Marc Krauss, we apologize.

We took a one-week break from our usual Hot Sheet last week to honor the top stars of the first half of the 2010 season. By doing so, great performances (like Krauss' six home runs) couldn't make the Hot Sheet. It may not get Krauss the No. 1 spot this week, but we did want to make sure his great work didn't go unmentioned.

You may have noticed that the Prospect Hot Sheet looks a little different this year. The content is the same, but we've partnered with Bowman Baseball to present Hot Sheet. So in addition to getting the skinny on which prospects are doing the most to help their stock, you can also get a glimpse at the baseball cards of some of baseball's best prospects.

As we have warned for years now, remember that this is not a re-ranking of the Top 100 Prospects. This is a snapshot of which top prospects are excelling and which ones are struggling right now. Stats cover from July 2 through last night, July 8.

Contributing: Ben Badler, Bubba Brown, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Tyler Jett, Mike Lemaire, Josh Leventhal and Jim Shonerd.

Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
Age: 22.
Why He's Here:  1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 Ks
The Scoop: As the July trade talks heat up, one of the stars of the offseason swap meet stepped up as well.

Drabek, one of the prospects the Blue Jays received for Roy Halladay in the offseason, had struggled in June, with a 4.45 ERA. Then he bounced back to pitch the first no-hitter in New Hampshire Fisher Cats history. He struck out just three batters but stifled New Britain's bats and was two walks away from a perfect game.

According to scouts, Drabek's fastball velocity has taken a dip this year, down to sitting at 90-91 mph instead of the 92-93 that he often showed last year, but he was still proving difficult to hit, with a .219 opponent average this season.
2010 Stats
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .545/.564/1.091 (18-for-33), 3 HR, 9 2B, 9 RBIs, 13 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Further Adventures of Kirk Nieuwenhuis: After stealthily leading the high Class A Florida State League in doubles, extra-base hits, OPS and runs in a breakout '09 campaign, our hero embarked this season on a mission to Double-A, his most dangerous to date. While Nieuwenhuis homered 10 times for Binghamton during the first three months of the season, his batting line stood at a pedestrian .275/.317/.468 through 265 at-bats.

Then July dawned. Nieuwenhuis went 0-for-3 on July 1, but a doubleheader against Portland the next day ushered in the hot streak you see above. That's unheard of: 18 hits in a week, 12 of them for extra bases. And wouldn't you know it? Nieuwenhuis now leads the EL with 26 doubles, 41 extra-base hits and 66 runs.
2010 Stats
Peter BourjosTeam: Triple-A Salt Lake City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .531/.545/.969 (17-for-32), 10 R, 4 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 2 SB.
The Scoop: Borujos has had one of the more unusual stat lines in baseball all season, but he went and cranked the craziness to 11 this week with four triples, giving him a minor league-leading 11 for the season to go with eight home runs—respectable numbers for a center fielder who's one of the fastest players in the game.

The lunacy comes from Bourjos' four doubles. For everyone else, doubles are a lot easier to come by than triples, but for Bourjos, it's either a single, or a ball in the gap that he can stretch into a triple with his speed. Maybe we shouldn't be too shocked—he had 16 doubles last season to go with 14 triples (third-best in the minors). For most speedsters, any single could turn into a double. For Bourjos, any double can turn into a triple.
2010 Stats
Cody ScarpettaTeam: high Class-A Brevard County (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 19 K
The Scoop: After striking out 116 batters in 105 innings with Wisconsin last season, Scarpetta earned a cup of coffee with Double-A Huntsville at the end of the season. He started his second full season with Brevard County and has taken his lumps. But recently he has been lights out and may in line for another shot with the Stars. He still has trouble harnessing his power arsenal, but for a 21-year-old in his second full professional season, he still has plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles.
2010 Stats
Shelby MillerTeam: low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 SO
The Scoop: Miller was grinding through his first full pro season with a less than stellar 1-3, 5.12 mark through the end of May. That's when the Cardinals decided to put the brakes on Miller and give his arm some time to recharge. There wasn't anything physically wrong with him, and Miller's been a different pitcher since returning to the hill on June 17 after three weeks off. In four starts since then, he's 1-0, 0.66, giving up just five hits and one run in 13 2/3 innings. Miller tossed five scoreless innings against Beloit last Friday and was sterling for three innings against Clinton on Wednesday, a start truncated by rain in the fourth inning. Miller was perfect in his three frames though, fanning seven of the nine hitters he faced.
2010 Stats
Paul GoldschmidtTeam: high Class A Visalia (California)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .462/.548/1.000 (12-for-26), 4 HR, 2 2B, 7 RBIs, 8 R, 5 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: An eighth-round pick from Texas State last year, Goldschmidt decimated the Rookie-level Pioneer League in his debut, leading the circuit with 18 homers and a .638 slugging percentage. He earned a ticket straight to high Class A, where it's been more of the same this season. Goldschmidt leads the Cal League with his 22 home runs, while batting .307/.361/.590 with 26 doubles in 332 at-bats. (The Dodgers' Jerry Sands, who also is an alumnus of the '09 Pioneer League, still occupies the top spot in the minors with 24 home runs.) Goldschmidt derives an overall advantage from playing in the high-octane Cal League, but his road production (.927 OPS) nearly matches his home output (.980). What does merit concern, however, is that strikeout rate—10 for the week, 96 for the season (to rank second in the Cal League) and a pace that stands to deliver about 145 whiffs over 500 at-bats.
2010 Stats
John LambTeam: high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 Ks.
The Scoop: As you'll see in our Midseason Prospect Report that will be posted on the site this afternoon, the Royals are one of the organizations that will see a serious jump when our next organization talent rankings come out. And one of the main reasons for that jump is John Lamb. The 19-year-old lefty (he'll turn 20 tomorrow) leads the minors with a 1.58 ERA and has pitched even better in the Carolina League than he did in the Midwest League. It's rare that young pitchers jump two levels in the same season, but in Lamb's case, it wouldn't be surprising at all. After all, he's allowed only more than one earned run only once in his nine high Class A starts and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 18 2/3 innings. Lamb has always had excellent command for his age and an ability to stay ahead of hitters with three pitches. But now he also has a plus (up to 95 mph) fastball, which makes him one of the better pitching prospects in the minors.
2010 Stats
J.J. HooverTeam: high Class A Myrtle Beach (Carolina)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.69, 13 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 15 Ks.
The Scoop: Hoover hasn't been as consistent as teammates Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran, but his highs have been pretty high. After two rough starts to end June, Hoover has gotten back on track with two outstanding starts this week. A mechanical tweak has helped Hoover improve his changeup—he was throwing it too hard, but he and pitching coach Kent Willis has worked on using his legs less when he throws his changeup. It's allowed him to take some velocity off of his changeup with hitters being able to pick it up—hitters aren't watching a pitcher's legs.
2010 Stats
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .476/.478/.952 (10-for-21), 6 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 K
The Scoop: Moustakas has been treating the Texas League like its slow-pitch softball all season. He's running away with the league Triple Crown (he leads in batting by 30 points, home runs by three and RBIs by 19) and has seemingly locked up the league MVP award by the halfway point of the season. The only thing standing in the way of his potential Triple Crown run is a potential promotion. But it is worth noting that Moustakas has one of the most extreme home-road splits you'll see in a prospect. Last year his stats were gutted by his troubles at Wilmington's park. This year Moustakas is a .437/.485/.894 hitter at home, but only .230/.319/.420 on the road.
2010 Stats
J.P. ArencibiaTeam: Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .370/.414/.852 (10-for-27), 1 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 SO
The Scoop: It's safe to say Arencibia doesn't have a lot to prove in Triple-A anymore. Unfortunately for him, 2010 All-Star John Buck is blocking his path to Toronto, much to the chagrin of Pacific Coast League pitchers. Arencibia continues to strike out a lot, but he makes up for it with his tremendous power. He leads the league with a .639 slugging percentage, is tied for the league lead with 22 home runs, and is second in OPS at 1.003. Some have explained Arencibia's power surge as a product of the hitter-friendly Las Vegas ballpark. But Arencibia actually has more home runs (12) and has slugged better (.721) away from the cozy confines of Cashman Field.
2010 Stats
Yonder AlonsoTeam: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .387/.441/.742 (12-for-31), 3 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO, 3 SB
The Scoop: With the Reds in the pennant race for the first time in years and all-star Joey Votto entrenched at first base in the big leagues, Alonso could prove to be a valuable trade chip for the Reds come the trade deadline. With that being the case, Cincinnati has to be thrilled to see Alonso showing signs of shaking off what's been a rather puzzling power drought. Alonso's 2009 season was hampered by a broken hamate bone—an injury that often saps a player's hand strength for quite a while after he returns. Alonso still shows the same smooth swing, but his ball hasn't seemed to have the same carry that it had in the past. In the past week, that hasn't been the case—he hit three home runs after hitting six in the first three months of the season. The surprising stat has been Alonso's newfound basestealing skills—he has 10 steals in 12 tries this year despite below-average speed.
2010 Stats
Christian FriedrichTeam: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
The Scoop: Friedrich started the season hot and had an ERA in the low threes as late as May 30, but fell on hard times in June, during which he went 0-2, 6.75. So far in July, however, he has put his struggles (including a start he left due to a blister problem) behind him and has returned to top form, winning both of his starts. Thursday's win came on his 23rd birthday. He has limited hitters to a .174 batting average this month, which makes sense because, after all, it is hard to get a hit when you can't even put the ball in play, something batters haven't done much of against him recently. The lefty has struck out 21 batters in 13 innings this month, a total that eclipses Friedrich's strikeouts for any other month this season, and we're not even halfway through July.
2010 Stats
Blake SmithTeam:  low Class A Great Lakes (Midwest)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .500/.514/1.000 (16-for-32), 1 2B, 5 HR, 18 RBIs, 13 R, 2 BB, 8 SO
The Skinny: The Dodgers drafted Smith in the second round out of California last year, and scouts had questions about whether Smith might be better off on the mound than in the field. The Dodgers preferred his bat to his arm, but he didn't do much to back up the organization's belief in his hitting. This year things have turned around for Smith, who is hitting .308/.379/.542 with 11 home runs in 60 games. At some point, Smith will have to show that his long swing will translate at higher levels, but for now, the Dodgers have to be pleased with Smith's first full season.
2010 Stats


Mariners RHP Michael Pineda delivered seven, two-run innings for Triple-A Tacoma on the Fourth of July, striking out 10 and walking one. He allowed three hits to host Salt Lake. After three Pacific Coast League starts, the 21-year-old Pineda's strikeout-to-walk ratio is a pristine 26-to-5 over 19 innings . . . Mariners 1B/DH Dennis Raben cracked four homers and two doubles this period for high Class A High Desert. In all, he went 11-for-28 (.393) with 10 RBIs, three walks and four strikeouts. All six of Raben's extra-base hits were struck at home, and the onslaught included a two-homer game against Rancho Cucamonga on July 5. In fact, the 22-year-old has produced a trio of two-homer games at High Desert, which also is home to all 10 of his Cal League clouts. In road games, Raben has batted .296/.333/.463 in 54 at-bats . . . Triple-A Tacoma CF Greg Halman (Mariners) batted .370/.433/.926 (10-for-27) this period while cracking four homers, three doubles and eight RBIs. His two walks and nine strikeouts were par for the course. The 22-year-old Halman is striking out as much as ever (roughly 40 percent of his at-bats), but with 25 free passes already this season, he's walking about twice as frequently as he did in Double-A last year. Halman's 19 homers on the year rank him fourth in the Pacific Coast League . . . Using his 95-97 mph fastball that originally made him a top prospect before injuries took their toll, Tampa RHP Dellin Betances (Yankees) is proving that he is too much for the Florida State League. His 39 strikeouts compared to just six walks in 34 innings are impressive, but what really jumps off the page is his league-leading 0.559 WHIP. Betances has allowed a paltry 3.4 hits per nine innings and has only been touched for 13 knocks this season, nine of them singles. Add it all up and you get a 0.53 ERA, which is second among all pitchers in the FSL. Don't be surprised if the Yankees soon choose to reunite Betances with former teammate Andrew Brackman in Double-A Trenton . . . It seems like the Red Sox have been waiting forever for 3B Will Middlebrooks to have a breakout season, and in his first season with high Class-A Salem, the 2007 5th-round pick is showing signs of putting it together. Middlebrooks did all of his damage for this week's Hot Sheet from July 4-7 but has been more consistent with the bat this season. At-6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he already has a big league body, now its just a matter of refining his fundamentals . . . Rangers CF Engel Beltre has always been noted as an outstanding athlete with a questionable bat. But he looks like he's answering those questions this year after he hit his way out of high Class A with a .331/.376/.460 line and carried that success into his first week with Double-A Frisco. In his first five games with the RoughRiders, the 20-year-old hit .556/.524/.833 (10-for-18) with a homer, a triple and seven RBIs . . . Wilmington 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) continues his joyride through the Carolina League, hitting .389/.476/.889 on the week for high Class A Wilmington. The 20-year-old is leading the league in doubles, but they turned into homers this week, as he hit three of them.


Jordan Lyles, rhp, Astros: We don't want to be too hard on Lyles. After all, the 19-year-old's had a tremendous season as the youngest pitcher in the Double-A Texas League. But the fact remains that Lyles has been fairly hittable lately. He surrendered 10 hits in six innings on June 25, his last start before the TL's all-star break, then had his shortest outing of the season Tuesday at Northwest Arkansas. Lyles failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Naturals, allowing six runs (all earned) on eight hits and six walks—he hadn't walked more than four in any previous start—over 3 1/3 innings.

Josh Vitters, 3b, Cubs: Vitters continued his rough transition to Double-A Tennessee with a 2-for-16 week from the plate. Both hits were just singles and, through 51 games in the Southern League this season, Vitters is slugging just .331. The Cubs are probably hoping he can start to flash more power, as would be expected for a corner infielder selected with the No. 3 overall pick. His K/BB ratio is also 3:1, which is slightly worse than it had been at the lower levels.

Jay Austin, cf, Astros: Early in the year, Austin looked like a breakout prospect just waiting to happen. A month into the season, Austin, 19, was hitting .322/.388/.539, drawing nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Now? Austin's season has taken a tumble, as he's down to .257/.305/.401 with 22 walks and 72 strikeouts in 351 plate appearances, numbers that are even worse when you consider he gets to play half his games in high Class A Lancaster.

Casey Crosby, lhp, Tigers: Always be wary of pitchers who have gone under the knife. Crosby returned from Tommy John surgery last year throwing 92-95 mph and hitting 98, striking out more than a batter per innings in his domination of the low Class A Midwest League. Yet Crosby's been able to manage just three starts this year and they've all come in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where Crosby is rehabbing from an elbow injury. The results haven't been pretty either, with GCL hitters blowing up Crosby for 15 runs in 12 1/3 innings. There's still plenty of upside with the 21-year-old Crosby, but there are also considerable questions about his durability.


Chris Tillman, rhp, Orioles: Tillman has yet to prove that he can pitch in the big leagues. But he sure seems to have Triple-A mastered. The pitching-poor Orioles, who rank last in the American League with a 5.12 ERA and 99 home runs, will give Tillman another crack at sticking in the rotation by recalling him from Triple-A Norfolk for tomorrow's start in Texas. The move comes after the 22-year-old Tillman tossed a nine-inning, one-hit shutout against Charlotte on Monday. Tillman struck out five and walked one in the outing, lowering his overall record with Norfolk to 8-4, 2.72 with 60 strikeouts and 17 walks in 79 innings. Tillman has yielded just four runs on 10 hits in three starts (22 innings) since being sent down from Baltimore. Tillman has not been able to duplicate the success in the majors. He was 0-3, 8.40 in four starts (15 innings) with the Orioles—two of which he failed to make it into the third inning—after going 2-5, 5.40 in 65 innings in his introduction to the majors last year.


Chris Davis, 3b/1b, Rangers. Though he smashed 38 home runs in his first two big league seasons, at ages 22 and 23, Davis also sported a .304 on-base percentage and 65 percent contact rate in that time. Thus he entered the 2010 season on thin ice—one prolonged slump and the Rangers probably would replace him with top prospect Justin Smoak, who ran up a 1.010 OPS in his first two weeks with Triple-A Oklahoma City. In those same two weeks, Davis managed to go just 9-for-48 (.188) with 17 whiffs, so on April 24 the switch was made. Smoak ascended to Arlington, while Davis returned to the RedHawks. But then a funny thing happened: Smoak scuffled in his first taste of the big leagues, batting .209/.316/.353 through 235 at-bats, while Davis earned the nod as starter in the Triple-A all-star game and has challenged for the Pacific Coast League batting title. The 24-year-old is batting .354/.403/.555 to lead the way. Davis has spent more time at third base with Oklahoma City, which depending on how you view it, either increases his trade value or readies him for a part-time third base/DH role in Texas.


Nathan Baker, rhp, Pirates: In the minors, development trumps winning and losing. It also trumps getting your name in the record book, as Baker, the Pirates' 2009 fifth-round pick out of Mississippi, found out. Baker threw eight hitless innings for the West Virginia Power this week, but he didn't get to go out for the ninth to try to wrap up a no-hitter. He'd come too close to his pitch limit (he was at 95 pitches and he had a limit of 100), so on came reliever Gabriel Alvardo, who quickly gave up the no-hitter and ended up giving up three runs before the Power finally finished up the win. For Baker, a three-pitch lefty with solid average stuff, the move to the starting rotation in pro ball has worked out pretty well. He's 6-5, 3.21 and has shown the ability to work relatively deep into games.