Prospect Roundup: Games of July 24

Twins' Rooker pops off again; Padres' Allen shines at Double-A

Brent Rooker ranks second in the Southern League with a .517 slugging percentage. (Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 25, 2018 12:05 PM

Theme of the day

Big names doing big things at Triple-A: Triple-A was the place to be Tuesday. No. 72 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves tossed seven scoreless innings to stay hot on the mound for Rochester. No. 50 prospect Tyler O'Neill followed up his three-homer game over the weekend with two more dingers in Memphis' game at Salt Lake. Former top-100 prospect Jorge Mateo broke out of his funk with Nashville by collecting four hits, two of which were triples.

Video: Rochester's Gonsalves records the whiff

Who stayed hot

Twins 1B/OF Brent Rooker, Double-A Chattanooga: 4-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, R, B -- The Twins' No. 7 prospect hit his fourth homer in his last six games and reached base five times for the first time this season in Chattanooga's 10-8 loss to Pensacola. In 46 games since June 1, Rooker is hitting .306/.388/.628 with 12 homers, three triples and 17 doubles. Those 32 extra-base hits are most among all Double-A hitters in that span. After taking Rooker 35th overall out of Mississippi State last year, the Twins pushed the 23-year-old to the Southern League in his first full season, and after a slow start, he's found a higher gear. His defensive position still remains up in the air, but his bat should get him to the Majors by next season.

Who needed this one

Royals LHP Foster Griffin, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 6 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 74 pitches, 45 strikes -- It would have been fun to see how deep the Royals' No. 9 prospect could have gone if he weren't relieving a rehabbing Blaine Boyer (who faced the first three batters of the game) -- and if he weren't pitching in a seven-inning game. As it stood, this efficient gem was his first scoreless appearance since June 11 and saw him lower his Texas League ERA from 5.99 to 5.66. That's fourth-highest among Texas League qualifiers, and his 4.25 FIP and 1.54 WHIP aren't much better. Griffin isn't a high-velocity pitcher, so he has to rely on off-speed stuff to be effective.

The unexpected

A's OF Jorge Mateo, Triple-A Nashville: 4-for-5, 2 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R, K -- It's tough to find a performance that was more unexpected than Mateo's big night in Las Vegas. The A's No. 4 prospect had four hits in his previous eight games combined and was hitting .181/.272/.236 in July before this breakout performance.

Video: Nashville's Mateo triples in a pair

Best matchup

Jorge Guzman vs. Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff: One of the Minors' biggest fireballers took on the Twins' No. 1 and 3 prospects with mixed results in Jupiter's 4-1 loss to Fort Myers. The 22-year-old Guzman struck out Lewis twice and walked him once but couldn't manage to retire Kirilloff, giving up a single to the Miracle outfielder in the second inning and walking him in the fourth. Kirilloff later scored on a two-run homer by Travis Blankenhorn as one of the only two tallies given up by the Marlins' No. 3 prospect in his five frames. Guzman finished with nine strikeouts, his highest total since fanning 10 on June 11.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Padres LHP Logan Allen, Double-A San Antonio: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 96 pitches, 65 strikes -- This was Allen's fifth straight quality start for the Missions. He now leads the Texas League with a 2.59 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 118 strikeouts and .196 average-against through 111 innings. Yes, MLB.com's No. 97 prospect only turned 21 in May, but he has nothing left to prove at Double-A. A month-long stint at Triple-A El Paso could provide that challenge and send him into the offseason with things to work on.

Others of note

Pirates 1B Will Craig, Double-A Altoona: 3-for-3, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R -- All three of Craig's hits went for extra bases, giving him seven extra-base hits in his last six games. The No. 15 Pirates prospect is hitting .252/.324/.473 with 17 homers, one triple and 20 doubles over 93 games.

Red Sox RHP Mike Shawaryn, Double-A Portland: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 88 pitches, 56 strikes -- This was Shawaryn's fourth seven-inning start of the season and his first scoreless outing of any kind since June 14. The No. 9 Red Sox prospect has a 3.29 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 95 strikeouts and 26 walks in 106 2/3 innings with Portland.

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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