Carding Baseball America's MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (July 23)


Here's a look at the top five players on this week's Baseball America Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet and their seasons so far. It's a little something to help those who might want to dabble with prospecting -- some basics on their baseball cards alongside a highlight line from those more scouting-minded. We may not do this every week, but we'll check in on BA's top crop from time to time for the remainder of the season.

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox — Triple-A Charlotte Knights
Season so far: 
Hitting .326 with 20 doubles, 15 homers, 52 RBI and 0 SBs in 73 games
Baseball America’s highlight line:
"After an extended stint on the disabled list, the White Sox’s No. 1 prospect returned on July 15 and quickly kicked off the cobwebs. ... He’s already socked half as many home runs (five) in 20 games with Charlotte as he did in 52 with Double-A Birmingham."
CARDBOARD BASICS
Approximate card total (so far):
 730
First Chrome auto: 2017 Bowman
One auto to consider: 2013 Leaf Metal Draft
Buzz’s card take: 
If you don't know his name, it's too late to get in on the cheap as he was ranked as the No. 4 prospect entering this season by Baseball America and MLB.com. He was a key in the Jose Quintana trade and that means his present cards will show him in White Sox colors instead of Cubbie Blue as his first Chrome auto does. As long as all goes well health-wise, you should see him in the majors soon. In five MiLB seasons he's hit .306 with 58 homers and 258 RBI in 373 games.

Keep reading for the rest of the top five ...


2. Corey Ray, OF, Brewers — Double-A Biloxi Shuckers
Season so far: 
Hitting .259 with 27 doubles, 19 homers, 56 RBI and 30 SBs in 96 games
Baseball America’s highlight line:
"He’s managed to improve on almost all of the weaknesses he demonstrated in 2017. He’s improved his strike rate and his walk rate while hitting for massively more power. Ray now has 19 home runs (tied for the Southern League lead) and he also leads the league with 30 steals."
CARDBOARD BASICS
Approximate card total (so far):
 530
First Chrome auto: 2016 Bowman Draft
One auto to consider: 2015 USA Baseball ink (any)
Buzz’s card take: 
Ray's stat line is an interesting one -- mostly because of those steals with that relatively unimpressive average. The good news? That average is better than in recent years and the steals are already the same as his total last season. I'm not that sold here on the numbers, but he's a consensus Top 50 guy for Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus entering this season. 

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3. Adonis Medina, RHP, Phillies — Class-A Clearwater Threshers
Season so far: 
8-3 with a 4.48 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 26 walks in 78.1 innings this season
Baseball America’s highlight line: 
“After a disastrous start in his last outing prior to the Futures Game, Medina came out of the break with one of the best outings of his career. The right-hander whiffed a career best-tying 12 in seven sparkling innings."
CARDBOARD BASICS
Approximate card total (so far): 
200
First Chrome auto: 2017 Bowman
One auto to consider: 2017 Elite Extra Edition
Buzz’s card take: 
He has fewer than 35 different certified autos between just those two products and that will help keep things interesting price-wise if there's more interest from buyers. That's a good thing because that auto isn't exactly the flashiest ink I've ever seen. Including this season, he's 22-20 in five MiLB seasons and this one already looks better than a few of them, though he had 133 strikeouts in 119 innings last season. 

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4. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mets — Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Season so far: 
7-5 with a 2.52 ERA, 107 strikeouts and 33 walks in 96.1 innings this season
Baseball America’s highlight line:
“He’s shown easy velocity this year from a whip-quick arm, as well as an improved ability to drive balls down in the zone. His 107 strikeouts this year are the second-most in the Mets’ organization and his 2.52 ERA is the best among pitchers at full-season levels."
CARDBOARD BASICS
Approximate card total (so far): 
375
First Chrome auto: 2016 Bowman Draft
One auto to consider: 2016 Bowman's Best
Buzz’s card take: 
He doesn't have any ink yet in 2018 but that's OK as a third of his cards already are certified autos. This first-rounder out of Boston College has gone 13-12 in his three MiLB seasons with 217 strikeouts in 221 innings. His stats are improved over last season though he's not considered to be a Top 100 talent yet as he wasn't there this year. He had been No. 100 entering last season.

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5. Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays — Triple-A Durham Bulls

Season so far: Hitting .303 with 30 doubles, 21 homers, 74 RBI and 8 SBs in 92 games
Baseball America’s highlight line: 
“It does seem in some ways that Brandon Lowe has come out of nowhere, but in reality, this is something he’s pretty much always done. ... He was great in the Florida State League last year (.311/.403/.524), was just as good in Double-A Montgomery this year (.291/.400/.508) and he’s been insanely good in Durham (.318/.392/.662)."
CARDBOARD BASICS
Approximate card total (so far):
 70
First Chrome auto: 
Not yet
One auto to consider: 2015 Elite Extra Edition
Buzz’s card take: 
He doesn't have a lot of cardboard right now -- he's in just three 2015 Panini releases -- and nearly 50 of his cards are certified autographs. He's got National Treasures Collegiate auto-jerseys and 2015 Panini Contenders ink to chase, too, but the Elite is the best-looking card to me.

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