The Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet is here! Geoff Pontes ranks the 10 hottest prospects from the previous week. This installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet considers what minor league players did through Nov. 4.
This simply recognizes what the hottest prospects in the minors did in the past week—it’s not a re-ranking of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects.
1. Tyler Hardman, 1B, Yankees
Why He’s Here: .429/.429/1.143 (6-for-14), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: The Yankees slugger took flight last week as he recorded an extra-base hit in all three games. Hardman’s signature game came in Friday afternoon’s contest in Peroia. The first baseman connected for a pair of home runs in route to a 2-for-5 day, driving in three runs. Earlier in the week, Hardman went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in a 7-6 loss to Scottsdale. Dating back to his collegiate days at Oklahoma, Hardman has always had standout power.
2. Will Wagner, 3B, Astros
Why He’s Here: .417/.500/1.000 (5-for-12), 3 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: Few players have announced their presence quite like Wagner has over the Fall League season. Wagner was snubbed for a Fall Stars nod but is among the leaders in several categories as he’s hitting .340/.436/.681 over 13 games. Last week Wagner homered in consecutive days to start the week, including a game winner in the bottom of the eighth on Wednesday to give Surprise the win over Glendale. Wagner is the son of former all-star reliever Billy Wagner, and he possesses one of the better combinations of feel to hit and strike-zone discipline in the Astros system.
3. Carlos De La Cruz, OF, Phillies
Why He’s Here: .667/.667/1.222 (6-for-9), 3 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0-for-0 SB
The Scoop: The 6-foot-8 outfielder stands out on a baseball field as much as any player in the game, and he looks more like a power forward than a baseball player. Last week De La Cruz showed off his plus raw power, connecting for a home run and a double during the Saguaros matinee in Glendale on Thursday. De La Cruz is a raw but intriguing talent with the ability to handle an outfield corner and the raw power that hints at 30-home run potential. At present De La Cruz swings and misses and chases too much to fully tap into his raw power.
4. Mike Antico, OF, Cardinals
Team: Salt River
Why He’s Here: .500/.625/1.167…