Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 24

Keller extends scoreless streak; Beras turning up heat for High Desert

Pirates prospect Mitch Keller has a 1.09 WHIP over 171 1/3 innings in the Minor Leagues. (Ken Inness/

By Sam Dykstra / | August 25, 2016 1:40 PM

Rangers OF Jairo Beras, Class A Advanced High Desert: 2-for-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, K in doubleheader -- All of Wednesday's production came in the first game of a twin bill at Lancaster as the Rangers' No. 13 prospect went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored -- adding to an already impressive finish to the 2016 season. In 19 games this month, he's produced a .377/.430/.899 line with eight homers, two triples, eight doubles and 25 RBIs. After repeating Class A Hickory in 2015, the 21-year-old has enjoyed a solid California League debut with a .270 average, 22 homers and .845 OPS, and for those thinking he's been boosted by playing home games at High Desert, Beras has the same amount of home runs (11) and the same slugging percentage (.531) over 194 at-bats at home and 177 at-bats on the road. There's still plenty of work to do with Beras -- namely plate discipline with just a 5.5 percent walk rate -- but the fact that he's hit more than 20 homers after never before reaching double digits is a promising sign for a player whose calling card is power.

Indians 1B Bobby Bradley, Class A Advanced Lynchburg: 1-for-3, HR, RBI, 2 R, K -- Speaking of power, the Indians' No. 3 prospect hit his third homer in his last two games Wednesday during Lynchburg's 8-3 win over Wilmington. The recent power surge gives him 29 homers on the season -- seven clear of his closest competition in the Carolina League -- and 10 in August alone. With one more long ball, the 20-year-old will become the Class A Advanced circuit's first 30-homer hitter since Ian Gac smashed 33 for Winston-Salem in 2011. With a .245 average and 30.2 percent strikeout rate, Bradley still struggles at times to make consistent contact, but he's got the 13 percent walk rate and .252 ISO to make up for it for now, until he faces the tougher arms at Double-A in 2017.

Pirates RHP Mitch Keller, Class A West Virginia: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K -- The Pirates' No. 5 prospect is arguably the breakout star of the system this season and is close to finishing the year with an exclamation point. Wednesday's outing extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings, a run that started Aug. 6. The 20-year-old was just hoping to be healthy in 2016 after a forearm strain limited him to 19 2/3 innings with Bristol last season but has done so much more, posting a 2.46 ERA with 131 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 124 1/3 frames with the Power. His 2.42 FIP and 7.3 K/BB are both tops among all Class A hurlers as well. Keller has already moved into's top 100 ranks at No. 82, and we could be talking about him making an even bigger jump if he can maintain that stellar control at the higher levels.

Red Sox 1B Josh Ockimey, Class A Greenville: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB -- A home run? Check. A walk? Check. That's both of Ockimey's strengths coming through in the same game, an 8-2 Greenville win at Augusta. The long ball was the first for the No. 10 Red Sox prospect since Aug. 3 and his 17th on the season, tied for fourth-most in the South Atlantic League. Add his 25.6 percent strikeout rate and (Class-A best) 17.5 percent walk rate, and Ockimey has pretty much become your typical three-true-outcome player this year. So if you're a Red Sox fan worried about the 20-year-old's .234 average in his first full season, take solace in the fact that his .371 OBP is plenty good by all accounts.

Yankees OF Blake Rutherford, Rookie-level Pulaski: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K -- The Yankees' first-round pick hit his second home run in the Appalachian League and third of his young career Wednesday night as part of his first multi-hit game since returning from injury Sunday. The 19-year-old has thrived at the plate with Pulaski with a .382/.440/.618 in his 25 games for the Rookie-level affiliate. There was a time when the California native was considered a better prospect than top pick Mickey Moniak, and even though his stock slipped, he still looks like a steal for the Yankees at No. 18. Rutherford is considered the No. 57 overall prospect in the game by, thanks to his above-average hit, power and run tools and has a chance to be a big part of New York's improving farm system going forward.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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