Prospect Roundup: Games of May 16

Urias collects four more hits; Devers continues hot month

Padres No. 5 prospect Luis Urias is a career .320 hitter over four seasons in the Minor Leagues. (Walter Barnard/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | May 17, 2017 1:40 PM ET

White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez, Triple-A Charlotte: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 93 pitches, 56 strikes -- The No. 4 White Sox prospect emerged the victor in a battle between two top-100 prospects with Brent Honeywell getting the start for Durham. Tuesday's outing marked the first scoreless start of Lopez's brief time in the Chicago system and lowered his ERA to a season-best 3.14 to go with 45 strikeouts and 22 walks in 43 frames. After two rough outings to begin the season, the 23-year-old right-hander has been much improved with a 2.34 ERA in his last six starts. Control remains an issue, and that was the case again Tuesday with Lopez unable to keep his pitch count down. That may eventually relegate him to a full-time move to the bullpen, where his 70-grade fastball and above-average curve would play up, but the White Sox are more than happy to play into the optimism of this recent run as a starter.

Indians LHP Steven Brault, Triple-A Indianapolis: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 100 pitches, 64 strikes -- Pittsburgh's No. 8 prospect just missed out on becoming the Pirates' No. 5 starter out of Spring Training, and he's pitching like he deserves another crack at the job. Following Tuesday's gem, the 25-year-old southpaw owns a 1.59 ERA with 17 strikeouts and a .167 average-against in three starts (17 innings) this month. With a 23 percent strikeout rate, Brault continues to miss bats at a similar rate to 2016 (25.8 percent), but his walk rate has also remained relatively stable at 10.7 percent, much higher than his numbers at the lower levels. That control might be the only thing holding him back from bursting back to Pittsburgh right now, but another start or two like Tuesday's and the Pirates may give him a chance to build on last year's eight Major League appearances before long.

Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers, Double-A Portland: 3-for-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K in doubleheader -- This isn't going to quell the calls for Devers to be shipped up to Boston. MLB.com's No. 14 prospect did all his damage Tuesday in the second game of a doubleheader against visiting Hartford, going 3-for-4 with the two doubles and two RBIs in the nightcap. The 20-year-old, left-handed slugger is hitting .408/.517/.796 with five homers and four doubles in 60 plate appearances this month. His 1.007 OPS on the season ranks second in the Eastern League behind Kevin Kramer's 1.059 for Altoona, and that comes after he entered the campaign as the circuit's second-youngest player. The Red Sox, whose most glaring hole is at third base, will keep talking about how Devers needs more experience, and that's probably the case considering he's only played 31 games above Class A Advanced. But it's getting to the point where he also likely needs a new challenge.

Video: Devers doubles in run for Sea Dogs

Padres SS/2B Luis Urias, Double-A San Antonio: 4-for-5, R -- There might be a day when the Padres' No. 5 prospect stops hitting, but Tuesday was not it. Urias tied his season high with four hits, matching a mark he's hit on three previous occasions in 2017. His .340 average through 36 games ranks fourth in the Texas League, while his .430 on-base percentage places second and his .920 OPS fifth, despite being the Double-A circuit's only teenager on Opening Day last month. Urias' power has gotten away from him a little bit with only two extra-base hits in 53 at-bats in May, but that's barely a downside considering he's hitting .358 with a 6/12 K/BB ratio this month. Though not a top-100 prospect yet, Urias will likely become one at midseason, having shown that last season's breakout was real.

Video: San Antonio's Urias registers fourth single

Twins SS/2B Nick Gordon, Double-A Chattanooga: 2-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, K -- While Urias isn't really known for his power, this is especially true of Gordon, who entered the season with only five homers over his first three seasons. With his long ball Tuesday, he's already matched his career high with three homers this year and looks well on his way to beating his previous high of a .386 slugging percentage as that number sits at .507 through 36 games with Chattanooga. MLB.com's No. 43 overall prospect figured to add some power along the way, but the 21-year-old middle infielder might be ahead of the curve there. The Twins have been playing Gordon at both shortstop and second base in his first trip to the Southern League, and that versatility, along with the offensive improvements, could help him speed up his route to Minnesota.

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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