This week's Prospect Hot Sheet includes Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, our Nos. 1 and 2 prospects in baseball entering the year, while Robbie Erlin makes a third straight appearance, evoking memories of Tommy Hanson's run on the 2008 Hot Sheet.

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 period from May 6 through last night, May 12.

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

Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 25
Why He's Here: .419/.472/.903 (13-for-31), 6 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO, 2-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Four years ago the Reds saw something they liked in Frazier. They drafted the Rutgers shortstop with the 34th overall pick in the draft, and he showed well that summer by ranking as the top prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. By the end of the 2009 season, Frazier was the organization's top prospect after a late-season promotion to Triple-A Louisville.

Frazier entered the 2010 season as Cincinnati's top prospect, but he struggled through the first half of the season with Louisville. Since then, he's been busy assaulting International League pitching. He hit .290/.384/.470 after the all-star break last year and is hitting .283/.361/.575 with eight home runs in 34 games this year. The Reds haven't given Frazier the time to master one defensive position—they've moved him back to third base this year as they try to see if Yonder Alonso can handle left field with Joey Votto entrenched at first base in Cincinnati. Not only is Frazier getting on base and hitting for power, but now scouts are telling us that he's playing major league average defense at third.

"I see him some days and he looks like a bona fide third-base prospect who possibly could play every day," said one scout. "Then a couple days he chases pitches out of the zone. I don't know what to make of him, but he got the job done at third base."

At this point, Frazier has to be wondering what else the Reds could ask him to do. He's hit at every level, including Triple-A. He's played wherever they've asked him to—every infield post plus left field—and shown he can handle the hot corner despite missing valuable development time at the position. Reds big league third basemen have hit a combined .239/.289/.341 this year as Scott Rolen has spent much of the year on the disabled list. It's hard to believe Frazier couldn't at least match that, with the upside to blow those numbers away.
2011 Stats
Team: high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 13 SO
The Scoop: A week after he led off the Hot Sheet, Odorizzi was even better this time out. Odorizzi struck out the first five batters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the sixth. He's been dominating hitters with his fastball, but this week he also showed an excellent curveball, leaving Salem hitters with few chances to make solid contact.

When you consider his 51-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio and the .190 opponent average, one of the key pickups in last offseason's Zack Greinke trade is making a pretty strong case for a midseason promotion to Double-A.
2011 Stats
Team: low Class A Hagerstown (South Atlantic)
Age: 18
Why He's Here: .500/.531/.700 (15-for-30), 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Coming into the season, Harper faced almost an impossible task. How can the game's top prospect live up to expectations when he should be getting ready for his high school senior prom?

Harper is not only the most talented player in the South Atlantic League, he's arguably the league's best player already. He leads the SAL in average (.395), on-base (.473) and slugging (.702). At this point, it's hard to believe he won't be promoted to high Class A Potomac this summer. But if you want to dream on Harper's quick ascent, take a look at Alex Rodriguez's one full year in the minors—he destroyed the Midwest League, skipped high Class A, briefly stopped in Double-A and was quickly moved up to Triple-A. He ended that year in the big leagues as an 18-year-old. It's not clear whether Harper could handle a similar fast track, but he seems to have already mastered the Sally League.
2011 Stats
Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .357/.486/.750 (10-for-28), 2 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 RBIs, 7 R, 6 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Trout smacked home runs in consecutive games at Springfield on Sunday and Monday and followed up with a pair of doubles on Tuesday. With six bombs on the season he's more than half way to his career high of 10, which he set last year the Class A level. Trout's walk rate has held steady this season (11.4 percent), but he's striking out a bit more (19 percent of at-bats) as he's turned on the jets with a .273 isolated power figure that blows away anything he's done previously. Maybe it's a conscious effort by Trout to add home runs to the mix—or maybe it's the natural result of a top prospect learning to turn on pitches he can deposit in the seats while also swinging and missing more frequently against Double-A pitching.

2011 Stats
Team: low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .500/.500/.794 (17-for-34), 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, 10 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 1-for-2 SB
The Scoop: The Red Sox supplemental first-round pick last year, Brentz had a pretty disastrous pro debut—he finished the season at .198/.259/.340 with strikeouts in 29 percent of his at-bats. He's still striking out more than one would like, but he has cut his strikeout rate to 20 percent this year, and when he does make contact, he's stinging the ball. Brentz now has a 24-game hitting streak, which faced serious jeopardy on May 3 when he walked three times but managed to go 1-for-1 in his only official at-bat. He's had no such drama in the past four games with at least three hits in each game.
2011 Stats

Team: high Class A Myrtle Beach (Carolina)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: 1-1, 1.38, 2 GS, 13 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 15 SO, 1 BB
The Scoop: It's a testament to how loaded this week's Hot Sheet is that Erlin finds himself down here at No. 6. The word dominant simply isn't a strong enough adjective to describe Erlin's recent mastery of Carolina League hitters as he makes his third straight Hot Sheet appearance. Over his last four starts, Erlin has pitched 27 innings and allowed all of three runs on seven hits, the kind of totals you'd usually find guys giving up in one start, not four. Erlin's only sore spot has been the home run. He's allowed five in seven starts, including one in the first inning against Salem last Friday. However, he didn't allow another baserunner against the Red Sox, retiring the last 20 hitters he faced. He then bounced back and outpitched Indians 2010 first-rounder Drew Pomeranz on Thursday. Erlin leads the minors in both opponent average (.119) and WHIP (0.52) by wide margins.
2011 Stats
Team: Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .393/.471/.714 (11-for-28), 5 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Ackley's strike-zone judgment is among the best in the minor leagues. He's walked (30) more than he's struck out (23) and is tied with Athletics Double-A outfielder Jermaine Mitchell for the most walks in the minors. The Mariners are hoping he becomes a high-OBP second baseman with moderate power and average defense—though the glove still has a ways to go. This week he also flashed some power, hitting a home run off Blue Jays lefty Brett Cecil on Friday and adding his fifth of the year two days later. With a .246/.376/.401 batting line in 35 games, Ackley isn't setting the PCL on fire, but he's been outstanding the past couple of weeks.
2011 Stats
Team: Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .357/.500/.786 (10-for-28), 9 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 6 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-2 SB
The Scoop: The Rockies drafted Wheeler out of Sacramento State with their first-round pick in 2009, but his prospect stock seemed to dip as soon as he signed. He struggled with short-season Tri-City the summer he signed, then scuffled again in the hitter-friendly confines of the high Class A California League in 2010. He's been a different man in 2011, hitting .306/.404/.653 in 32 games for the Drillers. He's showing the ability to work the count and tapping into his plus raw power with 10 home runs, nearly matching his total of 12 from a year ago that took him 129 games to compile.
"When he hits the ball good, it carries and it travels as good as anybody," Tulsa manager Duane Espy said. "Is he as big and strong as some of these other guys? Probably not, but he's a physical player. He does have power, so I think being able to hit the ball out of the ballpark is not going to be a problem for him. I don't know if it's going to be biggest part of his game, but he's a guy who can pile up a lot of extra-base hits."
2011 Stats
Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .394/.459/.727 (13-for-33), 5 R, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: Alonso got off to a slow start this year just like he did last year. There's very little to dislike about Alonso's work at the plate during a monster May. He's hitting lefties (.306 in 49 at-bats) nearly as well as righthanders (.333 in 69 at-bats), showing excellent pitch recognition with 12 walks and 20 strikeouts.

Alonso's move to the outfield has put his agility to the test, but he'll always be a below-average runner. He's also likely destined to be a below-average left fielder, but as far as that goes he'll fit right in in the National League Central, where Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee roam. His long-term position remains first base, but the move does at least give him the possibility of playing in Cincinnati—something that's not going to happen with Joey Votto in the organization.
2011 Stats
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 12 1/3 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 9 SO, 3 BB
The Scoop: What Cobb lacks in velocity (he sits at 89-91 mph) he makes up for with pitch diversity and know-how. His diving changeup earns the highest marks among his secondary offerings, but he also throws two distinct breaking balls that grade as at least average. Back down with Durham after making his big league debut against the Angels (4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3/4 SO/BB), Cobb picked up right where he left off in shutting down Syracuse and Indianapolis in consecutive home starts. He leads the International League in ERA (1.31) while ranking fourth for most strikeouts (9.96) and fewest baserunners (9.44) per nine innings.
2011 Stats
Team: low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.90, 10 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 12 SO
The Scoop: Sampson bounced back from his worst start of the season with two good outings this week. He went five innings in each, allowing just one run and striking out 12 batters. Sampson has pitched very well in his full-season debut, going 5-1, 2.25 in seven starts for the TinCaps, though a no-decision Wednesday snapped his three-start winning streak. Sampson appears to have fully recovered from the shoulder and elbow dings team he suffered last year in the Northwest League.

Team:  high Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 2 BB
The Scoop: Webster's introduction to the California League didn't go well, as he was touched up for nine runs on 13 hits over his first two starts, losing both. The way things are going now, it could be awhile before Webster gives up another nine runs. Making his second straight Hot Sheet appearance, Webster has allowed just four runs (two earned) over his last five starts combined, winning all of them. Webster's held lefthanded hitters to a .159 average in 63 at-bats thanks to his above-average changeup, and he's gone 19 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
2011 Stats
Team: high Class A San Jose (California)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .538/.600/.692 (14-for-26), 4 2B, 8 RBIs, 7 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 4-for-6 SB
The Scoop: Brown had a trio of three-hit games last week, including a 5-for-7 day when he hit three doubles at Bakersfield. Brown also has done his best to terrorize the Cal League on the bases, showcasing his 80-grade speed that helped make him a first-round pick last June. Brown has 21 steals this season, the most in the minor leagues. He's also drawn 13 walks in 33 games this season, four more than he drew in 50 games at Cal State Fullerton last year.
2011 Stats


Tigers LHP Charlie Furbush ranked second in the minors in strikeouts last year with 183, but he still slotted well behind the first wave of Tigers' prospects. That's selling him short now—he's upped his velocity and added a cutter/curveball hybrid (as BA correspondent John Wagner explained). This week Furbush was 1-1, 1.80 with 14 strikeouts and five walks in 15 innings for Triple-A Toledo . . . At this point last year, Dodgers RHP Rubby de la Rosa was just starting to get noticed. Everyone notices now. On days when de la Rosa has his secondary stuff working he's hard to handle, as was the case this week when he matched Rays prospect Matt Moore zero for zero in the best pitching matchup of the week. De la Rosa allowed one unearned run and two hits while striking out eight and allowing three walks in seven innings . . . Though Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie had a seven-game hitting streak snapped last night, he still turned in a fine week, hitting .290/.333/.677 (9-for-31) with three homers and three doubles for Triple-A Las Vegas. If anyone's wondering whether the 21-year-old's success is the product of his launching pad of a home park, Lawrie has a higher OPS on the road (1.072) than at home (.842) so far this season . . . Giants LHP Eric Surkamp has turned in four double-digit strikeout performances in seven starts for Double-A Richmond, including one last Friday. In two starts this week, the 23-year-old went 1-0, 1.50, allowing two runs on nine hits in 12 innings, with a 15-5 SO-BB ratio . . . Sebastian Valle might want to tinker with his approach—he's walked just once in 25 games for high Class A Clearwater—but the Phillies catcher has been walloping the ball nonetheless. Valle, 20, went 9-for-17 with two homers and three doubles this week, raising his season averages to .326/.340/.516 . . . Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos got off to a slow start for low Class A West Michigan, but then we're talking about a 19-year-old Florida high school kid in his first month in his first month in the Midwest League. This week Castellanos went 11-for-29 (.379) with a double and three triples, bringing his line in May to .326/.380/.565 in 13 games . . . After a poor start to his second attempt at high Class A, Phillies RHP Trevor May seems to be headed in the right direction. In two starts this week, May allowed a combined two runs in 11 innings while striking out 17. The pair of starts were by far his best back-to-back starts of his high Class A career. May now has 43 strikeouts in 37 innings this year, against 18 walks.


Jay Jackson, rhp, Cubs. Two terrible starts by Jackson this week extended his three-game slide. Some speculated at the end of April that Jackson might receive a callup to Chicago, but a rainout allowed the Cubs to delay any decisions on their fifth starter and he remained in Iowa. Since then, little has gone Jackson's way. He gave up 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings last week. He has just 12 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings this season to go with a 1.54 WHIP. This week, he had six walks to just four strikeouts.

Chris Archer, rhp, Rays. The Rays have already gotten some positive returns on their deal that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs, with Sam Fuld contributing in Tampa and Brandon Guyer and Hak-Ju Lee tearing up Triple-A and high Class A, respectively. But Archer, the centerpiece of that package from Chicago, hasn't rounded into form yet. The 22-year-old is still looking for his first win after seven starts with Double-A Montgomery, sitting at 0-2, 5.86 in 32 1/3 innings. In his only start this week, Archer did manage to complete five innings for just the second time this season, but he still allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, with four strikeouts and three walks. Archer has walked 19 on the season, second most in the Southern League.

Jared Mitchell, cf, White Sox. Mitchell hasn't been able to catch up to Carolina League pitching yet after missing the 2010 season with a torn tendon in his left ankle. The 22-year-old is hitting just .202/.243/.372 through 129 at-bats with high Class A Winston-Salem and has had severe problems making contact. Mitchell has struck out 50 times, tied for the most in the minors, while drawing just six walks in 137 plate appearances. He's also struck out at least once in 20 consecutive games. Mitchell struck out 13 times this week while hitting .160/.160/.320 (4-for-25) with one home run and one double.

Mike Foltynewicz, rhp, Astros. The 19th overall pick in last year's draft, Foltynewicz has made seven starts for low Class A Lexington and the only categories in which his name appears among the South Atlantic League leaders are for most losses (six) and most runs allowed (29 in 36 2/3 innings). The 19-year-old took two losses this week as he allowed 10 runs on 16 hits in nine innings—though he did manage an 8-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And if there's a silver lining for Foltynewicz, whose easy arm action produces regular 92-93 mph heat already, it's that he's finding the strike zone with regularity—he's walks just 2.7 batters per nine innings. At this stage, it's all about improved fastball location and tighter secondary stuff.


Mat Gamel, 1b, Brewers. One way or another Gamel will be in the big leagues next season, and probably with the Brewers. Not only will the 25-year-old be out of minor league options, but slugger Prince Fielder's uniform front likely won't read "Milwaukee" in 2012. For now Gamel's doing his best to prove that he's worthy of being the organization's first baseman of the future by batting .323/.390/.528 through 127 at-bats for Triple-A Nashville. His bat came alive this week with a 13-for-27 (.481) performance that included four homers, a double, eight RBIs and a 2-to-2 walk-to-strikeout distribution. The power will be key for the lefty-swinging converted third baseman because in the previous two seasons with the Sounds he hit a combined 24 homers and slugged an ordinary .493 in 679 trips to the plate.


Dontrelle Willis, lhp, Reds. Willis finished runner-up for the 2005 National League Cy Young award, but it had been a slow, steady decline in the five years since. Now in his fourth organization since his Marlins heyday, the 29-year-old lefty appears to have turned a corner with Triple-A Louisville. Nobody expects him to replicate what he did in his early-20s, but scouts have come away encouraged by how well Willis has pitched this season. The numbers are certainly impressive: a 2.52 ERA in 35 2/3 innings, 34 strikeouts (8.6 per nine), 11 walks (2.8 per nine) and a 2.1-to-1 ground-to-air out ratio. He's shown a live fastball, too, sitting at 89-93 mph. The Reds' big league rotation is crowded right now, but if Willis is even able to become a reliable lefty out of the bullpen, that's still a major win for the organization—and for Willis.


• If left fielder Brandon Jacobs had turned down the Red Sox out of high school, he'd be celebrating Auburn's national championship in football. Instead Jacobs signed with the Red Sox for $750,000 as a 2009 10th-round pick after he had committed to be a running back for Tommy Tuberville. As you would expect for a Division I football recruit, the 20-year-old Jacobs is a premium athlete, but he's not a football player just learning to play baseball. He has a smooth swing, and his improving approach has helped him hit .370/.434/.590 with low Class A Greenville, which means he's very rarely being fooled. The biggest adjustment for Jacobs is improving his throwing arm—a common problem for football/baseball players.