Top prospects in Minors: Phillips, Reed among 10 best Tuesday
Astros No. 6 prospect homers for third straight game and No. 12 prospect hits for the cycle for the JetHawks
Baseball's No. 97 overall prospect went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a three-run homer and has left the park in three straight contests. JetHawks teammate Reed is second in the Minors with 16 home runs, but Phillips is not far behind, with 14 of his own.
Phillips' .336/.392/.613 line, 19 doubles and 51 RBIs are some of the best numbers in the California League and he's hit five homers and knocked in 20 runs over the past 14 games.
A sixth-round pick in 2012, Phillips did not go yard in his first 95 professional contests, but he's collected 31 dingers in his most recent 191 games. His average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage have all increased over the past three seasons and he's on pace to blow by his career highs of 17 dingers and 68 RBIs, which he set last year.
The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers
• Angels No. 9 prospect Chris Ellis picked up his first Double-A win for Arkansas, giving up seven hits and one run while striking out three in six innings. The 6-foot-4 was nearly perfect in his first start on June 11, giving up three hits in six shutout innings, but he couldn't get a 'W' that day. Tuesday night, he moved to 1-0 with 0.75 ERA in two starts at the Double-A level.
• Cardinals No. 4 prospect Rob Kaminsky got back to .500 with a win for Class A Advanced Palm Beach. The 20-year-old went seven innings, giving up six hits and a run while striking out five. With the victory, he moved to 4-4 with a 2.42, and continues to sizzle - - Tuesday marked his fourth straight start in which Kaminsky did not allow more than one earned run.
• Cubs No. 6 prospect Duane Underwood was dominant for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, giving up just two hits against four strikeouts in seven shutout innings. After starting the season 5-0, Underwood dropped two of his next three starts. Tuesday marked a change in course for the right-hander, who is now 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA.
• Dodgers No. 4 prospect (No. 96 overall) Jose De Leon tossed a shortened complete game for Double-A Tulsa and snagged his first win for the Drillers. Rain ended the game with Tulsa leading 2-0 against Springfield in the bottom of the fifth. De Leon, however, managed to notch eight strikeouts in five innings while giving up just one hit. He stands at 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in five starts since getting called up on May 22.
• Nationals No. 10 prospect Austin Voth couldn't get a win on Tuesday, but he still provided an elite performance for Double-A Harrisburg. The right-hander gave up three hits and struck out three in seven shutout innings, marking his fourth straight quality start. He's still looking to get back to .500 and sports a 3-4 mark with a 3.22 ERA, his lowest since April 24.
• Phillies No. 13 prospect Cord Sandberg was perfect in the first game of a twin bill for Class A Lakewood, going 4-for-4 while also smacking his first home run of the season. Before Tuesday, he had managed only one three-hit game -- on April 28 -- and had struggled to stay above the Mendoza Line. Following an 0-for-3 performance in the second game of Lakewood's doubleheader, he's hitting .211, his highest average since May 28.
• Rockies No. 1 prospect (No. 13 overall) Jon Gray notched his sixth straight quality start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday night, giving up three hits and two runs in six innings of work. Gray struck out eight on the night, a new season-high. The right-hander hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any start since April 27. Tuesday continued a strong turnaround; his ERA sat at 10.70 in late April, but is down to 4.62 with a 3-5 record.
• Royals No. 11 prospect Christian Binford has finally settled down. The 6-foot-6 righty was demoted from Triple-A Omaha to Double-A Northwest Arkansas in May and proceeded to post an 0-2 record with a 6.83 ERA in five starts. But he put on a pitching clinic on Tuesday, giving up only one hit in five innings of action. The win was his first for the Naturals this season.