Prospect Roundup: Games of May 17

Ray leads off with another homer; Adell maintains hot May

Corey Ray leads all Double-A Biloxi hitters with seven homers in 40 games this season. (Michael Krebs/Biloxi Shuckers)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | May 18, 2018 11:45 AM

Theme of the day

He's no scrub: Is there anything J.D. Davis can't do this season? Up until Thursday night, that answer was "hit a triple," but then he did that in his first at-bat in Fresno. Once that was out of the way, he picked up all the other hits as well. The No. 9 Astros prospect became the first Fresno slugger to hit for the cycle since 2010 and bumped his Minor League-leading average to .425 through 32 games (not a typo). MiLB.com's Michael Avallone had the recap, including Davis' full reaction to a performance the Minor League community might be talking about for some time. 

Video: Fresno's Davis homers to complete the cycle

Who stayed hot

Angels OF Jo Adell, Class A Burlington: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB, SB -- The Angels' top prospect has gone deep three times in his last three games, having hit two homers Tuesday, and is batting .385/.415/.692 with six extra-base hits and 11 RBIs over nine games this month since returning from a thumb injury that held him out two weeks. With a .961 OPS through 22 Class A games, the 2017 10th overall pick hasn't had any issue adjusting to his first full season and could be a top-50 overall prospect by season's end if he keeps this up.

Who needed this one

Rockies 1B/OF Jordan Patterson, Triple-A Albuquerque: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R -- The Rockies' No. 21 prospect had four two-homer games last season with the Isotopes and notched his first of 2018 on Thursday at home against Reno. This is Patterson's third straight year in the Pacific Coast League, but before Thursday, he'd yet to show the necessary improvement to push him back to Colorado for the first time since 2016. Even after this latest outburst, he's hitting .245/.368/.504 with 10 homers in 40 games this season -- he has a .282/.362/.510 line in 290 total games at the Minors' highest level. Patterson was Albuquerque's everyday first baseman until the demotion of Ryan McMahon forced him back to right field, which says something about his spot on the organizational depth chart. He could help his standing by improving his home/road splits; Patterson has hit eight of his 10 long balls at home and has a 1.091 OPS there compared to .698 away from Isotopes Park.

Video: Isotopes' Patterson blasts one

The unexpected

Brewers OF Corey Ray, Double-A Biloxi: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R -- Ray hit a leadoff homer for the third straight day when he went deep in the first inning Thursday at home against Chattanooga. (It's a safe guess he'll be swinging for the fences in his first at-bat going forward until the streak ends.) One leadoff homer is neat. Two in a row is interesting. Three is straight-up astonishing. This run is also part of a longer power trend for Milwaukee's No. 6 prospect. The 23-year-old left-handed slugger has five homers in his last five games. His seven long balls in total this season match his seven from Class A Advanced Carolina in 2017 over 72 fewer games. When the Brewers took Ray fifth overall in 2016, the outfielder was thought to have a potentially special power-speed combo. The former skill hadn't initially shown up much in his introduction to full-season Minor League ball, but it just might be coming through now.

Video: Corey Ray rakes homer

Best matchup

Corbin Burnes vs. Tyler O'NeillBurnes' struggles in the thin air at home in Colorado Springs were documented in the latest edition of Toolshed, and they reared their ugly head Thursday as well. The No. 2 Brewers prospect allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-5 win over Memphis. However, the 23-year-old right-hander can take some solace in the fact that he kept O'Neill, one of the PCL's best sluggers this season, relatively quiet. Burnes struck out O'Neill on four pitches in the first inning, got him to fly out to right field in the fourth and forced him to ground the ball to shortstop in the fifth (though the slugger reached on an error by shortstop Nate Orf). The two have a good chance of seeing each other again before the end of the month when the Redbirds play the Sky Sox for a five-game set from May 25-29. Luckily for Burnes, that will be played in Memphis.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Pirates OF Austin Meadows, Triple-A Indianapolis: 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K -- This is exactly why this category was created. Meadows collected three hits Thursday afternoon to extend his hitting streak to a modest seven games -- a stretch in which he was 13-for-33 (.394) with four doubles, seven RBIs and three steals. Later that night, the Bucs announced they would be promoting him Friday for his Major League debut. More on the promotion from MiLB.com's Vincent Lara-Cinisomo here.

Video: Indianapolis' Meadows notches his 10th double

Others of note

Pirates RHP Clay Holmes, Triple-A Indianapolis: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 86 pitches, 51 strikes -- In the same game, the Pirates' No. 18 prospect did his best to boost his Major League stock. Thursday's gem was his longest outing of the season and matched his season high for strikeouts with seven at Norfolk. Holmes made his Major League debut on April 6, but control issues have kept him from returning. He has a 4.31 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 18 walks in 31 1/3 innings with Indy.

D-backs C Daulton Varsho, Class A Advanced Visalia: 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, K, SB -- This was the third multi-hit performance in the last four games for the No. 6 D-backs prospect. He also remains a bit of a special talent in that he's a catcher with plus speed. Varsho has stolen 11 bases through 34 games; no other California League backstop has more than five.

D-backs 3B Drew Ellis, Class A Advanced Visalia: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, R, BB -- It was a good night for ranked Arizona prospects in Lancaster, despite an 11-9 loss to the JetHawks. Ellis collected his first three-hit game of the season while finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He's hitting .264/.358/.473 with five homers and 12 doubles in 36 games this season.

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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