A year removed from leading the Minor Leagues with 34 home runs, A.J. Reed took a step toward reclaiming the title on Thursday with his first home run of the season.After he was kept in the yard during his first five games for Triple-A Fresno, Reed, the Astros' No. 2
A year removed from leading the Minor Leagues with 34 home runs, A.J. Reed took a step toward reclaiming the title on Thursday with his first home run of the season.
After he was kept in the yard during his first five games for Triple-A Fresno, Reed, the Astros' No. 2 prospect (No. 38 overall), connected on a two-run home run, his first at the Triple-A level, to right-center in the first inning. He finished 3-for-5 and scored three runs, but his performance wasn't enough to keep Fresno from falling to Salt Lake, 10-9.
MILB Video - Title: A.J. Reed hits his first homer of the year - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=590991983
Third baseman Colin Moran, Houston's No. 6 prospect, also picked a good time for his first Triple-A home run, as he helped Fresno overcome an early deficit with a two-out grand slam in the third inning. With the long ball, Moran has hit safely in five straight games to begin the season, and he's driven in at least one run in four of those contests.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• Braves No. 2 prospect Sean Newcomb and Rays No. 6 prospect Taylor Guerrieri went head-to-head for five innings. Newcomb, No. 19 the Top 100, allowed one earned run on one hit, striking out four and walking four, while Guerrieri surrendered two runs (both unearned) on two hits.
• No. 25 overall prospect Clint Frazier connected on a two-run home run with two outs in the sixth inning -- the second long ball for the Indians' No. 2 prospect in his last three games -- to power Double-A Akron to a 3-0 win over Bowie.
• Dillon Tate's second start for Class A Hickory was the best of his young career, as the No. 34 overall prospect struck out a career-high 10 hitters over six scoreless innings in a win over Kannapolis. The Rangers' No. 4 prospect, who was No. 4 overall Draft pick in 2015, has yet to allow a run in 10 2/3 innings, and he's posted an impressive 16/1 K/BB ratio.
• No. 50 overall prospect Jeff Hoffman struggled early in his second start for Triple-A Albuquerque, allowing one run in the first and third innings, before retiring 10 straight hitters and completing seven strong innings in a win over Reno. The Rockies' No. 5 prospect allowed two hits, one walk and struck out three, throwing 54 of his 88 pitches for strikes.
MILB Video - Title: Hoffman finishes seventh frame - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=590658183
• After hitting six home runs in 73 games last year in his first Double-A campaign, No. 44 overall prospect David Dahl has opened 2016 with five home runs in his first eight games for Double-A Hartford. On Thursday, the Rockies' No. 3 prospect launched his second homer in as many days in a loss to Portland, and he's now homered in three of his last four games for the Yard Goats.
• No. 54 prospect Aaron Blair improved to 2-0 and paced Triple-A Gwinnett with six scoreless innings in a shutout win over Norfolk. The Braves' No. 3 prospect scattered five hits, walked three and struck out six, which was his best start as a member of the Braves organization.
• No. 57 prospect Gary Sanchez entered the home run column in dramatic fashion Thursday, when the Yankees' No. 3 prospect belted a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre a 2-0 win over Syracuse.
MILB Video - Title: Sanchez belts walk-off homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=590683283
• No. 60 prospect Grant Holmes fired six scoreless innings in his second start for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, striking out seven. The Dodgers' No. 3 prospect recorded 11 scoreless frames to begin the season.
• Cubs No. 12 prospect Donnie Dewees stayed red hot for Class A South Bend, going 2-for-3 with two triples and two runs scored in a loss to Fort Wayne. Through his first seven games, the 2015 second-round Draft pick is hitting .464 with six extra-base hits (four triples), seven runs scored and two stolen bases.
• After scuffling in his season debut, Phillies No. 19 prospect Nick Pivetta bounced back to throw six scoreless innings of one-hit ball as Double-A Reading blanked Harrisburg, 9-0. He walked two, struck out seven and induced seven ground-ball outs.
MILB Video - Title: Pivetta finishes sixth inning - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=590589283
• Twins No. 7 prospect Kohl Stewart allowed one hit and one walk in six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. He also fanned seven hitters in the start, giving him 13 strikeouts -- to go along with a 1.50 ERA and 0.58 WHIP -- in his first 12 innings.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.