Dodgers' Urias among Friday's top performers in Minors
As the pomp of Opening Day in the Minor Leagues faded away Friday, the excitement of seeing the development of the next generation of stars replaced it. In the Texas League, that meant that two of the best pitching prospects in baseball took the mound, with two of the best shortstop prospects behind them.
Left-hander Julio Urias, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 8 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, made his Double-A debut as Tulsa hosted San Antonio. The precocious 18-year old struck out four batters in five scoreless innings. He threw 74 pitches and held the Missions to two hits and one walk.
Urias even singled in the first plate appearance of his professional career. But the Drillers, including Dodgers' No. 1 prospect Corey Seager, weren't able to muster much other offense and lost, 1-0. Seager, ranked No. 7 on the Top 100, went hitless in four at bats.
Shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Mark Appel, the Astros' Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, had a bit more successful night, as they helped lead Double-A Corpus Christi to an 8-2 victory at Springfield. Appel, ranked No. 31 on the Top 100, made his season debut and held the Cardinals to one run on two hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four batters and picked up the victory.
Correa, ranked No. 3 on the Top 100, went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two walks. He scored a run and drove in another. Center fielder Teoscar Hernandez, the Astros' No. 8 prospect, hit his first home run of the year and second baseman Tony Kemp, the club's No. 14 prospect, added two hits and two runs.
Top performances from Top 100 prospects Friday:
• Left-hander Andrew Heaney, ranked No. 26 on the Top 100, won his organizational debut for the Angels, as he threw seven scoreless innings to help Triple-A Salt Lake to a 2-0 victory at Sacramento. The Angels' top prospect struck out eight batters, walked none and held the Grizzlies to two hits. Heaney came to the club in a wild day at the Winter Meetings that saw him traded twice, first from the Marlins to the Dodgers and then to the Angels.
• Right-hander Jose Berrios, the Twins' No. 4 prospect and No. 33 overall, struck out 11 batters in 6 1/3 innings and Double-A Chattanooga defeated Montgomery, 6-2. Berrios held the Biscuits to one run on six hits and a walk. Shortstop Jorge Polanco, the Twins' No. 7 prospect, went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double and four RBIs to lead the Lookouts offense, while center fielder Byron Buxton and third baseman Miguel Sano, the club's Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, both went hitless.
• Right fielder Aaron Judge, the Yankees' No. 2 prospect and No. 69 overall, hit his first Double-A home run, as Trenton routed Erie, 15-2. Judge finished the night 2-for-6 with two runs and three RBIs. Center fielder Jake Cave, the Yankees' No. 22 prospect, went 4-for-6 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs.
• Shortstop Orlando Arcia, the Brewers' top prospect and No. 89 overall, got off to a hot start to the season Thursday, as he collected three hits and three RBIs for Double-A Biloxi. He kept that going Friday, going 2-for-4 with two runs, as Biloxi beat Pensacola, 7-1, in a game that was shortened to six innings by rain.
Other notable performances from around the Minor Leagues:
• Third baseman Ryan McMahon, the Rockies' No. 5 prospect, homered and tripled to help Class A Advanced Modesto defeat Lake Elsinore, 12-2. The 20-year-old finished the night 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI. Left fielder Raimel Tapia, the Rockies' No. 7 prospect, added two doubles and two RBIs.
• Shortstop Chad Pinder, the A's No. 9 prospect, hit a three-run home run in the first inning for Double-A Midland in its 3-2 victory against Northwest Arkansas. He has now homered in each of the RockHounds first two games to start the season.
• Catcher Raudy Read, the Nationals' No. 26 prospect, homered and scored four runs as Class A Hagerstown routed Hickory, 14-4. The 21-year-old finished the night 2-for-4 with two walks, a stolen base and two RBIs.
• Shortstop Justin Twine, the Marlins' second-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, helped lead Class A Greensboro to a 10-2 victory at Delmarva. The club's No. 13 prospect went 2-for-5 with a double, three runs, a stolen base and an RBI. Third baseman Brian Schales, the Marlins' No. 27 prospect and fourth-round selection last June, added three hits and two RBIs.