MLB Prospects: Hottest Hitting Prospects at Every Minor League Level

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 9, 2012

MLB Prospects: Hottest Hitting Prospects at Every Minor League Level

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    Since the expiration of Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on Tuesday, July 31, there have been numerous high-profile prospects on the move within the minor leagues.

    At the same time, there has also been an growing number of prospects promoted to the big leagues—for example, 20-year-old Manny Machado will make the jump straight from Double-A and make his major league debut on Thursday night.

    But as the week winds down, it's time to once again look at some of the hottest hitters from each minor league level.

    Since most of the top Triple-A prospects have been recalled—hang in there, Wil Myers and Jedd Gyorko—I ultimately decided not to include those prospects in this article. Don’t worry; I’ve compensated with extended focus on Class-A Short Season and Rookie-level players.

Double-A

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    Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds

    .310/.407/.421, 109 R, 33 XBH (11 3B), 131 SB, 92 K/69 BB (109 G)

    Vince Coleman’s single-season record of 145 is within reach.

    Marc Krauss, OF, Houston Astros

    .291/.421/.539, 53 XBH (20 HR), 78 RBI, 97 K/81 BB (113 G)

    Received a quick promotion to Triple-A after going 12-for-29 with five home runs in first seven games with Astros.

    Hunter Morris, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

    .309/.363/.572, 64 XBH (22 HR), 93 RBI, 97 K/33 BB (113 G)

    Extra-base machine could warrant a September call-up with the Brewers.

    Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

    .325/.387/.581, 57 XBH (20 HR), 79 RBI, 8 SB, 50 K/38 BB (106 G)

    The 20-year-old’s amazing season continues; just doesn’t stop hitting.

    Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

    .277/.338/.418, 41 XBH (9 HR), 47 K/36 BB (111 G)

    Batting .400 with 16 hits in last 10 games, including two home runs. If he stays hot, Arenado could be a September call-up after all.

High-A

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    Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

    .302/.378/.505, 45 XBH (15 HR), 64 RBI, 85 K/43 BB (104 G)

    Absolutely on fire, batting .474 with 18 hits in last 10 games.

    Trayce Thompson, OF, Chicago White Sox

    .250/.324/.491, 55 XBH (22 HR), 87 RBI, 18 SB, 140 K/45 BB (112 G)

    Still striking out a ton, but contact skills continue to gradually improve. Has loads of raw power and plays a nice center field.

    Randall Grichuk, OF, Los Angeles Angels

    .294/.329/.482, 45 XBH (15 HR), 16 SB, 74 K/19 BB (110 G)

    Finally having that breakout season; batting .455 with 11 extra-base hits in last 10 games.

    Joe Panik, SS, San Francisco Giants

    .291/.367/.411, 36 XBH (25 2B), 69 RBI, 8 SB, 48 K/52 BB (110 G)

    Hard to find a hotter hitter than Panik over last 10 games: .477/.510/.727, 21 H, 5 XBH, 11 RBI, 2 SB.

    Slade Heathcott, OF, New York Yankees

    .281/.369/.490, 20 XBH (13 2B), 13 SB, 40 K/18 BB (43 G)

    Finally healthy, Heathcott is showing his true potential.

    Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs

    .324/.372/.578, 28 XBH (12 HR), 20 SB, 53 K/9 BB (60 G)

    Hot bat earned him a promotion to Florida State League (High-A).

Low-A

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    Delino DeShields, 2B, Houston Astros

    .297/.399/.432, 95 R, 36 XBH (9 HR), 82 SB, 108 K/69 BB (110 G)

    His quest for 100 SBs gets obscured by Billy Hamilton’s insane season.

    Drew Vettleson, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

    .289/.350/.448, 38 XBH (12 HR), 57 RBI, 18 SB, 94 K/41 BB (109 G)

    Toolsy outfielder having successful first full professional season.

    Matt Skole, 3B, Washington Nationals

    .287/.438/.582, 45 XBH (27 HR), 90 RBI, 115 K/91 BB (98 G)

    Having a monster season; real test will come at higher levels.

    Eddie Rosario, 2B/CF, Minnesota Twins

    .314/.371/.508, 38 XBH (9 HR), 9 SB, 48 K/29 BB (76 G)

    Is 17-for-41 with six extra-base hits and 13 RBI since returning from disabled list.

    Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

    .327/.393/.507, 43 XBH (13 HR), 78 RBI, 40 SB, 62 K/43 BB (108 G)

    He and teammate Alen Hanson are two of most exciting players in Low-A.

Class-A Short Season

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    Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners

    .340/.438/.681, 16 XBH (8 HR), 25 RBI, 21 K/13 BB (25 G)

    Can’t imagine he’ll be in Short Season much longer.

    Roman Quinn, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

    .275/.353/.404, 14 XBH (9 3B), 17 SB, 41 K/17 BB (43 G)

    Baseball skills proving to be more advanced than expected.

    Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics

    .405/.473/.695, 18 XBH (7 HR), 31 RBI, 10 SB, 27 K/16 BB (32 G)

    53 hits in 32 games; batting .360 in six games since promotion to New York-Penn League.

    Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Chicago Cubs

    .331/.398/.675, 30 XBH (11 HR), 44 RBI, 27 K/18 BB (38 G)

    Definition of a professional hitter; may or may not live in a van down by the river!

    Andrew Aplin, OF, Houston Astros

    .348/.441/.537, 18 XBH (9 2B), 25 RBI, 20 SB, 22 K/24 BB (44 G)

    Has slowed down a bit in August, but still having ridiculously-good professional debut.

Rookie

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    Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

    .231/.267/.364, 14 XBH (11 2B), 4 SB, 30 K/6 BB (36 G)

    Slowly turning the corner and batting .318 so far in August.

    Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins

    .297/.411/.563, 20 XBH (8 HR), 38 RBI, 24 K/24 BB (41 G)

    German-born outfielder enjoying a breakout season, finally.

    Daniel Robertson, SS, Oakland Athletics

    .297/.405/.554, 16 XBH, 22 RBI, 15 K/16 BB (29 G)

    Following teammate Addison Russell with promotion to Class-A Short Season.

    Corey Seager, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

    .288/.360/.423, 8 XBH, 5 SB, 17 K/11 BB (28 G)

    Last four games: 11-for-22, 3 HR, 7 RBI

    David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies

    .381/.427/.602, 24 XBH, 35 RBI, 8 SB, 26 K/15 BB (44 G)

    Gunning for top prospect honors in Pioneer League; riding a 21-game hit streak and batting .429 in August.

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