Even a 500-foot home run couldn't keep Mike Stanton in the top spot on this week's Hot Sheet. But he didn't fall far, as No. 2 on this week's Sheet is still pretty lofty ground.

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 the dates April 30 through last night, May 7.

Contributing: Ben Badler, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy and Jim Shonerd.

Mike Moustakas
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .545/.760/1.136 (12-for-22), 8 Rs, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 6 BB, 3 SO
The Scoop: Even with Danny Duffy's retirement, it's been quite a good first month for the Royals' farm system. Derrick Robinson has resurrected his career. Eric Hosmer is erasing memories of his poor 2009 by hitting .400 this spring, and Moustakas has happily said farewell to Wilmington's Frawley Stadium.

Last year Moustakas struggled through the season thanks in large part to .205/.266/.373 averages at home. He made plenty of contact, but did so in large part on pitcher's pitches instead of offerings he could drive. So coming into this season, the looming question was whether Moustakas' poor season was a function of his park or a sign he needs to make adjustments at the plate.

The third baseman missed the first two weeks of this season with an oblique strain, but since returning he's making a pretty strong case that he was a few tweaks away from getting right back on track. Moustakas has improved his timing by getting his front foot down earlier. Playing in the much friendlier hitter's environment of the Texas League hasn't hurt.

Moustakas' power has never been questioned, but by getting better pitches to hit, he's slammed nine doubles and six home runs in his first 13 games in Double-A. He doesn't have enough at-bats to qualify among batting average leaders yet, but his .420/.508/.960 line would easily lead the league in all three categories.

2010 Stats
Mike Stanton
Team: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .320/.538/.880 (8-for-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: Stanton's 10 strikeouts are really the only thing keeping him out of the top spot for a second consecutive week. Stanton does still swing and miss a lot (31 strikeouts in 100 at-bats), but when he makes contact, he usually destroys the baseball. He's hitting .492 when he puts the ball in play, and he's averaging one extra-base hit every 4.5 at bats.

But even in the growing legend of Stanton's home runs, the blast he hit on Thursday night is special. He cleared a 60-foot-high scoreboard in left center field (that stands nearly 400 feet from home plate) at Huntsville's Davis Municipal Stadium. Even for a man who's lost baseballs over walls all over the minors, it was unique—Stanton admitted after the game it was the farthest he's hit a ball.
2010 Stats
Stephen StrasburgTeam: Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .391/.500/.913, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 6 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Brown had gap power when he signed with the Phillies out of high school four years ago, but his wiry 6-foot-5 frame and plus bat speed led Philadelphia to believe that the power would come down the road. The Phillies were right. Brown's power outburst this week pushed his numbers up to .347/.402/.667 in 21 games. Brown is the best right-field prospect in the minors not named Stanton, and while he doesn't have Stanton's raw power (a trait Brown shares with everyone else in the minors), he's a five-tool prospect with superstar upside.

2010 Stats
Jay AustinTeam: high Class A Lancaster (California)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .407/.519/.815 (11-for-27), 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 9 R, 3 BB, 3 SO, 5-for-6 SB
The Scoop: If you've read Baseball America, you know we're skeptical of any sparkly numbers that come from a Lancaster hitter. Aaron Bates, Bubba Bell, Javier Brito, Jaime D'Antona . . . the list of Lancaster legends goes on. Yet while Lancaster does help every hitter, park factors don't affect every hitter the same way. The Lancaster winds help carry balls hit in the air, but that's not Austin's game. He hits most of his balls on the ground, relying on his ability to put the ball in play and let his speed take over. He's also showing a much-improved approach at the plate, a sign that this could be a true breakout.
2010 Stats
Michael KirkmanTeam: Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.00, 11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 15 SO, 5 BB, 12/5 G/F
The Scoop: While it's another Oklahoma City lefthander who leads the PCL in ERA at the moment, Kirkman ranks sixth at 1.82 and is closing the gap on Derek Holland. Kirkman has made three consecutive starts (two at home, one in Omaha) without allowing a run. He's been a bit generous with walks (nine) in that time, but he has allowed just eight hits in those 19 2/3 innings, striking out 21 batters.

Kirkman sits in the low 90s with his fastball and touches 94 with good life. He has size and the full assortment of secondary pitches—an average-ish curveball, slider and changeup—but it's his heater and his deceptive delivery that are his key traits. Kirkman has limited Triple-A lefties to a mere five hits in 37 at-bats (.135), allowing just two walks. Be warned that he didn't show a dramatic platoon split last year, but continued dominance versus same-siders ought to earn Kirkman at least a big league cup of coffee this season.
2010 Stats
Julio TeheranTeam: low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: Spending big dollars on 16-year-olds in the international market doesn't guarantee a future star, or even a reliable big leaguer. That holds especially true for pitchers, for whom it's an accomplishment to just stay healthy for the next four to seven years before he reaches the big leagues. Teheran is still three levels away from Atlanta, but the Braves' big investment in the Colombian righthander, in 2007, sure looks good right now. Teheran's pure stuff—a low-to-mid 90s fastball, an outstanding changeup and an average to above-average curveball—is among the best in the minors. When he's throwing strikes, he's nearly impossible for South Atlantic League hitters to hit, which has been the case so far. The Braves have brought Teheran along cautiously, but if he keeps pitching this well, there might not be any reason to keep him in Rome.
2010 Stats
Neftali SotoTeam: high Class A Lynchburg (Carolina)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .433/.867/.433 (13-for-30), 8 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 0 BB, 4 SO
The Scoop: If not for a late spring-training trade that saw third baseman Brandon Waring shipped to the Orioles, Soto would have started the 2009 season in the Midwest League. But Waring's departure meant that Soto moved up a level, which left him over his head. He batted just .248/.282/.362 for high Class A Sarasota. The Reds offseason decision to have Soto try catching made the decision to send him back to high Class A this season even easier. So far, it's going quite well. Soto isn't exactly a polished backstop yet, but he is making progress, and he's showing the power that the Reds always expected—he's hit five home runs in the past 10 games after hitting 11 all of last year.
2010 Stats
Bryan MorrisTeam: high Class A Bradenton (Florida State)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.00, 14 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 SO
The Scoop: Morris' career has been sidetracked by injuries since he came over to the Pirates in the Jason Bay trade in 2008. He'd pitched just 87 innings for the Pirate organization coming into the year, having missed time dealing with biceps tendinitis in 2008 and a torn ligament in his foot in 2009. Finally healthy this year, Morris has blown through the Florida State League, and would almost certainly be higher on the Hot Sheet were it not for his age and environment. Morris has given up just three earned runs all season, leading to a microscopic 0.78 ERA through 34 2/3 innings. He also has a 32-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio, so he shouldn't be long for the FSL.
2010 Stats
Kelvin de la CruzTeam: high Class A Kinston (Carolina)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 3.60, 13 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 SO
The Scoop: As he's battled back from an elbow ligament strain that virtually wiped out his 2009 season, de la Cruz hasn't always had his best stuff. But even when he was throwing in the high 80s, the lefty challenged hitters and usually figured out a way to survive. Now that he's gaining back that foot on the fastball that he'd lost, hitters are having even more trouble. He came within two outs of a complete game on Wednesday while sitting more consistently in the low 90s and breaking off a nasty curveball.
2010 Stats
Rudy OwensTeam: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 SO
The Scoop: Having an overpowering fastball is nice, but it's possible for pitchers to get by without one. Owens is just such a pitcher. His fastball mostly sits in the 87-90 mph range, but he thrives on locating and changing speeds thanks to a plus changeup. Owens was hitting on all cylinders in his start Tuesday at Richmond, striking out the side in the first inning and retiring the first 17 hitters he faced. His streak ended when he walked the opposing pitcher with two gone in the sixth, but he bounced back to strike out the last hitter he faced before being pulled for pitch-count reasons. Owens' 11 strikeouts set a new career high.
2010 Stats
Michael PInedaTeam: Double-A West Tenn (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 11 SO, 1 BB
The Scoop: At 6-foot-5 and around 250 pounds, Pineda is hard to miss when he's on the mound. But as a prospect, he's gone largely unnoticed. Good thing he decided to throw a coming out party this spring in Double-A. Pineda has gone 2-0, 1.27 through five starts while striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings to rank fourth in the Southern League. An efficient, strike-throwing machine (six walks in five starts), Pineda proved his mettle last season in the California League playoffs, but he's taken his game to another level this season. He's athletic, knows what he's doing on the mound and his stuff can be unhittable at times, as it was in that May 4 start (above) against Huntsville. Pineda's low-90s fastball features extreme boring action and his slider can give righthanded batters fits—witness their 11-for-69 (.159) showing in the early going.
2010 Stats
Brett LawrieTeam: Double-A Huntsville (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .433/.469/.700 (13-for-30), 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBIs, 5 R, 2 BB, 11 SO, 3-for-5 SB
The Scoop: Lawrie held his own through April, hitting .250/.337/.409, and has come alive in the first week of May, despite being one of the Southern League's youngest players. The Brewers' 2008 first-round pick is working on an eight-game hitting streak, and his week was bookended by a pair of four-hit games, ending with Thursday's 4-for-4 with two doubles performance against West Tenn. He's been swinging-and-missing a good bit, as his 11 strikeouts this week gave him 38 on the year, the fourth most in the SL. But he should get better as he keeps getting used to the speed of Double-A. The only other downside was that he also committed three errors this week, and his eight for the season are the most among SL second baseman.
2010 Stats
Starlin CastroTeam: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .458/.560/.583 (11-for-24), 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBIs, 5 R, 3 BB, 1 SO, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: The word going around is that Castro could get his call to the big leagues today, and if it's true, he certainly left the Southern League in style, hitting .376/.421/.569 with nine walks and 11 strikeouts in 26 games. So what should we expect from Castro if he is headed to the majors? He's not going to hit for any power and he probably isn't going to work too many deep counts. He should in time, but remember, he's still the age of most college sophomores. What should work to Castro's advantage is his outstanding hand-eye coordination, which will give him a chance to have some success off the bat because of his ability to handle all types of pitches and put the ball in play.
2010 Stats


Delmarva RHP Ryan Berry (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 SO) looked like an ace heading into the 2009 college season with Rice, but a strained shoulder that sidelined him—plus the history of Owls pitchers struggling with injuries once they turned pro—led to a draft day fall to the ninth round. If he can stay healthy, the Orioles may have bagged a steal, and up to now, Berry's been everything they hoped. As an experienced college pitcher in the South Atlantic League, you would expect Berry, 21, to be ahead of a lot of hitters, and he has—he's allowed one run in his last 21 innings . . . Triple-A Indianapolis CF Jose Tabata (.550/.682/.770, 11-for-20, 10 R, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 5-for-6 SB) has not stolen 20 bases in a season since he was a 16-year-old playing in the Gulf Coast League. Barring a season-ending injury, he'll easily top 20 this year. Tabata, 21, ranks in the top 10 in the minors with 13 steals in 15 attempts. If he can keep this up, questions about his power may start to fade away . . . Astros corner OF Brian Bogusevic hit .464/.600/.786 with two home runs for Triple-A Round Rock, bringing him up to .323/.385/.494 through 26 games. Bogusevic is already 26, so while he's already at or close to his physical peak, he's still playing developmental catchup in his second full season since he gave up pitching . . . College pitchers should succeed in low Class A, but it's hard to be much more dominant than RHP Graham Stoneburner has been for Charleston. Stoneburner, a 14th-round pick out of Clemson last year who signed for $675,000, punched out 11 in seven shutout innings in his last start, lowering his ERA to 2.13 in 38 innings to go with a 43-9 K-BB mark . . . Everyone loves home cooking. But for Athletics LHP Ian Krol, who's been twirling about 15 minutes from his hometown of Naperville, Ill., with Oakland's low Class A Kane County affiliate, the anonymity of pitching on the road has been the more manageable task. Krol, who turns 19 on Sunday, has a 1.29 ERA in four road starts this year (compared to 7.50 in two outings at home) and tossed six shutout innings of two-hit ball Wednesday in Burlington, fanning four and walking two, to pick up his first professional win . . . After finishing strong in Double-A last year, Red Sox C Luis Exposito got off to a miserable start in his return to Double-A Portland. The 23-year-old was hitting just .182/.292/.273 through 55 at-bats, but something clicked this week. Exposito went 2-for-4 last Friday against New Britain and hasn't looked back since, putting up five multi-hit games on his way to a .571/.667/.905 (12-for-21) week, with five doubles and a triple. He raised his average over 100 points to .289/.402/.447 and the other good news is he's showing more patience than ever before, as his 13 walks so far this year are already almost halfway to his career high of 27 . . . Blue Jays LF Eric Thames has had problems staying healthy, but when's he'd on the field, he has produced. Thames, 23, hit .385/.533.,923 with four home runs this week for Double-A New Hampshire and is now hitting .313/.388/.586 with seven homers in 26 games.


Andrew Brackman, rhp, Yankees. Brackman has unfortunately become something of a regular in the Not-Hot section. He was frequently a candidate last year, and hasn't gotten off to a great start this year while moving up to high Class A Tampa. The 24-year-old has an 11.49 ERA through 15 2/3 innings, and opponents are hitting at a .392 clip against him. Fresh off a trip to the disabled list with tendinitis in his pitching hand, Brackman made two appearances this week and gave up nine runs (eight earned) on 13 hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. The only good news is he's issued only one walk all year, but that's not much help when you've been as hittable as Brackman has so far.

Brad Holt, rhp, Mets. It's gone from bad to worse for Holt at Double-A Binghamton. The 23-year-old began the season on the disabled list with a wrist injury and has worked on a strict pitch count since his return on April 24. In his three starts on the year, Holt has allowed nine runs in 4 1/3 innings (18.69 ERA) with batters going 11-for-21 (.524). The good news for Holt, such as it is: Of those 11 hits, nine of them were singles. After tearing through short-season Brooklyn and high Class A St. Lucie on his way to the Double-A, he has hit a serious wall in the Eastern League since making his debut there last June. In 14 starts for Binghamton, which he's made between trips to the DL, Holt has gone 3-8, 7.07 with a 1.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Tim Melville, rhp, Royals. The news isn't all good for Royals' prospect watchers. Melville has always had to work hard to keep his mechanics in line, but right now his command has disappeared. At his best, Melville has the stuff to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter with a 92-93 mph fastball and a plus curveball. But when his mechanics get out of whack he becomes very hittable—he gave up 13 runs in two starts this week and opponents are now hitting .333 against him.
Robert Stock, c, Cardinals. Catching everyday is tough. If he didn't realize it before, then Stock is receiving a crash course on the subject with low Class A Quad Cities. The 20-year-old just completed an 0-for-14 week, with six strikeouts, in which his on-base percentage registered at .143, thanks to a pair of walks. Stock has two extra-base hits this season to go with a .171 average.


• Marlins LHP Andrew Miller combined with two high Class A Jupiter relievers to no-hit Palm Beach on Thursday. Making his second rehab appearance, Miller wasn't exactly dominant—he walked six and struck out six in six innings, but it was the best outing of what's been a long and rocky road back to the majors. Miller had been touched up for four runs in only 2 2/3 innings in his first start with Jupiter, in which he also walked six batters to give him 12 in two rehab starts. The no-hitter may signal that Miller is ready to be promoted to a higher level shortly.


Bryan Bullington, rhp, Royals. Really, one could nominate the entire Triple-A Omaha pitching staff for Blast From The Past. Their leaders in innings pitched: Bullington, Gaby Hernandez, Philip Humber, Anthony Lerew and Bruce Chen. Of those five, only Hernandez has never ranked among our Top 100 Prospects—though he was a 2004 third-round pick and peaked at No. 3 on three straight organization Top 10 Prospects lists from 2005-07. But as to Bullington, his pitching in Triple-A this season and last has made palatable the idea that the 29-year-old (and first overall pick in 2002) could be a low-leverage reliever in the big leagues. Now with his fourth organization, he has jumped out to a 2-0, 1.54 start for Omaha, registering 27 strikeouts and 10 walks in 35 innings thus far. He's held batters to a .169 average and allowed only one home run. Don't look now, but Bullington's low-90s fastball, sinking change, cutter and slider have given him the weaponry necessary to attack Pacific Coast League opponents. In the past two seasons (caveat: totaling 73 innings), he's run up a 2.58 ERA to go with strong ratios of 8.6 strikeouts, 2.1 walks and 0.4 home runs per nine innings.


Casey Mulligan, rhp, Cardinals. We first mentioned Mulligan, a converted catcher who's taken to a move to the mound, in a pair of Daily Dishes last year. One was for his dominating stats while the other was for his homage to Thriller during a rain delay. Mulligan's stuff isn't overwhelming (low 90s fastball and a solid curveball), but his feel for pitching has left Florida State League hitters baffled. Mulligan's calling card is his ability to change arm angles. He'll get to two strikes with an overhand delivery, then drop down sidearm to sneak by strike three. Mulligan has yet to allow a run this year and he's struck out 23 batters in 12 innings.