Rays' Honeywell among top prospect performers Tuesday
Tampa Bay's No. 3 prospect scatters three hits in seven scoreless in Florida State League playoff game
Brent Honeywell added another chapter to his impressive full-season debut Tuesday, picking up his first professional postseason win as Class A Advanced Charlotte hammered Palm Beach, 14-1, in the opening round of the Florida State League playoffs.
The Rays' No. 3 prospect scattered three hits, walked one and struck out six in seven innings, departing with Charlotte leading, 5-1. After scoring one run in five of the first six innings, the Stone Crabs' offense exploded for nine runs on eight hits -- highlighted by a six-run eighth inning -- over the game's final two frames to secure the victory.
Honeywell began the season in the Midwest League, where he pitched to a 2.91 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 12 starts for Class A Bowling Green. The 20-year-old right-hander also posted an excellent 76/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 65 innings and held opposing hitters to a .221/.266/.304 batting line.
MLBPipeline's No. 52 overall prospect was equally impressive following a mid-season promotion to the Florida State League, going 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 65 1/3 innings (12 starts). The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder's advanced feel for four pitches -- including a plus fastball and screwball as well as an above-average changeup -- also enabled him to post a 53/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that span.
Honeywell finished the regular season with a 9-6 record, 3.18 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 129/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 130 1/3 innings between Bowling Green and Charlotte.
The rest of the best performances from top Minor Leaguers
• Astros No. 4 prospect (No. 60 overall) Kyle Tucker helped Greeneville secure its first Appalachian League title since 2004 on Tuesday night, going 2-for-4 with his second home run in as many days and three RBIs in an 8-7 win over Princeton. The 18-year-old outfielder's home run -- a three-run shot in the third inning -- was his third in six playoff games for Greeneville, matching his total from 63 games during the regular season. He also scored two runs and stole a base in the contest. Tucker, who served as Greeneville's three-hole hitter in the postseason, batted .375 with seven runs scored, six RBIs and the aforementioned three home runs in six postseason games.
• Mariners No. 3 prospect Luiz Gohara completed a career-best seven innings for Short Season Everett, yielding two runs on 10 hits while striking out five in a 4-2 loss to Tri-City. The 19-year-old southpaw scuffled during the regular season, going 3-7 with a 6.20 ERA and 1.84 WHIP over 14 starts in the Northwest League, although he did manage to strike out 62 batters and allowed just four home runs in 53 2/3 innings in that span.
• Rays No. 10 prospect Casey Gillaspie was one of four Charlotte players to collect three hits against Palm Beach, finishing 3-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. The 22-year-old first baseman spent the first three months of the season in the Midwest League, where he batted .278/.358/.530 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 64 games for the Hot Rods. Unfortunately, Gillaspie spent nearly two months on the disabled list during the heart of the season after suffering a fractured wrist just five games after his promotion to the Florida State League. His three-hit performance was his first as a member of the Stone Crabs.
• Rays No. 22 prospect Justin Williams collected three hits to extend his hitting streak to five games, and he also scored a run and plated another in Charlotte's win over Palm Beach. Acquired from the Diamondbacks during the offseason as part of the Jeremy Hellickson trade, Williams batted .277/.298/.394 with seven homers, 39 extra-base hits and 48 RBIs in 122 regular-season games between Bowling Green and Charlotte.
• Reds No. 3 prospect (No. 75 overall) Amir Garrett carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts as Class A Advanced Daytona beat Clearwater, 3-0, in the first game in the best-of-three series. The 23-year-old left-hander's quest for a no-no came to an end with two outs in the seventh, but Garrett bounced back to fan the final batter of the inning, marking his third 12-strikeout performance -- he also struck out 12 in seven innings against Clearwater on May 30 -- in four professional seasons. In 12 starts after the All-Star break, the 6-foot-5 southpaw went 7-2 with a 1.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 61/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 73 1/3 innings.
• Reds No. 23 prospect Taylor Sparks was the only player to homer in Class A Advanced Daytona's 3-0 win over Clearwater, connecting on a solo shot with two outs in the sixth innings. The dinger was the 14th of the season for the 22-year-old, who batted .247/.302/.401 with 39 extra-base hits, 68 runs scored, 54 RBIs and 14 steals in 125 regular-season games for the Tortugas. While he showed good power in his first full professional campaign, Sparks also led the Florida State League with 161 strikeouts (32.7 percent strikeout rate) and accrued only 30 walks in 493 plate appearances.
• Reds No. 27 prospect Chad Wallach collected two of Daytona's four hits Tuesday -- both singles -- as part of a 2-for-4 effort. The Reds acquired the 23-year-old from the Marlins in December as part of the Mat Latos deal, targeting him after an impressive full-season debut in which he posted an .888 OPS in 97 games between the Class A and Class A Advanced levels. However, Wallach's production didn't carry over to the Florida State League this season, as he batted just .246/.327/.351 with three home runs and 32 RBIs in 106 games. It's also worth noting that the 23-year-old, after catching exclusively during the 2013-14 seasons, started 53 games at first base compared to only 46 behind the plate.
• White Sox No. 24 prospect Corey Zangari went 1-for-1 with a double and two walks as Great Falls lost to Billings, 6-1, to open the Pioneer League playoffs. In spite of his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame and mid-90s heater as an amateur, the White Sox showed faith in Zangari's power potential when they selected him as a first baseman in the sixth round of this year's Draft. The 18-year-old did nothing but reward the organization in his professional debut, batting .316/.358/.481 with six home runs, 15 doubles and 41 RBIs in 54 games for Great Falls.