No. 16 prospect hits go-ahead slam

Detroit Tigers

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

Diamondbacks: Alek Thomas, OF (MLB No. 42), Triple-A Reno
Thomas’s 4-for-5 performance was highlighted by his first Triple-A home run. The 2018 second-round pick was promoted to Reno on Aug. 16 and he went hitless in his first three games. He has multiple hits in four of five games since then, however, with a double and triple (and now a homer) mixed in. Power is certainly part of Thomas’s profile: He slugged .507 with Double-A Amarillo in 72 games this season before moving up the organizational ladder. Diamondbacks prospect stats »

Pirates: Quinn Priester, RHP (MLB No. 53), High-A Greensboro
Omar Cruz, LHP (No. 27), Double-A Altoona

In Priester’s previous start, he struck out six over five innings. On Friday, it only took Priester six batters to accomplish that feat and he then struck out another three in a row for good measure. After fanning nine consecutive batters to start the night, Priester went on to toss six innings of one-hit ball (with 13 strikeouts) in one of the most utterly dominant performances on a mound all season — at any level. The 2019 first-rounder has 33 punchouts in 23 innings this month and he’s down to a 2.86 ERA for the season.

Cruz’s stat line doesn’t quite match his organizational peer — not that that’s a reasonable bar to strive for — but he did keep his opponent scoreless through five innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out four. Coming off his roughest outing of the season (10 hits and six runs allowed in five innings), Cruz bounced back in a big way. He has a 3.12 ERA in five starts this month. Pirates prospect stats »

Royals: MJ Melendez, C (MLB No. 73), Triple-A Omaha
After a bumpy seven-game stretch, in which Melendez recorded just one hit in 18 at-bats, he broke out in a big way Friday. Melendez finished a double shy of the cycle, batting 4-for-4 with two homers, a walk and four RBIs. Since his promotion to Triple-A on Aug. 11, Melendez has struggled to find consistent production. He entered this game batting just .196 in 14 games, but maybe one massive night will lead to more. Royals prospect stats »

Padres: Robert Hassell, OF (MLB No. 47), Low-A Lake Elsinore
One double is good, but two doubles are twice as nice. Hassell hit a pair of two-baggers as part of his four-hit, six-RBI night to keep his first pro season rolling along nicely. The eighth overall selection in the 2020 Draft has multiple hits in seven of his past nine games. His four hits and six RBIs are both career highs and his batting average (.323) has reached its high-water mark. Padres prospect stats »

Angels: Janson Junk, RHP (No. 23), Double-A Rocket City
Junk was nothing short of perfect through eight innings before allowing a hit to open the ninth. He went on to give up a three-run homer as well, but even then, Junk’s night was epic: eight strikeouts and 24 batters retired in a row over 8 2/3 innings. Junk came over from the Yankees’ organization as part of a Trade Deadline deal and he struggled through his first four starts with Rocket City (6.27 ERA with 30 hits allowed in 18 2/3 innings). He might’ve fallen short of history Friday, but he flashed plenty of promise for what the Angels could see some day on a big league mound. Angels prospect stats »

Braves: Luke Waddell, SS (No. 29), High-A Rome
What a week for Waddell. On Tuesday, he hit his first two homers as a pro and on Friday he homered twice more. Waddell went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, which marked his first three-RBI game in the Minors. The 2021 fifth-round pick now has as many hits in his past four games (eight) as he did in his first 13. In that span, he has raised his batting average with Rome from .190 to .276. Braves prospect stats »

Mariners: Brandon Williamson, LHP (No. 7), Double-A Arkansas
Departing with a no-hitter in progress is never fun, but Williamson surely enjoyed his night on the mound anyway. With nine strikeouts and two walks allowed over 4 2/3 scoreless innings, the lanky left-hander turned in his most impressive pro outing to date. While he wasn’t able to improve on his 1-4 record, Williamson did lower his ERA for a fifth consecutive start (it’s now down to 4.11). In August, he has allowed just three earned runs over 20 2/3 innings (1.31 ERA), with 34 strikeouts versus nine walks. Mariners prospect stats »

Phillies: Bryson Stott, SS (No. 2), Double-A Reading
Stott’s magical month of August motored on with a 3-for-4, two-run night at the plate. He entered the night with a .391/.427/.644 slash line in August and now the 23-year-old has reached safely in 22 of 23 games. In that time, he boasts 14 multihit games and 15 extra-base hits, including a double and a homer Friday. Stott was already a productive player with Reading, but his month-long tear has boosted his OPS by more than 100 points at the Double-A level. Phillies prospect stats »

Tigers: Daniel Cabrera, OF (No. 16), High-A West Michigan
Want to talk about saving your best for last? Cabrera’s career-best night ended with a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning, lifting him to four hits and six RBIs. He also added a double, marking his third game with multiple extra-base hits this year. The 22-year-old is just settling in during his first season in pro ball and he now owns a .702 OPS in 98 games. Tigers prospect stats »

White Sox: Bryan Ramos, 2B/3B (No. 11), Low-A Kannapolis
Ramos wasted no time making his mark, knocking a single and a three-run homer in the first inning of the Cannon Ballers’ rout. He went on to finish 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored. After going hitless in 10 consecutive games — a staggering 0-for-35 drought — Ramos now has six hits and five runs scored over his past two games. White Sox prospect stats »

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