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Thursday's top prospect performers

@wboor
June 14, 2019

Here's a look at Thursday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list: AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B (No. 5) -- 2-for-4, 3B, HR, 3 RBI (Double-A New Hampshire) Smith has struggled in his introduction to Double-A, hitting .186 through 56 games, but has

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

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B (No. 5) -- 2-for-4, 3B, HR, 3 RBI (Double-A New Hampshire)
Smith has struggled in his introduction to Double-A, hitting .186 through 56 games, but has hits in each of his past three games and is possibly beginning to get things figured out at the plate. The 2017 fourth-round pick was impressive offensively in his full-season debut (2018), hitting .302 with 25 homers over two levels.
Blue Jays prospects stats »

Orioles: Yusniel Diaz, OF (No. 1, No. 78 in MLB) -- 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI (Double-A Bowie)
Diaz's slump is officially over. The 22-year-old was in a 1-for-13 skid entering Wednesday, but is 3-for-7 with a pair of homers over the past two days. Diaz, whom the Orioles acquired from the Dodgers as part of last season's Manny Machado trade, hit a three-run blast in the second inning for his third homer of the year with Bowie. However, he's hitting just .232 on the year. Diaz hit .285 with a career-high 11 homers in 97 games last season.
Orioles prospects stats »

Rays: Ronaldo Hernandez, C (No. 7, No. 84 in MLB) -- 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI (Class A Advanced Charlotte)
Hernandez, who is hitting .287 through 46 games, has been red-hot lately for the Stone Crabs. The 21-year-old is in the middle of a five-game hitting streak that includes four multihit performances. Over those five games, Hernandez is hitting .611 (11-for-18) with four doubles and six RBIs.
Rays prospects stats »

Red Sox: No Red Sox prospects had noteworthy performances in the Minors on Thursday.

Yankees: Nick Nelson, RHP (No. 11) -- 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (Double-A Trenton); Luis Medina, RHP (No. 14) -- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (Class A Charleston)
Nelson made just two starts before a trip to the injured list cost him about six weeks, but now that he's back on the mound, he's throwing well for the Thunder. Nelson has yielded three runs over 13 innings in three starts, the first of which came with Class A Advanced Tampa, since his return. The Yankees selected Nelson in the fourth round of the 2016 Draft, and he'ms coming off a 2018 campaign in which he went 8-6 with a 3.55 ERA over 26 games (25 starts). Medina, who began the night with an 8.55 ERA through 10 starts, easily turned in his best start of the year. The 20-year-old, who signed with the Yankees in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, has an explosive fastball that can reach triple-digits, however he still needs to refine his control.
Yankees prospects stats »

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Indians: Bo Naylor, C (No. 4) -- 2-for-2, HR, RBI (Class A Lake County)
Naylor, the Indians' first-round pick from the 2018 Draft, hit his third homer of the year and extended his hitting streak to five games in Lake County's win over Great Lakes. Naylor hit .274 over 33 games in his pro debut and is hitting .234 with 24 RBIs through 47 games in his full-season debut.
Indians prospects stats »

Royals: Jackson Kowar, RHP (No. 7) -- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K (Class A Advanced Wilmington)
Kowar put together his best start since mid-May and threw 58 of his 86 pitches for strikes in a no-decision for the Blue Rocks. The 22-year-old, whom the Royals grabbed 33rd overall in last year's Draft, retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and ultimately matched his season high with seven innings.
Royals prospects stats »

Tigers: Jake Robson, OF (No. 16) -- 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI (Triple-A Toledo)
Make that three straight multihit performances for Robson, the Tigers' eighth-round pick from the 2016 Draft, who got off to a slow start this season, but has picked things up as of late. Robson is hitting .231 on the year, but is hitting .370 over nine games in June.
Tigers prospects stats »

Twins: Luis Rijo, RHP (No. 30) -- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (Class A Cedar Rapids)
Rijo came back from the injured list and spun an absolute gem for Cedar Rapids. In fact, Rijo also threw five scoreless innings on May 20, his last appearance before hitting the injured list. Rijo, 20, signed with the Yankees in 2015 and was traded to the Twins at last year's Trade Deadline
Twins prospects stats »

White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B (No. 4, No. 41 in MLB) -- 3-for-4, 2B (Double-A Birmingham)
A day after his hitting streak came to an end, Madrigal got back on track with his sixth three-hit game of the season. The 22-year-old was considered one of the best hitters in last year's Draft class, and he's certainly proven that to be the case early in his pro career. Madrigal hit .303 over 43 games last year in his pro debut and is hitting .304 through 56 games this season.
White Sox prospects stats »

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

A’s: Nick Allen, SS (No. 15) -- 3-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Stockton)
Allen has hits in seven straight and in 13 of his past 14 games after his latest multihit performance for the Ports. The 20-year-old, whom the A's picked in the third round of the 2017 Draft, has boosted his average from .265 to .294 during that stretch. Allen has also begun to show a little bit of power this year as he's hit a trio of homers through 61 games after hitting just one over the first 156 games of his career.
A's prospects stats »

Angels: Jo Adell, OF (No. 1, MLB No. 11) -- 2-for-5, 2B, SB (Double-A Mobile)
Adell got a late start to the season due to multiple leg injuries, but he's been red-hot since returning to the Double-A level with the BayBears. He swiped his fourth bag (out of four attempts) on Thursday, a good sign for a player returning from lower body injuries. He also collected another pair of hits, his fourth multihit effort in nine games with Mobile. In fact, he already has as many doubles at the Double-A level this season as he did in 17 games with Mobile in 2018, with better numbers across the board.
Angels prospects stats »

Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF (No. 2, MLB No. 10) -- 2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, 2 BB, SB (Triple-A Round Rock)
Tucker filled up the box score on Thursday, picking up his third triple of the season and his 15th stolen base while raising his batting average to .272. That isn't amazing at first glance, but considering his horrible slump to start the season, it's a huge step in the right direction for a top prospect trying to earn another chance at the big league roster. Tucker hit only .165 in April, but since then he's been a different player, posting an OPS well north of 1.000 in both May and June. All four of his triples and 10 of his 14 doubles have come since the calendar changed over from April to May.
Astros prospects stats »

Mariners: Evan White, 1B (No. 4, No. 86 in MLB) -- 1-for-4, HR, RBI (Double-A Arkansas)
White extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his eighth homer of the year and his fifth in the past six games. The 2017 first-round pick, who is already a plus defender, has been raking in his first Double-A experience. White is hitting a ridiculous .388 in June and has an overall slash line of .289/.360/.476. The 23-year-old hit .300 with 11 homers in his full-season debut last year and it's certainly plausible he tops both those numbers this year with Arkansas.
Mariners prospects stats »

Rangers: Julio Pablo Martinez, OF (No. 4) -- 1-for-3, RBI, BB (Class A Advanced Down East)
The line might not look that impressive at a glance, but when you consider it was the Wood Ducks' only run in a 1-0 victory over Myrtle Beach, the clutch factor stands out. It's also noteworthy that this comes a day after one of the Cuban's best games of the season Wednesday, when he smacked a homer in a win over Potomac. His season stats for Down East (.193/.263/.368) don't pop off the page, but he's heating up in June with an OPS of .974 over 11 games.
Rangers prospects stats »

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Tucker Davidson, LHP (No. 19) -- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K (Double-A Mississippi)
Davidson, a 19th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, set a career high with 10 strikeouts and hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his past four starts with Mississippi. The 23-year-old, pitching at the Double-A level for the first time, has a 1.61 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 67 innings this season.
Braves prospects stats »

Marlins: Jorge Guzman, RHP (No. 9) -- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K (Double-A Jacksonville)
Guzman turned in his sixth quality start and picked up his third win of the year for Jacksonville. The right-hander, whom the Marins acquired in a 2016 trade with the Yankees, is pitching at the Double-A level for the first time and has posted a 3.93 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings.
Marlins prospects stats »

Mets: Ronny Mauricio, SS (No. 2, No. 87 in MLB) -- 2-for-5, 2B, RBI (Class A Columbia)
Mauricio, who the Mets signed for $2.1 million in 2017, continues to impress in his full-season debut. The 18-year-old is hitting .288 through 56 games and has at least one hit in 11 of his past 12 games. Mauricio, a switch-hitter, has impressed scouts with both hit bat speed and power. He's also a strong defender and has a chance to stick at shortstop.
Mets prospects stats »

Phillies: Adonis Medina, RHP (No. 2, No. 65 in MLB) -- 7.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K (Double-A Reading)
Medina retired 18 of the first 20 batters he faced en route to his longest start of the season. The 22-year-old, who the Phillies signed in 2014, is competing at the Double-A level for the first time and has pitched to a 3.32 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 22 walks in 57 innings.
Phillies prospects stats »

Nationals: Kyle Johnston, RHP (No. 24) -- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (Class A Advanced Potomac)
Johnston turned in a much-needed quality start after he'd been lit up in each of his past two starts. The 22-year-old allowed seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in his past two outings, but he was a much different pitcher on Thursday. Johnston threw 64 of his 85 pitches for strikes and picked up his sixth win of the season.
Nationals prospects stats »

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Brewers: Keston Hiura, 2B (No. 1, No. 12 in MLB) -- 2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI (Triple-A San Antonio); Aaron Ashby, LHP (No. 9) -- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K (Class A Advanced Carolina)
Hiura is trying to hit his way back up to Milwaukee. The 22-year-old hit a solo homer in the first inning and then followed that up with a grand slam in the second, his 15th homer in the Minors this season. Hiura, the Brewers' first-round pick from the 2017 Draft, hit .281 with five homers in 17 games with the Brewers before he was optioned on June 3. Since his return to the Missions, Hiura has hits in seven of his past eight games. After posting a 3.54 ERA and racking up 80 strikeouts in 61 innings with Class A Wisconsin, Ashby was promoted to Carolina, where he made quite a first impression. The lefty, a fourth-round pick in last year's Draft, not only retired the first eight batters he faced, but he also struck out five of them.
Brewers prospects stats »

Cubs: Brailyn Marquez, LHP (No. 3) -- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K (Class A South Bend)
Marquez didn't make it out of the second inning in his last start, so Thursday's performance was an encouraging one. The lefty, whom the Cubs signed in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, has pitched to a 4.50 ERA through 46 innings this season and is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he posted a 3.13 ERA over two levels.
Cubs prospects stats »

Cardinals: Randy Arozarena, OF (No. 14) -- 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI (Triple-A Memphis)
Arozarena extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-run single in the fourth and then added to his night with a two-run homer in the sixth. The 24-year-old split the 2018 season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, but really struggled at Memphis and hit just .232 over 89 games. The Cardinals sent Arozarena back to Double-A to begin the 2019 season, and after he hit .309 through 29 games, he was bumped up to Triple-A, where he's 3-for-8 through two games.
Cardinals prospects stats »

Pirates: Mason Martin, 1B (No. 28) -- 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (Class A Greensboro)
Martin didn't waste any time getting things started as he hit his 17th homer of the year, a two-run blast, in the top of the first inning. Martin later added an RBI double in the third inning, but his big night wasn't enough as Greensboro fell to Kannapolis. The Pirates selected Martin in the 17th round of the 2017 Draft, and he hit .220 with 14 homers over 104 games last season.
Pirates prospects stats »

Reds: No Reds prospects had noteworthy performances in the Minors on Thursday.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

D-backs: Matt Peacock, RHP (No. 30) -- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (Double-A Jackson)
Peacock hasn't allowed a run in back-to-back starts after spinning another gem for the Generals. The 25-year-old, a 23rd-round pick from last year's Draft, retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 2.09 when all was said and done. Peacock is pitching at the Double-A level for the first time, but he's been impressive so far, holding the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in seven of his eight appearances.
D-backs prospects stats »

Giants: Ryan Howard, 2B (No. 27) -- 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI (Triple-A Sacramento)
Howard opened the scoring for the River Cats with a home run to center in the third inning and capped off the evening with a walk-off single to open the 11th to score the runner placed on second base. The 2016 fifth-round Draft choice out of Missouri received an in-season promotion and has fared much better in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, improving his average by over 50 points with the River Cats compared to his time at Richmond. Extra-base hits have been hard to come by lately, however, as the homer was his first since June 5, when he picked up a double against the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Giants prospects stats »

Padres: Xavier Edwards, 2B (No. 9, MLB No. 98) -- 2-for-4, 3 R, 2B, RBI, BB, SB (Class A Fort Wayne)
A 2018 Draft selection (No. 38 overall) known for his speed, Edwards showed off several of the other aces up his sleeves on Thursday by getting on base three times and driving in a run for the TinCaps. He's cooled down a bit in June so far after a pair of incredible months to open the season (batting averages of .347 and .378 in April and May), but he's still batting .349 on the year after Thursday's action.
Padres prospects stats »

Dodgers: Keibert Ruiz, C (No. 1, MLB No. 29) -- 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI (Double-A Tulsa); Will Smith, C (No. 5) -- 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
A pair of top catcher prospects did some work at the plate -- instead of just behind it -- on Thursday. Ruiz homered for only the third time this season (51 games) for the Drillers, down from his pace of 12 blasts in 101 games last season. Dodgers fans will hope this is a sign of more pop to come, as it certainly has been a bit of a quiet year for the 20-year-old from Venezuela. Smith, on the other hand, is fresh off of his first trip to The Show and is carrying over that momentum to the Triple-A Dodgers. His home run was his second in as many games, and he's collected a hit in every game he's started since he was sent back down June 6. His 12 homers across the Triple-A and MLB levels represent his second-best total for a season, and he's tracking to set a new career high. Last season's 20 blasts, spanning stints with Tulsa and OKC, is the mark to beat.
Dodgers prospects stats »

Rockies: Tyler Nevin, 1B (No. 6) -- 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB (Double-A Hartford); Ryan Vilade (No. 8) -- 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Lancaster)
Things haven't gone to plan this season for Nevin, a 2015 Draft selection getting his first taste of the Double-A level. He raked last season at Lancaster, slugging .503 with 14 homers in 100 games for the Class A Advanced JetHawks. His move to the Eastern League has seen a drop in all of his stats against tougher competition, but Thursday's homer was a step in the right direction. Vilade is also struggling a bit this season after a step up in competition, but is flourishing in June with six of his 17 extra-base hits this season coming over the past two weeks. That include's Thursday's performance, which left him a triple shy of the cycle, which isn't out of the question for a quick middle infielder with four three-baggers this season.
Rockies prospects stats »

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