Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Saturday's top prospect performers

@GoldenSombrero
July 21, 2019

Here's a look at Saturday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list: AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B (No. 5) -- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Double-A New Hampshire) Smith, 23, has struggled this year in Double-A, hitting just .191/.253/.396 for the Fisher Cats

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

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B (No. 5) -- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Double-A New Hampshire)
Smith, 23, has struggled this year in Double-A, hitting just .191/.253/.396 for the Fisher Cats after a remarkable 2018 full-season debut during which he slashed .302/.358/.528 with 25 homers, 31 doubles and 29 steals across two A-ball levels. The former fourth-round pick (2017) has fared better of late, though, as Saturday's performance gives him five home runs over his last eight games and 13 homers in 77 games on the season. Blue Jays prospects stats »

Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C -- 1-for-4, HR (GCL Orioles)
Making his professional debut, Rutschman, who signed for a Draft record $8.1 million after the Orioles took him with the No. 1 overall pick in June, grounded out in his first at-bat and nearly went deep in his second, flying out to deep right field. He wouldn't come up short in his next at-bat, though, as the switch-hitting catcher launched a booming home run to right field for his first career hit. One of the more vaunted Draft prospects in recent history, the 21-year-old is as dynamic at the plate as he is behind it, with the potential to become a true dual-threat backstop. And while he's beginning his career in the Gulf Coast League, it shouldn't be long until the Oregon State product is showcasing his immense talent in full-season ball. Orioles prospects stats »

Rays: Joe Ryan, RHP (No. 17) -- 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 9 K (Class A Adv Charlotte)
While Ryan wasn't particularly efficient on Saturday, throwing 72 pitches (45 strikes) in three innings, the 23-year-old right-hander did record all nine of his outs via the strikeout as he fanned the side in each of his three frames against Dunedin. A seventh-round pick in the 2018 Draft out of Division II Cal State Stanislaus, Ryan arguably has been the top breakout prospect in Tampa Bay's system this year thanks to an across-the-board uptick in his stuff. Across two levels, he's pitched to a 2.07 ERA with 134 strikeouts and 22 walks in 91 1/3 innings. Rays prospects stats »

Red Sox: Brandon Howlett, 3B (No. 14) -- 1-for-3, HR, BB (Class A Greenville)
Howlett connected on his sixth home run of the season on Saturday, hitting a seventh-inning solo shot in Greenville's loss against Columbia. The homer was Howlett's first since June 24, and he's now hit safely in four straight games while tallying seven hits in that span. Signed for $185,000 to forego his commitment to Florida State after the Red Sox selected him in the 21st round of the 2018 Draft, the 19-year-old third baseman is batting .261 with a .767 OPS through 82 games in his first full season. Red Sox prospects stats »

Yankees: Deivi Garcia, RHP (No. 3, MLB No. 100) -- 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-barre)
Control issues led to an elevated pitch count and prevented Garcia from pitching deep into his second Triple-A start, but the 20-year-old righty still proved difficult to hit as he scattered three hits and struck out four batters in the outing. Garcia owns a 3.17 ERA through 16 starts across three levels this season and has racked up 124 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings -- which translates to a ridiculous 14.6 strikeouts per nine. Yankees prospects stats »

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Indians: Bo Naylor, C (No. 4) -- 1-for-3, HR, BB (Class A Lake County)
After homering on July 8, Naylor, the Indians' first-round pick from the 2018 Draft, had been just 2-for-23 at the plate across his past seven games before going deep on Saturday. The homer, a fourth-inning solo shot, was the 19-year-old backstop's eighth this season in 71 games, during which he's produced a .231/.306/.404 batting line. Defensively, Naylor has thrown out 35 of 99 would-be basestealers (35.4 percent) in 61 games behind the plate, albeit while committing 12 errors and allowing 11 passed balls. Indians prospects stats »

Royals: Gabriel Cancel, 2B (No. 30) -- 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, BB (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)
Cancel, 22, went yard for a second straight game Saturday as he pushed his career-high total to 16 home runs in his first Double-A campaign. The 2015 seventh-rounder's homer, a three-run shot in the fourth inning, was one of two hits he collected in the contest, and he's now plated 61 runs in 86 games for Naturals while batting .261 with an .809 OPS. Royals prospects stats »

Tigers: Isaac Paredes, INF (No. 4, MLB No. 82) -- 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Double-A Erie)
Paredes helped pad Erie's early lead with a two-run homer in the third inning, but the SeaWolves' pitching staff allowed nine runs over the final five frames as they fell to Richmond, 9-7. The 20-year-old infielder has homered seven times in his first full Double-A campaign this season after clubbing a career-best 15 last year across two levels. And although his power has backed up a bit in the Eastern League, he continues to show a knack for barreling the ball as well as an advanced approach that yielded nearly as many walks (42) as strikeouts (44) in 86 games. Tigers prospects stats »

Twins: Royce Lewis, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 7) -- 2-for-4, R, BB (Class A Adv Fort Myers)
After notching two more hits Saturday in his second straight multihit game, Lewis is now batting .316 in 14 games this month after posting a combined .229 average during the first three months of the season. His .242 average and .297 OBP aside, the former No. 1 overall pick (2017) has quietly put together a solid campaign in the Florida State League, tallying 27 extra-base hits and 16 steals in 89 games for the Miracle. Twins prospects stats »

White Sox: Jonathan Stiever, RHP (No. 25) -- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 9 K (Class A Adv Winston-Salem)
Stiever, whom the White Sox took in the fifth round of last year's Draft, spun a gem Saturday as he recorded his sixth straight quality start since being promoted to Winston-Salem. The 22-year-old righty racked up nine strikeouts for a second straight start, matching his career-high mark, and ultimately faced three over the minimum in the dominant outing. Behind a plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s with late life, an above-average curveball and a quality changeup, Stiever has compiled 122 strikeouts in 113 innings this season while logging 20 starts between two levels. White Sox prospects stats »

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

A’s: Sean Murphy, C (No. 3, MLB No. 35) -- 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, BB (AZL Athletics Gold)
Murphy opened the season by batting .324 over 24 games in Triple-A and likely would already be in the Majors had he not required surgery in early May to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He returned to action in an Arizona League rehab assignment on July 13 and had collected one hit in his first 13 at-bats before breaking out Saturday with a solo home run. It shouldn't be long until the 24-year-old backstop is back with Triple-A Las Vegas, and provided he can stay healthy and establish rhythm on both sides of the ball, a late-season callup to the big leagues could be a possibility. Defense is Murphy's calling card -- he's one of the better defensive catchers in the Minors and has an absolute cannon for an arm -- but he also has the potential to make an impact from the right side of the plate. A's prospects stats »

Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF (No. 5) -- 3-for-5, R, RBI (Class A Burlington)
Adam's three-hit game was his third during his six-game hitting streak and gives the 2018 first-round pick a .372 average over his last 11 games in the Midwest League. After batting .182 in April, Adams, a tooled-up, 19-year-old outfielder, has steadily improved as the season's unfolded, showing better feel to hit, solid plate discipline and even some pop. After Saturday's performance, he's hitting .250/.340/.349 with 20 extra-base hits (6 HR), 11 steals and 42 walks through 86 games in his first full season. Angels prospects stats »

Astros: Brandon Bielak, RHP (No. 12) -- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K (Triple-A Round Rock)
Bielak brought a no-hitter into the seventh when the Baby Cakes' best hitter, Isan Diaz, connected on a double to keep the righty from making history. Still, it was a fantastic outing for the 23-year-old out of Notre Dame, drafted in the 11th round in 2017, who earned an in-season promotion after eight solid appearances for the Corpus Christi Hooks to start the season. If Bielak had enough innings pitched to qualify, he'd rank eighth in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League with his 4.71 ERA.
Astros prospects stats »

Mariners: Noelvi Marte, SS (No. 10) -- 3-for-5, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (DSL Mariners)
The 17-year-old Marte had easily the best game of his pro debut Saturday, as he hit his third homer of the Dominican Summer League season while collecting a season-high eight total bases and four runs batted in. Marte is a speed-first prospect, receiving a grade of 70 as a runner, but he's not just fast on the bases. Scouts like his batspeed, and if he's able to turn that into extra-base pop to go along with his elite footspeed, he could turn into a very special prospect. First things first, he'll need to keep raking in the DSL, where he's batting .268 with 15 extra-base hits in 37 games.
Mariners prospects stats »

Rangers: Nick Solak, 2B/OF (No. 10) -- 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Triple-A Nashville)
That's now three homers in two games for Solak, the recently acquired utility man previously part of the Rays' organization. It brings him to 20 on the season, a new career-high, besting the 19 he hit last season as a member of the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. The Sounds have deployed Solak as a second baseman exclusively, while the Rays' affiliates gave him time at second, left, and center at various points in his career, along with a few innings at third.
Rangers prospects stats »

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Alex Jackson, C (No. 22) -- 1-for-4, HR (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Jackson's 10th homer in 16 games put the Stripers on the board in the fourth inning, as they'd go on to win 5-1. Every blast the catcher hits until the end of the season just extends his career high in the category, and he's 15 RBIs away from matching his pro best in that stat, as well. Jackson saw a brief promotion to Atlanta earlier this season, but his recent play has him knocking on the door for what could be a longer stay on the Major League roster.
Braves prospects stats »

Marlins: Will Stewart, LHP (No. 21) -- 8 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (Class A Adv Jupiter)
The big story for the Hammerheads on Saturday was supposed to be the arrival of the Marlins' top Draft pick JJ Bleday, who made his pro debut and connected on a single. But the headliner quickly became Stewart, who carried a perfect game into the sixth and a no-hitter into the ninth, when his career-high 108th pitch turned into a double to keep him from making history. He was then replaced by a reliever who would allow that runner to score, making his start look less impressive than it truly was. Stewart needed this sort of outing, as he was only 3-8 with a 5.91 ERA entering the contest.
Marlins prospects stats »

Mets: Patrick Mazeika, C/1B (No. 25) -- 2-for-5, 2 HR (Double-A Binghamton)
Mazeika extended his hitting streak to nine games in style on Saturday as he recorded his first career two-homer game in Binghamton's 8-2 win against Akron. The former eighth-round pick (2015) out of Stetson started the scoring for the Rumble Ponies with a first-inning solo shot and then added a second solo blast in the fifth as he upped his season total to 12 home runs, a career high. What's more, the 25-year-old is batting .256/.324/.462 through 77 games in his second tour of the Double-A level after slashing .231/.328/.363 with nine homers in 87 games in 2018. Mets prospects stats »

Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B (No. 1, MLB No. 37) -- 2-for-4, 2 HR (Double-A Reading)
The Phillies' top pick in the 2018 Draft connected on a booming solo shot to opposite field, then followed it up with a blast to center to post his first career multihomer game. Bohm has been crushing the ball since joining the Fightin' Phils, hitting seven in 23 games ... the same number he hit in 62 games across Class A and Class A Advanced to start the season. If he continues to stick at the hot corner and hit for power and average, a spot in the Philadelphia lineup could open up for the Wichita State product sooner rather than later. Phillies prospects stats »

Nationals: Joan Adon, RHP (No. 20) -- 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (Class A Hagerstown)
What a season it has been for Joan Adon. The 20-year-old signed out of the Dominican was assigned to the bullpen for the first two years of his pro career, but entering 2019 everything changed. He's now pitching as a starter, and instead of racking up big strikeout totals but struggling with walks, he's turned into an efficient and effective starter who ranks third in the South Atlantic League with eight wins. He's getting more ground balls this season and keeping batters off balance, ranking ninth in the SAL with a .231 average against. Walks are still a bit of an issue, but they didn't hold him back on Saturday. The five-inning gem was his first scoreless start since May 19, but he's sprinkled in four outings of two earned runs or fewer between those clean starts. Adon is definitely a player to watch, as his new role and approach seem to be serving him well as a part of the Hagerstown rotation. Nationals prospects stats »

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Brewers: Lucas Erceg, 3B (No. 7) -- 2-for-3, R, 2 2B (Triple-A San Antonio)
Erceg is finally starting to heat up at the plate, with a .291 average, three home runs and three doubles over his last six games following Saturday's multihit performance. That being said, it's still been a challenging year in Triple-A for the 24-year-old third baseman, who's slashed just .205/.300/.413 in 84 games. With 14 home runs, Erceg has already surpassed his total from 2018, when he went deep 13 times for Double-A Biloxi, and he's one big fly shy of matching the career-high total he posted in 2017. Brewers prospects stats »

Cubs: Miguel Amaya, C (No. 2, MLB No. 75) -- 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Class A Adv Myrtle Beach)
Amaya was held hitless in his first two at-bats Saturday before he connected on a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning. The Pelicans' bullpen would then surrender five runs in the final two innings in a 5-4 loss to Salem. Amaya, 20, has gone deep eight times this season while posting a .717 OPS in 71 games, and he's kept the running game in check by throwing out 36.1 percent of attempted basestealers. Cubs prospects stats »

Cardinals: Ivan Herrera, C (No. 17) -- 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI (Class A Peoria)
Herrera, 19, continued his recent hot streak as he posted his third straight two-hit game for the Chiefs while hitting a home run and driving in four runs for a second time in that span. He put Peoria on the board in the first inning via a two-run homer, his eighth of the year, and later added a two-run single to pad the lead. With a .284/.374/.427 line, 17 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs through 64 games in his first full season -- following a .348/.423/.500 showing last year in the Gulf Coast League -- Herrera has emerged as one of the rising stars in the Cardinals' system. Cardinals prospects stats »

Pirates: Travis Swaggerty, OF (No. 3, MLB No. 63) -- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Class A Adv Bradenton)
Swaggerty was drafted in the first round last summer by the Pirates out of South Alabama as a consistent, across-the-board-tools kind of player. The expectation is that you'll get a little bit of everything from the 21-year-old, who has shown a bit of pop (eight homers), a bit of plate discipline (43 walks, fifth in the Florida State League), and a bit of speed (16 steals). He's batting only .247, a number most would expect to see rise based on his profile as a hitter, but his all-around game is shining through in his first full season as a pro. Pirates prospects stats »

Reds: Michael Beltre, OF (No. 15) -- 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB (Class A Adv Daytona)
Beltre, 24, opened the season with Double-A Chattanooga but was recently demoted to Class A Advanced Daytona after batting .220/.309/.295 in 53 games in the Southern League. After an 0-for-3 showing in his return to the Florida State League, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound outfielder recorded a four-hit game Friday before hitting a three-run homer Saturday that proved the difference in the Tortugas' 4-1 win over Lakeland in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Reds prospects stats »

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

D-backs: Kristian Robinson, OF (No. 5) -- 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI (Class A Short Season Hillsboro)
Robinson's two-run homer in the first inning was all the offense Hillsboro needed Saturday as it edged Eugene, 2-1, in Northwest League action. The 18-year-old outfielder, whom the D-backs signed for $2.5 million out of the Bahamas in July 2017, has been an offensive force so far this season, hitting .328/.388/.568 with six homers, 10 doubles and 25 RBIs in 32 games for the Hops. D-backs prospects stats »

Dodgers: Jeter Downs, SS/2B (No. 7) -- 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI (Class A Adv Rancho Cucamonga)
Downs' first home run this month was a grand slam that helped power the Quakes in their win over Stockton. It was also the 20-year-old's 15th homer, extending his career-high total, and he's now hit at least 13 dingers in each of his two full-season campaigns to being his career. A Competitive Balance Round A pick by the Reds in 2017, Downs was acquired by the Dodgers in December in the deal that send Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and others to Cincinnati. Dodgers prospects stats »

Giants: Marco Luciano, SS (No. 3) -- 2-for-4, HR (AZL Giants Orange)
Luciano is making a name for himself as one of the more exciting teenage prospects in baseball this season with his stellar campaign in the Arizona League. Through 24 games, the 17-year-old shortstop is slashing a robust .344/.447/.708 with eight home runs, 17 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. His multihit performance on Saturday was his third in his past four games, and, overall, he's notched at least one hit in all but six games. Giants prospects stats »

Padres: Luis Patiño, RHP (No. 3, MLB No. 39) -- 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K (Class A Adv. Lake Elsinore); Austin Allen, C (No. 14) -- 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 5 RBI (Triple-A El Paso)
Patiño takes over as the ace of the Lake Elsinore rotation after the Padres' top prospect MacKenzie Gore was promoted to Double-A Amarillo. That role suits Patiño just fine, as he demonstrated Saturday with yet another gem on the mound. The 19-year-old Colombian lowered his ERA to 2.93 thanks to his scoreless evening, his first run-free appearance of five innings or more since May 28. That's not to say he's been pitching poorly, as he's allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 16 appearances this year, but it was a sign of the true upside of a talented young arm in a system loaded with plenty of pitching talent. Allen didn't homer -- in fact, the Chihuahuas didn't homer as a team -- but he managed to drive in a season-high five runs via a single, sacrifice fly and a go-ahead three-run double in the 11th inning. Allen has split time with the Padres and El Paso this season, and his numbers at Triple-A have been incredible, as he's batting .300 with 35 RBIs in 43 games. Padres prospects stats »

Rockies: Sam Hilliard, OF (No. 9) -- 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB (Triple-A Albuquerque)
Hilliard did everything he could to propel the 'Topes to victory, but a huge 11th inning from Allen and the Chihuahuas would prove to be too much. Hilliard connected on homer No. 28 this season, second in the Pacific Coast League behind Kevin Cron's 29. The 6-foot-5 slugger was drafted in 2015 out of Wichita State and has worked his way up the Colorado system year-by-year, making his first trip through the hitter-friendly PCL this season and showing that he can take advantage of the higher elevations, thinner air and all-around batter-centric conditions out west. His Major League club plays in a similar environment, so they will have a watchful eye on how he performs as they look to make roster moves down the stretch and as MLB rosters expand. Rockies prospects stats »

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.