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Wednesday's top prospect performers

August 22, 2018

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.The White Sox welcomed top pitching prospect Michael Kopech to the big leagues on Tuesday night. A year from now, the club could be doing the same with Dylan Cease.:: Complete prospect coverage ::Cease, the White

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.
The White Sox welcomed top pitching prospect Michael Kopech to the big leagues on Tuesday night. A year from now, the club could be doing the same with Dylan Cease.
:: Complete prospect coverage ::
Cease, the White Sox No. 5 prospect (No. 44 overall), added to his dominant second half in Double-A by tossing five scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in a no-decision for Birmingham against Jacksonville. He permitted two hits and two walks and threw 60 of 103 pitches for strikes. The game was suspended due to rain with no score after the top of the fifth inning.
Cease issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Lewis Brinson but struck out the next three batters in order to end the first inning. He also struck out the side in the fifth, pitching around a two-out double en route to his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.
Cease has been remarkable since his June 21 promotion to Southern League, going 3-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 10 starts. Working 52 1/3 innings across those outings, the 22-year-old right-hander has registered 78 strikeouts against 22 walks while allowing just three home runs. Opposing hitters, meanwhile, are batting just .168 against him.
Overall, Cease is 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 23 starts this season between Birmingham and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. He's totaled 160 strikeouts and 50 walks in 124 innings while holding hitters to a paltry .189 clip.
Other top prospect performances from Wednesday's action:
• No. 8 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 2) hit a solo homer for Triple-A Fresno in the top of the seventh inning and then tied the game with a grand slam in the ninth. It was the second multi-homer performance this season by the 21-year-old outfielder, who finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs, three runs scored, a walk and a steal. With 19 home runs and 18 steals, Tucker is nearing his second straight 20 homer-20 steal season after he posted 25 and 21, respectively, in 2017.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Tucker belts game-tying slam in 9th - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2418296683

• No. 22 overall prospect Luis Urias (Padres' No. 4) went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles as he extended his hitting streak to 11 games for Triple-A El Paso. The 21-year-old second baseman has turned in seven multihit performances during his streak while improving his average from .270 to .294. What's more, he's batting .432/.482/.689 with 32 hits, 13 extra-base hits and 17 runs scored in 20 games this month.
• No. 40 overall prospect Wander Franco (Rays' No. 4) had another Wander Franco-like game, going 2-for-2 with a three-run homer, a walk and a hit-by-pitch in the opener of Rookie-level Princeton's doubleheader. He failed to collect a hit in the nightcap -- snapping a five-game hitting streak -- but did reach twice via a walk to finish the day 2-for-5 with three walks and three runs scored. Roughly three years younger than his peers in the Appalachian League, the 17-year-old shortstop is leading the circuit in average (.374), hits (80), RBIs (56) and total bases (136). He also ranks third home runs (tied, 11), runs scored (46) and slugging (.636).
• No. 66 overall prospect Jarred Kelenic (Mets' No. 3) went 4-for-7 with a home run, double and four RBIs on the day to help lead Rookie-level Kingsport in a doubleheader sweep of Bristol. The 2017 first-round pick notched both of his extra-base hits in the opener and then added a 2-for-3, two-RBIs performance. Making his Kingsport debut in the nightcap, starter Simeon Woods Richardson (No. 23), the Mets' second-rounder in June, struck out five over three perfect innings. The 17-year-old right-hander has not allowed an earned run in 14 1/3 professional innings.
Astros No. 22 prospect J.J. Matijevic went deep twice for Class A Advanced Buies Creek in his fourth multi-homer game of the season. The 22-year-old outfielder hit a solo homer in his first at-bat and added a two-run shot in his next trip to the plate to finish 2-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs scored and a walk. The pair of homers gives Matijevic 20 this season in 91 games between Buies Creek and Class a Quad Cities.
Indians No. 2 prospect Nolan Jones hit a game-tying double and scored the winning run as Class A Advanced Lynchburg edged Potomac in 10 innings, 7-6. He finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, as Jones had previously tallied an RBI single followed by a two-run homer in his first two trips to the plate. The 20-year-old third baseman's 19 home runs ranks second among Indians farmhands, and he's produced an overall line of .285/.402/.480 with 77 walks in 108 games across two levels.
Indians No. 16 prospect Aaron Civale tossed seven scoreless innings in Double-A Akron's 1-0 win over Erie. He mixed five hits with one walk while striking out six and generating another eight outs on the ground. The 23-year-old right-hander was 0-5 with a 7.68 ERA over his previous 34 innings (seven starts). Nick Sandlin (Indians' No. 18) entered in relief and notched a strikeout en route to a perfect frame and the win in his Double-A debut. The 2018 second-rounder has compiled a 1.31 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 20 2/3 relief innings across four levels in his pro debut.
• Making his Double-A debut, Rangers No. 8 prospectJoe Palumbo tossed five innings of one-run ball to lead Frisco past San Antonio, 4-3, and earn the win. He struck out eight, allowed three hits and walked one while finding the zone with 51 of 82 pitches. Fully healthy after Tommy John surgery wiped out much of his 2017 campaign, Palumbo, a 23-year-old lefty, posted a 2.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 27 frames (six starts) en route to a Double-A promotion.
Rays No. 12 prospect Vidal Brujan had a monster game out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored to power Class A Advanced Charlotte past Bradenton, 8-3. He also reached twice via a walk and stole three bases. For context: No player MLB history has had three hits, four runs, two home runs, five RBIs and three stolen bases in a game.
The 20-year-old second baseman is slashing .436/.544/.745 over 15 games in the Florida State League and owns a .329/.415/.468 line with 103 runs, 142 hits (8 HR, 7 3B, 22 2B -- all career highs), 53 stolen bases (second most in the Minors) and more walks (61) than strikeouts (58) in 110 games across two levels.

MILB Video - Title: Watch: Brujan launches his second homer of the game - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2417341383

Twins No. 6 prospect Trevor Larnach, the club's first-round pick in the 2018 Draft, finished a triple short of the cycle in Class A Cedar Rapids' win over Beloit. He went 3-for-5 in the contest, hitting a double as well as his fourth pro homer, to improve his Kernels average to .317 through 15 games. Blayne Enlow (No. 9) picked up the win on the mound after allowing one earned run on four hits with one walk a season-high eight strikeouts in five innings. The 19-year-old righty has allowed one or fewer earned runs in three straight starts.

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