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Saturday's top prospect performers

@GoldenSombrero and @wboor
August 11, 2019

Here's a look at Saturday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list: AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST Blue Jays: Nate Pearson, RHP (No. 2, MLB No. 14) -- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K (Double-A New Hampshire) Pearson had a shaky second inning, allowing

Here's a look at Saturday's top Minor League performers from each team's Top 30 Prospects list:


Blue Jays: Nate Pearson, RHP (No. 2, MLB No. 14) -- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K (Double-A New Hampshire)
Pearson had a shaky second inning, allowing a run on two hits and two walks, but he rebounded to record a quality start, striking out eight in a no-decision against Erie. He allowed just four hits, including a two-out solo homer in the sixth inning, and threw 61 of 93 pitches for strikes. The 22-year-old right-hander and former first-round pick (2017) has asserted him as one of the baseball's best pitching prospects this season. Saturday's outing gives Pearson a 2.84 ERA in 15 starts for New Hampshire, and he's now fanned 98 batters in 78 innings across two levels. Blue Jays prospects stats »

Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (No. 2, MLB No. 47) -- 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K (Class A Delmarva)
Rodriguez has been a bit inconsistent over his past four starts, struggling in two of them and dealing in the others. His start on Saturday fell into the latter category, as the 2018 first-rounder matched his career high by striking out 10 batters in five hitless frames. It marks the fourth time in 17 starts this season that GrayRod has fanned exactly 10 batters, and, overall, he's racked up 111 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings. He's piled up those whiffs while also posting a 2.69 ERA and opponents' average under .190. Orioles prospects stats »

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 1) -- 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI (Class A Advanced Charlotte)
It's hard to keep the No. 1 overall prospect down for long. Franco proved as much with a multihit performance on Saturday. The 18-year-old was 0-for-10 over his past three games and hadn't turned in a multihit effort since late July, but Franco quickly rectified that. The 2017 signee has raked all year despite playing against older competition. Franco is hitting .318 across two levels (100 games) this season and has hit .331 over 161 games in his career. Rays prospects stats »

Red Sox: Thad Ward, RHP (No. 9) -- 5 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K (Class A Advanced Salem); Chase Shugart, RHP (No. 25) -- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (Class A Greenville)
Ward issued four walks in a second straight start and also hit one batter, but the 22-year-old righty proved nearly unhittable, surrendering just one knock (a two-out single in the second inning) over five scoreless innings. Ward's performance netted him his second win at Salem, where he's pitched to a 2.28 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings. One level down in the South Atlantic League, Shugart -- Boston's 12th-round pick from the 2018 Draft -- turned in the longest start of his career, tossing eight scoreless frames in Greenville's win over Columbia. He threw 66 of 96 pitches for strikes and generated 12 groundouts, facing three over the minimum in the outing. The 22-year-old sports a 2.40 ERA through 14 starts after Saturday's scoreless performance. Red Sox prospects stats »

Yankees: Josh Breaux, C (No. 22) -- 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (Class A Charleston)
Breaux, who was activated off the injured list prior to the game, hardly had to shake off any rust as he belted his eighth homer of the year in his first game since late May. The 21-year-old, a second-round pick from last year's Draft, got off to a fast start this season and, including Saturday's multihit effort, is hitting .299 through 31 games. Breaux has solid bat speed and power, but still has some work to do developing as a catcher. Yankees prospects stats »


Indians: Nolan Jones, 3B (No. 1, MLB No. 40) -- 1-for-2, 3 R, HR, BB (Double-A Akron)
Jones padded Akron's lead in the seventh inning with an opposite-field solo homer, his fifth in 29 games since his promotion to Double-A. He's quickly approaching his first-half total from the Carolina League, where he went deep seven times in 77 games. He's produced a .272 average across the two levels, too, as well as a .408 on-base percentage. If he can maintain the latter, the 21-year-old third baseman will finish with a .400-plus OBP for a third straight season. Indians prospects stats »

Royals: Gabriel Cancel, 2B (No. 30) -- 2-for-4, 2 2B (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)
Make that back-to-back multihit games for Cancel, a seventh-round pick from the 2015 Draft. Cancel, who is hitting .253 this season, is 5-for-9 with a trio of doubles over the past three days as he continues to learn how to tap into his raw power. The 22-year-old has already hit a career-high 17 homers and offers defensive versatility as he's seen time at second, short and third. Royals prospects stats »

Tigers: Elvin Rodriguez, RHP (No. 22) -- 7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K (Class A Advanced Lakeland)
Rodriguez, 21, put his recent struggles -- 17 ER in 21 2/3 IP in past four starts -- behind him Saturday as he pitched into the eighth inning for just the second time this season. He didn't allow a run through the first seven frames but struggled when he returned for the eighth, serving up a leadoff homer and a one-out double before departing the game with 90 pitches (58 strikes). Acquired from the Angels as the PTBNL in the 2017 Justin Upton trade, Rodriguez lacks overpowering stuff but has good feel for mixing three pitches. He's made steady progress in Detroit's system and is enjoying his most consistent season yet in 2019, with a 3.73 ERA and 100/41 K/BB over 115 2/3 innings (21 games) in the Florida State League. Tigers prospects stats »

Twins: Jose Miranda, 2B (No. 20) -- 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI (Class A Advanced Fort Myers)
Miranda isn't know for his power, but the 21-year-old second baseman showed plenty of pop on Saturday by recording his first multihomer performance in 343 career games. With the Miracle already staked to a lead, Miranda hit a solo homer to left field in the fifth and then added a three-run shot in his next trip to the plate. The two-homer effort gives Miranda eight on the season, which puts him halfway towards matching his career-high total (16) from his 2018 full-season debut. Twins prospects stats »

White Sox: Gavin Sheets, 1B (No. 14) -- 2-for-4, HR (Double-A Birmingham)
After hitting 10 home runs during his first two seasons, Sheets entered 2019 facing questions about whether he would ever hit for enough power to profile as a big league first baseman. The 23-year-old and former second-round pick (2017) has silenced his doubters by erupting for 15 homers over 107 games his first Double-A campaign. And the uptick in power hasn't detracted from other aspects of Sheets' game, as he's still managed to produce a .270/.345/.418 line while driving in 71 runs. White Sox prospects stats »


A’s: Jesus Luzardo, LHP (No. 1, MLB No. 19) -- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K (Class A Advanced Stockton)
Injuries have been the story of Luzardo's season, but when he's been healthy, he's been dominant. He demonstrated that again Saturday night when he cruised through three innings, throwing 26 of his 43 pitches for strikes and striking out the final five batters he faced. The outing was just Luzardo's sixth of the year as he began the season on the injured list with a lat strain and then went back on the IL in early July. When healthy, Luzardo is one of the best pitchers in the Minors and someone the A's are hoping can contribute in the Majors at some point this season. A's prospects stats »

Angels: Jahmai Jones, 2B (No. 7) -- 4-for-5, SB (Double-A Mobile)
Jones extended his hitting streak to six games via his first four-hit game of the year and third straight multihit effort. After batting just .195 during the first three months (74 games) of the season, Jones has been a .288 hitter since the beginning of July. But even though he's started to pick up the pace offensively, the 22-year-old has had a disappointing Double-A campaign overall, slashing .226/.294/.300 with four homers in 111 games. Angels prospects stats »

Astros: Freudis Nova, INF (No. 3) -- 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI (Class A Quad Cities)
Make it four multihit efforts in seven games for Nova, who's now batting .265/.296/.390 in his first taste of full-season ball. Signed by Houston for $1.2 million July 2016, Nova has a solid floor thanks to his defense, as he's already proved capable of playing anywhere on the infield. Whether the 19-year-old's bat flourishes as hoped will ultimately determine his ceiling, though scouts do like his chances of becoming at least an average hitter with similar power. Astros prospects stats »

Mariners: Justin Dunn, RHP (No. 5, MLB No. 77) -- 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K (Double-A Arkansas)
Dunn gave up nine runs over his past two starts, but put together a solid bounce-back performance Saturday as he threw 46 of his 76 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old, whom the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade with the Mets, has pitched to a 3.66 ERA through 110 2/3 innings in his first year with the Seattle organization. Dunn typically sits in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball and also features a pair of breaking balls. Mariners prospects stats »

Rangers: Sherten Apostel, 3B/1B (No. 10) -- 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB (Class A Advanced Down East)
Apostel has gotten off to a slow start in the Carolina League, hitting .234 over his first 20 games since being promoted. He has, however, hit safely in six of his past seven contests (all one-hit efforts) and reached base three times on Saturday, while also connecting on his first Down East homer. The 20-year-old corner infielder also started slowly at Class A Hickory before finishing with a .258/.332/.470 line and 15 homers in 80 games. Rangers prospects stats »


Braves: Tucker Davidson, LHP (No. 13) -- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Davidson didn't get the win in his Triple-A debut but still turned in an impressive start, allowing two hits and an unearned run over five innings in a no-decision. He threw 91 pitches, 60 of which were strikes. The Braves promoted Davidson to Gwinnett after the 23-year-old lefty posted a Southern League-best 2.03 ERA in 23 starts at Double-A Mississippi. He struck out 122 batters over 110 2/3 innings while issuing 45 walks and holding opposing hitters to a .224 clip. Braves prospects stats »

Marlins: Sixto Sanchez, RHP (No. 1, MLB No. 26) -- 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (Double-A Jacksonville)
Opposing offenses certainly don't want to see Sanchez on their schedule these days as the 21-year-old has been nothing short of dominant over his past five trips to the mound. Sanchez hasn't allowed a run in 24 innings and has given up just one earned run over his past five starts. The hard-throwing right-hander, whom the Marlins acquired from the Phillies prior to the 2019 season, gave up hits in each of the first three innings, but then settled down and retired seven of eight to close out his night. Marlins prospects stats »

Mets: Carlos Cortes, 2B (No. 21) -- 1-for-3, HR (Class A Advanced St. Lucie)
Cortes, who now has hits in 11 of his past 12 games, hit his 10th homer of the year Saturday and is hitting .254 in his full-season debut. The 22-year-old, a third-round pick from the 2018 Draft, hit .303 in May, but has struggled for the bulk of the year. However, it appears Cortes may have figured things out a bit as he's hitting .333 through nine games this month. Mets prospects stats »

Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B (No. 1, MLB No. 37) -- 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Double-A Reading)
Bohm pushed his season home run total to 19 Saturday when he connected on a two-run shot in the sixth inning of Reading's win against Altoona. It was his fifth in his past 10 games and 12th in 43 games at the Double-A level, where he's also produced a .261/.324/.527 line. Altogether, the 2018 first-round pick (No. 3 overall) has been a .308/.376/.532 hitter with 49 extra-base hits and 71 RBIs across three levels in his first full season. Phillies prospects stats »

Nationals: Gilbert Lara, SS/3B (No. 25) -- 1-for-4, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Potomac)
Lara extended his hitting streak to four games with a two-run single in Potomac's loss to Lynchburg. The 21-year-old, whom the Nationals acquired from the Brewers last August, has spent time with both Potomac and Class A Hagerstown this season and is hitting .244 over 115 games. Lara, who signed for $3.1 million in 2014, has the strength and bat speed to generate plus power, but is a streaky hitter and his mechanics aren't always consistent. Nationals prospects stats »


Brewers: Antoine Kelly, LHP (No. 11) -- 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K (AZL Brewers Blue)
The sample size is small, but Kelly turned in his best start as a professional on Saturday. The 19-year-old, a second-round pick from this year's Draft, matched his career high for innings and set a career high for strikeouts. Kelly's career is off to a strong start as he's held opponents scoreless in five of his seven starts, pitching to a 1.29 ERA over 21 innings. Brewers prospects stats »

Cubs: Zack Short, INF (No. 9) -- 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI (Triple-A Iowa)
Short came through with a pair of extra-base hits, including his sixth homer of the year, in Iowa's win over Salt Lake. The 24-year-old slipped to the 16th round of the 2017 Draft and has surprised with his power. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Short's stature doesn't indicate he'd have a ton of power, but he's combined for 30 home runs over the past two years. Injuries have limited him this season as he's played in just 45 games. Cubs prospects stats »

Cardinals: Luken Baker, 1B (No. 27) -- 3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI (Class A Advanced Palm Beach)
Baker, the 75th overall pick from last year's Draft, has put together three-hit performances on back-to-back days. The 22-year-old hasn't hit all that well this year and is batting .234 through 106 games, but may be turning a corner as he's hitting .435 so far in August. Cardinals prospects stats »

Pirates: Jared Oliva, OF (No. 11) -- 3-for-5, R, RBI (Double-A Altoona)
Olive broke out of his mini-slump with his seventh three-hit game of the season and his first multihit performance since August 3. Oliva, who had been 0-for-7 over his past two games, is batting .286 over 102 games in his first experience at the Double-A level. The Pirates drafted Olivia in the seventh round of the 2017 Draft and feel he could wind up as one of the steals from the Draft class. Pirates prospects stats »

Reds: Jonathan India, 3B (No. 3, MLB No. 95) -- 1-for-3, R, BB (Double-A Chattanooga)
A day after his six-game hitting streak came to an end, India got back in the hit column with a single for the Lookouts. He also reached via a walk and crossed the plate for a run scored, raising his OBP with Chattanooga to .451 and giving him 14 runs scored in 19 games. The 22-year-old, a first-round pick from last year's Draft, is hitting .288 since being promoted from Class A Advanced Daytona. Prior to his promotion, India hit .256 over 87 games. Reds prospects stats »


D-backs: Kevin Cron, 1B/3B (No. 26) -- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB (Triple-A Reno)
Cron regained the outright Minor League home run lead Saturday as he blasted his 32nd dinger in Reno's win over Oklahoma City. Cron's homer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, ties him with Christian Walker for the franchise's single-season home run record, and he's reached the mark in just 65 games compared to Walker's 133 back in 2017. What's more, the 26-year-old slugger has hit 38 total homers this season, going deep 33 times in the Minors -- he hit one during a rehab assignment in the Arizona League -- and adding another five homers in 27 games with the D-backs. D-backs prospects stats »

Dodgers: Connor Wong, C/2B (No. 29) -- 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (Double-A Tulsa)
Wong hit his first Double-A homer in Tulsa's win over Northwest Arkansas on Saturday. Overall, the long ball was the 16th of the season for the 23-year-old, who was promoted in mid-July. Prior to his bump up to Tulsa, Wong began the year with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, where he hit .245 with 15 homers over 71 games. Through 20 games with the Drillers, Wong, who is one of the more versatile defensive players in the Minors, is hitting .250. Dodgers prospects stats »

Giants: Heliot Ramos, OF (No. 2, MLB No. 55) -- 2-for-4; 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI (Double-A Richmond); Seth Corry, LHP (No. 9) -- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K (Class A Augusta)
Ramos' power isn't exactly a secret, but just in case his new teammates weren't aware, Ramos went deep for his first Double-A homer. The 19-year-old, who hit .306 with 13 homers over 77 games for Class A Advanced San Jose, was officially promoted to Richmond on Friday and went 0-for-2 in his debut. However, Ramos certainly looked a bit more comfortable Saturday as he put together multihit performances in each half of the doubleheader. Corry has been lights out lately and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The 2017 third-round pick, who hasn't yielded a run since July 13, threw 56 of his 87 pitches for strikes as he set a career high with 12 strikeouts. Corry set the tone early as he struck out the side in the first inning and then emphatically concluded his outing as he whiffed six in a row over the fourth and fifth innings, extending his scoreless streak to 30 innings. Giants prospects stats »

Padres: Ty France, 3B/1B (No. 24) -- 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI (Triple-A El Paso)
France is having a historically good season for the Chihuahuas and is showing no signs of slowing down in the final month of the Minor League regular season. He's now batting .406 -- the best mark in the Minors -- after Saturday's four-hit performance, which was his fourth in his past nine games and the eighth time this season that he's collected at least four hits. To go along with his absurd batting average, the 26-year-old infielder also has 27 home runs and 27 doubles while driving in 87 runs in just 73 games in the Minors. Padres prospects stats »

Rockies: Sam Hilliard, OF (No. 9) -- 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI (Triple-A Albuquerque)
Hilliard extended his hitting streak to seven games with his second straight multihit performance. The 25-year-old is hitting .261 in his first season at the Triple-A level, but has really turned it on of late as he's hitting .414 in the month of August. Hilliard has plus raw power and runs well. He was drafted as a pitcher out of junior college in 2014, so Hilliard hasn't been hitting all that long, but he does showcase a full set of tools and has a high ceiling. Rockies prospects stats »

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.