For someone regarded as more of a pure hitter than a slugger, Alex Bregman has put on quite the power display to begin the season.The Astros' No. 1 prospect (No. 20 overall) blasted his first Minor League grand slam and fourth home run of the season on Friday as Double-A
For someone regarded as more of a pure hitter than a slugger, Alex Bregman has put on quite the power display to begin the season.
The Astros' No. 1 prospect (No. 20 overall) blasted his first Minor League grand slam and fourth home run of the season on Friday as Double-A Corpus Christi rolled past Tulsa, 9-4. He finished 2-for-5 to extend his season-opening hitting streak to eight games. He's hitting .333 with nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
Selected by Houston with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, Bregman posted a .294/.366/.415 batting line with four home runs in 66 games last season in his professional debut, which he split between Class A Quad Cities and Class A Advanced Lancaster. His success prompted the Astros to send him directly to Double-A in 2016 for his first full season, and, so far, Bregman has made a smooth transition at the more advanced level.
After failing to collect an extra-base hit in his first four games, Bregman opened the week with his first-career multi-homer game, which included a walk-off homer, and then added a solo shot on Tuesday. The 22-year-old shortstop matched his total from 2015 with his fourth homer on Friday, and his next one will put him more than halfway towards surpassing the career-best nine home runs he hit as a junior at LSU last spring.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday
• Nos. 24 and 25 overall prospects Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier (Indians' top two prospects) paced Double-A Akron's offense in a win over Bowie as they combined to go 4-for-7 with two extra-base hits and four runs scored. Frazier scored three of them as part of a 2-for-3 performance that also included a double, two walks and a stolen base, while Zimmer (2-for-4) delivered a game-tying, bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the seventh and proceeded to score the go-ahead run.
• No. 35 overall prospect Raul Mondesi hit his third home run in eight games as part of a 2-for-4 performance, though it was the only run scored by Double-A Northwest Arkansas in a loss to Frisco. The Royals' top prospect also tallied a double and stole a base, his fifth of season, and he's hit safely in seven straight contests for the Travelers.
• No. 38 overall prospect A.J. Reed, who paced all Minor Leaguers with 34 home runs in 2015, hit a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to push Triple-A Fresno past Las Vegas, 2-1. The home run was Reed's second of the season and second in as many games, and the Astros' No. 2 prospect also hit his fourth double in a 2-for-4 performance.
• No. 88 overall prospect Forrest Wall fell a homer shy of the cycle and delivered a pair of game-tying extra-base hits in Class A Advanced Modesto's game against Stockton. Hitting second for the Nuts, the Rockies' No. 6 prospect went 5-for-8 with four RBIs, a walk and a stolen base. His two-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth sent the game into extra innings, and he tied it again in the 10th with an RBI double. The Nuts lost, 12-10, in 17 innings.
• No. 89 overall prospect Nick Gordon connected on his first home run of the season, a go-ahead, two-run shot to the opposite field in the top of the eighth inning, and then scored go-ahead run in the 10th as Class A Advanced Fort Myers edged Daytona, 6-5. The Twins' No. 4 prospect finished the game 3-for-5 -- his second straight game with three hits -- with a double and three RBIs, and he owns an impressive .400/.417/.629 batting line through eight games.
"It's just about taking it one at-bat at a time," Gordon told MiLB.com. "Whether I'm 0-for-4, 2-for-4 or 4-for-4, I just bust my butt to get better the next time I get up."
• A's Nos. 3 and 5 prospects Matt Olson (No. 98 overall) and Renato Nunez hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie and then give Triple-A Nashville the lead in a 5-3 win over Oklahoma City. The long balls were for the first of the season for both players.
• Athletics No. 14 prospect Daniel Mengden's line in his second Double-A start was identical to his first, as the right-hander allowed two hits, walked three and struck out eight over six scoreless frames for Midland. Acquired from the Astros last July in the Scott Kazmir deal, Mengden went 10-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 125/36 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings last season between the Class A and Class A Advanced levels.
• After throwing six scoreless innings in his season debut, Braves No. 26 prospect Max Povse kept the opposing team off the board once again Friday with seven scoreless frames as Class A Advanced Carolina shut out Myrtle Beach, 2-0. The 6-foot-8 right-hander allowed two hits and one walk and struck out seven, while nine of his outs came on ground balls. With his start on Friday, Povse has yielded just three hits in his first 13 innings.
"Everything is working so far, so, yeah, tonight was pretty good," Povse told MiLB.com. "All three of my pitches were working tonight. I noticed they were being aggressive at the plate, so I just attacked with my fastball. My defense played well behind me, too."
• Rays No. 14 prospect Justin Williams went 4-for-4 with an RBI for Class A Advanced Charlotte in a win over Tampa. After making strides during the offseason while playing in the Australian Baseball League, the 20-year-old outfielder has hit safely in his first five games for the Stone Crabs and sports a .409 average.
• Rockies No. 14 prospect German Marquez, acquired during the offseason from Tampa Bay as part of the Jake McGee-Corey Dickerson trade, scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings for Double-A Hartford, which went on to beat Portland in 17 innings, 5-2. He struck out three and induced nine ground-ball outs, with 56 of his 80 pitches going for strikes.
• Royals No. 13 prospect Ryan O'Hearn was the driving force in Class A Advanced Wilmington's win over Potomac, going 2-for-4 with his first two home runs of the season as well as three RBIs. O'Hearn's first homer was an inside-the-park homer.
"It was cool," O'Hearn told MiLB.com. "It was my first [inside-the-parker] ever and I'm pretty sure the last one, too."
After batting .263 with 27 home runs in his 2015 full-season debut, the 22-year-old first baseman is hitting .406/.429/.688 this season through his first eight games.
• Making his first start since May 19, 2015 Twins No. 11 prospect Alex Meyer did not issue a walk in 6 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Rochester.
"I was efficient, throwing strikes, getting ahead," Meyer told MiLB.com. "I was feeling good, I was feeling like the ball was coming out pretty good. I had some swings and misses early, so it was one of those nights where you're lucky to have your stuff working, throwing strikes and getting ahead."
MILB Video - Title: Meyer notches his 8th strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=592396483
The former Top 100 prospect yielded three hits and found the zone with 60 of his 92 pitches en route to piling up eight strikeouts. After struggling as a reliever in 2015, Meyer has posted a 0.77 WHIP over 10 1/3 scoreless frames to begin the season.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.