Minors' top prospects: Davis, Palka among 10 best Wednesday
Astros No. 13 prospect and D-backs No. 28 both hit two homers in the same game
Several Astros and D-backs prospects put on a fireworks display in Class A Advanced Lancaster's 14-6 win over Visalia, combining to launch eight home runs.
Let's start with the sluggers who went yard twice: Astros No. 13 prospect J.D. Davis finished 2-for-4 with two two-run shots, his eighth and ninth of the season. Meanwhile, D-backs No. 28 prospect Daniel Palka cracked two solo shots, his 10th and 11th dingers of the year.
The most impressive smash came off of Astros No. 12 prospect A.J. Reed's bat. Reed's 17th home run, which he smacked over the right-center wall and onto a freeway on-ramp, moved him into a tie for the Minor League home run lead with Twins No. 13 prospect Adam Brett Walker. The blast was Reed's second in two nights and he's also tied with fellow Astros prospect Jon Singleton for the Minor League RBI lead with 60. It's been a nice two game stretch for Reed as he hit for the cycle on Tuesday night.
D-backs No. 15 prospect Stryker Trahan is still hitting the cover off the ball, too. The catcher knocked out his 14th homer of the season on Wednesday, his third dinger since getting promoted on June 11. While he's still trying to find some consistency at the plate and up his .214 average, Trahan has already established himself as a power hitter in the Minors.
The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers
• Cardinals No. 1 prospect (No. 77 overall) Stephen Piscotty went yard for the first time since May 27. The Triple-A Memphis outfielder finished the day 2-for-4 with a two-run blast and three runs. Piscotty has hit in 18 of his past 22 contests and has boosted his line from .230/.341/.426 to .261/.358/.452 in that time. On the year, he's crushed eight homers with 28 RBIs.
• Cardinals No. 3 prospect (No. 89 overall) Alex Reyes notched a career-high 13 strikeouts for Class A Advanced Palm Beach. "Today, I feel like this is the best I've felt all year," Reyes told MiLB.com after the game. Even though he didn't pick up a victory, it's easy to understand why Reyes would be pleased considering he touched 101 mph on the radar gun three times, according to FanGraphs' Kiley McDaniel. The 20-year-old allowed five hits, a walk and two earned runs in five innings and has still not given up more than three earned in a start since Opening Day on April 9.
• Cubs No. 7 prospect Pierce Johnson still has not given up a run through two starts for Double-A Tennessee. The right-hander had been in extended Spring Training after suffering a back injury, but appears to be in top form. He gave up three runs and one walk while striking out four in five shutout innings Wednesday and has a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA after eight innings. "It was awesome," Johnson told MiLB.com. "My team played great behind me. It was a great day at the ballpark."
• Giants No. 6 prospect Adalberto Mejia picked up his first win since returning from a 50-game suspension. The Double-A Richmond lefty kept Harrisburg confused all night, giving up just three hits and one run in five innings. He moved to 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in three starts after serving his time for using performance-enhancing drugs.
• Mets No. 2 prospect (No. 56 overall) Steven Matz struck out five while allowing just four hits and one walk in seven shutout innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. That's a far cry from June 11 -- his worst outing of the year -- when he gave up four earned runs in four innings. That was not awful by most standards, but certainly not the standard for the typically untouchable Matz. The southpaw boasts a 7-4 record with a 2.11 ERA and has struck out 86 batters against 31 free passes.
• Nationals No. 1 prospect (No. 4 overall) Lucas Giolito continues to rumble along for Class A Advanced Potomac. The highest-ranked prospect without MLB experience, he added four shutout innings to his 2015 statistics, striking out six in the process. He got a no-decision on Wednesday, but cut his ERA from 4.08 to 3.71 and upped his K/BB line to 57/12.
• Twins No. 18 prospect Tyler Duffey snagged his first win of the year for Triple-A Rochester, blanking Scranton/Wilkes-Barre through eight innings of work. The right-hander gave up six hits and a walk against nine strikeouts, moving to 1-4 with a 4.15 ERA. Promoted from Double-A Chattanooga on May 23, he had struggled through his first four Triple-A starts, giving up 14 earned runs with an 0-4 out of the gate. But Wednesday was a revelation and he improved his Triple-A K/BB line to 28/5.
• White Sox No. 17 prospect Trayce Thompson hit two more homers for Triple-A Charlotte. The center fielder continues to destroy baseballs and has hit five homers in the past nine contests. Thompson has hit in 10 of 11 games and currently boasts nine dingers and 31 RBIs on the year. He also has 14 doubles, four triples and seven stolen bases for the Knights. "I'm just trying to keep it simple, really," Thompson told MiLB.com. "Making sure I let it fly a little bit. I need to try to go out and drive the ball. I'm not trying to hit home runs, nothing like that, but go up there and don't get cheated."