Another week, another round of top prospects looking to make their mark. Let’s see who was the best of the best among them.
2B Nick Gonzales (Pirates No. 4) – The Pirates are well into their rebuilding process, but the early returns on their top prospects have been promising. Gonzales, the seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft, has been absolutely raking for High-A Greensboro lately, and his effort culminated Sunday afternoon. Gonzales almost hit for the homer cycle, hitting a solo shot, a three-run shot and a grand slam for the Grasshoppers in a 19-11 win over Asheville. Gonzales’ eight-RBI day set a new career high and gives him 40 over his first 65 professional games.
2B Nick Yorke (Red Sox No. 4) – Yorke started his professional career with a chip on his shoulder. Thought to be a fourth-round pick at best in the 2020 draft, Boston shocked the draft world by selecting Yorke with the 17th overall selection. To his credit, all Yorke has done is hit since getting drafted. He extended his current hitting streak to 10 games with a three-hit performance Sunday night. With a promotion to High-A Greenville in the middle of that streak, Yorke is batting .435 in his first five games with the Drive.
RHP Shane Baz (Rays No. 1) – Another start, another solid outing for Baz. Twirling five innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts, Baz lowered his August ERA to 1.50. It continues a whirlwind summer for Baz. Not only has he moved into the Rays number one prospect spot, he was a key contributor for Team USA’s silver medal performance in the Tokyo Olympics.
RHP Janson Junk (Angels No. 23) – Acquired in the Andrew Heaney trade with the Yankees, all Junk has done since being traded his continue to deal. Junk carried a perfect game into the ninth on Friday night for Double-A Rocket City before giving up a single to Biloxi’s Tristen Lutz. The Shuckers would make it interesting with a walk and a homer, but the Trash Pandas were able to hold on for a 4-3 win. Junk finished with eight strikeouts over a very impressive 8.2 frames.
OF Daniel Cabrera (Tigers No. 16) – Cabrera was already having a solid 3-for-4 night for High-A West Michigan on Friday, but made sure to make his last at-bat of the night count. Stepping up to the plate in a 5-5 tie with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Cabrera drilled a no-doubt grand slam to put the Whitecaps on top. Cabrera finished his night an impressive 4-for-5 with six RBIs in the 11-6 win over Lansing.
OF Zac Veen (Rockies No. 1) – Veen was rolling on all cylinders Tuesday night. Not only did Veen launch his first career grand slam for Low-A Fresno, it was key for his first career cycle. Veen singled in the first, homered in the second, doubled in the sixth and raced for a triple in the eighth. Colorado’s top prospect is looking to combine with 2020 first rounder Benny Montgomery to form a power duo in the Rockies’ outfield for years to come.