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Chicks dig the long ball. That's why in this week's look at the hot prospects to watch we're going to focus exclusively on hitters who have been on a tear recently.

Now with these hot-hitting prospects we're going to look at, that doesn't mean there haven't been some great pitching performances these last two weeks. Brewers prospect Freddy Peralta had a dazzling debut on Sunday with one hit, two walks and 13 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings against the Rockies. Dodgers right-hander Dennis Santana has had 26 strikeouts over his last 20 2/3 innings and Phillies prospect Enyel De Los Santos has just one start with fewer than six strikeouts and hasn't allowed a run over his last 18 2/3 innings of work.

There were other big pitching performances, but for now it's time to look at the hot hitters from the last week.

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I'll tell you what I want, what I Raley, Raley want...

2B Nick Gordon - Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A: Minnesota Twins)

Upcoming games: vs Tennessee 5/15-16, at Biloxi 5/17-21

Gordon has been one of the top hitting prospects in the Twins organization for a while, and over his last 10 games he has really heated up. He's hitting .410 since May 5, with four doubles, a home run, two steals and a 1.068 OPS. Gordon's nine doubles have him tied for 14th in the Southern League, while he is tied for third with three triples. While he doesn't appear to have any single elite category for fantasy purposes, Gordon has double-digit home run and steal potential with a .275-.280 average once he reaches the majors. At this point, Gordon doesn't have much left to prove, and as soon as an opening appears in Minnesota he will  likely get the call to the majors.

 

1B Matt Thaiss - Mobile BayBears (Double-A: Los Angeles Angels)

Upcoming games: vs Birmingham 5/15-6, at Jacksonville 5/17-21

The Angels' first round pick in the 2016 Draft, Thaiss' numbers tumbled slightly last season between Class-A Advanced and Double-A. He hit only three more home runs than his 2016 total in 250 more at bats, and his average dropped 20 points while his OPS fell by 50 points. Things are clicking for him this season though, as his OPS is at a career-high .842 and he is only four home runs away from matching last season's total in almost 400 fewer at bats. Over his last 10 games in particular, Thaiss is hitting .324 with three doubles, a triple and two home runs, with five walks to eight strikeouts. After last season's disappointing numbers Thaiss could be an excellent buy-low candidate in dynasty leagues, and owners should keep an eye on him this week as he goes up against weak pitching staffs in Birmingham and Jacksonville.

 

OF Luke Raley - Tulsa Drillers (Double-A: Los Angeles Dodgers)

Upcoming games: vs Springfield 5/15-17, vs Arkansas 5/18-21

Coming up through a system loaded with outfield prospects, it's easy to overlook 2016 seventh-round pick Luke Raley. Smart fantasy owners should keep an eye on him though, as he might be the most under-the-radar prospect with double-digit home run and steal potential who could hit .290-.295. This season he looks to be on the verge of a breakout, with a career-high .908 OPS while having hit half of his 2017 home run total in just 129 at bats. In his last 10 games, Raley has hit .275 with one double, two triples and two home runs while driving in eight runs and scoring seven. Keep an eye on Raley in his upcoming series against Arkansas, whose pitching staff has allowed the third-most home runs in the Texas League.

 

3B Kevin Smith - Lansing Lugnuts (Single-A: Toronto Blue Jays)

Upcoming games: vs Dayton 5/15-17, vs Bowling Green 5/18-20

Over the last two weeks, there hasn't been a batter much hotter than third baseman Kevin Smith. In 46 plate appearances, Smith is hitting .512 with a 1.397 OPS, collecting nine doubles, a triple, a home run and three stolen bases. Clearly there's no way those numbers are sustainable, but Smith is yet another under-the-radar player with the potential to hit for a high average with double-digit home runs and steals. Last season he hit eight home runs and stole nine bases, and in 100 fewer at bats this year he has already hit five home runs and stolen nine bases. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is (deservedly so) the biggest third base prospect in the Blue Jays organization, let alone all of baseball. But dynasty league owners should look to stash Smith, as he could hit his way to the majors and force Toronto to find a position for him.

 

C Hendrik Clementina -  Dayton Dragons (Single-A: Cincinnati Reds)

Upcoming games: at Lansing 5/15-17, vs Great Lakes 5/18-20

The Reds acquired Clementina last season in the trade that sent Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers, and since then he has been nearly unstoppable at the plate. His last 10 games in particular have been ridiculous to say the least, hitting .364 with eight walks to eight strikeouts and FIVE home runs in 33 at bats. You won't find Clementina on any top prospect lists right now, but he'll be making a name very soon for himself. His hot streak should continue against Lansing, whose pitching staff has allowed the fourth-most hits and second-most home runs in the Midwest League. But the real test for Clementina will come against the Great Lakes Loons, who have allowed the fewest hits and fourth-fewest home runs in the league, while recording the ninth-most strikeouts.

 

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