Theme of the dayDon't forget about us: Ronald Acuña Jr.'s Major League debut has been thrilling, but there's more to the Braves system than the young outfielder, as Bryse Wilson and Cristian Pache demonstrated with Class A Advanced Florida on Thursday. Wilson's scoreless outing got a full writeup in Chris
Theme of the dayDon't forget about us: Ronald Acuña Jr.
's Major League debut has been thrilling, but there's more to the Braves system than the young outfielder, as Bryse Wilson
and Cristian Pache
demonstrated with Class A Advanced Florida on Thursday. Wilson's scoreless outing got a full writeup in Chris Bumbaca's story here
, so we'll focus on Pache, who hit his first Minor League home run in his 197th career game. Don't expect the 19-year-old outfielder to stop there. The Braves have long believed in Pache's power potential, and he showed it by homering twice in n Braves Futures Game exhibition at SunTrust Park last month. With Acuña in The Show, Pache becomes the Braves' most exciting Minor League outfielder, based mostly on his incredible defense in center.
Who stayed hotDodgers OF/1B Luke Raley, Double-A Tulsa: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB --
This was not only the No. 28 Dodgers prospect's first multi-homer game, but also his fifth straight contest with multiple hits. Raley had only two extra-base hits in his first 11 games with Tulsa but has collected six (three homers, one triple, two doubles) in his last five. He's gone 11-for-21 (.524) over that span and has pushed his season line up .343/.416/.597. The 2016 seventh-rounder has a frame for power at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, but hadn't quite tapped into in the pros before this week.
Who needed this oneAthletics OF Dustin Fowler, Triple-A Nashville: 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R --
The 23-year-old outfielder, now fully recovered from last year's season-ending knee injury, entered his first A's camp as a candidate to take the Opening Day center field job. He lost that competition to Boog Powell
-- Mark Canha
has since taken over full-time duties there -- after hitting just .222 with a .512 OPS in 19 Spring Training games. After a slow start with Nashville, Fowler cracked his first home run on Thursday and is now 7-for-14 (.500) over his last three games, raising his season average and OPS up from .250 and .571 to .295 and .697, respectively. Oakland's No. 5 prospect is on the right track.
The unexpectedRoyals RHP Josh Staumont, Triple-A Omaha: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 43 pitches, 27 strikes --
The Royals shifted their No. 11 prospect from a starting role to relief after years of control issues -- he's walked 239 batters in 296 2/3 career innings. Staumont did not issue a free pass Thursday, however, despite completing two innings for the first time this season (though he did hit one batter.) That's the first time since July 2, 2015 that he did not give up a walk in an outing lasting longer than an inning. The 24-year-old right-hander, who has shown elite velocity along with a plus curveball, racked up five strikeouts. He's fanned 17 batters while allowing six walks and one earned run in 8 2/3 innings with the Storm Chasers, and has fanned 37.5 percent of the batters he's faced. The experiment isn't complete, but Staumont is showing a great deal of promise in the bullpen.
Best matchupJon Duplantier vs. Austin Riley:
After opening the season on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury, Duplantier, in his second start for Jackson, faced one of the Southern League's hottest hitters in Mississippi's Riley, who entered the day hitting .352/.410/.718 with four homers in 20 games.The D-backs' top prospect held the slugger in check, as Duplantier got Riley to ground out to short and third in two plate appearances. The Generals starter finished with one unearned run allowed, four hits, a walk and eight strikeouts over five innings in his club's 6-1 win, and now owns a 1.80 ERA. The two could cross paths again during a five-game series in Jackson from May 12-16.
Who strengthened their promotion caseA's 2B/SS Franklin Barreto, Triple-A Nashville: 3-for-5, 2B, R, K --
The A's No. 3 prospect has gone back-and-forth between Triple-A and the Majors this season, having opened with Nashville, spent April 7-16 in MLB and returned to the PCL early last week. His performance has also been up and down, with Thursday providing a definite high. Barreto had three hits for the second time in his last four games, pushing his Triple-A line to .290/.361/.548, and climbed the ladder to make a stunning snag
at second base. With Jed Lowrie having the April of his life in the Majors, it might be a while before Barreto gets the call, but he looks deserving of it.
Others of noteGiants LHP Andrew Suárez, Triple-A Sacramento: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 85 pitches, 63 strikes:
The Giants' No. 10 prospect made a spot start for his Major League debut on April 11 and is a strong candidate to return soon..Suarez owns a 1.08 ERA with 16 strikeouts in three starts (16 2/3 innings) with Sacramento.White Sox C Seby Zavala, Double-A Birmingham: 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB --
The No. 21 White Sox prospect has three homers in his last four games and six overall. He's hitting .328/.425/.690 in 18 games while competing with Zack Collins for playing time behind the plate.Rangers RHP Jonathan Hernández, Class A Advanced Down East: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 90 pitches, 57 strikes --
Texas's No. 14 prospect set a new season high with nine punchouts. His 28 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings are tied for third-most in the Carolina League.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.