Top prospects star as No. 1 leads HR barrage

March 4th, 2021

Wander Franco’s first hit of the year was fit for a crowned prince.

MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect drilled a loud blast to right for the Rays, while fellow Top 100 prospects Jarred Kelenic, Bobby Dalbec and Taylor Trammell also homered.

Franco had been 0-for-5 through his first two spring games before digging in against Miguel Yajure in the second inning. The 20-year-old shortstop smashed the offering over the right-field fence. Batting seventh and getting the start at short, Franco added a single in the sixth and final frame. The consensus-No. 1 prospect for the second straight season possesses plus-plus potential all around, highlighted by an 80-grade hit tool.

Kelenic, who is known to hit for power and average, grounded out in the second before belting a two-run shot to left-center in the fourth. Selected sixth overall by the Mets in the 2018 Draft, Kelenic has quickly climbed the Mariners system since being a part of the Robinson Canó trade that December. The No. 4 overall prospect tallied a hit, a walk and a run in his camp debut on Sunday, but he went hitless on Tuesday.

Dalbec had nine multi-homer games in four Minor League seasons but Wednesday was his first for Boston. The No. 93 overall prospect led off the third with a dinger to right-center, then added a two-run shot in the fourth to the same location. Dalbec struck out in the fifth before being replaced at first.

Featuring plus power, Dalbec also homered in his spring debut on Sunday while reaching base twice on Monday. The 6-foot-4 infielder has split his time between first and third when not DHing.

More top prospect performers from Wednesday's action:

Adley Rutschman, C, BAL (MLB No. 2 prospect)
Rutschman ripped an RBI double to center after striking out twice and popping out. The 2019 first-overall pick has now matched his 2020 big league camp hit total at one, though he only played seven games last year. Rutschman batted sixth and was the designated hitter the whole game after coming in as a defensive replacement behind the plate on Tuesday. Gameday »

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC (MLB No. 7 prospect)
Playing the entire game at 2nd, Witt walked in his first plate appearance, then knocked an RBI single in the fifth inning, coming around to score both times. In his second Spring Training, the 2019 second-overall pick is 2-for-8 with a pair of RBIs and one strikeout in four games. Gameday »

Matt Manning, RHP, DET (MLB No. 25 prospect)
Entering in the fourth, Manning faced the minimum in his Spring Training debut. The Tigers’ No. 5 prospect erased a one-out single with a double play to log two scoreless frames. Manning struck out the first batter he faced but kept the ball on the ground for all but one of his final five outs. More »

Shane McClanahan, LHP, TB (MLB No. 84 prospect)
Last year, it took McClanahan two starts to get settled in to big league camp. This year, he’s lighting it up from the jump. The 23-year-old southpaw showcased his 70-grade fastball, touching 101 mph in the start. McClanahan allowed a leadoff single to Brian Goodwin before retiring the next three batters he faced, including a strikeout, for a scoreless inning. Gameday »

Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, TOR (MLB No. 87 prospect)
Richardson made his first Grapefruit League start a good one, turning in two hitless innings. The 20-year-old righty worked a 1-2-3 first and opened the second by punching out Giancarlo Stanton. He shrugged off a two-out walk to keep the slate clean. Woods Richardson, who came to the Blue Jays from the Mets in the 2019 Trade Deadline deal for Marcus Stroman, worked at the alternate training site last year. More »

Brett Baty, 3B, NYM (MLB No. 94 prospect)
In his first taste of big league camp, Baty made a big impact. The Mets' No. 4 prospect ripped a pinch-hit two-run double to center in the ninth. Baty was selected in the first round of the 2019 Draft and has 60-grade tools across the board. The left-handed hitter climbed three levels in his pro debut before getting looks at the alternate training site last summer. Gameday »

Taylor Trammell, OF, SEA (MLB No. 100 prospect)
Trammell saw teammate Kelenic's homer and decided he wanted one of his own. The Mariners' No. 6 prospect drilled a solo shot to center in the fifth. He also grounded out to first. Trammell is playing in his fourth big league camp, but first with Seattle following trades from the Reds and the Padres. Gameday »

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS After homering on Tuesday, Duran knocked an RBI double to center in his latest spring action. The left-handed batter now has hits in three of his four Grapefruit League games, going 3-for-7 with a walk and one strikeout. So far, Duran has played exclusively in center field. Gameday »

Jahmai Jones, 2B/OF, BAL Jones got the start at second and took advantage of the playing time. The 23-year-old went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, including an infield single that he earned with his wheels. This is Jones’ first Grapefruit League campaign after being traded from the Angels for Alex Cobb in February. Jones went 11-for-61 with four RBIs and four walks in 35 Cactus League games over five years. Gameday »

Connor Scott, OF, MIA In his first career big league camp game, Scott sliced a sac fly to right, then knocked an RBI single to pad the Marlins' lead. The 21-year-old left-hander came into the game in the fifth as a defensive replacement in center. Scott was the 13th overall pick in the 2018 Draft and reached High-A in 2019 before getting invited to the alternate training site last summer. Gameday »

Alek Manoah, RHP, TOR
Taking the ball after Woods Richardson, Manoah tossed a couple of shutout frames. After Jay Bruce welcomed him to the game with a single, the 23-year-old righty recorded a whiff and induced an inning-ending double-play ball. Monoah, a 2019 first-rounder, hit Aaron Judge with a pitch to open the fourth but struck out the next three in order. Gameday »