Monday's top prospect performers

October 25th, 2022

Here’s a look at Monday's top performers from the Arizona Fall League and Dominican Winter League.

Cardinals: Jordan Walker, OF (No. 1, MLB No. 6), Salt River Rafters
Connor Thomas, LHP (No. 24), Salt River Rafters
Walker continues to swing the bat well in the fall, clubbing his third homer of the circuit for the Rafters in their 3-1 loss to Mesa. After three scoreless frames, the outfielder worked a seven-pitch at-bat and won the battle with a long solo shot to dead center field to break the tie. The 20-year-old is batting .283 with an .895 OPS and 10 RBIs across 13 games.

Thomas took a perfect game into the fifth inning and amassed seven strikeouts in Salt River’s loss, allowing one run on two hits with no walks. The 24-year-old set down the first 14 batters he faced in order and didn’t allow a single ball to leave the infield, inducing either a groundout or a strikeout on every batter. He surrendered a two-out double and a single that knotted up the score, but bounced back with a three-pitch strikeout to end his outing. The southpaw owns a 1.53 ERA with a league-best 24 punchouts.

Reds: Elly De La Cruz, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 14), Tigres de Licey
No matter where he plays or what uniform he wears, Elly De La Cruz mashes. MLB’s No. 14 prospect mashed his first winter ball home run and added a double in a multihit performance. In the first, the 20-year-old got a fastball over the heart of the plate and didn’t miss, sending it to the seats in right-center to open up the scoring. He added an RBI double to right field in the seventh to round out his day. After slashing a combined .304/.359/.586 with 28 dingers in 120 games across two levels, the switch-hitter is 13-for-32 (.406) in nine contests with a 1.147 OPS and 11 RBIs.

Brewers: Tyler Black, 2B (No. 6), Glendale Desert Dogs
Black put together a four-hit effort in the Desert Dogs’ 14-run outburst, lacing two RBI singles to left and right field while adding a double, another base knock, a stolen base and a run scored to his day. After a strong sophomore regular season in which he posted an .830 OPS in 64 games and walked (45) more than he struck out (44), the 22-year-old is slashing .294/.373/.438 with 10 free passes through 14 fall league games.

Mariners: Bryan Woo, RHP (No. 15), Peoria Javelinas
Woo lowered his Fall League ERA to a miniscule 1.17 after tossing two scoreless frames for Peoria to help set the tone for its win. The right-hander was economical, tossing 22 of his 35 pitches for strikes and whiffing three batters while allowing a hit and a walk. The 22-year-old pitched to a 4.11 ERA in 16 starts across three levels in his professional debut in 2022.

Orioles: Heston Kjerstad, OF (No. 9), Scottsdale Scorpions
Kjerstad is quickly making up for lost time in the Fall League. The outfielder clubbed his circuit-leading fifth home run as part of a multihit performance for the Scorpions. The 23-year-old worked the count full and smacked a 412-foot blast to kickstart the game’s offensive outburst. He added another full-count base knock -- this time a single -- and a sacrifice fly at the dish to give him 17 RBIs, the most in the circuit, through 14 games.

Red Sox: Nick Yorke, 2B (No. 4), Scottsdale Scorpions
Yorke’s first long ball of the fall was grand. The 20-year-old put a cap on the Scorpions’ six-run second frame with a grand slam while adding an RBI single and a walk to his big day at the dish. After the first five batters of the inning reached base, Yorke took one pitch before attacking the next offering and clearing the bases with one swing of the bat. The second baseman has been doing that well in 15 games, slashing .345/.444/.517 with 15 RBIs, 11 walks and a league-best seven doubles.

Twins: Edouard Julien, 2B (No. 14), Glendale Desert Dogs
Julien simply cannot stop hitting home runs. For the second straight game, the 23-year-old left the yard twice, this time amassing four RBIs as part of a four-hit effort while scoring three runs. His first-inning 440-foot blast on an eight-pitch at-bat immediately gave Glendale a 2-1 advantage just two batters into the frame, and he worked another long count for his second dinger. Both homers went out to center field. He added an RBI single and a double to round out his day. More »