Moncada, Benintendi among top prospect performers Friday

Nos. 1, 3 in Red Sox system combine to shine for Double-A Portland

July 2nd, 2016

There's no stopping Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi.

After sitting out Game One of Double-A Portland's doubleheader sweep against Hartford on Friday, the Red Sox's prized prospect duo both went 2-for-4 at the plate and tallied one extra-base hit in the night cap to pace the Sea Dogs in a 10-2 win.

Moncada, No. 5 on the Top 100, matched his career high with five RBIs in the contest, plating a pair with a two-run double in the second inning and then connecting on a three-run homer in the sixth. The Red Sox's top-ranked prospect has hit .273 with two homers in 10 games since his promotion from Class A Advanced Salem, where he posted a .301/.408/.496 slash line with 32 extra-base hits, 36 stolen bases and 57 runs scored in 61 games.

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As for Benintendi, the No. 21 overall prospect (Red Sox's No. 3) recorded his first triple at the Double-A level on Friday, giving him eight three-baggers in 73 games this season. Like Moncada, Benintendi, whom Boston selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, has put up remarkable numbers this season between Salem and Portland, hitting a combined .307/.370/.502 with 38 extra-base hits, 56 RBIs and 14 steals in 73 games.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday

No. 22 overall prospect Bradley Zimmer connected on a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to lead Double-A Akron past Erie, 7-3. He also hit a double in the contest, finishing 2-for-5 at the plate. The long ball was the Indians' No. 1 prospect's 13th in 75 games this season, during which he's hit .237/.359/.485.

No. 33 overall prospect Carson Fulmer kept his opponent off the board for a second straight outing as he fired seven innings of three-hit ball for Double-A Birmingham, which eventually fell to Biloxi in 13 innings, 3-1. The White Sox No. 1 prospect walked four, struck out five and induced 10 ground-ball outs in the outing, with 60 of his 98 pitches going for strikes. With the performance, Fulmer's ERA (4.83) is back under 5.00 for the first time since mid-May.

"The last two starts, I've been able to command all my pitches," Fulmer told "I'm not really relying on just one pitch, I'm able to throw all my pitches for strikes and stay ahead of hitters. When you throw in the strike zone, it's usually in your favor.

"When guys would get on early in the year, I'd get into trouble. What I've been trying to do recently -- I've been just pounding the strike zone, letting them put it into play and not thinking too much of it. Now I'm able to get out of that, and I'm seeing a bunch of improvement there."

No. 48 overall prospect Jake Thompson (Phillies' No. 2) was sharp yet again for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He allowed one run on six hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking two. Thompson, 22, has been outstanding of late for the IronPigs, going 3-0 with a 0.85 ERA in 42 1/3 innings (six starts) since the start of June. At the plate, No. 56 overall prospectNick Williams (Phillies' No. 3) hit a go-ahead solo home run, his eighth of the season, in the bottom of the eighth inning to help Lehigh Valley edge Charlotte, 3-2.

• A night after they starred in their Triple-A debuts, No. 18 overall prospect Alex Bregman (Astros' No. 1) and Teoscar Hernandez (Astros' No. 24) both hit home runs to help power Fresno in a 4-1 win over Salt Lake. Bregman, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles, four runs scored and three RBIs in his Fresno debut Thursday, connected on his first Triple-A homer as part of a 1-for-3 effort, while Hernandez, after going 4-for-6 and finishing a double shy of the cycle, went deep for a second straight game. For the season, Bregman and Hernandez have hit 15 and seven home runs, respectively.

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No. 92 overall prospect Alex Verdugo hit his ninth home run while recording his fifth three-hit game in Double-A Tulsa's win over San Antonio. In his age-20 season, the Dodgers' No. 6 prospect has posted an impressive .292/.353/.451 battling line over 69 games in the Texas League.

• 2015 first-rounder and Ontario native Josh Naylor (Marlins' No. 2 prospect) celebrated Canada Day by going 3-for-4 and hitting his ninth home run in Class A Greensboro's win versus Lakewood. In his first full pro campaign, the 19-year-old first baseman has hit .258/.316/.442 with 28 extra-base hits and 45 RBIs through 67 games.

• Triple-A Norfolk was kept off the board for eight innings before Orioles No. 4 prospect Trey Mancini delivered a walk-off two-run homer to beat Durham, 2-1. It was the 17th home run of the season for the 2015 Eastern League MVP, and his 10th in 64 games since moving up to the Minors' highest level.

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• Triple-A Oklahoma City's battery of right-hander Jharel Cotton (Dodgers' No. 9 prospect) and catcher Austin Barnes (Dodgers' No. 12) starred in the team's 9-6 win over Nashville. Cotton turned in one of his better starts this season as he allowed two unearned runs on two hits in six innings, striking out nine. Barnes, meanwhile, hit a sixth-inning grand slam en route to matching his career high with five RBIs.

Braves No. 17 prospectRicardo Sanchez established career highs with 11 strikeouts and seven innings in Class A Rome's win against Lexington. The 19-year-old lefty allowed one run on one hit -- a first-inning home run to Anderson Miller (Royals' No. 24) -- and one walk but was otherwise flawless, throwing 59 of his 88 pitches for strikes in the outing. After giving up the homer, Sanchez settled in to retire 19 of the final 20 hitters he faced.

"I think [this start] shows him that he had the ability to have the discipline to execute his pitches and rely on his mechanics," Rome pitching coach Dan Meyer told "The greatest learning tool we can have for these young kids is the experience, the experience to go out and pitch every five days, or play every day. That's how you learn. You learn from experience and you learn from failures and from success.

"We've been working on him staying consistent every day, whether it be with dry work or with him working on his line to the plate and trusting his stuff. Once it all came together tonight, it showed that he was able to command three pitches for strikes."

• Connor Sadzeck lowered his season ERA to 3.27 by throwing six scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco in a win over Arkansas. The Rangers' No. 25 prospect surrendered only three hits, struck out seven and failed to issue a walk for just the second time in 14 starts (15 appearances).

Tigers No. 28 prospect Josh Turley received a no-decision for Double-A Erie despite tossing six frames of one-run ball against Akron. The 25-year-old lefty, a 16th-round Draft pick in 2012, recorded a career-high nine strikeouts while allowing two hits. Between his last two starts for the SeaWolves, Turley has yielded just two earned runs in 13 innings.