Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.
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Wander Franco's impressive pro debut continued with a 3-for-4 performance in Rookie-level Princeton's, 8-7, win over Bluefield. The Rays No. 4 prospect (No. 40 overall) hit his 10th homer of the season, a solo blast in the eighth, as part of his third multihit effort over the past four games.
Franco, 17, may be young, but his bat certainly hasn't showed any signs of inexperience. Through 53 games, Franco is slashing .373/.436/.627 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs. Additionally, he's getting better as the season wears on.
After hitting .341 in June, Franco hit .361 in July and is a blistering .408 so far in August.
It's certainly easy to see why Franco was regarded as MLB Pipeline's No. 2 international prospect for the 2017-18 signing period and why the Rays would offer him $3,825,000. Franco's career is just getting started, but the switch-hitting shortstop is already looking like quite a bargain for the Rays.
Other top prospect performances from Monday's action:
• No. 56 overall prospect Yusniel Diaz (Orioles' No. 1) hit another three-run homer as part of a 2-for-5 night with Double-A Bowie. Not only has Diaz, whom the Orioles acquired from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade, hit a three-run blast on back-to-back nights, but he's also done so three times over the past seven games. In total, the 21-year-old has 10 homers and 43 RBIs in 85 games this season.
• No. 66 overall prospect Matthew Liberatore (Rays' No. 5) lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.98 as he posted his third straight scoreless start in the GCL. The lefty, a first-round pick from the 2018 Draft, set a career high with eight strikeouts as he cruised through five innings, yielding just three hits. Liberatore hasn't allowed a run sin Aug. 1 and hasn't surrendered and earned run since July 19.
• No. 100 overall prospect Nolan Gorman (Cardinals' No. 3) continues to show why he was regarded as having the most raw power from the 2018 Draft class. Gorman, whom the Cardinals selected with the 19th overall pick, hit a pair of homers for Class A Peoria, bringing his total to 15 through the first 50 games of his career. The 18-year-old has two two-homer games under his belt after finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Chiefs.
• Cubs No. 19 prospect Thomas Hatch put together another gem for Double-A Tennessee. Hatch, 23, gave up one run on five hits, while striking out six over six innings. The right-hander, who threw six scoreless in his last start, has allowed two earned runs of fewer in five of his past six starts. After posting ERAs over four in both June and July, Hatch has a 1.88 ERA through four starts this month (24 innings).
• Cubs No. 25 prospect Erling Moreno continues to dominate for Class A South Bend. After firing six scoreless frames, Moreno has given up just one run over his last three starts (19 2/3 innings). The right-hander, who threw 51 of his 89 pitches for strikes, issued four walks, but was also able to prevent any damage. He also surrendered four hits and struck out four.
• Marlins No. 4 prospect Connor Scott, the organization's first-round pick from the 2018 Draft, hit his first career homer for Class A Greensboro. In Scott's 38th professional game, the 18-year-old apparently decided he wasn't waiting any longer to hit his first homer. Scott led off the game with a blast and finished the game 1-for-2. The homer turned out to be a big one as the Grasshoppers only mustered two hits all evening, but won 2-0.
• Rays No. 7 prospect Ronaldo Hernandez broke out of a mini 0-for-7 skid with a big performance for Class A Bowling Green. Hernandez, who is hitting .284 through 100 games in his full-season debut, finished 2-for-4 with a trio of RBIs for the Hot Rods. Hernandez hit his 20th double of the season in the fourth inning and then followed it up with a three-run homer, his 19th, in the fifth.
• Rockies No. 21 prospect Rico Garcia struck out 10 -- a season high -- as he spun a gem for Double-A Hartford. The 24-year-old right-hander yielded just two hits and issued two walks as he cruised through eight scoreless innings. Garcia threw 100 pitches (62 strikes) in the outing, which was tied for his longest start of the season.
Yankees No. 24 prospect Juan Then hasn't picked up a win this season, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been throwing well. The 18-year-old was stuck with another no-decision in the GCL, despite striking out five over six scoreless innings. Then, who gave up just three hits in the outing, has held his opponent to one earned run or fewer in six of his past seven outings and has a 2.70 ERA through 11 starts (50 innings) this season.
William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.