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BREAKING: Kershaw back tomorrow vs. deGrom

MLB.com @kengurnick

NEW YORK -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will come off the disabled list and start Saturday night's game against the Mets, forgoing a previously scheduled Minor League rehabilitation assignment, manager Dave Roberts announced before Friday night's series opener at Citi Field.

Kershaw has been limited to one start since May 1. He first went on the DL with left biceps tendinitis, was activated for one five-inning start on May 31, then went back on the DL with a strained lower back. Kershaw will be opposing Mets ace Jacob deGrom and his Major League-leading 1.51 ERA. deGrom has posted a 0.90 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings over his last 11 starts.

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NEW YORK -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will come off the disabled list and start Saturday night's game against the Mets, forgoing a previously scheduled Minor League rehabilitation assignment, manager Dave Roberts announced before Friday night's series opener at Citi Field.

Kershaw has been limited to one start since May 1. He first went on the DL with left biceps tendinitis, was activated for one five-inning start on May 31, then went back on the DL with a strained lower back. Kershaw will be opposing Mets ace Jacob deGrom and his Major League-leading 1.51 ERA. deGrom has posted a 0.90 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings over his last 11 starts.

View Full Game Coverage

After bullpen sessions and a simulated game, Kershaw was to make a rehab start on Saturday night for Triple-A Oklahoma City in Omaha, Neb. But with rain expected in Omaha, as it is in New York on Saturday, Dodgers management was convinced (in large part by Kershaw) to call an audible.

"We're going to keep him here with us," Roberts said. "With the weather uncertainty in Omaha, to make his start is probably the best thing for him and for us. We don't know how much he's going to pitch. Obviously, there is a limitation with him.

"Yeah, there's weather [expected in New York]. As I understand it, there's a potential delay, but we'll be mindful of it. We're not going to do anything to put him in harm's way."

Caleb Ferguson, originally announced as Saturday's Dodgers starter, will remain active and serve as a long reliever to take over if Kershaw's start is cut short. That means Kershaw's return will force the removal of another player from the active roster.

"He did play a little weatherman," Roberts confirmed of Kershaw's role.

Roberts had initially expressed concerns about Kershaw's readiness for Major League competition, with the lefty having pitched only five innings in the past six weeks.

"The thing is, we're going to obviously monitor the length for tomorrow," Roberts said. "We feel comfortable and confident."

Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, began the year with some tough luck, going 1-4 despite posting a 2.76 ERA and a 3.46 FIP. Eyes will likely be on the radar gun on Saturday, as the southpaw was recording the lowest fastball velocities of his career before landing on the DL.

Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers on Sunday, and Kenta Maeda will start on Monday.

Worth noting

Chris Taylor, removed from Wednesday's game due to a tight left hamstring, was not in the starting lineup on Friday night, but he said he would probably be available off the bench to pinch-hit. Roberts said he will be re-evaluated on Saturday. Enrique Hernandez started at shortstop.

Video: ATL@LAD: Buehler K's Camargo, leaves with injury

• Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler is still experiencing some pain in his microfractured rib, but he'll throw a bullpen session to determine if he's close to being activated off the DL. Buehler made three starts before the injury was diagnosed. It was caused by a 108-mph line drive that drilled him on May 21, but Buehler wasn't placed on the DL until he had to be removed from a June 8 start with pain and difficulty breathing.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw

Harper planning to be in 2018 HR Derby

Nats outfielder said he'll compete if he makes NL All-Star team
MLB.com @DKramer_

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper said he plans to compete in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby in his home confines at Nationals Park on July 16, but on one very specific, and potentially uncertain, condition: He'll only take part if he's named a National League All-Star.

"So count me in for the Derby if and only if I make the team," Harper said in a text message to the Washington Post on Friday. "But if I do I will be a participant in the 2018 HR Derby."

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper said he plans to compete in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby in his home confines at Nationals Park on July 16, but on one very specific, and potentially uncertain, condition: He'll only take part if he's named a National League All-Star.

"So count me in for the Derby if and only if I make the team," Harper said in a text message to the Washington Post on Friday. "But if I do I will be a participant in the 2018 HR Derby."

View Full Game Coverage

Harper's participation in the marquee event has been an intriguing possibility, as Harper hasn't taken part in the Derby since his sophomore season in 2013, when he reached the final round and finished as runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes at Citi Field. Because the event this year will be held in Washington -- which was announced during his NL MVP Award-winning season in 2015 -- Harper has mentioned over the past three years that he'd likely make his Derby resurfacing this year.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Harper was in second among outfielders in the NL All-Star ballot update that was released by Major League Baseball on Monday, though he fell behind Braves right fielder Nick Markakis after topping all outfielders in the first ballot update. Harper has struggled to a .213/.352/.469 line through the first 2 1/2 months of the season, but he does lead the NL with 19 homers.

Many slugging superstars, such as the past two Derby champs, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, have said that they will not participate this year, leaving some urgency for Harper to compete.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper

10 players whose trade stock is on the rise

MLB.com @feinsand

The Manny Machado Watch continues to dominate all conversation surrounding the trade market, but as the calendar inches closer to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, a big bullpen arm moved this week -- a possible sign of things to come.

MLB Buzz: Catch up on the latest trade chatter

The Manny Machado Watch continues to dominate all conversation surrounding the trade market, but as the calendar inches closer to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, a big bullpen arm moved this week -- a possible sign of things to come.

MLB Buzz: Catch up on the latest trade chatter

Kansas City dealt closer Kelvin Herrera to Washington on Monday, giving the Nationals an All-Star-caliber arm to pair with Sean Doolittle at the back end of the bullpen. Last week, we cited relievers Herrera, Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Shane Greene as some of the players whose trade stock was rising, so who has seen their value increase during the past seven days?

Manny Machado, Orioles
Machado certainly hasn't let the trade speculation bother him on the field, where he continues to produce as one of the league's best hitters. The shortstop hit safely in five of six games this week, leaving him with a .304/.369/.554 slash line. The biggest question remains whether any team will step up and pay the steep price being asked by the Orioles for their franchise player and impending free agent.
Potential fits: Phillies, Cardinals

Adam Jones, Orioles
Machado might be getting most of the attention in Baltimore these days, but Jones -- a five-time All-Star and longtime face of the franchise -- has been swinging a hot bat in June (.328/.375/.418), and he might be attractive to a team looking for both a productive outfielder and veteran presence. The 32-year-old is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season.
Potential fit: D-backs

Video: OAK@SD: Lowrie cranks a 2-run jack to right field

Jed Lowrie, A's
The versatile Oakland infielder is having a strong offensive season -- his 11 home runs and 47 RBIs are putting him on a pace to set career highs in both categories. Lowrie, 34, has played primarily at second base this season, though he's capable of moving around the infield wherever he's needed. Lowrie could be the ultimate utility player/insurance policy for any contender.
Potential fits: D-backs, Braves

Joakim Soria, White Sox
After suffering through a difficult May, Soria regained the closer's job for the White Sox, and he has been nearly perfect in June, going 6-for-6 in save opportunities while not allowing a run in nine appearances. He won't be a ninth-inning option for many contenders, but the 34-year-old would add late-inning depth to most bullpens.
Potential fits: Astros, Cardinals

Video: TEX@KC: Statcast™ measures Choo's 49-degree leadoff HR

Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers
Choo turns 36 next month, but while his best days are behind him, the outfielder/DH has shown this season that he can still hit, already launching 13 home runs. Choo's OPS is .919 against right-handers, making him an ideal platoon option for an American League team that has the ability to play him at DH and in the corner outfield spots. Choo has been on fire this month, with his June OPS sitting at 1.054 entering the weekend.
Potential fits: Angels, Twins

Darren O'Day, Orioles
Britton and Brach are obvious trade candidates thanks to their expiring contracts, but the Orioles would probably love to shed O'Day's contract this summer. The right-hander is owed about $5 million over the rest of this season and another $9 million in 2019. He's been excellent since returning from the DL less than two weeks ago, throwing four scoreless innings while giving up one hit with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Potential fits: Giants, Indians

Jurickson Profar, Rangers
The onetime No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Profar's career hasn't lived up to expectations. The 25-year-old filled in admirably for Elvis Andrus during the starting shortstop's stint on the DL, and Profar has already set career bests with eight homers and 41 RBIs thanks to a strong performance this month. However, Andrus' return leaves Profar as a man without a position. Texas plans to keep Profar in the lineup by moving him around the diamond, but with Andrus and second baseman Rougned Odor firmly planted at their respective positions, the Rangers could deal Profar to address another area on their roster.
Potential fits: D-backs, Phillies

Video: TEX@KC: Hamels strikes out 7, allows 0 earned over 7

Cole Hamels, Rangers
Hamels posted another strong start this week, holding the Royals to one unearned run over seven innings. That outing lowered his ERA to 3.41, while his seven strikeouts kept his ratio at one per inning for the year. Hamels remains one of the few proven starters with postseason experience on the market, and with a number of teams looking to add an arm to the rotation, the Rangers are in a good position to deal.
Potential fits: Yankees, Brewers

J.A. Happ, Blue Jays
Happ continues to be one of the more intriguing names on the trade market, though the Blue Jays haven't committed to selling just yet. Happ is 5-0 with a 2.35 ERA over his past seven outings, holding hitters to a .155 batting average and a .469 OPS in those starts. The 35-year-old is owed about $7 million over the rest of the season, but he's set to become a free agent this fall, making him a strong rental candidate.
Potential fits: Yankees, Mariners

Video: OAK@SD: Treinen K's the side to earn the save in 10th

Blake Treinen, A's
It was only 11 months ago that the Nationals dealt Treinen to Oakland as part of the deal for Doolittle and Ryan Madson, giving up on their onetime closer after a dreadful first half that saw him struggle to the tune of a 5.73 ERA. But the 29-year-old has been simply brilliant this season, successfully converting 16 of 17 save opportunities, including each of his past 15. Treinen has a 1.03 ERA, a sub-1.000 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 35 innings. With a modest $2.15 million salary and two more years of club control, Treinen could be a sought-after bullpen arm in the coming weeks.
Potential fits: Indians, Astros

Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com.

Shin-Soo Choo, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Adam Jones, Jed Lowrie, Manny Machado, Darren O'Day, Jurickson Profar, Joakim Soria, Blake Treinen

Blue Jays' Osuna suspended for 75 games

Discipline, retroactive to May 8, will run through Aug. 4; reliever won't appeal
MLB.com

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. announced on Friday that Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna has accepted a suspension without pay through Aug. 4, 2018, for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The unpaid suspension of Osuna is retroactive to May 8, 2018, and covers 75 games.

Osuna has agreed not to appeal the discipline. Consistent with the terms of the Policy, Osuna will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board.

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. announced on Friday that Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna has accepted a suspension without pay through Aug. 4, 2018, for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The unpaid suspension of Osuna is retroactive to May 8, 2018, and covers 75 games.

Osuna has agreed not to appeal the discipline. Consistent with the terms of the Policy, Osuna will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board.

Commissioner Manfred issued the following statement regarding the discipline:

"My office has completed its investigation into the allegation that Roberto Osuna violated Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy on May 8, 2018. Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Osuna violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on August 4th."

Toronto Blue Jays, Roberto Osuna

7 potential trade destinations for Machado

Cubs, Cardinals among most likely suitors for Orioles shortstop
MLB.com

Before summer had even officially begun, the non-waiver Trade Deadline season got underway when the Royals sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals for three prospects. While Manny Machado might not be the next guy to go, there's a good chance that the Orioles will trade him between now and July 31.

MLB Buzz: Catch up on all of the latest trade chatter

Before summer had even officially begun, the non-waiver Trade Deadline season got underway when the Royals sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals for three prospects. While Manny Machado might not be the next guy to go, there's a good chance that the Orioles will trade him between now and July 31.

MLB Buzz: Catch up on all of the latest trade chatter

The O's listened to offers for Machado this past offseason, looking for a similar trade to the one the Braves got when they sent Jason Heyward to the Cardinals along with Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins in November 2014. At that point, Heyward had one year left before free agency.

While the trade market is saturated with third-base options -- including Mike Moustakas, Josh Donaldson and Adrian Beltre -- Machado rises above the pack. He's still just 25 years old, has experience playing both shortstop and third base, and he is excelling at the plate this season (145 wRC+).

Although Machado is now closer to free agency than Heyward was when he was dealt, the Orioles should still be able to get a package similar to the Heyward trade, and certainly more than what the Tigers received from the D-backs for J.D. Martinez last July (Minor Leaguers Sergio Alcantara, Jose King and Dawel Lugo). Find out below which teams are most likely to be interested, and what they might offer for Machado's services.

Cubs
Adding Machado would clearly upgrade an offense that has been inconsistent this season, tying for second among MLB teams in runs scored during May, but finishing tied for 14th in April and tied for 22nd in June. The Cubs have the ability to send controllable Major League talent back, which might be of interest to the Orioles, with Addison Russell or even Ian Happ headlining a package to Baltimore. Including a pitching prospect like 2017 first-round Draft pick Alex Lange, an LSU product whom scouts tab as a potential mid-rotation starter in the future, would be difficult for the O's to turn down.

Video: DeRo discusses his Top 5 trade candidates

D-backs
Like the Cubs, the D-backs' lineup has faced its share of inconsistency this season, ranking last in the Majors in runs scored in May and leading the category in June. While Paul Goldschmidt is back to raking at the dish after struggling in May, Arizona can certainly use another bat in the middle of the order, especially after seeing the impact Martinez had last year. The O's and D-backs had ongoing discussions about a Machado trade during the offseason, and they have maintained an open dialogue, so a deal could come together rather quickly. Offering two pitchers from the group of Jon Duplantier, Taylor Widener and Matt Tabor, plus another low-level prospect, could be enough to get a deal done.

Dodgers
With Corey Seager out for the year following Tommy John surgery, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor regressing from last season, and Justin Turner struggling since he returned from the disabled list, the offense remains the Dodgers' biggest weakness. Acquiring Machado would help soften the blow if the Dodgers' most productive hitters to this point -- Matt Kemp and Max Muncy -- tail off. Los Angeles also needs another reliever and could expand the trade to include Brad Brach. A package of outfielders Alex Verdugo and Yusniel Diaz and infielder Gavin Lux would be a good starting point.

Phillies
The Phils have surprisingly remained in the National League East race despite some obvious weaknesses, and adding Machado makes even more sense now that J.P. Crawford is out until at least the end of July with a fractured left hand. Sixto Sanchez, Philadelphia's No. 1 prospect, would likely have to headline a deal with Baltimore, though a combination of outfielder Mickey Moniak and right-hander Seranthony Dominguez may also intrigue the Orioles.

Video: Phillies GM Klentak talks bullpen, Trade Deadline

Cardinals
Although shortstop Paul DeJong is nearing a return from a fractured left hand, and third baseman Matt Carpenter has turned his season around after a slow start, the Cardinals are still a potential suitor for Machado. Scoring runs remains a struggle for St. Louis despite Marcell Ozuna's torrid June; the club is 18th in that category this month. With Machado in the fold, the Cards could shift either DeJong or Carpenter to second base, a position at which the Cards rank 23rd in OPS (.623). The Cardinals' bullpen has also been decimated by injuries, so they could look to expand the deal to include All-Star closer Zach Britton. St. Louis has several pitching prospects who could fill the O's biggest need, including right-hander Dakota Hudson and outfielders Harrison Bader and Tyler O'Neill may also entice Baltimore.

Red Sox
Boston arguably needs bullpen help more than a temporary fix at third base while Rafael Devers continues his development, but the club's lineup has some weaknesses with Eduardo Nunez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez all carrying OPS marks below .630 and Devers sitting at .696. The Red Sox probably doesn't have the Minor League talent to swing a deal for Machado and Brach without including Devers, but perhaps Blake Swihart and a top prospect such as left-hander Jay Groome would intrigue the Orioles.

Video: Herrera trade brings urgency to the Trade Deadline

Braves
Atlanta has a wealth of quality pitching prospects, which dovetails with the O's top need. Meanwhile, the Braves could use an upgrade at third base and a middle-of-the-order presence to pair with Freddie Freeman and take some of the pressure off youngsters Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. A pitching prospect such as Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson or Luiz Gohara and another Minor Leaguer such as converted catcher Alex Jackson or backstop William Contreras (the younger brother of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras) would help fill important needs for Baltimore.

Jim Duquette, who was the Mets' GM in 2004, offers his opinions as an analyst and columnist for MLB.com.

Here's the freshly updated Top 100 Prospects list

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

Our annual midsummer overhaul of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list is still a month away. Before we get to that, we're back with our second series of tweaks.

We now have two-plus months of Minor League performance to evaluate, compared to a month when we made our first series of adjustments in early May, so we were more aggressive this time around.

Our annual midsummer overhaul of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list is still a month away. Before we get to that, we're back with our second series of tweaks.

We now have two-plus months of Minor League performance to evaluate, compared to a month when we made our first series of adjustments in early May, so we were more aggressive this time around.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

When we reconsidered the top 15 prospects on the list, we left only the top two guys (Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) in place. We also moved 15 players up and eight down by a significant amount, and added five new prospects at the bottom of the Top 100:

The Top 15

green up arrow Juan Soto, OF, Nationals (No. 13 to No. 3)
Nineteen-year-olds aren't supposed to jump from Class A to the big leagues in six weeks and hit .326/.423/.596 with six homers in their first 27 games in the Majors.

Video: NYY@WSH: Soto smashes a 2-run shot to the second deck

green up arrow Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (No. 14 to No. 10)
After selling out a bit for power while slamming a career-high 25 homers in 2017, he's showing more patience while continuing to drive the ball and looks like a perennial 20-20 player.

green up arrow Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (No. 18 to No. 13)
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft has been everything expected offensively and better than anticipated at shortstop.

red down arrow Francisco Mejia, C, Indians (No. 11 to No. 17)
He didn't cross the Mendoza Line for good until June 3, and while he's starting to hit like his old self, there are increasing concerns that he lacks the receiving skills to be an everyday catcher.

Thirteen prospects in our previous top 15 moved at least slightly, so we're not going to break them all down individually. Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. leaped over Reds third baseman Nick Senzel and Nationals outfielder Victor Robles into our top five. Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley remained just ahead of White Sox righty Michael Kopech as the highest-ranked pitcher, though both slid out of the top 10.

Risers

green up arrow Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves (No. 26 to No. 16)
He's always had polish, his stuff seems to get better every year and he has looked at home in Atlanta at age 20.

Video: NYM@ATL: Soroka's no-hit bid ends on Conforto's knock

green up arrow Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (No. 31 to No. 22)
His pitchability and his changeup rank among the best in the Minors, and he's a rare southpaw who can hit 98 mph with his fastball.

green up arrow Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (No. 48 to No. 32)
Regarded as the best pure hitter in the 2017 Draft, he has looked exactly like that while batting .335/.392/.534 and reaching Double-A in his first full pro season.

green up arrow Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays (No. 49 to 37)
A natural hitter with the chance for solid tools across the board, he's thriving in Class A as a 20-year-old.

green up arrow Jo Adell, OF, Angels (No. 53 to No. 38)
Questions about his ability to handle quality pitching dogged him as an amateur but didn't stop him from going 10th overall in the 2017 Draft, and he's dispelling them by hitting .318/.373/.617 with 14 homers and 11 steals in 50 games across two Class A levels.

Video: Top Prospects: Jo Adell, OF, Angels

green up arrow Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (No. 52 to No. 43)
He's making strides with his control and command, and his mid-90s fastball and hammer curveball are as good as ever.

green up arrow Dane Dunning, RHP, White Sox (No. 65 to No. 56)
While he doesn't have the sexiest stuff among White Sox starting pitcher prospects, he commands a solid arsenal and looks like a lock to be a mid-rotation starter.

green up arrow Austin Riley, 3B, Braves (No. 72 to No. 52)
He continues to improve at tapping into his considerable power potential and playing the hot corner, so it might not be long before Atlanta summons him.

green up arrow Tyler O'Neill, OF, Cardinals (No. 73 to No. 53)
With 46 homers in 171 Triple-A games, he has nothing left to prove in Triple-A but no path to immediate playing time in St. Louis.

Video: KC@STL: O'Neill homers in his third straight game

green up arrow Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, Astros (No. 74 to No. 54)
Plucked from the Dodgers in a trade before making his pro debut, he has raked ever since and looks like he'll hit for plenty of average and power.

green up arrow Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (No. 79 to No. 66)
There may not be another shortstop prospect who can match his combination of hitting ability, power, patience and consistent contact.

green up arrow Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (No. 92 to No. 70)
Not only is his combination of arm strength and receiving ability as good as any catcher's in the Minors, but he's also improving as a hitter and making the most of his raw power.

green up arrow Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (No. 98 to No. 71)
The Rookie-level Appalachian League MVP in his 2016 pro debut, he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery and has reclaimed his all-around hitting ability this spring.

green up arrow Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets (No. 99 to No. 72)
He's more advanced offensively than Amed Rosario was at the same stage (age 19) and is no slouch with the glove either.

green up arrow Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets (No. 100 to No. 73)
He somehow hasn't gotten the acclaim that should come from hitting .301/.390/.543 in two-plus years as a pro.

Fallers

red down arrow Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (No. 32 to unranked)
The first player from the 2016 Draft to reach the Majors, he has battled shoulder and ankle injuries this year and batted .224/.259/.375 in Double-A.

red down arrow Heliot Ramos, OF, Giants (No. 54 to No. 74)
The five-tool ability and huge ceiling are still there, though he's going to need to cut down on his strikeouts.

red down arrow Jorge Mateo, SS/OF, Athletics (No. 62 to No. 76)
His approach at the plate has disintegrated, which makes it difficult for him to take advantage of his game-changing speed.

red down arrow Chance Adams, RHP, Yankees (No. 66 to unranked)
With his command regressing as he repeats Triple-A, he looks like he might be more of a reliever than a mid-rotation starter.

red down arrow J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Astros (No. 67 to unranked)
He has wipeout stuff but can't always locate it where he wants, and he has made just two starts this year because of an undisclosed injury.

red down arrow Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Twins (No. 69 to No. 77)
After dominating at every previous level of the Minors, he hit the wall in Triple-A at the end of 2017 and again this year.

red down arrow Pavin Smith, 1B, D-backs (No. 81 to unranked)
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 Draft is controlling the strike zone, but an advanced college hitter should produce better than a .229/.337/.379 line in Class A Advanced.

red down arrow D.J. Peters, OF, Dodgers (No. 96 to unranked)
His power is jaw-dropping but his 32 percent strikeout rate in Double-A is worrisome.

New Additions

green up arrow Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels (unranked to No. 96)
Concerns about his pre-Draft MRI knocked him from the first round to the second in 2017, yet he has reached the mid-90s with his fastball and showed an array of solid secondary pitches while reaching Triple-A just 12 starts into his pro debut this year.

Video: Top Prospects: Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels

green up arrow Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (unranked to No. 97)
He has shown the ability to put the bat on the ball and play a fine third base, and now he's starting to display the power scouts always believed he had.

green up arrow Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (unranked to No. 98)
Two years removed from Tommy John surgery, he can hit 100 mph and also miss bats with both his slider and curveball.

green up arrow Zack Collins, C, White Sox (unranked to No. 99)
While his power and patience were evident in his first two pro seasons, he's hitting the ball with more authority in 2018.

green up arrow Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (unranked to No. 100)
He's an all-bat guy, but his bat has produced 81 homers in 402 pro games.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Trade Talk: Nats balk at price for Realmuto

MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Nats say asking price on Realmuto too high
June 22: The Nationals could be among the most aggressive teams in making significant roster upgrades these next few weeks, but the cost for Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto remains prohibitive, at least in the eyes of Nats general manager Mike Rizzo.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Nats say asking price on Realmuto too high
June 22: The Nationals could be among the most aggressive teams in making significant roster upgrades these next few weeks, but the cost for Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto remains prohibitive, at least in the eyes of Nats general manager Mike Rizzo.

Here's what Rizzo said in a candid interview on Friday with MLB Network Radio about potentially acquiring Miami's backstop:

"[The Marlins] are not going to sell him cheap. We know what the return has to be on Realmuto, and we're not willing to meet that price. So unless something changes there, on their end, we're going to go with [Matt] Wieters when he gets healthy and a combination of [Pedro] Severino and [Spencer] Kieboom to back him up."

Feinsand: 10 players whose trade stock is on the rise

The Nats were very publicly linked to Realmuto throughout the winter, but -- as appears to still be the case -- the asking price was too high. Many reports over the offseason alluded that Miami, in the midst of a major overhaul, was asking for at least one of its top two prospects, Victor Robles or Juan Soto, both of whom have excelled in brief MLB stints.

Realmuto, 27, remains under club control through 2020, which assuredly would be one of the many enticing returns for Washington, which has many significant contributors hitting free agency this winter. Realmuto is batting .297/.355/.524 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 54 games this season for a Marlins club that entered Friday with a 29-46 record.

Video: Mike Lowell breaks down J.T. Realmuto, his value

Astros remain interested in acquiring Britton
June 22: After nearly trading for Orioles closer Zach Britton last season, the Astros remain interested in the left-hander, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Houston and Baltimore agreed on a deal sending Britton to the Astros for multiple players before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2017, but it was reportedly vetoed by Orioles owner Peter Angelos after physicals were exchanged.

• Non-waiver Trade Deadline explained

Britton has allowed only one hit over 4 1/3 scoreless innings since he returned from right Achilles tendon surgery, and he's walked just one batter after issuing three free passes in his season debut.

The bullpen arguably remains the Astros' biggest weakness, and yet, the club's relief corps has performed incredibly well lately, posting the third-best ERA (2.03) in the Majors during June.

Hector Rondon has emerged as the Astros' primary closer this month, notching four saves in four chances, and Chris Devenski (1.57 ERA), Collin McHugh (1.13 ERA) and Brad Peacock (2.30 ERA) have also excelled this season. Even Ken Giles, who posted a 7.88 ERA in May and allowed three runs in his first two June appearances, has found a groove, tossing four straight scoreless outings.

Morning Lineup Podcast talks third-base trade market

Rangers willing to pay part of Choo's contract in trade
June 22: The Rangers have made Shin-Soo Choo available and are willing to pay part of the veteran's salary to get a deal done, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

The 35-year-old is owed $42 million over the 2019-20 seasons as part of the seven-year, $130 million contract he signed with Texas in December 2013.

Choo has reached base in 34 straight games and owns a stellar 134 wRC+ this season. However, his defensive capabilities in the outfield are limited at this point, and he's spent much of the year as the Rangers' designated hitter. That, along with his contract, could reduce that number of teams interested in acquiring him.

"No chance" Pirates trade Taillon
June 22: Even if the Pirates decide to sell, Jameson Taillon is not expected to be one of the players available, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

A source told Heyman there is "no chance" Pittsburgh moves its 26-year-old right-hander, who has posted a 4.03 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP this season.

Taillon won't be arbitration eligible for the first time until the 2019-2020 offseason and has four seasons remaining after this one before he reaches free agency.

Pirates players who are more likely to be dealt include Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison, Corey Dickerson and Ivan Nova.

Mets more likely to trade Wheeler than deGrom, Syndergaard?
June 21: The Mets have been calling around to gauge other teams' trade interest in their players, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Video: Morning Lineup: Teams that could trade for deGrom

While rivals are dubious the Mets will trade either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, the club is finding interest in Zack Wheeler, per Heyman. Meanwhile, there hasn't been much chatter yet regarding Steven Matz.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that the Mets are "open for business" as it relates to prospective trade offers ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

However, it will likely take a major haul to acquire either deGrom or Syndergaard. A Mets source told Heyman the club would need to get Gleyber Torres back to trade deGrom to the Yankees, which provides a sense of the asking price the club has placed on the ace. Of course, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already nixed the idea of trading Torres, joking that he still has to "walk around this city."

Wheeler will surely cost teams less than it would take to acquire deGrom or Syndergaard. The righty owns a 4.82 ERA this season and has an extensive injury history, but his FIP is a promising 3.80. He was also hitting 99 mph with his four-seam fastball in his most recent start on June 17 against the D-backs.

Could Phils jump into Machado sweepstakes early?
June 21: The Phillies, who have been thought to be planning a pursuit of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado when he hits the free-agent market this offseason, are having problems on the left side of their infield: Not only have they been getting little production there, rookie shortstop/third baseman J.P. Crawford recently broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch.

Duquette: 7 potential trade destinations for Machado

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports, Philadelphia -- with several front-office executives having been with Baltimore when Machado was drafted -- would love to add the superstar third baseman, but the question remains whether the Phillies will be a contender as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears.

Royals shift focus to trading Moustakas after Herrera deal
June 21: After a trade that sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals, the Royals are now shifting their focus to moving third baseman Mike Moustakas, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Moustakas is on a one-year deal with Kansas City that includes a mutual option for 2019. He's having a solid season, slashing .263/.319/.480 with 14 home runs after belting a career-high 38 in 2017, though he has been slumping of late. Moustakas has played his entire eight-year career with the Royals.

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

Padres a potential trade suitor for Machado?
June 21: The list of potential trade destinations for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado could surprisingly include San Diego, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

The Padres have certainly shown a willingness to make bold moves during general manager A.J. Preller's tenure, trading for Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Craig Kimbrel prior to the 2015 season and signing Eric Hosmer to a club-record $144 million, eight-year contract in February 2018. And with the No. 1 farm system in baseball, per MLB Pipeline's preseason rankings, the Padres certainly have a prospect group that will entice the Orioles.

Video: Morosi discusses Machado trade possibilities and more

A trade between the Padres and Orioles remains unlikely, however, as San Diego is in last place in the National League West and would have little chance of re-signing Machado after this season, given their sizable commitment to Hosmer and Machado's preference to remain at shortstop long term. San Diego's top prospect is shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

Per Heyman, a Padres source downplayed the possibility of a Machado deal and said the club is simply doing its "due diligence."

Phillies a potential landing spot for Beltre
June 21: With J.P. Crawford set to miss 4-6 weeks due to a fractured left hand and both Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery carrying sub-.700 OPS marks, the Phillies will likely look to acquire a veteran to upgrade the left side of their infield, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi.

While the Phillies have long been linked to the Orioles' Manny Machado, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is another option the club could pursue, per Morosi.

Morosi: Hot market for hot corner

Beltre will be a free agent after this season, making him a prime candidate to be moved by the Rangers, who are in last place in the American League West and sit 15 games behind in the race for the second Wild Card spot.

Video: Phillies GM Klentak talks bullpen, Trade Deadline

Beltre has spent substantial time on the disabled list with various leg injuries over the past two years, but he remains a productive hitter. Over 45 games this season, the 39-year-old owns a .302/.357/.428 slash line.

And while the Rangers have used Beltre as the designated hitter more often lately, the five-time Gold Glove Award winner can still handle himself at the hot corner. In 32 games at third base this season, Beltre has recorded three defensive runs saved.

Of course, Beltre has a full no-trade clause, and it remains to be seen if he'll waive it to join a contender.

Red Sox looking to upgrade bullpen; Hand an option?
June 20: The Red Sox are interested in bolstering their relief corps, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and Padres closer Brad Hand may be a target for the club.

However, San Diego's asking price for Hand could be prohibitive. Per Morosi, the Padres are expected to seek a young everyday player, such as Rafael Devers, in exchange for the left-hander.

Hand, who has a National League-leading 21 saves with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP this season, is signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021, so the Padres are in no rush to deal him.

Boston has the sixth-best bullpen ERA (3.17) in the Majors, but the club's 'pen lacks depth with Carson Smith out for the season following shoulder surgery and Steven Wright currently starting in place of the injured Drew Pomeranz (left biceps tendinitis).

Video: DeRo discusses his Top 5 trade candidates

O's, D-backs have talked Machado trade
June 19: The Orioles and D-backs have engaged in discussions regarding a potential trade for Manny Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and dialogue remains open between the two clubs.

Morosi described the trade talks as "due diligence on Arizona's part as the team's needs become clear." The two clubs also reportedly discussed a Machado trade this past offseason. Arizona currently holds the top spot in the National League West, but the second-place Dodgers narrowed the gap when they defeated the Cubs in Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

It's unclear whether the D-backs are interested in acquiring Machado to play shortstop or third base.

The 25-year-old would be an offensive upgrade over starting third baseman Jake Lamb and shortstop Nick Ahmed, as he's hitting .310 with 18 homers, 53 RBIs and a .945 OPS over 69 games for the Orioles in 2018 and owns a lifetime 118 wRC+.

But Machado has struggled defensively in his first season as the O's primary shortstop, recording -15 defensive runs saved (DRS). Ahmed, meanwhile, has notched six DRS. Machado has proven to be a stellar defender at the hot corner in the past, posting 81 DRS as a third baseman during his career and winning two AL Gold Glove Awards at the position.

Video: MLB Tonight on the D-backs' interest in Machado

Yanks, M's looking to acquire Happ
June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

In the midst of an All-Star-caliber season, Happ has a 3.48 ERA over 82 2/3 innings in 14 starts. He is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract, and due to his lingering free agency, he might not be as costly a return in what is shaping up to be a thin trade market for starters.

Both Seattle and New York have gotten above-average production from their starting staffs, though each has shown signs of vulnerability.

Video: Morosi on potential trade fits for J.A. Happ

Beyond AL Cy Young Award candidate Luis Severino, the Yankees have gotten inconsistent results from Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery was lost for the season because of Tommy John surgery and Domingo German hasn't yet exhibited enough to warrant the fifth spot for good. CC Sabathia has been reliable, when healthy. To complement their elite offense and lights-out bullpen, the Yankees have long been speculated to retool their rotation ahead of the Deadline.

Morosi noted that the Yankees might have more incentive to go after a lefty given that the division-rival Red Sox have an MLB-best .813 OPS against righties but only a .672 mark against southpaws. In addition to their 13 regular-season meetings remaining, there's a strong chance the Yankees could go through Boston in the postseason.

The Mariners' rotation has also proven to be top heavy, with arguably the AL's best starter in James Paxton. However, No. 2 starter Felix Hernandez has struggled to a career-worst 5.44 ERA, and he has given up five or more earned runs in five of his 15 starts. No. 5 starter Wade LeBlanc has been a pleasant surprise, but at 33 years old, there have been questions about his sustainability.

In a loaded AL East, Toronto entered 2018 with its most realistic avenue to the postseason via an AL Wild Card berth, but it entered Monday 12 1/2 games back of the second AL's spot. The Jays are 32-38 despite winning seven of their last 10, including sweeps of the Nationals and Orioles.

Andrelton channeling Gwynn by avoiding Ks

Halos shortstop on pace for lowest strikeout rate in 20 years
MLB.com @AndrewSimonMLB

Throughout his career, Andrelton Simmons has worked defensive magic at shortstop.

This season, he has become something of a magician at the plate, too. His trick? He has stopped striking out.

Throughout his career, Andrelton Simmons has worked defensive magic at shortstop.

This season, he has become something of a magician at the plate, too. His trick? He has stopped striking out.

Since returning from a short stint on the disabled list June 16, Simmons has gone just 2-for-20, but he has run his streak to 21 games without a K -- the longest by an Angels player since Spike Owen went 27 straight in 1994. Going back to May 3, Simmons has just one strikeout over 153 plate appearances, spanning 36 games (all starts).

Across the Majors, Ks continue to climb. MLB hitters struck out in a record 21.6 percent of their plate appearances in 2017, and they are ahead of that pace in '18 (22.4 percent). Yet while enjoying easily his most productive season with the bat -- .a 311/.379/.430 slash line for a well above-average 128 wRC+ -- Simmons is avoiding punchouts at a rate not seen in 20 years.

Simmons' 3.8 percent strikeout rate is the lowest for a qualified player since Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn's 3.6 percent in 1998. Gwynn, one of the game's great pure hitters, had a strikeout rate that was about 21 percent as high as the MLB rate that season. Simmons' current K-rate is about 17 percent as high as the league-wide rate.

So how is it that the Halos shortstop has dropped his strikeout rate (from 10.4 percent) while MLB hitters as a group rack up more and more whiffs against an army of pitchers with sizzling velocity and physics-defying offspeed stuff?

"Honestly, I have no idea," Simmons told MLB.com Angels beat reporter Maria Guardado. "I try to do basically the same thing -- just pitch recognition has been a little better. Approach has been a little better, so I think those are the factors for me that have helped me."

Simmons theorized that harder swings and more home runs could be linked to the overall strikeout trend, and he may be right. But when it comes to his own enviable ability to avoid the K, he insists it's not the result of a concerted effort.

"I hope I don't strike out a lot, but I don't really mind striking out," Simmons said. "I just happen not to. … That's a result of having better at-bats, I think, and taking pitches I shouldn't swing at."

That last point is an important one. Compared with the previous few seasons, Simmons' swing rate against pitches in the zone is about the same, as is his contact rate. But what has changed significantly is his chase rate, with Simmons ranking in the top 10 percent of MLB hitters in terms of laying off those out-of-zone pitches.

Simmons' chase rate by season, 2015-18
2015: 25.3 percent
2016: 26.2 percent
2017: 26.7 percent
2018: 18.8 percent

When Simmons does swing the bat -- at any pitch -- he has missed just 11.9 percent of the time, which gives him for the fourth-lowest such rate of 240 batters with at least 300 swings (teammate Ian Kinsler ranks first, at 10.6 percent). Simmons doesn't fall into two-strike situations often, but when he does, he has avoided the K on more than 94 percent of pitches he has seen.

It all adds up to a stat line that seems like an anachronism: 265 plate appearances, 25 walks, 10 strikeouts.

No qualified hitter since Placido Polanco in 2007 has finished with a strikeout rate below five percent. None has finished below six percent since Nori Aoki in '13. Joe Panik's 8.9 percent in '16 was the lowest mark of the past two seasons, and this year, Cleveland's Michael Brantley is the closest to Simmons, at 8.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Simmons is on track to become the first qualified hitter to finish with at least twice as many walks as strikeouts since slap-hitting second baseman Luis Castillo (2005), who was preceded in each of the previous three seasons by Barry Bonds.

Simply avoiding strikeouts isn't enough, of course. Many top hitters succeed while striking out more than 20 percent of the time, and some of the lowest-strikeout hitters are not particularly productive.

For Simmons, however, the formula is working. His batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all are career bests. His wRC+ -- a park-adjusted offensive metric in which 100 is league average -- has climbed for the fourth straight year, up from a low of 71 in 2014. His 128 wRC+ this year is about equal to what Nolan Arenado posted in '17.

So while Simmons' glove has retained its glory, it's no longer his only source of magic.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Los Angeles Angels, Andrelton Simmons

10 prospects who could make MLB impact soon

Jimenez, Tucker could help fantasy teams in big way this season
MLB.com

This week marked the midpoint in the 2018 season for many of the full-season Minor League levels, and with it came a flurry of promotions ahead of the second half.

Eloy Jimenez's promotion to Triple-A is the most noteworthy given his enormous offensive upside and proximity to the Major Leagues, though he wasn't the only Top 100 prospect to move up a level.

This week marked the midpoint in the 2018 season for many of the full-season Minor League levels, and with it came a flurry of promotions ahead of the second half.

Eloy Jimenez's promotion to Triple-A is the most noteworthy given his enormous offensive upside and proximity to the Major Leagues, though he wasn't the only Top 100 prospect to move up a level.

Fellow White Sox outfielder Luis Robert (No. 26 overall prospect) was bumped up to the Class A Advanced level after just 14 games in the South Atlantic League, while the Twins promoted 20-year-old Alex Kirilloff (No. 71) to the Florida State League after his torrid first half with Class A Cedar Rapids. Shortstop Carter Kieboom (No. 66), also 20, homered in his first Double-A game after going deep 11 times and producing an .880 OPS in 61 games with Class A Advanced Potomac.

Although most of these players won't contribute in the Majors at any point this season, taking note of such in-season promotions, especially when it involves an already highly touted prospect, can be a valuable tool for predicting future success and building a long-term fantasy roster.

MLB Pipeline: Updated Top 100 Prospects list

Another fantastic tool for fantasy owners is MLB Pipeline's prospects stats page, which allows users to sift through numbers for all 900 prospects on team Top 30 lists in many ways.

Below are our updated rankings of the top 10 fantasy prospects presently in the Minors. As always, they're based solely on expected 2018 fantasy production in the big leagues, while our Top 100 reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox No. 1/No. 4 overall (Previous rank: 1)

The White Sox promoted Jimenez to Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday after he slashed .317/.368/.556 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs over 53 games in Double-A. Though he'd likely be fine making the jump directly from the Southern League to the Major Leagues, the 21-year-old will have to lay waste to International League pitching for a bit -- which he will -- ahead of his inevitable callup to Chicago. He's a must-own fantasy asset the moment he arrives, as there are few prospects who can rival Jimenez's potential as a four-category contributor.

Video: Eloy Jimenez on working hard, preparing for Majors

2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays' No. 1/No. 2 overall (Previous rank: 2)

A strained patellar tendon in his Guerrero's left knee, which he sustained earlier in the month, will likely keep the 19-year-old phenom off the field until July. That said, there's still every reason to believe Guerrero will pick up right where he left off and mash his way to the Majors at some point during the second half. Prior to his injury, Guerrero had produced a robust .407/.457/.667 batting line, with 30 extra-base hits (11 HR), 55 RBIs and nearly as many walks (20) as strikeouts (21).

3. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros' No. 1/No. 10 overall (Previous rank: 3)

Tucker is hitting an even .500 during his 10-game hitting streak and owns a .400/.436/.643 slash line in 17 games with Triple-A Fresno in June. One of 10 Minor Leagues to record at least 20 homers and 20 steals (25 HR/21 SB) in 2017, the 21-year-old outfielder is halfway there this season with 10 homers and 12 steals in 66 games, during which he's produced a .306/.375/.506 batting line with 54 runs scored and 56 RBIs -- both of which rank second in the Pacific Coast League. He's an obvious offensive upgrade for Houston in left field over Tony Kemp and Marwin Gonzalez and seemingly has little left to prove in the Minors.

4. Nick Senzel, 3B/2B, Reds' No. 1/No. 6 overall (Previous rank: 4)

Senzel recorded his third career multi-homer game on Thursday as he pushed his hitting streak to 11 games for Triple-A Louisville. The 2016 first-rounder's nine multihit performances during that stretch have helped raise his average from .256 to .310, and he's been driving the ball with consistency (3 HR, 9 2B in 21 games) since returning from the disabled list in late May. There's no obvious spot for him in the Reds' infield with both Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett having strong years, though that could quickly change with an injury or trade.

Video: Casey discusses Senzel's potential callup to the Reds

5. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros' No. 2/No. 11 overall (Previous rank: NR)

MLB Pipeline's top pitching prospect posted his third straight scoreless start for Double-A Corpus Christi this week, allowing two hits and one walk with a season-high seven strikeouts over innings. The 20-year-old righty has permitted five hits while striking out 18 batters in 12 innings so far, showing his usual dominant stuff and, more importantly, no signs of rust in his return from a season-opening 50-game suspension. That the Astros nearly promoted Whitley late last season makes it likely that we'll see him in the Majors at some point in 2018, and he misses enough bats to offer fantasy value in either a starting or relief role.

6. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox No. 2/No. 12 overall (Previous rank: 5)

Kopech's feel for the strike zone has deserted him in June, resulting in an ugly 20-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a 9.00 ERA and a .928 opponents' OPS over his past 16 innings (four starts). Kopech's 6.1 BB/9 in 67 1/3 Triple-A frames underscores the 22-year-old righty's current shortcomings, and he'll need to get back on track as a strike-thrower before the White Sox offer him a spot in their underwhelming rotation.

7. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees' No. 2/No. 42 overall (Previous rank: 7)

Sheffield, 22, is seemingly next in line to start for the Yankees and could get that opportunity relatively soon should recently promoted starter Jonathan Loaisiga scuffle. The left-hander quietly has made a smooth transition in Triple-A, posting a 3.03 ERA in seven starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after registering a 2.25 ERA over five turns at Double-A Trenton. The walk rate (4.5 BB/9) could be better, but he's still racking up strikeouts (10.7) and limiting hard contact (.185 BAA).

8. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres' No. 1/No. 5 overall (Previous rank: 8)

The 19-year-old shortstop is hitting .314/.396/.546 with 26 extra-base hits and 11 steals in 48 games since May 1 after slashing a dismal .177/.231/.333 in April. With an .819 OPS, 34 extra-base hits and 11 steals through 72 games, Tatis is putting up numbers on par with his breakout 2017 campaign. Current Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis, meanwhile, sports a .241 average and .658 OPS through 77 games.

Video: Urias, Tatis Jr. poised to take leap forward in 2018

9. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers' No. 1/No. 32 overall (Previous rank: 9)

Billed as the most advanced hitter in the 2017 Draft class, Hiura has raked at a .375/.420/.547 clip since being promoted to Double-A, giving the 21-year-old second baseman a robust .333/.391/.533 batting line, with 35 extra-base hits and nine steals for the season.

10. Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers' No. 2/No. 48 overall (Previous rank: 7)

Calhoun scuffled out the gate but has produced a .302 average with 19 extra-base hits in 44 games since the calendar flipped to May. Though he's yet to tap into his trademark raw power as he had in prior seasons, the 23-year-old outfielder is still having a solid campaign, hitting .276/.321/.415 with six homers and 20 doubles.

Dropped out: Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (No. 6)

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

Utley back from DL to face Mets in New York

MLB.com @kengurnick

NEW YORK -- Dodgers veteran infielder Chase Utley was activated from the disabled list before Friday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field.

Utley, whose activation was pushed back until Friday in the wake of bullpen usage during Tuesday's doubleheader, had been on the DL since May 30 due to a left thumb sprain. After the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday, catcher Kyle Farmer was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to accommodate Utley's return.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Dodgers veteran infielder Chase Utley was activated from the disabled list before Friday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field.

Utley, whose activation was pushed back until Friday in the wake of bullpen usage during Tuesday's doubleheader, had been on the DL since May 30 due to a left thumb sprain. After the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday, catcher Kyle Farmer was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to accommodate Utley's return.

View Full Game Coverage

Utley has a history with the Mets. After an Utley takeout slide into second broke the leg of Mets infielder Ruben Tejada in the 2015 postseason, Utley was a wanted man when the Dodgers played in New York the next year. On May 28, 2016, Mets starter Noah Syndergaard retaliated with a purpose pitch behind Utley and was ejected. Later that game, Utley slugged a solo homer and a grand slam.

Video: Must C Chase: Utley delivers after Mets ejections

"That performance by Chase was pretty special, so we have to give them what they want," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chase Utley

Gleyber's swing not the only thing that's sweet

Yankees rookie developed love for Baby Bottle Pop candy thanks to Gregorius
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius slaps hands with his teammates in the center of the diamond, jogs to the dugout and puts away his gear. He makes his way to the Yankees' clubhouse and strides to his locker. Gregorius whips out his cell phone, opens the Twitter app and describes a Yanks win in 280 characters or less. Though, for him, the emphasis is never on himself, and always on emojis.

Every Bronx Bomber has his own emoji. CC Sabathia is a Santa Claus, Giancarlo Stanton is a volcano, Gary Sanchez is an octopus, Brett Gardner is a clown, Aaron Judge is, well, a judge, and the list goes on.

NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius slaps hands with his teammates in the center of the diamond, jogs to the dugout and puts away his gear. He makes his way to the Yankees' clubhouse and strides to his locker. Gregorius whips out his cell phone, opens the Twitter app and describes a Yanks win in 280 characters or less. Though, for him, the emphasis is never on himself, and always on emojis.

Every Bronx Bomber has his own emoji. CC Sabathia is a Santa Claus, Giancarlo Stanton is a volcano, Gary Sanchez is an octopus, Brett Gardner is a clown, Aaron Judge is, well, a judge, and the list goes on.

So when it came time for Gleyber Torres' highly anticipated big league debut at the end of April, fans patiently awaited and constantly refreshed Gregorius' Twitter page for the big reveal. But not even Gregorius could predict the sugar-induced events he set in motion.

The emoji emerged a day after Torres' Major League debut, during a Monday night game against the Twins in the Bronx. The rookie stroked an eighth-inning single to center for his first career hit on April 23, and Gregorius was ready to show us what he had in mind.

Enter: A baby bottle.

The Yankees shortstop introduced the red-hot rookie as a white baby bottle emoji with a light blue rim and a curved yellow spout. It was then decided Torres, 21 years old and the youngest Yankee on the 25-man roster, would be dubbed the baby of the team.

Tweet from @DidiG18: Didi Gregorius tweet

Besides fun and games, Gregorius' emoji choice had a larger impact on Torres -- one involving cavities.

Torres is breaking into history books and turning heads across coasts for putting up video-game numbers in his first Major League season. Then at the end of the day, he's going back to his locker and eating … Baby Bottle Pops. It's a lollipop candy introduced by the manufacturer Topps in a baby bottle shape, near identical to Torres' namesake emoji.

So what came first, the chicken or the egg?

After Gregorius started using the baby bottle emoji for Torres in his tweets, the Baby Bottle Pop company (founded in 1998, just two years after Torres was born) sent both players boxes of the candy. Gregorius, not a fan of the candy itself, handed his portion of the Baby Bottle Pops to Torres.

Prior to the company's kind gesture, Torres had never tried the candy. Now, he can't get enough of it. Torres discovered his favorite flavors (watermelon and strawberry) and started dipping the pop into the accompanying sugar compartment for the full Baby Bottle Pop experience. And he's ordering more boxes.

Tweet from @DidiG18: Didi Gregorius tweet 2

Torres is unusually gifted at accepting whatever comes his way. From taking the big leagues by the reins to poking fun at his own youth by snacking on Baby Bottle Pops, Torres embraces challenges and self deprecation alike. Instead of feeling as if he's been demoted to sitting alone in the school cafeteria, Torres embraces his "baby" title in the Yanks' clubhouse with open arms.

"I enjoy everything, I think that's the most important thing," Torres said. "Just enjoy."

Asked if he'll consider a possible sponsorship or small advertisement for the Baby Bottle Pop company, the rookie didn't rule it out.

"Not yet, I'll wait," Torres said.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres