Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 7

Devers collects three hits again; Martes tosses third straight gem

Rafael Devers has 27 home runs over three seasons in the Minor Leagues. (Chris Robertson)

By Sam Dykstra / | August 8, 2016 12:43 PM ET

Yankees OF Aaron Judge, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 1-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, R, 2 K -- The Yankees' No. 4 prospect not only slugged his first home run since June 27, but he did so in grand fashion with his first grand slam at the Triple-A level. Judge missed almost a month due to a sprained knee ligament, but the 24-year-old has performed admirably since his return with a .318/.375/.545 line, three extra-base hits and six RBIs in six games. Judge, who is hitting .265 with 17 homers and an .831 OPS on the season, might be one of the biggest benefactors from New York's recent moves at the Major League level. The departure of Carlos Beltran leaves an opening in the outfield, and Alex Rodriguez's coming release after Friday will open up a Major League roster spot. If Judge stays healthy over the next week and continues to perform, the Yankees may give him a look at the game's highest level after 150 career games at Triple-A.

Astros RHP Francis Martes, Double-A Corpus Christi: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K -- The Astros' top pitching prospect continued his dominant run with a third straight impressive start for the Hooks, going 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 28 strikeouts and four walks in those 20 1/3 innings. Sunday's gem marked the first time in that string, however, that Martes had faced a team other than San Antonio, beating Midland, 3-1, on the road. The 20-year-old with a plus fastball and curve had his bumps in the first three-plus months of the season but has his Texas League ERA down to 3.53, its lowest since April 16. His 9.5 K/9 and 2.86 FIP are both second-best among all qualified Double-A pitchers this season as well. Add the fact that the Dominican Republic native set a career high Sunday with 102 innings pitched in his second full season, and the right-hander looks set to impact the Major League rotation at some point in 2017.

Giants 1B Chris Shaw, Double-A Richmond: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R, K -- It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Shaw since he jumped to Double-A on June 30, but Sunday was one of his better days with the Flying Squirrels. The homer was his third in 34 games, and second in his last five contests, as the 22-year-old collected multiple extra-base hits for the first time since July 4. The Giants system took a big hit at this year's deadline with deals for Matt Moore and Will Smith, and Shaw now checks in as the organization's No. 3 prospect, according to Known primarily for his power, he backed that up with 16 homers and a .544 slugging percentage in 72 games at Class A Advanced San Jose. Of course, that was the California League, and Shaw has found it difficult to figure out Double-A pitching with a .220/.271/.386 line. On the plus side, his strikeout rate has dipped from 23 percent at Class A Advanced to 19.4 at Double-A, and a .252 BABIP (down from .326) could be a sign that his low average includes some bad luck. Either way, Sunday's performance provides hope that the slugger can work toward a strong finish to his first full season.

Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers, Class A Advanced Salem: 3-for-5, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 K -- The No. 3 Red Sox prospect had his second straight three-hit performance and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Even while hitting just .195 through the first two months of the season, Devers seemed primed for a turnaround, and that's precisely what has happened. The 19-year-old hit .357/.408/.670 with 22 extra-base hits in 28 games in July and has started August by going 11-for-31 (.355), all while checking in as the second-youngest player in the Carolina League. Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi have gotten plenty of ink for their performances this season, but Devers,'s No. 23 overall prospect, isn't too far behind, even if his road to Boston might be a little longer given his age.

Mariners LHP Luiz Gohara, Class A Clinton: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K -- The Mariners' No. 5 prospect seems to have Class A pretty well figured out. Sunday's outing marked Gohara's sixth straight quality start with the LumberKings and his first scoreless start since July 9. Since his Clinton debut July 4, the 20-year-old lefty leads all Class A hurlers in strikeouts (49) and innings pitched (41 2/3) and ranks sixth in ERA (1.73). He's got the plus fastball and decent slider to succeed at the lower levels but is finally finding consistent success after some fits and starts stateside in 2014 and 2015.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for 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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