Stephenson among top performers in Minors Friday
Reds No. 1 prospect strikes out 10, allows three hits in seven scoreless innings
Reds No. 1 prospect Robert Stephenson turned in his best performance of the season on Friday night.
The Double-A Pensacola right-hander gave up three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out 10 hitters in the game. That effort followed a May 23 start in which Stephenson fanned 11 in 4 2/3 innings for the Blue Wahoos.
While Stephenson did not pick up a win on Friday, he lowered his ERA from 5.26 to 4.47 and is 2-4 with 56 strikeouts on the season. Baseball's No. 22 overall prospect began the month with an 8.31 ERA after giving up six earned runs while recording only two outs on May 1, but he's surrendered just five earned runs in four starts since.
The 2011 first-round Draft pick continues to prove he's a power pitcher. Stephenson has 404 strikeouts against 162 walks in 72 Minor League starts.
More standout performances from Top 100 prospects on Friday
• Rangers No. 2 prospect (No. 40 overall) Jorge Alfaro hit his third home run in five games for Double-A Frisco and knocked in the only run the RoughRiders could muster against Tulsa's Jose De Leon. The catcher has more than doubled his season total over the past week, and now stands at five homers and 21 RBIs this year.
• Royals No. 3 prospect (No. 53 overall) Kyle Zimmer performed well in his first appearance since undergoing shoulder surgery last year. The Class A Lexington hurler allowed one hit and walked two in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The No. 5 overall pick in 2012 draft got Red Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada to ground out in the sixth inning.
• Cubs No. 5 prospect (No. 97 overall) Gleyber Torres continues to rake for Class A South Bend. He went 2-for-4 with three RBIs on Friday, and now has knocked in 30 runs without a single home run. Over the past seven games, he's 10-for-27 with seven RBIs.
Other notable performances from around the Minor Leagues Friday
• Angels No. 18 prospect Jeremy Rhoades has been excellent for Class A Burlington this year, but Friday marked his best start of the season. The 6-foot-4 right-hander gave up five hits in seven shutout innings, racking up nine strikeouts in the process. Rhoades also snagged a 'W,' his first since April 28, and now stands at 4-3 with a 3.17 ERA.
• Astros Double-A affiliate Corpus Christi tossed its first-ever no-hitter against Arkansas. Chris Devenski did the heavy lifting, going five innings before giving way to No. 9 prospect Josh Hader. The reliever only recorded one out before rain halted -- and eventually ended -- the contest, leaving the Hooks with a 5 1/3-inning no-no.
• Braves No. 24 prospect Cody Martin continues to shine for Triple-A Gwinnett after being sent down from the big league club last week. The right-hander gave up one hit in five shutout innings and has now allowed just one earned run in three Minor League appearances (9 1/3 total innings).
• Brewers No. 14 prospect Victor Roache smacked a two-run home run for Class A Advanced Brevard County. The left fielder went 2-for-4, his second straight multi-hit game. He's hitting .269/.338/.495 with nine homers and 30 RBIs on the year.
• Dodgers No. 6 prospect Jose De Leon is already slicing up Double-A teams. The Tulsa right-hander racked up 11 strikeouts in seven innings on Friday, giving up one run -- Jorge Alfaro's solo home run -- on three hits. He has struck out 19 hitters in two starts for the Drillers since his promotion last week and now leads the Minors with 77 strikeouts.
• Mariners No. 8 prospect Luiz Gohara made an excellent season debut for Class A Clinton, giving up four hits in five shutout innings. The 18-year-old had been held back after struggling in the Northwest League in 2014.
• Marlins No. 13 prospect Michael Mader had lost three of his past four starts entering Friday's contest, but he put the streak behind him with a dominant start. The Class A Greensboro southpaw allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, picking up his first win since May 1 and cutting his ERA from 6.28 to 5.32.
• Orioles No. 23 prospect Trey Mancini hit a two-run shot for Class A Advanced Frederick and has six homers to go along with 29 RBIs this season.
• Padres No. 4 prospect Rymer Liriano and No. 15 prospect Alex Dickerson bat back-to-back for Triple-A El Paso and both hit home runs on Friday. Liriano went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, while Dickerson went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. The pair have combined for 10 homers and 53 RBIs this year.
• Padres No. 20 prospect Franmil Reyes collected his first three-hit game of the season for Class A Fort Wayne. The right fielder went 3-for-6 with a double, home run and two RBIs. He's got three dingers and 18 RBIs on the year. He's notched two homers and knocked in seven runs in the past 10 games.
• Rays No. 7 prospect Taylor Guerrieri of Class A Advanced Charlotte tossed three perfect innings in his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Before Friday, his last action came last July. "I can't wait to be able to go somewhere deeper in the game," Guerrieri told MiLB.com. "I understand it's a long process, but I'm definitely ready to get back to pitching some long innings."
• Red Sox No. 7 prospect Brian Johnson was perfect in six innings of work for Triple-A Pawtucket. Johnson, a southpaw, struck out nine hitters on only 74 pitches -- 50 went for strikes. Friday's incredible start followed a string of strong outings for Johnson, a 2012 first-round Draft pick. He allowed seven earned runs in his previous four starts (25 2/3 total innings), striking out 21 batters against three walks in that stretch. On the year, he now stands at 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA. Pawtucket pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter in the team's 1-0 win.
• Reds No. 6 prospect Nicholas Travieso and No. 9 prospect Phillip Ervin helped lead Class A Advanced Daytona to a 10-1 win over Bradenton. Travieso, the starting pitcher, gave up six hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings, while Ervin set new season-high marks with four hits and four RBIs.
• Royals No. 30 prospect Wander Franco collected three hits for the first time this season, going 3-for-4 with a double and homer for Class A Lexington. The third baseman knocked in three runs for the first time this year, too, and now has five homers and 27 RBIs in 2015.
• Tigers No. 30 prospect Michael Gerber took the Minor League lead in batting average (.372) and hits (68) after a 3-for-4 day. The Class A West Michigan slugger hit a homer and notched his ninth game with three or more hits this year. Gerber also has four dingers and 33 RBIs this season.
• White Sox No. 8 prospect Trey Michalczewski slugged a two-run homer for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, bringing his season total to five. The third baseman is hitting .258/.333/.433 with 30 RBIs this year.
• Yankees No. 14 prospect Bryan Mitchell was outstanding for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The right-hander picked up his first win since May 6 by tossing a career-high eight shutout innings. He only gave up two hits against four strikeouts in the process. "Maybe they were a little laid back today, but I was lucky," Mitchell told MiLB.com. "I made some good pitches and came out on top."