Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 27

Halos' Hermosillo homers twice; Wells continues walkless streak

Michael Hermosillo has nine homers in 2017, eclipsing his previous career high of six. (Salt Lake Bees)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 28, 2017 12:45 PM

Angels OF Michael Hermosillo, Triple-A Salt Lake: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB -- The No. 13 Angels prospect added another impressive chapter to his ascendant season Sunday with his first career two-homer game in an 8-1 win at Albuquerque. A 28th-round pick in 2013, Hermosillo put himself on the map by hitting .317/.402/.467 between Class A Burlington and Class A Advanced Inland Empire last year. He's been even better this campaign, climbing from the California to the Pacific Coast League and hitting .270/.372/.407 with career highs in homers (nine), doubles (24) and steals (32) over 112 games between Salt Lake, Double-A Mobile and Inland Empire. The 22-year-old outfielder has especially taken off at the Minors' highest level with a .310 average, .932 OPS, 11 extra-base hits and six steals in 22 games for the Bees. He's eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason and should be an easy 40-man addition for Los Angeles before the mid-November deadline. Hermosillo doesn't quite have the ceiling of fellow Angels outfield prospects such as Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones, Jacob Pearson or Brandon Marsh, but he's the closest of that group to the Majors and has earned a look -- likely coming next spring.

Video: Hermosillo goes yard again for the Bees

Orioles LHP Alex Wells, Class A Delmarva: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 48 pitches, 36 strikes -- Looking for the best control in the Minors at the moment? Look no further than the left arm of the Orioles' No. 16 prospect. Wells hasn't allowed a walk since June 25, a stretch of 68 consecutive innings. The 20-year-old has allowed only 10 free passes over his 140 innings with the Shorebirds and leads the South Atlantic League with a 1.8 percent walk rate this season. Only Indians prospect Shane Bieber (1.4 percent) has a lower walk rate among full-season hurlers in 2017. Beyond just the walk totals, Wells -- signed in August 2015 out of Australia -- has used his control to great effect with Sally League bests in ERA (2.38) and WHIP (0.91). Without a truly plus pitch, the Shorebirds southpaw needs to find the strike zone with as much regularity as he has to be dominant, but this type of control is eye-popping.

Rockies 3B/1B Tyler Nevin, Class A Asheville: 4-for-5, 2 RBI, R -- It's good to be home, especially when that home is Asheville's McCormick Field. The Rockies' No. 17 prospect pushed his average to .307 with a third straight multi-hit home game Sunday -- the first time he's been above .300 since April 11. Nevin got off to a rough start before it was revealed he had fractured bones in his left hand, causing him to miss more than two months of South Atlantic League play. Since returning July 7, the 20-year-old corner infielder has a .344/.389/.534 line with five homers, two triples and 17 doubles in 47 games. Of course, Asheville's friendly environments have something to do with that. Nevin owns a .358/.402/.567 line with 18 extra-base hits in 31 games at home compared to a .265/.341/.367 line with eight extra-base hits in 38 games on the road. However, for a player who got only one at-bat in 2016 due to a torn hamstring, these types of results, regardless of where they're coming, are a big boon for Nevin's stock.

Pirates RHP Luis Escobar, Class A West Virginia: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 96 pitches, 60 strikes -- Not only does this match Escobar's longest start of the season in term of innings, but it was also his best outing of 2017, at least according to his 76 Game Score. The Pirates' No. 17 prospect has made a big jump in terms of whiffs in his first campaign at a full-season level, striking out 160 batters over 126 2/3 innings -- 14 more than anyone else in the South Atlantic League. The 21-year-old right-hander had experienced some bumps recently, including 12 earned runs allowed over eight innings in his last two starts, which caused Escobar's ERA to balloon to 4.21. He brought that down to 3.98 following Sunday's outing, but his 10.6 percent walk rate still ranks 29th among the league's 30 qualified hurlers. That'd seemingly point to a future in the bullpen, where Escobar's mid-90's fastball could climb even more, but that conversation could still be a few years away.

Cubs OF D.J. Wilson, Class A South Bend: 4-for-4, 2 2B, R, BB, CS -- Wilson tied a career high with four hits Sunday in his perfect day at the plate, pushing his season line to .236/.317/.427 through 82 games with South Bend. By Midwest League standards, that's still above-average, as his 109 wRC+ suggests, but it still points to how much of a project Wilson remains offensively. Taken in the fourth round of the 2015 Draft, the No. 12 Cubs prospect's biggest assets are his speed -- he's stolen 14 bases and raced for eight triples this season -- and his defensive work in center. Sunday showed he's capable of a big game offensively, but he'll need to make these more consistent if he's to become a more well-rounded outfield prospect.

Video: Cubs' Wilson notches fourth hit

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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