Rays RHP Brent Honeywell Jr., Triple-A Durham: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 76 pitches, 57 strikes -- The Rays' top prospect continues to improve at Triple-A, looking more and more ready for a Major League debut with each passing start. Honeywell owns a
Rays RHP Brent Honeywell Jr., Triple-A Durham: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 76 pitches, 57 strikes -- The Rays' top prospect continues to improve at Triple-A, looking more and more ready for a Major League debut with each passing start. Honeywell owns a 1.33 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 39 strikeouts and six walks over five starts (27 innings) since the beginning of July. That doesn't include his MVP-winning start in the Futures Game in Miami on July 9, but that outing illustrated just how promising the 22-year-old right-hander has been. Even when his Triple-A numbers weren't quite so rosy, MLB.com's No.14 overall prospect still racked up K's -- he leads the International League with a 30 percent strikeout rate while ranking third with a 2.90 FIP. Honeywell could soon be a solid option for the Rays in their hunt for an American League Wild Card.
Rangers OF/2B Willie Calhoun, Triple-A Round Rock: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R -- The Rangers' new No. 2 prospect introduced himself to the organization the best way he knows how -- with authority. After going 0-for-4 in his Round Rock debut Tuesday, Calhoun homered in his first at-bat Thursday for his first hit in the Texas system. The long ball was the 22-year-old left-handed slugger's 24th of the season, including his time at Oklahoma City, putting him in third place in the Pacific Coast League. Texas got MLB.com's No. 68 overall prospect in the Yu Darvish deal for his bat and above-average power, but his position remains an open question. Calhoun has made both of his starts with the Express in left field, and it's expected that he'll get the bulk of his starting time there after playing mostly second base with the Dodgers. He's seen as a rough defender at both positions and could be a future designated hitter in the Majors, but he mentioned on this week's Minor League podcast that he feels comfortable at the new position.
Twins RHP Felix Jorge, Double-A Chattanooga: 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 98 pitches, 69 strikes -- Jorge's two starts with the Major League club in July didn't go well -- he allowed nine earned runs in 7 2/3 innings -- and he brought those struggles back to the Southern League, giving up 12 earned runs over six frames in starts on July 17 and 23. He's since looked nothing short of dominant in his last two outings. The Twins' No. 7 prospect followed a nine-inning, one-run performance last Saturday with 7 2/3 scoreless frames at Montgomery on Thursday. That was his longest scoreless outing of the season. The 23-year-old right-hander owns a 3.51 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 30 walks in 115 1/3 innings for Chattanooga. He has two above-average pitches in his fastball and changeup and serviceable breaking pitches, but his control remains the key. He's walked 6.2 percent of opposing batters in the Southern League this season, and when hitters know they need to swing, they can be in for rough days.
Cubs RHP Jose Albertos, Class A Short Season Eugene: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 63 pitches, 46 strikes -- The Cubs system feels barren with no top-100 prospects remaining after this year's trade deadline. (There's a reason why they were left out of today's Toolshed on top prospects who survived the Deadline.) Albertos, the new No. 2 prospect, shows promise nevertheless. The 18-year-old right-hander turned in his best stateside start Thursday, limiting Spokane to one hit and one walk while fanning six over five innings. Albertos matched his career high for innings pitched in a start and needed only 63 pitches to do so. Signed out of Mexico for $1.5 million back in 2015, a forearm issue held him to only one start in 2016 before beginning 2017 in extended spring training. When health isn't an issue, the 6-foot-1 hurler can marvel with a plus fastball and changeup. Since making the jump to Eugene one month ago, Albertos owns a 3.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 18 strikeouts and .172 average-against in 16 2/3 innings. He'll need to show similar results in full-season ball before earning the hype of previous Cubs arm Dylan Cease, but if you're a Cubs fan looking for Minor League talent, you'll take what you can get.
Indians OF Will Benson, Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley: 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB, SB -- This was Benson at his very best Thursday. The Indians' No. 9 prospect was taken with the 14th overall pick in 2016 as a toolsy outfield project. He remains a project one year later but showed his full potential Thursday. Benson collected a career-high four hits and drove in four runs in a 15-7 win over Auburn. The 19-year-old right fielder has above-average power and speed, but both have yet to really shine in the Minors. He now has just three homers and two stolen bases to go with a .240/.328/.397 line in 33 games. There's a lot of swing-and-miss to his game right now, with a 35.8 percent strikeout rate that ranks second-highest in the New York-Penn League. The Indians knew all that when they took him in 2016 and will continue to work with the Georgia native on his bat-to-ball skills, but the talent is definitely there.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.