Theme of the dayArms racing: Entering his rehab outing with Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, Cardinals top prospectAlex Reyes had struck out 31 over three starts between Class A Peoria, Class A Advanced Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield. So what could he possibly do to top himself? How about setting a Pacific
Theme of the dayArms racing:
Entering his rehab outing with Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, Cardinals top prospectAlex Reyes
had struck out 31 over three starts between Class A Peoria, Class A Advanced Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield. So what could he possibly do to top himself? How about setting a Pacific Coast League record
with nine straight strikeouts? Reyes finished with 13 punchouts overall in seven one-hit innings. Even after all the time missed due to Tommy John surgery, he couldn't look more ready for a return to St. Louis. Elsewhere, Rays top prospect Brendan McKaytossed six scoreless innings
in his second outing for Class A Advanced Charlotte, showing that he too is yet to be tested in 2018.
Who stayed hotBraves RHP Touki Toussaint, Double-A Mississippi: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 99 pitches, 66 strikes --
The Braves' No. 11 prospect sits in the second spot on the Minor League leaderboard with 66 strikeouts over 50 1/3 innings, trailing only Jose Suarez
's 69 in the Angels system. The 10 punchouts Thursday against Jacksonville matched a season high, first established May 4 at Pensacola. An equally promising development, however, is the zero in the walks column. Toussaint has struggled with control at almost every stop he's made in the D-backs and Braves systems, and while his 10.3 percent walk rate in 2018 isn't sterling, it's an improvement on his 13 percent at the same level last season. With a plus fastball and one of the best curves in the Minors, Toussaint has the ability to make batters look foolish, if and when he finds the zone with some regularity. The 21-year-old owns a 3.58 ERA in 10 starts this season with the M-Braves.
Who needed this oneReds RHP Hunter Greene, Class A Dayton: 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 73 pitches, 50 strikes --
Whenever it seems like last year's No. 2 overall pick takes a step forward in his first full season, he takes a step back. The Reds' No. 2 prospect tossed four scoreless innings back on May 12, breaking up a three-start run in which he'd given up 13 earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, but then allowed four earned runs in 3 1/3 frames last time out, causing his ERA to creep back up to 10.06. Now that number is back down to 8.44 after Greene limited Lake County at home. His six strikeouts were his highest total since he fanned eight in his season debut on April 9. Despite his 80-grade fastball and promising slider, Greene has been all too hittable in his introduction to the Midwest League. His lone run surrendered Thursday came on a solo homer by Tyler Friis
, and opponents are collectively batting .351 against him through eight starts. But the Reds didn't make a $7.2 million investment in the 18-year-old to be a good Class A pitcher, so they're hoping these early struggles lead to adjustments that help Greene reach his lofty ceiling down the line.
The unexpectedGiants OF Sandro Fabian, Class A Advanced San Jose: 3-for-4, HR, 2 2B, RBI, 3 R --
The Giants' No. 6 prospect entered the day with a .227 average and .620 OPS through 38 contests and hadn't collected multiple extra-base hits in a game since April 8, his fourth game of the season. So it's not hard to see why Thursday's performance, in which he set a season high with eight total bases, felt like it came a bit out of the blue. That said, Fabian was a slow starter last season at Class A Augusta as well. He was hitting just .245 with a .636 OPS on May 25, 2017 -- eerily close to his .241 and .678 after Thursday's breakout -- but turned things on in the second half, hitting .311/.331/.473 over his final 62 games. The 20-year-old outfielder, whose best tools right now are on the defensive side, may just be the type of player who takes some time to adjust to new surroundings, and at his age and experience level, that's fine for now. The Giants hope Thursday is a sign that he'll take off soon in the California League.
Best matchupFreddy Peralta vs. Jorge Mateo:
The Brewers' No. 9 prospect made waves by striking out 13 in his Major League debut on May 13 in Colorado, only to give up four runs and walk six in four innings at Minnesota six days later. He was optioned back to Colorado Springs on Monday and posted zeros in his Sky Sox return Thursday, striking out eight over five scoreless innings. He faced one top-100 prospect in Mateo and had little trouble with the right-handed-hitting shortstop, striking him out swinging in both the third and fifth innings on seven total pitches. Some control issues kept Peralta from working deep into Thursday's outing -- he needed 94 pitches to get through five frames -- but this was a good way to push his way back to Milwaukee, when a Major League need arises.
Who strengthened their promotion caseBlue Jays C Danny Jansen, Triple-A Buffalo: 3-for-5, 3 2B, 3 RBI, R --
There's a Blue Jays prospect who should see the Major Leagues soon. No, not that one. (OK, yes, that one.) But also Jansen, who doubled three times and plated three runs in Buffalo's 11-8 loss to Syracuse on Thursday. Toronto's No. 6 prospect now ranks second in the International League with a .424 on-base percentage and is hitting .318 with 23 strikeouts and 28 walks over 53 career games at Triple-A, dating back to last season. Russell Martin and Luke Maile are basically splitting duties behind the plate these days in Toronto, with the former struggling to show much offensive value. Martin still has another year on his contract, so Jansen's road north of the border has some road blocks, regardless of Martin's production. But if the 23-year-old continues to produce like this with Buffalo, the Jays will find a way to get his bat to the Majors sooner rather than later.
Others of noteAngels OF Jo Adell, Class A Advanced Inland Empire: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K --
The California League might have to get used to this. The Angels' top prospect hit his first Class A Advanced homer Thursday and added a double for good measure. He's gone 3-for-8 with the homer and two doubles since debuting with the 66ers on Tuesday.White Sox RHP Dylan Cease, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem: 7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 103 pitches, 67 strikes --
This was the longest outing of the season, both in terms of pitches and innings, for the No. 5 White Sox prospect. He ranks second in the Carolina League with 57 strikeouts and has posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 47 2/3 frames.Twins 1B/OF Brent Rooker, Double-A Chattanooga: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K --
Power needs to be the saving grace for the Twins' No. 8 prospect, and it was on display Thursday in the first multi-homer game of his career. Rooker is batting .238/.282/.411 with six long balls in 43 games.Padres OF Tirso Ornelas, Class A Fort Wayne: 3-for-4, 3B, 2 2B, RBI, R--
The Padres' No. 13 snapped an 0-for-12 run over his previous our games by collecting three extra-base hits Thursday at West Michigan. Having only turned 18 in March, Ornelas entered the season as the second-youngest player in the Midwest League and has held his own with a .260/.339/.380 line in 41 games.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.