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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Banda returns to Triple A

After impressing in the big leagues, Anthony Banda returned to Durham Thursday.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A player who got off to a dreadful start to the season but has been better lately is Jake Cronenworth. His average with Montgomery on May 13 was just .080. Since then, he has hits in 12 of 13 games, and he’s on a seven-game streak. His average is now up to .172, and his OPS in those 13 games is .884.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (29-23)

Tacked-on runs cost Durham in its 5-4 loss to Rochester. The Red Wings already led 3-2 when they scored two off Ian Gibaut in the ninth. In the bottom half of the inning, Kean Wong hit a two-run home run to pull the Bulls with one, but after Jason Coats walked to put the tying run on base, Jake Bauers grounded out to end the game. Anthony Banda allowed three runs in six innings.

LF Jake Bauers: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4
PH Justin Williams: 0-for-0, 1 R, 1 BB
2B Kean Wong: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
RF Jason Coats: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

LHP Anthony Banda: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (24-29)

Montgomery was hammered by Jackson’s offense in a 14-8 loss. The Generals scored in six different innings, including five multi-run frames. Although the Biscuits piled up eight runs on 12 hits, they never led. Sam McWilliams was charged with six runs in two-plus innings, and Travis Ott was the only pitcher out of five for Montgomery who didn’t allow a run.

SS Jake Cronenworth: 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K
LF Ryan Boldt: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI
2B Nick Solak: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 BB
DH Brandon Lowe: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Dalton Kelly: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB

RHP Sam McWilliams: 2+ IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
LHP Matt Krook: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (24-25)

Nate Lowe’s 10th home run was not enough in Charlotte’s 3-1 loss to Palm Beach. The Stone Crabs managed just four hits, and three of them belonged to Lucius Fox. Brandon Lawson struck out six and allowed three runs in seven innings.

SS Lucius Fox: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 SB
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-4, 1 K
RF Jesus Sanchez: 0-for-4, 1 K
DH Brendan McKay: 0-for-3, 1 K, 1 HBP
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-3, 2 K
1B Nate Lowe: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K

RHP Brandon Lawson: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (33-19)

Bowling Green fell in an early hole in its 5-3 loss to Fort Wayne. With two outs in the second, the Tin Caps scored four times against Alex Valverde, and the Hot Rods’ rally fell short. All three of their runs scored on singles from Carl Chester and Jim Haley in the fourth. Valverde allowed five runs — one earned — in five innings.

Game 2 of the scheduled doubleheader was suspended.

DH Vidal Brujan: 2-for-4, 1 K, 2 SB
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 0-for-3

RHP Alex Valverde: 5+ IP, 7 H, 5 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 3 K


Friday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham vs. Pawtucket 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Ryan Weber (0-2, 2.86) vs. William Cuevas (2-2, 4.07)

Montgomery vs. Jackson 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Zach Lee (6-1, 2.17) vs. Ryan Atkinson (2-4, 4.01)

Charlotte @ Bradenton 6:30 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Luis Escobar (3-3, 3.94)

Bowling Green vs. West Michigan 7:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Jose Vasquez (1-1, 5.40)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Pawtucket Red Sox
24-27 (5th in IL North)
Offense: 183 R (11th) .660 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.57 ERA (6th) 1.27 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: 1B Sam Travis (7), LHP Jalen Beeks (11), IF Tzu-Wei Lin (21), RHP Williams Jerez (27), RHP Ty Buttrey (31), C Oscar Hernandez

Jackson Generals (Arizona)
30-22 (2nd in SL North)
Offense: 251 R (1st) .754 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.49 ERA (1st) 1.26 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Jon Duplantier (1), IF Domingo Leyba (11), RHP Yoan Lopez (17), IF Juniel Querecuto

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
26-22 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 211 R (5th) .714 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.65 ERA (6th) 1.26 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Luis Escobar (7)

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
28-25 (3rd in MWL East)
Offense: 213 R (T-12th) .663 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.41 ERA (2nd) 1.38 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Matt Manning (3), C Joey Morgan (31)

Daily news and links

ESPN subscribers can read Keith Law’s latest mock draft that has the Rays taking Noah Naylor and also notes the list of players they’re also interested in is pretty long.

Jonathan Mayo at also published a new mock draft with the Rays selecting Triston Casas, Nick Schnell, and Parker Meadows.

Baseball America is rolling out its draft map, which ranks the top prospects in each state.

College World Series regionals begin Friday, and plenty of Florida teams are playing in the postseason — Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Jacksonville, South Florida, and Stetson.

I think the following teams will win their regionals, and the teams in bold will win the super regionals and advance to Omaha: Florida, Auburn, Texas Tech, Troy, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee Tech, UCLA, Oregon State, North Carolina, South Florida, Clemson, Florida State, Stanford, and Coastal Carolina. I think Oregon State will win the championship.

Be sure to pick against all of those teams because I’m lousy at this.