It was a good day to be a top prospect on Friday. Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves, Victor Robles of the Nationals, Alex Verdugo of the Dodgers and Scott Kingery of the Phillies all went deep to headline a day of strong prospect action in Spring Training.The star of
It was a good day to be a top prospect on Friday. Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves, Victor Robles of the Nationals, Alex Verdugo of the Dodgers and Scott Kingery of the Phillies all went deep to headline a day of strong prospect action in Spring Training.
The star of the day was certainly Acuna, MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect. The 20-year-old phenom went 3-for-3 against the Yankees with a stolen base and a home run off Major League veteran Masahiro Tanaka. Acuna is now batting 7-for-10 in his last three games and hitting .421 overall to start the spring.
Robles, the No. 6 prospect overall, clubbed a solo homer in the seventh inning of the Nationals' win over the Mets. Robles is already expected to be a plus hitter and plus-plus in the outfield and on the basepaths, but developing power could make him even more scary.
No. 33 overall prospect Alex Verdugo also added his first home run of the spring with a solo shot in the fourth while Kingery, ranked No. 35 overall and the top second baseman, started in the leadoff spot for Philadelphia and showed his bat in the third inning, going opposite field to tie the game with a two-run blast.
Other top prospect performances from Friday's action:
• While Acuna and Co. lit up the scoreboards, the most eye-popping performance of the day came in the back-fields from MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall prospect. Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced, notching every out by strikeout, in 2 2/3 innings of action against the Brewers. Even though he allowed four hits and two runs, Ohtani's stuff was electric and encouraging after an erratic Spring Training debut.
• No organization has as good of a middle infield pair in the Minor Leagues as the Padres, and Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias looked the part on Friday. Tatis, ranked No. 8 overall and No. 1 in the Padres' top-ranked system, went 1-for-2 with an RBI double, while Urias, ranked No. 36 overall, was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
• No. 65 overall prospect Miguel Andujar continued his Spring Training tear, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double for the Yankees. The No. 3 third base prospect is now hitting .412 and OPSing 1.647 in 17 at-bats this Spring Training.
• Nationals top pitching prospect Erick Fedde allowed Tim Tebow's first Spring Training hit of 2018, but he worked around it to register two scoreless innings. The 25-year-old didn't record any strikeouts, but he remains an option for the Nats' fifth starter spot as he recovers from a forearm strain that shut him down in 2017.
• Red Sox No. 5 prospect Sam Travis carried the offense to a 9-6 win over the Cardinals, going 2-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs. Even though he started at first base, the Red Sox are interested to see if he can show some outfield versatility this spring.
• Cardinals No. 5 prospect Harrison Bader had a strong day opposite of Travis, going 3-for-4 with two doubles against the Red Sox. Starting in left field and batting ninth, Bader was the lone Cardinal to play all nine innings. After 32 games of MLB action in 2017, Bader is looking like a strong possibility to be the Cardinals' fourth outfielder on Opening Day.
• Rangers No. 6 prospect Yohander Mendez looked strong in the first inning against an Indians group of Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez, notching two strikeouts and a groundout. The southpaw eventually hit the showers after three innings with one earned run and three strikeouts.
• Pirates No. 8 prospect Colin Moran went 3-for-4 as a DH against the Orioles, more than doubling his Spring Training hit total. The former first-rounder was acquired as a significant piece in the Gerrit Cole deal and seems to have the inside track to be the Pirates' Opening Day starter at third base.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jfordbaer.