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 Aug. 5-11.

Contributing: J.J. Cooper, Kyle Dugan, Matt Eddy, Michael Kanen, Nathan Rode and Jim Shonerd.

Team: Triple-A Gwinnett (International)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 2-0, 0.00, 13 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 15 SO
The Scoop: Come next year, the Braves are going to face a fascinating set of choices. All five members of the current rotation are under contract for 2012, and only Derek Lowe is a free agent after that season. Considering that the other four members of the rotation all are better than league average in terms of ERA+, it's fair to assume that Atlanta would like to hold on to all four of them.

But the next wave of Braves pitchers are waiting for their shot in Triple-A. Julio Teheran is one of the two best pitching prospects in the game, and he's already made 20 starts for Gwinnett. Mike Minor is one of the better lefthanders in the upper minors, and he's now a veteran of 130 Triple-A innings and another 80 in the majors. Arodys Vizcaino is already getting some work in the big league bullpen.

And now you have Delgado, who offered a reminder in his first two Triple-A starts that he shouldn't be forgotten. Delgado has a mid-90s fastball to go with a plus curve and average changeup. In his first two starts for Gwinnett, he kept hitters off balance inning after inning. In other organizations, the 21-year-old Panamanian would already be penciled into the big league club's 2012 rotation.

2011 Stats

Team: high Class A Clearwater (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 SO
The Scoop: The trade deadline has come and gone, so Trevor May can breathe easier that he'll remain a Phillie. His teammate Jarred Cosart was the hard-throwing pitcher Philadelphia decided to trade away in the Hunter Pence trade. May celebrated by going out and throwing one of his better games of the season this week. You can't say it was his best start, however. When May's 92-94 mph fastball is jumping, he's authored some of the best starts in the minors this year. He already has a 12- and a 14-strikeout game to his name this year, but his nine strikeouts this week are just as important. With 178 whiffs this season, he's now six behind minor league leader Edwar Cabrera.
2011 Stats

Team: low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .414/.485/.690 (12-for-29), 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBIs, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 3-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Marisnick went 0-for-8 in two games versus South Bend on Wednesday and Thursday, but as the above batting line attests, he absolutely crushed the ball prior to that. The 2009 third-rounder batted 12-for-21 (.571) with two walks, three steals and four extra-base hits in five games. On the season, Marisnick is batting .315/.390/.487 and ranks third in the Midwest League in average and fourth in on-base percentage.
2011 Stats

Team: Rookie-level Orem (Pioneer)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .457/.472/1.000 (16-for-35), 13 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 BB
The Scoop: Former Angels scouting director Eddie Bane spoke up this week, saying that general manager Tony Reagins fired him in part because Reagins felt the Angels' recent drafts were poor. Evidence for the defendant: Mike Trout and Garrett Richards already have reached Anaheim, while lefties Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin yielded Dan Haren in trade. Lindsey, a supplemental first-round pick in 2010, is trying to add to Bane's argument.

As we mentioned last week, Lindsey's numbers are coming in a very good hitting environment, but even in the context of the league, it's been a remarkable year for the Scottsdale, Ariz., native. Lindsey leads the Pioneer League in hits, slugging, extra-base hits, runs scored and total bases. He's also second in doubles and third in average.

2011 Stats

Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .480/.500/.880 (12-for-25), 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: It's hard to call him a sleeper prospect, as he did rank fourth in the Pirates system coming into the season, but Marte's 2011 season may not be receiving the fanfare that it deserves. A hamate injury slowed him in 2010, but now that he's healthy Marte has done just about everything one could ask from a speedy center fielder—though he remains an inefficient basestealer.

Marte has plus speed, plays a very solid center field, shows occasional pop and a pretty advanced approach at the plate. Add it all up and it's hard for the Pirates to not be excited about a 22-year-old batting .322/.356/.481 in Double-A. Andrew McCutchen may have center field nailed down in Pittsburgh, but before long, either McCuthen or Marte will likely have to learn how to play a corner spot.
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 SO
The Scoop: Paxton's career seemed stuck in neutral for the longest time. Unable to pitch for Kentucky in the spring of 2010, he took a detour to independent ball before being a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft—then he didn't sign with the Mariners until March of this year. Paxton's been making up for lost time since then. He made his pro debut in low Class A in late April and overmatched Midwest League hitters, going 3-3, 2.73 with 80 strikeouts in 56 innings. Double-A hitters have fared no better since he moved up to the Southern League in early July. In six starts with Jackson, Paxton's fanned 41 in 32 innings while holding hitters to a .212 average and putting up a 2-0, 1.97 record.
2011 Stats

Team: Double-A San Antonio (Texas)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 10 SO, 3 BB
The Scoop: Oramas has made four straight road starts, the first three of which ended poorly. He got back on track last Friday, throwing six, two-hit, shutout innings at Frisco, while striking out a season-high 10 batters. (His only higher tallies came in the Dominican Summer and Mexican leagues back in 2008-09.) In his rough stretch from July 17-28, Oramas struck out 18 over 17 innings but also allowed 23 hits and 14 runs to be saddled with a 6.88 ERA.
2011 Stats

Team: Triple-A Iowa (Pacific Coast)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .400/.444/.760 (10-for-25), 2 HR, 3 2B, 5 RBIs, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Jackson endured an adjustment period through his first 14 Triple-A games, batting 10-for-51 (.196) with strikeouts in 43 percent of his at-bats. But then he went 3-for-4 in the second game of a doubleheader against New Orleans on July 29 and hasn't stopped hitting since. Over the course of his most recent 14 games, Jackson has gone 22-for-49 (.449) with six homers, four doubles and a much more manageable strikeout rate of 22 percent. The 2009 first-round pick is angling for a September callup with a composite batting line of .275/.383/.494 with 17 homers and 19 steals this season.
2011 Stats

Team: high Class A Mytle Beach (Carolina)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 2-0, 2.25, 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 21 SO
The Scoop: With the emergence of Robbie Erlin, Neil Ramirez and Joe Wieland, de los Santos had slid a little ways down the pecking order among Rangers pitching prospects this year. But the recent trade of Erlin and Wieland has re-emphasized de los Santos' importance to the organization. He seemed to respond, as in his first start since the trade deadline, he threw seven no-hit innings with 10 strikeouts against Potomac. He wasn't as sharp in a rematch with Potomac five days later, but he once again reached double-digits in strikeouts with 11. De los Santos' stuff is actually a little better than Erlin and Wieland, as he consistently sits in the low 90s and complements his fastball with an excellent changeup.  He has been on a slow climb through the system thanks to visa issues and Tommy John surgery in 2007, but a strong finish to 2011 should reinforce the Rangers' decision to add him to the 40-man roster last offseason.
2011 Stats

Team: high Class A Dunedin (Florida State)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO
The Scoop: Hutchison was noted for being very polished for a high school pitcher after the Blue Jays made him their 15th-round pick in 2009, so it's not too surprising to see him breezing through the low minors in spite of his youth. Going back to his pro debut last year, Hutchison has compiled a 2.58 ERA in 192 professional innings between stops in short-season ball, low Class A and now the high Class A Florida State League. He's gone 4-2, 2.63 in nine outings since moving up to Dunedin in late June and has allowed just three runs in his last 27 innings. In his start against Tampa on Monday, Hutchison gave up a single and hit a batter in the first inning, but he only allowed one more baserunner the rest of the way, retiring 14 straight at one point.
2011 Stats

Team:  Double-A Richmond (Eastern)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: 0-0, 1.17, 1 GS, 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 SO
The Scoop: Surkamp's lack of overwhelming stuff—his fastball sits in the high 80s—has always left doubt about how far he can go, but his results are undeniable. He's gotten better at every level since he was a sixth-round pick in 2008. Surkamp's curveball and changeup are good enough to get swings and misses in spite of average velocity, and he's baffled Eastern League hitters all year, striking out 156 in 128 innings. He leads the EL in both total strikeouts and strikeout rate among starters (10.6 per nine innings). Surkamp carried a shutout into the eighth inning of his Wednesday start against Bryce Harper's Harrisburg squad, and he's allowed more than three earned runs in a start just twice all year.
2011 Stats

Team:  Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Age: 24
Why He's Here: .435/.536/.739 (10-for-23), 7 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1-for-1 SB
The Scoop: In an alternate universe, a healthy Reese Havens might already have claimed the Mets' second base job. The position was wide open this spring when Justin Turner won the job as much by default as anything else. In the real world, Havens has been notable as much for a laundry list of injuries as for his solid production whenever he's been able to get on the field. He missed the start of this season as he continued to recover from a sore side as a result of offseason rib surgery. After he returned, Havens went on the disabled list again with back problems. In past years he's also had elbow, groin, quad, hand and oblique injuries, which explains why he's yet to play 100 games in any of his four pro seasons.

But when he's healthy, as he's been lately, Havens still has the potential to be an above-average offensive second baseman. He draws some walks, has some pop in his bat and can hit for average. If healthy, he could be in the mix for the Mets' second base job in 2012, but the "if healthy" caveat applies more to him than almost anybody else.
2011 Stats

Team: short-season Staten Island (New York-Penn)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .444/.516/.704 (12-for-27), 1 2B, 3 3B, 12 R, 6 RBIs, 3 BB, 1 SO, 4-for-5 SB
The Scoop: Things couldn't be going much better for Williams, the Yankees' 2010 fourth-round pick. He leads the New York-Penn League in average (.369), steals (20), hits (75) and triples (six), plus he made the league's all-star team. Williams has been particularly hot over the course of the past 11 games, batting an even .500 (21-for-42) with five extra-base hits, five walks and six steals, though that last figure is mitigated by five caught stealings. Take it as fluke or positive indicator, but the lefty-swinging Williams has gone 24-for-59 (.407) versus NYP lefties.
2011 Stats


At this point the Tigers have a pretty good idea of what they have in Triple-A Toledo 1B Ryan Strieby. The 26-year-old hits the ball a long way when he connects, and his next home run will be his 20th of the season, but he also strikes out in one out of every three at-bats. Strieby does draw walks to go with his strikeouts, which was very apparent this week as he hit .476/.656/.857 with a homer, five doubles and 11 runs scored—thanks in large part to 10 bases on balls . . . Barring a complete collapse in the final month of the season, Royals RHP Greg Billo will be the minors ERA champ. The 21-year-old low Class A Kane County starter lowered his ERA to 1.40 this week by allowing one earned run in 12 innings. Billo doesn't light up a radar gun (his fastball is average at best), but it's hard not to respect his work. He's allowed more than two runs only twice all season, and the last time he walked more than two batters in an outing was back on April 16 . . . It's almost impossible for relievers to make the Hot Sheet, as it's just too tough to rack up enough innings in a week to make a splash. But in Astros RHP Murilo Gouvea's case, that wasn't a problem. Gouvea struck out 10 batters in four innings for low Class A Lexington on Saturday and followed that up by throwing five one-hit innings on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Brazillan has a 30-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio since the all-star break . . . When the Cardinals selected Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong with their first pick in the 2011 draft, they were expecting him to have weeks like this. He went 14-for-31 (.452) with a homer (his fourth), three doubles and a triple. With low Class A Quad Cities he racked up six hits in an Aug. 9 doubleheader. The lefty-swinging Wong has put a hurting on opposite-handed hurlers, batting .359/.404/.578 against righthanders, but he has struggled against southpaws, batting .225/.333/.250 . . . It's fitting that switch-hitting Braves CF Todd Cunningham would enjoy one of his best professional weeks just as college summer leagues around the country are wrapping up. The Texas Collegiate League (2008) and Cape Cod League ('09) batting champ has added some thump to his numbers in August, collecting four doubles and a triple during a 12-for-28 (.429) effort this week. He has multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games. The extra pop is a welcome addition to his overall game because he has just 18 extra-base hits with high Class A Lynchburg. But the 20-year-old Cunningham has been rock solid in the leadoff spot all year, hitting .297/.390/.405 with 14 stolen bases . . . It's not particularly common for a pitcher to have a breakout year while in the high Class A Cal League, but don't tell that to Rockies RHP Chad Bettis. After signing as a second-rounder in 2010 out of Texas Tech, he showed flashes of brilliance in cameos with short-season Tri-City and low Class A Asheville and has continued to progress through 148 innings with Modesto in 2011. Bettis needed some time to adjust to the league's hitter-friendly environment in April and May, but opponents haven't hit better than .205 off him in any month since. In two August starts, he has been lights out, fanning 15 in 13 innings while yielding just two earned runs . . . Dodgers LF/1B Angelo Songco tailed off in the second half of 2010, his first full season, but that hasn't been the case in 2011. The 22-year-old has only gotten better in the second half with high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, batting .319/.369/.638 with 14 homers in 46 games since the season's midpoint. This past week, Songco belted three long balls, giving him 24 on the year, as part of a .458/.500/.917 (11-for-24) week.


Liam Hendriks, rhp, Twins. The 22-year-old Aussie challenged for the minor league ERA title last season and pitched effectively for Double-A New Britain this season, going 8-2, 2.70 in 15 starts (plus one relief outing). However, Hendriks' strikeout rate has fallen off sharply since a promotion to Triple-A Rochester. He whiffed 8.1 per nine innings as a Rock Cat, but he's at 4.4 per nine as a Red Wing through five starts. In two starts this week he lasted seven innings and surrendered 14 runs on 15 hits (no homers, though), while striking out three and walking two. Hendriks did manage to keep the ball on the ground, registering 15 groundouts and two flyouts.

J.C. Ramirez, rhp, Phillies. Ramirez failed to make it out of the second inning in his start for Double-A Reading last Friday, surrendering five earned runs on seven hits, including two home runs. His effort yesterday was better, but still not up to par—5 1/3 innings, 10 hits, four earned runs. Since April, Ramirez hasn't posted a single-month ERA below 4.55. The Phillies must be discouraged to see his performance decline in his second attempt at Double-A. Ramirez last year held a solid 2.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but this season it's plummeted to 1.6-to-1. Overall, it's been an underwhelming season for Ramirez, a key piece brought back from Seattle for Cliff Lee in 2010.

Delino DeShields, 2b, Astros. DeShields' first pro season has been a mammoth struggle. The eighth overall pick in 2010 has slumped to a .220/.301/.308 batting line with low Class A Lexington after going 1-for-20 with eight whiffs this week. He started to turn things on in July when he hit .320—though he had just two extra-base hits in 97 at-bats—but now he's in the midst of a 2-for-30 slump to begin August. DeShields turns 19 next Tuesday, so there's still plenty of time for a turnaround, and he has shown his plus speed with 26 stolen bases this year.

Justin O'Conner, c, Rays. It has been a rough year for the 19-year-old O'Conner, the 31st overall pick in the 2010 draft. Currently batting .137/.193/.267 for Rookie-level Princeton, he did little to improve those numbers this week by going 1-for-16, notching only one hit (a home run) on Aug. 9. Plate discipline has been an issue for O'Conner, who has 59 strikeouts in 140 plate appearances (42.1 percent), compared with just nine walks.


Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles: Along with Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta, Matusz was supposed to be one of the keys to the Orioles' return to respectability. Instead, he flopped badly in the big leagues, showing diminished velocity on all of his pitches. Baltimore demoted him to Triple-A Norfolk after six starts resulted in a 1-4, 8.77 showing. Still just 24, Matusz suffered an oblique injury at the outset of the season, and he eventually admitted that, mentally, he wasn't ready for the big leagues this year. It's a baby step, but Matusz threw a nine-inning shutout last weekend for against Lehigh Valley and may be close to rejoining the Orioles' rotation. The key will be approaching the 92 mph velocity he showed in 2010.


Dodgers CF Jamie Hoffman had a brief claim to fame as the first pick in the 2009 Rule 5 draft. He failed to catch on as a backup outfielder with the Yankees, however, and New York returned him to the Dodgers. The 26-year-old Hoffman enjoyed a huge week for Triple-A Albuquerque, batting .536/.552/1.071 (15-for-28) with four homers, a showing that could help him earn a September callup.


For years, CF Denis Phipps has been considered one of the most athletically gifted players in the Reds organization. But that always had to be uttered with a caveat, as his on-the-field performance had never come close to matching his considerable tools. Phipps, 26, came into the season with a .246/.311/.370 career minor league batting line, so his .335/.386/.522 showing this year comes as quite a shock. The outfielder has shown dramatic improvement even as he earned his first promotion to Triple-A Louisville, where he hit four home runs this week and now carries a .365/.405/.608 line. In addition to his offensive improvement, Phipps' best asset continues to be his arm. He has 13 assists this season and has quickly discouraged International League baserunners from testing him—he has four assists in 15 games. Considering his age, Phipps still isn't a sure bet to even make the majors, but with minor league free agency beckoning at the end of the season unless the Reds add him to the 40-man roster, he will have plenty of options next season.