Hot and Cold 6/18-6/26

With three affiliates on all-star break and rookie ball just starting earlier this week, this Hot and Cold was pushed back a few days to allow for a bigger sample size. Now that there are six affiliates in action, it has become tougher at the top. Several players pounded the ball this week, but it's an older prospect that took this week's hot hitter.

Hot Hitter: Tyler Flowers, C, AAA
Flowers isn't having a great season, but it still showing plus power and a strong walk rate. Over the last several days, he showed the best and worst of his abilities with a .400/.444/.920 line but with 10 strikeouts in 25 at-bats. Flowers has 65 strikeouts in 185 at-bats this year to go with 35 walks. Needless to say a contact rate like that won't translate in the Majors. The 25-year-old is hitting .249/.385/.459 for the season. Honorable mentions: Tyler Saladino
(.438/.500/1.000), Brady Shoemaker (.389/.577/.611), Rangel Ravelo (.500/.579/.750), Gookie Dawkins (.368/.350/.895), Alejandro De Aza (.465/.490/.674) and Kevan Smith (.429/.478/.667).

Cold Hitter: Brandon Short, OF, AA
After the extended hot streak Short was on for much of May and June, he is allowed a slump. With the Barons on All-Star break earlier this week he didn't play much, but there is some minor concern from the numbers. Short hit .100/.174/.150 with 12 strikeouts in 20 at-bats, including an 0-6, 5 K performance Saturday night. This slump has seen his average drop to .295, but overall his OPS is still above .800. Recent struggles aside, Short has proven some of his doubters wrong, myself included, by surviving the jump to AA. "Honorable" mentions: Greg Paiml (.150/.182/.200), Dallas McPherson (.111/.172/.259) and Kyle Eveland (.158/.261/.158).

Hot Pitcher: Brandon Kloess, RP, High-A

At 26, Kloess isn't a prospect, but I'm giving him props for retiring all 16 batters he faced in his last three relief appearances. He struck out seven in those appearances. Kloess has been strong out of Winston-Salem's bullpen this year and also had a surprisingly dominant stint with the Knights. Honorable
mentions: Charlie Leesman (6 IP, 1 UER, 5 K, 2 BB, 5 H), Justin Collop (6
IP, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 H), Ryan Bollinger (5 IP, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB, 0 H) and Hector Santiago (5 IP, 0 R, 4 K, 2 BB, 4 H).

Cold Pitcher: Darwin Matos, SP, Rookie Bristol

When Matos made his US debut with Bristol last year, he appeared to be a prospect worth watching. He was only 19 and was coming off of a strong season in the DSL (82 K, 34 BB, 3.57 ERA in 68 IP). Unfortunately Matos only pitched 11 innings last year. His first start of 2011 was not a good one (3 IP, 5 R, 3 K, 3 BB, 4 H), but he remains a decent prospect. He's one of several players on Bristol's roster that profile fairly well. "Honorable" mentions: Duente Heath (3.2 IP, 12.27 ERA, 0 K, 5 BB, 4 H), Matt Zaleski (7.1 IP,
12.27
ERA, 5 K, 4 BB, 13 H) and Kevin Rath (1.1 IP, 54 ERA, 1 K, 4 BB, 4
H).

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