Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.
The week began on a high note for a trio of Cubs pitching prospects, as Trevor Clifton, Keegan Thompson and Cory Abbott combined to post 17 scoreless innings, with each hurler picking up the win at his respective level.
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Clifton, the Cubs' No. 27 prospect, turned in his finest performance of the season, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings to pace Double-A Tennessee in a combined two-hit shutout of Jacksonville, 3-0. It was a season-long performance for the 22-year-old right-hander, who also set a season-high with nine strikeouts, while issuing two walks and throwing 62 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
After a rocky start to his season, Clifton, the Cubs' Minor League pitcher of the year in 2016, has yielded five earned runs in 21 2/3 innings across his last five starts. Overall, Clifton owns a 3.69 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP in 31 2/3 frames (seven starts), and opposing hitters are batting just .174 against him.
Speaking of season-best outings, Thompson (No. 18) turned in one of his own for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, firing a career-high six scoreless frames as the Pelicans blanked Down East, 3-0. A 23-year-old righty whom the Cubs selected in third round last June, Thompson allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four en route to his first 2018 victory in six starts. He threw 87 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Last but not least, Abbott (No. 28), the Cubs' second-rounder a year ago, posted five scoreless innings with a career-high eight strikeouts as Class A South Bend defeated Burlington, 5-3. Throwing a season-high 90 pitches (53 strikes), Abbott allowed two hits, both singles, and three walks. The 22-year-old right-hander owns a 3.20 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through five starts, with a 26-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 1/3 innings.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday
• No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) was typical Vlad Jr., going 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs, the second of which hit the facing of a hotel wall beyond the wall in left-center field at the Fisher Cats' home park. The big performance came hours after the 19-year-old third baseman hit an opposite-field shot off of a batting tee while recording a Play Ball segment for MLB Network. Through 25 games, Guerrero is slashing an absurd .398/.453/.673 with five home runs, 10 doubles and 35 RBIs, with more walks (13) than strikeouts (12). He's also hit safely in 12 straight games.
MILB Video - Title: Guerrero Jr. goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2018785783
• No. 20 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins' No. 1) recorded another multihit performance as he extended his hitting streak to five games for Class A Cedar Rapids. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick tallied three singles in the contest, going 3-for-5 with one run scored and a stolen base, his 10th this season and fifth in his past four games. Altogether, the 18-year-old shortstop boasts an impressive .372/.417/.423 slash line 19 games into his full-season debut.
• No. 54 overall prospect Keston Hiura (Brewers' No. 1) continued to put his slow start to the season behind him thanks to his eighth multihit performance in 11 games. The 21-year-old second baseman connected on a solo home run to the opposite field, his fourth this season, as well as a double to finish 2-for-5 with two runs scored in Class A Advanced Carolina's 5-0 win over Buies Creek. He's improved his average from .208 to .288 in those 11 contests, during which he's totaled three homers and seven doubles.
• No. 80 overall prospect Christian Arroyo's (Rays' No. 6) first-inning grand slam marked his first homer of the season and proved the difference in Triple-A Durham's 4-1 win over Norfolk. Left-hander Anthony Banda (No. 16), acquired during the offseason from Arizona, fired a season-high 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the Bulls to record his fourth win. He allowed four hits, issued three walks and struck out four.
MILB Video - Title: Arroyo's grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2018863083
• After allowing a combined 11 earned runs in his last two starts, Brewers No. 9 prospect Freddy Peralta rebounded to register a season-high eight strikeouts in five scoreless innings to lead Triple-A Colorado Springs past Oklahoma City, 5-3. He found the zone with 57 of 94 his pitches in the outing while allowing two hits and three walks. The 21-year-old righty owns a 5-1 record in seven starts this season, with a 3.63 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings.
• Mets No. 2 prospect David Peterson turned in his best professional start as he set career highs with eight strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a no-decision for Class A Columbia. The 2017 first-rounder permitted just three hits and one walk in the outing, as he also induced eight ground-ball outs while throwing 55 of 76 pitches for strikes. Peterson, 22, lowered his ERA to 2.28 with the stellar performance.
• Nationals No. 24 prospect Tomas Alastre tossed six scoreless frames as he helped to pace Class A Hagerstown in a shutout of Kannapolis. It was the first full-season scoreless outing for the 19-year-old right-hander, who scattered six hits with two walks and a season-high six strikeouts while lowering his season ERA from 6.95 to 5.46. Infielder Luis Garcia (No. 6) paced the Suns' offense in the victory, as he extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 3-for-4 performance.
• Rays No. 25 prospect Ryan Boldt hit solo shots in his first two at-bats for Double-A Montgomery in his first career mutli-homer game. He also tripled in the contest to finish 3-for-4 with four runs scored and a walk. The 23-year-old outfielder, a second-round pick in the 2015 Draft, is slashing .267/.326/.488, with three home runs and four steals, through 23 games in his first Double-A campaign. Lefty Genesis Cabrera (No. 22) was sharp on the mound for the Biscuits, working five scoreless innings of two-hit ball in which he walked three and struck out eight. The 21-year-old southpaw sports a 2.08 ERA through 39 innings and has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven turns.
• Rockies No. 5 prospect Peter Lambert lowered his ERA to 1.83 -- the seventh-best mark in the Eastern League -- behind six scoreless innings for Double-A Hartford. The 21-year-old right-hander scattered six hits and two walks and struck out six in the outing, throwing 63 of his 93 pitches for strikes. He's completed at least six frames in four of six outings this season, posting 31 strikeouts against seven walks in 34 1/3 innings.
• Tigers No. 10 prospect Christin Stewart stayed red hot as he extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and a two-run homer to power Triple-A Toledo past Columbus, 3-1. Stewart's blast was his seventh in 28 games this season and gives him a share of the International League lead in that department. He's upped his season batting line from .216/.359/.373 to .314/.390/.608 during his ongoing hitting streak.