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Around the Minors: The week of June 7

Sights and sounds from action across Minor League Baseball
June 14, 2021

June 13

June 13

Hard to express with Mears words
There's red-hot and then there's scorching. The latter's what Joshua Mears has been this weekend. He belted four long balls and plated six over the course of three games during the Low-A Storm's series with the Quakes.

It's been a grand few days
Cardinals' No. 5 prospect Masyn Winn has two homers this season. They're both grand slams that have come this week for Low-A Palm Beach against St. Lucie. Sunday's was part of a career-high seven-RBI performance the 19-year-old put on the board against St. Lucie. Thursday's was during a three-hit night in which he also walked twice and scored three times.

From start to finish
Second-ranked Red Sox prospect Jeter Downs hadn't gone yard for Triple-A Worcester since May 22 (although he did homer in the Olympic qualifier for Colombia). The 22-year-old got back in the HR column for the WooSox by homering in the first and ninth innings.

The buddy system
Pitchers in the Double-A Northeast, beware. The Tigers have promoted their top two prospects -- Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler -- to the Erie SeaWolves. Torkelson, the third-ranked prospect in the game, compiled a slash line of .312/.440/.569 and a league-leading 1.009 OPS with High-A West Michigan. He racked up 28 RBIs and 21 runs over 31 games. Detroit's No. 4 prospect Dingler batted .287 with eight long balls, 25 runs and 24 RBIs for the Whitecaps. The backstop stands tied for fifth in the High-A Central with 35 hits.

The King of K's (in the Triple-A East, at least)
Cubs' No. 15 prospect Cory Abbott added eight to his ledger for Iowa at Columbus' expense. The 25-year old stands atop the Triple-A East with 49 this season.

These might come in handy
Baseball's top overall prospect Wander Franco is taking in some bat flipping lessons from Triple-A Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull.

Buzzing bee
Check out these moves from Triple-A Salt Lake first base coach Ray Olmedo.

Duran, Duran
Red Sox third-ranked prospect Jarren Duran finds the seats for the second straight game, and brings his tater tally to five over the last eight games.

June 12

Making it rain
Jarred Kelenic connected with his first home run since rejoining Triple-A Tacoma this week. The blast was his third with the Rainiers this season and went for a solo shot.

Who turned off the lights?
The Northwest Arkansas and Frisco game experienced a delay after the lights went out at Riders Field on Saturday night.

Now that's just nuts
Ace the squirrel made his dramatic return to Lake Elsinore Diamond after announcing his retirement and picked up right where he left off. The speedster won another race in impressive fashion.

Milestone flex
Nolan Gorman mashed a trio of home runs to notch his second career consecutive multi-homer game. The second-ranked Cardinals prospect also recorded the first three-dinger game in Springfield Cardinals franchise history.

New level, who dis?
No. 18 Red Sox prospect Brayan Bello made his Double-A debut on Saturday and looked right at home. The right-hander whiffed the first batter he faced at the new level, and finished his outing allowing a run on five hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts over four frames.

Baker, Baker.... home run maker?
The Browns quarterback delivers this moonshot at Classic Park as part of a charity event.

June 11

Tork Tank!
Spencer Torkelson extended his on-base streak to 12 straight games and notched his second consecutive three-hit effort on Friday with this dinger that broke the game open for the WhiteCaps.

Soaring Cardinal
Nolan Gorman is scorching-hot at the plate. The second-ranked Cardinals prospect launched two homers on Friday night to bring his tally to four long balls in his last four games.

Welcome back, Jarred
MLB Pipeline's fourth-ranked overall prospect Jarred Kelenic notched his first hit since rejoining Triple-A Tacoma and it was this two-RBI double that capped a six-run frame for the Rainiers.

Dinger Dingler
The No. 4 Tigers prospect, Dillon Dingler, got a hold of his eighth home run of the season for High-A West Michigan.

Maybe H.R. stands for home run....
Third-ranked Giants prospect Heliot Ramos found the seats for the second straight game with Double-A Richmond. He's now gone yard six times in 33 games with the Flying Squirrels.

June 10

It probably won't be the last
Top Athletics prospect Tyler Soderstrom amassed his first multihomer night -- going yard in the first and again with a man aboard in the sixth -- for Low-A Stockton. The 19-year-old catcher also singled in a run and walked with the bases loaded to set a career high with five RBIs against San Jose.

Can't keep a good man in the yard
For the second straight game, Royals farmhand Ryan O'Hearn homered twice for the Triple-A Storm Chasers. On Wednesday, it was a pair of solo shots. But on Thursday, he matched a career high with six RBIs against St. Paul by hitting a three-run homer, a two-run tater and getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

One good homer deserves another
Atlanta's top prospect Cristian Pache had never had a multi-homer game in his professional career coming into Thursday's action. The Stripers center fielder belted his first one in the third inning and followed with his second in the eighth.

Happy anniversary, Tork
The No. 3 prospect in baseball marked a year to the day since he was taken with the first pick in the MLB Draft by reaching base five times. Spencer Torkelson doubled on a three-hit night and added two walks and three runs scored for High-A West Michigan.

Yeah, he's close
In his second rehab appearance with Triple-A St. Paul, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton belted two homers and plated five runs -- marking his first multihomer game in the Minor Leagues. That came on the heels of Tuesday's 2-for-3 night with a triple.

Saying yes-yes to the no-no
Not only are the Timber Rattlers the only Minor League team with two no-hitters this year, but the High-A Brewers affiliate also has the last two in the history books. Justin Bullock and Carlos Luna combined on the feat in Thursday's 6-1 victory over South Bend to join Freisis Adames and Taylor Floyd, who posted the milestone against Cedar Rapids on May 29.

Do frequent-flyer miles come with that?
Atlanta's 14th-ranked prospect Trey Harris goes airborne for Double-A Mississippi in the bottom of the second to deny Biloxi's Chad Spanberger at least a single and possibly more.

Should Dustin Johnson be concerned?
The No. 1 prospect in baseball seems to be trying golf on for size. Wander Franco teed off on a solo homer to left-center field for Triple-A Durham in the sixth inning. Fun fact: Thursday's homer was hit from the right side. On Wednesday, he went yard from the left.

Family sticks together
The Rays community voices all the hopes and prayers for recovery continued to be sent Tyler Zombro's way after the 26-year-old hurler was felled by a comebacker on June 3.

June 9

Mutual admiration society
The Mariners' High-A affiliate Everett is happy to have the No. 5 overall prospect in baseball back from his successful stint in the Dominican Republic's Olympic qualifier. And with a homer, a double, three RBIs and three runs scored on a four-hit night, Julio Rodríguez seems pleased to be back as well.

That would rank highly on the 'weird' scale
In the stats column, it just looks like Arizona catching prospect Nick Dalesandro raced around the bases for an inside-the-park homer, his first of the year. In High-A Hillsboro's tweet, it looks more like a routine fly ball gone very, very awry.

The pitcher of perfection
Fifteen up, 15 down. That's what top Tampa Bay right-handed pitching prospect Shane Baz delivered for Double-A Montgomery against Birmingham. It was the 21-year-old's second consecutive scoreless outing.

0 seconds to blast-off
Does time seem to stop when the top prospect in the game tees off? Wander Franco collected his Triple-A East-leading 28th and 29th RBIs on this long ball to center field in the fourth inning for the Bulls.

One way to get out of a jam
With the bases loaded, St. Louis' Triple-A affiliate Memphis goes around the horn for a triple play at Gwinnett's expense. Third baseman Rayder Ascanio relayed to second baseman Irving Lopez, who got it to first baseman Evan Mendoza in the nick of time.

Zombro leaves the hospital
Less than a week after being struck by a comebacker while on the mound for Triple-A Durham, Tyler Zombro has been discharged from Duke University Hospital. According to the Rays, the 26-year-old righty will remain in Durham to continue his outpatient occupational and speech therapy.

Setting a new standard
Dodgers' No. 11 prospect Miguel Vargas wasted no time taking sole possession of the High-A Loons' record for longest hitting streak. The third baseman singled to lead off the first inning against the Dragons, hitting successfully in his 25th straight and topping Brian Cavazos-Galvez's 2010 mark.

June 8

Milestone man
Apparently Rays outfielder Garrett Whitley wanted to notch the cycle so much that he pulled up at first base in the eighth upon needing just a single for the fourth such feat in Double-A Biscuits history.

He couldn't do that again if he tried
Right-handed Royals southpaw Gabe Speier used everything but the proverbial kitchen sink to get an out for the Triple-A Storm Chasers against the Saints. First the 26-year-old reflexively stuck out his glove, and the ball briefly caught in the webbing. Then both the glove and the ball went up in the air and came back down in different places. Speier stuck with the ball and relayed it to first in time to nab Drew Maggi.

Not so fast
Baseball's No. 7 overall prospect Bobby Witt Jr. thought he had his second long ball of the game and 11th of the year for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. But his now-familiar skip across home plate was deemed not to have touched the plate and he wound up with his first triple and an out instead.

Steady as he goes
Since May 12, Dodgers' No. 11 prospect Miguel Vargas has been the model of consistency for High-A Loons. The infield prospect opened up the game against the Dragons with a single, tying the club record set by Brian Cavazos-Galvez in 2010. And then with that pressure off, Vargas was free to belt his sixth homer of the season in the third.

Not your garden-variety home run
It's true that top Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. leads the Double-A Central in long balls with 10. But the velocity and distance are what's really setting his homers apart for the Naturals.

'Oh no, was that caught?'
No. 22 Tigers prospect Ryan Kreidler runs out from shortstop to make a slick over-the-shoulder catch in the Double-A SeaWolves' game against the Patriots that made heads spin ... in a good way.

Catching up on some slugging
Second-ranked Phillies prospect Bryson Stott had last homered on May 29. So the shortstop hit one out in the first inning, and then for good measure, he parked another one in the third for Double-A Reading.

We understand completely
The difficulty Low-A Tortugas play-by-play broadcaster and media relations coordinator Justin Rocke faces is one of those scenarios that have become hallmarks since the return of Minor League Baseball. Not a bad problem to have, either.

June 7

Just one homer shy
It almost worked. Colorado farmhands Connor Joe, Taylor Motter and Sam Hilliard went yard in consecutive at-bats in the ninth inning, but Triple-A Albuquerque came up a run short against Las Vegas in the end.

When doubles are actually homers
Not once but twice, hits by Angels farmhand Matt Thaiss turned two-baggers into four-baggers for the Triple-A Bees. In the first inning, Thaiss' shot careened off the top of the fence and over. In the fifth, the ball bounced off an advertisement beyond the field of play. Initially ruled a double, the designated hitter soon was instructed to round the bases for his sixth homer.

It's opposite day
Second-ranked Giants prospect Joey Bart quickly gets his fourth homer of the season for the Triple-A River Cats out of the yard against the Aces. It was his first long ball since May 16.

The week that was
There were a couple of anxious moments with pitchers getting felled by comebackers that worried the entire Minor League community. Continued prayers and good wishes remain the order of the day for them and all the players working hard to make their respective ways to The Show.