Saturday's top prospect performers

May 16th, 2021

Here's a look at Saturday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list:

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (MLB No. 1), Triple-A Durham
Greg Jones, SS (No. 8), High-A Bowling Green
Franco finished just 1-for-6 at the plate in Durham’s 14-3 win over Jacksonville, but that one hit broke the game open. In the second inning, with Durham already out to a 1-0 lead, Franco unloaded on a grand slam for his third homer of the season. Baseball’s No. 1 overall prospect is off to a strong start this season, hitting .293 with multihit performances in five of the 10 games he’s played.

Franco wasn't the only Rays prospect to come through with a grand slam. Not only did Jones also hit a grand slam, but his had the added benefit of being a walk-off slam. Jones, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, has now homered in two of the three games he's played this season. Rays prospects stats »

Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C (MLB No. 2), Double-A Bowie
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (MLB No. 22), High-A Aberdeen
Gunnar Henderson, SS (No. 5), Low-A Delmarva
It was an impressive night up-and-down the Orioles farm system as three of the club’s top five prospects put together big games at various levels. Rutschman went 1-for-3 for Bowie, but his lone hit was a big one, a go-ahead two-run double that capped a four-run seventh in a 7-5 win.

Rodriguez picked up his first win of the season with a lights-out performance for Aberdeen. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out 11 as he spun five innings of one-run ball. The 11 strikeouts mark a career high for Rodriguez, who has now fanned 10 or more five times in his professional career.

Henderson continued his strong start to the season, going 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs. The 19-year-old, a second-round pick from the 2019 Draft, is hitting .341 on the year and has four multihit performances through 10 games. Orioles prospects stats »

Red Sox: Jeter Downs, SS/2B (MLB No. 40), Triple-A Worcester
Downs’ slump is officially over. The 22-year-old infielder had been in a bit of a funk, but broke out in a big way on Saturday as he collected a trio of hits, including a double and a homer. Downs, who also drove in a trio of runs, is hitting .237 and has already swiped four bags. Red Sox prospects stats »

Indians: Tyler Freeman, SS (MLB No. 83), Double-A Akron
Freeman was red-hot for Akron in a 9-2 win over Erie. Hitting atop the order, Freeman went 5-for-6 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored. The 21-year-old extended his hitting streak to seven games and is hitting .368 early in the 2021 season. Freeman played across two levels of A ball in 2019 and hit .306. Indians prospects stats »

Mariners: Taylor Trammell, OF (MLB No. 85), Triple-A Tacoma
Brandon Williamson, LHP (No. 10), High-A Everett
The sixth-ranked Mariners prospect did it again. Trammell turned in his third straight multihit effort since joining the Rainiers on May 13 and connected with his second dinger in three games while driving in four runs. The 23-year-old clubbed a solo shot to center in the fifth, legged out a run-scoring infield single in the first and pulled Tacoma to within a run with a two-run base knock in the ninth with two outs. Trammell is 9-for-13 with a pair of homers, eight RBIs and four runs scored in his last three games.

While he likely wishes he hadn’t issued four walks, it’s hard to find many flaws with Williamson’s performance against Tri-City. The second-round pick from the 2019 Draft, yielded just one hit and struck out eight over four scoreless frames. The strong outing continued an impressive start to the season for the lefty, who has fanned 17 over eight scoreless innings in his first two starts. Mariners prospects stats »

Cardinals: Ivan Herrera, C (MLB No. 89), Double-A Springfield
The third-ranked Cardinals prospect stepped to the plate in the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs and mashed a grand slam into the seats in left. It was the second long ball of the year for Herrera, who was playing in his 10th game of the season. The 20-year-old also lined a base hit into center in the third that snapped a three game hitless skid. Herrera now has three multihit performances this season. Cardinals prospects stats »

Brewers: Ethan Small, LHP (No. 4), Double-A Biloxi
Alec Bettinger, RHP (No. 23), Triple-A Nashville
Small contributed to a bit of history on Saturday night as he threw the first five innings in Biloxi’s no-hitter over Mississippi. Small, who gave up four runs in his first start of the season, bounced back in a big way, though he did struggle a bit with command. The lefty threw 54 of his 90 pitches for strikes and issued five walks, but six strikeouts helped him avoid any trouble. After Small left the game, the Schuckers turned to a trio of relievers to complete the no-hit bid.

While Bettinger wasn’t part of a no-hitter, he still put together a strong performance. The 25-year-old struck out eight over five scoreless innings. Memphis was able to get a couple runners on base in the opening frame, but after Bettinger escaped the jam, he was able to settle down and find his rhythm, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. Brewers prospects stats »

D-backs: Luis Frias, RHP (No. 9), Double-A Amarillo
Frias, a 22-year-old whom the D-backs signed in 2015, picked up his first win of the season as he spun a gem for Amarillo. The right-hander threw 46 of his 80 pitches for strikes as he twirled six scoreless innings while yielding just a trio of hits. Frias was originally signed as a third baseman, but has made big strides ever since being moved to the mound. He spent 2020 at the alternate training site where he improved both his breaking ball and command. D-backs prospects stats »

Pirates: Brennan Malone, RHP (No. 8), Low-A Bradenton
Omar Cruz, LHP (No. 24), High-A Greensboro
Malone’s appearance was brief, but he did his part to help Bradenton toss a combined no-hitter in a 2-0 win over Dunedin. Malone threw just 11 pitches (five strikes) as he walked one in a scoreless sixth.

Cruz, despite a dominant outing, was stuck with a no-decision for Greensboro. The 22-year-old matched his career high with 10 strikeouts as he tossed 37 of his 58 pitches for strikes over four no-hit innings. The lefty issued a pair of walks, but was otherwise flawless in his second start of the season. Pirates prospects stats »

Yankees: Oswald Peraza, SS (No. 4), High-A Hudson Valley
Luis Gil, RHP (No. 5), Double-A Somerset
At this pace, Peraza may not be in Hudson Valley much longer. The fourth-ranked Yankees prospect continues to hit the cover off the ball -- homering for the fourth straight game while notching his fifth multihit effort of the season. Peraza didn’t waste any time extending his power streak with a lead off dinger to left-center on the fourth pitch of the game. The 20-year-old added base knocks in the fifth and the eighth. He is currently sporting a .349/.429/.744 slash line with five homers, a pair of doubles, nine stolen bases, nine runs scored and eight RBIs.

Gil posted his second scoreless outing in three starts this season. The fifth-ranked Yankees prospect worked around four hits and did not issue a walk while fanning eight over four frames. The right-hander 42 of his 68 pitches for strikes. Gil worked into and out of trouble in the first by escaping a two on and one out jam unscathed. He rebounded quickly to whiff the side in the second -- part of a string of four straight punchouts. He sat down the side in order in the second and third before working into and out of trouble again to finish his outing. The 22-year-old is sporting a 2.53 ERA and has struck out 19 over 10 2/3 frames. Yankees prospects stats »