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Here are Thursday's 10 best prospect performances

August 23, 2019

Here are the 10 best performances by players on team Top 30 Prospects lists from across the Minor Leagues on Thursday:

Here are the 10 best performances by players on team Top 30 Prospects lists from across the Minor Leagues on Thursday:

Top prospect performers

Brewer Hicklen, OF, Royals No. 15
Hicklen is on an absolute tear and doesn’t appear to be slowing down for Class A Advanced Wilmington. After hitting two homers in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday, he upped the ante with the first three-homer game of his career Thursday. Hicklen, seventh-round pick from the 2017 Draft, has five homers over the past two days and hits in seven straight games. After going deep in the third, fifth and eighth innings, Hicklen is hitting .271 with 14 homers. Royals prospect stats »

Kevin Smith, SS, Blue Jays No. 14
Smith is closing in on his second straight 20-homer season after going deep twice on Thursday for Double-A New Hampshire. The Blue Jays’ No. 14 prospect went deep in both the fourth and fifth innings on his way to a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance. Smith, who now has a pair of multihomer games this season, has homered 19 times this season and did the bulk of his damage in July, during which he hit eight homers in 20 games. Blue Jays prospect stats »

Cole Roederer, OF, Cubs No. 6
Roederer hadn’t homered since Aug. 1, so he decided to make up for lost time and make a couple trips around the bases for Class A South Bend. The 2018 Draft pick (77th overall), who is the Cubs’ No. 6 prospect, bumped his season home run total to nine as he went deep in the fifth and seventh innings and finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs in his second multi-homer game of the year. Roederer, 19, is hitting .221 through 99 games this season and although he has advanced bat-to-ball skills, he gets overly aggressive at times. Cubs prospect stats »

Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Pirates No. 8
Bae did a little bit of everything in Class A Greensboro’s win over Delmarva. Not only did he extend his hitting streak to five games, but he did so while matching his career high for hits (4-for-5) and setting a career high with five RBIs. Oh, and he also stole his 29th base of the season. Bae, who doubled twice in the contest, has swung the bat well all year and is hitting .319 through 76 games. Pirates prospect stats »

Dylan Carlson, OF and Luken Baker, 1B, Cardinals Nos. 2 and 27
Baker hit his ninth homer of the year and finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs as he extended his hitting streak to five games for Class A Advanced Palm Beach. The 2018 Draft pick struggled a bit over the summer, but has caught fire lately. Baker has hits in 15 of the 17 games he’s played this month and is also hitting .367 in the span. The 22-year-old has an advanced approach at the plate and has not only shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields, but is able to drive the ball to all fields as well.

Carlson has had absolutely no trouble adjusting to life at the Triple-A level. In fact, he's feated on Triple-A pitching. It's only been eight games since Carlson has been a member of Triple-A Memphis, but after Thursday's 2-for-5 performance, which included a homer, Carlson has hits in all eight games, has posted six straight multihit efforts and is batting .552/.606/.931 at the highest level of Minor League Baseball. Cardinals prospect stats »

Paul Richan, RHP, Tigers No. 19
Richan, a 2018 Draft pick acquired from the Cubs at the Trade Deadline, set a career-high as he cruised through eight scoreless innings and struck out seven for Class A Advanced Lakeland. He threw 65 of his 102 pitches for strikes in what was his best start since the trade. Prior to Thursday’s outing, Richan, the Tigers' No. 19 prospect, had made a trio of starts in the Tigers’ organization and given up 10 earned runs over 16 2/3 innings. Tigers prospect stats »

Spencer Howard, RHP, Phillies No. 5
After giving up four runs over five innings in his last start, Howard bounced back with six strong innings for Double-A Reading. The Phillies’ No. 5 prospect gave up just one unearned and struck out seven over six innings, while throwing 52 of his 81 pitches for strikes. Howard, 23, got off to a fast start as he retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and ended the night having lowered his Double-A ERA to 2.52. The 2017 second-round pick has made just five starts with Reading, but has been impressive all year as he pitched to a 1.27 ERA across seven starts with Class A Advanced Clearwater prior to his promotion. Phillies prospect stats »

James Kaprielian, RHP Athletics No. 13
Back on the mound after Tommy John surgery, James Kaprielian, the Athletics’ No. 13 prospect, is showing why he was a first-round Draft pick back in 2015. The UCLA product threw 42 of his 59 pitches for strikes Thursday as he struck out six and yielded just one hit over five scoreless innings. Kaprielian, who missed all of 2017 and 2018, began the year with Class A Advanced Stockton before he worked his way up to Midland. With the RockHounds, Kaprielian has made six appearances (four starts) and pitched to a 1.96 ERA with 21 strikeouts over 23 innings. Athletics prospect stats »

Heliot Ramos, OF, Giants No. 1
Ramos reminded everyone of his impressive power with his second Double-A homer as part of a 2-for-4 night for Richmond. The 19-year-old, who has posted three multihit efforts over his past four games, now has a career-high 15 homers this season and is hitting .295 across two levels. Ramos, the Giants’ No. 2 prospect (No. 53 in MLB), got off to a slow start after his promotion to Double-A, but is 4-for-9 with a pair of extra-base hits over his past two games. Giants prospect stats »

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.