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Prospect roundup: Nats' duo impresses

Giolito sharp in two-inning debut; Difo swats pinch-hit HR
MLB.com

No. 3 overall prospect Lucas Giolito made his Spring Training debut on Friday with two impressive innings in the Nationals' 5-4 loss against Miami.

The Nationals' top-ranked prospect entered in the bottom of fifth, with the Nats leading, 4-2, and promptly struck out the side while pitching around a two-out error. Giolito threw 14 of his 18 pitches for strikes in the frame and generated whiffs with six of them, then needed only four pitches (all strikes) to complete the sixth inning.

No. 3 overall prospect Lucas Giolito made his Spring Training debut on Friday with two impressive innings in the Nationals' 5-4 loss against Miami.

The Nationals' top-ranked prospect entered in the bottom of fifth, with the Nats leading, 4-2, and promptly struck out the side while pitching around a two-out error. Giolito threw 14 of his 18 pitches for strikes in the frame and generated whiffs with six of them, then needed only four pitches (all strikes) to complete the sixth inning.

Supplying the offense for Washington in the game was No. 6 prospect Wilmer Difo, who connected on a pinch-hit, three-run homer against Marlins right-hander Brian Ellington in the fifth. Right-hander Abel De Los Santos (No. 22) also struck out two of the three batters he faced in a clean eighth inning.

Video: WSH@MIA: Difo cranks a three-run home run

More notable performances by top prospects

Yankees No. 4 prospect James Kaprielian was sharp in his spring debut, as the 2015 first-rounder struck out a pair in two flawless innings against the Tigers.

A's left-hander Sean Manaea, MLBPipeline's No. 68 overall prospect, struck out four and induced a pair of groundouts in two scoreless innings in a start against the Rockies. Oakland's No. 1 prospect, Franklin Barreto, hit a pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the sixth, while Joey Wendle (No. 13) and Jaycob Brugman (21) both tripled. Left-hander Dillon Overton (10) threw two scoreless innings in relief.

Video: COL@OAK: Barreto jacks a solo shot vs. the Rockies

In the A's other split-squad matchup, No. 6 prospect Matt Chapman hit a solo homer off of right-hander Josh Collmenter in a loss to Arizona. D-backs No. 11 prospect Gabby Guerrero accounted for most of his club's offense in the win, finishing 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBIs.

White Sox No. 28 prospect Jason Coats went 1-for-3 with a solo home run off of Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer.

Video: CLE@CWS: Coats' solo homer gives White Sox 2-0 lead

Phillies No. 18 prospect Tyler Goeddel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft, had another solid showing at the plate, finishing 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs against the Braves.

Video: ATL@PHI: Goeddel drives an RBI double for 4-1 lead

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

 

Wilmer Difo, Lucas Giolito