Friday's top prospect performers

May 15th, 2021

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

Mariners: Julio Rodríguez, OF (MLB No. 5), High-A Everett
George Kirby, RHP (MLB No. 80), High-A Everett
On a night when Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic electrified the fans in Seattle, another pair of the organization’s top prospects showed there is still plenty of talent in the pipeline. Julio Rodríguez got things started with his third homer of the season, a solo blast in the third inning. It was his lone hit in a 1-for-4 performance, but the 20-year-old has now gone deep in three of his past four games, including each of his past two.

Meanwhile, Kirby was nearly perfect on the mound. The 2019 first-round pick threw 49 of his 76 pitches for strikes as he cruised through five scoreless innings. Kirby, who struck out eight, held Tri-City hitless and issued just one walk -- who was promptly caught stealing and erased from the basepaths. Mariners prospects stats »

Astros: Jayson Schroeder, RHP, Low-A Fayetteville
Ernesto Jaquez, RHP, Low-A Fayetteville
Angel Macuare, RHP, Low-A Fayetteville

History was made at Segra Stadium on Friday night as Schroeder, Jaquez and Macuare combined to toss the first no-hitter in Fayetteville Woodpeckers history. Schroeder took the hill in an eventual 5-0 win over the Cannon Ballers and got things started with an 11-pitch first inning -- despite issuing a walk. The righty allowed at least one baserunner in each of his first three frames -- working around a trio of walks and a hit batsman -- but finished strong by retiring the final four batters he faced, striking out a pair.

Jaquez took the ball from there and tossed a perfect fifth inning. The righty whiffed the first two batters he faced before getting Jose Rodriguez to fly out on a 1-2 pitch. Jaquez threw nine of his 11 pitches for strikes. He has yet to yield a run over four appearances this season.

Macuare tossed the final four frames to seal the no-no. The righty’s only blemish came with two outs in the ninth when he issued a five-pitch walk. Macuare retired the first 11 batters he faced -- whiffing seven, including the side in the sixth. He has punched out 12 over 7 2/3 frames this season. Astros prospects stats »

Braves: Jasseel De La Cruz, RHP (No. 9), Triple-A Gwinnett
Spencer Strider, RHP (
No. 21), Low-A Augusta
De La Cruz made his first start of the year and did not disappoint in Gwinnett’s 2-1 victory over Louisville. Cruz threw three scoreless innings, struck out three and allowed just one hit. The 23-year-old was efficient in his brief start, throwing 25 of his 35 pitches for strikes. De La Cruz lowered his ERA to 1.93 on the year with a batting average against of .188.

Strider was lights out in his professional debut. The 2020 fourth-rounder tossed three perfect innings, and retired seven of the nine batters he faced via the punchout. The former Clemson starter threw 27 of his 37 pitches for strikes, showing off his 65-grade fastball in the process. Braves prospects stats »

Indians: Jose Tena, 2B (No. 24), High-A Lake County
Tena powered Lake County to its seventh victory of the season with a two homer, three extra-base hit performance in an 8-2 win against Fort Wayne. The 20-year-old finished his big night 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Tena scored the first run of the game with a solo homer in the bottom of the third, and added another RBI to his tally via a double in the fifth. He drove in Lake County’s final two runs with his third homer of the season in the eighth. The lefty’s 10 total base night upped his slash line to a healthy .323/.364/.677 with a 1.041 OPS. Indians prospects stats »

Marlins: Victor Mesa Jr., OF (No. 11), Low-A Jupiter
Mesa Jr. finished a homer shy of the cycle in his first three-hit performance of the year. He finished his day 3-for-4 at the plate, tacking on three RBIs and two runs to go with his six total bases. The lefty outfielder has flashed elite contact skills throughout his two-year career, totaling 19 multihit games and seven three-hit nights at the plate. At just 19 years old, Mesa Jr. and his 55-grade hit tool will have plenty of opportunities to flourish in a highly touted Marlins system. Marlins prospects stats »

Nationals: Israel Pineda, C (No. 15), High-A Wilmington
Pineda’s first career multi-homer game propelled Wilmington to its come from behind, extra-inning win over Jersey Shore. The 21-year-old finished the night 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored. The Venezuelan catcher’s first long ball came in the top of the fourth, making the score 5-2 and cutting Jersey Shore’s lead down to three. Pineda’s second blast of the night was also his first career grand slam, giving Wilmington its first lead, 6-5, in the fifth. The 21-year-old has flashed some power in his four-year career, totaling 13 professional home runs. Nationals prospects stats »

Pirates: Sammy Siani, OF (No. 19), Low-A Bradenton
Canaan Smith-Njigba, OF (
No. 26), Double-A Altoona
Michael Burrows, RHP (
No. 29), High-A Greensboro
Siani opened the scoring in Bradenton’s 8-4 win over Dunedin with a solo home run with one out in the top of the first, his second longball of the year. The outfielder finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBIs, adding an two-run double in the top of the fifth to extend Bradenton’s lead to three. All six of Siani’s hits this season have gone for extra bases, and he’s shown a knack for getting on base with eight walks and a slash line of .207/.378/.552.

Smith-Njigba led the way for Altoona in its 9-7 victory over Binghamton. The outfielder finished the night 2-for-4 with a home run and a double, tacked on four RBIs and scored two runs. His two-run homer started the scoring for Altoona in the top of the second, and he added RBIs in the third and fifth innings after reaching on an error and producing a sacrifice fly. The lefty has started the year on a torrid pace, slashing .364/.500/.773 through his first 30 plate appearances, good for an OPS of 1.273.

Burrows has been off to a dominant start in his 2021 campaign. The 21-year-old spun his second consecutive scoreless outing, leading Greensboro to a 5-3 victory over Rome. The righty tossed four innings and allowed one hit with seven strikeouts and one walk. In his two starts this year, Burrows has allowed just one hit over eight innings and has struck out 15 while yielding one walk. The 2018 Draft pick has held batters to a miniscule .038 batting average against and is sporting a WHIP of 0.25. Pirates prospects stats »

Rangers: Steele Walker, OF (No. 11), Double-A Frisco
The 11th-ranked Rangers prospect put together his best performance of the year -- notching three extra-base hits while clubbing his first home run of the season and driving in three runs. Walker got the RoughRiders on the board with an RBI double to center in the first. Two frames later, he led off the third with a laser double to right before coming in to score on a Ryan Dorow base hit. After working a walk in the fifth, the 24-year-old extended the game with a two-run blast to left in the 10th inning. Walker is sporting a .926 OPS through seven games this year. Rangers prospects stats »

Red Sox: Brayan Bello, RHP (No. 18), High-A Greenville
Bello baffled Brooklyn batters all night in Greenville’s 5-1 win. The hard-throwing righty fanned 10 batters for the first time this season, scattering two hits and one run (via a homer) over 5 2/3 innings. This performance was Bello’s fifth career game with 10 or more strikeouts, and the 21-year-old lowered his ERA to 1.59 through 11 1/3 innings thus far. Red Sox prospects stats »

Twins: Josh Winder, RHP (No. 14), Double-A Wichita
Winder’s strong start to the season continued as he’s now held the opposition scoreless in two of his three outings. The 24-year-old right-hander picked up his first win of the season as he threw 91 pitches over 5 2/3 scoreless frames. Winder struck out eight in the performance and has whiffed 19 over 15 1/3 innings to start the 2021 campaign. Twins prospects stats »

Yankees: Oswald Peraza, SS (No. 4), High-A Hudson Valley
The fourth-ranked Yankees prospect entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement and made the most of his two trips to the plate. Peraza belted the first pitch he saw to left for a two-run jack that put the Renegades ahead 5-4 in the seventh. It was deja vu in the following frame as the 20-year-old mashed the first pitch he saw again to left for another two-run blast. Peraza’s four RBIs are a season-high and he has now homered in three straight games. The Venezuelan native is 5-for-9 with four taters, seven RBIs and four runs scored over his last three games. Yankees prospects stats »