This week's Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet is lead by Baltimore Orioles' catcher Matt Wieters. He is absolutely dominating High A and should soon get the bump to AA. A successful July and August in Double-A could see him with a September cup of coffee in anticipation of the 2009 Spring Training rookie hype that attended Jay Bruce, Chase Headley and Evan Longoria this past Spring. The fact current O's catcher Ramon Hernandez can't hit anymore and is a free agent this Winter only makes this scenario more likely.
At the back end of the list are a couple Double-A prospects who look like they could be making fantasy impacts later the summer. New York Mets' 1B Mike Carp may be the answer to a depthless bench once the Mets realize they have to have a more productive bat behind Carlos Delgado. Marlon Anderson and Damion Easley are not viable options. The fact they are the options argues for accountability on behalf of the Mets' employee who thought they were.
The Orioles make a second entry on the list with OF Nolan Reimold. At 24, he is not losing valuable developmental time by crushing Double-A, and, when the Orioles deal their veterans this July, somebody has to fill the holes left by 1B Kevin Millar and OF Aubrey Huff. Why not Reimold?
Included in the "In The Team Photo" section that lists some of the prospects who weren't hot enough and just missed, Chicago Cubs recent recallee Eric Patterson is mentioned. Here is what was said and why fantasy leaguers should keep him in the back of their minds. The July 31st non-waivers trading deadline will be here quicker than you think and still a third of the season will need to be played.
Triple-A Iowa's Eric Patterson (Cubs) will likely never have a full-time job in Chicago, and with his inability to play shortstop, he doesn't really fit as a utility infielder. But the man can hit, which likely means at some point, someone will give him a legitimate big league shot. Patterson, 25, hit .400/.423/.760 with three home runs last week, after hitting only one in the first two months of the season.
Head over to read about the other hot prospects and the chat that began at 3:15PM .
No. 1 MATT WIETERS, C
Team: high Class A Frederick (Carolina)
Why He's Here: .526/.654/.895, 10-for-19, 6 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 7-3 BB-K, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: This may be remembered as the week that Carolina League pitchers finally waved a white flag to Wieters. Pitchers simply decided to not let the league's best hitter beat them, so they have resorted to pitching around him, as evidenced by his five walks in two games. Who can blame them, as when he sees a pitch he can hit, it's often leaving the park.
It's not a question of whether or not Matt Wieters will make it the big leagues. It's simply a question of how soon? At this rate it'll be here before you know it. Wieters has been one of the surest bets when it comes to making the Hot Sheet and this past week may rival his previous rankings.
Oh and just to show that he's versatile, Wieters also laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt this week. He's a great power hitter who's also unselfish, we like to honor that on the Hot Sheet.
No. 10 MIKE CARP, 1B/LF
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Why He's Here: Hit .522/.560/.913 (12-for-23), 4 R, 9 RBIs, 3 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 K.
The Scoop: Yes, he's limited to first base, though the Mets have tried him in left field. And yes, he's not particularly good at either position. But Carp sure can hit, as his .361/.415/.562 line in 219 at-bats would indicate. The Carp bandwagon started go grow after his 2006 season with high Class A St. Lucie, when Carp hit .287/.379/.450 in 573 plate appearances in a pitcher-friendly league. Last year took away a bit of Carp's luster, as he hit .251/.337/.387 in 412 plate appearances with Binghamton after missing the first seven weeks of the season with a broken right finger. Now the bat seems to be back, making Carp one of the Eastern League's most dangerous hitters—perhaps the most dangerous.
No. 12 NOLAN REIMOLD, OF
Team: Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Why He's Here: .450/.500/.700 (9-for-20), 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1/1 SB
The Scoop: After a .232/.324/.347 start in 95 April at-bats, Reimold has been one of the Eastern League's best hitters. His slash stats have jumped to .287/.377/.494 in 237 at-bats, and Reimold has shown an excellent handle of the strike zone with 33 walks and 35 strikeouts. Reimold has always had the bat speed and the power to become a future big league star, although we would like to see him at a higher level soon given his age.