Theme of the dayYouth served: It was a good night to be a youngster in Minor League Baseball. No. 2 Nationals prospectJuan Soto, still only 19 in his second season with Class A Hagerstown, enjoyed a career performance, going 3-for-3 with a homer, double and six RBIs. Padres prospect Eguy Rosario
Theme of the dayYouth served:
It was a good night to be a youngster in Minor League Baseball. No. 2 Nationals prospectJuan Soto
, still only 19 in his second season with Class A Hagerstown, enjoyed a career performance
, going 3-for-3 with a homer, double and six RBIs. Padres prospect Eguy Rosario
-- the youngest player in the California League at just 18 -- homered twice
for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Orioles No. 5 prospect DL Hall
, 19, tossed three scoreless innings
in his Class A Delmarva debut. Rockies No. 4 prospect Colton Welker
-- the old man of this group at 20 -- pushed his Class A Advanced Lancaster average up to .579 with three more hits.
These players will face adversity sometime in 2018, but not Tuesday.
Who stayed hotIndians RHP Elijah Morgan, Class A Lake County: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 77 pitches, 55 strikes --
The Tribe grabbed the Gonzaga right-hander in the sixth round last year and sent him to Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley, where he posted a 1.03 ERA and struck out 42.3 percent of the batters he faced over 35 innings. In full-season ball, things aren't much different. Morgan fanned nine and didn't allow an earned run over six innings in his Lake County debut last Thursday and followed it up with this gem. He's now fanned 17 over 12 innings -- 38.6 percent of the batters he's faced in a Captains uniform. Morgan has been knocked for low velocity, but his changeup is a true plus pitch capable of piling up the K's at the lower levels. College arms dominating Class A is hardly uncommon, but Morgan is doing everything he can to put himself on the map.
Who needed this onePadres RHP Cal Quantrill, Double-A San Antonio: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 91 pitches, 62 strikes --
The Padres' No. 4 prospect threw 91 pitches in his season debut on Opening Day, but only 48 of them were strikes. He matched a career high with five walks in the process and was done after only 3 2/3 innings. He was much more on the mark in his second outing. Quantrill completed six innings for just the second time in 10 career Double-A starts. Now three years removed from Tommy John surgery, the training wheels are off for the 23-year-old right-hander, who is eying a possible Major League debut in the latter half of 2018. Quantrill, who hasn't problems throwing strikes in the past, will have to show last Thursday's rough outing was an outlier if he's going to follow former teammate Joey Lucchesi
to the Majors.
The unexpectedPirates 1B Will Craig, Double-A Altoona: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, K --
The Pirates' No. 18 prospect hit six home runs in 123 games with Class A Advanced Bradenton last season. He's already halfway there through five contests with Altoona, but his latest round-tripper wasn't the result of a power boost. A missed catch in center allowed him to race around the bases for a go-ahead three-run homer last night. Don't confuse it for speed, however -- Craig is a 35-grade runner who went 1-for-4 on stolen base attempts in 2017, and he was visibly rumbling and stumbling to home plate to complete the inside-the-parker. In other words, he's the poster child for this category.
Best matchupKolby Allard vs. Willy Adames and Christian Arroyo:
The Braves' No. 6 prospect faced a buzzsaw in his Triple-A debut, meeting not only the defending Triple-A champion in Durham but two top-100 prospects in Adames (No. 22) and Arroyo (No. 82). He got the better of Adames, inducing a groundout in the first and strikeout (looking) in the third, but wasn't so fortunate against Arroyo. The Bulls right-handed slugger singled to center off the Stripers southpaw in the first and doubled to left in the third. Allard, who gave up a three-run shot to Brandon Snyder
in the first inning, finished with three earned runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in four innings. Allard threw 39 of his 63 pitches for strikes. This was still an aggressive assignment for the 20-year-old, and there are going to be International League growing pains.
Who strengthened their promotion caseBraves OF Ronald Acuña Jr., Triple-A Gwinnett: 2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, K --
Everything's going to be fine. Many argued that MLB.com's No. 2 overall prospect should have started the season in the Majors after a breakout 2017 and torrid Grapefruit League campaign.Then the 20-year-old outfielder started his season with Gwinnett by going 0-for-11 with four strikeouts in his first three games. That turned around Tuesday when he reached three times -- including on a fourth-inning double that he laced to left for his first hit of the season. Though Acuña still looks to be struggling with velocity, all the tools that have made him the Minors' most exciting player are still there. It will take a few more 0-for's to keep him from joining the Braves later this month.
Others of notePadres LHP MacKenzie Gore, Class A Fort Wayne: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 66 pitches, 42 strikes --
This line isn't notable beyond being the first full-season start of Gore's career. The Padres are letting the 2017 No. 3 overall pick taste the Midwest League early, and it shouldn't be long before the numbers are as eye-popping as his stuff.Twins C Ben Rortvedt, Class A Cedar Rapids: 4-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, BB --
The Twins' No. 24 prospect is back at Cedar Rapids after producing a .599 OPS there in 2017, and he's performing like someone who doesn't want to be there for long. His four hits Tuesday represent a new career high for a single game.Angels 2B Jahmai Jones, Class A Advanced Inland Empire: 1-for-3, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB --
It's still weird to put "2B" next to the No. 93 overall prospect's name after his move from the outfield this spring. Despite the defensive change, he's showing plenty with the bat with hits in five straight games for the 66ers.Royals LHP Foster Griffin, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 87 pitches, 54 strikes --
Kansas City's No. 9 prospect outdueled Quantrill over six innings in a 4-0 win over San Antonio at home. He's allowed one earned run and struck out seven over nine innings in his first two starts of the season.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.