Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.
Brendan McKay has a legitimate chance of becoming Major League Baseball's next two-way star. Right now, however, the Rays' No. 3 prospect is standing out more for his success on the mound.
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McKay, MLB Pipeline's No. 24 overall prospect, tossed six scoreless innings on Thursday, leading Class A Advanced Charlotte in a shutout of Fort Myers, 1-0. Entering the game in the third inning in relief of rehabbing big leaguer Yonny Chirinos, McKay allowed three hits, hit one batter and struck out three as he improved to 2-0 in as many outings for the Stone Crabs.
McKay, 22, has now worked 23 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run dating back to his April 28 start with Class A Bowling Green. He's permitted just four hits while striking out 10 in 11 innings for Charlotte after posting a 1.09 ERA with 40 strikeouts and two walks over 24 2/3 frames (six starts) in the Midwest League.
Overall, McKay has pitched to a combined 0.76 ERA and 0.39 WHIP, with an equally impressive 50-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .101 opponents' average, in 35 2/3 innings (eight appearances/six starts) between the two levels.
At the plate, meanwhile, the left-handed-hitting first baseman has produced a .247/.434/.318 batting line, totaling four extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and more walks (30) than strikeouts (20) in 26 games.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• No. 2 overall prospect (Blue Jays' No. 1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr's solo shot and Bo Bichette's (No. 11 overall, Blue Jays' No. 2) two-run homer accounted for all of Double-A New Hampshire's offense in a 4-3 loss against Reading. They both finished 2-for-4 at the plate, with Bichette also reaching once via a walk and recording his 10th stolen base in the contest. The 19-year-old Guerrero boosted his Minor League-best average to .427 with his third straight multihit performance, and he's now up to nine home runs and 46 RBIs through 42 games.
MILB Video - Title: Guerrero Jr. hits another homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2079842183
• No. 17 overall prospect Alex Reyes (Cardinals' No. 1) struck out the side on three occasions and fanned nine consecutive batters -- breaking a 116-year Pacific Coast League record -- en route to racking up 13 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Memphis. He allowed one hit and one walk, throwing 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes in the outing. The 23-year-old righty has dominated while working his way back from 2017 Tommy John surgery, piling up 44 strikeouts and allowing just seven hits in 23 scoreless innings (four starts) across three levels.
MILB Video - Title: Reyes notches 13th strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2080328983
• No. 56 overall prospect Dylan Cease (White Sox No. 5) completed a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, as he recorded his sixth win in nine starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The 22-year-old right-hander issued two walks and struck out nine, sitting in the upper 90s and touching 99 mph against his final batter. He's pitched to a 2.83 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings this season.
MILB Video - Title: Cease's ninth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2080742083
• No. 57 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels' No. 1) connected on his first California League home run, hitting a two-run shot as well as a double in his third game since joining Class A Advanced Inland Empire. The 19-year-old outfielder earned a quick promotion after hitting .326/.398/.611 with six homers, seven doubles and 29 RBIs in 25 games with Class A Burlington.
• No. 74 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 3) posted his second straight scoreless start as Triple-A Rochester blanked Lehigh Valley, 2-0. He scattered four hits and four walks over five innings, striking out five and generating another six outs on the ground. Nick Gordon (No. 76 overall, Twins' No. 4), playing in his third Triple-A game, hit a pair of doubles and scored a run to pace the Red Wings offensively.
• After going 0-for-8 in his first two Triple-A games, Angels' No. 8 prospect Matt Thaiss erupted to hit a pair of solo homers and went 3-for-6 as Salt Lake outslugged Albuquerque, 16-11. The 23-year-old first baseman, a first-round pick in 2016, earned a promotion to the Minors' highest level after slashing .287/.352/.490 with six homers and 10 doubles in 40 games with Double-A Mobile.
MILB Video - Title: Thaiss' second homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2079860383
• Astros' No. 9 prospect Corbin Martin racked up a season-high nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits as he completed a career-best 7 2/3 scoreless frames in a no-decision for Double-A Corpus Christi against Springfield. He threw 88 pitches, 63 for strikes in the outing and generated eight ground-ball outs. The 2017 second-round pick has given up just two earned runs over his last 22 innings (three starts/four appearances) since allowing six earned runs on five hits and lasted just 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut.
MILB Video - Title: Martin's ninth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2080563783
• After striking out 18 batters over 9 2/3 innings in two big league starts, Brewers No. 9 prospectFreddy Peralta returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and struck out eight over five scoreless innings to earn the win against Nashville. He permitted as many hits as walks (three), while throwing 57 of his 94 pitches for strikes. The 21-year-old righty is 6-1 in eight Triple-A starts, during which he's pitched to a 3.18 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings.
• Starting for Springfield opposite of Corpus Christi's Martin, Cardinals' No. 19 prospect Jake Woodford took a no-decision despite completing eight scoreless frames during which he scattered six hits, walked two and struck out five. The 21-year-old righty owns a 3.98 ERA in 54 1/3 innings and has finished five innings in eight of his 10 starts, including six straight.
• Marlins' No. 21 prospectPablo Lopez allowed five hits and struck out five over six scoreless innings in another lights-out start for Double-A Jacksonville. The 22-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA from 0.28 to 0.24 with the performance, extending his lead over the field on the Southern League leaderboard. Lopez has not allowed an earned run in six of his seven turns this season, posting a 0.82 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and seven walks in 37 2/3 innings.
• Mets' No. 1 prospect Andres Gimenez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 3-for-3 performance that included a double in Class A Advanced St. Lucie's 4-2 win over Daytona. He also worked a walk, scored a pair of runs and stole three bases, giving him 15 steals on the season, second-most in the Florida State League. Overall, the 19-year-old shortstop owns a .287/.356/.441 batting line with 15 extra-base hits through 40 games in the pitcher-friendly league.
• Red Sox No. 11 prospect Josh Ockimey hit a three-run homer and reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored in Double-A Portland's 12-2 win over Hartford. It was the fifth home run and second straight two-hit game for the 22-year-old first baseman, who's slashing .255/.381/.445 through 32 games.
• Twins' No. 8 prospect Brent Rooker went deep twice for Double-A Chattanooga in his first career multihomer game. The 23-year-old first baseman hit a two-run blast in his first at-bat and added a solo shot in his third trip to the plate, finishing 2-for-5 with three RBIs. He's homered six times in 43 games this season after totaling 18 homers in 62 games across two levels during his pro debut.