High-fives for Busch
Even though he was struggling at the plate, Michael Busch didn’t let the noise get to him.
Baseball’s No. 39 overall prospect broke out of an 0-11 slump, with a five-hit, five-RBI game en route to Triple-A Oklahoma City’s 20-3 victory over Round Rock.
“I struggled the past few days,” said Busch. “ So I just tried to keep things simple and get a good pitch and just try to put a good swing on it.
“That's the fun part about baseball. You can go 0-for-5 one day and then have five hits the next day.”
Busch did more than put a few good swings on the ball. He started his night with two singles in consecutive innings- a single driven to left in the second followed by an RBI single in the third. Full story »
Coming up Aces
Brandon Pfaadt notched his second win in just three starts at Triple-A.
Arizona's No. 4 prospect was promoted to Reno on Aug. 2. Since joining the team, he's been stellar. His success continued in the Aces' 5-1 win over Albuquerque.
The fifth-round (149th overall) selection in the 2020 Draft tossed six innings, surrendering one run on one hit and two walks while fanning 10 batters, eclipsing double-digits for the first time since his elevation. The 23-year-old is still atop the leaderboard of the Texas League with 144 strikeouts, even after moving up over 10 days ago. The right-hander has sat down 166 total batters this season.
In merely his second professional season, Pfaadt has shown composure under the bright lights as he's risen through the ranks and looks to only improve as he inches towards his Major League debut.
Oswaldo Cabrera showed how he could get around the bases.
The Yankees' No. 11 prospect collected a career-high 10 bases in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-5 win over Worcester.
The 23-year-old began his trips around the bases with a two-run triple to center in the first inning. In his next at-bat, he got to circle the bags at a slightly slower pace as he launched a solo shot to right in the third for his eighth round-tripper of the year. On the first pitch he saw in the fifth, the right fielder cranked his third triple of the year to left. He ended the night 3-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs and three extra-base hits.
Baby Jays flying high
Ian Churchill concluded his first week in professional baseball with an achievement most players never get to claim.
Churchill, Toronto's 10th-round pick in last month’s Draft, tossed a perfect ninth inning on Sunday to secure a combined no-hitter for Single-A Dunedin, who beat the Tampa, 5-0.
Overall, it was a four-pitcher effort for the Florida State League club. Starter Kendry Rojas worked the first two innings before giving way to Cooper Benson, who did the bulk of the work with four solid frames. Sam Ryan went six up, six down in the seventh and eighth before Churchill, making just his second appearance since joining the team, slammed the door. Full story »
Yorke goes for a Drive
The best way to start a game is by putting your team on the board. Nick Yorke was up to the task.
In High-A Greenville's 6-4 victory over Hickory, Boston's No. 4 prospect began the evening with a bang. The 17th overall selection in the 2020 Draft cranked a leadoff homer to left field in the first inning, leading to a three-run inning and giving the Drive an early advantage. He followed with a single to right in the fourth and a walk in the sixth before rounding out his night with a double to center in the eighth.
The 20-year-old filled the stat sheet, going 3-for-4, a triple shy of the cycle, while adding a walk, two runs and an RBI.
Yorke is having the best month of his season, slashing .267/.346/.511 in August.
HHH - Henderson hits homers
With his fifth multihit game of the month, second-ranked Orioles prospect Gunnar Henderson extended his on-base streak to nine games on a three-hit, three-RBI performance in Triple-A Norfolk’s 12-7 win over Rochester.
After striking out in his first two at-bats, the 21-year-old smacked a single to the left side in the fourth inning before lifting a ball to left in the next frame that the fielder lost in the sun, resulting in a two-run double. MLB's No. 4 overall prospect put an exclamation point on his day with his career-high 18th home run in the ninth, a solo shot to right off righty Connor Sadzeck, who had only allowed four dingers in 32 1/3 innings prior.
The infielder has notched 24 multihit efforts in 99 games this year across two levels, and he’s batting .293/.400/.525 with 10 long balls, 32 walks and 32 RBIs through 52 games with Norfolk. His breakout year, coupled with his fast ascent through the prospect rankings, is not going unnoticed by the O's front office. When asked on MLB Network Radio about the potential of Henderson being called up to the major league club in the midst of a wild card race, general manager Mike Elias had this to say:
"As things evolve here in the next month and a half, I think Gunnar is on the radar screen."
For Pete's sake!
Petey Halpin could not be stopped in the box.
The No. 15 Guardians prospect smashed a home run and plated three runs in a four-hit game en route to High-A Lake County's 13-7 victory Fort Wayne.
The 20-year-old didn't hesitate to start hot, as he belted an RBI double to right in the first inning, followed by crushing a solo home run in the third. Halpin knocked his next hit by bunting a single down the left field line. The lefty capped off his night with an RBI single driven up the middle.
It was the first four-hit game of Halpin's career. He raised his slash line for the season to .271/.357/.400.
Shake, rattle and roll
Jackson Chourio hasn’t had many quiet stretches this year. After having just one multihit game over his last nine, he busted out on Sunday.
Baseball’s No. 34 overall prospect homered and added three singles for his second four-hit game of the month as High-A Wisconsin sank visiting South Bend, 5-3.
Chourio kicked things off for the Timber Rattlers in the bottom of the first with a man on when he took a 3-0 offering from No. 26 Cubs prospect Daniel Palencia and belted it over the left-center-field wall.
“The plan today was just to let the ball get a little bit deeper and just looking for barrels,” Chourio said over Zoom through teammate and interpreter Arbert Cipion. Full story »
Reaching the High-A notes
Marcelo Mayer proves the promotion was the right choice.
The Red Sox’s No.1 prospect slashed .286/.406/.504 in Single-A that prompted the promotion to High-A. Mayer had his first multihit effort since being moved up, going 3-for-4 with one homer in High-A Greenville’s 6-4 loss to Hickory.
The 19-year-old's productive game started early as he hit singles in two of his first three at-bats. He then showcased his power in his final at-bat as he hit a solo shot to right-center field in the eighth inning.
The shortstop’s power display brought his homer tally to 10 and slash line to .277/.393/.489 on the season.
Susac earns high marks
Daniel Susac showcased his power for the first time in affiliate ball.
The A’s first-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft recorded his first hit in his second affiliate game. Susac showcased his power two games later, going 1-for-4 with one homer in Single-A Stockton’s 11-5 loss to San Jose.
The 21-year-old's power display came in his second at-bat with a two-run shot to left-center field in the third inning. The catcher’s power display brought his slash line to .217/.250/.391 on the season.
Mashing in the Midwest
Diego Cartaya didn't just find his power dial, it appears he turned it to max ... and then broke it off.
Already on a hitting streak since the calendar turned to August, the top Dodgers prospect has added a flex to those knocks of late, homering for the third straight game in High-A Great Lakes' 6-0 blanking of Peoria at the Dow Diamond on Saturday.
"He's not giving any at-bats away," Loons hitting coach Dylan Nasiatka said. "He's a studious worker before the game. He prepares well and in the game he's making good decisions at the plate. He's just handling his at-bats in a really mature way, making adjustments pitch-to-pitch, he's definitely doing things that are beyond his age right now."
Cartaya is on a a six-game hitting streak, with nine knocks -- four going for extra bases -- over that span. Full story »
Adding another to his ledger
The NCAA Division I home run king has claimed his first victim in the professional ranks.
After swatting 32 long balls for the Texas Longhorns in the spring, Ivan Melendez, the D-backs’ second-round pick in last month’s Draft, connected on his first pro home run for Single-A Visalia.
Facing Modesto right-hander Michael Morales in the second inning, Melendez took a slider on the outer edge of the plate and pounded it out to deep center field. It was a loud moment in an otherwise quiet offensive game for both sides, with the Rawhide holding on for a 2-1 win.
Melendez was named the winner of the 2022 Golden Spikes Award, given to the best amateur player each season. In his junior year with the Longhorns, he hit .387 with a 1.371 OPS.
Getting the job done
Kevin Alcantara led a comeback that just fell short in Single-A Myrtle Beach's 4-3 loss to Columbia.
After the Fireflies began the game with a three-run first inning, the Cubs' No. 4 prospect wasted no time mounting a response with a leadoff homer to right field on the second pitch he saw in the bottom half of the inning. The 20-year-old's fifth-inning double to right led to a game-tying single by Ezequiel Pagan. With his team's back against the wall in the ninth, Alcantara singled but wasn't able to come around to score. He ended the night 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
August has been a trying month for the center fielder, and a three-hit performance is just what he needed to get back on track.
Dash-ing around the bases
One way to do your part in a win, score the go-ahead run twice in a single game. Colson Montgomery was up for the task.
The White Sox's top-ranked prospect did everything it took to pull out High-A Winston-Salem's 3-2 victory over Bowling Green.
The 22nd overall pick in the 2021 Draft tallied the Dash's first hit of the night with a single to center field in the first inning. He followed with a solo shot to right-center for his fifth homer of the season to put his team up 2-1 in the sixth. And when his team needed him most, he singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and scored from third on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Ben Norman.
The 20-year-old has been on a tear in his second professional season, slashing .288/.418/.466 since being promoted on June 24.
Making his pitch
Wikelman Gonzalez was back on his “A” game on the mound.
The Red Sox's No. 9 prospect had two hitless outings in his young career. The 20-year-old made it three as he struck out five in six no-hit innings in Single-A Salem’s 7-0 win over Kannapolis.
The righty was dealing throughout his start, as he retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced. Gonzalez finished the night with 81 pitches – 49 of them strikes – in his start.
He lowered his ERA to 4.54 and brought his K tally to 98 in the 81 1/3 innings he has pitched this season.
A National treasure
Cade Cavalli got into a groove, striking out the side three times to lead Triple-A Rochester to a 5-1 win over Norfolk.
MLB Pipeline's No. 43 overall prospect was on a mission to obtain his fourth quality start of the season in his 19th appearance, and he was successful.
The 22nd overall pick in the 2020 Draft fanned a season-high 11 batters over seven innings while allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. He finished with 96 pitches, throwing 64 for strikes and facing just four batters over the minimum in his outing (25),
After a triumphant July, where he didn't allow a run over the entire month, the 24-year-old is continuing to drop his ERA. It has fallen from 4.54 at the beginning of July to 3.82 after his most recent outing.
An artist on the mound
It comes with the name. Andrew Painter has been sensational in his eight starts at High-A and has been consistently painting the corners.
Philadelphia's top-ranked prospect has pitched in just eight games with the BlueClaws, but he's already obtained three wins to his ledger, all earned in consecutive starts. His most recent success came in Jersey Shore's 8-0 win over Greensboro.
The 13th overall selection in the 2021 Draft left the Grasshoppers clueless over seven scoreless innings while allowing four hits, a walk and fanning nine batters in the process. The outing dropped his ERA to 0.98 at High-A after three straight scoreless appearances.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pounder has only allowed runs in two of his starts since being promoted on June 6. After a rough first appearance with his new squad, the 19-year-old was sent to the Development List on June 21 and his time ripening has proved fruitful since being reactivated on July 2.
Jacob Melton has shown his potential in his young career.
The Astros’ second-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft has not been able to produce early in his career as he did not get a hit in his first four games. Melton finally accomplished it in the fifth game with style, going 1-for-5 with a homer in Single-A Fayetteville’s 6-4 loss to Down East.
The 21-year-old struggled in his first plate appearances as a professional player, going 0-for-17 with six strikeouts. He overcame these struggles in his second at-bat as he displayed his production and power with a solo homer to center field.
Drew Gilbert left the game early after he crashed into the center-field wall in the sixth inning.
Travelers spin second no-no of the season
Double-A Arkansas’ second no-hitter of the 2022 season was started by a young arm on his way to the Major Leagues. It was finished off by a pair of veterans working their way back up to The Show.
No. 24 Mariners prospect Prelander Berroa struck out a career-high 11 over five brilliant innings against Northwest Arkansas before giving way to Blake Weiman, Jake Haberer and former Major Leaguers Rob Kaminsky and Braden Shipley for one-inning stints each to seal a 6-0 victory.
It was the second time the Travelers held their opponent hitless this year, following Connor Jones’ seven-inning effort on May 26.
“Berroa set the tone in a big way,” Travelers pitching coach Sean McGrath said. “We’ve worked the bullpen pretty well all year, so most of those guys are in good spots. The nerves were building as the outs counted down, but it was really exciting.” Full story »
Southern League Slugfest!
When it was over, the scoreboard looked like two touchdowns and a safety to two touchdowns. But in actuality, it was a baseball game.
Double-A Mississippi and Tennessee brought the offensive firepower to Smokies Stadium, and ultimately, it was the M-Braves who edged out the Smokies, 16-14.
The two clubs combined for 26 hits with five homers and six doubles. At least one run was scored in every inning except one (the sixth) and there were 12 runs plated in the second -- 10 coming from the Smokies. Every member of Mississippi's starting nine collected at least one hit and scored at least one run.
Tennessee’s Jake Slaughter led all batters, going 4-for-6 with two homers, a double, four RBIs and three runs scored. Meanwhile, Justyn-Henry Malloy reached base in all six of his plate appearances for the M-Braves -- notching a pair of doubles and walking four times. He also drove in two runs and scored twice.
A total of 10 pitchers were used in the game, Mississippi (six) and Tennessee (four). They combined to throw 397 pitches.
Quite the first impression
In his Triple-A debut, Louie Varland was nearly unhittable.
After the 11th-ranked Twins prospect walked a batter in the first and second innings, it was smooth sailing in St. Paul's 5-1 win over Columbus.
The 24-year-old tossed five no-hit innings before allowing a double to Gabriel Arias in the sixth. Varland's night ended after the hit, completing his evening with 5 1/3 scoreless frames of work, while allowing just one hit, two walks with eight strikeouts.
Varland was ranked second in the Texas League in strikeouts with 119 before being promoted to the Saints. As Varland rises through the ranks, he's proving that he can hang with hitters on the cusp of breaking into the Majors.
If Jordan Walker keeps his current pace up, they may just have to put ‘hitting machine’ on the back of his jersey. The top-ranked Cardinals prospect set a new career high with a four-knock night in Double-A Springfield’s 10-7 loss to Amarillo at HODGETOWN Stadium.
Walker led off the second inning with a single into center, before lacing a two-out double to center in the following frame. The 20-year-old notched his second two-bagger of the game to lead off the seventh and found a hole through the left side of the infield in his final plate appearance in the ninth.
It’s the third time in the past four games that Walker has recorded at least three hits. Over 90 games this season, MLB’s No. 6 overall prospect is slashing .309/.392/.513 with 43 extra-base hits, 78 runs scored and 49 RBIs.
Nick Swiney has had a consistently solid season all year, but the left-hander turned it up on a notch in his latest start. The 17th-ranked Giants prospect twirled five perfect frames while fanning eight in High-A Eugene’s wild 7-4 victory over Vancouver at PK Park.
Swiney was efficient throughout his outing, as he never needed more than 14 pitches to navigate an inning. Of his seven outs that didn’t come via the K, only two went beyond the infield. The NC State product exited after throwing 42 of his 63 pitches for strikes.
Swiney lowered his ERA to 3.41 and sports a .179 opponents' average against with 91 strikeouts over 74 frames this season with the Emeralds. The 23-year-old has made 17 appearances (16 starts) in the Northwest League.
Hungry for power
In the five games he’s played in since being traded from the Phillies to the Angels in the Brandon Marsh deal, Logan O’Hoppe has collected four hits. All four of them have left the yard.
Los Angeles’ top prospect has been putting on a power clinic for Double-A Rocket City, and his latest offering was a two-run blast in the Trash Pandas’ 3-1 win over Biloxi that put his team ahead for good.
The backstop has reached base at least once in each of his five games to start his Angels tenure and he also continued to show off his plate discipline by drawing a nine-pitch walk in the first frame. He grounded out in his next at-bat, before 2022 first-round pick Zach Neto set the table for his teammate with a one-out single in the fifth. After working a 2-2 count, the 22-year-old turned on a hanging breaking ball and clobbered it to center field for a go-ahead two-run homer.
O’Hoppe has already clubbed a career-best 19 homers in 80 games between Rocket City and Reading, surpassing his previous high of 17 long balls he set in 104 games across three levels last season.
Tork’s got some torque
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Tigers' Spencer Torkelson, but he’s starting to find his power stroke again. The first baseman notched his fourth multihit game of the month, and it featured a no-doubt walk-off dinger to lift Triple-A Toledo to a 4-3 victory over Omaha.
The MudHens were cruising comfortably with a 3-0 lead heading into the final frame before the Royals’ affiliate exploded for three runs to even the score. Having already singled to center field earlier in the game, Torkelson stepped up to the plate, as the leadoff man in the home ninth. He took a ball on the outside part of the plate before turning on a fastball right down the pipe from lefty Anthony Misiewicz and depositing it over the fence in left-center to send the Toledo faithful home happy. It was the 22-year-old’s first long ball off a southpaw at Triple-A this season and his third dinger in the month of August.
A pair of dominant 'Dads
High-A Hickory made history almost exactly a month to the day from when it completed the franchise's first no-hitter in nearly a decade. The club didn't wait nearly as long to throw one again.
Mason Englert and Theo McDowell combined to toss the second no-hitter of the season as Hickory blanked Greenville, 4-0, at Fluor Field at the West End. The duo worked around three walks to accomplish the feat.
"We were on a four-game skid here, so we just wanted the win any way we could get it. But to be able to close out another no-hitter, I think that was really special for the guys and the organization," Crawdads pitching coach Jon Goebel said. "I think when a no-hitter like that happens, it's really a team effort. We have a mantra here of '30 vs. 9' [our entire roster vs. their starting lineup] and I think that really came through tonight." Full story »
A perfect reminder
With the ongoing struggles happening with the Yankees bullpen at the big league level, it just seemed like Clarke Schmidt wanted to remind the organization that he’s still a viable option. The righty posted the best outing of his career, twirling six perfect frames while fanning 11 to pace Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 4-1 victory over Worcester at PNC Field.
The 26-year-old whiffed six batters in a row during a stretch that spanned the first to the third inning, and recorded at least a pair of punchouts in five of his six frames on the hill. He exited after tossing 52 of his 78 pitches for strikes.
Over his last two starts, the University of South Carolina product has yielded one run on four hits without issuing a walk while striking out 14 across 11 frames. Schmidt is sporting a 2.86 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a .196 average against in seven starts (28 1/3 innings pitched) with the RailRiders this season.
Just like dad
Justin Crawford didn't register a hit in his first game as a professional ballplayer but still made his presence known on the bases.
Philadelphia's first-round pick in last month's Draft walked twice, was hit by a pitch and stole three bases as the Rookie-level FCL Phillies fell to the Yankees, 9-3, in a game suspended by weather and completed a day later.
Crawford walked on five pitches to lead off his pro debut and immediately swiped second. After being hit by a pitch in the third, the 18-year-old scored from first on a two-out double by Cole Moore.
Crawford walked again in the fourth and once more stole second. In his last trip to the plate, Crawford reached on a force play in the sixth before stealing second again.
The outfielder, son of former big league All-Star Carl Crawford, went to the Phillies 17th overall last month with his 70-grade run tool leading the way in MLB Pipeline's scouting evaluations.
A cycle of a different sort
On an 88 degree night in Amarillo, Texas, in front of 5,134 at HODGETOWN Stadium, Chandler Redmond mashed his way into baseball folklore.
The Cardinals infield prospect barreled up solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam homers to complete the rarest milestone in baseball history -- the home run cycle.
"It's unbelievable," Redmond said. "I don't even know what words to use to describe the feelings right now."
Only one other time has this feat been accomplished in the modern era of the game -- by Tyrone Horne on July 27, 1998 for the then-Cardinals affiliate Double-A Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. It's never been done in the Major Leagues.
What makes Redmond's performance even more remarkable is that it occurred in a game that became drenched with history as Double-A Springfield posted 21 runs on 21 hits and clubbed eight home runs en route to a 21-4 drubbing of Amarillo.
Great power in Great Lakes
No matter the level, Diego Cartaya mashes baseballs.
The top-ranked Dodgers prospect, who hit nine home runs earlier this year at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, drilled his ninth with High-A Great Lakes in the Loons' 3-2 win over Peoria. Cartaya recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season in the process, raising his line between the two levels to .273/.408/.538.
With Great Lakes trailing 2-1 entering the eighth inning, the backstop lead off the frame with his deep drive over the fence in center field. Cartaya had scored both of his team's runs to that point after doubling and coming around in the third. The game went to extra innings where a throwing error in the 10th inning brought the Loons' automatic runner home as the winning run.
Baltimore celebrates a new Holliday
The Orioles have brandished one of their new top prospects, with top overall Draft pick Jackson Holliday making his pro debut on Wednesday in the Florida Complex League. Holliday went 1-for-3, lacing a single to right-center and promptly stealing second base. Holliday played five innings at shortstop while batting second.
It was the start of what the Orioles hope is a fruitful career for Holliday, who got into his first game action since being selected with the first pick on July 17 and since his high school season ended in May. It's likely that Holliday, only 18, spends the rest of the season in the FCL, though there's a chance he finishes at Single-A Delmarva. Holliday has said that his goal is to reach the Majors in "two years or fewer."
The Orioles' FCL team played the Braves' FCL affiliate on the road Wednesday in North Port, Fla. It's not clear how Holliday will be ramped up, but the club has historically been cautious with its top prospects.
Two to grow on
In his second game with Triple-A Syracuse, New York’s No. 2 prospect Brett Baty notched his first hit and RBI at the Minors’ highest level in the Mets’ 10-3 loss to Buffalo.
The 22-year-old went 0-for-4 in his Triple-A debut, but quickly bounced back. He reached base three times by way of a walk and two singles. The lefty slugger started his night with a five-pitch walk before rattling off two singles in his final two at-bats. His first base knock was a rocket up the middle to load the bases, and the second was mere feet from leaving the yard in left field, but Baty settled for a long single to drive in teammate Mark Vientos for his first Triple-A RBI.
MLB’s No. 18 prospect was one of the hottest hitters in the Minors before his promotion, finishing his time in Double-A with a .302 average, .950 OPS, 19 homers, 22 doubles and 59 RBIs in 89 games with the Rumble Ponies.
Twins hurler will undergo Tommy John surgery
Right-hander Matt Canterino has dominated hitters with his high-caliber stuff at every level of the Minors. But his time in three professional seasons has been limited due to recurring elbow issues. And now, he'll miss even more time, as he's set to undergo Tommy John surgery with the use of an internal brace later in August, which is expected to sideline him for around 12 months.
Canterino, the Twins' second-round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, owned a 1.95 ERA in 13 outings (12 starts) this season, mostly with Double-A Wichita. After a right elbow strain limited Canterino to 23 innings last season, he was shut down again in June with recurring issues in the elbow. He started a rehab assignment on July 25 and made two rehab outings at the Rookie level before opting to undergo the surgery, which will be performed Dr. Keith Meister.
"We've thrown a lot of different ideas and brought a lot of different ideas to the table to try to see if we can get him over the hump," said Twins assistant general manager Jeremy Zoll. "Unfortunately, kind of this last go-around on the buildup, it felt like we didn't have any more stones to turn over and Matt was feeling like surgery was the right call for him to try and get him back up and running from there."
Fayetteville ... we have lift-off
Drew Gilbert announced his presence in Single-A Fayetteville with a bang.
Houston's 2022 first-round pick (28th overall) went deep for his first Single-A hit en route to the Woodpeckers' 5-0 victory over Down East in the second game of a doubleheader.
In the third inning, the 21-year-old crushed a two-run drive to deep right field for the second home run of his career. Additionally, Gilbert knocked a single to center in the fifth inning.
Gilbert was promoted to Fayetteville on Aug. 8 after posting a .455/.600/.818 slash line in just four games with the Rookie-level FCL Astros Orange.
Matt Frisbee went where no other Flying Squirrel pitcher had gone before.
The San Francisco prospect turned in the finest outing of his career, striking out a career-high 13 and allowing one hit over six scoreless frames. The 13 punchouts established a franchise record, besting the previous mark of 12 held by Eric Surkamp (twice in 2011) and Mike Kickham the following season.
Offense was missing on both sides as Double-A Richmond and Portland combined for seven hits and 24 strikeouts. The Sea Dogs eked out a 1-0 win in 10 innings.
The Giants' 15th-round pick in the 2018 Draft, Frisbee tallied three double-digit strikeout performances in 2019 but had not fanned more than nine in a start since. The 25-year-old is 5-7 with a 4.95 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings across 20 starts this season.
After falling short of the cycle on June 29 against Triple-A Oklahoma City, Taylor Kohlwey made sure to finish the job this time.
In Triple-A El Paso's win over Oklahoma City a couple months ago, the 2016 21st-round selection finished 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and a single, along with three RBIs.
The same fate seemed in store for the 28-year-old as he entered his fourth at-bat in a 12-11 loss to Sugar Land. But instead of letting history repeat itself, he wrote a better ending. A line drive to center field that deflected off right fielder Corey Julks enabled Kohlwey to turn on the burners and reach third base safely to complete the cycle in the seventh inning. It was his second three-bagger of the year.
"I was just happy to get another hit," Kohlwey said. "The game was kind of back-and-forth, so I was just trying to get on base." Full story »
There's a first time for everything
The last time the Springfield Cardinals had a player hit for the cycle, Matt Koperniak was 13 years old.
The St. Louis outfield prospect remedied that by finishing off the feat with the first triple of his professional career in the top of the ninth inning, driving in an insurance run to boot, as Double-A Springfield outlasted Amarillo in a wild one, 11-9.
“That was my first triple, so I definitely wasn’t expecting to have a night like that,” he said. “I was just trying to get the barrel on the ball, help the teammates out, help get a ‘W.’
“But I was pretty surprised.” Full story »
It was the stuff 'Dreams' are made of
DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- There isn’t much mention of pitching in “Field of Dreams.”
Shoeless Joe Jackson takes his batting practice. Moonlight Graham gets his one plate appearance. The closest the audience gets is seeing Eddie Cicotte hit his spots when he aims near young Archie’s noggin to send a lesson. Even last year’s Major League event was a 9-8 slugfest that ended on a Tim Anderson walk-off homer.
So in a way, Chandler Champlain turned in the first dominant pitching performance (fiction or non-fiction) in the history of the Field of the Dreams.
The Royals' right-handed pitching prospect allowed two earned runs on six hits while fanning seven and walking none over 6 1/3 innings for High-A Quad Cities in a 7-2 win over Cedar Rapids in front of 7,532 fans at the first MiLB at Field of Dreams. Full story »
Angel in the batter's box
In just his fourth game with the Angels organization, Logan O'Hoppe appears to be right at home. And he's starting to feel like it too.
The club's recently acquired top prospect connected on a pair of home runs and posted three RBIs to power Double-A Rocket City's 5-4 victory over Biloxi at MGM Park.
"It was a quick turnaround, just like anything is in pro ball. It's just very different, things I just wasn't used to. So, the first couple of games were a little quick. I didn't really have my feet under me," O'Hoppe said. "I felt like I got drafted again. But, these guys have been great about welcoming me with open arms. I feel like I'm getting my groove now. Getting my feet settled under me again, just feeling good. And we've been winning too now so that's been fun."
The former Phillies top prospect was dealt to the Angels for Brandon Marsh at the MLB Trade Deadline. He made his debut with the Trash Pandas on Aug. 4 and immediately made an impact with a pair of walks and a run scored. The 22-year-old posted a .275/.392/.496 slash line with 15 dingers, 48 runs scored and 45 RBIs over 75 games with Double-A Reading to start the season. Full story »
Coming in hot
Blaze Jordan made an emphatic entrance to High-A.
In his first game with Greenville, Boston's No. 6 prospect proved he belonged at the next level. The Drive pulled out a 6-5 victory over Hickory, and the 19-year-old put on a power clinic.
It only took the third baseman until his second at-bat to get his first hit, and it came with a bang, a two-run homer to left field in the fourth inning for his first blast with the new club.
Jordan's next at-bat had a similar result, a solo shot to center to lead off the sixth. He ended the night with a single to right in the seventh, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two home runs.
Jordan had just eight homers over 370 at-bats with Single-A Salem while slashing .286/.357/.446 prior to the promotion.
The perfect touch
Luis Ortiz had his best outing of the year.
Pittsburgh's No. 24 prospect came out with new energy in Double-A Altoona's 6-0 win over Binghamton.
Up to the 23-year-old's fourth win of the season, he only had one other performance where he gave up no runs in the Curve's 4-2 victory over Richmond on July 15.
Against the Rumble Ponies, not only did the right-hander toss an immaculate inning in the second inning, but he fanned a total of eight batters over six scoreless innings of work while allowing just two hits and two walks. The eight strikeouts matched a season high.
Just a little 'cornball'
DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- "If you write it, they will read."
As I traveled into Iowa, marveling at the grandeur of the mighty Mississippi, this sentiment echoed through my head. Whether a ghostly transmission or a convenient manifestation of my subconscious, it matters not. Cinematic inspiration is everywhere today, as the Davenport Blue Sox will host the Cedar Rapids Bunnies in the inaugural MiLB at Field of Dreams game.
The game begins at 7 p.m. ET, but I'll roaming the cornfields from the early afternoon until after the final out. This gameday journal will be updated throughout, filled with delectable kernels of on-the-ground reportage. Expect to hear from players, team employees and, perhaps above all, the fans who made a special effort to attend this special evening of baseball.
Speaking of special efforts, myself and my colleagues Sam Dykstra and Kelsie Heneghan drove to Iowa from New York City and made plenty of baseball-themed stops along the way. Check out my Twitter thread chronicling the trip here, and Sam Dykstra's road trip journal here. Full story »
The week that was
It was a busy stretch for prospects and organizations as MLB Trade Deadline resulted in plenty of talent switching teams. The loss of broadcasting legend Vin Scully, who passed away at age 94, was a somber note felt across the game. On the field, native New Yorker Tyler Osik hit for the cycle in a road game at Brooklyn. New top Reds prospect Noelvi Marte made a swift impact in the organization with a two-homer game. A pair of Rockies prospects made history with Zac Veen reaching 50 steals for Spokane and Michael Toglia setting a Yard Goats record for homers in a season with his 23rd. Mets prospects continued to surge with Francisco Álvarez pummeling the baseball in Triple-A and Brett Baty doing the same at Double-A. Two Midwest League clubs got set to hit the road to heaven -- er, Iowa -- for the first Minor League game at the Field of Dreams. Take a look back at the action.