Baseball America published their latest weekly Prospect Hot Sheet yesterday and for the second straight week, the Minnesota Twins were represented by multiple players. Adam Walker (for the second week in a row) and Miguel Sano stood tall during the week of July 19th-25th. In addition to the Twins prospects on the list, and the fact it’s a must read every week regardless of who makes the cut, this week’s edition offers an important reminder.
Before we get into that however, Sano landed at #8 on this week’s list. Since being promoted to New Britain last month he’s continued to flash power and patience but his Eastern League average had dipped below 0.200. That of course changed when he ripped off a six game, 9-21 stretch, with two doubles, four home runs, ten RBI and five walks. Sano however has not played since July 23rd and has been benched indefinitely as a result of a excessively long home run trot.
Walker didn’t make the top-13 this week but did get a mention in the next seven. Through 94 games with the Kernels he’s hitting 0.286/.330/.551 with 22 2B, 5 HR and 22 HR. For Hot Sheet purposes he went 11-29 with two doubles, four home runs and nine RBI. His five game hitting streak was snapped with a 0-5 performance on Thursday but he’s already started a new one with a hit in each of his last two games. During the weekly chat that accompanies the Hot Sheet, Jim Shonerd was asked about Walker’s power and rated it as “at least a 70 raw power” and noted the progress Walker has made in cutting down on his strikeouts.
Also of note from this week is the presence of Kansas City Royals RHP Kyle Zimmer who occupied the top spot on the list. He entered the year as a Top-50 prospect both in the eyes of Baseball America (#24) and MLB.com (#34) but started out the season in a funk. Even though he allowed only five runs and three walks while striking out 36 in his last 25.1 IP for Wilmington (A+) Zimmer still had a 4.82 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 113-31 SO-to-BB in 89.2 innings at the level. He’s since been promoted to Double-A and has thrown back to back 6.0 inning shutouts with a combined 19 SO and 3 BB. The relevant message to take away from Zimmer’s resurgence is that we should not be overly concerned or critical when a prospect starts off slow or hits a rough patch along the way. Nearly all prospects have a hiccup along the way and struggling for an entire season is not unheard of.