Billings 3B Neftali Soto (Reds) laid waste to Pioneer League pitching with three home runs in two games last week. Soto, 19, was at it again this week going 8-for-17 (.471) and slugging .941. In a two game stretch, he went 4-for-5 and missed the cycle by a double, then went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
...low Class A Dayton 3B Brandon Waring (Reds) hit .391/.500/.739 (9-for-23) this week. A prodigious power hitter in college at Wofford, not even the environment of the power-sapping Midwest League has been able to keep Waring down. Waring, 22, went deep in back-to-back games this week on Monday and Tuesday against South Bend, and his 15 home runs for the season rank second in the league.
And in the Not Hot category:
• Juan Francisco, 3b, Reds. Francisco's power potential earned him a spot on the World team for the Futures Game. But the 21-year-old still has a ways to go when it comes to learning the strike zone. His bat speed enables him to have big weeks, but his tendency to chase pitches out of the zone also means he has weeks like this one—Francisco is now 0-for-18 in his last five games, and is hitting .266/.284/.447 overall with a 72-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.