Prospect Roundup: Games of July 19

Reds' Gutierrez fans 10; Mets' Alonso goes inside the park

Vladimir Gutierrez has struck out 196 batters over 207 2/3 career innings in the Minor Leagues. (Joshua Tjiong/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 20, 2018 12:30 PM

Theme of the day

Zeroes make heroes: Big numbers can be beautiful, but sometimes, the most aesthetically pleasing number on the baseball field is zero. Enmanuel De Jesus, Devon Fisher and Durbin Feltman proved that when they combined to throw Class A Greenville's first no-hitter since 2012 in Asheville. Meanwhile in the Texas League, A's top prospect Jesus Luzardo, fresh off his appearance in the Futures Game on Sunday, extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings for Double-A Midland -- a stretch that runs all the way back to June 6. That's a whole lot of making something out of nothing.

Video: Midland's Luzardo strikes out seventh man

Who stayed hot

Reds RHP Vladimir Gutierrez, Double-A Pensacola: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 97 pitches, 74 strikes -- Heading into his June 6 start, the Reds' No. 9 prospect was 1-8 with a 6.75 ERA through his first 11 starts. Since then, he's been absolutely on fire, going 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 11 walks over eight starts (50 innings). He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any of those eight outings, and he hasn't walked more than three batters in a start since June 1. This gem against Jacksonville was his best start yet by Game Score (73) with his 10 strikeouts matching a career high. The 22-year-old right-hander, who signed two years ago out of Cuba, has two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball, and continues to show impressive control.

Who needed this one

Tigers OF Mike Gerber, Triple-A Toledo: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, K -- The Tigers' No. 11 prospect hadn't collected multiple hits in a game in 15 days. This was Gerber's second two-homer of the season, the other coming on June 21 at Gwinnett. In his first full season at Triple-A, the 26-year-old outfielder is hitting just .214/.267/.424 with 12 homers in 59 games. He played three games with the Tigers back in April, but a shoulder injury that knocked him out for much of May and a cold turn at the plate since haven't helped his chances of a return. When Gerber has made contact, it's been loud -- his .210 isolated slugging percentage ranks seventh in the International League among batters with 250 plate appearances -- but with a 32.8 percent strikeout rate, contact has been intermittent. He's still likely to return to Detroit when Major League rosters expand in September, but it'll take more powerful performances to get there any sooner than that.

The unexpected

Mets 1B Peter Alonso, Triple-A Las Vegas: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB, K -- Alonso hitting a home run in 2018? Not a surprise. He has 22 of them and hit a majestic moonshot Sunday in the Futures Game. But this homer wasn't of the ordinary sort -- it was an inside-the-park job. The Mets' No. 2 prospect hit a ball deep off the wall in right-center at Salt Lake's Smith's Ballpark, and when the Bees outfielders couldn't corral the ball in time, he was sent home and slid in safely, thanks to an inaccurate throw to the plate. The 23-year-old first baseman has several strengths, but speed isn't one of them. (A better throw would have had him by a few feet at home.) But it still goes down in the books as a homer, a category in which he leads the Mets organization.

Video: Vegas' Alonso tears around the bases

Best matchup

Michael Kopech vs. Brandon Phillips: Kopech, coming off an 11-strikeout performance last Saturday, got to take on a Major League veteran. Phillips is still trying to get back into the swing of things after signing with the Red Sox last month. Kopech took advantage of Phillips' rust, striking him out in the first and fifth innings and getting him to ground out to third in the third. The Charlotte right-hander finished with nine strikeouts while allowing one earned run on seven hits and a walk over six innings in his club's 4-3 win.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Dodgers SS Gavin Lux, Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga: 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R -- Make that 19 straight games with a hit for the Dodgers' No. 11 prospect, tying him with San Jose's Jonah Heim for the longest hitting streak of the season in the California League -- a circuit he seems more than ready to leave behind. The 20-year-old shortstop is hitting .366/.411/.549 over the 19-game run, and he's struck out only eight times (while walking seven times) in 90 plate appearances. He's hitting .324/.398/.521 on the season and ranks second in the Cal League with a 150 wRC+ through 78 games. The 2016 first-rounder is having a breakout year, and a promotion to Double-A Tulsa would provide a needed challenge. He would be young for the level -- he won't turn 21 until November -- but this is the same organization that has allowed 19-year-old Keibert Ruiz to play the whole season in the Texas League.

Others of note

Reds OF Jose Siri, Double-A Pensacola: 2-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI -- A day after homering twice, the Reds' No. 7 prospect went deep again and added a triple against Jacksonville. Siri has five extra-base hits in his last three games and is batting .242/.295/.558 over 26 games since his promotion to Pensacola.

Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson, Triple-A Memphis: 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 97 pitches, 66 strikes -- Fresh off a trip to the Futures Game, the Cardinals' No. 3 prospect continued to put up impressive numbers in Triple-A. The eight strikeouts were his most since fanning nine on May 26. He dropped his season ERA to 2.36, third-best among Pacific Coast League qualifiers.

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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