Prospect Roundup: Games of May 29

Braves' Wright getting on track; Angels' Fletcher keeps producing

Kyle Wright has struck out 50 batters over 52 2/3 innings this season for Double-A Mississippi. (Tate Nations/Mississippi Braves)

By Sam Dykstra / | May 30, 2018 12:40 PM

Theme of the day

2017 picks: Hunter Greene, last year's No. 2 overall pick, tossed the longest outing of his young career with a five-inning gem for Class A Dayton. No. 26 overall pick Bubba Thompson set his own career high with four hits for Class A Hickory. Taylor Walls, a third-round pick, showed everyone that prospects don't have to be first-round talents to make an impact when he notched his second straight four-hit game for Class A Bowling Green, pushing his season average up to .337. Tuesday was a good reminder that prospects produce something fresh and new in the Minor Leagues every day.

Video: Greene's fourth strikeout of the game for Dayton

Who stayed hot

Angels INF David Fletcher, Triple-A Salt Lake: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB -- By doubling and homering at home against Reno, the Angels' No. 21 prospect took over the Triple-A lead in extra-base hits with 33 in 47 games. His previous career high was 25, achieved over 111 games last season between Salt Lake and Double-A Mobile. His .595 slugging percentage this season is almost 200 points above his career mark of .398, accrued over four seasons since being taken as a sixth-round pick back in 2015. Yes, a lot of this has to do playing his home games at Smith's Ballpark, where he's hitting .372/.410/.628 with 17 extra-base hits in 26 games, but the 23-year-old also has a .326/.386/.554 line on the road. Fletcher has rotated between shortstop, third base and second base in the last week alone as the Halos try to find a spot for him. With Ian Kinsler continuing to struggle at second base, that might be the best option right now.

Video: Fletcher goes yard for Salt Lake

Who needed this one

Braves RHP Kyle Wright, Double-A Mississippi: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 96 pitches, 62 strikes -- There are any number of explanations for why the Braves' No. 2 prospect has struggled so much this season, starting with the fact that he's the only 2017 first-round pitcher to open at Double-A. Tuesday's gem at Biloxi was a welcome sight for both Atlanta and Wright, who lowered his season ERA from 4.73 to 4.27 in his 11th start. The 22-year-old right-hander's seven frames matched his longest outing of the season. With four potentially above-average pitches, Wright has the stuff to be a solid big league starter. He just needs to show it more consistently.

The unexpected

Dodgers OF Starling Heredia, Class A Great Lakes: 3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 6 RBI, R -- After hitting two homers on May 17, Dodgers' No. 16 prospect was 3-for-41 (.073) with 16 strikeouts in his last 12 games entering Tuesday's matchup with South Bend. Then he doubled in the fourth, hit a three-run two-bagger in the sixth and rounded out his night with a three-run homer in the eighth as the Loons won, 12-4. Heredia dominated the Rookie-level Arizona and Pioneer Leagues last season but has produced just a .193/.262/.335 line with 103 strikeouts in 72 career games at Class A dating back to last summer. When he makes contact, it can be loud.

Video: Loons' Heredia hits one out

Best matchup

Sean Reid-Foley vs. Francisco Mejia: Reid-Foley needed a boost after allowing eight earned runs over 2 1/3 innings in his Triple-A debut last Thursday, but facing a Columbus lineup featuring's No. 12 overall prospect didn't make it easy. The Blue Jays' No. 10 prospect yielded three earned runs in his first inning -- one of which scored on a triple to center by Mejia -- but he soon found his footing. Reid-Foley got Mejia to fly out to center in the third inning and forced him to pop out to the third baseman in foul territory in the sixth. The Buffalo starter ended up with a quality start after allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk while fanning 10 over six innings. Mejia's triple was his only hit of the day as he finished 1-for-4 with a walk in his side's 7-5 win.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara, Triple-A New Orleans: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 101 pitches, 65 strikes -- The No. 2 Marlins prospect's numbers aren't eye-popping -- he's posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 43 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings -- but Alcantara has become one of the most reliable pitchers in the Pacific Coast League. The 22-year-old right-hander, known for his plus-plus fastball, has completed at least seven frames in four of his last five starts and now sits second in the PCL in innings pitched. Alcantara doesn't have the strikeout numbers of dominant hurlers, but he is elite when it comes to keeping opposing hitters out of the air. His 57 percent groundball rate is highest among all qualified Triple-A pitchers. Marlins starters rank 26th in the Majors with 1.3 collective WAR, and it can't be long before a struggling Miami club gives its top pitching prospect a shot..

Others of note

Dodgers OF Jeren Kendall, Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga: 1-for-2, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, K -- The 2017 23rd overall pick is known for his strikeouts, but he can take his fair share of walks too. He's hitting .236/.342/.401 with four homers and 19 steals over 43 games.

Astros RHP Josh James, Triple-A Fresno: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 82 pitches, 61 strikes -- The 2014 34th-round pick continues to look like the breakout prospect of the Astros system in 2018. Tuesday's gem was his longest outing of the season. He's posted a 2.93 ERA with 67 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 43 innings between Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for 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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