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Prospect Roundup: Games of May 15

Solak extends on-base streak to 25 games; Bichette goes deep
Nick Solak ranks sixth in the Southern League with a .940 OPS for Double-A Montgomery. (Brian McLeod/
May 16, 2018

Theme of the dayTwo homers for you and you and you and ... : Six prospects ranked among the top 30 in their respective organizations went deep twice Tuesday: Fernando Tatis Jr., Jo Adell, Ryan McMahon, Peter Alonso, Corey Ray and Aristides Aquino. Alonso's performance might have been the most

Theme of the day

Two homers for you and you and you and ... : Six prospects ranked among the top 30 in their respective organizations went deep twice Tuesday: Fernando Tatis Jr., Jo Adell, Ryan McMahon, Peter Alonso, Corey Ray and Aristides Aquino. Alonso's performance might have been the most memorable of the night, with his second long ball giving Double-A Binghamton a walk-off win, but Tatis and Adell also kept up impressive Mays while the slugfests for McMahon, Ray and Aquino couldn't have come at better times. Tuesday was a day for dingers in the Minor Leagues.

Who stayed hot

Rays 2B/OF Nick Solak, Double-A Montgomery: 2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB, K, CS -- Tampa Bay's No. 12 prospect has reached base in 25 straight games, tied for the longest active streak in the Southern League. Over that span, he's hitting .323/.400/.542 with 10 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and 10 walks. Solak, who came over from the Yankees as part of a three-team deal in February, has also shown good pop with three homers in his last four games. The 2016 second-rounder was a solid-hitting second baseman with slightly above-average speed when he joined the Tampa Bay system, but he's raising his prospect profile this season. The Rays like Solak's bat enough that they're splitting his time between second and left field in an attempt to ease his route to the Majors.

Who needed this one

Athletics SS Jorge Mateo, Triple-A Nashville: 2-for-4, 3B, 2B, RBI, R, K -- Oakland's No. 4 prospect is 7-for-18 with a triple, three doubles and eight RBIs in his last five games, a stretch that has pushed his season average up to just .206. The 22-year-old, who has 80-grade speed, has spent much of the last four weeks under the Mendoza line, and even after this latest hot streak, his .574 OPS is still fourth-lowest in the Pacific Coast League. Mateo's .286 BABIP is unusually low for someone with his speed, but his 30.3 percent strikeout rate and 4.8 percent walk rate aren't helping matters. Still, the Dominican Republic native is making adjustments and remains young for a Triple-A ballplayer.

The unexpected

Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette, Double-A New Hampshire: 2-for-6, HR, 2 RBI, R -- This is only surprising insofar that this was Bichette's first homer of the season in his 33rd game with New Hampshire. By this point a year ago, the Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect had already gone deep three times for Class A Lansing. He'd finish with 14 between there and Class A Advanced Dunedin. That said, a lack of long balls isn't a reason to be down on the right-handed slugger. The 20-year-old opened the season as the second-youngest player in the Eastern League, and he's held his own with a .279/.353/.421 line. With a 121 wRC+, he's been an above-average hitter in a circuit where he's about four years younger than the average player. Bichette will be just fine.

Best matchup

Adrian Morejon vs. Jahmai Jones: These two featured in the same spot back in the May 2 Roundup and they're back again less than two weeks later. Jones tripled and walked twice against's No. 46 overall prospect in that first matchup and didn't disappoint Tuesday, going 1-for-2 with a double and another walk in Inland Empire's 8-4 loss to Lake Elsinore. Morejon was still solid with two earned runs allowed on six hits and three walks in five innings while Jones finished the night 2-for-4. The two sides will see each other again for six games in a seven-day stretch from June 1-7, making it highly likely the southpaw starter and right-handed slugger will cross paths once more.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Pirates RHP Mitch Keller, Double-A Altoona: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 95 pitches, 63 strikes -- The Pirates' top prospect looked ready for an early-season move to Triple-A Indianapolis, but a May 9 outing in which he allowed four earned runs and struck out only one in 4 1/3 innings was a setback. He put himself right back on track Tuesday with a seven-inning gem against Richmond. This was the third time in the 22-year-old right-hander's seven starts that he's completed seven innings, but he has yet to throw more than 95 pitches in an outing. Keller owns a 3.07 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 37 strikeouts in 41 innings this season and has a 3.09 ERA with 82 strikeouts over 75 2/3 innings overall at Double-A dating back to last season. The Bucs will want to see more consistency out of the 2014 second-rounder, who has two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball, and a promotion to Triple-A is well within reach.

Others of note

Orioles 3B Ryan Mountcastle, Double-A Bowie: 3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI -- After a broken hand caused him to miss all of April, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect has reached base in all six of his games with the Baysox, going 9-for-21 (.429). His two doubles Tuesday were his first extra-base hits of 2018.
Reds OF Jose Siri, Class A Daytona: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K, SB -- Like Mountcastle, Siri opened the season on the disabled list -- in this case, with a thumb injury -- but it should come as no surprise that the slugger who had a 39-game hitting streak in 2017 has opened this season with hits in his four games with Daytona. Tuesday's homer was his first with the Reds' Class A Advanced affiliate.
Marlins RHP Zac Gallen, Triple-A New Orleans: 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 91 pitches, 60 strikes -- This was the fourth time in eight starts this season that the Marlins' No. 12 prospect didn't allow an earned run for the Baby Cakes. He's put up a 2.25 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 40 strikeouts and 13 walks in 48 innings.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.