Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 2

Demeritte goes deep twice; Robles, Rodgers stand out in EL

Travis Demeritte has collected 34 extra-base hits in 100 games for Double-A Mississippi this season. (Ed Gardner/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 3, 2017 12:55 PM

Braves LHP Luiz Gohara, Triple-A Gwinnett: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 88 pitches, 63 strikes -- Any Braves fan worried about Gohara's Triple-A debut last Friday -- in which he surrendered four earned runs and five walks in 4 2/3 innings -- can breathe easy after his second outing with the G-Braves. As much as he struggled with his control last week, Atlanta's No. 8 prospect was efficient Wednesday, needing only 88 pitches through six innings while striking out eight. The Braves acquired the 21-year-old left-hander from the Mariners in January, and he's fit right into the pitching-loaded system, climbing three levels while posting a 2.55 ERA with 112 strikeouts and 34 walks in 99 innings. Gohara can throw hard, and he's got the above-average slider to give hitters trouble. Once seen as a project with Seattle, he's looking more and more like a fully formed starter.

Nationals OF Victor Robles, Double-A Harrisburg: 3-for-4, RBI, 2 R, K -- The Nationals' top prospect seems well settled into Double-A. Wednesday marked his third straight multi-hit game, a stretch that's seen him go 7-for-13 with a homer, three RBIs, six runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. Robles' development into a five-tool star has continued in 2017; he's hitting .291/.380/.494 with eight homers, eight triples, 26 doubles and 17 stolen bases in 86 games between Harrisburg and Potomac. Though all three of his hits Wednesdays were singles, the 20-year-old already has more extra-base hits than last season (42 vs. 34) despite playing 24 fewer games. That power is the only tool that did not receive a plus grade from MLB.com during its latest midseason rankings update -- one that placed Robles at No. 5 overall -- and if that can continue to mature, the Nationals could have another star on their hands.

Video: Senators' Robles drives in a run

Rockies SS/2B Brendan Rodgers, Double-A Hartford: 2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, K -- Speaking of top-10 prospects getting used to the Eastern League, Rodgers continues to acclimate himself after some initial struggles with the Yard Goats. MLB.com's No. 9 overall prospect was hitting .220 with a .674 OPS through his first 23 Double-A games but has turned it on lately, posting a .357 average with two homers, three doubles and a .929 OPS in his last 10 contests. Those initial speed bumps must have been a humbling experience for a slugger who hit .400/.419/.700 in 48 games at Class A Advanced Lancaster before his promotion in June, but Rodgers is showing lately why there's a lot to like about his bat, even outside the California League. He doesn't turn 21 until next Wednesday, and a continued strong finish at Double-A will keep a 2018 Major League debut well within his sights.

Video: Yard Goats' Rodgers belts a homer

Royals 1B Samir Duenez, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 4-for-4, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R -- The Royals' No. 14 prospect had a July to forget, hitting .197/.238/.291 in 28 games last month. He's taken the necessary steps to make sure August won't be a repeat. Duenez set a season high with three extra-base hits Wednesday while matching another season high with four hits overall. In the first two games of August, he's gone 6-for-8 with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. (It took his last nine games of July to record the same total in hits.) At points this year, the first baseman looked like he was having an ascendant campaign in his first season on the Royals' 40-man roster, but after July's rough stretch, he owns a .266/.318/.420 in 104 games, resulting in a nearly league-average 103 wRC+. Having only turned 21 in June, the left-handed-hitting Duenez is still relatively young for Double-A, but if the Royals don't re-sign Eric Hosmer this offseason, don't expect Duenez to be a ready-made replacement at first base at least initially.

Video: Northwest Arkansas' Duenez launches solo shot

Braves 2B/3B Travis Demeritte, Double-A Mississippi: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB -- In the midst of a rough first season at Double-A, the Braves' No. 14 prospect got back to his bread-and-butter Wednesday night with his second two-homer game of the season. Demeritte is hitting .214/.294/.398 with a 27.4 percent strikeout rate in 100 games this season for Mississippi, but his power continues to shine through. His homers Wednesday put him into a six-way tie for second in the Southern League, while his .184 isolated slugging percentage ranks 10th among the circuit's 59 qualified hitters. It's that pop that's allowed him to manage a league-average 100 wRC+. Add in that the 22-year-old is considered a solid defender at both second and third base, and there's value in his overall profile. He'll have to work on making more contact while keeping the power, however, since pitchers aren't going to get any easier up the chain.

Video: Braves' Demeritte bashes second homer

Reds OF Jose Siri, Class A Dayton: 1-for-4, K -- The Reds' No. 24 prospect singled in the eighth inning to extend his Midwest League-record hitting streak to 38 games. He's hitting .343 with 13 homers over that streak and owns a .296/.339/.531 line in 99 games on the season.

Video: Dayton's Siri runs streak to 38

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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