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Friday's top prospect performers

Trio of Cubs pitchers delivers strong outings to lead respective affiliates
May 12, 2018

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.A trio of pitchers among the Cubs' Top 30 prospects stood out on Friday night as Michael Rucker, Duane Underwood Jr. and Brendon Little each recorded a win at their respective Minor League level.Rucker's performance for

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.
A trio of pitchers among the Cubs' Top 30 prospects stood out on Friday night as Michael Rucker, Duane Underwood Jr. and Brendon Little each recorded a win at their respective Minor League level.
Rucker's performance for Double-A Tennessee arguably was the best of the group, as the Cubs' No. 20 prospect struck out nine batters over six innings to establish season highs in both categories. He allowed two runs (both unearned) on one hit and one walk on 92 pitches (65 strikes) in the outing, leading the Smokies past Jacksonville, 7-2.
Rucker, a 24-year-old right-hander, lowered his ERA to 4.11 with the performance -- his third straight completing at least five innings with two or fewer earned runs.
Underwood (No. 29), meanwhile, logged his second straight scoreless start to help Triple-A Iowa edge Omaha, 5-3. Working 6 2/3 frames, the 23-year-old righty allowed just three hits while recording three strikeouts and walks apiece and generating another nine outs via ground balls. He's posted 13 2/3 scoreless frames across his past two starts while lowering his ERA from 4.35 to 2.62.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Underwood fans Arteaga - Url:

As for Little (No. 6), the Cubs' 2017 first-rounder permitted just two hits en route to completing five scoreless frames with five strikeouts in Class A South Bend's 5-1 victory over Clinton. He struggled with his control in the outing, issuing a season-high four walks and throwing 48 of 80 pitches for strikes, though it didn't stop the 21-year-old southpaw from notching his second win as many starts.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Little gets Costello looking - Url:

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday:
No. 4 overall prospectEloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 1) came through with an eighth-inning single as he extended his hitting streak to 15 games for Double-A Birmingham. During his streak -- which began on April 25 -- Jimenez has improved his slash line from .167/.241/.417 to .333/.361/.667. Catcher Zack Collins (No. 7) stayed hot with a 2-for-4 showing that included his fifth home run. He's hitting .345 with three home runs, nine runs scored and 15 walks over his last 10 games.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Jimenez extends hitting streak - Url:

No. 26 overall prospect Sixto Sanchez (Phillies' No. 1) posted a season-high seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings as Class A Advanced Clearwater defeated Daytona, 7-2. The 19-year-old righty threw a season-high 93 pitches (59 strikes), allowing one unearned run on five hits in his fifth start this season. Sanchez is 2-2 overall, with a 3.58 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.

No. 76 overall prospect Beau Burrows (Tigers' No. 4) carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before finally allowing a one-out single and, ultimately, an unearned run. The knock was the only one allowed in the outing by the 21-year-old right-hander, as he struck out and walked three batters apiece before departing after five-plus innings. He's pitched to a 2.35 ERA overall while holding opposing hitters to a .200 average across 30 2/3 innings (six starts).

Angels No. 9 prospect Matt Thaiss and Taylor Ward (No. 14) both went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored to power Double-A Mobile past Mississippi, 14-3. The homers were the fifth this season for both players, as Ward hit a solo shot in the first inning before Thaiss connected on a three-run blast in the ninth. Thaiss also doubled twice in the contest and finished with a season-high four RBIs.

Athletics No. 7 prospect Lazaro Armenteros belted a solo home run in his first multi-hit performance of the season for Class A Beloit. The 18-year-old outfielder's eighth-inning solo shot was his second homer in just four full-season games, and he's now halfway to the 2017 total he achieved over 47 games between a pair of Rookie-ball levels.

Giants No. 29 prospect Jordan Johnson struck out a season-high eight batters and matched his season high by completing seven innings en route to his fourth win in seven starts for Double-A Richmond. The 24-year-old righty found the zone with 63 of 96 pitches, allowing one earned run on seven hits on the evening and lowering his season ERA to 2.43 through 40 2/3 frames.
Mets No. 7 prospect Desmond Lindsay and Luis Carpio (No. 20) combined for five extra-base hits and seven RBIs as Class A Advanced St. Lucie's offense erupted for 16 hits in an 11-2 win over Lakeland. Lindsay led the way with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs as part of a 3-for-4 performance, while Carpio tallied a pair of doubles and three RBIs to finish 3-for-5. They're hitting .234 and .230 on the season, respectively.

Nationals No. 15 prospect Nick Raquet was a tough-luck loser for Class A Hagerstown despite arguably his finest pro start. The 2017 third-rounder set career highs with seven strikeouts and seven innings pitched and generated another 10 outs on the ground, ultimately allowing one earned run on four hits and one walk in the outing.
Orioles No. 9 prospect Keegan Akin enjoyed his longest start of the season for Double-A Bowie, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless frames in a home win against Hartford. The 23-year-old allowed four hits, issued one walk and struck out six, throwing 68 of his 103 pitches for strikes in the outing. He's completed at least six innings in four of his past five starts, earning the win in each of those outings. Altogether, Akin owns a 2.75 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings (seven starts).

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Akin records sixth K - Url:

• After a two-week stay on the disabled list with a strained quad, Rangers No. 21 prospect Jose Trevino returned to action for Double-A Frisco and delivered a pair of long balls in his third career multi-homer game. The 25-year-old backstop was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs as well as a walk.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Trevino's second dinger of game - Url:

• Brent Rooker's one hit for Double-A Chattanooga was a game-winner, as the Twins' No. 8 prospect belted a walk-off grand slam to lead the Lookouts past Jackson, 6-2. The homer was Rooker's second of the season and first since April 18. After a stellar pro debut, the 2017 No. 35 overall Draft pick has produced a .222/.264/.333 batting line in 31 games following an aggressive Opening Day assignment to the Southern League.

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