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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Everybody hits

Runs weren't hard to come by for Rays affiliates Tuesday

Dayron Varona is going deep
Dayron Varona is going deep
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have three minor leaguers with double-digit home run totals so far this season: Dayron Varona has 11, and Brett Sullivan and Kevin Padlo each have 10 for Bowling Green. Did anyone believe that's what the leaderboard would look like as we near the end of June?

Triple-A Durham Bulls (35-45)

A five-run inning sunk Durham in its Game 1, 5-4 loss to Charlotte. Home runs from Luke Maile and Richie Shaffer helped the Bulls build a 4-0 lead, but the wheels came off in the fifth for Austin Pruitt. Pruitt's former teammate, Omar Narvaez, led off the inning with a home run, and Matt Davidson's grand slam gave the lead to the Knights.

Dayron Varona's pair of home runs lifted the Bulls to a 7-2 win in Game 2. Johnny Field tripled and Daniel Robertson doubled him in for a first-inning run, and Varona's first homer an inning later started a three-run inning. His three-run shot in the fifth added plenty of insurance. Parker Markel got the spot start and pitched very well, striking out four in three scoreless innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (4-1)

Montgomery was off.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-3)

Charlotte tallied five unanswered runs to prevail in an 11-9 slugfest against St. Lucie. After St. Lucie jumped out to an 8-0 lead through 2 1/2 innings, the Stone Crabs began chipping away with a four-run third that included a two-run single from Brandon Guyer. RBI singles by Joe McCarthy and Andrew Velazquez in the seventh pulled Charlotte within one, and Guyer would score the go-ahead run an inning later. Starter Chris Pike was slammed for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings, but Brian Miller picked him up later with three scoreless innings of relief.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-4)

Bowling Green rallied late for a 5-2 win over West Michigan. Tied at two in the seventh, the Hot Rods went ahead on a Whitecaps throwing error, and Jake Cronenworth removed any doubt with a two-run single to add insurance. David Rodriguez's two-run homer in the fourth initially gave Bowling Green a 2-0 lead, but Taylor Hawkins would give up two runs -- one earned -- in five innings. Tyler Brashears and Diego Castillo each pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (4-8)

Weather ended what could have been a comeback in Hudson Valley's rain-shortened 12-5 loss to Staten Island. Staten Island ran out to a 12-1 lead that started with a five-run first, but the Renegades were on the way back a half inning before the game was called. Jake Fraley led off what would be a five-run sixth with a walk, and hits from Joe Olson, Jose Rojas and Miguel Hernandez helped close the margin. Starter Garrett Fulenchek allowed six runs -- one earned -- in two-plus innings, and the bullpen did not provide much relief.

Rookie Princeton Rays (4-2)

Princeton rattled off nine unanswered runs in an 11-3 rout of Danville. Down 3-2 in the sixth, Princeton moved ahead with a three-run frame that included Bobby Melley's first professional home run. It sent 12 batters to the plate in the six-run eighth that was capped off by a pair of bases-loaded walks. Willy Ortiz pitched five innings despite allowing three early runs, and Ethan Clark finished the game with four scoreless innings of relief.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (0-4)

The GCL Rays continued their slide into 2015 levels of futility with a 9-5 loss to the GCL Red Sox. Michael Brosseau singled home the first run just two batters into the game, but after Chris Betts doubled to put two in scoring position with no outs, three consecutive batters struck out to waste the threat. The GCL Red Sox then scored seven straight runs. Austin Franklin allowed three runs -- two earned -- in 2 2/3 innings to get tagged with the loss in his pro debut.


Notable Performances


SS Daniel Robertson (1): 2-for-4, 1 K
SS Daniel Robertson (2): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
3B Richie Shaffer (1): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
3B Richie Shaffer (2): 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
C Luke Maile (1): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
IF Jake Hager (1): 0-for-3
IF Jake Hager (2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
1B Cameron Seitzer (1): 3-for-3, 1 RBI
C J.P. Arencibia (2): 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B
OF Dayron Varona (2): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

RHP Austin Pruitt (1): 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
RHP Parker Markel (2): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
RHP Neil Wagner (2): 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Class A-Advanced

OF Brandon Guyer: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
2B Riley Unroe: 2-for-4, 4 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
OF Justin Williams: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI
OF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-5, 1 RBI
SS Andrew Velazquez: 3-for-4, 1 RBI
OF Bralin Jackson: 0-for-1, 2 R, 3 BB

RHP Chris Pike: 2 2/3 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Brian Miller: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K


SS Jake Cronenworth: 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
3B Michael Russell: 0-for-5, 1 K
C David Rodriguez: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Taylor Hawkins: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
RHP Tyler Brashears: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K


OF Ryan Boldt: 0-for-3, 3 K
OF Jake Fraley: 0-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB

RHP Garrett Fulenchek: 2+ IP, 4 H, 6 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K
RHP Spencer Jones: 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Deivy Mendez: 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
LHP Travis Ott: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Trek Stemp: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB
1B Bobby Melley: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
SS Adrian Rondon: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 K

RHP Willy Ortiz: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Ethan Clark: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Rookie (Gulf Coast League Rays)

OF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
C Chris Betts: 1-for-3, 1 2B
3B Joshua Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K

RHP Austin Franklin: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K
LHP Kevin Williams: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 4 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 2 K
RHP Bryce Zak: 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Today's games (All probables courtesy

Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Jacob Turner (4-6, 4.80)

Montgomery v. Mobile 8:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Taylor Guerrieri (6-4, 4.60) v. Yoan Lopez (4-6, 5.27)

Charlotte v. Palm Beach 6:35 PM ET (radio stream)
Chris Pike (2-6, 3.26) v. TBA

Bowling Green @ West Michigan 7 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jose Mujica (3-3, 4.82) v. TBA

Hudson Valley @ Staten Island 7 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)

Princeton v. Greeneville 7 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Patrick Sandoval (0-0, 9.82)

GCL Rays @ GCL Red Sox 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
38-42 (1st in IL South)
Offense: 338 R (2nd) .729 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.57 ERA (14th) 1.41 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects:  OF Jacob May (7), LHP Brian Clark (14), RHP Chris Beck (19), 1B Danny Hayes (29), 3B Matt Davidson (30), 1B Jerry Sands

Mobile BayBears (Arizona)
2-3 (T-2nd in SL South)
Offense: 290 R (8th) .694 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.54 ERA (4th) 1.39 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Yoan Lopez (6), RHP Taylor Clarke (14), C The Oscar (22), RHP Adam Miller (23), 2B Jamie Westbrook (30), RHP Jimmie Sherfy (31)

St. Lucie Mets
2-4 (6th in FSL South)
Offense: 271 R (7th) .675 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.31 ERA (6th) 1.26 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Wuilmer Becerra (10), 3B Jhoan Urena (11), SS Luis Guillorme (12), RHP Chris Flexen (26), OF John Mora (28)

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
1-5 (T-7th in MWL East)
Offense: 297 R (T-9th) .665 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.35 ERA (7th) 1.27 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Beau Burrows (2), OF Derek Hill (10), OF Jose Azocar (15), RHP Drew Smith (19), RHP Sandy Baez (26)

Staten Island Yankees
10-2 (1st in NYPL McNamara)
Offense: 52 R (T-2nd) .659 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 2.65 ERA (4th) 1.01 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: C Luis Torrens (17), RHP Drew Finley (24)

Greeneville Astros
1-5 (T-4th in AL West)
Offense: 26 R (7th) .727 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 6.04 ERA (9th) 1.61 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Jonathan Arauz (21), SS Miguelangel Sierra (25)

GCL Red Sox
3-1 (T-1st in GCL South)
Offense: 6 R (12th) .474 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 1.00 ERA (2nd) 0.89 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: Rosters available next series