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Benintendi, Almora Jr. among top prospect performers Sunday

Red Sox No. 1 prospect homers; Cubs No. 3 prospect notches five RBIs
March 26, 2017

Two of baseball's best prospects showed why they are so highly rated, with big performances during Sunday's slate of Spring Training action.Red Sox outfielder and No. 1 overall prospectAndrew Benintendi and Cubs outfielder and No. 75 overall prospectAlbert Almora Jr. both homered, with Benintendi going deep against the Twins and

Two of baseball's best prospects showed why they are so highly rated, with big performances during Sunday's slate of Spring Training action.
Red Sox outfielder and No. 1 overall prospectAndrew Benintendi and Cubs outfielder and No. 75 overall prospectAlbert Almora Jr. both homered, with Benintendi going deep against the Twins and Almora Jr. launching a three-run shot against the Reds.
The blast was the third of the spring for Benintendi, who finished the day with two hits and could begin the regular season hitting third in Boston's order.
Almora's second homer of Spring Training highlighted a day in which Chicago's projected starting center fielder knocked in five runs.

More notable performances from top prospects on Sunday
• Benintendi wasn't the only Red Sox prospect to thrive in Boston's 7-2 win over the Twins. Righty Ben Taylor, Boston's No. 19 prospect, struck out the side in his only inning of work.
• Top prospects provided much of the offense in Philadelphia's 6-3 win over Pittsburgh. For the Pirates, Austin Meadows (No. 2 prospect, No. 9 overall), Josh Bell (No. 3 prospect, No. 27 overall), and Jose Osuna (No. 29 prospect) combined for four hits, two RBIs and a run scored. For the Phillies, No. 14 prospectAndrew Knapp hit his second homer of the spring, while No. 30 prospect Jasmuel Valentin added two hits.

• The fight for the center-field job in Detroit is shaping into one of the best positional battles in all of baseball this spring, and Sunday was another chance for JaCoby Jones to make his case for the gig. Jones, the Tigers' No. 9 prospect, knocked two hits to bring his spring average to .342 in Detroit's 4-3 loss to Toronto. Jones wasn't a lock to make the Tigers out of camp, but Detroit needs depth now that starting right fielder J.D. Martinez will miss three to four weeks with a foot injury.
• The Blue Jays played two split-squad games Sunday, with half their roster beating Detroit and the other half falling, 2-1, to the Orioles. First baseman Ryan McBroon (No. 30) clubbed his third home run of the spring against the Blue Jays, while outfielder J.B. Woodman (No. 13) chipped in with two hits and a diving catch against Baltimore.

• A's prospects were on full display in Oakland's 11-1 win over Milwaukee. Jharel Cotton (No. 6) allowed a lone run in 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven along the way. Cotton is expected to start the season in Oakland's rotation. Catcher Bruce Maxwell (No. 19) provided the offense with three hits, including his first two Spring Training homers in a 3-for-4 day. No. 20 prospectMax Schrock added two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
• Giants' starter and No. 11 prospectTy Blach put together a strong performance in San Francisco's 3-2 win over the White Sox. Blach allowed two runs over six innings as he fights for a spot in the Giants' rotation.
• In Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mets No. 30 prospectT.J. Rivera doubled home a run in his only at-bat. The Mets topped the Braves, 8-2.
• Yankees' prospect Aaron Judge (No. 4) continued to make his case for New York's starting right-field job with two more hits in a 7-4 win over the Rays. Judge is hitting .321 this spring.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.