Lots of movement on this week's Hot List

Each Friday this season, Royals Corner will release our Hot List, ranking the 10 hottest prospects in the organization. It wasn't exactly a banner week in the Royals' minors, but Luke Hochevar secured his spot atop the Hot List for the second straight week, and several other players made the list for the first time this season. Who else made the Hot List this week? Look inside to find out.

1. Luke Hochevar
Luke Hochevar spent the last week doing his best Zack Greinke impression. The 25-year-old right-hander made two starts, pitching 15 innings while allowing just seven hits and no runs. On Saturday he tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout in the first game of a doubleheader with Nashville. Hochevar was even better on Thursday against Memphis, when he pitched eight shutout innings while striking out nine and walking none. Against the Redbirds, Hochevar threw an incredible 75 of his 97 pitches for strikes, and he now possesses a 5-0 record on the season with a miniscule 0.90 ERA.

2. Jordan Parraz
Parraz didn't see a lot of action last week, but when he was on the field, he went 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles, two walks, and two RBIs. In the last 10 games, the outfielder is hitting .387 with six RBIs, and on the season he's now up to .348/.440/.420 with five doubles and 12 RBIs.

3. Blaine Hardy
Hardy made two appearances last week, logging five innings while striking out three and allowing just one earned run. More importantly, he went yet another week without walking a batter, and through 23.2 innings pitched thus far this season, the southpaw has struck out 28 batters without yielding a free pass. Hardy is now 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA, and opponents are hitting just .214 off of him.

4. Chris Nicoll
Nicoll made just one appearance last week, surrendering two unearned runs in 2.1 innings of work. On the season, the 26-year old is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.57 ERA, and he hasn't allowed an earned run since his first appearance of the season. In 15.2 innings pitched thus far, Nicoll has held opposing hitters to a ridiculous .172 batting average, and he has a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

5. Chris Hayes
Like Nicoll, Hayes made just one outing last week, but it was a dandy. On Monday, the submariner went the final six innings in the Naturals' 13-inning win, picking up his third victory of the season after allowing just three hits and no runs. On the season, Hayes is 3-0 with a tidy 0.96 ERA through eight appearances, and he's held opponents to a .240 batting average. Even more impressively, he's used his sinker to compile an outstanding GO/FO ratio of 3.90.

6. Joe Dickerson
Dickerson emerges on the Hot List after a week in which he hit .368, including a 5-for-10 day in Monday's doubleheader with Arkansas, in which he hit a pair of doubles and a triple. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .253/.352/.367 thus far in his first exposure to Double-A, but he has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.

7. Clint Robinson
Robinson cooled off a bit last week, going just 4-for-14 (.286), but he did hit a home run and a pair of doubles while knocking in five runs. Entering Friday's action, the big first baseman's line stood at .345/.394/.598 with four home runs, 10 doubles, and 18 RBIs.

8. Zach Peterson
Peterson shows up on the Hot List for the first time this season after a week in which he went 2-0. Peterson made two starts, logging 11.1 innings while surrendering just three earned runs (2.38 ERA). On the season, the 24-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings pitched, and he's held opposing hitters to a .259 batting average.

9. Mike Moustakas
Moustakas stays in the same position on the Hot List after a week in which he went 6-for-22 (.273) with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. After a slow start, Moose's numbers have slowly crept back up, and he's currently hitting .274/.314/.474 with four homers, seven doubles, and 18 RBIs.

10. Irving Falu
Truth be told, any number of players could have filled the final spot on this week's Hot List, because it wasn't exactly a stellar week in the Royals' system. Falu gets the nod after hitting .300 with two doubles, a triple, and four RBIs. The middle infielder figures to see more playing time now that Luis Hernandez has been promoted to Kansas City, and on the season, Falu is hitting .280/.296/.400 with four doubles and eight RBIs.


PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

Nick Van Stratten was activated off the seven-day disabled list on Thursday, and he celebrated his return with a career night for the Burlington Bees. He began with a two-out, two-run single in the second inning, and he followed that up by crashing a three-run home run in the fifth. Van Stratten came up again in the seventh, and he capped his night with a two-run double. He finished the game 4-for-6 with a home run, a double, and seven RBIs. He fell just one RBI shy of tying the Bees' single game record.

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