The month of July has been one of the hottest on record in many parts of the country, and personally, I drove through the bulk of the heatwave the last few weeks between Daytona and Cooperstown and living in the Midwest. With the heatwave now past for the time being, now might be a good time to take a look at some guys throughout the minors that are on heaters themselves and have turned around their seasons after, in some cases, terribly slow starts.

Isan Díaz, 2B MIA – Diaz’s numbers might jump out at you for how good they are overall with a .305/.394/.586 slash line and 24 homers at Triple-A New Orleans this year, but that belies the rough start he got off to, after finishing a rough stretch there last year too. In 36 games to finish the 2018 season, he slashed just .203/.281/.358 and then started this year with a .645 OPS in 24 games in April and two homers. Since then he’s found the stroke the Marlins have been waiting for hitting for better than a 1.000 OPS in each successive month and adding 22 long balls to his stat line. Diaz has played 14 games, as of Monday, in July and slashed .351/.422/.702 with six bombs in that span. He was the main part of the Christian Yelich trade last year and so seeing the power and average from the middle infielder is a good sign for the Marlins going forward and he likely gets the call-up sometime in August to see what they have as they go in 2020.

Ryan McKenna, OF BAL – McKenna has been making progress through the O’s system since being drafted in 2015 but the last few stops have been an up-and-down ride to be sure. He finished 2018 at Double-A Bowie and managed only a .239 avg and .670 OPS in 60 games there before slashing .344/.474/.590 with 10 extra-base hits and 14 walks in 17 games in the Arizona Fall League. Then he started 2019 at Double-A Bowie once more where the first few months of the season saw McKenna put up a .227/.304/.359 slash line. That’s now changed with the calendar going to July as he’s had nine multi-hit games in the 19 in the month with a .343/.432/.614 line and 11 XBH in that span. Despite the up-and-down bat, the steals have still been a part of his game with 18 bags swiped this season. If he can show consistency at the plate, the 22-year-old outfielder will move up to Triple-A Norfolk sooner rather than later and become a real possibility in Baltimore sometime in 2020.

Mickey Moniak, OF PHI – The 21-year-old outfielder is the former number-one overall pick from the 2016 draft and is finally starting to show the promise the Phillies drafted him to have. At Double-A Reading this season, he started with a .195 batting average and .611 OPS in April and then had an IL stint in early July. Since May 1 though, Moniak has the ninth-best OPS in the Eastern League at .826 OPS and overall has a .293/.359/.467 slash line with three homers, 17 doubles, and eight triples in that span. July has been a tick better than that as well even with the hamstring injury holding him out. There isn’t much power in his bat just yet but he does have the ability to grow into some as he continues to mature and if he can keep this new-found hitting ability, it will hasten his track through the rest of the system. He is a career .260 hitter to this point, so they will need to see sustained average in this range to believe it will stick.

Cal Mitchell, OF PIT – Mitchell was a 2017 second-round pick of the Pirates out the San Diego High School powerhouse of Rancho Bernardo and has already made it to High-A at just 20 years of age. As of Monday, he had a nine-game hit streak going at Bradenton and set a career-high for RBI in a game, seven, in that outing. That hit streak, over 37 at-bats, raised his average from .248 to .266 and accounted for four of his 13 home runs, five of his 19 doubles, 16 of his 54 RBI, and 10 of his 45 runs scored. The bat needs to play for Mitchell as the defense is average at best and his speed is nearly nonexistent with six steals total in 252 pro games. The power is average with a bit more chance to get added to as he physically matures and learns more leverage in his swing. Overall though, he’s a guy that will hit .260 with 20 homers in the majors and play decent defense in centerfield when all is said and done.

Edward Olivares , OF SD – A trade piece in the Yangervis Solarte deal last offseason, Olivares is starting to make his presence known at Double-A in July and the second half overall. In July specifically, over 20 games, he’s hitting .382/.443/.658 with five home runs, 16 RBI, 18 runs, and two steals. In the 30 games since the Double-A All-Star Break, of which he was one, he’s hit .377/.436/.632 with seven homers, 27 runs, 23 RBI, and nine steals. Compare that with .269/.343/.446 slash with nine homers, 50 runs, 43 RBI, and 14 steals in 62 games in the first half. The hot streak is in full bloom clearly. At 6’2” and 186 pounds, the 23-year-old Venezuelan needs to add more strength to his frame to get more power numbers, but the quick, short, right-handed swing is making the contact expected from his 55-grade hit tool grade. Speed is his main tool as this is the third-straight 20-plus steal season for Olivares. He’s deep in the Padres' system rankings (17th overall) but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an impact guy on the major league roster if he keeps hitting the way he is at Amarillo.

Tommy Wilson, RHP NYM – Wilson, a 19th-round pick of the Mets in the 2018 draft, started the year at High-A St. Lucie where he posted a 2.01 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in eight starts earning a promotion. That promotion didn’t go as planned in his first several starts at Double-A though. Wilson pitched to a 7.64 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in his first four starts for the Rumble Ponies with eight homers allowed, however, the latest four starts have seen him post a 3.74 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, no homers, and .232 batting average against. In July he’s posted two scoreless starts of 12 innings with five strikeouts and four hits allowed. The recent run is not only more in line with what he’s done previously in his pro career, but he’s also attributing it to a sense of belonging at the higher level and not being nervous to be there. He’s not a top prospect in the Mets’ system but he’s a quality backend starter type who could post nice results as he moves higher in the system.

Joey Wentz, LHP ATL –  Oh look, another Braves’ pitching prospect in a loaded system. The ninth-ranked Braves southpaw has really turned things around in his last few starts. Following his start on June 20, his ERA sat at 5.51 through 67 innings, 14 starts, but then he took the mound on June 26 and over the next 32.1 innings, he preceded to post a 1.67 ERA with 40 strikeouts and far far fewer walks. The last start at Double-A Mississippi, an eight-inning outing, he walked just one batter after walking 10.7-percent of hitters in the first 67 innings of the season. Wentz has three above-average pitches in a 92-94 mph fastball, a curveball, and a nice fading changeup, that, when he controls them, can produce numbers like his last 32-plus innings. If the control isn’t there, it’s more like his first 67 frames. He is still just 21 years old and learning the best way to control his stuff from his big 6’5”, 210-pound frame and utilizes the downhill plane he can generate. The upside is there for him to be a mid-rotation starter in the pros if he can consistently control his stuff at the plus-level he can.