Prospect Roundup: Games of July 5

Cardinals' Gonzales plugs along; Yankees' Florial hits grand slam

Marco Gonzales has held opposing batters to a .222 average in nine Triple-A starts this season. (Jamie Harms/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 6, 2017 1:10 PM

Cardinals LHP Marco Gonzales, Triple-A Memphis: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 95 pitches, 62 strikes -- The Cardinals' No. 19 prospect tossed his fourth straight quality start Wednesday in a 6-4 win over Round Rock and now owns a 2.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 48 strikeouts and 14 walks in 56 1/3 innings since joining the Redbirds on May 12. The 25-year-old has dropped off some radars following his Major League debut three seasons ago. After shoulder issues limited him in 2015 and Tommy John surgery kept him out for all of 2016, Gonzales didn't totally get the green light until this May. He's been plenty effective following the operation, however, and the Cards gave him a spot start in the bigs last month. It didn't go so hot (five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings), but St. Louis shouldn't be scared to give Gonzales another chance given how he's trending. The southpaw still earns raves for his plus-plus changeup, and his control has been stellar of late with only two walks allowed in his last 19 1/3 innings.

Mets 1B Dominic Smith, Triple-A Las Vegas: 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R -- The Mets' No. 2 prospect saw his 19-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday, but one day later, he was back at it with two doubles in a 7-3 win over El Paso. Smith is now hitting .324/.377/.485 with 10 homers, one triple and 23 two-baggers in 85 games this season. As weird as it might sound for a player hitting .324, this is about what everyone expected from the 22-year-old in his first trip to Triple-A. His plus hitting tool consistently shines, though he hasn't shown the over-the-fence power that's typical of a standout first-base prospect. He's tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League in doubles, but his .158 isolated slugging percentage ranks 50th. The overall offensive profile is still above-average, though, and he's one of the better prospects at fielding his position. Mets fans can expect Smith to take over for Lucas Duda in Flushing, whether this season after a trade or following the veteran's expected free-agent departure this offseason.

Yankees SS/2B/OF Jorge Mateo, Double-A Trenton: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R -- The Yankees' No. 4 prospect has yet to cool off since being promoted June 27. Over nine games with the Thunder, the 22-year-old speedster is 17-for-36 (.472) with one homer, three triples, three doubles and 14 RBIs. No one else has more hits at Double-A over that span, and only Akron slugger Bobby Bradley (30) has more total bases in the Eastern League than Mateo's 29. This comes as a bit of a surprise because Mateo wasn't exactly tearing up the Florida State League at the time of his move. He was hitting just .244/.288/.400 over 69 games in the circuit, resulting in a below-average 98 wRC+. This run of dominance could be small-sample madness, but the Yankees will take it all the same. Mateo continues to get work at short, second and center as the organization tries to find a way to take full advantage of his plus-plus speed and work him into a future Major League depth chart.

Video: Thunder's Mateo rips a double

Red Sox RHP Mike Shawaryn, Class A Advanced Salem: 5 IP 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 9 K, 1 HBP, 91 pitches, 54 strikes -- A bit of a mixed bag from the No. 11 Red Sox prospect. On the one hand, he set his Class A Advanced high with nine strikeouts in just five frames, clearing his previous best of six. Including his total from Class A Greenville, the 22-year-old now ranks sixth in the Minors with 109 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings this season. What's more, he was nearly untouchable, with only one hit allowed. The problem, of course, was the career-high five walks and a hit-by-pitch. With an almost sidearm delivery, Shawaryn is not known for having control issues. He's walked only 7.2 percent of batters faced in his first full season. Both he and the Red Sox would love to see him continue to miss Carolina League bats like he did Wednesday, but not if it comes with extra free passes.

Yankees OF Estevan Florial, Class A Charleston: 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 K -- The Yankees' No. 15 prospect tied a career high with four RBIs on one swing Wednesday, connecting on a grand slam in the first inning of Charleston's 10-9 win at Asheville. The homer was Florial's 11th of the season through 72 games, and he improved his slash line to .300/.385/.509, while his .895 OPS ranks fifth in the South Atlantic League. The 19-year-old center fielder is headed to the Futures Game this Sunday in Miami -- representing the Yankees and his native Haiti as a member of the World roster -- on the strength of his power and speed (15 stolen bases) profile. He still has issues making contact with a 30.6 percent strikeout rate, but the rest of the offensive and defensive tools are loud enough that he could shine on his biggest stage yet when he heads to South Beach.

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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