Prospect Roundup: Games of June 24

Matias tees off with 24th homer; Cameron stays hot with Erie

Seuly Matias has hit 39 home runs over 169 career games in the Minor Leagues. (Chris Robertson/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | June 25, 2018 1:05 PM

Theme of the day

A day of firsts: Oddy Nunez tossed the first no-hitter in Class A Advanced Bradenton history in a rain-shortened, eight-inning affair. No. 4 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez hit his first home run with Triple-A Charlotte. No. 67 prospect Beau Burrows struck out 11 batters for the first time in a Minor League game in his gem with Double-A Erie. Nationals right-hander Sterling Sharp allowed just one hit over seven innings in his first start with Double-A Harrisburg. That's a lot of firsts.

Video: Jimenez smacks first Triple-A homer for Charlotte

Who stayed hot

Royals OF Seuly Matias, Class A Lexington: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, R, 2 K -- The Royals' No. 3 prospect extended his Minor League lead with his 24th homer of the season, giving him three more than second-place Roberto Ramos (21) who had closed in with four homers in his first two games with Double-A Hartford. Matias has gone deep 10 times in 22 June games, and his .667 slugging percentage this month is higher than his marks in April or May. Almost half of his 51 hits on the season have left the yard, and 48 percent of his fly balls have done the same. But with a 37 percent strikeout rate that is the highest in the South Atlantic League, it's clear that the right-handed slugger has an all-or-nothing offensive strategy. That could get exposed at the higher levels, but it's fun to enjoy the power show the 19-year-old is putting on right now.

Video: Lexington's Matias knocks solo homer

Who needed this one

Twins OF Jacob Pearson, Class A Cedar Rapids: 4-for-5, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R, CS -- A third-round pick by the Angels last year, Pearson was dealt to the Twins in December for international bonus pool money that was later used to sign Shohei Ohtani. After hitting just .226 with a .586 OPS in the Arizona League last season, the Twins' No. 23 prospect was off to a slow start this season as well. Minnesota held him back in extended spring training and after being assigned to Cedar Rapids on May 23, Pearson hit .258/.308/.371 in his first 26 games. However, Sunday's performance was a career best in many ways. Pearson's four hits, three RBIs and nine RBIs were a career high. It was just the third time in 67 career games that he'd collected multiple extra-base hits in a contest. The 20-year-old outfielder improved his season line to a much more palatable .284/.330/.441. Pearson's best tool is his speed, but he has the potential to be a solid hitter.

Video: Kernels' Pearson homers

The unexpected

Tigers OF Daz Cameron, Double-A Erie: 1-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, R, K -- It's one of the Minor League cliches. The jump from Class A Advanced to Double-A is the toughest in the Minors. That has not been the experience for the Tigers' No. 10 prospect, however. Cameron hit a grand slam Sunday in Erie's 9-4 win over Altoona and has now homered in back-to-back games. The 21-year-old outfielder has hits in each of his six games since joining the SeaWolves, going 11-for-25 (.440) with five-extra-base hits and two stolen bases. Cameron was a Florida State League All-Star after hitting .259/.346/.370 with three homers in 58 games, but that honor also had a lot to do with his stellar defense in center. Acquired from the Astros in last year's deal for Justin Verlander, Cameron already has a large role in the Tigers' rebuilding process.

Video: Erie's Cameron hits grand slam

Best matchup

Cal Quantrill vs. Sean Murphy: In a Texas League battle between MLB.com's No. 34 and 70 prospects, it was the Midland catcher that got the best of the San Antonio right-hander. Murphy led off the second inning with a homer to left and added an RBI double in the fourth. Quantrill got some revenge by fanning the right-handed batter in the fifth, but by then, the damage was done in what would be a 5-4 RockHounds win. Murphy is 4-for-9 off Quantrill this season and is hitting .306/.356/.534 in 59 games overall. After allowing four earned runs on seven hits in five innings Sunday, Quantrill now has a 4.31 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 81 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings in his second Double-A season. Midland and San Antonio next see each other for a four-game set from July 15-18.

Video: Midland's Murphy homers

Who strengthened their promotion case

Astros OF Seth Beer , Class A Short Season Tri-City: 2-for-3, HR, RBI, R, BB -- Despite his distinguished career at Clemson, the 28th overall pick struggled with Team USA last summer when facing tougher arms with a wood bat. It's becoming clear that the New York-Penn League might not be the best test for him. Beer has gone deep four times in his first nine game with the ValleyCats, including three times over the weekend alone. Only two other players in the Class A Short Season circuit have more than two homers. The Astros grabbed Beer for his power potential, and he's showing it in spades. But it wouldn't hurt to see how it plays against full-season hurlers in the Midwest League

Video: Tri-City's Beer knocks third homer in two days

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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