Brault among 10 top prospect performers Friday
Pirates No. 25 prospect hurls eight scoreless frames for Curve in his longest Minor League start
Steven Brault just keeps getting better.
The Pirates' No. 25 prospect added to an already dominant second-half performance Friday with eight scoreless innings in Double-A Altoona's 8-0 win over Binghamton. He allowed just three hits while striking out five in the longest outing of his Minor League career.
Acquired from the Orioles during the offseason as part of the Travis Snider trade, Brault began the season at Class A Advanced Bradenton, where he went 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 65 2/3 innings covering 13 starts before moving up to Double-A Altoona in late June.
The 23-year-old left-hander has been one of the more consistent hurlers in the Minors during his time in the Eastern League, posting a 9-3 record in 15 starts to go along with a 2.00 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 80/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 90 innings.
With Friday's win, Brault is now 8-0 in 10 starts since the All-Star break. On top of that, the 2013 11th-rounder owns a 0.96 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 53 strikeouts over 65 1/3 innings in that span, all while holding opposing hitters to a paltry .179 batting average.
While the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder doesn't have much of a ceiling due to his lack of a plus offering, he's a consistent strike-thrower who is adept at keeping hitters off balance with a three-pitch mix. Brault also has a knack for keeping the ball on the ground and, more importantly, in the park, as he's allowed just nine home runs in 345 career innings (0.24 HR/9).
The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers
• Astros No. 4 prospect (No. 60 overall) Kyle Tucker went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a stolen base as Greeneville beat Kingsport, 6-2, to even the best-of-three Appalachian League series at a game apiece. The 18-year-old outfielder has swung the bat well since arriving in the Appy, batting .292 with two homers, nine doubles, 22 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 32 games (including the current playoff series). More recently, the 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter has batted .333 with three extra-base hits, nine RBIs and eight steals in his last 11 games.
• Cardinals No. 8 prospect Luke Weaver was outstanding yet again Friday in a no-decision for Class A Advanced Palm Beach, allowing one run (unearned) on four hits while fanning six batters in seven innings. The 22-year-old right-hander has carved up hitters in the Florida State League during his first full professional campaign, pitching to a 1.62 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 88/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 105 1/3 innings (19 starts). Weaver has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last 12 starts, going 7-2 with a 1.12 ERA, 0.98 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings in that span.
• Dodgers No. 25 prospect Jordan Paroubeck continued to rake Friday for Rookie-level Ogden, going 3-for-4 with a home run, double, two runs scored and two RBIs. The 20-year-old outfielder's performance extended his hitting streak to six games, during which he's batting .500 (13-for-26) with four homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs. Paroubeck is hitting .375 with 19 runs scored, 11 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs in 20 games since his promotion to Ogden, and he's combined to slash .326/.400/.558 in 33 games between the Arizona and Pioneer Leagues.
• Reds No. 1 prospect (No. 29 overall) Jesse Winker hit a pair of doubles and scored three times as part of a 4-for-6 performance Friday as Double-A Pensacola edged Mobile, 5-4, in 15 innings. The left-handed-hitting outfielder smashed a one-out double in the bottom of the 15th -- his second two-base hit of the game -- and later came around to score the winning run on a Juan Duran single. Winker recently was recognized as the Southern League's Player of the Month for August after the 22-year-old hit .344 with 21 runs scored, six home runs, six doubles, 20 walks and 19 RBIs in 27 games for the Blue Wahoos. On the season, Winker is batting .280 with an .822 OPS, 13 home runs, 24 doubles, 55 RBIs and a 82/72 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 121 games.
• Indians No. 25 prospect Jesus Aguilar went 3-for-3 with a home run and double and drove in all six of Triple-A Columbus' runs -- matching his career high -- in a win over Louisville. He's now tallied six RBIs five times in his eight-year career. The 25-year-old first baseman has been red hot of late, batting a robust .382 with 26 hits, 16 runs scored, 10 doubles, five home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 18 games for the Clippers. On the year, the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has produced a .269/.334/.445 batting line, 19 home runs, 29 doubles and 93 RBIs in 129 games. Aguilar is looking to return to the Major Leagues after going 6-for-42 (.143) with 18 strikeouts in 22 games for the Tribe over the last two years.
• Mets No. 3 prospect (No. 76 overall) Brandon Nimmo went 4-for-5 in Triple-A Las Vegas' win over Tacoma, matching his career highs in both hits (4-for-6) and total bases (eight). The 22-year-old's big game included a double as well as his fifth home run of the season, marking the first time in his career in which he's homered in back-to-back contests. The 2011 first-rounder had solid first half at Double-A Binghamton but has struggled since a mid-season promotion to Las Vegas, batting .264 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 32 games for the 51s.
• Rays No. 24 prospect Jake Bauers' RBI single in the fourth inning and solo home run in the sixth was the difference in Double-A Montgomery's 3-2 win over Birmingham. Acquired from San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade, Bauers has posted an impressive .773 OPS to go along with 11 home runs, 32 doubles, 74 RBIs and a 73/50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 125 games this season between Class A Advanced Charlotte and Montgomery. The 19-year-old has held his own against advanced pitching in the Southern League, batting .285/.338/.419 with five homers and 18 doubles over 66 games for the Biscuits. After playing first base exclusively through the first three seasons of his promising career, Bauers is expected to see time in the outfield during this year's Arizona Fall League.
• Tigers No. 22 prospect Chad Green's impressive second half continued Friday with six scoreless innings as Double-A Erie defeated Bowie, 5-0. The 24-year-old right-hander scattered six hits and a walk while matching his season-high with eight strikeouts. Green was recently named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week (for the period ending on Aug. 31) after yielding just one earned run and piling up 14 strikeouts in 13 innings across two starts. Going back even further, Green owns a 2.37 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 57 innings over his last 10 starts for the SeaWolves.
• Yankees No. 12 prospect Rookie Davis put together his best start since being promoted to Double-A Trenton, picking up the win after allowing an unearned run on a pair of hits and two walks in seven innings. The 22-year-old righty struck out four in the contest, with 60 of his 89 pitches going for strikes. A 14th-round Draft pick in 2011, Davis has struggled a bit during his time in the Eastern League but is still having a breakthrough season, with a 3.86 ERA and 129/26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 130 2/3 innings (25 appearances/24 starts) between Class A Advanced Tampa and Trenton.