Wednesday's top prospect performers

August 5th, 2021

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

Royals: Bobby Witt Jr., SS (MLB No. 6), Triple-A Omaha
MJ Melendez, C (No. 13), Double-A Northwest Arkansas

Witt Jr. launched a homer for the second game in a row en route to a 3-for-5 day at the plate, his second multihit effort in his past 10 games. His seventh-inning solo shot was his fifth Triple-A home run, and the Royals’ top prospect is now slashing .308/.348/.600 in 14 games with Omaha. Overall, he’s launched 21 homers and driven in 60 runs in 75 games across two levels this season.

The 22-year-old Melendez has hit with authority this season for the Naturals and showed that power during Game 1 of Northwest Arkansas’ doubleheader against Arkansas. Melendez connected for two homers and drove in two in Game 1, giving him a total of 27 long balls on the season. After posting a .571 OPS in 2019 with High-A Wilmington, Melendez has a 1.017 OPS and has driven in 64 runs in 75 games with the Naturals.

Pirates: Nick Gonzales, 2B (MLB No. 28), High-A Greensboro
The Pirates’ top prospect finished the day 2-for-4 with a homer, a double and two RBIs in the Grasshoppers' 6-2 win over the Crawdads. Although his home run was just his second since mid-July, Gonzales has hit the ball well in his past 16 games. Gonzales has hit .381 across his past 63 at-bats, with nine multihit games in that span.

Indians: George Valera, OF (MLB No. 87), High-A Lake County
Valera powered his way to a 2-for-3 day at the plate, belting two homers for the first time in his career to fuel his three-RBI performance. The 20-year-old added a walk and three runs scored to fill out the box score in Lake County’s 8-4 win. With the two dingers, Valera has set a career high with 10. He has also drawn 34 walks to complement his .405 OBP.

Braves: Freddy Tarnok, RHP (No. 10), Double-A Mississippi
Fresh on the scene in Mississippi, Tarnok spun his most effective outing since moving up from High-A Rome. The 6-foot-3 righty threw six scoreless innings against Birmingham. Tarnok struck out six, allowed three hits and walked four before his day was done. In his three starts with Mississippi, Tarnok has a 1.65 ERA after posting a 4.76 ERA in 28 1/3 innings with Rome.

Dodgers: James Outman, OF (No. 27), Double-A Tulsa
When Outman made the move from High-A Great Lakes to Tulsa, he brought a powerful bat with him. Outman went 3-for-4 with two homers, a double and drove in two runs in the Drillers' 13-4 win over the Cardinals. In his first 11 games in Tulsa, the 24-year-old has batted .341 and posted a 1.112 OPS. Outman slashed .250/.385/.472 with nine homers and drove in 30 runs in 65 games for the Loons.

Marlins: Dax Fulton, LHP (No. 8), Low-A Jupiter
Peyton Burdick, OF (No. 11), Double-A Pensacola
Griffin Conine, OF (No. 16), Double-A Pensacola

Fulton had a career day in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Tampa. After never striking out more than seven in a game, the 19-year-old fanned 10 batters and surrendered only one hit across five innings. It was also the first time all season that Fulton didn’t walk a batter. The 6-foot-7 southpaw threw 41 of his 62 pitches for strikes and fanned the first six batters he faced and eight of his first 10. The only hit he allowed was a two-out single in the fourth, but he retired the next batter on three pitches and ended his outing with two more punchouts to reach double-digits. Fulton owns a 4.70 ERA in 14 games (13 starts).

Burdick went 3-for-4 with two homers and two RBIs for the Blue Wahoos. The 24-year-old’s multihomer night was his second of the season. Burdick has belted 17 homers and driven in 39 runs in 78 games in Double-A, but he's batting .207 in that span. He batted .308 in 69 games during his ‘19 season split between Low-A and High-A.

Conine, who hit 23 homers with High-A Beloit, continued his strong season with a two-homer night in Pensacola’s 9-4 win over Biloxi. That gives the 24-year-old 28 homers on the season, which is tied for the Minor League lead. Before moving up to Pensacola, Conine slugged .560 and drove in 68 runs through 66 games. Conine is hitting .212 with an .819 OPS in 14 games with the Blue Wahoos.

Twins: Aaron Sabato, 1B (No. 6), Low-A Fort Myers
Sabato hit two home runs -- one in each game of a doubleheader -- and drove in six runs over two games. The 2020 first-rounder (27th overall) crushed the first pitch he saw in the sixth for a three-run homer in Game 1, and he began Game 2 by launching a two-run homer in the first. He added a sac fly for his sixth RBI of the night.

Rays: Curtis Mead, 2B (No. 27), High-A Bowling Green
When it comes to getting acclimated at the next level, Mead has gotten off to a strong start. He went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double and two RBIs in the Hot Rods' 7-1 win over the Blue Rocks and has hit .315 with an .874 OPS in 24 games since getting called up from Low-A Charleston on July 6. The 20-year-old was slashing .356/.408/.586 and had hit seven homers and driven in 35 runs in 47 games with Charleston.

Red Sox: Gilberto Jimenez, OF (No. 4), Low-A Salem
Connor Seabold, RHP (No. 14), Triple-A Worcester

Jimenez had a perfect day at the dish, collecting two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored as part of a 5-for-5 performance. The 21-year-old is coming off a three-hit game on Tuesday and has tallied at least one hit -- including four multihit efforts -- in nine of his past 10 contests. He’s slashing a red-hot .425/.455/.575 in that span with four doubles and eight RBIs.

Seabold twirled a gem in his second Triple-A start this season, tying his career high in strikeouts (10) and giving up just one hit and one walk across six scoreless innings. Seabold has been dealing with elbow issues this year and got roughed up for four runs on eight hits in his previous start for Worcester, but he was determined to put that outing behind him after he struck out the side to begin his night. Seabold fanned five of the first six batters he faced as he threw 59 of his 85 pitches for strikes. Across 20 innings this season, Seabold has fanned 28 batters and walked eight

Rockies: Jameson Hannah, OF (No. 13), Double-A Hartford
Ryan Feltner, RHP (No. 23), Double-A Hartford

Hannah led the Yard Goats' offense from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4 with a home run and a career-high four RBIs. Through his first full season in Double-A, the 23-year-old has posted career-best marks in average (.282) and OPS (.735) through his first 47 games and is batting .389 over his past 36 at-bats.

Feltner threw a season-high seven scoreless innings and allowed two hits, one walk and struck out nine against New Hampshire. The righty gave up a leadoff single to begin the third inning, but followed that up by retiring the next 15 batters he faced and recording six of his nine strikeouts before his day was done after throwing 86 pitches (58 strikes). Feltner has thrown six or more innings in five of his past six outings.

Tigers: Colt Keith, 3B (No. 16), FCL Tigers 
In his first game of a rehab assignment, Keith tallied three hits, scored two runs and drove in two more, his second three-hit game of the season. The 2020 fifth-rounder smacked his third double of the year and added a walk to his performance. Through 30 games this season he’s batting .320 with 18 walks, 14 RBIs and 23 runs scored.

White Sox: Kade McClure, RHP (No. 22), Double-A Birmingham
McClure tossed his second scoreless start of the season as he fanned seven and walked none over six two-hit innings. He was perfect through four before allowing the leadoff man to single to start the fifth, but he recovered by striking out two of the next three batters to keep the game scoreless. After allowing a two-out double in the sixth, he induced a groundout on the very next pitch to cap off his outing. He now owns a 3.82 ERA on the season with 77 punchouts in 68 1/3 innings.

Yankees: Beck Way, RHP (No. 18), Low-A Tampa
Mitch Spence, RHP (No. 27), High-A Hudson Valley
Way set season highs in both innings (six) and strikeouts (eight) in a three-hit performance in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Jupiter. The only run he allowed was both unearned and unconventional. In the fourth, the leadoff man reached base on a single and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. After Way struck out his fifth batter of the day, the runner stole third and scored after the catcher made a throwing error. But that would be the only blemish on Way’s day. The 2020 fourth-rounder has given up three earned runs or fewer in each of his first 12 games, giving him a 3.57 ERA and a .177 BAA.

Coming off a five-inning scoreless outing on July 30, Spence threw six scoreless innings and allowed two hits and struck out five batters during his start Wednesday for Hudson Valley. The 23-year-old dropped his ERA to 3.15 in the process. Spence has been especially effective over his past six starts. Since giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings on June 27, the righty has a 1.60 ERA over his past 33 2/3 innings.