Here’s a look at Thursday’s top Minor League performers from each team’s Top 30 Prospects list:
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP (No. 8) — 8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K (Triple-A Buffalo)
Reid-Foley set season highs for innings and strikeouts as he picked up his first win of the year. The 23-year-old has had his fair share of struggles this season and has pitched to a 6.60 ERA this season. He’s also made one start in the Majors this year but gave up five runs (three earned) in two innings. Foley is coming off a strong 2018 campaign, a season during with he posted a 3.24 ERA over 24 starts at the Double- and Triple-A levels.
Orioles: DL Hall, LHP (No. 3, MLB No. 75) — 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K (Class A Advanced Frederick)
The Orioles’ 2017 first-round pick held his opponent scoreless for the second time over his past three starts. Hall fired 52 of his 82 pitches for strikes and matched his career high for strikeouts. Hall retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced in what was clearly one of his best starts this season. The 20-year-old has been a bit up-and-down this year, his first with Frederick, and has a 4.50 ERA through 30 innings. He’s also amassed 53 strikeouts in that span.
Rays: Wander Franco, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 5) — 2-for-6, R, 2B, RBI, SB (Class A Bowling Green)
Franco bounced back from a hitless game on Tuesday to do a little bit of everything Thursday for the Hot Rods. The 18-year-old is showing a healthy dose of speed this season as he stole his eighth base of the year, although he has been caught stealing four times. However, that’s better than his pro debut last year, when he went 4-for-7 on the basepaths.
Red Sox: Brayan Bello, RHP (No. 24) — 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (Class A Greenville)
After laboring through three innings and allowing nine runs last time out, Bello rebounded and then some to whiff a season-high eight in the longest start of first full-season campaign. He has some work to do to lower his ERA, which ballooned to 8.38 following three straight starts of seven or more earned runs, but he’s allowed two or fewer in the other five outings.
Yankees: Josh Stowers, OF (No. 25) — 1-for-5 (Class A Charleston)
Not many Yankees prospects were in action on Thursday, so Stowers’ line almost wins by default … but that’s fine. It gives us a chance to look at his recent performances, which have been stellar. Stowers collected three homers over two days in the first two games of the RiverDogs’ series at Asheville, doubling his season total.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: Quentin Holmes, (No. 27) — 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI (Class A Lake County)
Holmes is known for his 80-grade speed, not his power, which is why it’s noteworthy that he cleared the left-field fence to double the Captains’ lead in the fourth inning. It’s his first three-hit game of the season, a feat he last accomplished back in August 2017 in Rookie ball. He does have 10 steals on the campaign, but is struggling to get on base, batting at a .188 clip with only 14 walks in 37 games.
Royals: Austin Cox, LHP (No. 22) — 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K (Class A Lexington)
Cox fired 55 of his 87 pitches for strikes as he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts in a win over Hickory. The 22-year-old, a fifth-round pick from the 2018 Draft, has posted a 3.49 ERA and struck out 52 over 49 innings. Cox impressed in his pro debut, prompting the Royals to believe they may have gotten a steal in the Draft, and his fast start this season is perhaps only confirming those suspicions.
Tigers: Brock Deatherage, OF (No. 21) — 3-for-5, SB (Class A Advanced Lakeland)
The 2018 Draft selection out of NC State rebounded after a pair of hitless outings to connect on three singles and swipe his 15th bag of the year. Only Rays prospect Vidal Brujan has more steals in the Florida State League than Deatherage, who also got his average up over .200 for the first time since May 15.
Twins: Travis Blankenhorn (No. 28) — 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 3 RBI; Alex Kirilloff (No. 2, MLB No. 12) — 2-for-4, 2B, RBI (Double-A Pensacola)
The leadoff and No. 2 hitters for the Blue Wahoos did their job setting the table on Thursday, getting on base a combined six times and producing several runs between them. Most of the heavy lifting came from the bat of Blankenhorn, a 22-year-old taking his first swings at the Double-A level after an in-season promotion from Fort Myers. He has a trio of three-hit games since his step up and is batting .305 for Pensacola, an improvement from his numbers a level below. Kirilloff, the team’s first-round selection in 2016, got a late start to the season due to injury but seems to be getting back into a rhythm, picking up multiple hits in three of his past four games.
White Sox: Dylan Cease, RHP (No. 4, No. 22 in MLB) — 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K (Triple-A Charlotte)
Cease picked up his second consecutive win in what was his best start since he opened the season with 10 scoreless innings. Cease, who has pitched to a 3.38 ERA this season, retired the side in order in the first inning, but had to labor throughout his start. The right-hander threw 102 pitches, 62 for strikes. He was constantly pitching out of the stretch, but was able to minimize the damage.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
A’s: Dairon Blanco, OF (No. 30) — 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI (Double-A Midland)
Blanco doubled his season homer tally by the end of the fifth inning of Thursday’s game, as his third and fourth homers provided 75 percent of Midland’s offense in a 5-4 loss to Amarillo. It’s the first multi-homer game of his career and only his fifth professional dinger since signing with Oakland in April of 2018. Known almost exclusively for his speed, it would be a pleasant surprise if the 26-year-old can continue to provide some pop.
Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF (No. 6) — 1-for-5, HR, RBI (Class A Burlington)
The 19-year-old from North Carolina is in his first full-season assignment, and his performances over the past couple of weeks are a sign that he’s getting adjusted. Since a May 9 appearance that would be the last of a three-game hitless streak, Adams has improved his batting average 34 points and hit two of his three home runs for the Bees. Thursday’s blast would be the only run scored by Burlington as the rest of the team’s bats were kept in check by Cedar Rapids pitching.
Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF (No. 2, MLB No. 13) — 3-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Triple-A Round Rock)
Tucker’s improvement month-over-month is almost hard to believe. The 2015 first-rounder is batting .370 in May after hitting only .173 in April. He has seven more walks and three fewer strikeouts in May than he did in April in eight fewer at-bats. He smacked his 13th homer of the season Thursday, putting him well on pace to reach his career-high of 25.
Mariners: Donnie Walton, 2B/DH (No. 29) — 2-for-4, HR, RBI (Double-A Arkansas)
Walton led off the bottom of the first with a homer to set the tone in a victory for the Travelers. It’s his fifth of the season, which matches his career-high set in Rookie ball in 2016. The lefty can rake against right-handers, as he’s batting .301 on the season with the platoon advantage.
Rangers: Sherten Apostel, 3B (No. 22) — 2-for-4, R, RBI (Class A Hickory)
Apostel extended his hitting streak to four games with a two-hit performance. The 20-year-old, whom the Rangers acquired via a trade with the Pirates last summer, is a career .245 hitter and is hitting .233 through 42 games this season.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Jefrey Ramos, OF (No. 27) — 4-for-5, 2 R (Class A Advanced Florida)
Ramos, a 2016 international signee, put together his second four-hit game this season. Ramos, 20, has developed nicely since signing with the Braves and made his full-season debut in 2018, hitting .245/.290/.424 with Class A Rome. Bumped up to Florida for the 2019 campaign, Ramos is hitting .249/.276/.376 through 44 games.
Marlins: Monte Harrison, OF (No. 3, MLB No. 95) — 2-for-3, 2B, 4 RBI (Triple-A New Orleans)
Harrison not only matched his season high with four RBIs, but he came through in big moments as he drove in three of the runs via a pair of two-out hits. The 23-year-old is loaded with talent, but has struggled with consistency since the Brewers drafted him in the second round of the 2014 Draft. Harrison hit just .240 last year, his first season with the Marlins organization, but he has responded well and is hitting .290 through his first 41 games at the Triple-A level.
Mets: Ronny Mauricio, SS (No. 2, MLB No. 92) — 1-for-4, R, 2B, SB (Class A Columbia)
The 18-year-old switch-hitter, whom the Mets signed in 2019, has impressed since he signed and is hitting .274/.330/.345 on the year. Mauricio has hits in four of his past five games, including a four-hit effort on May 18.
Phillies: Mickey Moniak, OF (No. 9) — 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SB (Double-A Reading)
Perhaps Moniak, who has hits in eight straight games, is starting to figure things out offensively. The former No. 1 overall pick (2016) has struggled to hit as a pro and his .195 mark through April wasn’t exactly encouraging. However, Moniak, who hit .286 over the second half of the 2018 campaign, is hitting .325 in May. What’s more, during his current eight-game hitting streak,
Nationals: Carter Kieboom, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 25) — 1-for-4, 2B (Triple-A Fresno)
Kieboom struggled to hit in a brief Major League stint (5-for-39, .128), but Triple-A pitching has been no match for the former first-round pick (2016). Kieboom is hitting .348 this season and has hits in nine of 12 games since he was optioned from Washington. Kieboom has also homered four times in the past seven games and it likely won’t be long until he gets another shot with the Nationals.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Tyrone Taylor, OF (No. 29) — 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI (Triple-A San Antonio)
Taylor is looking to get back on track after what has been a rough month so far. After hitting .309 in April, Taylor is hitting just .183 in May. The 25-year-old, a second-round draftee from back in 2012, is back in Triple-A for a second go-around after hitting .278 last year.
Cubs: Cole Roederer, OF (No. 5) — 1-for-4, HR, RBI (Class A South Bend)
Roederer is still seeking his first multihit game since May 9, but his solo homer did put an end to his three-game hitless streak. Still, the 19-year-old is just 3-for-32 over his last eight games and is hitting .211 this year. The Cubs selected Roederer with the 77th overall pick in last year’s Draft and he went on to hit .275 in Rookie ball.
Cardinals: Tommy Edman, SS/2B (No. 11) — 2-for-5, HR, RBI (Triple-A Memphis)
Edman has homered in back-to-back games for the first time this season, bringing his total to six. The 24-year-old is also 5-for-10 with five RBIs over the past two games and hitting .310 through 35 games. Edman hit .261 in 2017, but put together a breakout campaign in 2018, hitting .301 and reaching Triple-A. The switch-hitter has built on that success this year and is likely to make his Major League debut at some point this season if he continues to hit well.
Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (No. 2, MLB No. 41) — 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI (Triple-A Indianapolis)
Hayes may have only picked up one hit in Indianapolis’ 8-7 win over Louisville, but it was certainly a big one, a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Hayes, 22, is getting his first Triple-A experience after hitting .293/.375/.444 in Double-A last year. Hayes has been in a bit of a funk at the plate lately and although he has a hit in four of his past five games, he hasn’t had a multihit performance since May 10.
Reds: Ibandel Isabel, 1B (No. 25) — 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI (Double-A Chattanooga)
A three-game hitting streak is nice, but not particularly impressive. However, hitting a homer in three straight games is impressive and that’s exactly what Isabel has done. Of course, the 23-year-old has hit 35 and 36 homers in each of the past two seasons, so power surges aren’t exactly atypical. Isabel has gone deep 11 times this season, including four in the month of May, and is hitting .232 through the first 41 games of his career at the Double-A level.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Daulton Varsho, C (No. 4) — 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI (Double-A Jackson)
Varsho hit his seventh homer of the year, a solo blast in the sixth inning, that put the cap on Jackson’s win over Montgomery. The 22-year-old had been 1-for-19 over his previous five games, but despite that skid Varsho is still hitting .328 in May. Varsho hit .294 last year in his full-season debut and is hitting .258 this year while playing at Double-A for the first time.
Dodgers: Gavin Lux, SS/2B (No. 2, MLB No. 43) — 4-for-5, RBI, 3 R (Double-A Tulsa)
Make that back-to-back four-hit games for Lux, who is also working on a 10-game hitting streak. The 21-year-old, a first-round pick from the 2016 Draft, is 8-for-10 over the past two games and hitting .329 so far this season. Lux hit .324 last year so the impressive numbers shouldn’t be a total surprise. However, his increased power should be generating attention. Lux hit 15 homers over 116 games last year and has gone deep 11 times in 39 games this season.
Giants: Chris Shaw, OF (No. 11) — 2-for-4, SB (Double-A Richmond)
Shaw, who is batting .279 this season, has put together two-hit performances in three of his past four games. The 25-year-old hit .259 in Triple-A last year and then .185 over 22 games with the Giants. Shaw is looking to regain his offensive rhythm in Double-A this season and is seemingly making progress as he’s hitting .296 in May.
Padres: Gabriel Arias, SS (No. 23) — 3-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI (Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore)
Arias, 19, matched his season high for hits as he turned in one of his best games of the year. Arias put the storm on the board with a solo homer, his first of the season, in the first inning and later added a double. Signed by the Padres in 2016, Arias is hitting .246 this season and while he offers promising upside with his bat, he’s also capable of developing into a plus defender at shortstop.
Rockies: Willie MacIver, OF (No. 27) — 2-for-4, 3B (Class A Asheville)
MacIver boosted his average to .258 with his second two-hit game in as many days and his third over the past four games. MacIver, making his full-season debut, got off to a fast start this season and hit .325 in April, but slowed down once the calendar flipped to May and is hitting .190 over 20 games this month. The Rockies selected the 22-year-old in the ninth round of last year’s Draft.
Categories: Minor League Baseball