It's worth remembering that one bad year does not mean a player is no longer a prospect. There are few better examples of that than the No. 1 player on this list,
These are the hottest prospects in baseball right now, with stats taken from games of July 17-23. (Contributing: Ben Badler, Dan Budreika, J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Matt Forman, Conor Glassey, Jim Shonerd.)
Allen needed time to adjust to pro ball after the White Sox made him a fifth-round pick in 2004, but he broke out last year, hitting 29 home runs between high Class A and Double-A, and he has continued that trend into 2009. Allen is up to 15 home runs for the season, having hit eight before being traded and seven already in 12 games with Reno. He hit three homers in four games against Sacramento, one of the PCL's better pitching staffs, then homered in back-to-back games against Portland, including a two-homer game on Wednesday.
Allen's hit tool has been coming around as well. A .256 lifetime hitter coming into the season, he's hitting .296 in 338 at-bats between stops at Double-A and Triple-A this year. He has registered hits in 11 of his 12 games since joining the Aces, and his strikeout rate has fallen markedly, as he has fanned only 65 times in 88 games this year, down from his career rate of more than a strikeout per game entering the year.
• At this point, does another seven scoreless innings by Reds LHP
• Just call Double-A Portland RHP
• Though it doesn't often happen, one of Tazawa's Red Sox teammates out-pitched him this week. Double-A Portland LHP
• An '08 fourth-round pick from Elon, Mariners RHP
• You won't find low Class A Savannah SS
• Futures Game standout CF
• High Class A Modesto RHP
If it wasn't for injuries,