Prospect Roundup: Games of May 17

Moroff ties Minor League homer lead; Bichette enjoys perfect day

Pirates prospect Max Moroff, who entered this season with 25 career homers, already has 12 long balls in 2017. (Ken Inness/

By Sam Dykstra / | May 18, 2017 12:50 PM

Pirates INF Max Moroff, Triple-A Indianapolis: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, K -- Who predicted the Pirates' No. 23 prospect would be tied for the Minor League lead with 12 home runs on May 18? Probably no one, including Moroff himself. The 24-year-old utility infielder's previous career high was eight, and this offseason gave him a 35 on the 20-80 scale for his power. The switch-hitter's two long balls Wednesday came from both sides of the plate and put him in a three-way tie with Wilmington's Chris DeVito and Potomac's Taylor Gushue. No one's going to confuse Moroff, who has a career .380 slugging percentage, for a power hitter, but the Pirates have liked what they've seen and brought him up for a four-game stint earlier this month. With a .388 on-base percentage also part of the equation in 2017, he's been enough of a well-rounded hitter that the Bucs shouldn't hesitate to promote him again, if their infield depth takes another hit.

Video: Moroff slugs second homer for Indians

Giants RHP Tyler Beede, Triple-A Sacramento: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 98 pitches, 62 strikes -- It hasn't been a banner year for the Giants at any level, but San Francisco fans could take some solace in their top prospect's performance Wednesday -- even if it came in a walk-off loss to Oklahoma City. Beede's outing was his longest of the season in terms of both innings and pitches, and he dropped his ERA to 3.30 with 30 strikeouts and 15 walks over 43 2/3 innings. With a 16.4 percent strikeout rate, he hasn't missed a lot of bats during his introduction to the Pacific Coast League, but that's never really been his game. While Beede plays to contact, he's not hurting himself with an 8.2 percent walk rate that would be the second-lowest mark for his career. The 23-year-old right-hander hasn't sprinted out of the gate in Triple-A, but he hasn't stumbled either.

Athletics 2B Max Schrock, Double-A Midland: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, K -- The A's No. 16 prospect, who hadn't gone deep since April 29, homered off Rangers No. 2 prospect Yohander Mendez in the fourth inning Wednesday. Then he did the same thing two innings later for his first career multi-homer game. The 5-foot-8 second baseman, who hit .331 in his first full season in 2016, isn't known for his pop, but he can run into some balls every now and again. With five homers in 34 games, he's well on his way to breaking the nine he hit between the A's and Nationals systems last year. After hitting .228 with a .662 OPS in April, he's improved in May with a .339 average and .859 OPS in 15 games, and Wednesday was just the latest indication of his recent adjustments to the Double-A level.

Video: Midland's Schrock smacks second home to tie gamer

Yankees SS/OF Jorge Mateo, Class A Advanced Tampa: 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K, SB -- All three of Mateo's homers this season have come in his last five games, and Wednesday's performance punctuated what's been the strongest stretch of the season for the Yankees' No. 4 prospect. Over his last seven games, Mateo is 13-for-28 (.464) with three homers, two doubles, five RBIs and a stolen base. Wednesday's showing pushed his season OPS to .707, its first time above .700 since April 18. The Yankees would've hoped for a hotter start from the 21-year-old as he repeats the Florida State League, but his biggest issue early on was making hard enough contact, which has turned around lately with this powerful stretch. Though he was Tampa's designated hitter yesterday, he continues to split time between shortstop and center field as the Yanks try to figure out where to get the most out of his blazing speed. 

Blue Jays SS/2B Bo Bichette, Class A Lansing: 2-for-2, 2B, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB -- It was a perfect day at the plate for the Blue Jays' No. 9 prospect, who has enjoyed a near-perfect start to his first full season. Bichette reached in all four of his plate appearances Wednesday and matched a season high in RBIs and walks. The 19-year-old leads the Midwest League with a .373 average through 30 games and ranks second in OBP (.456), slugging (.593) and OPS (1.049). He's primarily been a shortstop but has received seven starts at second, including Wednesday. Wherever he ends up, he's showing more and more that his bat will play anywhere.

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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