The ball was flying out of the yard for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, as Jeimer Candelario, Mark Zagunis and Victor Caratini all hit home runs to power the Cubs past Omaha, 6-4.
Candelario, the Cubs' No. 4 prospect and No. 84 on the Top 100, was the last of the trio to join the home-run party, though it was his two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning which ultimately proved the difference in the victory. It was the second homer in three games and ninth of the season for Candelario, who's slashed .268/.357/.521 with 33 extra-base hits (21 doubles) and 40 RBIs in 60 games.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Candelario goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1522285183
Caratini actually was first to go deep in the contest, and it was his solo homer in the second inning which started the scoring for Iowa. The Cubs' No. 12 prospect finished 2-for-4 at the plate and was the only Iowa player to score two runs. The 23-year-old catcher has seven home runs on the season, and he's now hitting .339/.382/.524 with 49 RBIs after Tuesday's multihit performance.
As for Zagunis, the Cubs' No. 6 prospect connected on his team-leading 11th home run, a solo shot in the third inning, before finishing 2-for-4 with one walk out of the leadoff spot. Though he's hitting .249 this season, Zagunis' advanced approach (48 BB, 60 K) has helped him produce a .399 on-base percentage, which, somewhat amazingly, is below his .401 career mark.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday
• No. 29 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 2) hit a solo homer in the first inning before adding a key two-run double in the eighth and finishing 2-for-4 in Double-A Corpus Christi's win over San Antonio. The homer was the 20-year-old outfielder's 13th of the season and fourth as a member of the Hooks. He's now hitting .250/.300/.488 in 20 games since being promoted from Class A Advanced Buies Creek.
MILB Video - Title: Tucker rips solo homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1521215583
• No. 44 overall prospect Franklin Barreto (A's No. 1) went 4-for-6 with a stolen base as Triple-A Nashville split a doubleheader with New Orleans. In the nightcap, Matt Olson (No. 16) belted a three-run walk-off homer, giving him 17 homers for the season and sole possession of second place on the Pacific Coast League leaderboard.
• No. 48 overall prospect Yohander Mendez (Rangers' No. 2) turned in one of his better performances for Double-A Frisco, as he tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball with seven strikeouts in a victory over Midland. The outing marked the third time in four starts that the 22-year-old southpaw has allowed one or fewer earned runs, and he's completed at least six innings in 12 straight starts.
MILB Video - Title: Mendez notches seventh strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1521170983
"He got the leadoff batter every inning, so that's always a plus," Frisco pitching coach Brian Shouse told MiLB.com. "And then that just snowballs into continuing to make good pitches to the second hitter, to the third hitter, and it just continues to carry over. He was attacking with his pitches, with his fastball, with his secondary. Guys were getting in swing mode and he was getting quick outs."
• No. 63 overall prospect Matt Manning (Tigers' No. 1) recorded nine of his 13 outs via the strikeout in a dominant season debut for Class A Short Season Connecticut. The 19-year-old righty, whom the Tigers selected with the ninth-overall pick in 2016, scattered three hits and walked one while throwing 53 of his 73 pitches for strikes.
"After the first pitch, I can kind of know if the day is going to be good or bad," Manning told MiLB.com. "I felt pretty good going through the first two batters, so I just rolled with it.
"I'm working on keeping the ball in the zone and hitting my spots instead of trying to throw a fastball as hard as I can," he added. "I'm not worried about my velocity as long as I'm hitting my spots."
• No. 74 overall prospect Grant Holmes (A's No. 3) may have been outdueled by Mendez, but the 21-year-old right-hander impressed in his own right as he allowed one unearned run in six innings while yielding eight hits and striking out seven. After a tough start to his season, Holmes has not allowed an earned run in two of his last three turns for RockHounds.
• Brewers' No. 22 prospect Monte Harrison connected on pair of home runs, hitting a solo shot in the seventh followed by a two-run shot in the ninth, en route to MVP honors in the Class A Midwest League All-Star Game. The 21-year-old outfielder hit 11 homers in 63 games for Class A Wisconsin during the first half, all while posting a .265/.359/.475 slash line with 11 steals.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Harrison launches 2nd homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1520502983
• Dodgers' No. 21 prospect Edwin Rios notched a pair of extra-base hits, though none more notable than his three-run homer in the fifth inning that powered Double-A Tulsa to a 4-2 win over Springfield. It was the second straight game with a homer for the 23-year-old third baseman, who's hitting .323/.362/.556 with 14 home runs and a Texas League-leading 55 RBIs.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Rios launches homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1522285783
• Mariners' No. 13 prospect Braden Bishop used a 4-for-4 night at the plate out of the leadoff spot to pace the North All-Stars to a win in the California League All-Star Game, while also winning the game's MVP honors. Two of those hits were for extra bases, as he tallied a double in his first at-bat followed by a triple in his final trip to the plate, and he also scored three runs and swiped a pair of bags. He hit .309/.411/.403 with 57 runs scored and 13 stolen bases in 62 games for Class A Advanced Modesto during the first half.
• Tigers' No. 10 prospectSandy Baez set a career high as a he struck out 11 batters over seven innings in a no-decision for Class A Advanced Lakeland. He allowed one earned run on two hits and one walk in the performance, which saw him throw 62 of his 92 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old right-hander has dominated across his last three starts, posting a 0.95 ERA with 27 strikeouts and six hits allowed in 19 innings.