Wednesday's top prospect performers

July 1st, 2021

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

Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 3B (MLB No. 3), Double-A Erie
With each passing day, Torkelson continues to prove the Tigers made a wise decision selecting him with the first overall pick in 2020. Playing in his 13th Double-A game since his promotion from High-A West Michigan, Torkelson slugged a two-run homer and equaled a career high with three hits. The 21-year-old has hit safely in 11 of his past 13 games and is now batting .280 with a .911 OPS, four homers and 11 RBIs with Erie. Overall, Torkelson has put together a .302/.414/.566 slash line with 23 extra-base hits and 39 RBIs through 44 games.

Giants: Marco Luciano, SS (MLB No. 12), Low-A San Jose
Luciano’s power binge continued Wednesday night as the 19-year-old went deep for a third consecutive game. Luciano’s two-run, first-inning blast brought his season total to 13. The 19-year-old is hitting .281 through 46 games in his first introduction to full-season ball and has really caught fire of late. Luciano has hit four homers over his past three games and is 5-for-10 during that stretch as well.

Cardinals: Matthew Liberatore, LHP (MLB No. 27), Triple-A Memphis
Liberatore picked up his third win of the year as he spun a season-high eight innings for Memphis. Liberatore threw 68 of his 98 pitches for strikes in the outing, struck out six and yielded three runs on five hits. The 21-year-old has pitched to a 4.40 ERA through eight starts this season. Liberatore ran into a bit of trouble in the third and fourth innings, but then cruised for the rest of the night, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.

Twins: Jordan Balazovic, RHP (MLB No. 75), Double-A Wichita
Coming off successive starts in which he allowed a combined eight runs and 19 hits, Balazovic spearheaded Wichita’s brush with history. The 22-year-old fired 5 2/3 no-hit innings and struck out six before being lifted after reaching his pitch limit. A solo homer with one out in the ninth inning ended the Wind Storm’s bid for their first no-hitter. Balazovic tossed 53 of his 87 pitches for strikes and retired all but one hitter after walking the first two batters of the game.

A’s: Nick Allen, SS/2B (No. 3), Double-A Midland
Allen hit his fifth homer of the year, a solo shot in the fifth inning, and extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his 2-for-4 performance. Allen, who is hitting .340 through 37 games in his first experience at the Double-A level, is largely known for his plus defense, but his bat is certainly making a lot of noise this season, too. The five homers are a career high and his 25 RBIs are closing in on his career-best mark of 34. While the batting average is likely to dip at some point, it’s clear Allen is putting together quite a season at the plate.

Braves: Michael Harris, OF (No. 9), High-A Rome
Runners on base? Harris will drive them in. Harris racked up seven RBIs, a season high, as part of a 2-for-6 night at the plate. The 20-year-old, who is hitting .320 through 43 games, drove in a run in the first via a groundout, hit a grand slam in the fifth, tacked on an RBI single in the sixth and drove in a run via a fielder’s choice in the seventh. Harris has hits in eight of his past nine games and has turned in multihit efforts in two of his past three contests.

Brewers: Ethan Small, LHP (No. 4), Triple-A Nashville
Small threw 69 of his 96 pitches for strikes as he worked his way through six scoreless frames, lowering his ERA to 2.08 in the process. The 24-year-old, a first-round pick from the 2019 Draft, walked two, gave up three hits and struck out four. Small retired seven of the first eight batters he faced before giving up a hit and has now yielded one earned run or fewer in six of his past seven starts.

D-backs: Drey Jameson, RHP (No. 21), High-A Hillsboro
Pitching out of the bullpen, Jameson was lights out for Hillsboro. The 34th overall pick from the 2019 Draft issued a pair of walks, but didn’t give up a hit or a run over four innings. Jameson, who threw 33 of his 57 pitches for strikes, also struck out three and retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

Dodgers: Andy Pages, OF (No. 8), High-A Great Lakes
Pages’ power surge continued as he hit his High-A Central leading 16th homer of the year for Great Lakes on Wednesday night. Pages, who is rapidly closing in on his career-high mark of 19, set in 2019, finished 2-for-4 with a two-run single in the sixth and a two-run homer in the seventh. The 20-year-old hit 11 homers in June and is hitting .255 through his first 50 games at the High-A level.

Rays: Taj Bradley, RHP (No. 20), Low-A Charleston
Bradley’s start to the season was so poor, he only had one way to go and that was up. The 20-year-old has certainly stayed true to that adage. The Charleston right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.50 after allowing one hit and a walk over five scoreless innings Wednesday night. Bradley held Kannapolis without a hit until the fifth before surrendering a leadoff single. He retired the next three batters in succession, striking out two to finish with five.

Reds: Case Williams, RHP (No. 21), Low-A Daytona
The first eight starts of Williams’ professional career have been anything but smooth, but he pitched well in his last outing in advance of Wednesday when he earned his first win. The 2020 fourth-round Draft pick turned in his first scoreless effort, blanking Lakeland on two hits over five innings. Williams walked two, hit a batter and equaled his career high with six strikeouts, including four of the first six outs of the game. The 19-year-old has lowered his ERA nearly two full runs in his past two starts.