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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Souza returns to diamond

It seems like Steven Souza Jr.'s rehab assignment will not last long

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another month has come and gone. Who had notable performances in the organization?

Kevin Padlo has been up and down for Bowling Green this season, and he was certainly up in June. Although he finished the month with four straight multiple-strikeout games, his plate approach was good with 19 strikeouts and 15 walks in 92 plate appearances. He batted .267 with four home runs and posted a .898 OPS.

Padlo's former teammate with the Hot Rods, Joe McCarthy, continued his nice start and earned a promotion to Class A-Advanced Charlotte. He started off slow with the Stone Crabs with just four singles in his first 22 ABs, and ideally more power will come eventually. In his final 14 games in the Midwest League, he had 18 hits with as many walks as strikeouts (eight).

Jacob Faria is another player who earned a promotion last month. In five starts with Montgomery and Durham, he threw 32 innings, struck out 35 batters and allowed just 24 hits and eight walks. He struck out six in six scoreless innings in his outstanding Triple-A debut.

Faria's new teammate, Austin Pruitt, continued his nice 2016 season in June. He allowed five home runs in 37 1/3 innings, but he was still good overall. He struck out 31 and allowed 31 hits and five walks.

He doesn't get the same attention as a lot of other players in the system, but Luke Maile made his big league debut in 2015 thanks to his nice glove. At the plate, he provided very little in 2015 and got off to a slow start this year, too. That changed in June. The 25-year-old batted .319 with a .405 on-base percentage and .869 OPS.

Andrew Velazquez starred in the Midwest League in 2014, and he was the headliner in the return for Jeremy Hellickson. Since he joined the Rays, he has dealt with injuries and generally not performed well. He got a late start to the season in May and has not shown much improvement. In June, he batted .220 with a .253 OBP and 24.7 percent strikeout rate. He certainly has not been the same dynamic player that broke out with the Diamondbacks two seasons ago.

Blake Bivens' transition to full-season ball has not been smooth. He actually made a couple spot starts for Charlotte before heading to Bowling Green and pitched well in his Hot Rods debut, but his four starts since have not been good. He has 19 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings, but he owns a 4.98 earned-run average and .768 OPS against. Fortunately, the 20-year-old former fourth-rounder still has plenty of time to make adjustments this season.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (36-47)

Rays fans got used to seeing Steve Geltz allow home runs, and Durham fans experienced it in a 2-1 Bulls loss to Norfolk. Tasked with nursing a 1-0 lead in the eighth, he was bailed out when Eury Perez threw the tying run out at home to end the inning. After getting the first out in the ninth, he allowed a single and then a walkoff two-run home run. Jacob Faria struck out three in three no-hit innings before a 44-minute rain delay ended his outing. Adam Kolarek picked up the slack, though, with four strikeouts in four innings of long relief.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (6-2)

A pair of Futures Game participants helped pitch Montgomery to a 4-2 win over Mobile. Chih-Wei Hu was just okay, but he kept the Biscuits in the game, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. He was relieved by Ryne Stanek who retired the last seven hitters he faced after walking his first batter. After being held scoreless for the first six innings, the Biscuits went ahead in the seventh. Jake Bauers and Casey Gillaspie started the inning with singles and both scored on Patrick Leonard's double. Leonard came home himself on a Cade Gotta single.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (4-4)

Steven Souza Jr. began his minor league rehab in Charlotte's 6-3 win over Bradenton. The slugger played right field and went 0-for-3 but walked, scored a run and stole a base before being replaced by the Red Scare. The Stone Crabs broke the game open with a four-run third inning that included a three-run homer from Grant Kay, just one inning after Bralin Jackson hit a solo shot. Benton Moss allowed three runs -- one earned -- on five hits and two walks in six innings with five strikeouts.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (4-5)

Jake Cronenworth's 11th-inning single lifted Bowling Green to a 2-1 win over Great Lakes. With two outs and runners on the corners, Cronenworth's grounder up the middle scored David Olmedo-Barrera. A wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position, but Kevin Padlo struck out and was unable to tack on insurance runs. Blake Bivens, Diego Castillo and Tyler Brashears combined to allow just an unearned run and struck out 15 Loons hitters.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (5-10)

Hudson Valley fell behind early and could not catch up in a 5-3 loss to Tri-City. Starter Brock Burke allowed a run in each of the first two innings, but he did settle in, not giving up any more runs over five total innings with eight strikeouts. Angel Perez singled in the Renegades' first run in the fourth inning, but a ValleyCats two-run homer in the seventh put the game away.

Rookie Princeton Rays (5-4)

A pair of home runs were not enough in Princeton's 5-2 loss to Greeneville. Aside from Eleardo Cabrera's first-inning homer to open the scoring and the first longball of Robbie Tenerowicz's pro career to cut the deficit to 4-2, Princeton had just one other hit. Starter Jose Disla allowed four runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (1-5)

The GCL Rays held a 4-0 lead before losing to the GCL Orioles by a 7-5 score. Jesus Sanchez tripled in a run and scored himself in the first, and his sacrifice fly in the second extended the lead to 3-0. In the third, Joshua Lowe's groundout scored Chris Betts before the GCL Orioles tallied three against the rehabbing Grayson Garvin. He finished with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks in five innings with eight strikeouts. The GCL Rays fell behind for good in a four-run eighth inning against Jayson McKinley.


Notable Performances


2B Jake Hager: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Daniel Robertson: 1-for-3, 1 BB
1B Cameron Seitzer: 0-for-4, 2 K

RHP Jacob Faria: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
LHP Adam Kolarek: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K


SS Willy Adames: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
OF Jake Bauers: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB

RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K
RHP Ryne Stanek: 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Class A-Advanced

SS Andrew Velazquez: 0-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
OF Steven Souza Jr.; 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
OF Joe McCarthy: 0-for-1, 1 K
2B Alec Sole: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
1B Grant Kay: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
C Armando Araiza: 0-for-4, 2 K
OF Bralin Jackson: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
OF Thomas Milone: 0-for-4, 1 K

RHP Benton Moss: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K


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

RHP Blake Bivens: 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
RHP Diego Castillo: 2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Tyler Brashears: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K


OF Ryan Boldt: 1-for-5, 1 2B
OF Jake Fraley: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 SB
OF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-4, 3 K
2B Jim Haley: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
C Daniel De La Calle: 0-for-4, 3 K

LHP Brock Burke: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 8 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Eleardo Cabrera: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
OF Emilio Gustave: 0-for-4, 2 K
SS Adrian Rondon: 0-for-4, 1 K
2B Robbie Tenerowicz: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Jose Disla: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Rookie (Gulf Coast League Rays)

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

LHP Grayson Garvin: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
RHP Jayson McKinley: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Today's games (All probables courtesy

Durham @ Norfolk 7:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Mike Wright (1-0, 1.29)

Montgomery v. Mobile 8:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (4-2, 3.48) v. Taylor Clarke (1-4, 5.10)

Charlotte @ Bradenton 6:30 PM ET (radio stream)
Henry Centeno (1-2, 2.25) v. Austin Coley (9-5, 3.52)

Bowling Green @ Great Lakes 7 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (7-2, 2.52) v. Dennis Santana (1-8, 3.14)

Hudson Valley v. Tri-City 7:05 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Edgardo Sandoval (0-0, 1.50)

Princeton @ Johnson City 7 PM ET (radio stream)

GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 10 AM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
32-50 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 276 R (11th) .674 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.82 ERA (12th) 1.35 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: 1B Trey Mancini (8), RHP Mike Wright (10), OF Dariel Alvarez (13), 1B/OF Christian Walker (14), LHP Ariel Miranda (23), OF Mike Yastrzemski (25)

Mobile BayBears (Arizona)
3-5 (T-3rd 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)

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
3-5 (T-5th in FSL South)
Offense: 325 R (3rd) .704 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.07 ERA (3rd) 1.25 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Cole Tucker (7), 3B Jordan Luplow (14), RHP Yeudy Garcia (16), LHP Stephen Tarpley (17), 2B Kevin Kramer (28), RHP Buddy Borden

Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
4-5 (T-3rd in MWL East)
Offense: 266 R (13th) .614 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.47 ERA (10th) 1.23 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Omar Estevez (10), IF Brendon Davis (25), OF Ariel Sandoval (28)

Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston)
7-8 (4th in NYPL Stedler)
Offense: 72 R (2nd) .782 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 5.11 ERA (13th) 1.51 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Daz Cameron (5), OF Ronnie Dawson, C Jake Rogers

Johnson City Cardinals
6-3 (1st in AL West)
Offense: 45 R (5th) .737 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.09 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Bryce Denton (18), SS Allen Cordoba (25)

GCL Orioles
5-2 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 20 R (T-9th) .590 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 1.50 ERA (1st) 0.81 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Cody Sedlock