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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Mercado makes pro debut

The Rays’ second-round pick was on the mound in the Gulf Coast League Friday

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

Speaking of pro debuts, Brendan McKay should be making his any day now. If you have a moment, I wrote about his potential development as a two-way player with thoughts from’s Jim Callis and Baseball Prospectus’ Jeff Long.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (56-35)

A 10th-inning wild pitch cost Durham in its 5-4 loss to Norfolk. After allowing a leadoff double, Danny Farquhar got the next two batters, but the runner did move up to third on a groundout. That proved crucial on the game-ending wild pitch. Starter Austin Pruitt allowed three runs in four innings, and Patrick Leonard hit his seventh home run.

OF Jake Bauers: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Willy Adames: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 K
RF Patrick Leonard: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K

RHP Austin Pruitt: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (12-10)

Grant Kay continued to hammer Southern League pitching in Montgomery’s 8-5 win over Jackson. In a four-hit game that included a pair of doubles, his biggest hit came in the eighth when he broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI single. Cade Gotta drove in two runs for insurance later in the inning. Starter Edwin Fierro allowed three runs in five innings.

OF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
OF Justin Williams: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
C Nick Ciuffo: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
OF Nathan Lukes: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
IF Grant Kay: 4-for-6, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K

RHP Edwin Fierro: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (9-10)

Ryan Boldt’s walk-off home run gave Charlotte a 4-3 win over Fort Myers Friday. For the first time in a month and a half, Boldt went deep, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Stone Crabs. The Miracle jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Brett Sullivan was able to erase that with a three-run homer of his own. Eduar Lopez threw six innings and gave up three runs, and Jonny Venters threw a scoreless inning as he continued his rehab assignment.

OF Ryan Boldt: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
3B Kevin Padlo: 0-for-1, 2 BB, 1 K
C Brett Sullivan: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

LHP Jonny Venters: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Eduar Lopez: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (14-8)

Bowling Green scored early and held on for a 3-2 win over Kane County. Miles Mastrobuoni drove in a two-out run in the first, and Garrett Whitley did the same in the third. An inning later, Danny De La Calle’s sacrifice fly scored what proved to be the winning run. After Kenny Rosenberg allowed two runs in four-plus innings, Jayson McKinley was credited with the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

SS Lucius Fox: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
OF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
CF Garrett Whitley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
3B Adrian Rondon: 1-for-3, 1 BB
IF Miles Mastrobuoni: 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
OF Eleardo Cabrera: 0-for-4, 2 K

LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 4+ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (9-14)

A trio of Hudson Valley pitchers combined to shut down Mahoning Valley in an 8-0 Renegades win. Nicholas Padilla started and continued his nice start to the season by throwing six scoreless innings. Hector Lopez picked up where he left off with two clean innings, and Garrett Fulenchek finished the game in the ninth. Rafelin Lorenzen drove in two runs in Hudson Valley’s three-run third, and he drove in the final run of the game in the five-run sixth.

2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

RHP Nicholas Padilla: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (8-14)

Princeton’s pitching continued to struggle in its 9-5 loss to Danville. The team’s staff entered the night with a league-worst 6.59 ERA, and it only got worse. Zach Rutherford doubled in a run and scored in the third to give Princeton a 3-1 lead, but the game collapsed in the fifth when Zack Trageton and Juan Carlos Arias combined to give up four runs. Starter Riley O’Brien struck out four and allowed a run in 3 1/3 innings.

C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-5, 1 K
SS Zach Rutherford: 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
C Andrew Miller: 0-for-4, 3 K
OF Jose Tonton: 0-for-4, 2 K

RHP Riley O’Brien: 3 13 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
RHP Zack Trageton: two-thirds+ IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
RHP Juan Carlos Arias: 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (7-10)

Michael Mercado made his pro debut in the GCL Rays’ 6-3 win over the GCL Orioles. The team’s second-round pick pitched 1 23 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and also walking the last two batters he faced. The GCL Rays broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning when Erik Ostberg hit a sacrifice fly, and Vincent Byrd drove in two with a double. Reliever Trevor Charpie struck out four in three hitless innings.

SS Carlos Vargas: 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 SB
OF Jake Stone: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB

RHP Michael Mercado: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
RHP Trevor Charpie: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

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


Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Norfolk 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Ryan Yarbrough (8-4, 3.79) v. Tyler Wilson (2-5, 4.91)

Montgomery @ Jackson 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jose Mujica (8-6, 3.31) v. Alex Young (5-5, 4.64)

Charlotte @ Jupiter 5:30 PM (radio stream)
Travis Ott (3-1, 4.37) v. James Buckelew (1-2, 1.72)

Bowling Green @ Clinton 7:30 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)

Hudson Valley v. Mahoning Valley 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Gregori Vasquez (0-1, 3.63)

Princeton @ Bristol 7 PM (radio stream)
Easton McGee* (0-1, 2.84) v. TBA

GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 10 AM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
38-54 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 375 R (9th) .707 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.48 ERA (12th) 1.46 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Chance Sisco (1), LHP Chris Lee (10), RHP Jimmy Yacabonis (22), LHP Andrew Faulkner (24), LHP Jayson Aquino (30), RHP Gabriel Ynoa, OF Adam Walker

Jackson Generals (Arizona)
11-11 (4th in SL North)
Offense: 418 R (1st) .763 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.86 ERA (9th) 1.37 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: IF Dawel Lugo (2), SS Domingo Leyba (3), RHP Taylor Clarke (7), RHP Brad Keller (8), LHP Alex Young (11), LHP Josh Taylor (25), OF Victor Reyes (23), Oscar

Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami)
12-9 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 303 R (11th) .631 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 2.92 ERA (3rd) 1.20 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Stone Garrett (9), RHP Cody Poteet (14), RHP Jeff Brigham (19), C Roy Morales (20)

Clinton LumberKings (Seattle)
8-14 (8th in MWL West)
Offense: 390 R (10th) .682 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 4.28 ERA (11th) 1.34 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Joe Rizzo (11), SS Bryson Brigman (22), RHP Brandon Miller (25)

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland)
13-11 (T-3rd in NYPL Pinckney)
Offense: 78 R (14th) .660 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.16 ERA (4th) 1.18 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Will Benson (7), 3B Nolan Jones (8), OF Oscar Gonzalez (27)

Bristol Pirates
7-15 (5th in AL West)
Offense: 106 R (6th) .770 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.28 ERA (5th) 1.41 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Travis MacGregor (22), LHP Braeden Ogle (25)

GCL Orioles
7-10 (T-3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 65 R (10th) .650 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 5.12 ERA (16th) 1.38 WHIP 10th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP DL Hall