Theme of the day
Do not doubt the Pacific Coast League: Kyle Tucker, Luis Urias and Dustin Fowler have all had their rough days in the first month of the season, but Sunday was not among them. Tucker homered as part of a three-hit game for Fresno, Urias reached base five times for El Paso and Fowler fell just a single shy of the cycle for Nashville. Of the trio, Fowler is probably the closest to the Majors, having already reached the pinnacle last season with the Yankees before a knee injury ended his season prematurely, while Urias (20) and Tucker (21) are a further away, given that they're the two youngest regulars in the PCL. But all three have the offensive potential to get there as soon as this summer.
Video: Kyle Tucker touches one off
Who stayed hot
Marlins OF Monte Harrison, Double-A Jacksonville: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R -- This was the No. 70 overall prospect's second home run in his last four games, but his hot streak goes even further back. Since entering play April 22 with a .154 average and .532 OPS, Harrison is hitting .355/.394/.710 with two homers and five doubles in eight games. He's now batting .229 with a .743 OPS through 23 games. His 40.6 percent strikeout rate on the season remains a red flag, but at least Harrison is showing the ability to hit the ball hard when he does make contact.
Video: Monte Harrison hammers homer
Who needed this one
Padres SS Fernando Tatis Jr., Double-A San Antonio: 1-for-3, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB -- The Padres' top prospect continues to work in fits and starts. Tatis languished below the Mendoza line early in the season, then hit two homers in a single game last Tuesday, only to go 1-for-14 in his next four contests. On Sunday, he reached base three times for the first time since going 3-for-5 on April 8. Tatis seems to be seeing the ball well lately, having taken five walks while fanning only once in his last three games. (He'd walked just once in his previous 20 games.) He's now hitting .185/.240/.348 with three homers in 23 games. A low .241 BABIP is pulling those numbers down, however, and it's important to remember that Tatis, along with Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz, is one of only two 19-year-olds who began 2018 in the Texas League.
Cardinals RHP Ryan Helsley, Triple-A Memphis: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 pitches, 73 strikes -- Based on his overall numbers, the Cardinals' No. 8 prospect may not have been their first choice to take the recently promoted Austin Gomber's spot in the Memphis rotation. Helsley left Double-A Springfield with a 5.82 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 21 2/3 innings, but showed signs of promise in his last Texas League outing, giving up one run on four hits and a walk while fanning eight over six innings. He outdid himself with the Redbirds on Sunday, fanning nine batters for the first time in nearly a year. After experiencing control issues with Springfield, the 23-year-old right-hander found the zone efficiently against Round Rock with a 74.5 percent strike rate and just the one walk. Helsley was reportedly touching the upper-90s with his fastball Sunday and showing an impressive breaking ball.
Video: Ryan Helsley sits down nine batters
Albert Abreu vs. Jesus Sanchez : The Yankees' No. 5 prospect made his season debut for Class A Advanced Tampa after missing the first three weeks of the season following a February appendectomy. His return included facing No. 55 overall prospect Sanchez, who is hitting .345 with a .968 OPS. Because of Abreu's pitch limit, the two ended up squaring off only once, with Sanchez grounding out to first base on the third pitch he saw from Abreu. The Tarpons right-hander is off to a solid start having given up just one earned run on two hits (one of which was a solo homer) while fanning three in 3 2/3 innings. He threw 61 pitches, 40 of which were strikes. He'll stretch out in coming starts, but it'll be a while before he faces Sanchez again. Tampa and Charlotte don't have another series until June 29-July 1, and both prospects could be elsewhere by then.
Who strengthened their promotion case
Blue Jays C Danny Jansen, Triple-A Buffalo: 2-for-2, HR, RBI, R, HBP -- The Jays' No. 6 prospect was already banging on the door of the Majors after batting .323 with an .884 OPS last season, resulting in his addition to the 40-man roster. Jansen has maintained the pace at Triple-A, where he's hitting .310/.420/.524 with two homers and three doubles through 12 games.He's unlikely to supplant veteran Russell Martin in Toronto, however, and backup Luke Maile is off to his own hot start, hitting .351 with an .874 OPS through 10 games. Jansen may have to wait, but he's showing that he's more than ready.
Video: Buffalo's Jensen homers for an early lead
Others of note
Dodgers OF Yusniel Diaz, Double-A Tulsa: 3-for-3, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R -- The Dodgers' No. 5 prospect has run hot and cold since joining Tulsa on April 19. He went 7-for-11 in his first three games, 0-for-11 in the next three and is now 5-for-6 in his last two contests. He's hitting .400/.500/.700 with four extra-base hits in eight games overall.
D-backs C Daulton Varsho, Class A Advanced Visalia: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R -- Arizona's No. 6 prospect fell a triple shy of the cycle in his first multi-hit game since April 12. The 2017 68th overall pick has handled the transition to Class A Advanced well, hitting .294/.407/.500 with three homers and five steals in 19 games.
Orioles SS Mason McCoy, Class A Delmarva: 3-for-3, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, CS -- The Orioles' No. 28 prospect raced for two triples in his first three-hit game of the season. He's batting .217/.316/.348 through 20 games.