The second half of the minor league season is underway and rookie ball is hitting its stride. That means there were a lot of names to pick from for this Hot and Cold. Still, a familiar name found his way on the hot list once again.
Hot Hitter: Collin Kuhn, OF, Rookie Bristol
Stats: .394/.444/.818 with 12 RBI in 33 AB (9 games)
Kuhn has been a man on fire for the BriSox. The 17th round pick didn’t even hit .300 at Arkansas this spring, but is destroying the Appalachian League. On the year he is hitting .388/.464/.776 with 17 RBI in 14 games. He leads the Appy in average, doubles and OPS and is top five in on-base percentage, slugging, RBI, runs and hits. The 22-year-old is a good athlete and has shifted over to centerfield after Dusty Harvard’s promotion to Kannapolis. It’s early to call him a prospect given the unpredictable nature of rookie ball, but performing like this puts him in good shape to be on Kannapolis’ opening day roster next year. Honorable mentions: Michael Johnson (.424/.486/.788), Lastings Milledge (.387/.441/.806), Alejandro De Aza (.432/.475/.703) and Andrew Douglas (.423/.423/.692).
Cold Hitter: Gookie Dawkins, OF, AA
Stats: .118/.250/.118 with 3 BB and 3 K in 17 AB
Dawkins has had an up and down season. The infielder started hot and has cooled lately. He only had 17 at-bats during the period of this Hot and Cold so it’s tough to get too down on him. The good news this week is that none of the major prospects were in consideration for this spot. “Honorable” mentions: Greg Paiml (.171/.231/.257), Kenny Williams Jr. (.167/.265/.167) and Andrew Garcia (.189/.189/.270).
Hot Pitcher: Addison Reed, RP, AA
Stats: 5 IP, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB, 3 H
Low-A? Check. High-A? Check. AA? Check so far. Reed continues to blow through the minors. The move to AA hasn’t slowed him down yet and you have to wonder if he has a shot at a September call-up. He has 19 K to 3 BB in 12.1 AA innings, showing a similar level of dominance to what Reed did in A ball. I’m having a hard time finding a more sure thing prospect in the minors. Even Dayan Viciedo, while he has a higher upside, has some question marks. Reed looks like a lock to be a solid Major League reliever. Honorable mentions: Brian Omogrosso (6 IP, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB, 4 H), Matt Zaleski (12 IP, 1.50 ERA, 9 K, 8 BB, 6 H), Joe Serafin (7 IP, 2.57 ERA, 7 K, 1 BB, 7 H) and Andre Rienzo (13 IP, 2.13 ERA, 11 K, 7 BB, 13 H).
Cold Pitcher: Jean Duque, SP, Rookie Bristol
Stats: 3 IP, 16.87 ERA, 1 K, 4 BB, 5 H
Last week it was Darwin Matos, this week another Dominican pitcher had a rough week. Both pitchers have struggled with their control early this season. Duque has walked 8 in his 10 innings of work this year. Hopefully he can turn it around. He came to the US with some impressive numbers in the Dominican Summer League. “Honorable” mentions: Duente Heath (10 IP, 11.7 ERA, 12 K, 4 BB, 15 H), Dexter Carter (12 IP, 7.71 ERA, 9 K, 2 BB, 17 H) and Ethan Icard (9 IP, 13 ERA, 9 K, 6 BB, 14 H).