Prospect Roundup: Games of Sept. 2

De Paula makes Giant impression; Halos' Canning settles in

The Giants' Juan De Paula is playing in his third system after spending time with the Mariners and Yankees. (Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | September 3, 2018 12:45 PM

Theme of the day

I've been everywhere, man: J.B. Bukauskas and Nash Knight showed how well-traveled Minor Leaguers can be in very different ways. Bukauskas tossed six scoreless innings in his debut with Double-A Corpus Christi -- the fifth Astros affiliate the 2017 15th overall pick has pitched for this season. Knight's travels involved moving all around the field with the same team. The 25-year-old utilityman played all nine positions in Class A Advanced Dunedin's 6-5 loss to Daytona in the Florida State League finale.

Who stayed hot

Giants RHP Juan De Paula, Class A Augusta: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 71 pitches, 47 strikes -- De Paula was one of two players dealt from the Yankees to the Giants for Andrew McCutchen on Friday, and two days later, not only was he making his organizational debut, he was also making his Class A debut. The 20-year-old right-hander's results were familiar. Including his final three New York-Penn League starts, this was the fourth straight outing in which De Paula had allowed one or zero earned runs. His nine strikeouts matched a career high (first set on Aug. 8, 2015 with the Mariners' DSL affiliate), and De Paula walked only one batter in his second straight start. The Giants' No. 18 prospect owns a 1.72 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 27 walks in 52 1/3 innings overall this season. His fastball is his only plus pitch at present, leading many to believe he'll eventually become a reliever, but he's done enough with the Yankees and Giants to continue forging ahead as a starter.

Who needed this one

Angels RHP Griffin Canning, Triple-A Salt Lake: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 86 pitches, 52 strikes -- A second-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Canning is one of a number of Angels prospects to rise quickly through the system in 2018, having opened at Class A Advanced Inland Empire and advancing as far as Salt Lake. Triple-A has been a struggle for Canning, who entered Sunday's outing with a 6.00 ERA through 12 starts (54 innings) with the Bees. The No. 3 Halos prospect lowered that mark to 5.49 with his first scoreless outing in Triple-A. Canning's 4.22 FIP in Triple-A is much more palatable, and with a 24.5 percent K rate, he's missed his share of bats, thanks to an above-average fastball and plus changeup. MLB.com's No. 81 overall prospect remains on track to reach the Majors in 2019.

Video: Salt Lake's Canning records ninth strikeout

The unexpected

Cardinals SS Delvin Perez, Class A Short Season State College: 3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, R, K -- Perez's stock has fallen precipitously since he went 23rd overall in the 2016 Draft out of Puerto Rico, and this year hasn't helped his case. The Cardinals' No. 28 prospect is hitting .217/.306/.277 with nine extra-base hits in 63 contests. So it was a bit of a shock to see him pick up a third of those extra-base knocks in a single game. With the homer and two doubles, Perez matched his hit total from his previous eight games combined. Perez is still a plus runner and is a defensive asset at shortstop, but needs to find a way to get hits with more regularly, 

Best matchup

Peter Lambert vs. Kevin CronAs was the case with Canning, the Pacific Coast League has been a humbling experience for Lambert, who owns a 5.04 ERA over 55 1/3 innings with Triple-A Albuquerque. MLB.com's No. 84 prospect faced another big test in PCL end-of-season All-Star Cron, but the Rockies right-hander handled himself well. Lambert struck out Cron in both of their appearances against one another in the first and third innings. He finished with four strikeouts and three hits and two walks allowed over five scoreless innings in his side's 5-2 loss. It was the second straight scoreless start for the 21-year-old hurler, who put up six zeros at Sacramento on Aug. 28. 

Who strengthened their promotion case

Yankees LHP Justus Sheffield, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K -- The Yankees' top prospect was featured in this very spot last week after throwing his first scoreless outing of relief Thursday. Three days later, he was back to posting zeros. In fact, Sheffield was perfect Sunday, retiring all seven Pawtucket batters he faced and fanning four of them. He's now allowed two earned runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking none over 7 1/3 innings since making the move to the bullpen on Aug. 21. New York explicitly made the move in the hope the the 22-year-old southpaw (and his plus fastball and slider) could help out in the Majors, but the club said Sheffield would have to prove himself first. It appears he's doing that with each passing outing, and a September callup seems more and more likely, possibly after Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's International League postseason run is completed.

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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