Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 5

Kopech keeps on trucking for Charlotte; Bart triples twice

Michael Kopech leads Triple-A pitchers with a 30.9 percent strikeout rate this season. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 6, 2018 12:30 PM

Theme of the day

Hits and no hits at Class A: It was a day of extremes in Class A. Marlins prospects Taylor Braley, Jeremy Ovalle and Michael Mertz combined to throw a seven-inning no-hitter for Greensboro -- the Grasshoppers' first no-no since 2012 when Jose Fernandez was on the mound. At the other end of the spectrum, Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran and Angels third baseman Tim Millard collected five hits each for Greenville and Burlington, respectively. Kannapolis -- the club Greensboro no-hit -- probably wishes those two hitters could have spread some of the knocks around.

Who stayed hot

White Sox RHP Michael Kopech, Triple-A Charlotte: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 106 pitches, 82 strikes -- After this gem, the No. 2 White Sox prospect owns a 2.32 ERA with 41 strikeouts and only four walks in his last five starts (31 innings) with Charlotte. The strikeout totals are nothing new; he's now fanned 152 batters in 113 1/3 innings this season, placing him second in the Minors. But the low walk totals are an encouraging development for the 22-year-old right-hander, who has long been known for his triple-digit heater and control issues. That's the type of growth Chicago wanted to see from Kopech, who will be Rule 5-elligible this fall, and it's becoming increasingly possible that he'll reach the South Side this season.

Video: Kopech notches ninth strikeout for Charlotte

Who needed this one

Angels SS Kevin Maitan, Rookie-level Orem: 3-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 R, K -- The Angels' No. 7 prospect has dropped out of MLB.com's top 100, due to body concerns and poor performance. However, the 18-year-old shortstop was still named a Pioneer League All-Star despite posting an OPS below .700 for most of the circuit's short season. Before the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game on Tuesday, Maitan helped justify his selection by matching his season high with three hits. Following a 2-for-6 showing Saturday, this weekend marked just the second time this season that Maitan has collected multiple hits in back-to-back games. The switch-hitting shortstop has produced a .252/.319/.371 line with four homers, six doubles and a 77 wRC+ this season.

The unexpected

Giants C Joey Bart, Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer: 2-for-5, 2 3B, RBI, 2 R, SB -- The Giants' top prospect has done a lot of things offensively since going second overall in the June Draft. One thing he hadn't done -- not in the pros, not in college -- was collect two triples in a game. That changed Sunday in his side's 5-1 win over Tri-City. Those two three-baggers were Bart's first since joining Salem-Keizer on July 3. A 30-grade runner on the 20-80 scale, the Georgia Tech product added his second career stolen base for good measure. Don't expect much speed from the 21-year-old backstop going forward, but he'll be able to hit with the best of them, especially for his position. Bart has produced a .346/.395/.750 line with 22 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs in 25 Northwest League games.

Best matchup

Triston McKenzie vs. Ke'Bryan Hayes: It was matchup of true outcomes when MLB.com's No. 36 overall prospect (McKenzie) faced the No. 54 talent in the Minors (Hayes) in Altoona's 4-1 win over Akron. The RubberDucks right-hander got the Curve third baseman to strike out swinging in the first inning and got him looking in the fifth. In between, Hayes took McKenzie deep to left with a two-run homer in the third. Hayes, whose homer was his seventh of the season, is 2-for-9 with three strikeouts against McKenzie this season, but both of those hits have gone for extra bases (homer, triple).

Video: Curve's Hayes wallops two-run dinger

Who strengthened their promotion case

Padres C Francisco Mejia, Triple-A El Paso: 3-for-4, 2B, R -- MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect has hit so well for El Paso since his trade from the Indians that he could be summoned to the Majors at any time. Mejia had his second three-hit game with the Chihuahuas on Sunday and is now hitting .392/.436/.529 with a homer and two doubles in 10 games with the Padres' Triple-A affiliate. Eight of those 10 starts have come behind the plate, and it's his defensive development that will determine how good he'll eventually be. His bat is more than ready.

Others of note

Cubs 3B Jason Vosler, Triple-A Iowa: 4-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R -- The Cubs' No. 29 prospect matched a career high with four hits in a perfect day at the plate. After experiencing a power jump in 2017, Vosler has hit 18 homers this season between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa and needs only three more to match last season's total. He's hitting .252/.343/.474 in 103 games.

Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt, Class A Short Season Staten Island: 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 62 pitches, 39 strikes -- The No. 7 Yankees prospect's rehab from Tommy John surgery continued apace with the longest outing of his pro career yet. The six strikeouts also matched a season high. Schmidt has given up only one earned run on four hits and two walks while fanning 10 in 8 1/3 innings over two starts with Staten Island.

Rays OF Jesus Sanchez, Double-A Montgomery: 2-for-5, HR, RBI, R, K -- The game's No. 31 overall prospect hit the first Double-A homer of his career and is 4-for-13 (.308) with a homer, a double and four walks in three games with Montgomery since being promoted there Friday.

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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