Pipeline preview: Bell looks to continue torrid season

July 6th, 2016

Here's a look at top prospects to watch Thursday in Minor League action:
Hitter to watch:Josh Bell (Pirates' No. 3), Indianapolis vs. Toledo (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Bell, the No. 43 overall prospect, may be on his way to the best offensive season of his young career. The first baseman homered as part of a 4-for-5 day Wednesday and has already tied his career high for homers with 13. The 23-year-old also has 53 RBIs and is batting .327 through 82 games.

Pitcher to watch: Grant Holmes (Dodgers' No. 3), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Inland Empire (10:05 p.m. ET)
The No. 54 overall prospect will look to hone his command, as he's issued nine walks in his last 10 innings. Overall, Holmes has walked 31 batters and struck out 80 in 80 innings this season. The 20-year-old has completed at least five innings in nine consecutive starts and will look for another strong outing against Inland Empire.

Duel of the Day:Francis Martes (Astros' No. 3) vs. Luke Weaver (Cardinals' No. 3), Corpus Christi vs. Springfield (8:10 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Martes struggled with command and lasted just two innings the last time he took the ball, a memory he'll be looking to erase against Springfield. However, when Martes is on top of his game, he's incredibly tough to hit. The 20-year-old right-hander has struck out five or more in seven of his 12 starts this season and has fanned 10 in his last nine innings.

Few pitchers have been throwing better than Weaver, who has an 0.96 ERA through the first six Double-A starts of his career. The 22-year-old hasn't given up an earned run in his last 13 innings and has only given up four earned runs all season (37 1/3 innings pitched). Weaver did walk three, tying his career-high, in his last start, so that may be something to keep an eye on.

Thursday's Top 100 probables:
No. 36 Francis Martes (Astros' No. 3), Corpus Christi vs. Springfield (Double-A)
No. 54 Grant Holmes (Dodgers' No. 3), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Inland Empire (Class A Advanced)
No. 94 Justus Sheffield (Indians' No. 5), Lynchburg vs. Frederick (Class A Advanced)
More top prospect probables:
Shawn Morimando (Indians' No. 15), Columbus vs. Louisville (Triple-A)
Manny Banuelos (Braves' No. 8), Gwinnett vs. Charlotte (Triple-A)
Ben Lively (Phillies' No. 30), Lehigh Valley vs. Rochester (Triple-A)
Jharel Cotton (Dodgers' No. 9), Oklahoma City vs. Omaha (Triple-A)
Freddy Peralta (Brewers' No. 26), Colorado Springs vs. Iowa (Triple-A)
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 22), Sacramento vs. Tacoma (Triple-A)
Clay Holmes (Pirates' No. 15), Altoona vs Akron (Double-A)
Ryan Yarbrough (Mariners' No. 12), Jackson vs. Tennessee (Double-A)
Brad Markey (Cubs' No. 29), Tennessee vs Jackson (Double-A)
Conner Greene (Blue Jays' No. 2) New Hampshire vs. Portland (Double-A)
Sam Coonrod (Giants' No. 6), Richmond vs. Reading (Double-A)
Jordan Montgomery (Yankees' No. 18), Trenton vs. Bowie (Double-A)
Taylor Clarke (D-backs' No. 10), Mobile vs Pensacola (Double-A)
Lucas Sims (Braves' No. 10), Mississippi vs. Montgomery (Double-A)
Eric Skoglund (Royals' No. 27), Northwest Arkansas vs. Midland (Double-A)
Daniel Gossett (Athletics' No. 23), Northwest Arkansas vs. Midland (Double-A)
Connor Sadzeck (Rangers' No. 25), Frisco vs. Arkansas (Double-A)
Dinelson Lamet (Padres' No. 10), San Antonio vs. Tulsa (Double-A)
Luke Weaver (Cardinals' No. 3), Springfield vs. Corpus Christi (Double-A)
Trevor Clifton (Cubs' No. 21), Myrtle Beach vs. Winston-Salem (Class A Advanced)
Max Povse (Braves' No. 25), Carolina vs. Salem (Class A Advanced)
Foster Griffin (Royals' No. 9), Wilmington vs. Potomac (Class A Advanced)
Brad Keller (D-backs' No. 11), Visalia vs. Lancaster (Class A Advanced)
Jeremy Rhoades (Angels' No. 16), Inland Empire vs. Rancho Cucamonga (Class A Advanced)
Heath Fillmyer (Athletics' No. 18), Stockton vs. Lake Elsinore (Class A Advanced)
Patrick Weigel (Braves' No. 29), Rome vs. Hickory (Class A)
Peter Lambert (Rockies' No. 13), Asheville vs. Charleston (Class A)
Tanner Rainey (Reds' No. 30), Dayton vs. Lansing (Class A)
Roniel Raudes (Red Sox No. 13), Greenville vs. Lexington (Class A)
Chris Paddack (Padres' No. 11), Fort Wayne vs. South Bend (Class A)
Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 14), West Virginia vs. Lakewood (Class A)
Jaime Barria (Angels' No. 12), Burlington vs. Clinton (Class A)
Jake Woodford (Cardinals' No. 12), Peoria vs. Kane County (Class A)
Jacob Brents (Mariners' No. 24), Everett vs. Eugene (Class A Short Season)