Prospect Roundup: Games of May 28

Dodgers' Buehler hits milestones; Kilome goes seven scoreless

Walker Buehler has fanned 47 batters over 33 innings between Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa. (Steven Van Worth/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | May 29, 2017 12:00 PM

Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler, Double-A Tulsa: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 70 pitches, 49 strikes -- The Dodgers' No. 5 prospect crossed a couple thresholds Sunday, completing five innings and reaching 70 pitches for the first time in his career. Those accomplishments would've been notable enough for the 22-year-old right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2015, but he was also incredibly effective as only a solo homer by Corpus Christi outfielder Jack Mayfield kept the outing from being scoreless. Buehler is finding Double-A (2.70 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 20 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings) a little trickier than Class A Advanced (1.10 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 27 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings) over similar samples, but an abnormally high .381 BABIP-against has had something do with that. He's still struck out 29.4 percent of the batters he's faced at the higher level, and his starts remain a must-follow, especially as he's allowed to go deeper into games.

Video: The Drillers' Walker Buehler fans his sixth batter

Reds 3B Nick Senzel, Class A Advanced Daytona: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, K -- Last Wednesday's Toolshed included Senzel as one of five prospects clamoring for a promotion, and he did little to disprove that Sunday. With two more doubles, he moved into second place among all Minor Leagues with 20 in 48 games to open his first full season, while his 24 extra-base hits are tied for third in the Florida State League. This was just the latest in a month of strong performances for the 21-year-old third baseman, who owns a .330/.396/.538 line over 101 plate appearances in May, and given his advanced approach coming out of Tennessee, it's becoming clear that he's figured out Class A Advanced. Perhaps the Reds are looking for this dominance to run just a little longer, but a challenging move to Double-A shouldn't be far away.

Phillies RHP Franklyn Kilome, Class A Advanced Clearwater: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 77 pitches, 54 strikes -- This was easily the No. 5 Phillies prospect's best start of 2017. The 21-year-old right-hander matched his season high for innings and did so without allowing a run or a walk in a 1-0 win over St. Lucie. Kilome now owns a 3.02 ERA and 1.34 WHIP to go with 39 strikeouts and 12 walks in 41 2/3 innings. He has a plus-plus fastball and an above-average breaking ball and has used both to great effect in the lower levels. Given his size at 6-foot-6, it's always been a question about how Kilome could contain his long levers to find the zone with regularity, and there's been good news on that front with his walk rate dropping from 10 percent in 2016 to 7 percent through his first nine starts of this campaign. 

Padres LHP Joey Lucchesi, Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 92 pitches, 63 strikes -- Just when it appeared that the California League was catching up to the Padres' No. 20 prospect, he pulls out a performance like this. The nine strikeouts and seven innings pitched matched season highs, both achieved May 1. Lucchesi had allowed nine earned runs over 13 2/3 innings in his last three starts -- pushing his ERA from 1.09 to 2.51 -- but found a way Sunday to post his first outing since April 25 without an earned run. The 23-year-old southpaw ranks third in the Cal League in ERA (2.18), WHIP (0.99) and strikeout rate (29.9 percent) through 53 2/3 innings.

Rockies 3B Colton Welker, Class A Asheville: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, CS -- The Rockies' No. 12 prospect remained on fire with his second four-hit game of the season. Dating back to May 11, Welker is 27-for-62 (.435) with three homers, a triple and nine doubles in his last 15 games. (No other qualified Class A batter has hit hit higher than .424 over that stretch.) There's always an asterisk involved with Asheville hitters, given their friendly home environs, and some of that applies to the 19-year-old third baseman, who owns a .397/.426/.683 line with 11 extra-base hits in 17 games at home this season. However, he hasn't been too shabby on the road either with a .323/.364/.455 line and nine extra-base hits in 25 games. Indeed, Sunday's performance came at Hickory's L.P. Frans Stadium, which has been traditionally much more neutral.

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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