Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Cardinals News

Friday's top prospect performers

@GoldenSombrero and @wboor
August 10, 2019

Here's a look at Friday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list:

Here's a look at Friday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list:


Blue Jays: Alejandro Kirk, C (No. 13) -- 2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI (Class A Advanced Dunedin)
Kirk, who began the day with three homers through 79 games, turned in the first two-homer game of his career as he went deep in both the fourth and fifth innings in Dunedin's win over Bradenton. Kirk, whom the Blue Jays signed in 2016, is hitting .291 through 59 games with Dunedin this season and although he doesn't have a lot of pop, he controls the zone well and has more walks (47) than strikeouts (35) so far this season. Blue Jays prospects stats »

Orioles: Gunnar Henderson, SS (No. 7) -- 2-for-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (GCL Orioles)
Recording his second straight multihit game in the Gulf Coast League, Henderson connected on his first career homer in the fifth inning via a three-run blast to left field and plated a run with his first triple in his next at-bat. He finished with a career-high four RBIs, pacing the Orioles' offense in a 20-2 rout of the Pirates' GCL affiliate. The Orioles selected Henderson, the 2019 Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year, in the second round of this year's Draft and signed him away from an Auburn commitment with an above-slot bonus. A potential above-average hitter who also projects for at least average power, Henderson has hit safely in seven straight games and nine of his past 10 contests. Overall, the 18-year-old has opened his career by batting .270 with five extra-base hits and nine RBIs in his first 17 games. Orioles prospects stats »

Rays: Shane McClanahan, LHP (No. 10) -- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K (Double-A Montgomery)
After dealing with Class A Bowling Green and Class A Advanced Charlotte, it should have hardly been a surprise that McClanahan was fantastic in his Double-A debut. The 16th overall pick from the 2018 Draft wasted no time introducing himself to the Birmingham roster as he retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and ultimately threw 42 of his 76 pitches for strikes. Prior to McClanahan's promotion, he had pitched to a 2.46 ERA over 102 1/3 innings. Rays prospects stats »

Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B (No. 1, MLB No. 90) -- 2-for-3, 3B, 4 RBI (Class A Greenville)
Casas matched his career high with four RBIs and only needed four innings to do so. The 19-year-old put the Drive on the board in the third inning with a three-run triple, his fifth of the year, and then added to his performance with an RBI single in the fourth. Casas, the Red Sox 2018 first-round pick, is hitting .248 through 100 games in his full-season debut. Red Sox prospects stats »

Yankees: Canaan Smith, OF (No. 26) -- 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB (Class A Charleston)
Mired in a 2-for-18 funk heading into the day, Smith busted out with a three-hit performance that was highlighted by a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning that helped power the RiverDogs past Hickory. Smith's homer -- which he hit with two outs on the seventh pitch of the at-bat -- pushed his season total to nine home runs, and he now leads the South Atlantic League in average (.319) and OBP (.421) after Friday's big game. The 2017 fourth-rounder also ranks third in the circuit in OPS (.898) and total bases (178) and has drawn more walks than any other player (64). Yankees prospects stats »


Indians: James Karinchak, RHP (No. 21) -- 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (Triple-A Columbus)
Karnichak required just 24 pitches (14 strikes, six of which were swinging) to strike out the four batters he faced Friday as he recorded his first Triple-A win. The 23-year-old righty has emerged as one of the premier bat-missing relievers in the Minors this year, racking up 55 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings (22.9 K/9) across three levels while holding opposing hitters to a .133 average. The former ninth-round pick (2017) out of Bryant likely would have already made his big league debut had a hamstring injury in mid-May not sent him to the injured list for two months. For his career, Karinchak has averaged 16.1 K/9 across 75 Minor League appearances, permitting a .133 average and four home runs in 93 2/3 innings. Indians prospects stats »

Royals: Brady Singer, RHP (No. 2, MLB No. 56) -- 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)
Singer threw 67 of his 92 pitches for strikes, but was stuck with a no-decision after spinning five frames for Northwest Arkansas. The 23-year-old has pitched to a 4.36 ERA though his first 12 starts at the Double-A level. Prior to his promotion to Double-A, the 2018 first-round Draft pick got off to a fast start with Class A Advanced Wilmington, where he pitched to a 1.87 ERA through 10 starts. The Florida product features both a plus fastball and slider and has shown solid command thus far in his career. Royals prospects stats »

Tigers: Matt Manning, RHP (No. 2, MLB No. 29) -- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 10 K (Double-A Erie)
Manning has been dominant since he returned from a scheduled two-week break following his Futures Game appearance, posting a 1.93 ERA with 28 strikeouts and five walks in 28 innings across five starts. The former first-rounder pick's (2016) outing on Friday was the best of the bunch, as he matched his career high in strikeouts while scattering four singles over six scoreless frames. He did not issue a walk and threw 62 of 86 pitches for strikes. Manning has recorded 10 strikeouts in three of his 21 starts for the SeaWolves and leads all Eastern League hurlers with 134 strikeouts (in 119 innings). He also sits atop the circuit leaderboard in WHIP (1.02) and ranks second in both ERA (2.57) and opponents average (.196). Tigers prospects stats »

Twins: Royce Lewis, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 7) -- 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB; Alex Kirilloff, OF (No. 2, MLB No. 16) -- 2-for-4, 2 R, HR; Trevor Larnach, OF (No. 5, MLB No. 97) -- 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Double-A Pensacola)
The Twins' top-three-ranked hitting prospects put on a show Friday as Lewis, Kirilloff and Larnach each went yard and collectively drove in six runs to lead Pensacola past Mobile, 8-5. Kirilloff (solo) and Larnach (two-run) both homered in the first inning to give the Wahoos an early lead, and Lewis' three-run dinger in the sixth frame put them ahead for good. It was the first Double-A home run for Lewis -- the 2017 No. 1 overall pick -- who's hit 11 homers in 106 games between two levels. Larnach, Minnesota's first-round pick from '18, isn't far behind Lewis with his 10 home runs, and Kirilloff (first round, '16) is now up to seven after hitting three bombs in his last eight games. Twins prospects stats »

White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B (No. 5, MLB No. 43) -- 2-for-4, 3 R, BB (Triple-A Charlotte)
No matter what level he's playing at, Madrigal rakes. After hitting .272 with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and .341 through 42 games with Double-A Birmingham, Madrigal got off to a slow start through his first four games with Triple-A Charlotte, but he's quickly turned that around with multihit performances in two of his past three games. Madrigal, the fourth overall pick from last year's Draft, has struck out just 16 times over 141 games to begin his professional career and while he doesn't hit for much power, Madrigal has an incredible knack for making solid contact and using the entire field. White Sox prospects stats »


A’s: Grant Holmes, RHP (No. 14) -- 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K (Double-A Midland)
Holmes set a season high with nine strikeouts as he cruised through five scoreless innings against Corpus Christi. The 23-year-old has solid stuff, but has been hampered by injuries thus far in career. Holmes, who missed all has been healthy so far this season and has pitched to a 3.74 ERA with 63 strikeouts over 67 1/3 innings. A's prospects stats »

Angels: Michael Hermosillo, OF (No. 28) -- 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Hermosillo's seventh-inning solo shot was his fifth homer in his past three games -- a stretch during which he's doubled his season home run total, from five to 10 -- and his sixth in five games. The 24-year-old outfielder recorded back-to-back multi-homer games on Wednesday and Thursday before tacking on another Friday in the Bees' 5-4 win over Omaha. He also notched a single and plated a run via a sacrifice fly for his 11th RBI during the aforementioned three-game stretch. To go along with his recent uptick in power, Hermosillo has collected multiple hits in five of his past eight contests, improving his season average from .232 to to .253. Angels prospects stats »

Astros: Abraham Toro, 3B (No. 6) -- 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI (Triple-A Round Rock)
After picking up five hits on Thursday, Toro continued to rake with another multihit effort -- his third straight -- on Friday. The 22-year-old came through with an RBI single in the third and drove in another run via a double in the seventh of Round Rock's loss to El Paso. Toro is hitting .448 and has hits in five of the seven games he's play so far with El Paso. Prior to his promotion to Triple-A, the 2016 fifth-round pick hit .306 over 98 games with Double-A Corpus Christi. Astros prospects stats »

Mariners: Evan White, 1B (No. 4, MLB No. 74) -- 3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI; Kyle Lewis, OF (No. 10) -- 2-for-4, 2 HR (Double-A Arkansas)
The former first-round picks teed off for the Travelers, with White (2017) recording his second multi-homer performance in nine games and Lewis (2016) accomplishing the feat for the third time in his career. White, 23, has been on a tear of late, batting .326 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his last 10 games. He's produced an overall line of .294/.341/.505 in his first Double-A campaign, with a career-high 16 homers in 75 games. After battling myriad injuries early in his career, Lewis has stayed healthy this season to hit .276/.360/.424 with a career-high 10 home run. More important, the 24-year-old outfielder has appeared in 100-plus games for the first time in his career. Mariners prospects stats »

Rangers: Josh Jung, 3B (No. 1, MLB No. 60) -- 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI (Class A Hickory)
Jung fell just short of his first Crawdads home run in the fourth inning when he plated a run with a ground-rule double to right-center field. Three frames later, the Rangers' 2019 first-round pick (No. 8 overall) made sure to hit it over the fence as he tied the game with a solo homer to right field The opposite-field shot was Jung's second as a pro but his first in 20 games since his promotion to full-season ball. After batting .343/.455/.577 with 33 homers in three season at Texas Tech, the 21-year-old third baseman has slashed .355/.417/.505 with nine extra-base hits and 16 RBIs in 24 games across two levels to begin his pro career. Rangers prospects stats »


Braves: Bryse Wilson, RHP (No. 6) -- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Wilson has been lights out of late and certainly continued the trend Friday as he picked up his eighth win of the year for Gwinnett. The 21-year-old was roughed up for nine runs over 2 2/3 innings on July 11, but since then he's yielded just one run over four starts (27 innings). Wilson, a fourth-round pick from the 2016 Draft, has pitched to a 3.58 ERA in Triple-A this season and has also made five appearances (four starts) with the Braves. Braves prospects stats »

Marlins: Jorge Guzman, RHP (No. 17) -- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 13 K (Double-A Jacksonville)
Something seemed to click for Guzman in his last start -- a seven-inning (season high), seven-strikeout, one-hit gem against Biloxi -- and suffice it to say the hard-throwing right-hander built upon that performance Friday, fanning a career-high 13 batters over six no-hit frames in perhaps the best start of his career. He recorded multiple strikeouts in five different frames and struck out the side in the third and sixth innings before departing with 99 pitches (63 strikes). In the process, Guzman became the third Southern League pitcher this season to strike out at least 12 batters in a start. The 23-year-old has racked up 112 strikeouts in 121 2/3 innings (22 starts) so far in his first Double-A campaign, though his solid whiff rate has been somewhat mitigated by his 64 walks. Marlins prospects stats »

Mets: Ronny Mauricio, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 84) -- 3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI (Class A Columbia)
Mauricio set a career high as he hit his fourth homer of the year in his third straight multihit game. The 18-year-old, whom the Mets signed in 2017, is hitting .288 through 99 games this season and has hits in five straight and in 11 of his past 12 games. Mauricio, a switch-hitter, has the ability to hit for both average and power and his power should increase as he continues to develop and adds strength to his frame. Mets prospects stats »

Nationals: Jackson Rutledge, RHP (No. 3) -- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (Class A Hagerstown)
Rutledge completed five innings for a second straight start as he pitched Hagerstown past Lexington, 3-2, to record his first professional win. He tallied a career-best six strikeouts as well as five groundouts in the outing, throwing 48 of 73 pitches for strikes. Selected by Washington in the first round (No. 17 overall) of this year's Draft, the 6-foot-8 right-hander has shown improvement in each of his seven starts, allowing one earned run or fewer in four of his past five turns. Rutledge, 20, dominated at San Jacinto (Texas) this past spring, posting a 0.87 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings. He generates plus velocity using a short arm action which also gives him good feel for throwing a pair of breaking balls. That Rutledge has less mileage on his arm than the typical college hurler underscores his room for growth and development that could make him a rotation stalwart when all is said and done. Nationals prospects stats »

Phillies: Spencer Howard, RHP (No. 5) -- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K (Double-A Reading)
After failing to escape the third inning in his last start, Howard threw 59 of his 88 pitches for strikes as he spun eight scoreless frames. The 23-year-old, a 2017 second-round pick, still has some work to do, but took a big step forward with his command last season. Howard hasn't issued more than two walks in any start this season and has an impressive 78/10 K/BB through 54 1/3 innings. Phillies prospects stats »


Brewers: Ethan Small, LHP (No. 5) -- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; Thomas Dillard, OF (No. 25) -- 4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI (Class A Wisconsin)
Small, the Brewers' first-round pick from the 2019 Draft, has yet to allow a run in his first professional season. What's more, Small hasn't allowed a hit in three of his four starts. The Mississippi State product has fanned 13 while walking one over nine innings and has given up just three hits. Dillard hit his fifth homer of the year as part of his first career four-hit game. The fellow 2019 Draft pick (fifth round) is hitting .248 through 33 games to begin his career. Brewers prospects stats »

Cardinals: Nolan Gorman, 3B (No. 1, No. 31 in MLB) -- 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Palm Beach); Luken Baker, 1B (No. 27) -- 3-for-4, HR, RBI (Class A Advanced Palm Beach)
Gorman showed off his prodigious power once again with a two-homer game -- the fourth of his career and second of the season -- in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Clearwater. The 2018 first-round draft pick hit a 435-foot blast in the third inning and then followed that up with a 425-foot homer in the fifth. After smacking 17 homers over 63 games last year in his professional debut, Gorman has gone deep 15 times so far this year. Gorman wasn't the only slugger to go deep for Palm Beach as Baker went back-to-back -- on consecutive pitches no less -- with Gorman in the third. The 75th overall pick from last year's Draft, Baker is hitting .227 this season, but after struggling in June and July, he's picked up the pace and is off to a fast start in August. Cardinals prospects stats »

Cubs: Cory Abbott, RHP (No. 16) -- 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 10 K (Double-A Tennessee)
Abbott set a career high with 10 strikeouts as he threw 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes in a loss to Biloxi. The 23-year-old, a second-round pick from the 2017 Draft, has thrown the ball well lately, yielding two runs or fewer in four of his past five starts. Abbott doesn't possess overpowering stuff, but he has strong command and a solid cutter with lateral break. Cubs prospects stats »

Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B (No. 2, MLB No. 39) -- 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Triple-A Indianapolis)
Hayes set a career high with his eighth homer of the year, but it wasn't enough as Indianapolis eventually lost to Durham. The 22-year-old broke out as he hit .293 with seven homers last year in Double-A, and although he hasn't quite been able to repeat that success this season, he's hitting .251 through 91 games and is still arguably the best defensive third baseman in the Minors. Pirates prospects stats »

Reds: Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP (No. 11) -- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K (Triple-A Louisville)
Gutierrez, who gave up 10 runs over his past two starts (11 1/3 innings) put together a strong bounce-back effort on Friday as he picked up his fourth win of the season. The right-hander, a 2016 international signee, has struggled in his introduction to Triple-A, pitching to a 6.61 ERA with 39 walks and 82 strikeouts over 114 1/3 innings. Perhaps Friday's start could be the start of a hot streak for Gutierrez, who has a fastball that can run in the upper 90s. Reds prospects stats »


D-backs: Josh Rojas, INF/OF (No. 29) -- 1-for-1, HR, 3 RBI (Triple-A Reno)
Rojas was the least-known prospect the D-backs acquired from Houston in the Zack Greinke trade that also netted them Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas and Corbin Martin -- three players who have ranked among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects at some point this season. At the time of the trade, Rojas, a 25-year-old super-utility player, was sitting on a .315/.403/.575 batting line with 20 homers, 29 doubles and 69 RBIs in 97 games between Houston's Double- and Triple-A affiliates. He's been even better in Arizona's system, slashing .600/.657/1.100 with three homers, four doubles and 14 RBIs across his first seven games with Reno. Altogether, the former 26th-round pick (2017) from Hawaii has hit .336 (1.035 OPS) with 23 homers (62 XBH), 83 RBIs and 33 steals in 104 games this season. D-backs prospects stats »

Dodgers: Jeter Downs, SS/2B (No. 7) -- 1-for-5, HR (Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga)
Downs put the Quakes on the board in the first inning with a solo homer, his third dinger in his last eight games. The power potential that he showed last year in his first full season (13 HR, 2 3B, 23 2B) with Class A Daytona has come out even more this season in the California League, where he's now hit 19 home runs (4 3B, 27 2B) in 99 games. That power was part of what made him a key acquisition for the Dodgers in the offseason trade that sent Yasiel Puig and others to the Reds. With one more home run, Downs, who has stolen 20 bases this season after swiping 37 bags in '18, will join the prestigious 20-20 club. Dodgers prospects stats »

Giants: Hunter Bishop, OF (No. 4, MLB No. 71) -- 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB; Logan Wyatt, 1B (No. 14) -- 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB (Class A Short-Season Salem-Keizer)
The Giants' top two picks from this year's Draft showcased their powerful bats Friday as Bishop (first round, No. 10 overall) and Wyatt (second round, No. 51) both went deep while driving in a combined five runs in the Volcanoes' matchup against Hillsboro. Bishop, a tooled-up, 21-year-old outfielder, hit his second homer in 17 games with Salem-Keizer and third in 24 pro games. Wyatt's second Northwest League homer, a two-run shot, was also his second in as many days. The 21-year-old first baseman has hit safely in six of his past seven games while recording four multihit performances. Giants prospects stats »

Padres: Austin Allen, C/1B (No. 12) -- 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI (Triple-A El Paso)
Allen boosted his average to .309 and hit his 16th homer of the year as part of his third straight multihit performance. The 25-year-old, a fourth-round pick from the 2015 Draft, has the ability to hit for both power and average. There are questions about whether he'll be able to remain a catcher, but ultimately Allen's bat will determine his success in the Majors. Of course, if he can remain behind the plate that'll add to his value. Allen did make his Major League debut earlier this year and hit .250 over 21 games. Padres prospects stats »

Rockies: Ryan Vilade, SS/3B (No. 6) -- 3-for-5, HR, RBI (Class A Advanced Lancaster)
Vilade hit his ninth homer of the year and is one shy of doubling the career high he set in 2018. The 2017 second-round Draft pick is hitting .295 through 107 games in his first experience at the Class A Advanced Level. Vilade has been particularly hot at the plate lately as he has hits in nine of his past 10 games, including five multihit efforts. The 20-year-old also possesses some defensive versatility as he's spent a lot of time at both shortstop and third base this year. Rockies prospects stats »

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.