With the Minor League playoffs starting in just a few days, the action is just heating up. Let’s take a look around the league to see who was the best of the best in a heated playoff push.
SS Matt McLain (Reds No. 3) – Stepping into the box Sunday afternoon, McLain showed why the Reds covet him so highly. Drilling a ball off the wall for what looked liked a routine double, McLain turned on the burners. Showing off his 60-grade speed, McLain saw an opportunity with a fortunate bounce and sped around the basepaths for an inside-the-park home run. The 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft, McLain is batting .283 with 10 stolen bases in his first 31 professional games.
OF Alek Thomas (Diamondbacks No. 3) – With a clear path to playing time presenting itself in Arizona, Thomas is making the most of his Triple-A time. Having already homered in three straight games entering Saturday night, Thomas waited until his final at-bat before launching one into the seats to help cap off a 13-8 Reno win. Thomas has a .336/.405/.619 slash line with seven homers and 15 RBIs in 26 games with the Aces.
SS Ryan Bliss (Diamondbacks No. 14) – Everything was clicking for Bliss and Low-A Visalia Friday night. Bliss started the scoring party early with a homer in the first. Then he doubled in the third, tripled in the sixth and finally singled with two outs in the ninth to complete his first career cycle in just his 37th career game. The 42nd overall pick in the 2021 draft, Bliss is batting .267 with six homers, 24 RBIs and 13 stolen bases over the first 39 games of his career.
RHP Jason Adam (Cubs NR) – A feel good story in baseball is always welcome, and Adam’s fits the bill. Suffering a open fracture in his left ankle in a freak accident that was thought to be potentially career-ending back in May, Adam returned in style for Triple-A Iowa. Making his return in a 3-3 tie in the eight inning Friday night, Adam flashed the good stuff. Working a clean 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts, Adam showed he’s back and better than ever. With plenty of pitching spots open for the Cubs in the near future, Adam has a good shot to make an impact back in Chicago.
LHP MacKenzie Gore (Padres No. 4) – Gore has had some lofty expectations placed on him since being taken third overall in the 2017 draft, and while he’s struggled at times in 2021, he showed the ace-level stuff he’s expected to deliver on Friday night. Taking the mound for Double-A San Antonio, Gore amassed eight strikeouts over four innings and continued a remarkable strikeout run for the Missions. Those eight strikeouts brought him up to 21 over his last 14 innings. Gore has fought through some struggles this season but still has a respectable 3.93 ERA over 12 starts across four levels this season.
LHP Drew Rom (Orioles No. 26) – Something about September baseball sits well with Rom, and the results show. Rom pitched five perfect innings for Double-A Bowie Friday night, adding seven strikeouts to his leger. He’s yet to allow a run over 19 innings this month, giving up just five hits while striking out 18. The 2018 4th round pick is 11-1 with a 3.18 ERA over 23 games (20 starts) across two levels this season.