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Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 28

Royals' Melendez goes deep twice; Astros' Tucker homers again
MJ Melendez has hit 23 home runs over 154 career games in the Minor Leagues. (Chris Robertson/
August 29, 2018

Theme of the dayRepeating for history: Ibandel Isabel put together his sixth multi-homer game of the season Tuesday night for Class A Advanced Daytona. Yawn, right? Except that those two blasts allowed him to break the Florida State League single-season record with 35 on the season. His 36 homers overall

Theme of the day

Repeating for history: Ibandel Isabel put together his sixth multi-homer game of the season Tuesday night for Class A Advanced Daytona. Yawn, right? Except that those two blasts allowed him to break the Florida State League single-season record with 35 on the season. His 36 homers overall continue to lead the Minors. Over in the Eastern League, Double-A New Hampshire already had a cycle this season -- Jonathan Davis turned the trick on June 26 . So what if the club had another one? Well, Jon Berti made it exciting by hitting for the natural cycle (i.e. picking up a single, double, triple and homer in that order). A lot can happen in the Minor Leagues, and often a lot can happen over and over again. But special moments are special, and Tuesday had two of them.

Who stayed hot

Royals C MJ Melendez, Class A Lexington: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, K -- The Royals No. 5 prospect has multiple hits in each of his last three games, and of the seven knocks he's picked up in that time, three have gone over the fence. Instead of tiring out at the end of his first full season, Melendez -- a second-round pick last year out of a Miami high school -- is enjoying his best month yet with a .314/.396/.593 line and 14 extra-base hits in 23 August games. The left-handed hitting backstop has gone deep 19 times on the season, placing him fourth among Royals farmhands. His defensive skills earn the highest grades on his scouting report -- a 43.3 percent caught-stealing rate helps that cause -- and he's shown enough bat speed to tap into his power at the lower levels. With 136 strikeouts, however, he'll need to make more contact to get the most out of his pop.

Who needed this one

Mariners OF Kyle Lewis, Double-A Arkansas: 2-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R, K -- The Mariners' top prospect homered for the second game in a row and third time in his last seven contests. However if any top-100 prospect needs to string together some powerful performances to end 2018, it's the one who slots in at No. 80 overall. Lewis was again held back by knee issues to start the season, and after his promotion to Arkansas in late July, has struggled against Double-A pitching. Even after this latest breakout, he's still hitting just .209/.268/.365 with four homers and six doubles in 31 games with the Travelers. (A career-low .238 BABIP is not helping.) When healthy, Lewis has shown serious pop dating back to his college days at Mercer, and he has a few days left (plus the Texas League playoffs) to demonstrate it.

The unexpected

White Sox LHP Kodi Medeiros, Double-A Birmingham: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 98 pitches, 68 strikes -- After being dealt from the Brewers for Joakim Soria, Medeiros' introduction to the White Sox could have gone better -- he allowed 13 earned runs over 12 1/3 innings in his first three starts with Birmingham. In his three starts since, he's been much better, giving up just three earned runs while fanning 17 and walking six in 19 2/3 frames. To be fair, this latest string speaks more to the 22-year-old left-hander's capabilities, considering he didn't switch leagues and posted a 3.14 ERA with 107 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings with Biloxi before the trade. But it's still promising to see Medeiros -- whose future could be in the bullpen, where his above-average fastball and plus slider would play up -- pump out quality outings.

Best matchup

Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Ke'Bryan HayesThe Yankees' No. 3 prospect is coming back from shoulder inflammation that placed him on the disabled list for about five weeks in July and August, and in his third start back with Double-A Trenton, he was put to the test against Altoona and No. 52 overall prospect Hayes. Loaisiga got the Curve third baseman to fly out to left field in the first inning but yielded a single up the middle to him two frames later. The Thunder right-hander ended up allowing one earned run on five hits while fanning three over four innings. He threw 42 of his 58 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old right-hander should join the big club when rosters expand in September, though his role is yet to be determined.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Astros OF Kyle Tucker, Triple-A Fresno: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB --  Tucker's homer Tuesday was his seventh in six games since being optioned back to Fresno on Aug. 22 and his 10th in his last 10 Triple-A games overall. The 21-year-old, left-handed slugger is hitting .452/.493/.952 with 11 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs and six steals in 14 games in the Pacific Coast League this month. So what if he went just 1-for-7 over a four-game callup in the middle of August? Houston should look to make the most of Tucker's hot bat when he returns as it tries to hold off a charging Oakland club in the AL West race.

Others of note

Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette, Double-A New Hampshire: 3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, SB -- The Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect is 7-for-12 with a homer and four doubles over his last three games. His 42 doubles this season rank second in the Minors. 
Phillies LHP David Parkinson, Class A Advanced Clearwater: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 79 pitches, 62 strikes -- Ho hum, another efficient outing for the Phillies' No. 20 prospect, who has allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of his last eight outings. His 1.45 ERA in 124 1/3 innings between Clearwater and Class A Lakewood continues to lead full-season Minor Leaguers.
Indians C Eric Haase, Triple-A Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R -- The No. 24 Indians prospect's third two-homer game of the season moved his season total to 20 dingers through 118 games with Columbus. A member of the 40-man roster, he's likely to get his first promotion to the Majors when rosters expand in September.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.