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft, get off to a blazing start in his first week of pro ball. (BB)

4. Dustin May, RHP, Tulsa
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 1.93, 14 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 19 SO, 0 BB

The Scoop: After a rough second month of the season, the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect has rebounded in a big way. May has begun using his changeup more often and more effectively, and the results are evident. He produced a signature performance on June 22, when he struck out 14 batters in seven innings, and overall in June has gone 1-1, 2.70 with 23 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. If the changeup continues to make strides, May could jump even higher on the list of the game’s best arms. (JN)

5. Brent Rooker, 1B, Twins
Team: Triple-A Rochester (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .474/.630/1.263 (9-for-19), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: After two quiet months, Rooker has turned up the volume in June. The powerful first baseman has gone .406/.553/.725 with five home runs this month during an incredible show of what he can do when everything is in sync. Once he begins producing with consistency, he could become another weapon in the already potent Twins lineup. (JN)

6. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .571/.654/1.095 (12-for-21), 8 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Kieboom’s first foray in the majors didn’t quite go according to script—he went 5-for-39 in 11 games—but he’s doing everything he needs at Triple-A to show he’s worthy of another callup. Since his return to Fresno, Kieboom has hit .294/.407/.583 with 10 doubles, eight homers, 34 RBIs and nearly as many walks (24) as strikeouts (27) in 37 games. He capped off his latest big week by reaching base six times and hitting a grand slam in Fresno’s 22-9 rout of Salt Lake on Sunday. (KG)

7. Jo Adell, OF, Angels
Team: Double-A Mobile (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .500/.556/.938 (8-for-16), 4 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: Adell has come out blazing after missing the first two months of the season with leg injuries. Since his return on June 2, the No. 2 prospect in baseball has hit .397/.470/.690 with eight doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs and four stolen bases in 16 games, all in the extremely pitcher-friendly conditions of the Southern League. Adell is still 20 years old with only 33 career games above the Class A levels, but his talent is prodigious enough for him to move as fast as the Angels want to push him. (KG)

8. Ethan Hankins, RHP, Indians
Team: Short-season Mahoning Valley (New York-Penn)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 0-0, 0.00, 2 G, 2 GS, 8.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 12 SO

The Scoop: The Indians drafted Hankins with the No. 35 overall pick in last year's draft, but they only let him throw three innings after signing, then kept him back in extended spring training to start 2019. Unleashed on the New York-Penn League, Hankins has yet to allow a hit in his first two starts. He has also struck out 12 of the 29 batters he has faced (41 percent), with a knack for getting hitters to wave through his low- to mid-90s fastball when he elevates it or swing over the top of a slider that flashes plus. (BB)

9. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Phillies
Team: High Class A Clearwater (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .333/.455/.889 (9-for-27), 7 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Ortiz could have repeated the low Class A South Atlantic League—he hit just .225/.297/.375 there last year—but the Phillies pushed him along to Clearwater instead. Overall, it's been another difficult for season, but bursts like this past week show a glimpse of Ortiz's upside. He ranks fourth in the Florida State League with 12 home runs, one shy of his season total from a year ago. Ortiz needs to improve his pitch recognition and cut down on his swing-and-miss rate, but his plus-plus raw power allows him to unleash damage when he gets a pitch in his kill zone. (BB)

10. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Southern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .524/.643/.619 (11-for-21), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 RBIs, 7 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Lewis has never quite been able to show his full potential since suffering a gruesome knee injury shortly after being drafted and repeated setbacks, but the flashes of his ability are starting to come. Lewis has hit .380/.469/.519 since May 30 and finished off his latest big week with a hit in five straight games, including four multi-hit efforts. While home runs have yet to manifest, Lewis is consistently getting the bat to the ball and controlling the strike zone, two promising developments that signal his increasing comfort and confidence. (KG)

11. Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .375/.483/.500 (9-for-24), 5 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: Bohm has had one of the odder development paths in baseball this year. He began the season in low Class A, which was surprising because top-five college picks are never sent to low Class A. But after dominating the South Atlantic League, Bohm earned a bump to high Class A Clearwater and then earned another jump this week, as the Phillies moved him up to Double-A Reading this week after only 40 games in the Florida State League. Even with a slow initial assignment, it’s easy to be impressed with Bohm’s season. He’s shown he can drive the ball while displaying a knack for working counts. (JJ)

12. Anthony Castro, RHP, Tigers

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

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

The Scoop: Castro spun a gem for Double-A Erie this week, completing a season-high seven innings while fanning 11 batters. The righthander made some small tweaks to his delivery and had a plus slider working, which allowed him to put hitters away late in counts. Detroit’s No. 26 prospect is having a much more productive month of June after registering a 6.50 ERA in the month of May. 


13. Bo Bichette, SS, Jays
Team: Triple-A Buffalo (International)

Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .417/.440/.667 (10-for-24), 5 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: After returning from a fractured left hand just 10 days ago, Bichette is heating up at the plate. The infielder showed off his bat-to-ball skills Sunday, getting four hits in his first four at-bats. Toronto’s top prospect had three multi-hit games this week, including a five-RBI day against Indianapolis. (JC)

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14. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres.
Team: High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
Age: 20

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: Gore fired six innings while allowing just one run. The lefthander walked two and allowed three hits, but struck out nine batters for the second time in his last four outings. San Diego’s top prospect tossed a season-high 97 pitches to get through his outing, the first time he had crossed the 90-pitch threshold since his first start of the season. (JC)

15. Tarik Skubal, LHP, Tigers
Team: High Class A Lakeland (Florida State) 

Age: 22

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.80, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO

The Scoop: Skubal had his strikeout stuff on display against Charlotte this week, fanning 11 batters in just five innings. The righthander threw a season-high 99 pitches to navigate his way through five innings. While batters worked some good at-bats, Skubal was able to maintain his focus and put batters away late in counts. (JC)

16. Mickey Moniak, OF, Phillies
Team: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .391/.444/.696 (9-for-23), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: After an awful April (.195/.235/.377) and an only OK May (.290/.315/.439), Moniak is having an excellent June (.309/.380/.506). When last week began, Moniak was coming off of a circus catch that earned him some national attention. This week, he stood out at the plate, hitting for average and some power. Moniak still has a long way to go, but this month has been encouraging. (JJ)

17. Trevor Larnach, OF, Twins
Team: High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .370/.414/.556 (10-for-27), 5 2B, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 10 SO

The Scoop: At this time last year, Larnach was still playing in Omaha in the College World Series. In the year since, he’s hit for impressive average, although his power has yet to come on like it did last year with Oregon State. Larnach has impressive opposite-field power, we’re just waiting to see it occur more often in games. (JJ)

18. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Southern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.50, 12 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 SO, 0 HR

The ScoopSheffield was demoted from Triple-A at the start of the week, another disappointing development in a season of many for the centerpiece prospect of the James Paxton trade. The lefthander responded with two excellent starts, tossing five innings of one-run ball in June 18 and following up with seven innings of one-run ball with no walks and nine strikeouts on Sunday. Control has been Sheffield’s biggest issue this season, and the outings in Arkansas represented a step in the right direction on that front. (KG)

19. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins
Team: High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .310/.333/.621 (9-for-29), 7 R, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO, 2-for-2 SB

The Scoop: Ever since he reached high Class A, Lewis has not managed to produce the numbers expected from a No. 1 pick. He has struggled to hit for average this year, and a recent power bump has come with a discouraging rise in his strikeout rate and a dip in his walk rate. But when we talk to scouts, they generally are still bullish on Lewis’ athleticism and his offensive potential, even if his offensive approach may need some adjustments. (JJ)

20. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians
Team: Triple-A Columbus (Indians)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .385/.529/.846 (5-for-17), 5 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: The Assassin is moving to Cleveland. After torching the International League for a little more than two months and moving into the minor league lead with 24 home runs, the Indians pulled the trigger on Sunday and called him up. Power is, was and always will be, his biggest calling card, though it will likely come with plenty of swing-and-miss as well. (JN)


Brainer Bonaci, SS, Red Sox

Bonaci was around 5-foot-9, 140 pounds when the Red Sox signed him out of Venezuela last year on July 9, his 16th birthday. Bonaci still has a wiry build, but he's gotten stronger over the past year and puts a surprising sting into the ball for his size. More than anything, he sticks out for his easy actions on both sides of the ball, with an advanced offensive approach for his age and a good internal clock in the field, where he has soft hands and a plus arm. Through 17 games in the Dominican Summer League, Bonaci is hitting .386/.443/.586 with 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

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