First-rounders set bar for top prospects

March 13th, 2021

Certain expectations come with being a first-round pick. On Friday, the Padres' CJ Abrams (No. 6 overall selection of 2019) and White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet (No. 11 overall selection of 2020) showed they have the skills to fit the bill.

Abrams, MLB's No. 8 prospect, boasts 80-grade speed and entered San Diego's 5-4 loss to Oakland as a pinch-runner in the fifth inning. It was his bat, though, that garnered attention. The left-handed-hitting shortstop stepped in against A's righty Daulton Jefferies and drilled the first pitch he saw over the fence in left-center for a three-run jack.

It was the first spring home run for the 20-year-old Georgia native, who's 5-for-21 (.238) over 10 Cactus League games. He tripled against the D-backs on March 2 and has three stolen bases.

Abrams spent his debut summer of '19 predominantly in the Rookie-level Arizona League, batting .401 with 14 steals in 32 games, but went 2-for-8 with a double, a walk and a steal during two games for Class A Fort Wayne.

Crochet, meanwhile, proved too nasty for Rangers hitters over a perfect inning of Chicago's 3-2 loss to Texas. Entering in the sixth, the 6-foot-6 southpaw got Brock Holt to line out, then whiffed David Dahl and Bubba Thompson looking in succession.

The 21-year-old Tennessee product and No. 56 prospect has been lights-out in limited Cactus League play, going unscored upon while fanning three and allowing one hit and two walks over three innings across three appearances. Capable of hitting triple-digits with his fastball and equipped with an above-average slider, Crochet made five appearances for the White Sox in 2020, holding the opposition to three hits, hitting a batter and striking out eight over six shutout innings.

More top prospect performers from Friday:

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CWS (MLB No. 14)
Starting at first base and batting cleanup, Vaughn reached three times, delivering a pair of singles and a walk and scoring. The 22-year-old Cal product has been a steady performer this spring, going 7-for-20 (.350) with a homer, a double and six walks over nine games. Vaughn went through three levels after being drafted third overall in 2019, wrapping up with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and putting together a .278/.384/.449 slash line over 55 games. Gameday »

Luis Campusano, C, SD (MLB No. 45)
The backstop roped his second base hit of the spring with a laser double to center field in the first inning off Sergio Romo. It was the third hit for the Padres prospect in six Cactus League games. Campusano clubbed a dinger in his Major League debut with the Padres last season. Gameday »

Jordan Groshans, SS, TOR (MLB No. 46 )
The 21-year-old entered the game as a defensive replacement at short in the sixth. In his only at-bat of the game in the seventh, the Blue Jays prospect plated Reese McGuire from third with a sacrifice fly to deep left field. It was the first RBI for Groshans in seven at-bats this spring. Gameday »

Jeter Downs, SS, BOS (MLB No. 49)
The Red Sox prospect continued swinging his hot bat this spring with a hard-hit single into right on the only pitch of the game he saw. Downs is 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs across nine Grapefruit League appearances. The 22-year-old batted .301 across two levels of the Minors in 2019. Gameday »

Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD (MLB No. 57)
Ruiz made his spring debut as a pinch-hitter for DJ Peters with the bases loaded in the seventh, and scorched a double into right to drive in a pair of runs. Ruiz appeared in two games with the Dodgers last season and went 2-for-8 with a homer. Gameday »

Geraldo Perdomo, SS, ARI (MLB No. 79)
In his only plate appearance of the game, the D-backs prospect ripped a base hit through the left side of the infield that brought in a pair of runs for Arizona. It marked the second multi-RBI game for Perdomo this spring. The 21-year-old drove in 47 runs across two levels of the Minors in 2019. Gameday »

Heliot Ramos, OF, SF (MLB No. 82)
The Giants prospect turned in his fourth multi-hit effort of the spring on Friday. Ramos was a defensive replacement in the fifth in right before knocking an RBI single to center in the sixth and then leading off the eighth with an infield knock to third. The 21-year-old is batting .450 across eight Cactus League games. Gameday »

Nick Maton, SS, PHI
The Phillies prospect unloaded a three-run dinger to right off the Orioles' Paul Fry in the sixth. It was the first homer of the spring for Maton who is batting .294/.333/.588 in nine Grapefruit League games. The 24-year-old went yard seven times across two levels of the Minors in 2019. Gameday »

Connor Brogdon, RHP PHI
The right-hander extended this hitless streak to three innings this spring while fanning one without yielding a walk. Over three Grapefruit League appearances with the Phillies this year, Brogdon has posted three shutout frames without a walk and striking out three. The 26-year-old made nine appearances with Philadelphia last season and allowed just five hits with 17 punchouts over 11 1/3 innings. Gameday »

OF, Monte Harrison, MIA
For the second straight game Harrison collected an extra-base hit and an RBI. After entering as a pinch-runner for Starling Marte in the fifth and taking over center-field duties, the Marlins prospect turned on a 91.9 mph sinker from Tommy Hunter and laced it just inside the left-field foul line for an RBI double in the seventh. Harrison has been making solid contact all spring with exit velos well above 100 mph. Gameday »

Sam Hentges, LHP, CLE
The southpaw got the start for the Indians on Friday and did not allow a hit as he worked around a walk to whiff a pair over two innings. Hentges retired the first four batters he faced – striking out AJ Pollock and Max Muncy on three pitches apiece – before walking Chris Taylor, who was erased from the basepaths on an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. The 24-year-old is sporting a 1.20 WHIP and .235 average against in three appearances this spring. Gameday »

Bryce Ball, 1B, ATL
The Braves prospect notched his first multi-hit effort of the spring. Ball entered the game as a defensive replacement at first for Freddie Freeman in the fourth and led off the seventh with a base knock to right before punching a single the other way to left in the eighth. He scored later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk by Ehire Adrianza. Ball batted .329/.395/.628 during his first professional season in 2019. Gameday »

Trey Harris, OF, ATL
Harris recorded his first extra-base hit of the spring for Atlanta with a double that was hammered into left in the seventh. In his only other at-bat of the game, the Braves prospect found a hole on the right side of the infield for an RBI single. Harris has driven in 102 runs through his first two professional seasons in the Minors. Gameday »

Tyler Soderstrom, C, OAK
The A’s prospect entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and laced a double to right field. He came around to score his first run of the spring two batters later on a fielder’s choice. Soderstrom has a pair of doubles in five Cactus League at-bats. Gameday »

Yonathan Daza, OF, COL
The Rockies prospect did it all on Friday as he got a hit, drove in a run and stole home. Daza lined an RBI single to right in the seventh, and later in the inning pulled off a successful double steal with fellow prospect Jameson Hannah who swiped second while Daza slid home. The 27-year-old stole 96 career bags in the Minors. Gameday »

Ronnie Dawson, OF, HOU
Dawson clubbed a homer way out to right field, his first long ball of the spring, in the sixth inning. The 25-year-old outfielder fouled off a two-strike 100-mph fastball from Ryan Helsley, then worked the count full. On Helsley's seventh pitch, Dawson put the bat on the ball to produce a 103.1-mph exit velocity and tie the game for the Astros. Dawson hit 17 homers over 103 games for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2019. Gameday »

Nick Allen, SS, OAK
Allen roped a double to left in the seventh and scored later in the frame. It was the A’s prospect’s third knock of the spring and first for extra bases. Allen amassed 30 extra-base hits across 73 California League games in 2019. Gameday »

Buddy Reed, OF, OAK
Reed capped Oakland’s scoring with a two-run single in the seventh inning. Reed has driven in six runs for Oakland in 12 spring games. The 25-year-old finished with 50 RBIs at Double-A Amarillo in 2019. Gameday »