Who are the hottest rookies right now?

September 7th, 2020

Another week, another slew of exciting big league callups for top prospects. From MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list alone, we saw the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes, Miami's Jazz Chisholm, and the Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt make their Major League debuts.

They join an ever-growing rookie class in 2020 that includes current and former Top 100 prospects, players on their team’s Top 30 lists and those who were not ranked but are still making an impact.

Who turned in the best performance this past week, from Aug. 31-Sept. 6? Let’s take a look.

1) Randy Arozarena, OF, Rays
Arozarena went 7-for-14 last week for a .500/.563/1.143 line over five games. He went deep three times, highlighted by a two-homer, three-hit game on Sunday. He drove in a pair in that game against the Marlins and added two RBIs and a homer against the Yankees last Wednesday. The Rays went 4-2 during the week and now have a 5 1/2-game lead over the Blue Jays atop the American League East. Keep looking for Arozarena -- who hit third in the Rays lineup on Sunday -- to get at-bats.

2) Devin Williams, RHP, Brewers
What Williams has done this year has been absolutely insane, with the past week (4 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K) in line with what the reliever has done all season. He’s given up one earned run on four hits over 17 innings (an opponents' batting average of .070), walking six and striking out 35. His other-worldly changeup is unhittable. Opponents are 0-for-39 with 26 strikeouts against what might be the best secondary offering in baseball right now.

3) Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (No. 15)
After scuffling in his big league relief debut in mid-August and a quick outing on Aug. 26, Akin is getting a chance to start and showing his stuff might work in the role. He gave up two unearned runs over 4 2/3 frames in his first start last Monday, then tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings on Saturday. For the week, that meant 9 2/3 innings with no earned runs, six hits allowed and 14 strikeouts. In 13 innings this summer, he’s held hitters to a .174 batting average.

4) Joey Bart, C, Giants (No. 1/MLB No. 13)
Bart went 8-for-18 last week (.444/.500/.556), with a triple and three RBIs. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft hit in all four games he started and three of them were of the multi-hit variety, starting with a three-hit game last Tuesday. His work enabled him to raise his batting average over 100 points and he’s now at .265/.345/.367 over 49 at-bats.

5) Willi Castro, SS/3B, Tigers
Castro hit in five of the six games he played last week and had four multi-hit performances. That led to a .400/.400/.640 line (10-for-25), including three extra-base hits (a double, triple and home run) to go along with six RBIs. The infielder is now hitting a robust .350/.355/.567 over 63 plate appearances in 2020.

6) Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (No. 2/MLB No. 42)
Hayes made his big league debut on Sept. 1 one to remember, picking up a pair of hits, a double and a home run. He has a modest three-game hit streak going and went 4-for-7 over his last two games of the week to bring his line up to .389/.421/.722 (7-for-18) to start his career.

7) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians (No. 10)
Start No. 3 for the right-hander was much like his big league debut on Aug. 22 -- dominant. McKenzie went six innings, allowing three hits, no walks and no runs while striking out six for his second Major League victory. He’s 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a .151 opponents' average over three starts, striking out 19 and walking four in 16 innings.

8) Andrés Giménez, SS/2B, Mets (No. 3/MLB No. 89)
Giménez continues to see time at three infield positions, including a lot of time at his natural position of shortstop, and he’s starting to swing the bat with more authority. He went 7-for-17 this week including notching his first Major League home run. He also drove in six and stole a base. For the season, the 22-year-old has a .282/.329/.385 line and has gone a perfect seven-for-seven in stolen base attempts.

9) Dean Kremer, RHP, Orioles (No. 10)
The first Israeli citizen to sign with a Major League organization also became the first to pick up a Major League win when he made his big league debut on Sunday. The right-hander, who came to the Orioles in the Manny Machado trade, was called up to face the Yankees and threw six innings of one-hit ball, allowing one run while walking three and striking out seven, providing another lift in the O’s youth movement.

10) Tony Gonsolin, RHP, Dodgers
A bit under-appreciated at times among the Dodgers’ deep stable of young pitchers, Gonsolin has been incredibly good this season, though he’s yet to collect a win for his efforts. It was more of the same on Saturday, when the right-hander went six strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits while walking none and striking out eight. For the season, Gonsolin has a 0.76 ERA over five starts with a .150 BAA and 0.72 WHIP.

Honorable mentions (listed in alphabetical order):
Ian Anderson, Braves (No. 2/MLB No. 39)
Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies (No. 1/MLB No. 28)
Mauricio Dubon, UTIL, Giants
Luis García, SS/2B, Nationals (No. 2)
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/OF, Orioles (No. 5)
Tarik Skubal, LHP, Tigers (No. 5/MLB No. 47)
Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers
Dillon Tate, RHP, Orioles