Prospect Roundup: Games of April 23

Perkins walks off twice for Suns; Alford's strong start continues

Blake Perkins, a 20-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, is batting .357/.451/.443 over 17 games for Hagerstown. (Patrick Cavey/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | April 24, 2017 12:30 PM

D-backs LHP Anthony Banda, Triple-A Reno: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 11 K, 102 pitches, 66 strikes -- The D-backs' top prospect entered Sunday with only nine strikeouts in his first three starts (14 innings) but fanned 11 in a 4-3 win at El Paso, his highest total since racking up 13 on July 29, 2015 with Class A Advanced Visalia. Otherwise, it hasn't been a dream return to the Pacific Coast League for the 23-year-old left-hander, mostly because of control issues. Banda has issued 14 walks over 19 2/3 innings with the Aces, contributing to a 5.49 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. Those numbers are similar to the 5.32 ERA and 1.64 WHIP he posted over his first four starts with Reno last season, and he was able to finish the season with a 3.67 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 13 outings.

Video: Anthony Banda whiffs his 11th for the Aces

Blue Jays OF Anthony Alford, Double-A New Hampshire: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, SB -- The Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect is showing no signs of slowing down. Alford has collected at least one hit in 12 of his 13 games with the Fisher Cats and has multiple hits in five of his last six contests. His .469 average and .544 OBP are tops among all Minor Leaguers, while his 1.197 OPS ranks fourth. His homer Sunday was his second of the season, but just his fifth hit to go for extra bases. If there's any room for improvement, it's in the power department, but really, there should be no complaints with the start Alford is enjoying, especially after he hit just .236 for Class A Advanced Dunedin during an injury-riddled 2016 season.

Video: Alford slugs two-run shot for Fisher Cats

Brewers RHP Jorge Lopez, Double-A Biloxi: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 83 pitches, 57 strikes -- Lopez entered last season as a consensus top-100 prospect. A 6.81 ERA with 55 walks and a .312 average-against over 79 1/3 Triple-A innings later, he has fallen to the No. 13 spot in his own organization and is back in Double-A for a third straight season. The 24-year-old right-hander showed signs why he was once so highly regarded in Sunday's outing and now owns a 2.25 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 20 strikeouts and three walks over 20 innings with the Shuckers. With another couple dominant outings, the Brewers might be willing to push Lopez back to the PCL for another look. They should be encouraged by his improved control, and it'll be imperative to carry that with him against Triple-A hitters. With a plus fastball and curve in his arsenal, Lopez has the stuff to stick as a starter but needs to show more consistency.

Orioles RHP Cody Sedlock, Class A Advanced Frederick: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 89 pitches, 54 strikes -- The Orioles' No. 2 prospect continued to build on an impressive start to his first full season. As indicated by Sunday's gem against Salem, Carolina League hitters have had a rough time touching Sedlock with a .135 average-against and 0.82 WHIP through his first four starts (22 innings). The 21-year-old has all the ingredients to move quickly up the Orioles' chain with four average-to-plus pitches and his pedigree as a college hurler. He just needs to show the results, and with a 1.64 ERA so far, he's well on his way.

Giants OF Bryan Reynolds, Class A Advanced San Jose: 3-for-5, HR, 3B, 5 RBI, 3 R, K -- For those who still stick by the RBI stat, here's a weird one. The Giants' No. 3 prospect has batted third in the San Jose lineup in 11 of his 14 starts, but it took until Sunday for him to collect his first RBIs of the season. The first two came on a homer in the first inning before he added two more on a seventh-inning triple off top A's pitching prospect A.J. Puk and completed the set with a run-scoring single in the ninth in San Jose's 12-8 win at Stockton. RBIs aside, Reynolds has been streaky to begin his first full season with 17 of his 18 hits coming in just six games with San Jose. The 22-year-old switch-hitter has produced a .300/.364/.450 line, and that could grow as he continues to acclimate to the California League.

Nationals OF Blake Perkins, Class A Hagerstown: 4-for-8, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB, 3 SB over doubleheader -- The Nationals' No. 16 prospect enjoyed walking off so much Sunday that he did it twice. Perkins ended the first game of Hagerstown's doubleheader with a three-run homer in the seventh and finished off the nightcap with a game-winning single in the ninth. The 20-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, mostly known for his speed and range in center field, is off to a promising start with a .357/.451/.443 line and one homer over 17 games with the Suns. A second-round pick in 2015, Perkins showed signs that he'd be an offensive project by hitting just .230 with seven extra-base hits and a .592 OPS over 63 games in the New York-Penn and South Atlantic leagues last season. He might be getting back ahead of the curve with his start to 2017.

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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