After a long wait to begin his professional career, Brandon Marsh is showing just what all the hype was about.The Angels' No. 3 prospect continued his torrid start on Thursday as he connected on his first pro homer and finished a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort
After a long wait to begin his professional career, Brandon Marsh is showing just what all the hype was about.
The Angels' No. 3 prospect continued his torrid start on Thursday as he connected on his first pro homer and finished a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort for Rookie-level Orem. He tallied four RBIs and scored three runs in the contest, a 13-8 victory over Ogden.
The Angels selected Marsh, a former two-sport start at Buford (Ga.) High, in the second round of the 2016 Draft, but a lower-back issue (asymptomatic stress fracture) revealed during his physical delayed his signing until shortly before the mid-July deadline. The Angels, erring on the side of caution, opted to hold him out of action for the remainder of the summer.
Now fully healthy, the 19-year-old outfielder is showcasing his high-end athleticism and loud tools while making an immediate impact in the Pioneer League.
Marsh began his career by scoring two runs in a 1-for-5 performance on Monday, and he went 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, three runs scored and a steal two days later.
Overall, he's gone 8-for-15 (.533) at the plate with three extra-base hits, eight runs scored and six RBIs in his first three career games.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• No. 29 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 2) connected on his third home run in four games, a solo shot in the seventh inning of Double-A Corpus Christi's win over Frisco. The 20-year-old outfielder has gone deep 14 times in 70 games this season, including five homers in 22 games along with a .255/.300/.511 slash line since joining Hooks.
• No. 73 overall prospect Forrest Whitley (Astros' No. 5) took the loss for Class A Quad Cities despite allowing one earned run on four hits in four innings. He issued one walk and struck out seven, marking his third straight start with at least seven strikeouts. The 19-year-old righty lowered his ERA to 3.29 with the performance, and he's now struck out 61 batters in 41 innings (13.4 K/9) this season.
• No. 96 overall prospect Chance Adams (Yankees' No. 7) was lights-out as he allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in his eighth start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He threw 60 of his 100 pitches for strikes while striking out eight and walking a pair. Adams owns a 2.12 ERA with 52 strikeouts and a .154 opponents' average in 46 2/3 innings since joining the RailRiders.
MILB Video - Title: Adams nabs strikeout No. 8 - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1527731883
• Royals No. 4 prospect Scott Blewett racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts while tossing six innings of two-run ball in a no-decision for Class A Advanced Wilmington. Blewett scattered four hits and walked one in the outing, which saw the 21-year-old right-hander throw 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes. He's allowed two earned runs on six hits, with 22 strikeouts and four walks, in his last 12 innings (two starts).
• Making his second start for Class A Short Season Spokane, Rangers No. 8 prospect Cole Ragans tossed five scoreless frames, allowing one hit and one walk while recording nine of his 15 outs via the strikeout. The 2016 first-rounder was tagged for four earned runs on three hits and six walks in four innings in his season debut.
• Cardinals No. 9 prospect Dakota Hudson generated 16 ground-ball outs and completed a career-high eight innings to pace Double-A Springfield in a 4-2 win over Arkansas. The 2016 first-rounder allowed two unearned runs on eight hits while striking out five in the performance, which lowered his ERA to 2.66 through 81 1/3 innings (13 starts).
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Hudson records fifth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1528947683
• Indians No. 10 prospect Yu-Cheng Chang hit his third home run in four games and went 2-for-4 to help lead Double-A Akron past Reading, 4-2. With 16 homers in 63 games, the 21-year-old shortstop has already surpassed the career-high total of 13 homers he posted last season in 109 games in the Carolina League.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Chang rips solo homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1528946083
• Cubs No. 11 prospect Thomas Hatch turned in another strong performance for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, as the 22-year-old righty allowed one unearned run on three hits in seven innings in a win over Down East. He tallied six strikeouts and one walk while throwing 84 pitches, 59 for strikes. Hatch owns a 0.70 ERA with 39 strikeouts in his last 38 1/3 frames spanning six starts.
• Indians No. 16 prospect Shane Bieber set a career high and matched another as he struck out 11 over eight scoreless innings en route to his third straight win for Class A Advanced Lynchburg (all against Frederick). He faced four over the minimum in the performance, allowing three hits and also hitting a batter while finding the zone with 64 of his 86 pitches. Bieber's permitted two earned runs in 19 2/3 innings over his last three starts.
"I had no idea that my total was in double digits," Bieber told MiLB.com. "My main focus was going out there to eat up innings. I was trying to go nine because I've never done that in my career. That's more important to me as a starting pitcher, to go deep into the game.
"I was able to get ahead, and once I got strike one and two, I focused on putting them away," he added. "All three of my pitches were working. My slider was the best it's been all year. It's been progressively getting better all year, but it was finally where I wanted it to be tonight."
• Brewers No. 25 prospect Jake Gatewood connected on his 10th homer and later added a triple in a 2-for-4 performance for Class A Advanced Carolina. An offseason adjustment to Gatewood's contact lenses has seemingly done wonders for the 21-year-old corner infielder, who's hitting .287/.366/.502 through 68 games.
• Nationals No. 25 prospectJose Marmolejos fell a triple shy of the cycle as he helped power Double-A Harrisburg to a 10-1 win over New Hampshire. He started the scoring with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, in the first and later added a double before finishing 3-for-5. Through 36 games, he's batting .315/.379/.538 with 18 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Marmolejos' two-run homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1528944383
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.