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Top 100 prospects steal show, slug six homers

MLB.com

It was a big day for hitters on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list, with 24 of them combining to bat .459 (28-for-61) with six home runs and 16 RBIs. To make that collective performance even more impressive, the average age of those players is just 21.

Yankees No. 4 prospect Miguel Andujar (No. 65 overall) headlined the group, continuing his torrid start to the spring with his third and fourth homers. Others who impressed at the plate included No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna (Braves) and No. 16 overall prospect Kyle Tucker.

It was a big day for hitters on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list, with 24 of them combining to bat .459 (28-for-61) with six home runs and 16 RBIs. To make that collective performance even more impressive, the average age of those players is just 21.

Yankees No. 4 prospect Miguel Andujar (No. 65 overall) headlined the group, continuing his torrid start to the spring with his third and fourth homers. Others who impressed at the plate included No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna (Braves) and No. 16 overall prospect Kyle Tucker.

Other top prospect performances from Thursday's action:

• Andujar continues to make a strong case to be on New York's Opening Day roster with his early performance this spring. The third baseman, who turns 23 on Friday, drilled two more home runs on the first two pitches he saw against the Phillies, pushing his total to four in three Cactus League games.

Video: NYY@PHI: Andujar launches a pair of solo dingers

New York acquired Brandon Drury -- who also homered on Thursday -- from the D-backs last month, and while Drury presumably has the inside track on the starting third base job heading into the regular season, Andujar is doing everything he can to make it a hard decision for manager Aaron Boone.

Andujar slashed .315/.352/.498 with 16 homers in 125 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017. His torrid start to camp this year includes a walk-off home run in Monday's contest against Philadelphia, and a game-tying shot on Tuesday vs. Toronto.

Meanwhile, Yankees No. 26 prospect Tyler Austin and No. 19 prospect Billy McKinney each added homers of their own. Both had been slumping to start the spring, with Austin's homer being the first baseman's first hit of camp, and the McKinney homer being his second (the other hit was also a home run).

• Acuna went 2-for-3 with a walk in the Braves' 5-2 win over the Tigers, upping his spring batting average to .313 (5-for-16) after back-to-back multihit efforts.

• Tucker (Astros' No. 2) belted a two-run homer in Houston's 10-5 win over the Red Sox, continuing his hot start. The homer was his third of Spring Training, and overall he's batting .385 (5-for-13). The 21-year-old outfielder slashed .274/.346/.528 with 25 home runs and 21 steals between Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi last season.

Video: BOS@HOU: Tucker crushes a three-run home run to right

• No. 22 overall prospect Willy Adames (Rays' No. 2) went 2-for-3 with a double in Tampa Bay's 5-2 loss to Baltimore. The 22-year-old shortstop is now batting .455 (5-for-11) with a homer in Grapefruit League play. At Triple-A Durham last season, he slashed .277/.360/.415 with 10 home runs and 11 steals in 130 games.

• No. 31 overall prospect Mike Soroka (Braves) tossed two scoreless innings in a split-squad victory over the Tigers. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter. The 20-year-old right-hander posted a 2.75 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Mississippi last season.

• No. 45 overall prospect Austin Meadows (Pirates' No. 2) went deep with a two-run homer during Pittsburgh's 4-1 win over Toronto. The 22-year-old center fielder is batting .625 (5-for-8) so far in Grapefruit League play. Injuries have hampered Meadows' progress toward the Majors, but a healthy 2018 could earn him a trip to the Majors.

The ninth overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Meadows slashed .250/.311/.359 with four home runs and 11 steals for Triple-A Indianapolis last season.

• No. 53 overall prospect (Rangers' No. 2) Willie Calhoun had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a solo homer in Texas' 9-4 split-squad victory over Oakland. The 23-year-old left fielder is now 6-for-11 (.545) in Cactus League play.

In 128 Triple-A games between Oklahoma City (Dodgers) and Round Rock (Rangers) last season, Calhoun slashed .300/.355/.572 with 31 homers.

• No. 97 overall prospect Austin Riley (Braves) was 0-for-10 on the spring when he connected for a two-run homer in the sixth inning of Atlanta's win over Detroit. The 20-year-old third baseman slashed .275/.339/.446 with 20 home runs in 129 games between Class A Advanced Florida and Double-A Mississippi in 2017.

Video: ATL@DET: Riley hits a two-run homer in the 6th

Cubs No. 22 prospect Alec Mills struck out three and walked one over two hitless innings in Chicago's 2-2 tie with the Rockies. The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 3.86 ERA in seven starts between Rookie level, Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Triple-A Iowa in 2017. He missed much of the season due to bone chips in his pitching elbow.

Royals No. 17 prospect Burch Smith started for Kansas City and tossed two scoreless innings against the Mariners, striking out four while walking two and allowing one hit. The 27-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2015-16 seasons with injury, but in 12 appearances (11 starts) between Class A Advanced Charlotte and Triple-A Durham in the Rays' farm system last year, he posted a 2.19 ERA.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.