Wednesday's best: Greene makes best pro start

September 7th, 2017

Hunter Greene pitched to mixed results in his first two professional starts, recording a scoreless frame in his debut for Rookie-level Billings before failing to escape the first inning in his subsequent turn.
On Wednesday, however, Greene, Cincinnati's No. 2 prospect (No. 20 overall), offered fans a taste of his true potential, as the 2017 No. 2 overall Draft pick completed three impressive frames with four strikeouts for Billings in his best professional start.
Greene's workload and strikeout total both marked career highs for the 18-year-old righty, who allowed one unearned run on one hit and one walk while throwing 25 of his 35 pitches for strikes. It was a stark improvement over Greene's previous outing, when he gave up six earned runs on six hits while recording only one out and throwing 25 pitches (16 strikes).

Greene recorded two quick outs in the first inning before permitting a two-out walk followed by a single that resulted in an unearned run on a throwing error by Billings third basemen Leandro Santana.
He would settle in after that, however, fanning the next three batters en route to retiring the final seven hitters he faced over the next 2 1/3 innings.
Though he's viewed as a pitcher long term, Greene, one of the top two-way talents in the history of the Draft, has received more reps as a hitter than a pitcher during his professional debut. Starting seven games as Billings' designated hitter, the 6-foot-4 right-handed hitter has collected seven hits in 30 at-bats (.233 average) while driving in three runs.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Wednesday
No. 5 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) led Class A Advanced Dunedin's offense to a 4-1 victory in a must-win Game 2 of a Florida State League postseason doubleheader against Tampa. The 18-year-old third baseman recorded his second straight multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Blue Jays starter Jordan Romano (No. 19) was equally impressive on the mound as he allowed an earned run on five hits and one walk while posting 6 2/3 quality innings.
No. 39 overall prospect A.J. Puk (A's No. 2) racked up eight strikeouts in four scoreless innings to lead Double-A Midland past San Antonio, 9-2, in Game 1 of the Texas League semifinals. The 22-year-old southpaw gave up just two hits in the performance, though his four walks and an elevated pitch count (74 pitches, 47 strikes) kept him from working deep into the game. At the plate, catcher Sean Murphy (No. 11) connected a solo home run and scored two runs in a 3-for-5 effort.

MILB Video - Title: Puk's eighth punchout - Url:

No. 88 overall prospect Estevan Florial (Yankees' No. 4) went 2-for-6 on the day with a solo home run and a pair of walks in Class A Advanced Tampa's doubleheader loss against Dunedin. The toolsy 19-year-old outfielder was a standout in the series, finishing 4-for-10 with two extra-base hits and three walks while also scoring three runs in the three-game set.
Angels No. 1 prospect Jo Adell powered Rookie-level Orem to a 10-4 win over Idaho Falls as he connected on his first Pioneer League home run before finishing 2-for-5. Adell's homer, a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first, was his first since joining Orem, and the 2017 first-rounder (No. 10 overall) is now batting .358 through 17 games for the Owlz after his third straight multi-hit game. Brandon Marsh (No. 6) also collected two hits, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a performance that boosted his Pioneer League average to .353.

MILB Video - Title: Adell goes deep - Url:

Blue Jays No. 4 prospect Logan Warmoth connected on a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to lift Class A Short Season Vancouver over Spokane, 2-1, in Game 1 of the Northwest League semifinals. The 2017 first-rounder (No. 22 overall) finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate after slashing .306/.356/.419 over 39 regular-season contests with Vancouver. Pacing the Canadians on the mound was fellow first-rounder (No. 28 overall) and Blue Jays No. 8 prospect Nate Pearson, who registered a career-high 10 strikeouts in four scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and walked four before departing the game after 74 pitches (47 strikes). Pitching at two levels this summer in his pro debut, Pearson, 21, posted a 0.90 ERA with a 0.60 WHIP and 26 strikeouts in 20 innings (eight starts).
• Starting Game 1 of Texas League semifinals, Royals No. 6 prospect Foster Griffin allowing two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings as Double-A Northwest Arkansas defeated Tulsa, 3-1. The 22-year-old left-hander posted eight strikeouts against two walks in the outing while throwing 60 of his 99 pitches for strikes. The postseason performance follows a breakout 2017 campaign in which Griffin pitched to a 3.35 ERA with 141 strikeouts while logging a career-high 161 1/3 innings (28 starts) across two levels.

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

Blue Jays No. 6 prospect T.J. Zeuch allowed one unearned run while firing four innings of one-hit ball with one walk and one strikeout in a decisive Game 3 of the Florida State League semifinals. The 22-year-old right-hander recorded seven of his 12 outs via ground balls, throwing 31 of his 50 pitches for strikes in the outing.
Padres No. 7 prospect Michel Baez was dominant for Class A Fort Wayne as he fanned nine batters over seven scoreless innings to earn the win in Game 1 of the Midwest League semifinals. The 6-foot-8 righty found the zone with 66 of his 99 offerings, scattering five hits and walking one. A top breakout prospect in 2017, Baez, 21, was tapped as the Game 1 starter after going 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and an 82-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 58 2/3 innings (10 starts) for the TinCaps.
Twins No. 10 prospect Lewin Diaz's three doubles and four RBIs proved the difference as Class A Cedar Rapids edged Kane County, 6-5, in Game 1 of the Midwest League Western Division Series. A left-handed-hitting first baseman, Diaz, in his age-20 season, batted .292/.329/.444 with 12 home runs and 33 doubles over 122 games with the Kernels in the regular season.

MILB Video - Title: Diaz drives third double of game - Url:

Yankees No. 11 prospect Freicer Perez reaffirmed why he's viewed as one of the Bronx Bombers' top pitching prospects as he matched his career high with nine strikeouts over six scoreless frames in a no-decision for Class A Charleston. The 21-year-old righty -- who, like Baez, is listed at 6-foot-8 -- allowed four hits while throwing 80 pitches (60 strikes) but ultimately received a no-decision, as the RiverDogs fell to Greenville, 4-1, in Game 1 of the South Atlantic League semis.

MILB Video - Title: Perez notches ninth strikeout - Url:

Cardinals No. 21 prospect Connor Jones permitted one unearned run on two hits over six innings as Class A Advanced Palm Beach walked off against Fort Myers, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth inning to take capture a share of the Florida State League crown. The 2016 second-rounder threw 40 of his 66 pitches for strikes, issuing two walks and striking out four in the outing.