Theme of the dayDingers on dingers: There were plenty of home runs Monday with the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby taking place in Columbus. Toledo slugger Chad Huffman ended up walking away with the belt by capturing his second Triple-A Derby title. He won the first one in 2009. Lorenzo
Theme of the dayDingers on dingers:
There were plenty of home runs Monday with the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby taking place in Columbus. Toledo slugger Chad Huffman
ended up walking away with the belt
by capturing his second Triple-A Derby title. He won the first one in 2009. Lorenzo Quintana
delivered additional power at the lower levels as well. The Double-A Corpus Christi catcher slugged three long balls
and drove in six runs to lead the Hooks to a 15-6 win over Northwest Arkansas.
Who stayed hotIndians OF Mitch Longo, Class A Advanced Lynchburg: 4-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R --
The Indians' No. 28 prospect
set a new season high with four hits to cap a recent torrid stretch. It was his fifth multi-hit effort in his last six games -- a stretch in which he's gone 13-for-29 (.448) with two homers, a triple, three doubles and seven RBIs. Longo, who is a career .327 hitter over 173 Minor League games, continues to show a strong hit tool with a .300 average in 75 games this year and has shown above-average speed with 13 steals. There isn't much in the way of power, however -- his homer Monday was just his sixth of 2018 -- and he's a bit old for the level at 23.
Who needed this oneRed Sox 3B Michael Chavis, Class A Short Season Lowell: 3-for-4, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB --
The top Red Sox prospect was suspended for the first 80 games of 2018 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He returned to action with Lowell a week ago before jumping to Double-A Portland, only to go 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in his two games. With the circuit in its All-Star break, Chavis went back to Lowell to pick up more at-bats, and he finally caught fire with his first homer and multi-hit game of the season. The 22-year-old infielder talked about his bounce-back effort
with MiLB.com's Marisa Ingemi.
The unexpectedBraves LHP Kyle Muller, Class A Advanced Florida: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, 97 pitches, 74 strikes --
Muller, a second-round pick in 2016, is one of the Braves' better pitching prospects, even in a system full of them. Ranked No. 11 among all prospects in the organization, the 6-foot-6 southpaw has an above-average fastball and curveball. That's helped him post a 2.86 ERA in 91 1/3 innings this season between Florida and Class A Rome. But Muller's season high for strikeouts was six (achieved five times) and his career high was seven (achieved twice in 2017). He blew past those marks after striking out the side in the fifth inning Monday. Muller had racked up the K's at the Rookie levels, where he punched out 87 in 75 1/3 innings, but had yet to do so with a full-season affiliate, even when the rest of his numbers were solid.
Best matchupMacKenzie Gore vs. Ronaldo Hernandez:
The Padres' No. 2 prospect has been taking his regular spot in the rotation for a month now after missing significant time due to blister issues. On Monday, he tangled with Bowling Green, which became the first Minor League team to 60 wins, and specifically Rays No. 19 prospect Hernandez, who is the midst of a breakout season with a .314 average, .915 OPS and 14 homers. Gore passed the Hernandez exam, getting the Hot Rods catcher to ground out to third base in the second inning and strike out swinging in the fourth. The Fort Wayne southpaw finished with two earned runs allowed on three hits and two walks over five innings in a 6-1 loss. Gore could see Hernandez and the rest of the Bowling Green lineup when the TinCaps visit for a four-game series at the end of July.
Who strengthened their promotion caseDodgers C/3B Will Smith, Double-A Tulsa: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K --
The Dodgers' No. 9 prospect connected on his eighth home run in his last 13 games in Tulsa's 8-1 win over Frisco. He's now tied for fourth in the Texas League with 15 homers, and his .589 slugging percentage is tops among league hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. Once believed to have below-average pop, the 2016 first-rounder has broken out in his first trip to Double-A. On the defensive side, Smith has played more and more third base as the season has worn on while he shares catching duties with 19-year-old wunderkind Keibert Ruiz
. If the Dodgers want Smith to get more consistent playing time behind the plate, they might consider promoting him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Smith's bat, at least, is looking ready for the challenge.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.