Saturday's top prospect performers

June 13th, 2021

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

Cardinals: Nolan Gorman, 3B (MLB No. 31), Double-A Springfield
Gorman capped an unforgettable week with a bit of team history, becoming the first Springfield Cardinal to homer three times in a regular-season game. He teed off for three pull-side long balls as part of a 3-for-4 night. Since Sunday, June 6, Gorman has gone 13-for-26 with seven home runs and 12 RBIs. St. Louis’s first-rounder in 2018 (19th overall) has added more than 200 points to his season-long OPS (.989) in that span. Cardinals prospect stats »

Mets: Francisco Álvarez, C (MLB No. 37), High-A Brooklyn
After torching Low-A Southeast pitching with St. Lucie to begin the season, slugging .646 in 15 games, Álvarez needed some time to find his post-promotion pop. Though Brooklyn fell, 5-4, the Mets’ top prospect put them ahead momentarily with a two-run bomb in the eighth inning. It marked his third home run with the Cyclones, albeit his first in front of the home crowd. With a double included in his 2-for-4 performance, the 19-year-old bumped his High-A slugging percentage up to .500 in 15 games. Mets prospects stats »

Pirates: Oneil Cruz, SS (MLB No. 51), Double-A Altoona
Max Kranick, RHP (No. 27), Triple-A Indianapolis
Despite where some of his recent home runs have landed, there’s no roller-coaster effect in how Cruz is swinging these days: His production is just going up, and up, and up. For the third time in four games, Cruz battered a home run toward the roller coaster located beyond right field at Peoples Natural Gas Field. In the day’s doubleheader, he went 4-for-6 and brought his season average up to .305. And this month’s clip is far better, as the 22-year-old is slashing .351/.400/.622 in 10 games. His 15-game on-base streak extends back to May 26.

Kranick enjoyed what was quite easily his strongest outing of 2021, with nine strikeouts over five scoreless innings of one-hit ball. The 23-year-old now has three Triple-A starts to his name, and it’s nice to see a bounce-back effort after he allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings his last time out. Pittsburgh ranks dead last in the Majors in starter ERA (5.56), so it’s possible Kranick could pitch himself into a big league opportunity. Pirates prospect stats »

Marlins: Edward Cabrera, RHP (MLB No. 54), Low-A Jupiter
Jesús Sánchez, OF (No. 6), Triple-A Jacksonville

Is Cabrera ready to return to Triple-A? This line should help his case: three scoreless innings, two hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. Oh, and a fastball dialed up to 98 mph. Cabrera now has 11 strikeouts and a spotless ERA in two rehab starts (six innings) with Jupiter. After pumping 116 strikeouts over 96 2/3 innings in 2019, then spending 2020 as part of the Marlins’ 60-man player pool, the 23-year-old began this season on the injured list with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps. Safe to say his early strikeout rate is an encouraging sign.

Sánchez has cooled off since his torrid start to the season, but picked up his first game with three or more hits since May 19 on Saturday night. The lefty outfielder went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, two runs and two RBIs in Jacksonville’s walk-off 8-7 win. The 23-year-old has nine dingers on the year, and is slashing .349/.400/.643 with an OPS of 1.043 atop Jacksonville’s lineup. Marlins prospects stats »

Nationals: Cade Cavalli, RHP (MLB No. 82), High-A Wilmington
Cavalli keeps climbing to new heights in his first professional season, as the University of Oklahoma product fanned a career-high 15 batters on 97 pitches in seven scoreless, hitless innings. The 22-year-old now has 11-plus strikeouts in three consecutive starts, as well as no fewer than seven punchouts in any of his seven pro outings. Amazingly, his strikeout count (71) is nearly triple that of his allowed hits (24). He has also pitched into the sixth inning or deeper in five consecutive starts. Nationals prospect stats »

Blue Jays: Orelvis Martinez, SS, (No. 6), Low-A Dunedin
A power-packed June continued for Martinez as he went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two walks. He’s slugging .587 in 10 games this month thanks in part to his six extra-base hits in the past four games (three doubles, one triple and two home runs). That power has come at the expense of some discipline, though, as Martinez has 18 strikeouts versus just three walks in June. Still, his OPS -- now .820 on the season -- is rising, and that’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Blue Jays prospect stats »

Brewers: Ethan Small, LHP (No. 4), Double-A Biloxi
With a career-high 12 strikeouts, Small put forth a dominant 6 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits, one run and one walk along the way. The 24-year-old retired the first 10 batters he faced and carried a shutout through six. He now has 31 strikeouts through three starts (17 1/3 innings) so far this month, with just one run allowed. Small seems to be finding the form that carried him through a stunning debut season in 2019, when he posted a 0.86 ERA in seven starts. Brewers prospect stats »

Dodgers: Ryan Pepiot, RHP (No. 7), Double-A Tulsa
Pepiot started Tulsa off with five no-hit innings in Saturday’s contest against Wichita. The 23-year-old struck out eight and walked one in a dominant day on the hill. Pepiot set a new career high with his five innings, and tied his career best in strikeouts. In 22 innings, the right-hander has an ERA of 1.64 and 30 punchouts for a K/9 of 12.3. Pepiot is yet to allow more than two runs in any of his starts this season. Dodgers prospect stats »

Rangers: Luisangel Acuña, SS (No. 6), Low-A Down East
Acuña’s second three-hit game of the season came in a 3-for-5 night with a double and four RBIs, which is further proof that the 19-year-old is turning things around following a sluggish start to the year. After posting an .893 OPS in Rookie ball two seasons ago, Acuña’s current OPS is down at .698 -- but it was under .600 just a couple of weeks ago. With hits in nine of 10 games this month, Acuña has compiled a June slash line of .395/.442/.526. He has just three extra-base hits in that span, but he’s putting the ball in play consistently and has only struck out eight times. Rangers prospect stats »

Rockies: Ezequiel Tovar, SS (No. 19), Low-A Fresno
A 4-for-5, four-RBI night for Tovar was highlighted by a three-run home run in the eighth inning. He now has four homers this season in 32 games after homering just twice in the first 108 games of his pro career. The 19-year-old has reached safely in all 11 games this month. He has seven hits in the past two nights, and four extra-base hits in his past five. Rockies prospect stats »