Saturday's top prospect performers

McKay's career-high 9 K's help lead Bowling Green to victory

April 29th, 2018

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

While Angels phenom showcases his two-way prowess at the Major League level, Brendan McKay is doing just the same in the Minors.

McKay, the Rays' No. 3 prospect (No. 25 overall), did it on the mound Saturday, tossing five strong innings with a career-high nine strikeouts to notch his first win of the season for Class A Bowling Green. He allowed one earned run on three hits while throwing over 75 percent of his pitches for strikes (52 of 69) in the outing as the Hot Rods edged Lake County, 4-2.

McKay lowered his ERA to 1.93 with the performance, and the left-hander has now compiled 24 strikeouts and allowed just one walk across 14 innings (four starts) in his first full season. He owns a 0.57 WHIP in that stretch, during which he's held opposing hitters to a .146 batting average.

At the plate, meanwhile, McKay -- a three-time John Olerud Award winner as college baseball's top two-way star and the No. 3 overall pick in last year's Draft -- has opened his season by slashing .263/.472/.289 over 13 games in the Midwest League. Though he's yet to homer, the left-handed-hitting first baseman has 10 RBIs and more than twice as many walks (15) as strikeouts (seven).

The rest of the best performances from top prospects in Saturday's action:

No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) upped his average to .373 with his second 3-for-4 performance for Double-A New Hampshire in three games. The 19-year-old third baseman tallied a double and three RBIs and now leads the Eastern League in both categories, with eight and 25, respectively, through his first 19 games at the Double-A level.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Vlad Jr. doubles in Bichette - Url:

No. 4 overall prospect (White Sox No. 1) plated a run on a ground ball and blasted a three-run home run, his third of the season, as he led Double-A Birmingham past Biloxi, 4-2. The 21-year-outfielder has tallied an RBI in five straight games for the Barons and has 11 RBIs in 10 games since being activated from a season-opening stint on the disabled list.

No. 26 overall prospect Sixto Sanchez (Phillies' No. 1) tossed seven innings of one-run ball to register his first win of the season for Class A Advanced Clearwater. He had allowed just two hits through six scoreless innings before permitting a run on two knocks in the seventh. Altogether, Sanchez allowed four hits, walked one and fanned a pair. He threw 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes, also inducing 11 ground-ball outs in the outing. He sports a 3.71 ERA through 17 innings (three starts).  

No. 28 overall prospect Juan Soto (Nationals' No. 2) posted his second multi-hit performance in five games since being promoted to Class A Advanced Potomac. The 19-year-old outfielder went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBIs to help lead the P-Nats past Lynchburg, 8-3. Through 21 games across two levels, Soto is slashing a robust .358/.465/.753 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and more walks (17) than strikeouts (14).  

No. 56 overall prospect (Braves' No. 6) worked 6 1/3 strong innings, scattering four hits with one walk and five strikeouts, though it wasn't enough to keep Triple-A Gwinnett from falling to Durham, 3-0. The 20-year-old left-hander has allowed two or fewer earned runs with at least five strikeouts in three straight starts for the Stripers. He lowered his ERA to 2.57 with Saturday's performance, also pushing his strikeout total to 18 through 21 innings (four starts).  

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Allard wins battle with K - Url:

Angels No. 8 prospect Griffin Canning and a pair of relievers combined to throw the second no-hitter in Double-A Mobile history. Canning, the Angels' second-round pick last June, worked the first five frames, issuing six walks and striking out one en route to his first Double-A victory. Matt Custred added three innings in relief of Canning, bridging the gap to Ryan Clark, who earned his first Double-A save while sealing the combined no-no.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Canning, Custred & Clark combine for no-hitter - Url:

Cubs No. 5 prospect Alex Lange completed a career-high seven innings in Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach's win over Salem. The 2017 first-rounder allowed one earned run on three hits, struck out five and generated nine ground-ball outs as he recorded his first professional victory. He retired the final 13 batters he faced, ultimately throwing 50 of his 84 pitches for strikes in the outing. 

Marlins No. 3 prospect Jorge Guzman used his triple-digit fastball to dominate in his season debut for Class A Advanced Jupiter. It also marked the Marlins debut for the 22-year-old righty, whom Miami acquired with Jose Devers in the offseason trade. On Saturday, Guzman worked four scoreless frames, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He threw 68 pitches, 38 for strikes.  

Red Sox No. 15 prospect posted his second straight double-digit strikeout performance, pitching Triple-A Pawtucket past Buffalo, 6-3. The 24-year-old righty struck out a season-high 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings on Saturday, allowing two earned runs on three hits and one walk. He's fanned 21 hitters in 11 2/3 innings across his past two starts and has a whopping 37 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings (four starts), along with a 1.37 ERA, on the season.