Prospect Roundup: Games of April 18

Riley stays hot with two triples; Gordon pushing for promotion

Austin Riley ranks fifth in the Southern League with a 1.159 OPS in 13 games for Double-A Mississippi. (Ed Gardner/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | April 19, 2018 12:15 PM

Theme of the day

Milestones: The MiLB.com milestones page has four categories: no-hitters, cycles, three-homer games and triple plays. Three of those four boxes were ticked Wednesday. The first came when four Triple-A Syracuse pitchers combined on a seven-inning no-no against Indianapolis in the first game of a doubleheader that featured temperatures in the high-30s. The second came when D-backs utlityman Galli Cribbs, who entered the day with only two career home runs, completed the reverse natural cycle for Double-A Jackson. Dodgers prospect Rylan Bannon made sure the night shift was covered too with three long balls of his own for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. The day could have been even crazier with Resly Linares tossing seven no-hit frames for Class A Bowling Green in a game that was only supposed to go that long but went into extras due to a 0-0 scoreline. Phew.

Video: Adams completes Chiefs no-hitter

Who stayed hot

Braves 3B Austin Riley, Double-A Mississippi: 3-for-4, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R -- It looks like Riley's Southern League breakout last season was no fluke. This was the third straight multi-hit game for the Braves' No. 8 prospect -- all of which have come at home against Pensacola. Wednesday's performance not only marked the first time Riley had collected multiple triples in a single game, it also tied his career high for triples in an entire season. Power continues to be the 21-year-old third baseman's forte; his nine extra-base hits in 13 games are tied for second-most in the Southern League while his .739 slugging percentage ranks third. Atlanta made headlines Wednesday by signing Jose Bautista to a Minor League deal as a potential short-term solution at third base, but it's getting clearer that it expects Riley to play there in the long term.

Who needed this one

Yankees INF Gleyber Torres, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, R, 2 BB, K -- Breathe easy, Yankees fans. The organization's top prospect came out of Monday's game early with what was called "tightness," but he was back in the lineup and thriving Wednesday, doubling in his first at-bat off top-100 prospect Max Fried and reaching in three of his four plate appearances. Torres is hitting .372/.408/.558 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in 12 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, so he didn't necessarily "need" this performance, but it's good to see the injury scare rendered moot.

The unexpected

Mets OF Quinn Brodey, Class A Columbia: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB, K -- The 2017 third-rounder could produce average pop someday -- he did hit 11 homers in his final season at Stanford -- but it just hadn't happened in the Minors before Wednesday. New York's No. 28 prospect went deep only three times in 63 games between Class A Short Season Brooklyn and Columbia last season. Last night he connected on two long balls against Greenville; he first blasted on a solo shot in the eighth and added a two-run blast in the ninth to round out an 8-4 victory. Brodey is off to a solid start with the Fireflies, hitting .326 with a .969 OPS in 12 games, but only four of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases. Both he and the Mets hope Wednesday's display is not an outlier.

Video: Brodey smacked two homers in as many innings.

Best matchup

Stephen Gonsalves vs. Isan Diaz and Monte Harrison: Double-A Jacksonville has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Marlins offseason rebuilding moves and now boasts Diaz (Miami's No. 8 prospect) and Harrison (No. 2) at the top of its batting order. Facing MLB.com's No. 79 overall prospect in the first game of a doubleheader with Chattanooga, it was Diaz who enjoyed the better afternoon. The left-handed-hitting second baseman went deep off fellow southpaw Gonsalves in the third inning for his first home run of the season. By comparison, Harrison walked, struck out and grounded out to third against the Lookouts starter, who fanned eight and allowed three earned runs on four hits in six innings. Harrison and Diaz are bound to face more top-level pitching like Kyle Wright and Alec Hansen during their first Double-A seasons, so Wednesday was a good preview.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Twins SS/2B Nick Gordon, Double-A Chattanooga: 4-for-7, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R -- It always seemed strange that the Twins sent their No. 4 prospect back to Double-A after he produced career highs with nine homers, a .341 OBP, a .408 slugging percentage and a .749 OPS in 122 games with the Lookouts in 2017. He's performing like a player that would like to move up to Triple-A now, please. Gordon collected two hits in both ends of Wednesday's doubleheader and is now hitting .383/.408/.638 in his first 12 games of 2018. Most impressively, he's making tons of contact -- the 22-year-old left-handed hitter has struck out only five times in 49 plate appearances. Despite the small sample, his 10.2 percent strikeout rate represents a stark drop from his 23.2 percent mark last season. It's difficult to say Gordon is being challenged by Double-A arms at this point.

Others of note

Twins OF LaMonte Wade, Double-A Chattanooga: 3-for-5, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R, SB -- Minnesota's No. 13 prospect collected his first two extra-base hits of the season in Game 1 of the twin bill and saw his OPS jump from .582 to .808 by day's end.

White Sox OF Blake Rutherford, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem: 3-for-5, 3 2B, 2 R, BB, K -- MLB.com's No. 99 prospect is hitting .357/.404/.524 with seven doubles in his first 10 Class A Advanced contests.

Giants OF Heliot Ramos, Class A Augusta: 1-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 R -- It's been a slow start for the Giants' top prospect, but he hit his first Class A home run -- and his first extra-base hit in 10 days -- on Wednesday He's produced a .235/.278/.373 in 12 games so far.

Padres OF Buddy Reed, Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore: 4-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, SB -- The 2016 second-rounder isn't a ranked prospect in a crowded San Diego system, but he's on a run that will force everyone to pay attention. This was his sixth straight multi-hit game. Over that stretch, Reed is 18-for-27 (.667) with three homers and five doubles. No one else in the Minors has more than 14 hits in that span.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. 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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