Thursday's top prospect performers

August 20th, 2021

Here's a look at Thursday’s top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list:

Mariners: Julio Rodríguez, OF (MLB No. 2), Double-A Arkansas
J-Rod is making up for lost time, and doing it in a hurry, going a combined 5-for-8 with a homer in Thursday’s doubleheader action. The 20-year-old’s productive day, one that extended his mini hitting streak to four games, was the continuation of his white-hot hitting since claiming a bronze medal alongside the Dominican Republic at the Olympics. In five games since returning from Tokyo, Rodríguez is 8-for-19 (.421) with a double and a homer. Rodríguez has dominated Double-A pitching since being promoted to Arkansas, slashing .323/.414/.565 with 10 homers and seven steals in just 19 games. Mariners prospect stats »

Yankees: Anthony Volpe, SS (MLB No. 15), High-A Hudson Valley
Fidel Montero, OF (No. 29), Rookie-level Florida Complex League

A day removed from being named the Yankees’ top prospect in our midseason rerank, Volpe showed why he earned that honor with a 3-for-4 performance that he capped off with a walk-off, two-run homer against Brooklyn. The 20-year-old finished a double shy of the cycle, walked once and scored three runs in Hudson Valley’s 7-6 victory, giving him four multihit efforts in his past 10 games. In that span, he’s slashing .308/.438/.641 with three homers, six walks and seven RBIs.

One of the allures of Montero is the potential power he could develop as he continues to grow into his body. Montero flashed a glimpse of what that could look like, blasting two home runs in what was easily his best singular game as a member of the Yankees organization. While the power was on display on Thursday, the 17-year-old has shown off his speed (eight walks) and ability to draw walks (18.75% BB%), although he will need to cut down on strikeouts (39.6% K%). Yankees prospect stats »

Nationals: Keibert Ruiz, C (MLB No. 19), Triple-A Rochester
Yasel Antuna, SS/3B (No. 10), High-A Wilmington
Not only did Ruiz notch a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate, but three of those four hits were doubles, a feat he has only accomplished twice before in 2015 for the DSL Dodgers. It’s Ruiz’s third four-hit game of the season, and the effort was made more impressive by the fact that he did it in a seven-inning doubleheader. The Nats’ top prospect also drove in two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend his Red Wings’ lead to 6-2. Since being acquired at the Deadline, Ruiz is batting .277 with 13 hits in 12 games for his new organization.

Antuna drove in five runs on a 2-for-4 day, and Wilmington needed all of it in its 8-7 win over Aberdeen. Both of his extra-base hits came in big spots -- first, his two-run double in the seventh stretched the Blue Rocks’ lead to 5-2. After Aberdeen responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to make the score 5-4, Antuna launched a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give his team some much-needed insurance. In the past 10 games, the 21-year-old is slashing .325/.404/.425 with 13 RBIs. Nationals prospect stats »

Pirates: Henry Davis, C (MLB No. 23), High-A Greensboro
In his fourth High-A game, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 Draft smacked his second home run in as many games while scoring three runs on a 2-for-3 day at the dish. Davis also added a single, a walk and the first stolen base of his professional career. The Louisville product has only played six Minor League games so far, but he’s slugging 1.105 with eight hits, seven runs scored, three homers and seven RBIs. Pirates prospect stats »

Cardinals: Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B (MLB No. 25), Triple-A Memphis
Something about Thursdays in August brings out the best in Gorman, who reached base five times on Thursday, racking up four hits, a walk, a homer, a double and four RBIs, his eight total bases being the second-most he’s had in a single game with Memphis. Gorman’s big night was the continuation of an odd trend in which he does well in the penultimate day of the workweek. In three Thursday games this month, Gorman is 10-for-14 with two homers and five RBIs. Cardinals prospect stats »

Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP (MLB No. 62), Rookie-level Arizona Complex League
Welcome back, MacKenzie Gore. In his first in-game action in two months, Gore showed off the dominant stuff that has made him one of baseball’s most tantalizing left-handed pitching prospects, striking out a season-high eight batters across 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Gore came into the season as baseball’s No. 6-rated prospect, per MLB Pipeline, but has dropped to No. 62 in the most recent rankings due to a season mired by a blister and high walk numbers (4.74 walks per nine innings). Padres prospect stats »

White Sox: Gavin Sheets, 1B (No. 6), Triple-A Charlotte
Sheets enjoyed his best day at the plate since being brought back up to Charlotte, filling up the box score with three hits, a homer, a double, a walk and three RBIs. The first baseman had seven total bases, the third time this season that he’s had at least seven total bases in a single game in the Minors. Since rejoining Charlotte on Aug. 6, Sheets is 13-for-34 (.382) with three home runs, four doubles and 11 RBIs. White Sox prospect stats »

Mariners: Matt Brash, RHP (No. 11), Double-A Arkansas
Brash took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the first game of a doubleheader against Frisco before allowing a single to Josh Jung with one out in the frame. While Brash couldn’t complete his bid at abbreviated history, it was easily the best start of his professional career. Across a career-high seven shutout innings, Brash matched his career-high 11 strikeouts, the only blips on his resume being one hit and two walks. Brash has pitched well all season, but especially since the calendar turned over to August. This month, Brash has allowed just two runs in three starts across 18 1/3 innings (0.98 ERA) with 27 strikeouts (13.26 per nine innings). Mariners prospect stats »

Reds: Allan Cerda, OF (No. 19), Low-A Daytona
If there’s one thing Cerda has done this month, and over the last couple days in particular, it's rack up the extra-base hits, a trend that continued on Thursday as he smacked a homer and legged out a triple. Cerda, who is now riding a five-game hitting streak, now has 12 extra-base hits in 15 games this month, and six extra-base hits in his last four games. This past Sunday, Cerda enjoyed the third multi-homer game of his professional career. Reds prospect stats »

Indians: Will Brennan, OF (No. 30), Double-A Akron
Brennan extended his hitting streak to six games with a three-hit night, notching a homer, a double and a career-high seven total bases. The 23-year-old outfielder was promoted to Akron at the beginning of the month after slashing .290/.368/.441 with four homers and 13 steals in 62 games with High-A Lake County. In 14 games with Akron, Brennan is hitting .275/.345/.451 with two homers and 11 RBIs. Indians prospect stats »

Braves: Jared Johnson, RHP (No. 30), Rookie-level Florida Complex League
Johnson struck out five over four hitless innings in his return to the FCL after a rough start to the season in Low-A Augusta. The 20-year-old gave up just one walk in relief and secured his first win of the year while lowering his ERA from 7.04 to 6.23. In 11 games across two levels, Johnson has amassed 46 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. Braves prospect stats »