Moncada, Benintendi among top prospect performers Tuesday

Red Sox's top prospect hits his first Minor League grand slam, No. 3 prospect sets Salem club record

May 4th, 2016

After they were rained out to begin the week, Class A Advanced Salem continued their winning ways Tuesday with a doubleheader road sweep of Carolina.

Boston's elite prospect duo of Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi,'s Nos. 5 and 22 overall prospects, respectively, led Salem in its victories and have helped make Salem's offense one of the most dynamic in the Minors.

Moncada, Boston's No. 1 prospect paced Salem to a 15-3 win in game one of the twin bill as he connected on his first career grand slam -- giving him a career-high four RBIs -- and scored three times as part of a 2-for-3 performance. The home run was the first of the season for the 20-year-old second baseman, who also stole his 17th base. Meanwhile, Benintendi, the club's No. 3 prospect went 2-for-4 at the plate to extend his hitting streak to 20 games, a new club record for Salem.

The night cap saw Moncada deliver a game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning, his only hit in three at-bats, and then score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to seal Salem's second win on the day. Unsurprisingly, Benintendi tacked on another game to his record hitting streak for Salem, going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

The pair of victories has Salem sitting atop the Carolina League Southern division with a 17-8 record, and they've now won six straight games. Moncada is hitting .329/.463/.471 with 25 runs scored in 23 games for Salem this season, while Benintendi has raked at a .371/.436/.639 clip in 24 games, with 18 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

No. 3 overall prospect J.P. Crawford (Phillies' No. 1) connected on his second home run of the season as Double-A Reading fell to New Hampshire in 10 innings, 4-3. The 21-year-old shortstop hasn't shown much power in 2016 but otherwise has been solid, hitting .277/.417/.398 with 17 runs scored and more walks (20) than strikeouts (17).

• After an ankle injury cost him the first month of the season, No. 21 overall prospect Jose De Leon (Dodgers' No. 2) was nothing short of dominant in his 2016 debut for Triple-A Oklahoma City as he piled up nine strikeouts in five scoreless innings in a 2-0 loss to New Orleans. The right-hander allowed two hits and one walk in the outing while throwing 53 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

No. 39 overall prospect Brent Honeywell (Rays' No. 2) improved to 3-0 for Class A Advanced Charlotte with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a win against Jupiter. He scattered four hits and walked one while striking out a season-high nine hitters, and he has has yet to yield more than one earned run in his six starts for the Stone Crabs. Honeywell owns a 0.98 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 40/5 K/BB in 36 2/3 innings on the season.

No. 47 overall prospect Dominic Smith (Mets' No. 1) paced Double-A Binghamton in a 13-2 rout of Portland, going 3-for-6 with his third home run and four RBIs. The 20-year-old hit .196 through his first 12 Double-A games but has since made up for the slow start, with a .375 (15-for-40) average, two homers and 13 RBIs in his last 10 contests for Binghamton.

"It wasn't too frustrating," Smith told of his slow start. "I know there's a lot of things you have to adjust to. This level is the toughest level before the big leagues. There's a lot of top prospects you have to face day in and day out. There's a lot of different variables you have to account for when you come to Double-A."

No. 50 overall prospect Jameson Taillon (Pirates' No. 4) continued his run of early-season dominance with seven scoreless innings for Triple-A Indianapolis in a 1-0, 12-inning win against Durham. The 24-year-old righty gave up a hit to the second batter of the game before retiring 16 straight -- a stretch that ended when he issued his lone walk with two outs in the sixth inning. After missing all of 2014 and '15 due to injuries, Taillon has posted a stellar 1.19 ERA and 26/3 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings (five starts) this season.

No. 51 overall prospectJake Thompson (Phillies' No. 2) turned in his best start of the season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, allowing one earned run on two hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out four in the outing, also inducing 10 ground-ball outs. At the plate, No. 60 prospect Nick Williams (Phillies' No. 3) delivered a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to lead the Iron Pigs past Pawtucket, 6-4.

No. 69 overall prospect Archie Bradley (D-backs' No. 2) struck out 11 hitters -- a new career-high for him at the Triple-A level -- in seven innings as Reno edged Fresno, 3-2. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks in the outing, with 75 of his season-high 114 pitches going for strikes. Bradley, 23, has been sharp in his last three starts for the Aces, during which he's 2-0 with 25 strikeouts in 19 innings.

Giants No. 5 prospect Chris Shaw homered for Class A Advanced San Jose in a win against Stockton for a second straight day, going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run and four RBIs. The 2015 first-rounder is hitting .372/.439/.663 with 20 RBIs in 22 games in his first full pro campaign, and he's been particularly hot during his current 10-game hitting streak, with a robust .487 average and all five homers in that span.

Nationals No. 5 prospect Reynaldo Lopez struck out a season-high seven hitters in 6 1/3 innings (also a season-high) in his best start of 2016 for Double-A Harrisburg, though it was Chris Bostick (Nationals' No. 30) who gave the Senators the win over Hartford with his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th.

• Fresh off of winning Florida State League Player of the Week honors, Reds No. 23 prospect Aristides Aquino went 3-for-5 with his fifth home run and two RBIs in Class A Advanced Daytona's win over Lakeland. The 22-year-old has slugged all five of his homers in his past six games, during which he's hitting .546 (12-for-22) with 11 RBIs and eight runs scored.

"We looked at some film and saw that his hips were flying open pretty bad," Daytona hitting coach Travis Dawkins told of Aquino. "We started doing drills about a week ago to keep his hips in so he'd stay square. He's been tearing it up ever since and he's feeling good. It's all about his approach right now. He's taking some good pitches, he's gotten into a good rhythm and is hitting the ball well right now."

• A day after hitting a pair of doubles as part of a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, Tigers No. 10 prospect Steven Moya one-upped himself on Tuesday by going 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double and five RBIs in Triple-A Toledo's 12-5 win over Gwinnett. The 24-year-old has been a force for the Mud Hens this season, with a .313 average, seven home runs, nine doubles and 20 RBIs in 23 games.