With several leagues having shorter weeks due to all-star games, the Hot Sheet was a little more wide open for some new faces. Having fewer games made it harder for hitters to shine, but it would have been hard for anyone to top the masterful performances turned in by Trevor May and Alex Torres.

Remember that the Prospect Hot Sheet 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 June 17 through last night, June 23.

Contributing: Alexis Brudnicki, Teddy Cahill, J.J. Cooper, Kyle Dugan, Matt Eddy and Jim Shonerd.

Team: high Class A Clearwater (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 0-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 14 SO, 2 BB
The Scoop: May might be starting to put it all together. The Phillies' 2008 fourth-round pick struggled in high Class A last year, going 5-5, 5.01 in 70 innings before a midseason demotion to low Class A, where he remained the rest of the season. Inconsistent mechanics leading to poor control were May's undoing last year, but he's made significant strides this year. His 37 walks in 78 innings this year might not sound especially impressive, but when you consider where he's coming from—61 walks in 70 innings for Clearwater last year—it's clear there's been some progress.

May, who was also the winning pitcher in the Florida State League all-star game last Saturday, hasn't allowed more than three runs in 11 consecutive starts dating back to April 19. Against Tampa on Wednesday, May had a no-hitter for five innings and his fastball sat consistently in the 90-95 mph range. He touched 94 in the seventh inning, and Tampa's hitters only hit a couple balls hard all night.

May struck out the side twice on his way to matching his career-high with 14 strikeouts. He fanned eight of 10 batters from the third through fifth innings. Unfortunately for May, Tampa came back to tie the score after he departed, and the game wound up being suspended due to rain in the 10th inning. The way he's going, May could very well be in Double-A by the time the game is completed.
2011 Stats

Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.75, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 19 SO
The Scoop: During spring training, Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden remarked that Torres had major league stuff and could be ready to compete in the show, but he wanted him to start the season in Triple-A. After making his mark in Double-A last season, leading the Southern League in strikeouts, and then fanning 11 (nine straight) batters in a Venezuelan  League game, the lefthander brought his talents to Durham.
Working with a fastball, changeup and curveball, the Venezuela native has continued to fool batters, tying a career high with 12 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings on Thursday. Torres has fanned more than a batter an inning during his minor league career, ranking second in the International League with 84 strikeouts over 75 2/3 innings.
2011 Stats

Team: Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
Why He's Here:
.500/.529/.933 (15-for-30), 3 HR, 4 2B, 8 RBIs, 9 R, 3 BB, 2 SO
The Scoop:
Hague, a ninth-round pick in 2008 from Oklahoma State, hasn't gotten a ton of acclaim throughout his career, but all he's done is hit at every level. He carried a .300 career average into this season, and he's batting .316/.367/.460 in his first season facing Triple-A competition. Hague's power may not be ideal for a first baseman—though it's not bad—but he nearly doubled his season's home run total in one week. He went deep three times, including two on Thursday, to boost his total to seven. One of Hague's hallmarks has been how infrequently he strikes out, and that hasn't changed against Triple-A pitchers. He's been the fourth hardest IL hitter to whiff this year, going down on strikes just once every 9.68 plate appearances.
2011 Stats

Team: low Class A Clinton (Midwest)
Age: 18
Why He's Here: 0-1, 1.29, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 11 SO, 2 BB, 6/2 G/F
The Scoop: Sure, he plays for one of the worst teams in the minors, the 24-46 Clinton LumberKings, but Walker is quietly enjoying one of the finest seasons by a 2010 draft pick. Seattle's first selection at 43rd overall, Walker's early showing suggests that he was wise to abandon his hoop dreams in favor of the pitcher's mound. He's run up a 2.40 ERA through nine starts, while striking out 56, walking 16 and allowing only one home run through 45 innings. He has recorded more groundouts than flyouts by a count of 2.4-to-1. Among Midwest League pitchers, Walker's rate of 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings trails only teammate James Paxton and Dayton's Pat Doyle, both products of four-year colleges.

Clinton has scored just three runs in support of Walker in his last three starts, including a pair of 1-0 contests, only one of which the LumberKings won. Walker lost his start last Friday by that score, but thus far the biggest losers have been the teams who passed on him in the draft.
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .382/.436/.853 (13-for-34), 4 HR, 4 2B, 12 RBIs, 10 R, 0 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: Jimenez is a man of extremes. Few Texas League players hit for more power than he does—his .230 isolated power ranks 10th on the season—but on the flip side, few walk as infrequently as he does. Jimenez has drawn 12 walks in 279 trips to the plate (and none since June 8), a rate of 4.4 percent that's fourth lowest in the TL. To be fair, his low strikeout rate (12.9 percent) also ranks among the TL's best.

In the 18 games since his last walk, Jimenez has gone 24-for-65 (.369) with six homers, eight doubles, 22 RBIs and just six strikeouts. He's clearly seeing the ball very well right now. Case in point: Jimenez connected for two home runs in consecutive games at Springfield on June 21-22. Of course, the Cardinals sport the TL's worst home run rate and second-worst ERA, and one of Jimenez's victims, David Kopp, finally pitched his way off the St. Louis 40-man roster yesterday.
2011 Stats

Team: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 8 SO, 2 BB, 7/2 G/F
The Scoop: Warren pitched a complete-game six-hitter, allowing only one run, in a June 9 start at home against Charlotte. He held Norfolk hitless for 6 2/3 innings on Monday, finishing the day with two hits allowed over seven shutout innings. It's safe to say that few International League hurlers have pitched more efficiently than Warren has in June. The 2009 fourth-rounder ranks sixth in ERA (1.55) and fifth in WHIP (0.93) among IL pitchers this month.

Following his most recent gem, Warren summed up his strike-throwing approach to the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader: "If you get ahead of guys you can really play around with them, but if you're behind you have to throw the pitch they're looking for, a fastball."
2011 Stats

Team: low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: Lansing can attribute much of its success this season to this Blue Jays' 2009 15th-round pick. On Sunday he helped the Lugnuts secure a ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Hutchison struck out 10 over six scoreless innings, extending his streak to 27 frames. The last run he gave up was on May 30. Since then the righthander has allowed just 14 hits and three walks, fanning 38 batters over 27 innings. His 84 strikeouts are third in the Midwest League and tie him for second on the Blue Jays farm. He's tops among Toronto farmhands with a 2.63 ERA.
2011 Stats

Team: Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .423/.531/.731 (11-for-26), 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 RBIs, 8 R, 6 BB, 7 SO, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Robinson has had to watch Albuquerque teammates Jerry Sands (now back with the Isotopes) and Dee Gordon get the call to the majors ahead of him. But if Robinson keeps hitting the way he has, it should be only a matter of time before he gets his shot at filling the void in left field in Los Angeles. A potential four-tool player, Robinson has bounced back from a difficult May to hit .405/.489/.684 for Albuquerque so far in June. While the Isotopes' park is a renowned launching pad, a good sign for Robinson is that seven of his 16 homers this year have come on the road, and he has a higher slugging percentage on the road (.591) than at home (.563).
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: Alvarez has been brilliant since being promoted to Double-A in late May. Tuesday, he shut out Altoona for seven innings, lowering his ERA with New Hampshire to 2.30. Alvarez's most important development, however, has come with his fastball. After throwing in the mid-90s at high Class A Dunedin last year, he's now throwing in the upper 90s and has touched 101 mph, according to New Hampshire pitching coach Pete Walker. Still armed with a plus changeup, Alvarez is becoming one of the Blue Jays biggest success stories this season.
2011 Stats

Team: high Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 0-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 SO
The Scoop: Smyly just loves pitching at Daytona. Smyly's best two starts of his brief professional career have come on the road against the Cubs' affiliate. This week, Smyly struck out a career-high eight batters in seven innings, matching his longest start. In his last start in Daytona, he threw seven no-hit innings and struck out seven. Overall, Smyly has brushed off some elbow concerns that hampered him early in the year and has a 2.92 ERA in eight starts.
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A Midland (Texas)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .414/.485/.655 (12-for-29), 2 HR, 1 2B, 6 RBIs, 6 R, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0-for-2 SB
The Scoop: Moving up to Double-A had dinged Green's power pretty much all season—a back injury that shelved him for 10 days in May probably didn't help matters. The 2009 first-round pick homered on Opening Day and again on April 19, but then he didn't go deep again until this week, doing just enough for his slugging percentage to creep over .400 for the year (it's now .401). The better news is that while Green hadn't tapped into his power, which is expected to at least average if not above, he's at least been hitting for average. He bounced back from a .245 April to hit .325 in May and stands at .301 so far in June.
2011 Stats

Team:  high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 0-1, 0.00, 1 GS, 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO
The Scoop: After posting his worst start of the season on June 12th (three innings, seven earned runs), Odorizzi rebounded in style this past Friday. He crossed up batters all day, with 10 of his 11 strikeouts coming by way of swings and misses. He's foiled lefthanded batters all season, holding them to a .197 average. If we exclude his horrific effort 12 days ago, Odorizzi has a 1.85 ERA in more than 60 innings this year to go along with a strong 5.63-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A Trenton (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .500/.607/.773 (11-for-22), 1 HR, 3 2B, 4 RBIs, 5 R, 6 BB, 3 SO
The Scoop: Joseph's cameo in Double-A Trenton last year while filling in for the injured David Adams didn't go as well as the Yankees would have hoped (.216/.305/.342 in 111 at-bats). The same has not been true this season. His recent hot streak has boosted his line on the year to .293/.373/.454 and his OPS now sits more than 100 points above the Eastern League average (.714). Joseph's plate discipline, always one of his strongest traits, was on full display this week—he walked six times and struck out thrice. Joseph's long-term viability at second base remains in question, but if he continues to hit like this, he'll get every opportunity to prove himself in the middle of the infield.
2011 Stats


Braves RHP J.J. Hoover didn't handle his promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett too well. He went 0-1, 12.60 in a two-start cameo. But there have been no such problems when Hoover's pitching for Double-A Mississippi. The 23-year-old struck out eight while allowing one run in six innings this week, on the heels of a one-hit, six-hit outing in his previous start. With Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcanio, Randall Delgado and Mike Minor all waiting for spots in the Braves' rotation, Hoover's future in Atlanta will likely be in the bullpen, but he has the stuff to be a solid contributor before too long . . .  One of 2010's breakout prospects, the Phillies' Jonathan Singleton has had a fairly quiet first half with high Class A Clearwater, having moved back to first base after a trial in left field. His week was shortened by the FSL all-star break, but even so the 19-year-old belted three home runs and two doubles while batting .571/.667/1.357 (8-for-14) . . . Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs continued his domination of the high Class A California League last Friday, in his final start before the all-star break. The 19-year-old struck out seven batters in six innings, pushing his season total to a league-leading 102 in 83 innings. That matches his whiff total from all of last season . . . Diamondbacks 3B/1B Bobby Borchering went 5-for-14 for high Class A Visalia this week, but he made those hits count by launching three round-trippers and a double. He now has 13 home runs on the season and is a virtual lock to surpass his career high of 15 that he set last year. While Borchering is impressing with his power, his approach leaves something to be desired. He has been punched out 91 times (a season pace of close to 180) and drawn a scant 17 walks . . . On the same night ace Tim Hudson homered to help the big league Braves win a game against the Blue Jays, Triple-A Gwinnett ace RHP Julio Teheran contributed with the bat in a G-Braves victory. Well, that may be overstating things. The 20-year-old Teheran drew a seventh-inning walk and then came around to score the game-tying run. However, Teheran did reward his manager's decision to not pinch-hit for him in a close game by allowing just two runs over eight innings. He finished the start with eight strikeouts, no walks and just five hits allowed. With that performance Teheran took over the International League lead for ERA (1.83) and WHIP (0.98). Did we mention he's still just 20? . . . The Rookie-level Pioneer League season may be just four games old, but Orem 2B Taylor Lindsey refuses to take things at a leisurely pace. Taken 37th overall by the Angels last year, Lindsey has eight hits in his first 17 at-bats (.471), a spread that includes a homer, three doubles and a triple. When you throw in Lindsey's one free pass, he's reached base in exactly half of his 18 plate appearances. Naturally, the 19-year-old leads the PL in total bases (16) and extra-base hits (five) . . . Cubs C Welington Castillo has bided his time with Triple-A Iowa while waiting for playing time in the majors. The 24-year-old had a 15-game hitting streak snapped this week, but, undaunted, he still hit three home runs as part of a .333/.348/.810 (7-for-21) effort.


Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals. The 21-year-old Montgomery has turned in some stinkers this year for Triple-A Omaha (thus the 5.83 ERA), but his last start on Sunday established a new low. In the course of three innings at Round Rock, he stuck out only one Express batter while allowing nine runs on 10 hits, including four home runs (to Luis Cruz, Brad Nelson, Omar Quintanilla and Chad Tracy) in the span of eight batters. Montgomery was similarly ineffective at Colorado Springs on May 14 (4 1/3 innings, nine hits, 11 runs), but until his most recent effort he had not been particularly easy to take deep. Through 15 Pacific Coast League starts he has allowed nine home runs—nearly half of them last week—and just four dingers in nine home starts. Montgomery's walk rate remains untenable wherever he goes (5.3 per nine innings), but he's been passable at home in Omaha this year—3.81 ERA, 47 strikeouts, 38 hits in 52 innings.

• Zack Cox, 3b, Cardinals. Cox tore up the high Class A Florida State League, batting .335/.380/.439 in 164 at-bats for Palm Beach. But the 2010 first-round pick has found the going tougher since being promoted to Double-A Springfield in late May. Cox went just 4-for-26 with no extra-base hits this week, turning in a slash line of .154/.233/.154. He hasn't connected for an extra-base hit since June 15. The 22-year-old might be taking his struggles at the plate into the field. He made four errors this week and has 10 in 29 games for Springfield, which is already the second most errors among Texas League third baseman.

• Hak-Ju Lee, ss, Rays. One of the key pieces to the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs in the offseason, Lee has been one of the best hitters in the Florida State League all season. But Lee came back cold from the all-star break. He went 2-for-18 with a double this week, and was caught stealing in his only attempt. The skid has dropped Lee to second in the FSL batting race, though he is still hitting .338/.410/.464.

• Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies. It's been a horrific season for the Rockies' top prospect. Since being demoted to low Class A Asheville after 33 innings and 36 earned runs (9.82 ERA) at high Class A Modesto, things have only gotten worse for Matzek. He recorded just four outs in his June 17 outing against Augusta, allowing three hits, walking a whopping six batters and surrendering a total of eight earned runs. His control last year wasn't very good (6.2 walks per nine innings), but this year it's been abominable (13.1).


When the Royals traded outfielder David DeJesus in the offseason, they picked up righthander Vin Mazzaro, he of the 14 earned run "relief" outing for Kansas City, and lefthander Justin Marks. Marks doesn't have the upside of many of the Royals other pitching prospects, but he does have a varied repertoire and a feel for pitching to go with average (88-90 mph fastball) stuff. What he's rarely shown is results. In his pro debut at the end of the 2009 season, the former Louisville Cardinal failed to get an out, giving him an ERA of infinity. Last year, he struggled to a 4.87 ERA between low Class A Kane County and high Class A Stockton. Even in the much better pitching environment of Wilmington, Marks has gone 3-5, 4.91 with a .271 opponent average. He ought to be better than that, and this week, he showed some signs that maybe he is turning things around with a career-high 12 strikeouts in a win against Winston-Salem.


Left fielder Wily Mo Pena's success this season makes the point convincingly that one's choice in teams can often be an important factor in getting another shot at the big leagues. The 29-year-old hadn't played in the big leagues since 2008, but the wonderful hitting environments of the Pacific Coast League's western circuit (especially Reno, his home park) has helped kick-start Pena's career. He hit his 21st home run of the minor league season on June 19 before receiving the news that he was headed back to the big leagues to serve as the Diamondbacks' DH for this week's interleague games. It's hard to say how much of Pena's Triple-A success this season (.363/.439/.726) can be credited to the hitting environment and how much is legitimate improvement, but we can look at what happened to Pena's Reno teammate Sean Burroughs. Burroughs is batting .400/.440/.588 for Reno, but he was recently demoted from Arizona after hitting only .250/.250/.292 as a pinch-hitter for the Diamondbacks.