Monday August 13th, 2012

Codey Harrison:  This is the second installment of the weekly prospect hot/cold sheet. We will feature 3 prospects that are on fire, and 3 prospects that are ice-cold. Our list of players will only include those who are still prospect eligible (less than 130 MLB at bats, less than 50 innings pitched at the MLB level). Featured players are generally players who are highly regarded amongst the minors and are regarded as legit prospects. This week’s hottest player goes to Arizona Diamondbacks LHP Tyler Skaggs who has posted a 1.70 ERA in 8 AAA starts.

HOT PROSPECTS:

Tyler Skaggs LHP Diamondbacks – The prize prospect in the trade that sent Dan Haren to the Angels, Tyler Skaggs has been dominant in his 2 season in the Diamondbacks organization, especially of late with AAA Reno. Skaggs has the kind of stuff scouts drool over, 3 pitches that grade out from above average to plus, to compliment his above average command. In Skaggs’ last 3 starts, he has gone 20 innings, allowing 2 runs on 11 hits, with a very impressive 25 strikeouts to only 7 walks. Tyler Skaggs is considered the best southpaw of the loaded Dbacks pitching prospects entering 2012 (Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley, Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley).

Billy Hamilton SS Reds – Unless you have been living under a rock the entire 2012 baseball season, you probably know reds prized prospect Billy Hamilton is really good, and really, really fast. Over his last 10 games the speedster Hamilton has been stealing so many stolen bases that it should almost be against the law. All kidding aside, Hamilton has batted .317,.444 OBP, .415 SLG, with 2 triples, and 20 stolen bases over an amazing 10-game stretch. Might not be too much longer before Billy Hamilton is playing at the MLB level, but right now he is busy trying to break the single season record for stolen bases. He currently sits only 6 stolen bases away from the record.

Jameson Taillon RHP Pirates – One of the 2 prized pitching prospects in the Pirates organization, Right Jameson Taillon appears to be putting it all together. Over his last 3 starts, the 20-year-old Taillon has gone 17 innings, while allowing 1 earned run on 9 hits, while posting a very respectable 11/5 K/BB ratio. Jameson Taillon who stands at a towering 6 feet, 6 inches, has the type of body scouts dream about, and it makes it easy to see why the Pirates drafted him 2nd overall out of high school in the 2010 draft. While Taillon is currently down in High-A, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Jameson Taillon, and Gerrit Cole are atop the Pirates MLB rotation.

COLD PROSPECTS:

Brett Jackson Outfielder Cubs – Chicago Cubs fans finally received what they had been asking for, and well so far Brett Jackson hasn’t preformed at the majors the way Cubs fans thought he would have. Although it’s probably to soon to panic, Jackson has gone 3-20, with 12 strikeouts, and 0 extra base hits. The strikeouts are to be expected though as Jackson has holes in his swing, which has led to high strikeout totals throughout his pro career. It is too early to be down on Jackson, as he has 2 plus tools, power, and speed. Cubs fans should still be excited about a line-up that includes Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Brett Jackson.

Hak-Ju Lee SS Rays – The very promising Korean shortstop prospect has been less than stellar in his last 10-games. The former Cubs/ current Rays prospect Hak-Ju Lee has shown his stellar speed with 37 stolen bases on the season. But with a higher than expected strikeout rate and cold 10-game stretch, Lee has found himself on the cold section of our weekly 6-Pack. Lee is batting a lowly .100, with a .206 OBP, and 14 strikeouts in his last 10 games.

Javier Baez SS Cubs – The standout shortstop prospect who raked all year in Low-A Peoria, has yet to find his stroke at the plate in High-A Daytona. The Toolsy shortstop who some project out as a third baseman a .091 batting average, .167 OBP, and .136 SLG so far in Daytona. Baez is a bigger version of current Cubs star shortstop Starlin Castro, and by that I mean he is a free swinger- having walked only 11 times in 63 games this season.

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers. You can also follow Codey on Twitter (@ProspectsMLB)

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