Prospect Roundup: Games of Sept. 3

Dodgers' Peters shows more pop; Cubs' Velazquez homers twice

DJ Peters has hit 69 career home runs over his first three seasons in the Minor Leagues. (Shane Roper/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | September 4, 2018 12:45 PM

Theme of the day

All's well that ends well: With a few exceptions, Monday brought the 2018 Minor League regular season to a close, and it did not go quietly. Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso hit a walk-off homer for Triple-A Las Vegas that not only gave him a share of the Minor League home run lead with 36, but may have also served as a signal to New York, which announced it would not call him up to the Majors this September. No. 4 Yankees prospect Albert Abreu made his Double-A debut with authority, tossing five no-hit innings for Trenton. No. 4 White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal was a perfect 4-for-4 to help Class A Advanced Winston-Salem capture a second-half division title in the Carolina League. Finally, Hernan Iribarren continued a last-day-of-the-season tradition of playing all nine positions in the same game for Triple-A Louisville.

Video: Alonso blasts walk-off shot for Las Vegas

Who stayed hot

Dodgers OF DJ Peters, Double-A Tulsa: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K -- This was the No. 8 Dodgers prospect's fourth straight two-hit game and the fifth time in his last six contests that he collected multiple hits. The 22-year-old right-handed slugger also hit his fifth homer in his last six games, finishing with a career-best 29 dingers on the season -- five more than anyone else in the Texas League and tied for eighth-most in the Minors. That said, certain parts of his game have been exposed in Double-A. Peters finished with 192 strikeouts (third-most in the Minors) and a 34.3 percent strikeout rate, resulting in a .236 average. The power was a saving grace as he finished with a 114 wRC+, but the 6-foot-6 outfielder will ultimately need to make more contact.

Who needed this one

Dodgers RHP Mitchell White, Double-A Tulsa: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 70 pitches, 51 strikes -- Staying in the same game -- a 6-2 Tulsa win at Springfield -- the No. 7 Dodgers prospect got back on track after allowing a season-high six earned runs over just three frames in his previous outing. White's performance was his second scoreless appearance in his last three and his fifth quality start in his last six outings. The 23-year-old right-hander finished the season with a 4.53 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 88 strikeouts and 34 walks in 105 1/3 innings, all with the Drillers. He has a plus fastball, plus slider and above-average curve, but they didn't translate to many swings and misses. White still shows promise at keeping the ball on the ground (47.4 percent GB rate) and his 7.4 percent walk rate was the best of his career, but he'll need to do a better job of putting the whole package together like this next season.

The unexpected

Cubs OF Nelson Velazquez, Class A Short Season Eugene: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 K -- The No. 21 Cubs prospect's season got off to a rough start when he opened with Class A South Bend in May and hit just .188/.242/.196 over 31 games before being reassigned to Eugene when the Northwest League opened in mid-June. It ended on a much higher note. The 19-year-old outfielder closed out his second Minor League campaign with his first career two-homer game to cap a nine-game hitting streak in which he'd gone 15-for-38 (.395) with four homers and four doubles. The 2017 fifth-rounder hit .250/.322/.458 with 11 homers and 12 steals. He has above-average power and speed; the next goal will be making more contact (35.8 percent K rate at South Bend, 27.6 at Eugene).

Best matchup

Justin Dunn vs. Bobby DalbecBoth 2016 Draft picks have seen their stocks surge with strong 2018 seasons that ended with Double-A Binghamton hosting Portland. Dunn fanned Dalbec in their first two matchups in the first and third innings, but the Sea Dogs slugger singled the other way to right field off the Rumble Ponies right-hander in the fifth. Dalbec would score on a a three-run homer by Jordan Betts two batters later. Dunn finished with five earned runs allowed on eight hits and two walks in five frames, though he did strike out eight batters. Dalbec went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored and three K's.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Phillies RHP Ranger Suarez, Triple-A Lehigh Valley: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 64 pitches, 47 strikes -- The No. 8 Phillies prospect's two starts in the Majors weren't ideal -- he gave up eight earned runs in nine total innings -- but Philadelphia shouldn't be afraid of going back to the 23-year-old left-hander. Suarez allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his nine Triple-A starts and finished the regular season with a 2.74 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 31 strikeouts and 15 walks over 49 1/3 innings with the IronPigs. Suarez, who averages 91-93 mph with his fastball and shows a plus changeup, is likely to remain as a starter with Lehigh Valley during its run through the Governors' Cup playoffs, but he'll definitely head back to Philly when that's over, either as a spot starter or a long man out of the bullpen.

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.

View More