Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet: Chris Paddack Leads List (6/11/08)

1. Chris Paddack, RHP, Padres
Team: high Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 10 SO, 0 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: Paddack finally appeared human when he gave up 14 hits and eight runs in his previous 10 innings entering the week. He promptly returned to his dominant form at Inland Empire, striking out 10 for the third time in seven starts this season. Paddack’s strikeout-to-walk mark now stands an eye-popping 61-to-2, and with the progression of his curveball to go with his plus fastball and changeup, he is in prime position for a bump to Double-A San Antonio in the coming weeks. (KG)

2. Freddy Peralta, RHP, Brewers
Team: Triple-A Colorado Springs (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 2.46, 12.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 20 SO, 4 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: About the only thing that’s stopped Peralta this year is his own home ballpark. He’s worked to a 5.70 ERA at Colorado Springs but balanced it with an eye-popping 0.84 mark elsewhere in the PCL. He had two road starts on his schedule this week, and he delivered as expect. The 20 strikeouts he racked up put him among the best in the minor leagues, even after missing two starts while in the big leagues. (JN)

3. Khalil Lee, OF, Royals
Team: high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .391/.481/.826 (9-for-23), 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 SO, 2 SB.

The Scoop: The Royals farm system still has a ways to go, but it looks a lot better now than it did coming into the season thanks to minor league home run leader Seuly Matias (20 home runs for low Class A Lexington), catcher M.J. Melendez, shortstop Nicky Lopez and Lee. Lee is a well-rounded outfielder with speed, power, solid center field defense and a steadily improving batting eye. Lee has managed to slash his strikeout rate and up his walk rate this year. Like almost every hitter who plays at Wilmington, he’s seen his stats reduced by his home park, but he’s hitting .326/.455/.517 when the Blue Rocks are on the road. (JJ)

4. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mets
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 14 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 19 SO, 5 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: After finishing his high Class A career with a 10-strikeout dazzler, the Mets saw fit to move Dunn to Double-A, where a circus was waiting. He made his Binghamton debut in Trenton, where he joined Tim Tebow and a rehabbing Yoenis Cespedes. Dunn had no problem shutting out the raucous crowds—not to mention the opposition—and opened his turn at the new level with nine strikeouts, one shy of the season high he’d set in his previous start. (JN)

5. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Phillies
Team: Low Class A Lakewood (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .435/.458/.826 (10-for-23), 5 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB.

The Scoop: It’s too early to saw if Ortiz has fully thawed out after an ice cold start to the season, but the massive right fielder has shown plenty of signs of life since returning from a shoulder injury on May 21. This month Ortiz has four multi-hit games including a 4-for-4 day. (JJ)

6. Brent Rooker, 1B, Twins
Team: Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .440/.576/.800 (11-for-25), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 8 BB, 5 SO.

The Scoop: Another top hitting prospect who needed some time to warm up, Rooker is hitting .310/.355/.631 in June to raise his batting average by 30 points and his on-base percentage by 40 points in just 10 games. What has also happened is Rooker has slid to first base full time. He’s not played in the outfield since May 13, as he’s now focusing on first base and DH. (JJ)

7. A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .381/.440/1.095 (8-for-21), 6 R, 5 HR, 12 RBIs, 2 BB, 4 SO.

The Scoop: Reed is stuck in a purgatory that shows no clear signs of changing. But he does keep hitting in Triple-A. Reed hit five home runs in five games this week. He’s hitting .275/.387/.559 with 15 home runs in 59 games this year and has now hit 64 home runs in parts of three seasons in Fresno. The Astros have not gotten much production yet this season from Yuli Gurriel, Marwin Gonzalez and J.D. Davis, but it’s more likely that Reed will need a change of scenery at some point if he’s going to get another lengthy big league shot. (JJ)

8. Luis Ortiz, RHP, Brewers
Team: Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 11 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: Ortiz missed a month with a hamstring injury and has been eased back in since his return, working as a tandem starter with Cody Ponce. Ortiz worked up to four innings for the first time this week and was so brilliant he did it again. He pitched four scoreless with one hit allowed in both of his appearances this week – one starting, one in relief – and is returning to the form that made him a Top 100 prospect. (KG)

9. Kevin Smith, SS, Blue Jays
Team: High Class A Dunedin (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .429/.467/.643 (12-for-28), 7 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-1 SB

The Scoop: New level, same success. The Blue Jays validated Smith’s blistering start at low Class A Lansing with a move to high Class A Dunedin, where the 2017 fourth-round pick has continued to mash. He took a hard look at his swing after he turned pro, removed a loop from his swing and has been mashing ever since. He clubbed two home runs this week after hitting seven in his 46 games in the Midwest League. (JN)

10. Colin Poche, LHP, Rays
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00, 2 G, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 SO

The Scoop: Acquired from the D-backs in the three-team trade that sent Steven Souza to Arizona, Poche works primarily in relief but does so in a regular “rotation” at Durham in which he throws two or three innings every fifth day. Last week was his best yet. Poche struck out 10 of the 18 batters he faced while allowing four baserunners in 4.2 innings. He gets a lot of mileage out of a high-spin fastball and deceptive delivery that has allowed him to record a 0.53 ERA this season to go with 65 strikeouts, eight walks and 14 hits allowed in 33.2 innings. (ME)

11. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins
Team: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .565/.667/.739 (13-for-23), 5 R, 4 RB, 7 RBIs, 6 BB, 4 SO, 3-for-4 SB

The Scoop: The carrying tool for Diaz is supposed to be his bat, though he hasn’t shown it most of the season. Last week Diaz showed signs of turning his season around, bringing his slash line up to .240/.365/.383 on the season. (BB)

12. Ibandel Isabel, 1B, Reds
Team: High Class A Pensacola (Florida State)
Age: 23
Why He’s Here: .280/.357/.760 (7-for-25) 4 R, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 13 SO.

The Scoop: When the Reds acquired Ibandel Isabel from the Dodgers this spring, they knew they were getting power and strikeouts. He posted the third highest exit velocity in baseball last year, but so far for the Reds in a return to high Class A, he’s hitting more home runs and striking out less. Isabel has nine home runs in his past nine games. He only as 12 hits this month in those nine games, but he’s been so homer happy that he’s still slugging 1.219 in June. (JJ)

13. Ryan Noda, OF/1B, Blue Jays
Team: Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .500/.632/1.429 (7-for-14), 4 R, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: Noda has an intriguing combination of patience and power. In the first two months of the season, the patience was there—Noda drew 51 walks in his first 46 games—but the power was not, as he hit just one home run and was hitting .203 at the end of May. Noda’s power returned last week with four home runs over three consecutive games, though as a 22-year-old first baseman/corner outfielder in the Midwest League, there’s still much for Noda to prove moving up the ladder. (BB)

14. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres
Team: Double-A San Antonio (Texas)
Age: 19
Why He’s Here: .409/.519/.682 (9-for-22), 7 R, 1 1B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-2 SB

The Scoop: After a sluggish April, Tatis Jr. has been phenomenal, batting .340/.424/.621 since May 1. Tatis is putting himself in consideration to make his major league debut this year as a teenager, though with the Padres’ big league club going nowhere this year, an early 2019 callup looks more likely. (BB)

15. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Tigers
Team: Double-A Erie (Eastern)
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR

The Scoop: In his first exposure to Double-A, Funkhouser scuffled to a 5.46 ERA and .306 opponent average through his first six starts this season. He turned a corner in mid-May and has delivered quality starts in three of his past four tries. Funkhouser throws a plus fastball and plus slider that has helped him strikeout out 8.8 per nine innings in the Eastern League.

16. Steven Duggar, OF, Giants
Team: Triple-A Sacramento
Age: 24
Why He’s Here: .409/.458/.864 (9-for-22), 7 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0-for1 SB

The Scoop: Duggar’s baserunning and center field defense have never been in question. His pitch recognition, breaking ball reads and power potential have long been. While no evaluator sees Duggar as becoming a true impact hitter, he is doing his best to show he can hit enough to justify an everyday role with his other attributes. After a slow start Duggar is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak that has raised his average from .254 to .288 and his OPS from .690 to .804. The Giants have publicly said they have no plans to call Duggar up in the forseeable future, but if he can maintain his hot streak and show it isn’t a fluke, he may force their hand. (KG)

17. Pedro Gonzalez, OF, Rangers
Team: Low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .360/.429/.880 (9-for-25), 6 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: When Gonzalez makes contact, good things happen. The 6-foot-6 outfielder has bulked up over the last couple of years, with the strength and leverage to drive the ball with impact, as more than half of his hits this year have been extra-base hits. Now it’s a matter of Gonzalez taking a more selective approach and making adjustments to a long swing to cut down on his whiffs and improve his ability to get on base. (BB)

18. Hunter Cole, OF, Rangers
Team: Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25
Why He’s Here: .417/.440/1.000 (10-for-24), 10 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 BB, 5 SO

The Scoop: Cole bashed his way out of the Texas League this season by hitting .330/.412/.515 with 19 extra-base hits and 29 walks in 53 games at Double-A Frisco. The breakout party didn’t stop when he reached Triple-A. Cole homered twice in his first Pacific Coast League game (at Salt Lake) and proceeded to belt two more homers and two doubles in his first five games.

19. Chad Spanberger, 1B, Rockies
Team: Low Class A Asheville (South Atlantic)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .321/.387/.714 (9-for-28), 5 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO.

The Scoop: Spangberger hit 20 home runs at Auburn last year and 19 more after getting drafted. He’s kept up the power surge in his first full season of pro ball, homering in back to back games to conclude the week and give him 16 on the season, tied for fifth in the minors. Spanberger is taking advantage of Asheville’s cozy McCormick Field, but his plus raw lefthanded power is real and he’s hitting shots that would go out anywhere. (KG)

20. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves
Team: Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: 1-1, 0.77, 11.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 10 SO, 5 BB, 0 HR

The Scoop: It looks like a return to Double-A to start this year is suiting Toussaint just fine. The righthander has used his devastating three-pitch mix to pile up 82 strikeouts so far, good for fifth-most in the minor leagues. That total includes the 10 more he whiffed over two starts this week. He still has to refine his control—as shown by the four walks per nine innings he’s issued this year—but there’s still plenty of promise to get excited about from Toussaint. (JN)


Josh James, RHP, Astros
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 25

The Scoop: James has been one of the pop-up prospects in the Astros system this year as his velocity just keeps getting better and better. He now sits 95-96 mph and has touched higher. That improved arm speed has also helped his hard slider get better. Scouts generally still see James as a future relievers as he lacks truly plus stuff, but he’s proven much better than what it’s fair to expect out of a 34th-round pick. This week James had his best outing as a pro as he struck out 13 Colorado Springs batters in seven innings as he allowed three hits and one walk. (JJ)

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