Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.
Alex Verdugo may not be known for his power, but he's showing plenty of it early this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Verdugo, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect (No. 33 overall), delivered a clutch homer for a third straight game, hitting a solo shot in the fifth inning against New Orleans that helped set the stage for Oklahoma City's 10-9, walk-off victory in extra innings.
Verdugo's streak of heroic homers began Saturday when the 21-year-old outfielder blasted a game-tying, two-run home run in his first three-hit performance of the season. He was scheduled for a routine day off on Sunday, but ultimately came off the bench in extra-innings to hit a walk-off, three-run shot in his only at-bat.
Verdugo is now halfway to his 2017 home run total -- which he achieved in 117 games with OKC -- through 10 games after going deep on Monday as part of a 2-for-4 performance. He's batting .341/.357/.610 on the season, with 14 hits, nine runs and eight RBIs.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday
• No. 11 overall prospectFrancisco Mejia (Indians' No. 1) homered for a second straight day, connecting on a three-run shot in his first at-bat as Triple-A Columbus fell to Pawtucket, 9-6. He would finish 2-for-5 at the plate, giving the 22-year-old switch-hitter at least one hit in each of his past three games and an RBI in four straight.
MILB Video - Title: Mejia hits a homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1945296883
• No. 15 overall prospect Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 1) was sharp in his second start for Double-A Altoona. Working 5 2/3 innings, the 22-year-old righty permitted one earned run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He also induced seven ground-ball outs in the outing, throwing 55 of his 87 pitches for strikes. Keller has allowed just five hits in 11 2/3 innings between his first two starts, good for a .125 opponents' average.
• No. 52 overall prospectKeibert Ruiz (Dodgers' No. 3) launched a pair of two-run shots, his first two home runs this season, and DJ Peters (No. 6) went deep for a second straight game as Double-A Tulsa edged Midland, 6-4. Will Smith (No. 9) also swung the bat well, logging a double, a walk and a hit by pitch in a 3-for-3 performance that boosted his average to .364.
MILB Video - Title: Ruiz's second homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1944757983
On the mound, right-hander Dennis Santana (No. 10) was nearly untouchable in his third start for the Drillers. Throwing 48 of his 73 pitches for strikes, Santana allowed one hit and one walk while recording 10 of his 13 outs via the strikeout in 4 1/3 innings.
• No. 90 overall prospect Carter Kieboom's (Nationals' No. 3) one hit was a big one, as he connected on a grand slam to cap a seven-run fourth inning in Class A Advanced Potomac's win over Salem. The homer was the 20-year-old shortstop's fourth this season and second during his current four-game hitting streak, during which he's accrued eight RBIs on just five hits.
MILB Video - Title: Kieboom hits a grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1945367283
• No. 94 overall prospectTyler O'Neill (Cardinals' No. 4) reclaimed a share of the Minor League home run lead (six) with a two-homer game for Triple-A Memphis. The 22-year-old slugger connected on two-run shots in his first two at-bats before finishing 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs. O'Neill is hitting a robust .432 this season, with hits in 10 straight games after an 0-for-5 performance on Opening Day.
MILB Video - Title: O'Neill goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1944481483
Max Schrock (No. 10) also had a big game, going 3-for-5 with a double and two runs, while Oscar Mercado (No. 13) started the scoring for Memphis with a leadoff home run, his first of the year. They are batting .408 and .341 this season, respectively.
• Angels No. 24 prospectDavid Fletcher went 3-for-6 with four RBIs and fell a double short of hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Salt Lake's loss against Albuquerque. The Bees' leadoff man opened the game with his first home run, cleared the bases with a triple in the fourth and added a single in the following frame. The 23-year-old middle infielder has 10 hits in his past four games after going 0-for-18 in his five previous contests.
• A's No. 15 prospect Kevin Merrell came a home run away from hitting for the cycle in Class A Advanced Stockton's 6-1 win over Modesto. The speedy shortstop opened the game with a triple, singled in his second at-bat before adding a fifth-inning double. He would ground out in his next at-bat before capping his game with another single to finish with a career-high four hits.
• Braves No. 12 prospect Kyle Muller tossed five innings of one-run, two-hit ball en route to his first full-season win as Class A Rome defeated Asheville 9-6. A 6-foot-6 left-hander whom Atlanta drafted in the second round in 2016, Muller recorded four strikeouts, five ground-ball outs and did not issue a walk in the outing, throwing 48 of his 67 pitches for strikes. Rome was led offensively by designated hitter Drew Lugbauer (No. 30), who delivered a solo home run as well as a two-run shot in his fourth career multi-homer game. He finished with three hits, three runs and three RBis.
• Brewers No. 7 prospect Corey Ray has at least one extra-base hit in eight of his past nine games after going 3-for-5 with a triple and a double for Double-A Biloxi. The 23-year-old outfielder is off to a strong start in his first Double-A campaign, hitting .362/.400/.660 through 11 games. More importantly, Ray has been driving the ball consistently -- a notion supported by his nine extra-base hits in that span. Troy Stokes Jr. (No. 22) also had a big game for the Shuckers, hitting a pair of doubles and a triple in a 3-for-4 performance.
• Marlins No. 12 prospect Edward Cabrera showcased his front-of-the-rotation ceiling over six hitless innings as three Class A Greensboro hurlers combined to throw a one-hit shutout against Lakewood. The 20-year-old flame-thrower compiled two walks and three strikeouts before departing the game after 68 pitches (37 strikes). He's allowed just one hit in 11 innings (.030 BAA) to begin his first full season.
• Phillies No. 11 prospectRanger Suarez matched a pair of career bests as he struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings to lead Double-A Reading past Harrisburg, 6-0. He scattered six hits and did not issue a walk in the outing while finding the strike zone with 69 of his 99 offerings. The 22-year-old has been sharp in back-to-back turns, allowing two runs in his past 14 innings after being tagged for seven runs and nine hits in his Double-A debut.