Triple-A baseball got under way with a bang Thursday as Bryce Harper's two-hit debut for Syracuse, Tyler Cloyd's sheer dominance on the hill for Lehigh Valley and Mike Trout's offensive exploits for Salt Lake stole headlines.
But a plethora of other noteworthy Opening Day performances and big names took center stage as well around both the International and Pacific Coast Leagues.
Red Sox third base prospect Will Middlebrooks collected three hits and two RBIs in Pawtucket's 4-2 win over Buffalo. Highly touted Mets prospect Matt Harvey got his first start for the Bisons under his belt, lasting 4 1/3 frames and taking the loss.
A pair of big names enjoyed big debuts when Sacramento dropped Las Vegas, 11-6. Derek Norris, acquired by the A's in the Gio Gonzalez trade, left a good impression on his new organization with a two-run homer and an RBI double. Teammate Grant Green, a 2009 first-rounder, went deep in his first Triple-A game as well.
Memphis slugger Matt Adams, who turned heads in Spring Training with the Cardinals after being names Texas League Player of the Year last fall, belted a solo homer in a hard-fought, 4-3 win over Oklahoma City. Former Mets prospect Fernando Martinez collected three hits in his first game in the Astros organization.
New Orleans' Ben Lasater belted a grand slam in the eighth inning of his first Triple-A game as the Zephyrs toppled the Nashville Sounds, 6-2. Sean Halton was perfect at the plate in the losing effort, finishing 4-for-4 with a solo home run.
Paul Janish slammed a pair of solo shots for Louisville, and his blast in the top of the ninth was the difference in a 5-4 victory over Columbus. Former Major Leaguer Jeff Francis enjoyed a solid start for the Bats, yielding two runs over seven frames.
Iowa right-hander Randy Wells notched the win over Round Rock, supported by the Cubs' top two prospects. Brett Jackson drove in a pair of runs, and Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI.
Fresno put on an impressive pitching display as four hurlers -- Ryan Vogelsong, Shane Loux, Jean Machi and Heath Hembree -- blanked Tucson, 6-0, scattering six hits.
Clint Robinson's three hits and three runs scored and Kevin Kouzmanoff's three RBIs paced Omaha as the Storm Chasers doubled-up Albuquerque, 8-4. Jeremy Jeffress, 2006 first-rounder, notched the win in relief.
Reno plated four runs in the third inning and held off Colorado Springs, 5-2. Sky Sox starter Chrisitan Friedrich took the loss in his Triple-A debut.
Durham scored twice in bottom of the 12th inning to edge Gwinnett, 4-3. Tim Beckham's RBI groundout tied the score before a misplay in the infield chased the winning run home for the Bulls.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.