Prospect Heat Check: The Most Unhittable Pitcher You Haven\'t Seen
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Prospect Heat Check: The Most Unhittable Pitcher You Haven\'t Seen.
7. James Hoyt, RP, Triple-A, Houston
Hoyt didn't join affiliated baseball until he was 26. Now, on the cusp of 30, he's become impossible to ignore, going from a secondary piece of the Evan Gattis trade to the cusp of Houston's bullpen. In 36 innings, Hoyt has 64 strikeouts, and while the Astros' bullpen has stabilized – their June strikeout-to-walk ratio is 63 to 11 – depth is never a bad thing.
8. Joe Jimenez, RP, Double-A, Detroit
Much like first-base prospects, relief prospects are a fickle bunch. Jimenez may be the best in the minor leagues. He's a classic two-pitch bullpen arm, and his fastball and slider may be all he needs. Jimenez, 21, still hasn't given up a run this season and has struck out 44 and walked just six in 26⅓ innings. For a team long seeking a closer, Jimenez may finally be what Bruce Rondon was supposed to.
9. Kevin Newman, SS, Double-A, Pittsburgh
Newman slid to the Pirates with the 19th pick in the first round of last year's draft, and the Pirates happily snapped him up, aware that a decent shortstop with even an average hit tool is an extremely valuable major-league piece. A decent shortstop with a hit tool like Newman's – he's at .363 this season with just 15 strikeouts in 182 at-bats – is a potential All-Star. And if his gap power ever turns into more … well, that's just scary.