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Farmer, Kopech lead top prospect performers

February 26, 2018

James Farmer did it all at the plate in the Dodgers' 9-6 win over the Rangers on Monday. Farmer, 27, reached base four times and drove in a trio of runs in his 3-for-3 performance.The catching prospect drew a walk in his first plate appearance, singled in each of his

James Farmer did it all at the plate in the Dodgers' 9-6 win over the Rangers on Monday. Farmer, 27, reached base four times and drove in a trio of runs in his 3-for-3 performance.
The catching prospect drew a walk in his first plate appearance, singled in each of his next two at-bats and then helped the Dodgers break the game open in the sixth inning.
Farmer drove in two runs with a two-out double to cap a three-run frame, the Dodgers' second straight three-run inning. Farmer, who is 5-for-8 this spring, appeared in 20 games with Los Angeles last season and is on the 40-man roster, but the Dodgers' depth chart is crowded with Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes also on the roster.
Other top prospect performances from Monday's action:
No. 10 overall prospect Michael Kopech got off to a fast start this year as he struck out the first batter he faced and cruised through two innings in a 7-6 win over the A's. The White Sox right-hander gave up a pair of hits, but that was the extent of the damage as he struck out three in a scoreless outing.
"I felt like it was pretty good," Kopech said. "I got behind in the count a couple times, and it gave me an opportunity to really work on my changeup and offspeed pitches. It helped me really focus on staying behind it and getting a strike with the pitch. I feel like it was a productive pitch, and I was OK with it."
No. 11 overall prospect Francisco Mejia (Indians' No. 1) only got one at-bat against the Brewers, but that's all he needed to hit his first homer of 2018. Mejia, who batted .297 with 14 homers in 92 games with Double-A Akron last season, is a switch-hitter, and although he's not quite ready to be an everyday Major League catcher, it's clear the Indians like his bat and are looking for ways to get him into the lineup this season.

No. 16 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 2) went deep for the second straight day. After hitting a three-run homer on Sunday, Tucker settled for a two-run shot in the seventh inning against the Mets. Tucker, 21, hit a career-high 25 homers across two levels in 2017 and finished the day 2-for-2.

• Philadelphia's top hitting prospect, Scott Kingery, was perfect at the plate on Monday night, reaching base in all four plate appearances, with a homer, two singles and a walk in a 4-3 loss to the Yankees. Kingery is No. 35 on the Top 100 Prospects list and is MLB's top second-base prospect.

• Kingery was one-upped by fellow Top 100 infield prospect Miguel Andujar, who went 2-for-2 with an RBI double and a walk-off homer in the Yankees' win over the Phillies. The 22-year-old third baseman, who is No. 65 on the Top 100 list, is competing for a spot in the Yankees infield after New York signed the versatile Brandon Drury, who can play third, second and the outfield.
No. 71 overall prospect Monte Harrison (Marlins' No. 2) hit his first homer as a member of the Marlins in an 11-0 win over an Astros split-squad. Harrison, who finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs, enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017, hitting a career-high 21 homers in 122 games and he then hit five more in 13 games in the Arizona Fall League. The outfielder was traded to the Marlins in the offseason and it clearly hasn't taken long for him to showcase his power to his new teammates.
• Athletics prospect Nolan Blackwood was unhittable in his second outing of Spring Training. The 22-year-old fanned the first two batters he faced before getting a groundout to finish a perfect 1-2-3 inning.
• Blue Jays prospect Ryan Borucki faced the minimum in his two-inning start against the Rays. Borucki, who posted a 2.93 ERA in 27 games across three levels last season, retired the side in order in the first and issued a walk in the second, but he quickly erased that runner via a ground-ball double play.
"He's someone that you definitely got to keep an eye on his development this year," Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale said. "He's climbing his way through the system. So it's very interesting for me as well."
Cardinals No. 13 prospect Oscar Mercado showcased his 60-grade speed with a pair of stolen bases in a loss to the Twins. Mercado, who has swiped 30 or more bags in three straight seasons, finished 0-for-1 at the plate, but his baserunning may already be in midseason form.
D-backs No. 20 prospect Kevin Cron has hit 25 or more homers in each of the past three seasons and that power was on display when the 25-year-old hit his first homer of Spring Training in the eighth. Cron, 25, finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
• Mets prospects Gavin Cecchini (No. 18) and Tomas Nido (No. 11) each drove in a pair of runs in the Mets' 8-7 loss to the Astros. Cecchini was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a two-run homer in the seventh and a double in the ninth. Meanwhile, Nido also registered an extra-base hit as both his RBIs came with a fourth-inning double.

• Reds prospect Tanner Rainey struggled a bit with command, but he had no trouble putting batters away as he struck out three in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Rainey walked a pair but didn't yield any hits or runs.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.