Prospect Hot Sheet (May 19)
1. Rhys Hoskins, 1b, Phillies (24) Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International) Hoskins celebrated his ascent into the Top 100 Prospects with yet another big week, pummeling four home runs and walking more (seven) than he struck out (five) en route to a 1.467 OPS in seven games. The 2014 fifth-rounder out of Sacramento State has followed up a 38-homer season at Double-A Reading with 12 bombs already in 40 games at Triple-A. Hoskins is mashing in every scenario this season: against lefties (.928 OPS) or righties (1.263 OPS) and at home (1.035 OPS) or away (1.241 OPS). At the rate he is going, it won’t be long before Hoskins makes his way to Philadelphia.
2. Walker Buehler, rhp, Dodgers (22) Double-A Tulsa (Texas) The 2015 first-rounder had Tommy John surgery shortly after he was drafted and had just five professional innings on his résumé coming into 2017. Immediately, Buehler has propelled himself into the Top 100 Prospects with a 99-100 mph fastball that no one can seem to touch, an above-average changeup and a tight-spinning breaking ball. His latest dominant outing saw him strike out nine in 3.2 innings in his second start at Double-A, giving him 39 punchouts in 24 innings this season.
3. Eric Lauer, lhp, Padres (21) High Class A Lake Elsinore (California) Lauer boldly declared his goal was to reach the majors in his first full season after the Padres drafted him No. 25 overall out of Kent State last June. He is off to the type of start needed to make that happen. Lauer delivered seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and zero walks against Rancho Cucamonga in his latest outing, lowering to his ERA to 1.56 and WHIP to 1.07.
4. Cole Tucker, ss, Pirates (20) High Class A Bradenton (Florida State) The Pirates surprised many when they drafted Tucker 24th overall in 2014, and the skeptics were given extra ammunition when he vastly underwhelmed in his first three seasons. Tucker is starting to bounce back however, with three doubles, two triples and two home runs this week. The two homers were as many as he’s had in any season, and he has already surpassed his career-high in triples.
5. Jose Almonte, rhp, Diamondbacks (21) High Class A Visalia (California) The Diamondbacks acquired Almonte from the Red Sox in the Brad Ziegler trade last year, and the Dominican righthander has already established himself as one the top arms in Arizona’s system. Almonte struck out nine in six innings in each of his last two starts, and most importantly limited his walks after struggling with that early in the season.
6. Ryan Mountcastle, ss, Orioles (20) High Class A Frederick (Carolina) The 2015 first-rounder continued his scorching start with five doubles, a triple and a home run in a 12-for-34 week. Mountcastle’s seven-game hit streak came to an end Thursday night, but he remains on pace for career highs in every offensive category with a .333/.357/.586 slash line through 40 games.
7. Zack Burdi, rhp, White Sox (22) Triple-A Charlotte (International) Burdi converted both of his save opportunities during the week and is now 5-for-6 on the season. With a 99-101 mph fastball and a 25-to-6 walk ratio in 16.2 innings this year, the 2016 first-rounder is on the verge of breaking into Chicago's bullpen.
8. Colton Welker, 3b, Rockies (19) Low Class A Asheville (South Atlantic) The Rockies have a long, successful track record when it comes to drafting high school third basemen, and Welker appears to be the latest. The 2016 fourth-rounder hit four doubles and two homers last week to continue a banner start to his pro career. Welker boasts a stunning .338/.377/.504 slash line in his young career and doesn’t turn 20 until after the season.
9. Jorge Mateo, ss/of, Yankees (21) High Class A Tampa (Florida State) Mateo’s stock has progressively fallen the last two seasons, but the former Top 100 Prospect is letting everyone know he’s not done yet. Mateo showed surprising pop last week, hitting three homers and slugging .880. With a big nine-game stretch, Mateo has raised his average from .213 to .260 on the year.
10. Cody Ponce, rhp, Brewers (23) High Class A Carolina (Carolina) The 2015 second-rounder is proving both durable and stingy in his second full season. Ponce gave up one run in eight innings in his first start of the week, and followed up with seven innings and two runs allowed on Thursday afternoon. The efficient Ponce is averaging more than six innings per start and boasts a 37-to-6 strikeout-to-walk mark on the year.
11. Amed Rosario, ss, Mets (21) Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast) The Mets' No. 1 prospect continues to make a convincing case he will be ready for the majors at age 21. Rosario delivered six consecutive multi-hit games during the week and is now hitting .366/.407/.547 on the year.
12. Fernando Tatis Jr., ss, Padres (18) Low Class A Fort Wayne (Midwest) Tatis got off to a miserable start but has blossomed since moving into the leadoff spot at Fort Wayne. Tatis is hitting .486 with a 1.494 OPS in nine games since moving to the top of the order and homered in his only at-bat Thursday before leaving after an errant throw hit him in the face.
13. Mike Soroka, rhp, Braves (19) Double-A Mississippi (Southern) The precocious Canadian continues to hold his own at Double-A. Soroka pitched 6.2 scoreless innings in his first start of the week, and even with a so-so second outing improved to 4-3, 3.14 on the year with a 1.02 WHIP and .199 opponent average.
14. Yanio Perez, of, Rangers (21) Low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic) The Cuban signee has looked like a man among boys in his first taste of affiliated ball, hitting .356/.429/.630 in his first year in the Rangers system. Perez put together a six-game hitting streak in his latest big week, which included two doubles, two homers and a pair of three-hit games.
15. Mike Shawaryn, rhp, Red Sox (22) Low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic) The 2016 fifth-rounder from Maryland continues to look like a steal for the Red Sox. After a six-inning, 12-strikeout game to start the month, Shawaryn allowed just two runs in each of his next two starts while showcasing pinpoint control. He is now 3-3, 3.49 with 80 strikeouts and 16 walks in 56.2 career innings.
16. Jose De Leon, rhp, Rays (24) High Class A Charlotte (Florida State) De Leon is working his way back from forearm soreness that shelved him the first month of the season. In his second rehab outing with Charlotte, he was unhittable, tossing five hitless innings to further make the case he is ready to return to Triple-A, where he was slated to begin the year.
17. Jaycob Brugman, of, Athletics (25) Triple-A Nashville (Pacific Coast) Brugman’s chance at an Opening Day roster spot went out the window when the Athletics brought in Matt Joyce, but he is continuing to make the case for a big league spot. Brugman posted four multi-hit games in his current six-game hit streak and upped his slash line to .377/.441/.472 on the year.
18. Keibert Ruiz, c, Dodgers (18) Low Class A Great Lakes (Midwest) The Dodgers signed Ruiz as an amateur out of Venezuela in 2014 primarily because of his defense, but he is showing himself to be quite the threat at the plate, too. Ruiz’s latest big week (8-for-15) pushed his average to .320 in his first taste of full-season ball. Overall he boasts a .339/.380/.452 slash line in his young career.
19. Parker Bridwell, rhp, Angels (25) Triple-A Salt Lake (Pacific Coast) Bridwell was the Orioles' No. 21 prospect coming into the season, but they sold him to the Angels in April. The fresh start has done Bridwell good. He was quickly promoted out of Double-A and has yet to allow a run in 12 innings with Salt Lake.
20. Lucas Sims, rhp, Braves (23) Triple-A Gwinnett (International) Sims was electric in his start against Columbus this week, showing the frontline swing-and-miss stuff that has often made him so enticing. It was a continuation of a brilliant start to the year for Sims, who is 4-0, 2.16 with 42 strikeouts and nine walks in 41.2 innings.
Helium Watch Jaylin Davis, of, Twins (23) Low Class A Cedar Rapids (Midwest) Davis was a candidate to go in the top five rounds in the 2015 draft out of Appalachian State, but a season-ending shoulder injury ended those hopes and dropped him to the 24th round. The Twins picked him knowing he wouldn’t play in 2015, content to wait it out and let him heal. Davis showed the skills last week that once made him a top draft candidate. He led all minor leaguers with 29 total bases. He went 11-for-24 with three doubles, five homers and 10 RBIs while also stealing two bases in as many tries. Davis has long projected to have above-average power, solid center-field defense and an average arm and speed. The only question was his hitting ability, and he showed he can tap into it with his big week.
Mike Soroka Rewards Braves For Defying Convention
The Braves don't believe that curtailing workloads for young pitchers is beneficial, and Soroka provided a point in their favor.