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Saturday's best: Rays trio fuels Charlotte victory

April 15, 2018

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.Jesus Sanchez put his early struggles behind him on Saturday as he delivered his first home run this season along with a pair of doubles to help power Class A Advanced Charlotte past Lakeland, 7-4.Sanchez, MLB

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.
Jesus Sanchez put his early struggles behind him on Saturday as he delivered his first home run this season along with a pair of doubles to help power Class A Advanced Charlotte past Lakeland, 7-4.
Sanchez, MLB Pipeline's No. 57 overall prospect (Rays' No. 4), hit a ground-rule double in his first at-bat, connected on a solo shot in his next trip to the plate and added his second double in the top of the eighth inning to finish 3-for-4 with two runs.
After recording just one extra-base hit in his first eight games, Sanchez, a 20-year-old outfielder, raised his average from .179 to .250 with his second multi-hit effort in three games for the Stone Crabs. In 2017, Sanchez slashed .305/.348/.478 with 15 home runs and 29 doubles in 117 games with Class A Bowling Green.

Also standing out in the victory were shortstop Lucius Fox (No. 7) and center fielder Josh Lowe (No. 11), as the 20-year-old duo combined for four hits, four RBIs, three runs and three steals from the top of Charlotte's order.
Fox went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs out of the leadoff spot, also reaching twice via a walk and notching a pair of steals in the contest. Lowe, meanwhile, showcased his impressive power-speed combo as he connected on his second home run and stole his fourth base before finishing 2-for-5. The 2016 first-rounder has been on a tear to open the season, recording hits in eight of nine games while slashing .364/.436/.667.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday:
No. 3 overall  prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) posted his third straight two-hit game with at least one RBI and Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2, No. 13 overall) extended his hitting streak to eight games as Double-A New Hampshire beat Hartford, 5-2. Guerrero, 19, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to improve his average to .361. Bichette, meanwhile, owns a .350 average after finishing 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks. On the mound, Sean Reid-Foley (Blue Jays' No. 10) carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning en route to completing 6 1/3 frames of two-run ball. The 22-year-old righty permitted five hits and one walk with three strikeouts as he recorded his second straight victory over the Yard Goats.

MILB Video - Title: Guerrero delivers two-run hit - Url:

No. 5 overall prospect Gleyber Torres (Yankees' No. 1) hit a pair of doubles and finished with a season-high three RBIs as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rallied to defeat Charlotte, 10-5. The 21-year-old infielder pushed across the go-ahead run with his first two-bagger in the sixth inning, while his two-run double in the eighth provided the RailRiders with key insurance runs. He's batting .389 on the young season and has multiple hits in four of his past five games.

MILB Video - Title: Torres smacks an RBI double - Url:

No. 10 overall prospect Michael Kopech (White Sox No. 2) worked six strong innings, scattering five hits and allowing one earned run in a no-decision for Triple-A Charlotte. The hard-throwing righty netted just three strikeouts but recorded 11 ground-ball outs in his second start for the Knights. Daniel Palka (No. 30) hit a two-run shot in the loss, marking his third home run in as many games.
No. 11 overall prospect Francisco Mejia picked a good time to hit his first home run, as the (Indians' No. 1) prospect's sixth-inning solo shot tied the game and ultimately set up walk-off victory for Triple-A Columbus. The 22-year-old switch-hitter also doubled in the contest to finish 2-for-4 in his third multi-hit game this season. He's plated a run in three straight for the Clippers.

MILB Video - Title: Mejia hits first Triple-A homer - Url:

No. 33 overall prospect Alex Verdugo (Dodgers' No. 2) collected three of Triple-A Oklahoma City's six hits, though none were bigger than his game-tying home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. The homer, a two-run shot, was the first of the season for the 21-year-old outfielder, who also doubled in the contest before finishing 3-for-4.
No. 43 overall prospect Taylor Trammell (Reds' No. 3) hit his first home run of the season, connecting on a solo shot in the eighth inning of Class A Advanced Daytona's 18-13 loss to Jupiter. The two teams combined to hit 11 home runs in the contest to establish a new Florida State League record. Catcher Tyler Stephenson (No. 9) didn't leave the yard but still had a strong all-around game, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs, while also reaching twice via a walk. He's slashing .448/.568/.724 with six extra-base hits through nine games, while Trammell checks in with a .314 average so far after finishing Saturday's contest 2-for-4 with three runs.
No. 51 overall prospect Ian Anderson (Braves' No. 5) fired five scoreless innings but took a no-decision as Class A Advanced Florida fell to Palm Beach, 6-5, in 10 innings. The 2017 first-rounder (No. 3 overall) permitted one hit, walked three and notched five strikeouts before departing the game after 78 pitches (48 strikes). Brett Cumberland (No. 24), Anderson's battery-mate, continued his hot start by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles.
No. 53 overall prospect Willie Calhoun (Rangers' No. 2) went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in his first multi-hit game this season. All three of his hits were singles, while Calhoun's three RBIs proved the difference in Triple-A Round Rock's 8-6 win over Colorado Springs. The 23-year-old slugger has tallied hits in eight of nine games for the Express.

MILB Video - Title: Calhoun plates a pair - Url:

• After connecting on his third home run for Class A Advanced Potomac, No. 90 overall prospect Carter Kieboom (Nationals' No. 3) is now one-third of the way towards his 2016 total through just 10 games. The 20-year-old shortstop was plagued by injuries last season but still managed to hit nine homers in 61 games. 2017 second-rounder Wil Crowe (No. 8) picked up his second win in as many starts, tossing five innings of one-run ball to lead the P-Nats past Frederick, 6-2. The big right-hander fanned four and generated another seven outs via ground balls while throwing 40 of his 56 offerings for strikes.
Padres No. 20 prospectEdward Olivares hit a leadoff homer and then collected three more hits to finish 4-for-5 in Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore's win over Lancaster. The home run was the second this season for the 22-year-old outfielder, who also paced the Storm's offense with three runs. Right-hander Pedro Avila (No. 26) was lights-out in his second 2018 start, yielding just one hit in seven scoreless innings. He compiled four strikeouts against three walks while throwing 51 of 82 pitches for strikes.
• After failing to escape the second inning in his season debut, Cardinals No. 21 prospectConner Greene fired on all cylinders for Double-A Springfield en route to his first 2018 win. Starting game one of a doubleheader, the 23-year-old right-hander allowed one hit over six scoreless innings to lead the Cardinals past Midland, 5-0. He posted eight strikeouts against one walk in the stellar performance, throwing 52 of his 83 pitches for strikes.

MILB Video - Title: Greene's eighth strikeout - Url:

Pirates No. 28 prospect Brandon Waddell allowed one unearned run on two hits in six innings as Double-A Altoona edged Erie, 5-4, in 11 innings. The 23-year-old recorded six strikeouts and 11 ground-ball outs, throwing 48 of his 80 pitches for strikes in the walk-less performance. He's permitted just one earned run and six hits while compiling 13 strikeouts and one walk in 11 2/3 innings (two starts) for the Curve.

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