No. 29 prospect puts up string of zeros

Detroit Tigers

Here’s a look at Friday’s top Minor League performers from each team’s Top 30 Prospects list:

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (MLB No. 1), Triple-A Durham
Drew Strotman, RHP (
No. 19), Triple-A Durham
It was just another day at the office for the top prospect in baseball in Durham’s 9-1 win over Jacksonville. Franco went 2-for-5 with a homer, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. The switch-hitting stud smacked his fourth home run of the season on an effortless swing, and tacked on his sixth double in the seventh. It was Franco’s first homer since May 15, and he has broken out of a small cold spell in the last week, going 7-for-21 in his last five games with at least one hit in each contest. Franco’s slash line is up to .284/.354/.534 and he figures to make an impact at the Major League level at some point this season.

Strotman, the 19th-ranked Rays prospect posted his third scoreless start of the year: yielding six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings. Strotman bent, but never broke throughout his outing, allowing a pair of baserunners with fewer than two outs in each of his first four frames. However, he escaped the jam unscathed every time — whiffing Santiago Chavez and Monte Harrison back-to-back to end the second. In the fifth, the right-hander worked his fastest inning — needing 17 pitches to retire the side. Strotman is sporting a 2.45 ERA and has amassed 28 punchouts over 25 2/3 frames this season. Rays prospect stats »

Astros: Joe Perez, 3B (No. 28), High-A Asheville
Scott Manea, C (
No. 30), Double-A Corpus Christi
Perez notched his sixth multihit game of the season and launched a go-ahead grand slam in Asheville’s rain-shortened 9-7 win over Bowling Green. The 21-year-old went 2-for-3 with five RBIs and two runs scored in the come-from-behind win. Perez has had a sizzling start to his 2021 season and received the call up to High-A on May 25. Friday’s outburst upped his slash line to .306/.403/.532 with an OPS of .935 across both levels of A ball.

At the Double-A level, Manea put together his first three-hit performance of the year in Corpus Christi’s 3-2 win over Amarillo. The catcher went 3-for-3 with his second homer of the season, and added two RBIs and a run scored. On the season, the 25-year-old is slashing .239/.300/.457 with an OPS of .757, and has recorded hits in four of his last five contests. Astros prospect stats »

Cardinals: Levi Prater, LHP (No. 23), Low-A Palm Beach
Prater tossed 4 2/3 innings of one run ball and racked up 10 strikeouts in Palm Beach’s 4-2 loss to Bradenton. It was his first career performance with double-digit strikeouts. Runs have been hard to get off of Prater this season; he lowered his ERA to 1.77 following Friday’s start. He has three starts with no runs allowed, and has shown a knack for avoiding bats with 34 strikeouts and just seven hits in 20 1/3 innings, but has also shown a lack of control with 20 walks. Cardinals prospect stats »

Mariners: Cal Raleigh, C (No. 8), Triple-A Tacoma
The Mariners prospect mashed a three-run shot as part of a 3-for-4 night with a walk and three runs scored. Raleigh hammered the blast just inside the right-field foul pole to put the Rainiers ahead 7-3 in the sixth. It was his third long ball of the season. Raleigh also worked a six-pitch walk in the first and came around to score, knocked a base hit to right in the third and was plated on a double by Luis Torrens. The 24-year-old, who is sporting a .338 average, also lined a single to left in the eighth. Mariners prospect stats »

Marlins: Kyle Nicolas, RHP (No. 17), High-A Beloit
Nicolas had his strikeout pitches working in Friday’s start versus Peoria, racking up a career-high 11 punchouts in 4 1/3 innings of work. The 2020 draftee allowed two runs on five hits and walked two, but limited the damage with his overpowering stuff. The right hander has an ERA of 2.79 and 28 strikeouts (compared to 10 walks) in his 19 1/3 innings on the year. He is yet to allow more than two runs in any start this season. Marlins prospect stats »

Rangers: Tekoah Roby, RHP (No. 24), Low-A Down East
Roby set a career high with nine strikeouts in his fourth career professional game on Friday. The 19-year-old tossed four innings and allowed one run on two hits and three walks in Down East’s 6-2 win over Fredericksburg. The 2020 third-rounder has just 12 career innings under his belt, but has shown the ability to miss bats with 19 strikeouts to only six hits. His four innings also marked a career high, and Roby will continue to be stretched out to go deeper into games as he gains more experience. Rangers prospect stats »

Rockies: Ryan Rolison, LHP (No. 2), Triple-A Albuquerque
The second-ranked Rockies prospect bounced back nicely from a rough Triple-A debut to allow one run on five hits without issuing a walk and whiffing seven over five frames. The only real blemish for the southpaw was a solo home run by Jake Meyers in the second. Rolison did not make it out of the second in his Isotopes debut last week, however, he retired the side in order in the opening inning on Friday night and worked through the Skeeters’ lineup with relative ease throughout his outing. The 23-year-old was pulled after tossing 81 pitches — 55 for strikes. The effort helped Rolison lower his ERA from 27.00 to 8.10. Rockies prospect stats »

Royals: Jon Heasley, RHP (No. 13), Double-A Northwest Arkansas
The 13th-ranked Royals prospect was an out away from throwing a no-hitter. Taking the hill in Game 2 of the Naturals’ doubleheader, Heasley did not allow a hit until Juan Fernandez lined a single into left with two outs in the seventh inning. The right-hander was promptly removed after scattering that knock and three walks with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 shutout frames. Heasley retired 11 in a row in a stretch that spanned from the first inning to the fifth. The 24-year-old is sporting a 1.78 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 25 1/3 innings this season. Royals prospect stats »

Tigers: Keider Montero, RHP (No. 29), High-A West Michigan
Montero did it all for the White Caps on Friday night. The 29th-ranked Tigers prospect put together the best start of his season: working around six hits and a walk to fan five over five scoreless frames. The right-hander also made a spectacular play off the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play and escape a bases loaded jam in the fifth. He was pulled after 77 pitches — 59 for strikes. The 20-year-old earned his first win of the year and now has 19 punchouts over 16 2/3 innings pitched. Tigers prospect stats »

Twins: Matt Canterino, RHP (No. 7), High-A Cedar Rapids
Canterino continued his fantastic start to the season with four scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts in Friday’s start versus Wisconsin. The 2019 second-rounder yielded three hits and walked none in his brief but effective outing. It was his second start of the year with 10 punchouts, and also his second allowing no runs. The righty has an ERA of 1.00 in 18 innings pitched, and has racked up 35 strikeouts to three walks, good for a K/BB ratio of 11.67. Twins prospect stats »

White Sox: Gavin Sheets, 1B (No. 9), Triple-A Charlotte
Sheets led the charge in Charlotte’s offensive onslaught in a 17-2 win over Norfolk. The big lefty went 4-for-6 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in his second career four-hit game; his first since July 15, 2018. His big Friday at the dish was his sixth multihit game of the season, and his first since his two-homer night on May 16. Sheets has been flashing his 50-grade hit tool all season with a slash line of .329/.375/.524, good for an OPS of .899. White Sox prospect stats »

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