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Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet

Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet is out, and available without a BA subscription.  I've highlighted some possible late-season pitching call-ups for those who are willing to see there September ratios blow-up if they do not pan out.  

I've talked about Brandon Jones before, but I believe he will be a hot off-season topic especially with OF opening in Atlanta next season.  Also included is the type of minor leaguer I look at as a sleeper - great minor league numbers with little blocking his ascension to the major league club.

Remember also to mourn the 30th anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley on Aug. 16. We miss you, King. Especially the Vegas years.

6. Ian Kennedy, rhp, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

The only question surrounding Kennedy at this point is when he will join fellow prospect Joba Chamberlain on the big league roster. Kennedy, who like Chamberlain began the season with high Class A Tampa (both also signed late and made their debuts in Hawaii Winter Baseball last October), limited Pawtucket to five hits over six innings while striking out nine in his third Triple-A start. Overall, Chamberlain is 12-2, 1.75, with 148 strikeouts (fifth-best in the minors) in 129 innings.

7. Brandon Jones, of, Triple-A Richmond (Braves)

We love to throw guys on Hot Sheet who are performing well after a promotion, and Jones fits that bill this week. Over his last 27 at-bats, Jones hit .481 with a home run and six RBIs. No wonder he was one of only a handful of players Atlanta refused to part with at the trade deadline.

9. Edinson Volquez, rhp, Triple-A Oklahoma (Rangers)

Volquez has always had the stuff, but his command has consistently eluded him--until recently. Since his promotion to Triple-A, Volquez has 39 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 2.03 ERA in 31 innings. In his last two starts, he's compiled 18 strikeouts, four walks and just one earned run in 13 innings. Volquez has never had a problem striking out batters--130 in 121 Triple-A innings last year--but he also walked an alarming 72 hitters in the process. To get him to focus on his command, the Rangers had Volquez start his season all the way back in high Class A for the first month of the season before promoting him to Double-A Frisco, where Volquez spent two more months and finally showed improvement in his command. The two-level demotion is similar to the situation righthander Roy Halladay faced in 2001, when the Blue Jays sent Halladay to high Class A after a disastrous 2000 season in the major leagues. Halladay then went on to win the Cy Young in 2003. Halladay's pitching coach at the time in Toronto, Mark Connor, also happens to be the current pitching coach in Texas.

13. Jair Jurrjens, rhp, Double-A Erie (Tigers)

After back-to-back 10-strikeout performances, Jurrjens only whiffed four in his last start. But that doesn't really matter. He allowed a run on five hits over seven innings and is 2-0, 0.56 in August. Oh, and he's starting Wednesday in the big leagues--in what should be another heated series against Cleveland.

20. Jose Martinez, ss, Double-A Springfield (Cardinals)

Martinez was one of our breakout candidates back in a March edition of Prospect Pulse, and while it's taken the 21-year-old Venezuelan some time to get rolling after being promoted from high Class A Palm Beach in June, he's proven to be a valuable commodity in the organization. After hitting .158 over his first eight games, Martinez is batting .391/.404/.696 in August--a month after he drove in 24 runs in July.