Minor League Baseball

Sunday’s top prospect performers

mlbtopprospectperformersHere’s a look at Sunday’s top Minor League performers from each team’s Top 30 Prospects list:


Blue Jays: Nate Pearson, RHP (No. 2, No. 53 in MLB) — 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (Double-A New Hampshire)

Pearson wasted no time getting started, as he retired the first 10 batters he faced. The 22-year-old threw 61 pitches (38 strikes) and was dominant throughout his start. Pearson pitched just 1 2/3 innings last season before a line drive fractured his forearm and caused him to miss the remainder of the year. The Blue Jays are managing Pearson’s innings this season and he’s pitched to a 2.92 ERA with 63 strikeouts over 45 2/3 innings.

Orioles: Alex Wells, LHP (No. 26) — 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K (Double-A Bowie)

Wells has surrendered one earned run or fewer in five straight starts after spinning his latest gem for Bowie. The 22-year-old, whom the Orioles signed in 2015, has fared well in his first Double-A experience, pitching to a 1.61 ERA through nine starts. Wells has shown solid command and issued just 12 walks over 50 1/3 innings and has also struck out 55 in that span. Wells spent the entire 2018 season with Class A Advanced Frederick and went 7-8 with a 3.47 ERA.

Rays: Brendan McKay, LHP/DH (No. 3, No. 26 in MLB) — 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K (Triple-A Durham)

Rain delays are seemingly the only thing that can slow down McKay, as he was cruising through another strong outing before rain halted the game. The 23-year-old has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his 10 starts and has a 1.80 ERA over three starts with Durham, after pitching to a 1.30 ERA over eight games (seven starts) with Double-A Montgomery. Offensively, McKay hasn’t had quite the same level of success this season and is hitting .178 across the two levels.

Red Sox: Kutter Crawford, RHP (No. 19) — 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K (Class A Advanced Salem)

Crawford picked up his fourth win of the season in a rain-shorted game. The 2017 draftee (16th round) threw 55 of his 90 pitches for strikes and issued just one walk, which tied his season low. Crawford dealt with at least one baserunner in five of the six innings he took the mound, but was able to limit the damage to just the one run. The 23-year-old pitched across two levels of Class A ball last year and is 4-5 with a 3.13 ERA through 13 starts in the current campaign.

Yankees: Trevor Stephan, RHP (No. 8) — 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (Double-A Trenton); Frank German, RHP (No. 20) — 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K

Stephan fired 35 of his 56 pitches for strikes in a much-needed bounce-back performance. The 23-year-old gave up four runs in five innings in his last start, but was a totally different pitcher on Sunday as he retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Stephan, a third-round pick from the 2017 Draft, has pitched to a 5.40 ERA through nine starts this season. German turned in his second scoreless start of the season and matched his season high for strikeouts in the process. German, a fourth-round pick from last year’s Draft, has a 3.83 ERA through 49 1/3 innings in his first full season.


Indians: Luis Oviedo, RHP (No. 8) — 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K (Class A Lake County)

Oviedo has had a bit of an up-and-down season, but Sunday’s start was certainly one of his better ones. Oviedo, whom the Indians signed in 2015, threw 48 of his 80 pitches for strikes, and while he didn’t rack up many strikeouts, he was efficient and was hardly in any jams. The 20-year-old made two starts with Lake County at the end of last year, but the 2019 is basically his first experience of full-season ball.

Royals: MJ Melendez, C (No. 4) — 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI (Class A Advanced Wilmington)

Melendez, the Royals’ second-round pick from the 2017 Draft, has been struggling this season, his first with Wilmington, but is showing some signs of life in June. In eight games, Melendez is hitting .267 with 10 RBIs. That’s after hitting .138 in April and .153 in May. The 20-year-old hit .251 with 19 homers and 73 RBIs last year in his full-season debut.

Tigers: Kyle Funkhouser, RHP (No. 10) — 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (Double-A Erie)

Funkhouser set a season high with eight strikeouts and has now surrendered one earned run or fewer in four straight starts. The 25-year-old retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced, the lone blemish being a solo homer in the third. During that stretch Funkhouser also struck out five in a row. The fourmer fourth-round pick (2016) missed all of May with an injury, but has looked solid in his return. Since he’s been back on the mound, Funkhouser has allowed one run over 10 innings.

Twins: Wander Javier, DH (No. 4) — 2-for-3, RBI, R (Class A Cedar Rapids)

Javier has hit safely in eight of 11 games this season after missing the entire 2018 campaign with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. In ’17, he hit .299/.383/.471 in 41 games for Rookie level Elizabethton in the Appalachian League. He was one of the top international prospects in the 2015-16 class when the Twins signed him out of the Dominican Republic.

White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B (No. 4, No. 41 in MLB) — 3-for-4, 2B, RBI; 2-for-4, RBI (Double-A Birmingham)

Madrigal turned in his second straight 3-for-4 performance in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Mobile, doubling with an RBI before going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in the second game. The 2018 first-rounder began the year with Class A Advanced Winston Salem, where he hit .272 over 49 games before he was promoted to Birmingham. The sample size is small, three games, but Madrigal has handled the adjustment just fine. Through his first three games at the Double-A level, Madrigal is a ridiculous 8-for-12 (.667).


A’s: Dairon Blanco, OF (No. 30) — 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI (Double-A Midland)

Blanco bounced back from a pair of hitless games to hit his sixth homer of the year and his second of the month. The 26-year-old, whom the A’s signed last April, hadn’t played competitively in nearly two years before he debuted with Class A Advanced Stockton last year. However, Blanco quickly got up to speed, hit .291 over 82 games and has carried that momentum into the 2019 season. Through 52 games, Blanco is hitting .280 with six homers and 33 RBIs.

Angels: Jo Adell, CF (No. 1, No. 11 overall) — 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI (Double-A Mobile)

Following a promotion from Class A Advanced Inland Empire, the Angels’ No. 1 prospect hasn’t missed a beat at the plate, hitting .400 over his first five games of the season with Double-A Mobile. He advanced from Class A Burlington, through Inland Empire and up to Mobile last season, though after raking over those first two levels, he cooled off once he got to Double-A. An ankle injury during Spring Training this year kept him out until late May.

Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF (No. 2, No. 10 in MLB) — 2-for-5, HR, RBI (Triple-A Round Rock)

Tucker hit his 21st homer of the year as part of his second straight multihit game. Tucker, whom the Astros picked in the first round of the 2015 Draft, is closing in on his 2018 homer run total (24) and his career high (25 in 2017). The 22-year-old struggled out of the game and hit .165 in April, but he quickly turned that around, hit .333 in May and is hitting .324 early in June.

Mariners: Jake Fraley, OF (No. 14) — 2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI (Double-A Arkansas)

Fraley launched his 10th and 11th homers of the season for Arkansas, and is slashing .333/.402/.576 with 14 steals in 54 games. He’s hitting .375 with five of those 11 homers in his last 10 games alone. Acquired in the deal that sent Mike Zunino to the Rays last offseason, Fraley had missed much of his previous Minor League seasons due to injury, but so far in a healthy 2019 campaign, he’s demonstrating why the Mariners were high on him all the way back to his LSU days.

Rangers: Eli White, INF (No. 16) — 1-for-4, HR, RBI (Triple-A Nashville)

White put Nashville on the board with a solo homer, his eighth in the third inning of Nashville’s win over Tacoma. The homer also extended White’s hitting streak to six games and gives him hits in 12 of the past 14 games he’s played. After hitting .306 last year, White, while playing up a level, has seen his average dip to .265 this season, but perhaps his recent hot streak is a sign that things are starting to turn around.


Braves: Trey Harris, OF (No. 28) — 2-for-4, 2B (Class A Advanced Florida)

After his promotion from Class A Rome, where he hit .366/.437/.594, Harris continues to tear through Minor League pitching, now hitting .409 (9-for-22) with a pair of doubles in his first six games with Florida. Harris continues to prove he can hit despite waiting until the 32nd round of the 2018 Draft to be selected by the Braves, primarily due to his size, at 5-foot-10, 215 pounds.

Marlins: Trevor Rogers, LHP (No. 15) — 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K (Class A Advanced Jupiter); Zac Gallen, RHP (No. 18) — 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (Triple-A New Orleans)

After surrendering 13 runs over his past two starts, this was just the outing Rogers needed. The 21-year-old issued a pair of walks in the first inning, but escaped the jam, settled down and went on to retire 12 in a row. Rogers threw 67 of his 104 pitches for strikes and despite some rough outings, has a 3.02 ERA this season. Gallen has given up one run or fewer in four straight starts and has pitched to a 1.57 ERA in his second season at the Triple-A level. Gallen went 8-9 with a 3.65 ERA with New Orleans last year, but has looked much better this year and has shown improved command.

Mets: Ali Sanchez, C (No. 26) — 1-for-1, 2B (Double-A Binghamton)

Sanchez received just one at-bat, but that’s all he needed to extend his hitting streak to five games. The 22-year-old is hitting .261 through his first 37 games at the Double-A level and has hits in all five games he’s played in this month. Sanchez hit .247 in May but perhaps his strong start to June is a sign that a hot streak is on the horizon.

Phillies: Manuel Silva, LHP (No. 30) — 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (Class A Lakewood)

Silva, whom the Phillies signed in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, was lit up for seven runs over 2 1/3 innings on May 30, but since then he’s surrendered just one run over 7 1/3 innings (two appearances). The 20-year-old has performed well over the past three seasons, but has moved slowly from the Dominican Summer League, to the Gulf Coast League, then the New York-Penn League. Silva is young and has plenty of rtime to develop, but the 2019 season is likely to be an important one.

Nationals: No Nationals prospects had noteworthy performances on Sunday.


Brewers: Adam Hill, RHP (No. 27) — 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K (Class A Wisconsin); Trey Supak, RHP (No. 11) — 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K (Double-A Biloxi)

Hill threw 50 of his 84 pitches for strikes as he spun his third scoreless start of the year and his first since late April. The 22-year-old, a fourth-round pick from last year’s Draft, was traded from the Mets to the Brewers in January and has posted a 4.37 ERA through his first 12 appearances in the Brewers organization. Hill retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and Sunday’s start was certainly a positive sign after the right-hander had surrendered 11 runs over nine innings in his past two starts. Supak matched his season high with eight strikeouts in another solid performance for Biloxi. The 23-year-old has pitched to a 1.91 ERA this season and has held opponents without an earned run in four of his past five starts.

Cubs: No Cubs prospects had noteworthy performances on Sunday.

Cardinals: Randy Arozarena, OF (No. 14) — 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI (Double-A Springfield)

Arozarena extended his hitting streak to eight games and lifted his average up to .309 with his third three-hit game of the season. The three RBIs also matched a season high for Arozarena, who missed April but has been hitting the ball well ever since his season began in mid-May. However, it should be no surprise that the 24-year-old is hammering Double-A pitching as he hit .396 over 24 games with Springfield last season. The real test will be when Arozarena is promoted because last year he hit just .232 over 89 games with Triple-A Memphis.

Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (No. 2, No. 38 in MLB) — 2-for-5, HR, RBI (Triple-A Indianapolis)

Hayes hit his third homer of the year, a fifth-inning solo blast, in Indianapolis’ win over Toledo. Hayes had a breakout campaign in 2018 as he hit .293 over 117 games at the Double-A level, but bumped up to Triple-A for the 2019 season, he hasn’t been able to replicate the success. Hayes is hitting .245 through 57 games and hit just .227 in May.

Reds: Packy Naughton, LHP (No. 20) — 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K (Double-A Chattanooga)

Naughton lowered his Double-A ERA to 2.45 with another solid start for the Lookouts. The 23-year-old retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced and has allowed one run over his past two starts. Naughton, a ninth-round pick from the 2017 Draft, began the season with Class A Advanced Daytona, where he pitched to a 2.63 ERA and went 5-2 with 50 strikeouts over 51 1/3 innings.


D-backs: Ryan Weiss, RHP (No. 17) — 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K (Class A Kane County)

Weiss, a fourth-round pick from the 2018 Draft, has surrendered one run in three straight starts. The 22-year-old gave up 15 runs over a three-start stretch in May, but has fared much better since, including Sunday’s start. Weiss threw 49 of his 76 pitches for strikes in the outing.

Dodgers: Gavin Lux, SS (No. 2, No. 40 overall) — 2-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R (Double-A Tulsa)

Lux went 0-for-9 in the two games leading into Sunday, and broke out of the mini-funk with a pair of hits, including his fourth double of the season. He’s slashing .299/.353/.509 with 11 homers, though he hasn’t homered since May 23.

Giants: Jacob Gonzalez, 3B (No. 19) — 3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R (Class A Augusta)

Gonzalez has turned in multihit performances in four of his last five games, and has upped his batting average from .223 to .242 in the process. The homer was his third of the season. Since posting an .876 OPS over 46 games in Rookie ball, Gonzalez posted a .627 OPS last year with Augusta, and is up to .690 for 2019.

Padres: Gabriel Arias, SS (No. 23) — 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore)

Arias turned in the first two-homer game of his career as he delivered solo blasts in the second and seventh innings. Arias, who now has a career-high seven homers, doesn’t have much power yet, but scouts expect the 19-year-old to gain some pop as he continues to develop. While Arias’ calling card is certainly his defense, he’s in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak and has lifted his average from .247 to .269 during that stretch.

Rockies: Rico Garcia, RHP (No. 21) — 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K (Double-A Hartford)

While Garcia wasn’t as crisp as he had been in past outings — the three walks were the most he’s surrendered since late April — he still put together another quality start. The former 30th-round pick (2016) is in the middle of a breakthrough campaign as he’s carving his way through opposing lineups. Garcia is 8-1 this season and has posted a 1.88 ERA with 85 strikeouts through 67 innings (12 starts).

William Boor and Manny Randhawa / MLB.com

Categories: Minor League Baseball

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