Luke Weaver took another step towards reaching the big leagues on Monday night with an impressive debut for Triple-A Memphis.Taking the mound in game two of a twin bill against Omaha, Weaver, MLBPipeline.com's No. 94 overall prospect, allowed two hits over six scoreless innings to pace the Redbirds in a
Luke Weaver took another step towards reaching the big leagues on Monday night with an impressive debut for Triple-A Memphis.
Taking the mound in game two of a twin bill against Omaha, Weaver, MLBPipeline.com's No. 94 overall prospect, allowed two hits over six scoreless innings to pace the Redbirds in a 2-0 victory. He walked a pair and struck out four, with 59 of his 91 pitches going for strikes.
"Everything's kind of new," Weaver told MiLB.com. "Pretty much every batter I saw, I've never seen or pitched against besides watching them prior to the game when I got here. It was just a good mix with (catcher) Michael Ohlman back there. He knows my stuff. He's caught me plenty of times. He caught my first start in Double-A when I got the season rolling around. We just have a good chemistry there, and I trust what he's putting down."
MILB Video - Title: Weaver finishes scoreless debut - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1027999283
The Cardinals' No. 2 prospect was promoted to Memphis after a dominant showing in the Texas League, where he posted a 1.40 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 88-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 77 innings (12 starts) for Double-A Springfield. He allowed just four home runs, while holding opposing hitters to a .214 average.
"There are definitely some advanced approaches," he told MiLB.com. "I learned a lot in Double-A, but just with this one start, I learned a heck of a lot. I think it's just about, for me personally, being as consistent as possible, giving us a chance to win.
"There's always stuff to improve on. I'm obviously happy with the season as it's come together, especially with the circumstances prior to it starting. I'm just thankful and blessed to stay healthy at this point and to go out there and throw as many innings as I can to help the team to win."
Weaver's promotion to Triple-A might have come sooner had the 22-year-old right-hander not suffered a fractured left wrist during Spring Training, which subsequently delayed the start of his 2016 campaign until June 5. However, the fact that Weaver has so little mileage on his arm this season ultimately could be a blessing in disguise for the Cardinals, who could call upon the 2014 first-rounder to bolster their starting rotation for the stretch run.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday
• No. 25 overall prospect Jorge Mateo (Yankees' No. 3) hit a three-run home run, his second deep fly in five games, as Class A Advanced Tampa fell to Clearwater, 11-9. After finishing the contest 1-for-4, the 21-year-old speedster is hitting .257/.308/.392 through 92 games.
• No. 27 overall prospectJosh Bell (Pirates' No. 3) belted a grand slam, but it wasn't enough to keep Triple-A Indianapolis from falling to Toledo, 6-5. The home run was Bell's 14th of the season in the Minors, marking a new single-season career-high for the 23-year-old, and he finished the game 2-for-4.
MILB Video - Title: Bell smashes grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1027760283
• No. 76 overall prospect A.J. Puk (A's No. 2) carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning and fanned seven of the 15 hitters he faced for Class A Short Season Vermont. The 2016 No. 6 overall Draft pick ultimately yielded two runs on two hits, though both runs scored after he departed the game. Across his six pro starts, Puk has pitched to a 3.31 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.
• Braves No. 15 prospectRio Ruiz helped power Triple-A Gwinnett to a 6-5 win over Norfolk as he hit a three-run home run and later added a double en route to going 3-for-4. The 22-year-old third baseman has seven home runs and 18 doubles this season, and has hit .274 in 107 games in his first taste of the Triple-A level.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Ruiz goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1028779383
• Brewers No. 25 prospect Brandon Woodruff lowered his Double-A ERA to 2.87 as he tossed seven scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out six, in a win for Double-A Biloxi. The 23-year-old right-hander has been one of the Minor League's top hurlers since the start of July, posting a 0.41 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings across his past seven starts. No. 74 overall prospectBrett Phillips (Brewers' No. 8) and catcher Jacob Nottingham (Brewers' No. 15) both homered to support Woodruff's performance.
MILB Video - Title: Phillips rips home run - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1027813383
• Making his third start for Class A South Bend, Cubs No. 29 prospect Jose Paulino fired seven innings of one-run ball in a win against Great Lakes. The 21-year-old left-hander only allowed one hit -- a solo home run. He walked two, fanned seven and generated nine ground-ball outs, throwing 56 of his 86 pitches for strikes. For the season, Paulino is 6-0 in nine starts, with a 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 52-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 54 innings.
MILB Video - Title: Paulino records 7th K - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1028333783
• Mets No. 13 prospect Peter Alonso went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle in Class A Short Season Brooklyn's rout of Tri-City. The 21-year-old first baseman has hit .324 with five homers, 11 doubles and 21 RBIs in 29 games since he signed after being selected in the second round of the 2016 Draft. Catcher Ali Sanchez (Mets' No. 22) also collected four knocks for the Cyclones, finishing 4-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and a stolen base.
• Rays No. 4 prospect Josh Lowe stayed hot at the plate for Rookie-level Princeton in a doubleheader sweep against Bluefield, as he went 2-for-3 with a home run in both contests. The 2016 first-rounder has homered in three straight games and is hitting .500 (8-for-16) in five games since being promoted to Princeton from the Gulf Coast League.
• Royals No. 7 prospect Chase Vallot upped his 2016 home run total to 12 as he homered in both games of a doubleheader for Class A Lexington. In the first game, the 19-year-old backstop gave the Legends the win with a walk-off shot in the bottom of the ninth inning.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Vallot goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1029528183
• Royals No. 10 prospect Jake Junis was excellent in his Triple-A debut as he paced Omaha to a win against Colorado Springs with seven strong innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. The 23-year-old righty hit a pair of batters and struck out five en route to throwing 95 pitches (60 strikes). Prior to his promotion, Junis had posted a 3.25 ERA with 117 strikeouts in 119 innings for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
MILB Video - Title: Junis notches seventh strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1028242083
• White Sox No. 7 prospect Trey Michalczewski got back on track at the plate by going 2-for-3 with four RBIs to help lead Double-A Birmingham past Jackson, 10-3. Though he's hitting just .234, the 21-year-old third baseman has shown steady power as a younger everyday player in the Southern League, tallying nine home runs, four triples and 20 doubles in 108 games.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Michalczewski goes deep - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1029529683
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.