Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.
The prized gem of the Cincinnati Reds' 2017 Draft class was on full display earlier this week as Hunter Greene (No. 2 overall pick) captured headlines with his impressive season debut for Class A Dayton. On Thursday, however, it was Jeter Downs, the club's second-overall pick (No. 32 overall), who opened eyes as he delivered a walk-off single to lead the Dragons past Lake County, 10-9.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Downs lines walk-off single - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1932847183
Downs, Cincinnati's No. 7 prospect, atoned for a costly error in the top of ninth with his game-winning hit. It capped a 4-for-6 night at the plate for the 19-year-old shortstop, who had hit a leadoff home run, his first of the season, as well as a pair of infield singles earlier in the game.
Stuart Fairchild (No. 11) also swung the bat well for Dayton, as the 2017 second-rounder connected on his second home run, a two-out, two-run shot in the third inning, in a 3-for-5 performance. The 22-year-old outfielder also doubled in the contest while pacing the Dragons' offense with two runs.
It marked the second multi-hit game this season for both Downs and Fairchild. Through eight games, they're batting .314 and .333, respectively.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• No. 20 overall prospect Royce Lewis' (Twins' No. 1) three-run home run put Class A Cedar Rapids on the board and ignited a late rally that saw the Kernels score nine times over the final four innings to defeat Peoria, 9-5. The 2017 No. 1 overall Draft pick finished 2-for-5 at the plate in his second multihit game this season. Lewis' home run, meanwhile, was his first.
MILB Video - Title: Lewis goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1932845583
• No. 29 overall prospect Juan Soto (Nationals' No. 2) and Luis Garcia (No. 6) combined for five hits and four runs scored, though it wasn't enough to keep Class A Hagerstown from falling to Greensboro, 10-9, in 10 innings. Soto, 19, improved his average to .393 with a 1-for-3 game that included a two-run double and three walks, while the 17-year-old Garcia went 4-for-6 with his first stolen base.
• No. 31 overall prospect Mike Soroka (Braves' No. 3) received a no-decision, but was sharp in his second start for Triple-A Gwinnett in a 7-6, 14-inning loss against Rochester. The 20-year-old righty allowed two earned runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight and generating another eight outs on the ground, while throwing 55 of his 78 pitches for strikes. Altogether, Soroka has pitched to a 1.69 ERA with 13 strikeouts and one walk in 10 2/3 innings (two starts) for the Stripers.
• No. 56 overall prospect Keston Hiura (Brewers' No. 1) went 3-for-5 in Class A Advanced Carolina's extra-inning loss against Winston-Salem. One of those hits was a triple, Hiura's first extra-base hit of the season, while the three hits marked a season high for the 2017 first-rounder (No. 9 overall), who had just one hit in his previous 15 at-bats before breaking out.
MILB Video - Title: Hiura hits a triple - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1932904283
• No. 97 overall prospect Austin Riley (Braves' No. 8) tallied a career-high five RBIs behind his first two home runs of the season in Double-A Mississippi's loss against Biloxi. After beginning the game 0-for-2, Riley, 21, rebounded to hit two go-ahead blasts, as he connected on a three-run homer in the sixth followed by a two-run shot in the eighth inning, only to see Mississippi's bullpen squander the lead on both occasions. He's hitting .346 this season, with hits in all seven games for the M-Braves. On the mound, right-hander Touki Toussaint (No. 11) fired five scoreless frames, allowing three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts in his second start of 2018.
MILB Video - Title: Riley goes yard twice - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1932757883
• Spoiling both Riley and Toussaint's performance was Brewers No. 7 prospect Corey Ray, who delivered a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the eighth inning that proved to be the difference in Biloxi's 6-5 victory. The three-run hit capped a 3-for-5 night at the plate in which Ray plated five of the Shuckers' six runs. The 23-year-old outfielder is off to a strong start in 2018, with a .333 average and at least one hit in all seven games. He's collected an extra-base hit in five straight, too.
• D-backs No. 4 prospectTaylor Widener bounced back from a shaky season debut (also his D-backs organizational debut) to toss five innings of one-run ball in a no-decision for Double-A Jackson. Throwing 53 of his 82 pitches for strikes, the 23-year-old right-hander, acquired during December as part of a three-team trade with the Yankees and Rays, permitted as many hits as walks (three) while striking out eight.
• Class A Lake County had its share of offensive standouts in its walk-off loss against Dayton, as Indians No. 7 prospect Will Benson and Oscar Gonzalez (No. 18) both collected multiple hits including a home run. Benson's three-run shot in the first inning put the Captains ahead early, while Gonzalez added to the lead with a solo shot in the third. The two players are batting .318 and .333 this season, respectively, and they've both gone deep twice in their first seven games.
• Padres No. 16 prospectJosh Naylor's season-opening power surge continued as he upped his home-run total to five with a pair of solo shots for Double-A San Antonio. The 20-year-old first-baseman's first-inning home run was of the inside-the-park variety, while his second homer, an eighth-inning blast over the wall in right-center field, tied the game. It was the second multi-homer performance in seven games this season for Naylor, who's batting a robust .464 after the 3-for-4 effort.
MILB Video - Title: Naylor's inside-the-park homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1933191483