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Rays prospects and minor leagues: O'Conner, Harris lead Biscuits to 1st win

After missing most of the 2016 season, Justin O'Conner went deep for his first hit of 2017

Justin O'Conner's rise through the organization has not been smooth
Justin O'Conner's rise through the organization has not been smooth
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A couple players probably eager to put the first weekend of minor league baseball behind them are Bowling Green's No. 1 and 2 hitters: Lucius Fox and Jose Lowe. Fox was 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts, and Lowe was 0-for-12 with 10 strikeouts.

Lowe got off to a pretty slow start in his pro debut last season, so this isn't new for him. In Fox's case, it would've been nice to see him hit the ground running after his struggles last season.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (3-1)

Gwinnett finally solved Durham's lineup in the Bulls' 4-2 loss Sunday. After averaging nine runs a game over the first three in the series, they had just two hits, including a home run by Michael McKenry. The other hit was Curt Casali's RBI double in the fifth. In his organizational debut, Ryan Yarbrough allowed four runs, including two home runs, in six innings with three strikeouts and two walks.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (1-3)

Montgomery used three home runs to earn a 6-1 win over Biloxi for its first victory of the season. The third of those dingers came off the bat of Justin O'Conner, who batted just 71 times in 2016 due to back injuries. Braxton Lee and Granden Goetzman each homered in the third inning to give the Biscuits the lead and start a run of five unanswered runs to close the game. In his Double-A debut, Greg Harris was very good, allowing just a solo home run. He struck out five and walked none in six innings.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (0-4)

Charlotte was not competitive in a 5-0 loss to Bradenton, completing a season-opening sweep. Starter Michael Velasquez allowed three home runs and five runs total in 5 1/3 innings. In relief, Ian Gibaut was much better with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Jake Cronenworth continued his hot start with two of the five Stone Crabs' hits.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-2)

Fortunately for Bowling Green, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit just one home run in its 3-2 loss to Fort Wayne, and not two grand slams in one inning. His solo homer in the first made it a 1-0 game, and the TinCaps led 2-0 before the Hot Rods finally broke through in the seventh. Adrian Rondon led off with a double, scored on Garrett Whitley's single, and Whitley would later come around to score on a throwing error. Deivy Mendez promptly returned the lead to Fort Wayne in the home half of the inning. In his Bowling Green debut, Travis Ott allowed two runs -- one earned -- in 5 2/3 innings with five punchouts.

The preceding stories were not generated by the Associated Press computer using data from, and in cooperation with, MLBAM.


Notable performances


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

LHP Ryan Yarbrough: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K


OF Justin Williams: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
1B Joe McCarthy: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
C Nick Ciuffo: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
OF Braxton Lee: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
SS Andrew Velazquez: 0-for-4, 2 K
OF Granden Goetzman: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
C Justin O'Conner: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K

RHP Greg Harris: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Class A-Advanced

OF Jake Fraley: 1-for-4, 1 K
3B Kevin Padlo: 0-for-4, 1 K
OF Ryan Boldt: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K

LHP Michael Velasquez: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K


SS Lucius Fox: 0-for-4, 2 K
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-4, 3 K
3B Adrian Rondon: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 K
OF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
OF Jesus Sanchez: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
1B Nathaniel Lowe: 0-for-4, 2 K

LHP Travis Ott: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
RHP Deivy Mendez: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham v. Charlotte 6:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Chase Whitley (0-0, -.--) v. Mike Pelfrey (0-0, -.--)

Montgomery v. Biloxi 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Franco (0-0, -.--) v. Angel Franco (0-0, -.--)

Charlotte v. Palm Beach 6:35 PM (radio stream)
Eduar Lopez (0-0, -.--) v. Jake Woodford (0-0, -.--)

Bowling Green v. Lansing 7:35 PM (radio stream)
TBA v. Osman Gutierrez (0-0, -.--)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
4-0 (1st in IL South)
Offense: 35 R (1st) 1.088 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.34 ERA (6th) 1.31 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: IF Yoan Moncada (1), RHP Lucas Giolito (2), RHP Reynaldo Lopez (3), RHP Zack Burdi (6), RHP Carson Fulmer (7), RHP Tyler Danish (18), OF Adam Engel (19)

Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee)
3-1 (1st in SL South)
Offense: Will update after first series
Pitching: Will update after first series
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Luis Ortiz (3), SS Mauricio Dubon (11), C Jacob Nottingham (14), RHP Jorge Lopez (15), OF Michael Reed (30)

Palm Beach Cardinals
2-2 (T-3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 10 R (T-8th) .544 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 2.33 ERA (T-4th) 1.26 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Magneuris Sierra (5), SS Edmundo Sosa (8), OF Randy Arozarena (12), RHP Jake Woodford (17), RHP Connor Jones (18), RHP Junior Fernandez (21)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
4-0 (1st in MWL East)
Offense: 17 R (3rd) .802 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.91 ERA (11th) 1.30 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1), SS Bo Bichette (9), RHP Justin Maese (11), OF J.B. Woodman (15), OF Josh Palacios (19), RHP Patrick Murphy (20), RHP Zach Johnson (21), RHP Osman Gutierrez (26), SS Yeltsin Gudino (27)