Torkelson, Clemens show off power

Detroit Tigers

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

Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 3B (MLB No. 3), Double-A Erie
Kody Clemens, 2B (No. 13), Triple-A Toledo
Torkelson’s 2-for-2 night might seem light but it came with a homer, a double and four times on base. The 2020 first-overall Draft selection was plunked by a pitch in the top of the first inning before cranking his ninth homer of the season in the third, a two-run shot to left field. Following a walk in the sixth, Torkelson powered an RBI double to center in the eighth. Thursday’s performance marked the second time in the corner infielder’s last three games that he’s tallied a double and homer in the same contest. Torkelson’s three RBIs were his most in a game since matching that mark on June 12

A mid-month 0-for-15 stretch had dropped Clemens’ slash line to .241/.315/.422, but he’s responded by hitting in three straight, including his first multihomer game of the season on Thursday. The 25-year-old went deep for a second consecutive night and added a single for his first three-hit effort since July 9 and fourth of the season. Despite spending nearly a month on the injured list, the son of Roger Clemens is batting .252 with an .831 OPS, 16 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs in 38 games.

Mets: Ronny Mauricio, SS (MLB No. 50), High-A Brooklyn
Mauricio’s red-hot stretch continued with a homer and a double for Brooklyn on Thursday night, his third consecutive multi-hit game. The 20-year-old has hit safely in six straight overall and nine of 10, going 17-for-40 (.425) with five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in that span. Mauricio has raised his average 37 points to .251 since July 10 and has increased his OPS on the season to .742. He’s homered 11 times and collected 39 RBIs in 60 games.

Rangers: Justin Foscue, 2B (No. 5), High-A Hickory
Foscue helped power a 20-hit night for his club by going 3-for-4 and reaching base four times. The second baseman kicked off the Crawdads’ big offensive showing by roping an RBI double to center in the top of the first, then hammered his ninth home run of the season on a solo shot to right-center field in the third. After grounding into a force play in the fifth, Foscue lined an RBI single to center field in the sixth inning and then added a walk in the seventh in his final trip to the plate. With the game already in hand, Hickory pinch-hit for Foscue in the ninth. His replacement, Jared Walker, then belted a solo homer to right-center.

Cardinals: Angel Rondón, RHP (No. 9), Triple-A Memphis
Juan Yepez, 1B, (No. 16), Triple-A Memphis
Coming on after a scoreless inning on a rehab assignment for Daniel Ponce de Leon, Rondón was dominant over six frames that followed. The right-hander cruised through his evening on just 64 pitches, putting 41 of them in the strike zone. Rondón allowed just one hit and one walk and struck out five, fanning a batter in all but one of his innings. Thursday’s strong outing came five days after Rondón went six innings in a start against Norfolk, allowing one run while scattering six hits and striking out four without a walk.

Yepez put up three hits in support of Rondón’s stellar effort. The first baseman belted a solo homer to center field in the first inning to get his team on the board and added a double to left in the top of the third. Yepez then added a single to left in the fifth inning for his first three-hit game of the season and first such performance since he racked up four hits for then-Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Aug. 3, 2019.

Yankees: Ezequiel Duran, SS (No. 15), High-A Hudson Valley
Brandon Lockridge, OF (No. 20), Double-A Somerset
Duran equaled his output from his previous five games with four hits and did it in style, hitting for the cycle in Hudson Valley’s extra-inning win. The 22-year-old led off the game with his 12th home run, scored a career-high four runs and drove in three. Through 64 games, Duran is batting .290/.369/.540 with 32 extra-base hits, 47 RBIs and 40 runs in 64 games.

Lockridge had a huge game for Somerset out of the leadoff spot in the lineup, launching two home runs as part of a 3-for-5, four-RBI night in a 10-0 victory over Altoona. Ever since he was promoted to Double-A earlier in the month, the 24-year-old has been red-hot, upping his batting average to .378 and his OPS to 1.206 with his performance Thursday. With his pair of homers — a solo shot in the third inning and a three-run shot in the eighth — he now has five in his first nine games with Somerset.

Twins: Chris Vallimont, RHP (No. 19), Double-A Wichita
Vallimont bounced back from a rough outing on July 17 to turn in his finest start of the season so far, throwing six scoreless innings against Arkansas while yielding just three hits, walking three and striking out eight. The performance lowered the 24-year-old right-hander’s ERA to 4.13 in 11 Double-A starts.

Cubs: Ethan Hearn, C (No. 21), Low-A Myrtle Beach
Hearn slugged solo homers in each of his first two at-bats, giving him three in his last four games. The 20-year-old has found the going tough this season, batting .190/.286/.349 overall, but he’s picked up the pace in July to the tune of a .275 average, a .948 OPS and 11 RBIs in 12 games.

Nationals: Ben Braymer, LHP (No. 21), Triple-A Rochester
It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Braymer, who entered Thursday with a 7.65 ERA in 11 appearances, including nine starts, after he surrendered eight earned runs in two innings in his previous outing. However, the 27-year-old rebounded with his first scoreless performance of the year, blanking Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on one hit over five frames. Braymer walked two, struck out five and tossed 79 pitches en route to completing five innings for the first time since May 29.

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