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Pipeline preview: De La Cruz primed for full-season debut

July 29, 2016

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Saturday's Minor League action:Mejia streak watch:Indians No. 6 prospect Francisco Mejia aims to extend his 41-game hit streak as Lynchburg faces Winston-Salem at 6:30 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Saturday's Minor League action:
Mejia streak watch:Indians No. 6 prospect Francisco Mejia aims to extend his 41-game hit streak as Lynchburg faces Winston-Salem at 6:30 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.

Hitter to watch: Scott Kingery (Phillies' No. 14), Reading at Erie (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Kingery collected three hits on Friday for the second time in five games since being promoted to Double-A Reading. Before moving up to the Eastern League, the 22-year-old second baseman batted .293/.360/.411 over 94 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater, tallying 35 extra-base hits including 29 doubles, 60 runs scored and 26 stolen bases (in 31 attempts) in that span.

Pitcher to watch: Oscar De La Cruz (Cubs' No. 8), South Bend at Great Lakes (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
After three impressive starts between the Rookie-level Arizona League and Class A Short Season Eugene, De La Cruz will make his full-season debut on Saturday for Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old right-hander was particularly dominant in his two Northwest League starts, during which he registered a 1.08 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP over eight innings, allowing five hits and two walks total while striking out exactly seven hitters in both outings. Overall, De La Cruz has fanned 16 hitters in 11 1/3 innings across the two levels.

Duel of the day: Patrick Murphy (Blue Jays' No. 17) vs. Hansel Rodriguez (Padres' No. 20), Vancouver vs. Tri-City (10:05 p.m. ET)
Murphy is finally healthy this year and back on the mound for the first time since 2014, before he underwent surgery to have a rib removed as well as one to remove a nerve in his right elbow. The 21-year-old right-hander has already regained his pre-surgery velocity (and then some) and is pitching well for Class A Short Season Vancouver, as he enters the day having not allowed more than three earned runs in seven straight outings. All together, the 2013 third-rounder has posted a 3.16 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 57 innings, during which he's generating nearly twice as many ground-ball outs as fly outs.
Acquired by San Diego earlier this week in the Melvin Upton Jr. deal, Rodriguez is set to make his Padres debut for Tri-City against the team he was pitching for prior to being traded. The 19-year-old righty impressed during his time with Vancouver, as he recorded a 3.06 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings (six starts), all while holding opposing hitters to a .203 average.

Saturday's Top 100 prospect probables

No. 44 Jose De Leon (Dodgers' No. 4), Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs (8:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 57 Amir Garrett (Reds' No. 2), Louisville at Durham (6:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 62 Sean Newcomb (Braves' No. 3), Mississippi vs. Birmingham (7 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 69 Yohander Méndez (Rangers' No. 4), Frisco vs. San Antonio (8:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 87 Joe Musgrove (Astros' No. 7), Fresno at Reno (10:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 92 Erick Fedde (Nationals' No. 5), Potomac at Carolina (6 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
More top prospect probables
Triple-A Kyle McGowin (Angels' No. 18) vs. Ty Blach (Giants' No. 27), Salt Lake at Sacramento (Triple-A)
Double-A Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 5), Chattanooga vs. Tennessee (Double-A)
Victor Alcántara (Angels' No. 8), Arkansas at Tulsa (Double-A)
Jorge López (Brewers' No. 11), Biloxi vs. Mobile (Double-A)
Andrew Suarez (Giants' No. 11), Richmond vs. New Hampshire (Double-A)
Paul Blackburn (Mariners' No. 17), Jackson at Jacksonville (Double-A)
Class A Advanced Tyler Alexander (Tigers' No. 7) vs. P.J. Conlon (Mets' No. 29), Lakeland at St. Lucie (Class A Advanced)
Fernando Romero (Twins' No. 8), Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (Class A Advanced)
Kodi Medeiros (Brewers' No. 10), Brevard County vs. Charlotte (Class A Advanced)
Trey Ball (Red Sox's No. 15), Salem vs. Myrtle Beach (Class A Advanced)
Enyel De Los Santos (Padres' No. 17), Lake Elsinore at Inland Empire (Class A Advanced)
Michael Mader (Marlins' No. 25), Jupiter at Dunedin (Class A Advanced)
Justin Donatella (D-backs' No. 27), Visalia at Stockton (Class A Advanced)
Class A Sandy Alcantara (Cardinals' No. 9), Peoria vs. Wisconsin (Class A)
Angel Perdomo (Blue Jays' No. 13) vs. Jacob Nix (Padres' No. 16), Lansing at Fort Wayne (Class A)
Brian Gonzalez (Orioles' No. 20) vs. Gage Hinsz (Pirates' No. 23), Delmarva at West Virginia (Class A)
Justin Jacome (Marlins' No. 20), Greensboro at Kannapolis (Class A)
Ricardo Sánchez (Braves' No. 25), Rome at Greenville (Class A)
Tanner Rainey (Reds' No. 25), Dayton vs. Bowling Green (Class A)
Edgar Garcia (Phillies' No. 30), Lakewood at Augusta (Class A)
Wei-Chieh Huang (D-backs' No. 18), Hillsboro vs. Salem-Keizer (Class A Short Season)
Aaron Civale (Indians' No. 20), Mahoning Valley at Aberdeen (Class A Short Season)
Ronnie Williams (Cardinals' No. 22), State College vs. Williamsport (Class A Short Season)
Brandon Millers (Mariners' No. 29), Everett at Spokane (Class A Short Season)
Jose Espada (Blue Jays' No. 19), Bluefield vs. Greeneville (Rookie)
Garrett Davila (Royals' No. 20), Burlington vs. Pulaski (Rookie)
Ian Kahaloa (Reds' No. 23), Billings vs. Great Falls (Rookie)

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.