Prospect Roundup: Games of July 23

Schrock rolls during doubleheader; Cody continues to add zeros

Max Schrock was traded from the Nationals to A's for left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and cash last August. (Jeremy Davis/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 24, 2017 1:05 PM

Athletics 2B Max Schrock, Double-A Midland: 5-for-7, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, K in doubleheader -- Oakland's No. 18 prospect has a big hit tool, and he showed it Sunday. Schrock matched a season high with four hits in the first game of a doubleheader against visiting Corpus Christi -- going 4-for-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs -- and reached base three more times in the nightcap. The 22-year-old second baseman, a career .323 hitter over three Minor League seasons, ranks fourth in the Texas League with a .314 average through 72 games in 2017 and has the circuit's second-lowest strikeout rate at 9.4 percent. There isn't a ton of power on his resume as Sunday's homer was his sixth of the season, but the left-handed-hitter puts the ball in play enough to provide plenty of value. After acquiring him from the Nationals last August, the A's should be pleased with the 2013 15th-rounder's continued development in his first full season with the organization.

Video: Midland's Schrock goes deep

Tigers 3B Dawel Lugo, Double-A Erie: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R -- How's this for coincidence: Lugo went deep twice in his fourth game for Double-A Jackson back on April 9. Three months later, the 22-year-old third baseman homered twice in his fourth game for Erie, following last week's trade from the D-backs in the four-player deal involving J.D. Martinez. Now the Tigers' No. 11 prospect, Lugo is hitting .282/.330/.441 with nine homers, four triples, 21 doubles and just a 13.2 percent strikeout rate in 92 games at Double-A this season. That makes him an above-average hitter for the level, as reflected in his 121 wRC+, but Tigers fans shouldn't get used to the thought of multi-homer games from Lugo. Last season's 17 blasts came mostly in the California League, and his power is still considered below-average. The rest of the offensive profile is good enough to push him up the chain, and it'll be interesting to see if the bat holds enough at Triple-A to merit a starting or utility role at the highest level.

Video: Erie's Lugo hits second homer

Cardinals RHP Sandy Alcantara, Double-A Springfield: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 87 pitches, 52 strikes -- The Cardinals got aggressive with their No. 8 prospect, sending him to Double-A for his age-21 season after only six starts at Class A Advanced Palm Beach last year. The move resulted in some tough starts to begin 2017 as Alcantara entered June with a 7.09 ERA, but it appears he's growing into the level. The right-hander, known for a heater that can reach triple digits, has a 0.96 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and .182 average-against in his last three starts, putting his season ERA at 4.85 -- its lowest since he tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut April 7. The trouble is Alcantara's control continues to be a work in progress; he's walked nine over 18 2/3 innings during this three-start stretch and has issued free passes to 9.4 percent of batters faced this season. That's the second-highest walk rate among the 20 qualified pitchers in the Texas League. To his credit, he showed solid control Sunday, allowing him to complete seven innings for the first time this season. Given how he started the year, Alcantara and the Cardinals will take the positive steps forward with the hope that a continued strong finish to 2017 will return the optimism level to as high as it was last offseason.

Video: Alcantara records seven zeros

Rangers RHP Kyle Cody, Class A Hickory: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 93 pitches, 58 strikes -- Make that four straight starts and 27 consecutive innings without an earned run allowed by the Rangers' No. 14 prospect. Cody is one of three qualified Minor League pitchers with a sterling 0.00 ERA in July -- Ranger Suarez and Alex Wells are the others -- and he leads that trio with 26 frames this month. As a result, Cody has seen his ERA plummet from 3.90 at the end of June to its current mark of 2.78, fifth-best in the South Atlantic League. A sixth-round pick as a University of Kentucky senior last year, Cody has the size at 6-foot-7 and stuff with a plus fastball and solid slider and changeup to do well in Class A, and with each passing outing, it's looking more like he needs to be challenged with a move to Class A Advanced Down East.

Padres LHP Adrian Morejon, Class A Short Season Tri-City: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP, 87 pitches, 59 strikes -- Anyone worried about Morejon's showing last time out, when he allowed six earned runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, can breathe easy after Sunday's outing. The Padres' No. 3 prospect set a career high with eight strikeouts over six scoreless frames -- his second scoreless appearance over his last three starts. The 18-year-old left-hander continues to flash impressive stuff in his stateside debut with 35 strikeouts and only three walks over his first 35 1/3 innings with Tri-City. Though his 3.57 ERA may leave something to be desired, his 3.11 FIP ranks third in the Northwest League, while his 11.7 K/BB ratio is tops among all Class A Short Season pitchers. Signed for $11 million out of Cuba last July, Morejon has been lauded for his impressive fastball and curve, and the fact that he can throw all three of his pitches in the zone with such regularity at his age has his stock surging.

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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