Prospect Roundup: Games of July 15

Hoerner, Dalbec show off at plate away from Futures Game

Nico Hoerner went 7-for-22 in seven games with Eugene before being promoted to South Bend. (Jared Ravich/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 16, 2018 12:10 PM

Theme of the day

Futures on display: The Futures Game pitted some of the game's most exciting American prospects against their equally promising counterparts from overseas, and the exhibition did not disappoint. The two sides combined to hit a Futures Game-record eight home runs, including two from Dodgers No. 4 prospect Yusniel Diaz and one from MVP/Reds outfielder Taylor Trammell, who also added a triple on a ball he thought had left the park. More from the game, which ended in a 10-6 win for the U.S., here.

Who stayed hot

Cubs SS Nico Hoerner, Class A South Bend: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB -- The Cubs have yet to find a league to challenge this year's 24th overall pick. Hoerner played three games in the Arizona League, seven with Class A Short Season Eugene and has now four for South Bend, with stellar results at each stop. On Sunday, the former Stanford shortstop clubbed his first Class A homer and the second of his Minor League career. Hoerner is hitting .327/.450/.571 with six extra-base hits, six steals and nine walks in his first 14 pro games. During his NCAA days, the right-handed batter had a reputation for being a solid-hitting shortstop with above-average speed, but he's shown surprising power as a pro after homering just three times in his three years with the Cardinal.

Video: South Bend's Hoerner knocks first MWL homer

Who needed this one

Tigers RHP Beau Burrows, Double-A Erie: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 98 pitches, 61 strikes -- In his last regular-season outing, the Tigers' No. 4 prospect surrendered a season-high five earned runs on five hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings at Binghamton. The Eastern League All-Star Game was little better, with Burrows giving up two earned runs on three hits in just 2/3 of an inning last Wednesday. One of those hits was a homer by Jan Hernandez. Another was an opposite-field double by Tim Tebow. The 21-year-old right-hander's start against Altoona on Sunday was a different matter. The seven innings represented Burrows' longest outing of the season, and his nine strikeouts were only trumped by the 11 he collected on June 24. MLB.com's No. 63 overall prospect now owns a 3.63 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 91 2/3 innings, but after averaging close to a strikeout per inning last season, he has seen his K/9 drop to 8.0.

The unexpected

Royals 2B Gabriel Cancel, Class A Advanced Wilmington: 3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R, K -- The Royals' No. 21 prospect has shown hints of power in the past -- last year he hit 14 home runs and had a .466 slugging percentage for Class A Lexington -- but been relatively quiet this season, with just a .376 slugging percentage over his first 73 games with the Blue Rocks. But on Saturday, the right-handed-hitting infielder doubled twice at home against Salem, and then added a homer and two more two-baggers Sunday. That was his first time this season that Cancel had collected three or more extra-base hits. He's now hitting .275/.330/.405 with six homers and 19 doubles, and with a 105 wRC+, he's becoming an above-average hitter.

Best matchup

Hunter Greene vs. Luis Alexander Basabe: This matchup drew the most interest from fans in attendance at Nationals Park. Greene, a right-hander, entered the game in the third inning and faced the switch-hitting Basabe first. The Reds' No. 2 prospect demonstrated his 80-grade fastball by pumping heaters measured at 100.9, 102.4 and 101.7 mph on his first three pitches to Basabe. The fourth pitch also came in at 102.3 mph, but Basabe made hard contact, and it went out with an exit velocity of 104.8 mph. The No. 13 White Sox prospect connected on a 404-foot solo homer to right center. As special as Greene's velocity can be, Basabe showed that today's prospects are more than capable of catching up to the fastest of fastballs.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Red Sox 3B Bobby Dalbec, Class A Advanced Salem: 2-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB -- This is getting out of hand. Dalbec's homer Sunday was his eighth in 14 July games. That leads all Minor Leaguers, beating out 2018 second overall pick Joey Bart's seven in the Giants system. He's also hitting .451/.508/1.059 this month and now leads the Carolina League with 23 homers and 176 total bases overall. His .583 slugging percentage is second in the circuit, and his 162 wRC+ is third. Yes, Dalbec still whiffs a lot (30.6 percent of the time this season), but he's making very loud contact.

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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