Luzardo leads Monday's top prospects

Here’s MLB Pipeline‘s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

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There will be plenty to say about Jesus Luzardo when he takes the mound for the World Team in Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Among them, that the No. 20 overall prospect has not allowed an earned run in his last 28 innings.

Luzardo, Oakland’s No. 1 prospect, extended that streak on Monday with the longest outing of his career, tossing six innings of three-hit ball to lead Double-A Midland past Springfield, 3-0. He matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and allowed one walk in the performance, throwing 48 of his 64 pitches for strikes.

The 20-year-old left-hander fanned the first five batters he faced and carried a no-hit bid into the fourth inning, when Ramon Urias entered Springfield into the hit column with a one-out double. Luzardo went on to record a pair of swinging strikeouts in each of the next two frames to finish with nine swinging strikeouts.

Luzardo last allowed an earned run on June 6, when he tossed five innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts against San Antonio. Since then he’s reduced his RockHounds ERA from 4.68 to 2.54 across five starts, all while permitting 12 hits with a 28-to-4 strikeout-to-walk.

For the season, Luzardo is 8-4 with a 2.30 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 16 starts between Midland and Class A Advanced Stockton. He’s compiled 99 strikeouts against 20 walks and held opposing hitters to a .194 average and two home runs in 78 1/3 innings.

Luzardo fans 10th batter

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday

No. 64 overall prospect Michael Chavis (Red Sox’s No. 1) had his best performance since his return from an 80-game suspension. Chavis, who had gone 2-for-20 with ten strikeouts in his first six games, doubled twice and homered for Class A Short Season Lowell. The breakout is a welcome sign for Chavis, who homered 31 times last season across two levels.

No. 100 overall prospect Nolan Jones (Indians’ No. 4) connected on his 11th home run in a 3-for-3, three-RBI performance for Class A Lake County. The 20-year-old third baseman is having a strong full-season debut at the plate, with a .275/.382/.442 batting line over 72 games in the Midwest League, though the jury is still out on whether Jones and his 6-foot-4 frame can stick at the hot corner, where he’s committed 16 errors in 61 games.

Blue Jays No. 18 prospect Kevin Smith went 2-for-4 with a pair of extra-base hits, hitting a solo homer and an RBI double in Class A Advanced Dunedin’s win over Clearwater. The homer was Smith’s 15th of the year, and he’s now gone deep eight times in 36 games since his promotion to the Florida State League. Altogether, the 22-year-old infielder has produced a .329/.383/.583 batting line with 49 extra-base hits, 67 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 82 games across two levels.

Brewers No. 8 prospect Tristen Lutz did a lot of everything for Class A Wisconsin, tallying two hits, three runs scored, three RBIs, three walks and a stolen base in the Timber Rattlers’ 19-5 rout of Peoria. Both of Lutz’s hits were for extra-bases, too, as he recorded his 21st double of the season in the first inning before connecting on his eighth homer, a three-run shot, in the seventh. The tooled-up 19-year-old outfielder is batting .368 (14-for-38) with nine extra-base hits and nine RBIs over his last 10 contests.

• Starting opposite ends of Class A Advanced Florida’s doubleheader sweep of Daytona, Braves No. 9 prospect Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller (No. 11) combined to allow one unearned run on 10 hits with 16 strikeouts and zero walks in 13 1/3 innings. Both 20-year-old left-handers turned in season-long outings, with Wentz working 6 2/3 scoreless frames in the opener and Muller completing seven dominant frames with a career-best 12 strikeouts in the nightcap.

Wentz has not allowed a run in four straight starts for the Fire Frogs — a stretch spanning 22 1/3 innings during which he’s allowed 12 hits and two walks while lowering his 2018 ERA from 3.77 to 2.19. Muller, meanwhile, has pitched to a 3.08 ERA in 61 1/3 innings (11 starts) since receiving a promotion from Class A Rome.

Dodgers No. 9 prospect Will Smith contributed a seventh-inning solo homer in Double-A Tulsa’s 8-1 victory against Frisco. The 23-year-old catcher has been on a power surge of late, as he’s now gone deep in three consecutive games, four times in his past five and eight times in his past 13 contests, giving him 15 home runs overall along with a .286/.384/.589 batting line in 53 games on the season.

Smith homers in 3rd straight game

Indians No. 28 prospect Mitch Longo’s four RBIs and season-high four hits proved the difference in Class A Advanced Lynchburg’s 6-3 win over Potomac. The 23-year-old outfielder connected on a solo homer, his sixth, in his first at-bat and added three singles to finish 4-for-4 with two runs scored. The multihit effort was Longo’s fifth in his past six games, during which he’s improved his season average from .284 to .300.

Reds No. 29 prospect Packy Naughton was lights-out in his third straight scoreless start for Class A Dayton. The 22-year-old lefty faced one over the minimum in the performance, as he yielded just two hits while setting a pair of career highs with nine strikeouts in eight innings. He’s allowed 11 hits across his last three starts, compiling 17 strikeouts and one walk over 17 innings in that span. Including his June 24 start, Naughton has logged 22 consecutive scoreless frames.

Naughton fans career-high 9th batter

Royals No. 12 prospect Carlos Hernandez did not allow an earned run over seven innings for a third straight start as he pitched Class A Lexington past Greensboro, 2-1. He racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts — he had totaled 11 strikeouts across his previous three turns — permitted four hits and walked a pair in the outing. The 21-year-old righty has been sharp so far in his first full season, posting a 3.34 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 62 frames (12 starts) in the South Atlantic League.

Hernandez strikes out 12

• Giants first-rounder Joey Bart (No. 2 overall pick) launched a grand slam for his fourth homer in five games as a member of Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer. The 21-year-old backstop, a Georgia Tech product, also went deep on Sunday and hit a pair of two-run shots in his Salem-Keizer debut on July 4. He’s hit .282 with seven extra-base hits and 12 RBIs across two levels and 11 games as a pro.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Published on Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:37:07 +0000

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