Prospect Roundup: Games of June 5

Dodgers' Alvarez gets back on track; Vargas inches toward Majors

Yadier Alvarez has struck out 118 batters over 95 innings during his Minor League career. (Donn Parris/MiLB.com)

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

Brewers OF Lewis Brinson, Triple-A Colorado Springs: 3-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, SB -- The Brewers made waves Monday by bringing up their No. 10 prospect, Brett Phillips, from Colorado Springs. That night, Brinson reminded the big club that he should be a Major League option, too, collecting three hits, three RBIs and a stolen base in a 10-7 loss to visiting Round Rock. The Brewers' top prospect is batting .310/.397/.510 with six homers, a triple, 11 doubles and seven steals in 41 games at the Minors' highest level this year. Like Phillips, Brinson has benefited from Colorado Springs' thin air with a 1.048 OPS in 85 plate appearances at home, compared to a .786 OPS in 99 plate appearances on the road. He might have to improve those splits before the contending Brewers consider him for a big league look, but when Ryan Braun returns from injury, there won't be an immediate spot for him anyway. A second-half promotion is most likely, and even if Brinson's bat doesn't immediately translate, his speed and defense should provide value.

D-backs 2B Ildemaro Vargas, Triple-A Reno: 4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R -- The 25-year-old middle infielder has played 719 games in the Minors, 142 in winter leagues and 30 in independent ball. Thanks to last November's 40-man roster addition and a recent hot streak, this is the closest Vargas has ever been to the Majors. The switch-hitter is 19-for-45 (.422) with two homers, five doubles and a favorable 2/3 K/BB ratio over his last 10 games, pushing his season line to .313/.345/.450 through 55 contests. Though he's played a majority of his games at second, the D-backs' No. 28 prospect has also gotten time at short, third and center field this season, and that versatility should do wonders in giving him a chance at a big league debut by September. 

Video: Aces' Ildemaro Vargas gets his fourth hit of the game

Rockies RHP Peter Lambert, Class A Advanced Lancaster: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 100 pitches, 70 strikes -- People who like round numbers were probably big fans of Lambert's gem Monday night. The Rockies' No. 6 prospect tied a season high with 10 strikeouts and lasted exactly 100 pitches over seven frames, which matched the longest scoreless outing of his 2017 campaign. The 20-year-old right-hander has enjoyed six straight quality starts, posting a 2.23 ERA with 41 strikeouts and seven walks in 40 1/3 innings over that span. His 25.9 percent strikeout rate and 5.8 percent walk rate over 72 1/3 innings both rank seventh in the California League. Lambert didn't receive a grade higher than 55 on the 20-80 scale for his three offerings from MLB.com this past offseason, but that arsenal plays up thanks to his impressive control. The Rockies have developed a steady pipeline of arms in recent years, and Lambert looks well on his way to being one of the next in line.

Dodgers RHP Yadier Alvarez, Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 71 pitches, 44 strikes -- The Cal League has been a learning process for the Dodgers' top prospect as illustrated in his last three outings. On May 22, Alvarez scattered a hit and a walk over five scoreless innings, only to give up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks in four frames six days later. He rebounded nicely Monday as a solo homer by Chris Mariscal in the first inning was the only blemish between him and five no-hit frames. His ERA remains high at 5.30 through 35 2/3 innings, but he has struck out 37. The 21-year-old righty had tossed only 39 1/3 innings above the complex level entering the season, so growing pains are expected, especially in the Cal League. With a 75-grade fastball and three other above-average offerings, Alvarez has the stuff to be dominant, but he needs the experience to iron out some of his control and command issues. Monday was the latest step in the right direction.

Mets RHP Justin Dunn, Class A Advanced St. Lucie Mets: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 74 pitches, 51 strikes -- The Mets' No. 3 prospect opened the season with a 6.89 ERA through his first seven starts, so he was moved back to the bullpen, where he had experience during his days at Boston College. He allowed only one earned run on four hits and five walks in three appearances (11 innings) as a reliever, bringing his season ERA down to 5.36 before moving back to a starting role Monday. The time in the 'pen appears to have done wonders. Monday's outing at Florida was Dunn's first scoreless start of the season, while his seven strikeouts were a season high. The Mets should also be encouraged that the 21-year-old right-hander, who has walked 9.2 percent of batters faced this season, hasn't issued a free pass in his last eight frames. Dunn's numbers (4.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 16.1 percent strikeout rate) are still far from rosy, but they're trending in the right direction.

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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