Saturday's top prospect performers

August 22nd, 2021

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

Red Sox: Marcelo Mayer, SS (MLB No. 9), FCL Red Sox
Niko Kavadas, 1B (No. 27), FCL Red Sox
Connor Seabold, RHP (No. 13), Triple-A Worcester
Nick Yorke, 2B (No. 4), Low-A Salem

Two of Boston’s 2021 Draft selections hit their first professional home runs on Saturday.

Mayer, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked Draft prospect before being selected fourth overall, smacked a three-run homer in a 2-for-6 performance, finishing with a career-best four RBIs. Mayer’s smooth left-handed swing has drawn comparisons to Corey Seager, and the 18-year-old’s power should increase as he fills out his 6-foot-3 frame. In 7 FCL games, Mayer is 6-for-28 with a double, a homer, five RBIs, five runs scored, four walks and seven strikeouts.

Kavadas was an 11th-round selection, but ranked as Pipeline’s No. 135 Draft prospect for his big-time power potential. He showed off that 55-grade power with his first pro homer, a solo shot in a 2-for-2 day with a double, two RBIs, two runs scored and a pair of walks. In seven FCL games, the Notre Dame product has gone 4-for-14 with two doubles, a homer, four runs scored, six walks and four strikeouts.

Seabold, of course, wasn’t invited to the “first professional home run” party, but he did have a memorable day in his own right. The right-hander pitched a season-high seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball with nine strikeouts and one walk, easily his most masterful performance of the season. At one point, Seabold retired 14 consecutive batters, including striking out the side in the third inning. In six starts with Worcester, Seabold has a 3.73 ERA with 36 strikeouts across 31 1/3 innings.

Yorke continued his recent tear with two homers and five RBIs. He has been a pitcher’s nightmare in his past four games, going 9-for-19 (.474) to raise his batting average on the season by nine points. On the season as a whole, Yorke is slashing .321/.409/.500 with 10 homers and 11 steals in 75 games. Red Sox prospect stats »

Twins: Jordan Balazovic, RHP (MLB No. 88), Double-A Wichita
Talk about a response. After failing to complete two innings in his previous outing, Balazovic bounced back Saturday by throwing six innings of scoreless ball. While Balazovic tied his season-high of five walks, he was able to work out of trouble on multiple occasions to churn out a quality start. Balazovic has had a bit of an odd month. In his first start, he allowed six earned runs. In his second, he pitched six shutout innings. In his third, he allowed six runs, all unearned, in 1 2/3 innings. And, on Saturday, he churned out another quality start. All in all, Balazovic has a 2.95 ERA across 18 1/3 innings this month. Twins prospect stats »

Royals: Jackson Kowar, RHP (MLB No. 92), Triple-A Omaha
After back-to-back outings in which he allowed five earned runs, Kowar bounced back with six scoreless innings, striking out nine batters and yielding just two hits and two walks. It was only Kowar’s third quality start of the year, the last coming on July 23. It’s been a bit of a rocky year for Kowar, who began the season by posting a 0.85 ERA in his first six outings. Since his brief, three-outing stint with the Royals, however, Kowar has struggled to find that same form, posting a 5.32 ERA in his last 10 games (nine starts). Royals prospect stats »

Brewers: Sal Frelick, OF (MLB No. 96), Low-A Carolina
Frelick loaded up the box score in Carolina’s 15-6 rout of Augusta -- he collected three hits, three RBIs, three runs scored, two walks and a stolen base. The 15th overall pick of the 2021 Draft showed off his 70-grade speed as he legged out two doubles and successfully stole third base as part of the Mudcats’ six-run second inning. In addition to riding a nine-game hit streak, Frelick is batting .417 with a 1.044 OPS, four doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs, three stolen bases and as many walks (6) as strikeouts in his first 10 Low-A games. Brewers prospect stats »

Indians: Daniel Espino, RHP (MLB No. 100), High-A Lake County
These days, Daniel Espino can just about be penciled in for double-digit strikeouts on any given night. Espino’s electric stuff was on full display as he pitched five scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, the fourth consecutive start where he’s reached double digits in punchouts. Espino’s evening got off to an odd start as he walked the first three batters he faced, but after escaping a bases-loaded, no-out situation, he cruised. From innings two through five, Espino only allowed one baserunner, striking out the side twice. Espino has now struck out 120 batters in 70 2/3 innings this season, or 15.28 per nine innings. Indians prospect stats »

Cubs: DJ Herz, LHP (No. 13), Low-A Myrtle Beach
For the first time in his career, Herz reached double-digit strikeouts in a game. The southpaw fanned 10 in four one-hit innings, working around three walks to keep Fayetteville off the board. Herz pitched with traffic on the basepaths in each inning of work, but was able to get strikeouts at key times and not allow a runner to get past second base. In 16 starts this season, the 2019 eighth-round Draft pick is pitching to a 3.58 ERA with an even 100 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. Cubs prospect stats »

Dodgers: Brandon Lewis, 3B, (No. 25), High-A Great Lakes
For the third time this season, Brandon Lewis twice left the building, smacking two home runs on Saturday and driving in three of Great Lakes’ 12 runs. Lewis’ three runs scored matched a season-high as well. Lewis is certainly capable of hitting home runs in bunches; earlier this season, he smacked four home runs in just six games. Dodgers prospect stats »

Orioles: Alexander Wells, LHP (No. 23), Triple-A Norfolk
Wells’ formula for success on the mound is primarily composed of two components: limit walks and generate weak contact. With that in mind, his latest start was about as on brand as it gets, pitching five innings of one-hit ball, allowing just a single off the bat of the rehabbing Yasmani Grandal. After that? He retired the next 14 batters he faced. Wells has only allowed a handful of baserunners in his past two starts since rejoining Norfolk. Across his past 9 2/3 innings, Wells has allowed one walk and three hits, striking out nine batters in the process. Orioles prospect stats »

Rangers: Dustin Harris, 3B (No. 17), High-A Hickory
Glenn Otto, RHP (No. 24), Triple-A Round Rock
Harris is just about as hot as the surface of the sun. The third baseman continued his scorching hot August with three hits, a homer, a double and four RBIs, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Since being promoted to Hickory at the beginning of the month, Harris is slashing an absurd .491/.516/.877 with six homers and 17 RBIs. Harris has now hit safely in 13 of 14 games in August, the lone game where he didn’t collect a hit being a pinch-hit appearance. On the season as a whole, Harris is hitting .334/.408/.545 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 86 games.

Otto put together a solid night in his fourth outing with the Rangers organization, throwing five innings of scoreless ball and allowing just one hit. It’s been a great week for Otto, who also allowed just one hit in his previous start, a six-inning performance. Since joining Round Rock as part of the Joey Gallo trade, Otto has a 2.70 ERA across 20 innings and has not allowed a run in his past 11 innings on the mound. Rangers prospect stats »

White Sox: Romy Gonzalez, SS (No. 21), Triple-A Charlotte
Gonzalez could not have had a better start to his time in Charlotte. In his Triple-A debut, Gonzalez smacked two homers, his 21st and 22nd of the season, including a walk-off blast that capped a come-from-behind 7-4 win for the Knights. The 24-year-old has impressed all season long, having already recorded a 20-20 season with 21 stolen bases and becoming a major run producer with 52 RBIs in 79 games. Gonzalez is slashing .270/.356/.521 with an .878 OPS in 348 plate appearances this season. White Sox prospect stats »