The Prospect Hot List is back and we have three weeks of action to break down for you. Reminder, I try to be as impartial as possible, meaning you might see some names on here that most would consider organizational depth. This column isn’t evaluating their future potential or total career (check out our rankings and/or scouting pieces for that), but strictly their recent results. A player posting the best stats over any stretch of time at any level is an impressive achievement.
Additionally, I will be adding the rookie level affiliates (Great Falls and Arizona) as they have the full three weeks of data just like the full season teams.
The hottest hitter for the Knights for the past few weeks is none other than Cody Asche (before you type angry messages in the comments; read above). Asche’s photo may pop up if you google “AAAA player,” since after being demoted with a miserable .105/.177/.175 big league line, he has been the king of Charlotte, batting .370/.466/.615 for the season. Other Knights hitters who have been en fuego recently are Nicky Delmonico (.333/.390/.519) and Rymer Liriano (.318/.423/.530).
The back-end duo of Zack Burdi and Brad Goldberg of the Charlotte bullpen has been lights out recently, though Burdi has an arm issue being checked out in Chicago on Thursday. Both high octane relievers have not allowed an earned run since mid-June. Another Knight who has been pitching well is swing man Matt Purke. The bespectacled lefty has a 1.74 ERA with 14 strikeouts to only two walks over his last 10.1 innings.
Jordan Guerrero was on the last edition of the Hot List, but he has kept chugging along, posting a 2.10 ERA with 21 strikeouts to 6 walks over his last 25.2 innings. Jordan Stephens was too, and he has also stayed hot, logging a 2.16 ERA over his last three starts.
Nobody in the whole system has been hotter than Birmingham utility man Jake Peter. After a miserable start including a .173/.213/.200 line in April, Peter has roared back and is hitting .377/.456/.449 over his last 18 games.
Similar to Jake Peter, catcher Seby Zavala struggled to start the season, but since being promoted to Winston-Salem he has been back to his old ways. Zavala is hitting .304/.373/.543 over 13 games for the Dash, and has slugged 16 home runs thus far this season. Danny Mendick is continuing his strong season by hitting .333/.412/.500 over the last three weeks.
Dash closer Jack Charleston (also known as the “Slim Reaper”) has a 0.87 ERA over his last 10.1 innings and has only allowed one earned run since May 25th. The lanky right-hander has ugly peripherals (16 K/14 BB), but owns a 1.55 ERA and a .184 batting average against so something is working.
Kannapolis’s closer Matt Foster actually retired from baseball in the off-season, but thankfully he changed his mind and since joining the Intimidators he has not allowed a run over his first 7.1 innings of the season. Foster was drafted in the 20th round last year and between stops at the rookie level affiliates and this season he has complied a 0.49 ERA over 37 innings with 51 strikeouts, 9 walks, and just 15 hits allowed.
Great Falls Voyagers
The Pioneer League is a haven for hitters and the White Sox usually send their advanced college bats to Great Falls so it is no surprise there are a few Voyagers on this list. 12th round pick Justin Yurchak is showing his off advanced approach at the plate thus far, posting a .343/.421/.463 line. Catcher Jacob Cooper has spent the last couple years with the AZL team, but is finding Montana much more enjoyable, slashing .406/.486/.688 over his first 10 games. 2017 9th round pick Craig Dedelow is also off to a hot start, hitting .324/.358/.581.
2017 5th round pick Tyler Johnson is living up to his high selection, posting a 1.13 ERA with 12 strikeouts over his first 8 innings of work. Fellow reliever J.B. Olson has not allowed a run over his first 6.2 innings. 31st round pick Parker Rigler has an unsightly 6.75 ERA, but has struck out an eye-popping 23 batters to only 4 walks over his first 12 innings.
Arizona League White Sox
2017 14th rounder Alex Destino is slashing .308/.386/.410 which is tops for the current players on the AZL Sox. The White Sox usually send the more raw Latin players to Arizona and this year is no different. 17-year-old SS Lenyn Sosa is hitting .282/.317/.359 and considering his age, that’s an incredible line. 19-year-old Maiker Feliz is playing part-time but putting up a .316/.316/.632 slash line with two home runs. 18-year-old Sam Abbott is showing a good eye early on, batting .211/.400/.211, having drawn 6 walks to just 4 strikeouts.
Dominican Summer League
Luis Robert is currently on the shelf with a knee injury, but he had more walks (17) than strikeouts (14) and also stole 8 bases over his first 17 games. Shortstop Santo Vasquez, who signed for $300k in the 2015 J2 class, is hitting .272/.362/.444 with three home runs. The slugging percentage and the home runs are notable because there just simply isn’t a lot of power displayed in the DSL, with the players being so young and raw.
Want to know right away when we publish a new article? Type your email address in the box on the right-side bar (or at the bottom, if on a mobile device) and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: News and notes
Tags: Alex Destino, brad goldberg, Craig Dedelow, Danny Mendick, Jack Charleston, Jacob Cooper, Jake Peter, Jordan Guerrero, Jordan Stephens, Justin Yurchak, Lenyn Sosa, Luis Robert, Maiker Feliz, Matt Foster, Matt Purke, Parker Rigler, Rymer Liriano, Santo Vasquez, Seby Zavala, Tyler Johnson, Zack Burdi