Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (8/5/19)

Image credit: Ty France (Photo courtesy of El Paso)

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 July 29-Aug. 4. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, J.J. Cooper 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. Ty France, 3B, Padres
Team: Triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .538/.556/.885 (14-for-26), 6 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: If the new Triple-A ball is going to lead to massively inflated offensive numbers, it’s fitting that there’s a player posting one of the best statistical seasons we’ve seen this century. France is now hitting .396/.473/.780 with 26 home runs. He could become the first full-season minor league hitter to top .400 since Erubiel Durazo hit .404 in 1999, and he may do it while hitting more than 30 home runs as well. (JJ)

2. Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Cubs
Team: Low Class A South Bend (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Marquez just keeps on humming along, as this marks his second consecutive week near the top of Hot Sheet. In that time, the 20-year-old lefthander with the triple-digit heat has made two starts and struck out 22 batters while allowing just one hit and one walk over 12 innings. It’s hard to be much more dominant than that. (JN)

3. Luis Patino, RHP, Padres
Team: High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: The electric Patino entered the year with two main areas he was focused on improving: his changeup and his durability. Both, in tandem, have made great strides. Patino pitched a career-high 8.1 innings in his dominant outing against San Jose last week, and the in-season progress of his changeup has led to a 1.63 ERA over his last five starts. Though only 19 years old, it won’t be long before Patino makes the move to Double-A. (KG)

4. Isaac Paredes, 3B, Tigers
Team: Double-A Erie (Eastern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .552/.567/.724 (16-for-29), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 SO

The Scoop: Paredes closed 2018 with an impressive showing at Double-A Erie, and he has been solid in a return to the level this season. While the power has not shown up quite as loudly as last year, Paredes, who opened the year as the league’s second-youngest player, has posted a .365 on-base percentage which ranks sixth in the EL. (JN)

5. Seth Corry, LHP, Giants
Team: Low Class A Augusta (South Atlantic)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.00, 12.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 17 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Corry’s below-average control dropped him to the third round of the 2017 draft and remained a problem through the first half of this season, when he issued 40 walks in his first 54 innings. Since the end of June, however, Corry has been a different pitcher. Corry is 8-0, 0.79 in his last eight starts, with 56 strikeouts and just eight walks in 45.1 innings. After pitching 5.2 hitless innings in his first start of the week, he followed with seven innings of two-hit ball on Sunday. Corry’s fastball and curveball have always been promising pitches, and now that he’s throwing strikes, he’s proving nearly unhittable to low Class A hitters. (KG)

6. Kevin Padlo, 3B, Rays
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .433/.500/1.174 (10-for-23), 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 8 SO

The Scoop: Padlo is getting a chance to show what he can do when he’s healthy. After a solid first half with Double-A Montgomery, he’s off to a torrid start to his Triple-A career, hitting six home runs in his first 13 games. The Rays spent much of the season looking for righthanded power before acquiring Jesus Aguilar at the trade deadline, and Padlo could help fill that need in the coming years. (JJ)

7. Jojanse Torres, RHP, Astros
Team: High Class A Fayetteville (Carolina)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: The Astros are not as deep in pitching prospects now as they were a week ago (although with Zack Greinke and Aaron Sanchez, they don’t have as much need for pitching either). But Houston’s ability to find pitchers like Torres is a way to restock the system. Torres signed his pro contract as a 21-year-old, but two years later, he’s one of the best arms in the system. Torres’ control has been an issue, but he’s now struck out 17 batters and walked just one in his past two starts combined. (JJ)


8. Jorge Guzman, RHP, Marlins
Team: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: In plenty of systems, Guzman would line up as a Top 10 Prospect. In the Marlins’ system, which has been revitalized with the additions of Lewin DiazJesus SanchezSixto SanchezJJ Bleday and others, he lines up at No. 15. Not bad for a guy who brings his fastball in the upper 90s and can touch triple-digits with regularity. This week’s outing was his sixth with seven or more strikeouts this season. (JN)

9. Canaan Smith, OF, Yankees
Team: Low Class A Charleston (South Atlantic)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .478/.556/.783 (11-for-23), 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Smith has long produced some of the best exit velocities in the Yankees’ system, and the 20-year-old has been tremendous in the season’s second half. During that time, Smith, the Yankees’ fourth-rounder in 2017, has slashed .343/.456/.450. (JN)

10. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers
Team: Double-A Erie (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.93, 14 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO

The Scoop: There are no weaknesses in the Erie rotation, which also houses Casey MizeAlex Faedo and Tarik Skubal. Manning might have the highest ceiling of the bunch. The athletic righthander mixes a mid-to upper-90s fastball with a devastating curveball and a developing changeup. He opened the year as the league’s youngest pitcher and now sits four strikeouts behind Faedo for the EL’s top mark. (JN)

11. Alexander Canario, OF, Giants
Team: Short-season Salem-Keizer (Northwest)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .440/.500/.920 (11-for-25), 5 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Marco Luciano is the leader of the Giants’ promising collection of prospects in short-season ball, but Canario is right behind him. Canario delivered a four-hit game, a three-hit game and three home runs in a five-game span in his latest big week, and he is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak. With the skills to play center field and developing power, Canario is looking more and more the part of a potential future dynamo. (KG)

12. Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros
Team: Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)/Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .500/.583/.944 (9-for-18), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Toro’s 2019 season is an example of what happens when a hitter who already possesses many strong hitting qualities takes a big step forward. Before this year, Toro was one of the hitters who came up as a scout’s favorite for his ability to consistently square up balls, draw walks and win battles against pitchers. Until this year, however, Toro’s batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage didn’t really reflect the impressiveness of his hitting. Toro is hitting the ball a little harder this year, but largely he’s doing what he’s always done—working counts, finding the sweet spot and making life difficult for pitchers. This year, it has paid off with a great season at Double-A Corpus Christi that resulted in a promotion to Triple-A. (JJ)

13. Edwin Rios, 3B/1B, Dodgers
Team: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .500/.625/1.286 (7-for-14), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 8 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Rios had an uncharacteristically slow start at the plate this year, but he still earned his first big league callup and is now heating up with the weather. Rios extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his latest big week, which included three home runs in five games and twice as many walks (eight) as strikeouts (four). Since his return from the majors on June 11, Rios is batting .325/.436/.825 and showing he deserves to re-join the Dodgers as a September callup. (KG)

14. Jackson Kowar, RHP, Royals
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Tall, athletic and blessed with a nasty changeup, Kowar has been dynamite all season long. A first-round pick out of Florida in 2018, Kowar made the longest start of his career in his most recent turn, spinning eight shutout innings on Aug. 3 against Tulsa. He struck out six and walked none in that start, and for the season his 118 punchouts rank third in the system. (JN)


15. Justin Dean, OF, Braves
Team: Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .450/.542/.800 (9-for-20), 4 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 4-for-5 SB

The Scoop: The Braves had a very productive trade deadline, landing a revamped bullpen at a relatively modest prospect cost. It did, however, cut even further into the club’s prospect depth. The Braves have a great prospect group currently at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, but it’s very thin below that. Therefore, Finding players like Dean is important to keeping the talent flowing. A 17th-round pick out of Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) in 2018, Dean is a speedy center fielder who projects as a potential leadoff hitter. (JJ)

16. Sheldon Neuse, 3B, Athletics
Team: Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .474/.565/.842 (9-for-19), 8 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Coming into this season, Neuse had 22 career home runs over three seasons. He’s now just one home run away from matching that home run number this season. It’s hard to fully separate out how much this season is an improvement or just a case of Neuse getting into a much better hitting environment, The strikeouts are still high, but Neuse is driving the ball in a way he has not before. (JJ)

17. Jared Walsh, OF, Angels
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .368/.455/1.053 (7-for-19), 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 BB, 7 SO; 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

The Scoop: Coming into the season, Walsh’s most notable claim to fame was his attempt to become a two-way player. He’s still pitching and hitting, but it’s his power that is now a reason to pay attention to him. Walsh hit 13 home runs in July and already has three in August. (JJ)

18. Cole Sands, RHP, Twins
Team: High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: The Twins’ fifth-round pick out of Florida State in 2018, Sands has taken strike-throwing to the extreme in his first full season. The 6-foot-3 righthander now has 98 strikeouts against just 16 walks in 88.1 innings this year after his latest start, and overall he has a 2.11 ERA in eight starts since his promotion to Fort Myers. With a sinker that reaches the mid-90s, a sharp slider and an improved changeup, Sands is showing both the stuff and control to keep climbing the ladder as a starter. (KG)

19. Steele Walker, OF, White Sox
Team: High Class A Winston-Salem (Carolina)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .565/.607/.913 (13-for-23), 7 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: After tearing up low Class A Kannapolis to start the season, Walker has had an up-and-down tenure at Winston-Salem. He endured a dreadful July, but the 2018 second-rounder has started August strong. He has multiple hits in five of his last six games. (JN)

20. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins
Team: Triple-A Durham/New Orleans (International/Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .389/.542/.944 (7-for-18), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: After being traded to the Marlins in the deal that brought Trevor Richards and Nick Anderson to Tampa Bay, Sanchez has quickly proved his worth to his new organization. The 21-year-old has collected six hits in his first 13 at-bats with New Orleans, including three home runs. (JN)


Aldo Ramirez, RHP, Red Sox

The 18-year-old signed with Boston out of the Mexican League and has moved quickly through the system. He made five starts in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 before jumping to the college-heavy New York-Penn League this summer. He’s impressed evaluators with short-season Lowell, showing a mid-90s fastball as well as a breaking ball and a changeup that each flash plus. (JN)

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