MLB Prospects: Hottest Hitting Prospects at Every Minor League Level

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 16, 2012

MLB Prospects: Hottest Hitting Prospects at Every Minor League Level

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    As the minor league season winds down, there continues to be a slew of high-profile prospects receiving promotions for their impressive seasons, respectively. Perhaps the most notable came earlier this week when the Seattle Mariners promoted catcher Mike Zunino—the No. 3 overall draft pick in June—from Class-A Short Season to Double-A Jackson—a three-level jump. Now, it’s not entirely crazy to believe he may reach the majors before the end of the 2013 season.

    At the same time, there have also been a considerable number of lower-level prospects enjoying breakout seasons and making a case for a spot in Prospect Pipeline’s updated top 50 prospects following the end of the minor league season.

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

Triple-A

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    Leonys Martin, OF, Texas Rangers: .362/.429/.617, 26 XBH (10 HR), 7 SB, 32 K/21 BB (45 G)

    Over his last five games, Martin is batting .640 (13-for-25) with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI; homered in four consecutive games.

    Christian Colon, SS, Kansas City Royals: .301/.376/.413, 21 XBH (6 HR), 13 SB, 28 K/37 BB (85 G)

    Has been on fire since recent promotion to Triple-A: .412/.429/.647 in five games.

    Khris Davis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers: .367/.468/.628, 26 XBH (14 HR), 54 K/31 BB (66 G)

    Has hit safely in nine of last 10 games; not much of a defender, but he sure can hit.

    Eury Perez, OF, Washington Nationals: .311/.342/.357, 149 H, 20 XBH (18 2B), 44 SB, 68 K/14 BB (114 G)

    Has continued to make lots of contact since promotion to Triple-A: .330/.377/.387 with 13 stolen bases in 27 games.

Double-A

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    Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox: .307/.379/.518, 49 XBH (17 HR), 68 RBI, 87 K/43 BB (109 G)

    Has collected nine hits (two home runs) in his first five games for Double-A Portland.

    Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks: .270/.378/.491, 49 XBH (22 HR), 111 K/62 BB (118 G)

    Finally breaking out of second-half slump, as he’s posted a 1.032 OPS through 12 August games.

    Darin Ruf, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies: .313/.404/.596, 59 XBH (29 HR), 83 RBI, 87 K/57 BB (120 G)

    Absolutely crushing the ball over last 10 games: .405/.444/1.024 with eight home runs and 13 RBI; has homered in five consecutive games; September call-up?

    Owaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins: .322/.393/.536, 51 XBH (14 HR), 80 RBI, 91 K/45 BB (106 G)

    Has already eclipsed his first-half totals at High-A in fewer games at Double-A: .337/.412/.556, 25 XBH (7 HR), 49 RBI, 46 K/22 BB (51 G)

    Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds: .313/.411/.430, 104 R, 142 H, 36 XBH (13 3B), 141 SB, 97 K/75 BB (115 G)

    Will shatter Vince Coleman’s minor league stolen base record of 145.

    Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals: .288/.395/.562, 11 XBH, 15 K/12 BB (24 G)

    After a quick rehab assignment, the Nats assigned the top hitter from the 2011 draft class to Double-A.

High-A

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    Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels: .286/.372/.472, 49 XBH (14 HR), 89 RBI, 14 SB, 91 K/61 BB (116 G)

    Breakout season continues for one of minor league baseball’s most improved players—offensively and defensively.

    Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: .311/.399/.501, 36 XBH (15 HR), 21 SB, 65 K/47 BB (93 G)

    Last 10 games: .405/.522/.838, 8 XBH (4 HR), 10 RBI, 9 BB

    Kyle Parker, OF, Colorado Rockies: .315/.421/.547, 38 XBH (17 HR), 56 RBI, 73 K/56 BB (86 G)

    This week, Parker enjoyed back-to-back multi-homer games; 1.202 OPS over last 10 games.

    Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: .395/.477/.868, 7 XBH (4 HR), 4 SB, 8 K/6 BB (11 G)

    After a promotion from Arizona League to High-A, Puig has collected three hits and stolen bases in his first two contests.

    Leon Landry, OF, Seattle Mariners: .351/.379/.604, 62 XBH (18 3B), 25 SB, 58 K/16 BB (93 G)

    Has been raking since joining the Mariners at the trade deadline: .491/.508/.877, 13 XBH, 5 SB, 6 K/2 BB (13 G)

    Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins: .324/.399/.528, 42 XBH (12 HR), 18 SB, 72 K/43 BB (92 G)

    Continues to prove that he’s one of the best (and more projectable) pure hitters in the minors.

    C.J. Cron, 1B, Los Angeles Angels: .291/.325/.501, 52 XBH (23 HR), 112 RBI, 64 K/15 BB (117 G)

    Will he drive in over 30 runs for the third consecutive month?

    Adam Duvall, 3B, San Francisco Giants: .258/.326/.480, 49 XBH (26 HR), 85 RBI, 103 K/41 BB (117 G)

    Turning in his best month of the season: .321/.377/.661, 6 HR, 22 RBI.

Low-A

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    Kellin Deglan, C, Texas Rangers: .228/.307/.452, 36 XBH (12 HR), 81 K/28 BB (80 G)

    Talk about streaky; here are Deglan’s batting averages by month: April: .267, May: .109, June: .359, July: .155 and August: .368.

    Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres: .262/.321/.442, 33 XBH (10 HR), 45 RBI, 13 SB, 58 K/22 BB (84 G)

    Among the best defensive catchers in the minor leagues and starting to come into his own as a hitter.

    Austin Barnes, C, Boston Red Sox: .325/.414/.501, 48 XBH (11 HR), 61 RBI, 8 SB, 54 K/55 BB (108 G)

    Advanced plate discipline with an intriguing blend of power and speed for a catcher; last 10 games: .409/.435/.682, 7 XBH, 12 RBI, 3 SB.

    Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies: .268/.363/.487, 55 XBH (15 HR), 51 RBI, 14 SB, 102 K/54 BB (106 G)

    In my opinion, Story is the best shortstop prospect in Low-A after Francisco Lindor.

    Sam Mende, 3B, Colorado Rockies: .285/.347/.467, 46 XBH (9 HR), 58 RBI, 20 SB, 78 K/25 BB (96 G)

    An impressive season for a 31st-round pick in the 2011 draft; superb defensive third baseman, and offense has been an unexpected bonus.

    Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs: .265/.351/.441, 6 XBH, 16 RBI, 8 SB, 13 K/8 BB (18 G)

    Has been impressive in four games since promotion to Low-A: .357/.351/.441, 6 RBI, 2 BB.

Class-A Short Season

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    Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers: .293/.435/.733, 29 XBH (18 HR), 43 RBI, 6 SB, 52 K/37 BB (43 G)

    Set a new Arizona League home run record with 18 (previous record was 16) and received a promotion to Low-A last night.

    Pat Cantwell, C, Texas Rangers: .289/.383/.383, 12 XBH (11 2B), 24 K/15 BB (39 G)

    Minimal power, but he has a solid bat with above-average plate discipline; last 10 games: .381/.490/.548, 5 XBH, 7 BB.

    Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs: .350/.365/.513, 8 XBH, 14 RBI, 5 SB, 8 K/2 BB (19 G)

    Made Short Season debut for Boise last night and, as he did in his first Rookie-level game, blasted a home run.

    Mac Williamson, OF, San Francisco Giants: .316/.381/.632, 14 XBH (8 HR), 25 RBI, 13 K/7 BB (23 G)

    At 6’4”, 240 pounds, the Wake Forest alumnus has loads of raw power.

    Preston Tucker, OF, Houston Astros: .357/.421/.571, 8 XBH (5 HR), 23 RBI, 5 K/8 BB (22 G)

    Has five consecutive multi-hit games: 10-for-19, 4 HR, 14 RBI over that span. 

Rookie

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    Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers: .292/.352/.523, 30 XBH (7 3B), 33 RBI, 11 SB, 60 K/16 BB (44 G)

    Everyone knew he was a special athlete, but his baseball skills seems to be more advanced than expected.

    Dorssys Paulino, SS, Cleveland Indians: .354/.403/.602, 24 XBH (5 HR), 29 RBI, 6 SB, 30 K/14 BB (38 G)

    Paulin has turned a lot of heads in his professional debut; last 10 games: .372/.400/.674, 16 H, 8 XBH, 12 RBI, 4 SB.

    Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers: .303/.361/.462, 11 XBH (4 HR), 23 RBI, 8 SB, 21 K/11 BB (33 G)

    Making everyone forget about his slow start with a ridiculously-good August: .380/.421/.720, 7 XBH (4 HR), 16 RBI, 5 SB, 10 K/5 BB (12 G)

    David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies: .371/.412/.590, 78 H, 28 XBH (8 3B), 41 RBI, 11 SB, 28 K/15 BB (50 G)

    WOW. Tremendous professional debut, and he’s now put together a 27-game hitting streak.

    Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: .355/.410/.603, 50 H, 19 XBH (7 HR), 35 RBI, 22 K/13 BB (35 G)

    Seems due for a promotion in the near future; I would guess he makes the jump to Low-A.

    Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros: .250/.296/.375, 16 XBH (13 2B), 6 SB, 38 K/10 BB (43 G)

    In his four games since promotion to Appalachian League: .462/.563/.615, 2 2B, 3 BB.

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