The stars of today and of tomorrow morphed into one Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
Detroit’s Akil Baddoo continued what has been as surreal start to his Major League career while Houston’s Luis Garcia provided further evidence he’s ready for prime time.
Playing in his seventh big league game, Baddoo opened the scoring with a 450-foot home run off Zack Greinke and came close to adding another en route to his second multi-hit game of the season in the Tigers’ 6-2 win. In addition to his third roundtripper of the season, Detroit’s 22nd-ranked prospect doubled and hit a sacrifice fly in support of former top prospect Casey Mize, who earned his first Major League victory.
Claimed from the Twins during last December’s Rule 5 Draft, the 22-year-old earned a ticket to The Show after batting .325 with five homers, 11 RBIs and 10 walks in 21 Grapefruit League games. Baddoo made headlines for the Tigers when he went deep on the first pitch he saw as a Major Leaguer. The lefty-swinging outfielder followed that up with a grand slam the following day.
Through his first seven big league contests, Baddoo is batting .368/.381/1.000 with five extra-base hits and nine RBIs spanning 19 at-bats.
While Detroit’s young thumper was leading his team to victory, Houston’s early deficit gave Garcia an opportunity to shine in relief. The No. 6 Astros prospect struck out seven over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his second appearance of the 2021. Garcia relieved Greinke with two outs in the fifth and fanned four of the first six batters he faced. The right-hander allowed a pair of hits and walked one while throwing 46 of his 62 pitches for strikes.
Garcia debuted last season and provided Houston with a shot in the arm down the stretch. The Venezuela native posted a 2.92 ERA in five appearances last September before adding two scoreless frames in the postseason.
Signed in 2017, Garcia went 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 108 2/3 innings while limiting opposing batters to a .172 average across two Minor League levels in 2019,
Mize surrendered four hits and two walks with five strikeouts over seven scoreless frames to pick up his first Major League win. The 23-year-old struggled in seven starts last season but has an 0.82 ERA through his first two appearances of 2021.
More notable performances from top prospects on Monday:
Yermín Mercedes, DH, CWS
It took until his final at-bat, but Mercedes shook off his first 0-fer of the season to record his 16th hit in Chicago’s eighth game. The 28-year-old was hitless in his first three plate appearances before reaching on an infield single in the ninth inning. An Opening Day sensation after collecting five hits, Mercedes is batting .500/.556/.781 with two homers and seven RBIs this season. Gameday»
Jazz Chisholm, 2B, MIA (MLB No. 58)
Miami’s No. 4 prospect doubled and reached base twice as his team won in 10 innings at Atlanta, 5-3. Chisholm smoked a double to right field in the top of the seventh inning, turning Luke Jackson’s 87.6 mph slider into a laser to the gap at 111.7 mph exit velocity. One inning later, Chisholm walked for the fourth straight game. His on-base percentage has climbed from .300 to .367 over his last three contests. Overall, Chisholm is batting .217/.367/.522 through eight games. Gameday»
Though he was saddled with the loss, Alzolay looked better in his second start of the season than his first. Over 5 1/3 innings, the seventh-ranked Cubs prospect allowed three runs on three hits while walking one and striking out six. Alzolay touched 94.8 mph with his four-seam fastball and 95.5 with his sinker while also mixing in a slider and changeup, according to Statcast data. More»