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Friday's best: Padres prospects show big-time power

April 14, 2018

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.Double-A San Antonio may have lost to Arkansas, 8-4, but two of the Padres' top prospects helped illuminate the fact that San Diego has the best farm system in baseball.No. 8 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.
Double-A San Antonio may have lost to Arkansas, 8-4, but two of the Padres' top prospects helped illuminate the fact that San Diego has the best farm system in baseball.
No. 8 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres' No. 1), Josh Naylor (Padres' No. 16) and Austin Allen (No. 29) each homered, with the Naylor and Tatis blasts coming back-to-back in the third inning.

MILB Video - Title: Tatis Jr. hits first homer - Url:

Naylor, who hit two homers on Thursday and leads the Minors with six, came up first and went deep to center. Five pitches later, Tatis hit his first homer of the season out to left.

MILB Video - Title: Josh Naylor's sixth homer - Url:

While Naylor has been on fire and is hitting .467, Tatis has gotten off to a slower start with a .206 mark. The shortstop was hitless (0-for-12) over his first three games but has hits in four of his past five games, including two multi-hit efforts.
Allen, who went 2-for-4, is already halfway to his 2017 home run total. The catcher hit eight homers in 121 games last season and has four through just seven contests in 2018.
Other top prospect performances from Friday's action:
• No. 13 overall prospect Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2) extended his hitting streak to seven with an RBI triple in the third inning of Double-A New Hampshire's loss to Hartford. Bichette finished 1-for-4, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (No. 3 overall, Blue Jays' No. 1) went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

MILB Video - Title: Bichette ropes RBI triple - Url:

• A pair of top-100 prospects helped lead Triple-A Durham to a win over Columbus as Willy Adames (No. 22 overall, Rays' No. 2) and Jake Bauers (No. 64 overall, Rays' No. 5) combined for five hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Both players entered the game on cold streaks as Adames, who finished 2-for-3, had been held hitless in three straight, while Bauers was hitless in his past five before his 2-for-5 effort.
• No. 29 overall prospect Juan Soto (Nationals' No. 2) hit three homers in 32 games a season ago, and he needed just nine games to surpass that total this year as he hit his fourth homer in the fifth inning of Class A Hagerstown's loss to Greensboro.
• No. 48 overall prospect Justus Sheffield (Yankees' No. 3) was stuck with a no-decision despite firing a gem for Double-A Trenton. The 22-year-old lefty threw 60 of his 96 pitches for strikes and was lights-out save for a solo homer in the fifth. Sheffield lasted 5 2/3 innings, struck out nine and gave up one run on one hit. Sheffield wasn't the only Yankees prospect with a strong night on the mound as Nick Nelson (No. 27) set a career high with 12 strikeouts in five innings for Class A Charleston. Jonathan Loaisiga (No. 14) and Trevor Lane (No. 28) also combined to throw seven scoreless for Class A Advanced Tampa.

MILB Video - Title: Sheffield picks up ninth K - Url:

• No. 61 overall prospect Dylan Cease (White Sox No. 5) cruised to his first win as Class A Advanced Winston-Salem topped Carolina, 8-1. Cease retired the first seven batters he faced and never looked back, giving up just two hits and two walks in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander struck out five and threw 51 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
• No. 83 overall prospect Max Fried (Braves' No. 7) gave up his first run of the season, but that was the extent of the damage allowed. Fried, pitching for Triple-A Gwinnett, threw 4 2/3 scoreless in his first start of the year with Double-A Mississippi and was bumped up a level before giving up one run over 5 2/3 innings. Braves No. 10 prospect Joey Wentz also put together a strong performance, striking out six and giving up just one hit in five scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Florida.
Royals No. 1 prospect Khalil Lee hit his second homer of the season for Class A Advanced Wilmington. Lee, batting .393 through eight games, went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

• Pirates prospects Luis Escobar (No. 12) and Oneil Cruz (No. 14) helped lead Class A Advanced Bradenton and Class A West Virginia to wins with strong performances on the mound and at the plate. Escobar lowered his ERA to 0.82 as he fired six scoreless frames for the Marauders, while Cruz went 2-for-3 with four RBIs in his first career two-homer game.
Rangers No. 14 prospect Jonathan Hernandez was unhittable for Class A Advanced Down East. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits in his first start of the season, but he was even better the second time around as he notched six strikeouts across five hitless frames.
Phillies No. 18 prospect Dylan Cozens hit 67 homers over the past two seasons, and his power has shown up once again early in 2018. Cozens hit his first two homers of the season as part of a 3-for-5 night with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 23-year-old knocked a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run blast in the fifth of the IronPigs' win over Louisville.
Giants No. 29 prospect Jordan Johnson did a little bit of everything for Double-A Richmond in a win over Reading. On the mound, Johnson spun six scoreless frames, striking out five, issuing one walk and yielding just three hits. The 24-year-old also helped himself on the other side of the ball, hitting a solo homer in the fifth as part of a 1-for-2 night at the plate.

MILB Video - Title: Richmond hurler Johnson homers - Url:

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.