Saturday's top prospect performers
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.
White Sox fans are anxious to see Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech in the Majors, and the organization's top two prospects gave fans a glimpse of what they're capable of as they led Triple-A Charlotte to an 8-0 win over Rochester.
Jimenez (White Sox No. 1, No. 3 overall) went 2-for-5 with a homer, while Kopech (White Sox No. 2, No. 13 overall) struck out nine over seven scoreless innings.
After hitting a two-run homer in the third, Jimenez has 20 homers on the season (a career high) and has gone deep four times in the past nine games. Overall, he's hitting .365/.409/.683 in 33 games since being promoted from Double-A Birmingham, where he hit .317 in 53 contests.
MILB Video - Title: Jimenez hits two-run homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2374024083
On the mound, Kopech was dominant. The hard-throwing right-hander has given up two earned runs or fewer in six straight starts after spinning his latest gem.
Kopech got into a bit of trouble in the first as he hit a batter and then gave up a hit, but he escaped the inning and then struck out the side in the second. From there, he cruised through the rest of the game.
MILB Video - Title: Kopech's ninth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2374088983
The strikeouts and the zero in the runs column certainly stand out, but Kopech has struggled with command at points this year so it's especially notable that he threw 69 of his 96 pitches for strikes and didn't issue a walk.
Other top prospect performances from Saturday's action:
• No. 1 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) went deep for the fourth time in as many games as he launched a solo homer in the fourth inning for Triple-A Buffalo. Guerrero, who finished 2-for-4, has multiple hits in four of his past five games and is hitting .441 through 11 games at the Triple-A level. Overall, he's hitting .406 through 76 games this year.
MILB Video - Title: Guerrero Jr. homers again - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2373539083
• No. 43 overall prospect Austin Riley (Braves' No. 4) hit his first homer since July 7 as part of a 3-for-4 performance for Triple-A Gwinnett. Riley, who is 7-for-9 over the past two days, hit a solo homer in the fifth and also added a double.
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• No. 95 overall prospect Shane Baz (Pirates' No. 4) extended his scoreless streak to 9 2/3 innings with his second straight scoreless start for Rookie-level Bristol. Baz, whom the Pirates selected in the first-round of the 2017 Draft, struck out six and gave up three hits over five innings.
• Cubs No. 12 prospect Keegan Thompson's recent run of dominance continued with six scoreless innings for Double-A Tennessee. The right-hander threw 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes, gave up three hits and struck out three. Since getting lit up for eight runs in three innings on June 23, Thompson has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight straight starts.
• Marlins No. 29 prospect Austin Dean's second two-homer game of the year continued his recent hot streak for Triple-A New Orleans. After going 3-for-4 with a pair of homers, Dean is 10-for-14 (.714) with three homers and six RBIs over his past four games.
• Mets No. 6 prospect David Peterson cruised through one of his best starts of the season for Class A Advanced St. Lucie. The 22-year-old lefty needed just 72 pitches (47 strikes) to navigate his way through six scoreless frames. Peterson yielded just one hit, struck out nine and also retired 13 in a row at one point.
• Orioles No. 27 prospect Alex Wells nearly put together a repeat performance after throwing seven scoreless innings in his last start for Class A Advanced Frederick. Wells did give up a run, but that was all as he worked seven innings for the fourth time this season. The lefty threw 66 of his 90 pitches for strikes, didn't issue a walk and racked up seven strikeouts.
• Pirates No. 30 prospect Deon Stafford set a career high with six RBIs as part of a huge 3-for-5 performance for Class A West Virginia. The 22-year-old, a fifth-round pick from the 2017 Draft, did all his damage late in the game as he came through with a two-run double in the eighth and put the game out of reach with a grand slam in the ninth.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Stafford launches grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2376414583
• Rangers No. 5 prospect Hans Crouse fired six innings of one-run ball in his debut with Class A Hickory. After going 5-1 with a 2.37 ERA through eight starts with Class A Short Season Spokane, Crouse, a second-round pick from 2017, surrendered three hits, walked two and struck out three.
• Twins prospects Trevor Larnach (No. 6) and Gabriel Maciel (No. 17) combined for a trio of homers to help lead Class A Cedar Rapids to a win. Larnach, the Twins' first-round pick this year, went 2-for-5 with a homer, his third of the season and his first since joining the Kernels. Maciel, whom the Twins acquired in July, had a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of homers. The two-homer game was the first of Maciel's career and it comes as a bit of a shock considering he had hit just four homers in the first 190 games of his career.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Larnach goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2375494483
• Yankees No. 11 prospect Garrett Whitlock picked up the win and was nearly unhittable over five inning for Class A Advanced Tampa. Taking over in the fifth after the start by Yankees No. 4 prospect Albert Abreu, who was activated from the DL prior to the game, Whitlock spun five innings of one-hit ball. The 22-year-old only walked one as he threw 44 of his 70 pitches for strikes and struck out eight.