Gary Sanchez (C):
Sanchez saw his prospect status rocket prior to last season, but his 2011 had a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde feel to it. With any luck, that is behind him, as he has started 2012 off with a bang. I wonder if having so many highly touted prospects in Charleston is helping him, as it takes a bit of the pressure off. He is hitting .346/.407/.462 in twenty games. He has nine doubles and six RBIs. Sanchez has already swiped six bases this season, getting caught only once, which is particularly impressive for a catcher. There is more good news for Sanchez, who has always taken a beating for his defense. The catcher seems to have made some big improvements since last season, as he continues to work on his receiving skills.
Nik Turley (LHP):
The young southpaw has followed up his big 2011 season with a strong April. Turley made five starts this month and is 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .241 average. He has allowed just seven earned runs and only one homerun and continues to impress with his command. Turley has issued ten free passes, while striking out 32. His main weakness so far appears to be left-handed hitters, who have a .367 average against Turley this season, though the sample size is still a bit small. Four of his earned runs and his only homer were given up to lefties. For our profile on Turley from earlier this month check here.
Rob Segedin (OF):
If you are following the Tampa Yankees, it is hard to miss Rob Segedin this season. He struggled a bit when he first got called up to Tampa last season, but he seems to have figured it out over the offseason and during the Arizona Fall League. He hit .304/.375/.500 in April, scoring nineteen runs, hitting six doubles and four homers, and picking up fourteen RBIs. He’s also stolen four bases and not been caught. Segedin, who played third base during his rookie season and started to transition to outfield last season, has primarily played outfield for Tampa this year.
Mason Williams (OF):
Williams caught a lot of people’s attention in 2011, as he pretty much owned the New York-Penn League. He has made the adjustment to Low-A ball almost flawlessly, hitting an impressive .315/.343/.457 in 22 games in April. He has eight RBIs, six doubles, two triples and a homer, along with eight stolen bases. Williams does not strike out, having only four Ks this season. One of the more impressive aspects of his offense this season is how his numbers are pretty similar regardless of whether the pitcher is right-handed or left-handed. Williams has been solid in centerfield, continuing to show that he appears to be the whole package.
D.J. Mitchell (RHP): Mitchell made his major league debut last night, and he deserved it as he has been a solid arm for the Empire State rotation that has been surprisingly lackluster.
Zachary Nuding (RHP): Nuding has never been viewed as much of a prospect, but he has put together some strong numbers in Tampa this April, appearing in four games (three starts) and holding a 2.25 ERA, allowing just six walks (BB/9 is 2.7) and striking out 23 (K/9 is 10.4).
That wraps up our April Who’s Hot list, look for the Who’s Not list later today.