Monday's top prospect performers
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.
Though it's no easy task, Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio are doing their best to carry Double-A New Hampshire in the absence of injured phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Bichette and Biggio both hit home runs and combined for five hits and five RBIs, providing the bulk of the offense in the Fisher Cats' 7-5 loss against Portland.
Bichette, Toronto's No. 2 prospect (No. 9 overall), scored a team-high three runs and recorded three extra-base hits, hitting a two-run homer along with a pair of doubles to finish 3-for-4.
MILB Video - Title: Bichette hits two-run homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2197458783
The three-hit performance gives the 20-year-old shortstop an Eastern League-best 84 hits on the season -- one more than Guerrero, whom he surpassed on Monday -- as well as a .285/.352/.458 batting line through 73 games. Bichette also leads the circuit with 24 stolen bases and ranks among the top three with 56 runs scored (second), 20 doubles (tied, second) and 135 total bases (third).
As for Biggio, the Blue Jays' No. 16 prospect put the Fisher Cats on the board with a two-run shot in the first inning and later pushed across a run on a groundout to finish 2-for-4 with three RBIs. It was his second multihit performance in 22 games this month.
One of the Minors' top breakout prospects so far in 2018, the 23-year-old Biggio is hitting .278/.399/.561 and leads the Eastern League with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs.
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The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday
• Fresh off of earning MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week honors earlier in the day, No. 10 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 1) hit a solo homer and went 2-for-3 as he extended his hitting streak to 14 games for Triple-A Fresno. Behind nine multihit games as well as a .509 average in that span, the 21-year-old outfielder has improved his 2018 average from .269 to .318. Tucker's home run, meanwhile, was his 11th of the season, and he's now tallied 58 runs scored and 58 RBIs in 70 games.
MILB Video - Title: Tucker goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2198149883
• No. 12 overall prospect Michael Kopech (White Sox No. 2) put his recent struggles behind him by tossing six scoreless innings for Triple-A Charlotte in a no-decision versus Durham. He mixed four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts and threw 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes. The 22-year-old righty had struggled over his past four starts, posting a 9.00 ERA with 21 walks and a .928 OPS against in 16 innings. Kopech owns a 4.66 ERA through 15 starts, during which he's compiled 97 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings while holding hitters to a .214 clip.
MILB Video - Title: Kopech notches strikeout number nine - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2197487983
• No. 14 overall prospect Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 1) allowed a single to the second batter of the game but retired 21 of the final 24 batters to complete a season-high eight scoreless innings and lead Double-A Altoona past Harrisburg, 4-0. The first-inning single was the only hit permitted by Keller, as he issued two walks, struck out six and induced another seven outs on the ground before departing with 92 pitches (58 strikes). The 22-year-old righty has little left to prove in the Eastern League, where he currently ranks among the circuit leaders with a 2.72 ERA (fourth), 86 innings pitched (first) and nine wins (first).
MILB Video - Title: Keller's sixth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2197564283
• Making his season debut, No. 33 overall prospect Franklin Perez (Tigers' No. 1) allowed one earned run on one hit with two strikeouts in two innings in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. It also marked Perez's first action as a member of the Tigers organization after they made the 20-year-old right-hander their key return from Houston in last summer's Justin Verlander blockbuster.
• No. 100 overall prospect Chris Paddack (Padres' No. 8) recorded nine of his 12 outs via the strikeout in another dominant performance for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. He permitted one hit and one walk in the outing and threw 43 of his 61 pitches for strikes. Paddack continues to be sensational in his return from Tommy John surgery, as this latest gem gives the 22-year-old right-hander a 1.75 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in 46 1/3 innings (eight starts) on the season. What's more, Paddack has racked up 79 strikeouts against four walks in that span while stifling hitters at a .196 clip. A promotion to Double-A could soon be in store for the fast-rising hurler.
• Brewers No. 17 prospect Jake Gatewood blasted his Southern League-leading 14th home run and finished 4-for-5 at the plate as Double-A Biloxi downed Chattanooga, 4-2. It was the 22-year-old first baseman's second four-hit game of the season and improved his batting line to .246/.304/.470 through 71 games. Keston Hiura (Brewers' No. 1, No. 32 overall) gave the Shuckers some breathing room by hitting a solo shot in the ninth inning, his second homer in 21 games at the Double-A level. He's hitting .331/.389/.537 on the season, with nine home runs, 26 doubles and 53 runs scored in 71 games.
• Giants No. 2 prospect Chris Shaw hit a solo homer and later delivered a three-run shot to finish 3-for-5 with four RBIs in Triple-A Sacramento's 9-4 win over Albuquerque. The 24-year-old slugger has produced a .260/.303/.530 batting line with 14 homers in 53 games this season in his second tour of the Pacific Coast League. Playing in 88 games with Sacramento in 2017, Shaw batted .289/.328/.530 with 18 home runs.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Shaw goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2198861183
• Indians No. 4 prospect Bobby Bradley's second two-homer game of the season for Double-A Akron pushed his season total to 14, good for a share of third place in the Eastern League. The 22-year-old first baseman connected on a two-run shot in the fourth and added a solo shot in the ninth to finish 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs. He's hitting .198 in 66 games this season, albeit with a tolerable .726 OPS.
MILB Video - Title: Bradley smacks his second homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2197637283
• Mets first-round Draft pick (No. 6 overall) Jarred Kelenic recorded his first pro double and recorded multiple hits for the third time in as many games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He also recorded his first pro steal in the contest before finishing 3-for-4. Signed for $4.5 million, Kelenic -- an 18-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder from the Wisconsin prep ranks -- is 8-for-13 (.615) at the plate to open his career.
• Red Sox No. 24 prospect Chad De La Guerra hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and added a solo shot in the sixth in Double-A Portland's win over New Hampshire. It was the first career multihomer performance by De La Guerra, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in his third straight two-hit game. Overall, eight of the 25-year-old second baseman's nine home runs this season have come in the 42 games since his demotion from Triple-A.