Friday, April 30, 2010

It is with great pleasure that brings back its weekly Hot Prospect lists. In our weekly column, we will be providing a look at who’s been hot down on the farm. Unlike our annual Top-50 Prospects, our Hot Prospects column is not ranked based on the ceiling of the prospect, and instead is just a snapshot of the week that just past on the farm. This year, will be presenting the Hot Prospect reports every Friday throughout the season.

Hot Prospects April 30, 2010

1. Roberto Lopez, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 15/37 (.405), 4 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HRs, 8 Runs, 10 RBIs, 2 SB
Overall: .351/.419/.568 with 2 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up: Roberto Lopez is a bat in search of a defensive position. Breaking out of last year’s offensive slump, Lopez has seen time all over the field, logging time at 1B, RF, C and DH. Like Trumbo, Lopez needs to find a spot to make room for his bat. Two years ago, Lopez hit led the Pioneer League in BA (hitting .400 for the season), hits, runs scored, RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging. So, we know he can hit. Finding him a spot where he can stick will be a major goal for him this year.

2. Ryan Brasier, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 3.46 ERA, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 9 K, 1.23 WHIP
Overall: 2-1, 0 Saves, 3.28 ERA, 24.2 IP, 16 H, 15 BB, 11 K, 1.26 WHIP, .184 BAA

What’s Up: In a normal week, when a pitcher throws a complete game no-no, he should be placed in our top spot. Unfortunately, Brasier’s no hitter, the first in the Texas League this year and the first ever in Dickey-Stephens Park (home of the Arkansas Travelers), came during a week in which he struggled in his prior performance. Still, the 22 year old converted reliever is shows that he has the skills to mix speeds well on his fastball and keep hitters off-balanced with his curve and slider to the point of pitching this tremendous feat!

3. Mike Trout, OF, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 17/43 (.395), 2 Doubles, 2 Triples, 0 HRs, 6 Runs, 2 RBIs, 8 SBs
Overall: .378/.435/.476 with 0 HRs and 11 SBs

What’s Up: Trout started the season off in a 1 for 13 slide. Since then, all he’s done is hit, hit, and hit! Sandwiched in between all of that hitting, Trout has been stealing bases, including stealing home in a game. No one doubts that the power will develop for Trout. He’s still just 18 and competing against much older talent. As he fills out, he should be able to pull the ball more and hit with more authority. But for now, he’s still hitting like a man amongst boys.

4. Alexia Amarista, 2B, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 17/43 (.395), 5 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 8 Runs, 2 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .364/.380/.455 with 0 HRs and 3 SBs

What’s Up: Going into Thursday night’s game, Amarista was hitting over .400 for his past 10 games, raising his batting average to .364 for the season. Hitting like that places him at the Howie Kendrick level, who posted a .384/.421/.638 line at Rancho back in 2005. Although they are not built the same, and Amarista is a lefty, there’s one thing that they both have in common: They both can flat-out hit!

5. Carlos Ramirez, C, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 9/34 (.265), 1 Double, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 11 Runs, 5 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .240/.397/.420 with 2 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up: Normally hitting .265 isn’t going to get a player on the Top Prospect list for the week. However, when you draw 10 walks in 10 games on top of hitting .265, you’re on base percentage will shoot up to .457! It also will help you to score 11 runs in 10 games. Last year, Ramirez had on OB% of .500 for the season for Orem and posted more walks than strikeouts (35:26), so hopefully he will continue the trend.

6. Hank Conger, C, Class AAA Salt Lake
Past 10 Games: 12/37 (.324), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 7 Runs, 4 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .302/.351/.472 with 2 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: Conger is heating up. He’s squaring up the ball very well. But, more importantly, he’s playing defense very well. He’s thrown out 36% of all base runners this year and has yet to allow a passed ball. Conger still needs a year of seasoning at Salt Lake, but, he’s showing that 2011 could be his year.

7. Peter Bourjos, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake
Past 10 Games: 13/43 (.302), 2 Doubles, 5 Triples, 0 HR, 7 Runs, 2 RBIs, 4 SBs
Overall: .313/.342/.493 with 0 HRs and 4 SBs

What’s Up: It’s good to see the speed taking off for Bourjos. He has plenty of it. Bourjos tied a Minor League record by hitting 3 triples in one game, and has 5 overall. Although Bourjos has committed an error on the season, he also had his first outfield assist and is showing off his incredible range in Salt Lake.

8. Abel Nieves, 2B, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 13/32 (.406), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 6 Runs, 3 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .333/.422/.385 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: Working in tandem with Andrew Romine, Abel Nieves has been pushing the Travelers offense upward. Typically batting third in the lineup, Nieves has had 5 multi-hit games in his last 10 games played, and has 5 walks versus 2 strikeouts over the same time span.

9. Andrew Romine, SS, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 13/40 (.325), 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 7 Runs, 4 RBIs, 2 SB
Overall: .333/.424/.347 with 0 HRs and 4 SBs

What’s Up: On a team that is lacking in offense, Romine is doing all that he can to show that there’s more than one way to generate a run. Not only is he leading off for the Travelers, he’s leading his team in batting average for the season, all while playing solid defense at SS.

10. Terry Evans, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 14/32 (.438), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 1 HR, 6 Runs, 3 RBIs, 5 SBs
Overall: .438/.500/.598 with 1 HRs and 5 SBs

What’s Up: So much for letting the demotion get him down! Evans is on a tear since returning to Salt Lake and demonstrating once again why he has the skills to be a Major League reserve OFer. He has the power, speed, and defensive skills to cover all 3 OF spots.

Love to hear what you think!


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