Prospect Roundup: Games of July 17

Florial collects four hits in GCL rehab; Guerrero back in Dunedin

Estevan Florial hit .246/.353/.343 over 36 games for Class A Advanced Tampa before landing on the DL. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 18, 2018 12:45 PM

Theme of the day

Big numbers in Triple-A: Sure, sluggers from the American and National Leagues combined to hit an All-Star Game-record 10 homers Tuesday night at Nationals Park, but did you catch what happened one level lower? Reds farmhand Brandon Dixon got things going when he hit for the cycle for Triple-A Louisville, a feat he said he didn't think was possible until he rounded first base on his way to a triple in the ninth inning. But things continued to get interesting as the day wore on with Anthony Garcia setting a Nashville record with eight RBIs in a single game and Jake Hager picking up five hits for Colorado Springs. In short, there was plenty of offense to go around outside the nation's capital Tuesday.

Video: Bats' Dixon triples to complete cycle

Who stayed hot

Yankees OF Estevan Florial, Rookie-level GCL Yankees East: 4-for-4, 3B, 2B, R -- The Yankees' top prospect has probably seen enough of the Gulf Coast League at this point, and GCL pitchers have seen enough of him for sure. Florial, rehabbing from a hamate injury he suffered in May, matched his career high with four hits Tuesday, picking up a triple and double along the way. He's now 17-for-31 (.548) with seven extra-base hits and five steals over nine games since he began his rehab on the complex circuit July 9. It's clear the hamate isn't holding Florial back any longer, and a return to Class A Advanced Tampa can't be far off at all.

Who needed this one

Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers, Class A Greensboro: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 93 pitches, 63 strikes -- It has not been a banner first full season for the 13th overall pick in the 2017 Draft, but perhaps like fellow high picks Hunter Greene and MacKenzie Gore, it's just taken some time for him to adjust to Class A. The 20-year-old entered Tuesday's home start against Asheville with a 7.01 ERA but brought it down to 6.42 with his first career quality start. The six innings of work, 93 pitches and eight strikeouts all marked career highs for Rogers. At 6-foot-6, 185 pounds, there's a lot of projection to Rogers, and his extension at that size is what can make him so effective, even if his off-speed pitches aren't more than average at this stage. Miami didn't draft the big southpaw to be good right away in the South Atlantic League, and if he can build on Tuesday's gem to finish with a strong second half, optimism about his future potential will return.

The unexpected

Phillies OF Mickey Moniak, Class A Advanced Clearwater: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K -- The Phillies' No. 4 prospect entered mid-July with two homers through his first 76 contests for Clearwater but has since matched that total in his last two games. In fact, three of his four homers on the season have come in July alone. The 2016 top overall pick was never known for his power, even when his stock was higher across baseball, so this isn't a trend that likely will see legs in the second half. But for a player hitting .242/.268/.337 in his second full season, any positive offensive news is more than welcome.

Best matchup

Tucker Davidson vs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: The game's top overall prospect saw his rehab from a left-knee injury transferred to Class A Advanced Dunedin on Tuesday, and it just so happened he matched up with a ranked prospect in the way of Florida left-hander Tucker Davidson, who checks in at No. 21 in the Atlanta system. Davidson may have held the advantage early against the right-handed slugger, getting him to bounce into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play in the first, but to no one's surpise, Guerrero ended up winning the day. The 19-year-old third baseman hit an RBI double to left in the third and added a single to right to open the fifth against Davidson. Guerrero finished 2-for-4 on the day and is 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles over four games since beginning his rehab in the GCL last Friday.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Rays LHP Brendan McKay, GCL Rays: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K -- Capping this rehab-heavy edition of the Roundup, the Rays' No. 3 prospect was perfect over four frames in his second rehab start in the GCL after hitting the DL with oblique tightness last month. The 22-year-old first baseman/left-handed starter has also played three games as a hitter, going 1-for-10 with two RBIs, but really, when a pitcher is perfect over four innings -- even one who plays two ways -- health doesn't seem to be much of an issue any more. Like Florial, McKay seems likely to return to the Florida State League with Class A Advanced Charlotte in short order.

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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