Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (9/3/19)

Image credit: Joey Bart (Photo by Zach Lucy/Four Seam)

Welcome back to the final Hot Sheet of the regular season, which ranks the 20 hottest prospects from the previous week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did from Aug 26-Sept. 2. Contributing this week were Josh Norris, J.J. Cooper, Kyle Glaser and Ben Badler.

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. Joey Bart, C, Giants
Team: Double-A Richmond (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .538/.571/.885 (14-for-26), 5 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: The Giants’ top prospect put an exclamation point on his season with an extremely strong finish to his brief tenure at Double-A Richmond. He produced an .868 OPS in August, which included four of his 16 homers in his first full season as a pro. He might not have any 80-grade tools on his card, but Bart has a plethora of pluses that should lead him to become the Giants’ long-term answer at catcher. (JN)

2. Roansy Contreras, RHP, Yankees
Team: Low Class A Charleston (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.75, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 SO

The Scoop: The Yankees shuffled a great deal of pitching talent through low Class A Charleston this year, and Contreras put together a stellar season in his first extended taste of full-season ball. He shows poise and pitchability in a three-pitch mix, fronted by a low- to mid-90s fastball and backed by a pair of average or better offspeed pitches. He was particularly nasty in the second half, when he went 7-2, 2.21 with 63 strikeouts against 18 walks 69.1 innings. (JN)

3. Tyler Nevin, 1B, Rockies
Team: Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .324/.378/.794 (11-for-34), 6 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Nevin ended a trying season on a high note, homering in four straight games in the early portion of the week and going 2-for-5 in the season finale. Nevin’s surge pushed his final season line to .251/.345/.399. Most importantly, he avoided the injured list during the season for the first time in his career. (KG)

4. Bryan Mata, RHP, Red Sox
Team: Double-A Portland (Eastern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.38, 13 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 BB, 11 SO

The Scoop: Mata allowed his only two runs of the week in his first start again Binghamton, and he followed that up with seven scoreless frames against New Hampshire. While his walks are concerning, Mata pitched with confidence. He attacked hitters with his fastball while working to his secondary offerings to draw some swings and misses along the way. (JC)

5. Zac Lowther, LHP, Orioles
Team: Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.75, 2 GS, 12 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 17 SO

The Scoop: Lowther’s deception and seemingly invisible fastball continue to work, level after level. He finishes the 2019 season with a career 2.26 ERA, and his Double-A line (2.55 ERA, 102 hits in 148 innings, 63 walks, 154 strikeouts) remains impressive. At some point Lowther’s lack of a true plus pitch may start to bite him, but he’s running out of challenges where that may prove true. He’s ready for Triple-A and could pitch in Baltimore in 2020. (JJ)

6. David Peterson, LHP, Mets
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO

The Scoop: Peterson spun a gem in his final start of the season for Double-A Binghamton. The lefthander needed 88 pitches to make his way through 6.2 innings before making his exit. He got ahead of hitters early in counts and was able to put them away with relative ease, striking out two batters in four different innings. 


7. Shawn Dubin, RHP, Astros
Team: High Class A Fayetteville (Carolina)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 0.00, 2 GS, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 20 SO

The Scoop: He’s old for the level (he’ll turn 24 this week), but Dubin’s finish to the 2019 season is well worth noticing. Dubin allowed four hits and two walks in his final 18 innings of the regular season while holding his opponents scoreless. He struck out 25 batters over that same span. Dubin is rail-thin but has an extremely fast arm. He pumps mid-90s fastballs (touching higher) and has started to figure out how to control a nasty, hard slider that can start over the plate before diving out of the zone. Like most Astros minor leaguers, he also throws a curveball with more 12-to-6 break. (JJ)


8. Brian Mundell, 1B, Rockies
Team: Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .467/.529/.767 (14-for-30), 4 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: Mundell notched a hit in seven of his final eight games to cap the regular season, including a pair of home runs to push him into double digits. Mundell hit .333 on the year, but his 11 home runs in the high altitude of Albuquerque with the Triple-A ball soured evaluators on his power potential. Still, Mundell’s natural hitting ability may get him to the majors, regardless. (KG)

9. Brady Singer, RHP, Royals
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: 2-0, 1.29, 14 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO

The Scoop: Singer spun back-to-back gems for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, allowing exactly one earned run and six hits across each start. In his first start against Double-A Midland, Singer had his strikeout stuff working early before getting key ground ball outs to navigate his way through seven innings. His second start was a makeup from a contest on June 23, and he ended up throwing a seven-inning complete game. Singer’s control was on point, throwing pitches in and around the strike zone while forcing hitters to swing the bat. 

10. Evan White, 1B, Mariners
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .389/.500/.778 (7-for-18), 4 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: After entering pro ball with a reputation as a sterling defender, White has spent all of this season proving his skill set is well-rounded. He spent the entire season with Double-A Arkansas, where he produced an .838 OPS that ranked fourth in the league. He hit 18 home runs as well, which tied him for third on the circuit. White and the Travelers enter the Texas League playoffs with a bulk of the Mariners’ now-enviable core of prospects. (JN)

11. Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .310/.355/.759 (9-for-29), 9 R, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 7 SO

The Scoop: A late-season promotion to Double-A hasn’t slowed Downs, who hit .333/.429/.688 in 12 games in the Texas League. Downs will probably return there to open 2020, and with the Dodgers having Corey Seager at shortstop and Gavin Lux now arriving to join him in the middle infield, there isn’t any rush for the team to push Downs. (BB)

12. Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Team: High Class A Fayetteville (Carolina)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.82, 2 GS, 11 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 BB, 22 SO

The Scoop: At this moment, there are three well-regarded Luis Garcias climbing through the minors. Coming into the year, Luis Heibardo Garcia, the Astros pitcher, was the least well-known of the three (Phillies shortstop Luis Jose Garcia and Nationals shortstop Luis Victoriano Garcia came into the year in the Top 100). But Luis H. Garcia is quickly catching up to them thanks to the typical Astros pitcher arsenal (fastball, slider, curveball and changeup). Garcia struck out nearly 15 batters per nine innings for Fayetteville this season. (JJ)

13. Taylor Trammell, OF, Padres
Team: Double-A Amarillo (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .429/.529/.786 (12-for-28), 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 9 SO, 0-for-2 SB

The Scoop: From a scouting perspective, the components are all in place for Trammell to be successful. There’s quality bat speed, a short stroke from the left side and a good eye for the strike zone. He’s athletic, a plus-plus runner and flashes the raw power in batting practice to put balls into the second deck. Yet he also ends 2019 with an underwhelming .234/.340/.349 slash line. Trammell is still an exciting prospect, but 2020 will be a critical one for him to show his talents translate into performance now that he’s in the upper levels. (BB)

14. Griffin Conine, OF, Blue Jays
Team: Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .346/.485/.731 (9-for-26), 9 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 BB, 9 SO

The Scoop: In just 80 games, Conine slugged 22 home runs in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League. A 2018 second-round pick out of Duke, Conine should be punishing that level, though his 36 percent strikeout leaves a bright red flag he will have to address in 2020. (BB)

15. Anthony Misiewicz, LHP, Mariners
Team: Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.82, 11 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 15 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: Misiewicz struggled like many other pitchers in the Pacific Coast League this year, but he figured out the formula for success late. Misiewicz went 3-0, 1.56 in six starts over the final month of the season, capped by a six inning, 10-strikeout performance at Las Vegas on Aug. 31. Misiewicz kicked up his aggressiveness and tempo this year, and as a result finally made it to Triple-A after three seasons of topping out in Double-A. (KG)

16. Trevor Larnach, OF, Twins
Team: Double-A Pensacola (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .417/.517./583 (10-for-24), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Even with a .619 OPS in April, Larnach recovered to hit a combined .309/.384/.458 between two levels in his first full season, an encouraging sign for the 2018 first-round pick out of Oregon State. He’s a potential above-average regular in a corner outfield spot, with a chance to make his major league debut in the second half of next year. (BB)

17. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners
Team: High Class A Modesto (California)
Age: 18
Why He’s Here: .375/.459/.688 (12-for-32), 8 R, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: One of the most gifted players in the minor leagues, Rodriguez was slowed this year only by a broken hand that cost him a good portion of the regular season. When he was healthy, he showed off the gifts that make him one of the two tentpoles in the Mariners’ system. He’s hit for average and power, gotten on base and showed off enough skills in the outfield to make him an asset on both sides of the ball. He will be a must-watch in the Arizona Fall League. (JN)

18. Will Stewart, LHP, Marlins
Team: High Class A Jupiter (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Stewart’s first season with the Marlins after coming over in the J.T. Realmuto trade was largely disappointing, but he found his footing at the end. Stewart pitched eight innings at Lakeland on Aug. 21 and followed up with seven scoreless innings against Tampa in his final start of the year. Evaluators who saw Stewart this year largely did not view him as a future major leaguer, but his finish to the season was at least a step into the right direction. (KG)

19. Connor Wong, C, Dodgers
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .520/.571/1.080 (13-for-24), 4 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: Take a look at the Dodgers’ farm system, remember how many player development success stories they have had in recent years, glance at just how many potential catchers they are developing and it’s fair to wonder if the rest of the National League is just battling to keep up. Los Angeles is about to win its seventh consecutive NL West title. It’s a favorite to make it to its third consecutive World Series. And when you look at how many players like Wong the Dodgers have on the way, it’s likely they will remain battling for titles for years to come. (JJ)

20. Joey Wentz, LHP, Tigers
Team: Double-A Erie (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 2.53, 10 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 15 SO

The Scoop: While Wentz did see some traffic on the bases, he managed to allow just three runs across his two starts. He struck out five batters in his first start, and then collected 10 in his second outing thanks to swing-and-miss stuff late in counts. His ability to command his fastball for strikes and feel for a plus changeup allow him to pour in strikes and keep his team in the game. 



Pedro Martinez, 2B, Cubs

The Cubs aggressively assigned Martinez to the short-season Northwest League, and he responded with an excellent half-season. He showed on-base skills in the typically college-heavy league, and the team believes he has the ceiling to produce power and speed as he develops. (JN)

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