Prospect Roundup: Games of July 27

Font, Burrows, Duplantier continue dominance on mound

Wilmer Font has averaged 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. (Bobby Stevens/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 28, 2017 1:00 PM

Giants LHP Andrew Suarez, Triple-A Sacramento: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 99 pitches, 65 strikes -- The Giants' No. 11 prospect fanned a season-high nine batters while tying his longest outing of 2017, making Thursday's start arguably his best start since moving up to the Pacific Coast League last month. (He tossed six scoreless innings at El Paso on June 28.) It hasn't been the easiest transition to the Minors' highest level for Suarez, who sports a 4.18 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and .278 average-against over 47 1/3 innings with Sacramento. His strikeout rate has taken a small jump from 19.4 percent at Double-A Richmond to 21.4 percent with the River Cats, but his walk rate has taken a bigger leap from 5.3 percent to what would be a career-high 9.5 percent. Without a true plus offering in his four-pitch arsenal, the 24-year-old left-hander has relied on his control, but he may be trying to pitch more out of the zone to limit contact. Either way, it'll be interesting to see if this is a performance he can carry forward.

Dodgers RHP Wilmer Font, Triple-A Oklahoma City: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 88 pitches, 61 strikes -- On the topic of strikeouts, there hasn't been anyone better in the Minors this season at racking up K's than Font -- and that's not hyperbole. He leads all Minor Leaguers with 147 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City. What's more, his 33.3 percent strikeout rate ranks second among all full-season Minor Leaguers, trailing only A.J. Puk (34.1 percent), who has thrown 22 fewer innings. Thursday's gem marked the seventh time in 20 starts this season that he's punched out at least nine batters. The 27-year-old right-hander has also shown good control with a 6.4 percent walk rate, and though he sports a 3.61 ERA, his 2.97 FIP leads all qualified Pacific Coast League pitchers. Signed by the Dodgers as a Minor League free agent in December, Font is pitching his way into the Major League discussion for the stretch run, even for a team as dominant as Los Angeles. He at least deserves a look in the bullpen, where he had some success as a member of the Rangers' system a few years ago. 

Video: Oklahoma City's Font notches ninth K

Tigers RHP Beau Burrows, Double-A Erie: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 88 pitches, 61 strikes -- The Tigers' No. 3 prospect continues to improve since his promotion to Double-A. He reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time in his career, bumping his season total to 105 over 103 1/3 innings between Erie and Class A Advanced Lakeland. Burrows' ERA reached as high as 6.56 through five starts with the SeaWolves but has fallen to 4.63 following his ninth outing with the club Thursday. The 2015 first-rounder has moved into MLB.com's top 100 list at No. 98 after his strikeout rate jump from 16.5 percent in 2016 to 25.2 this season. He's got a plus fastball -- he was one of the hardest throwers in the Futures Game, albeit in a one-inning stint -- and above-average curve to help him get those K's, but a 12.2 percent walk rate at Double-A is cause for concern. He remains ahead of the curve, however, having reached the level at just 20, and a strong finish could send his stock soaring even higher this offseason.

Video: Erie's Burrows posts 10th strikeout

D-backs RHP Jon Duplantier, Class A Advanced Visalia: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 89 pitches, 57 strikes -- The California League was expected to challenge Duplantier in a way the Midwest never did, but that hasn't been the case through five starts at Class A Advanced. The 23-year-old set a career high with nine punchouts and seven innings pitched Thursday to lead Visalia to a 3-0 win over Lake Elsinore. Since being promoted June 22, he owns a 1.98 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks over 27 1/3 innings for the Rawhide. His 1.44 ERA between Class A and Class A Advanced ranks second in the Minors behind only Austin Sodders' 1.31 mark, while his 0.96 WHIP places eighth. A third-round pick last year out of Rice, Duplantier likely should have started the season in the Cal League, but he's shown enough stuff to climb to the No. 2 spot in the D-backs system. 

Giants OF Sandro Fabian, Class A Augusta: 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R -- Finally, a hitter makes this Roundup. The Giants' No. 9 prospect popped off for his second two-homer game of the season, meaning half of his eight home runs this season have come between two games (the other was on April 26). The 19-year-old outfielder has found it difficult to replicate his breakout 2016 campaign in the Arizona League, where he hit .340/.364/.522 in 42 games. He's hitting .256/.277/.381 in his first go at a full-season affiliate, but there have been signs of improvement lately. Over 21 games this month, the Dominican Republic native is hitting .295/.321/.487, giving him a monthly OPS above .800 for the first time this season.

Video: Augusta's Fabian hits second homer

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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