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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Choi homers twice in Durham win

Ji-Man Choi hit his first two home runs in the organization Thursday.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Sanchez has never been a high-strikeout player, but starting in May, it seemed like he decided he was going to do it even less. Since May 1, he’s striking out in just 13 percent of his plate appearances, and he hasn’t struck out more than once in a game in a month. He’s batting .309 in that span, but he has only drawn three unintentional walks.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (39-31)

Durham socked four dingers in a 13-3 rout of Louisville. Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi each went deep in the six-run third, and Choi hit a second homer later in the game. Jeremy Hazelbaker also hit a home run. Forrest Snow delivered another solid start, pitching a season-high seven innings and only allowing a run.

RF Justin Williams: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Brandon Lowe: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
C Nick Ciuffo: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
CF Jeremy Hazelbaker: 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
DH Brandon Snyder: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Ji-Man Choi: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 K
3B Michael Russell: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 SB, 1 HBP

RHP Forrest Snow: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Jaime Schultz: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (0-1)

Montgomery’s rally fell short in a 6-5 loss to Birmingham. The Biscuits led 3-1 after two innings, but they didn’t score again until the ninth as the Barons scored five straight runs. Dalton Kelly’s two-run homer in the ninth brought Montgomery within one, but after Thomas Milone walked, Peter Maris and Nick Solak struck out to end the game. Sam McWilliams was charged with five runs in 4 13 innings.

2B Nick Solak: 1-for-5, 3 K, 1 SB
LF Ryan Boldt: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
DH Dalton Kelly: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

RHP Sam McWilliams: 4 13 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-0)

Charlotte rolled to a 10-1 win over Palm Beach. David Olmedo-Barrera doubled in two in the three-run second inning, and Jesus Sanchez’s grand slam in the fifth extended the lead to 7-0. Kevin Padlo immediately followed with a solo home run. For the second straight start, Blake Bivens struck out eight in six innings.

DH Lucius Fox: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
CF Josh Lowe: 1-for-5, 1 R, 3 K
RF Jesus Sanchez: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
3B Kevin Padlo: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K

RHP Blake Bivens: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 8 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (1-0)

Bowling Green scored four in the first and cruised to a 7-2 win over Lake County. Moises Gomez and Ronaldo Hernandez each hit RBI doubles in the opening inning, and the Hot Rods added three more in the sixth to take a seven-run lead. Austin Franklin pitched one of his best outings of the season, striking out five in five scoreless innings.

2B Vidal Brujan: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
SS Taylor Walls: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 SB
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 HBP

RHP Austin Franklin: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (4-3)

Hudson Valley topped Vermont, 4-3, in its home opener. A couple innings after the Lake Monsters tied the game at three, the Renegades went back ahead in the eighth. Tanner Dodson led off with a single and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice. Starter Paul Campbell was charged with three runs — two earned — in 5 13 innings.

SS Ford Proctor: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
CF Tanner Dodson: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
3B Tyler Frank: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Paul Campbell: 5 13 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (0-3)

Princeton rallied to tie the game in the ninth but ultimately fell to Kingsport by a 5-4 score. After a wild pitch pulled Princeton within one, it tied the game on a fielder’s choice. With two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Heath Renz allowed a walk-off single. Starter Zack Trageton allowed three runs — two earned — in four innings.

SS Wander Franco: 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 HBP
2B Jonathan Aranda: 0-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI

RHP Zack Trageton: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (0-3)

The GCL Rays were off.


Friday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Indianapolis 7:15 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Andrew Moore (1-2, 3.27) vs. Alex McRae (2-6, 5.13)

Montgomery vs. Birmingham 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (5-4, 4.01) vs. Alec Hansen (0-1, 11.57)

Charlotte @ Palm Beach 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Kenny Rosenberg (4-1, 5.07) vs. Jake Walsh (2-1, 3.00)

Bowling Green vs. Lake County 7:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)

Hudson Valley vs. Vermont 7:05 p.m. ET
TBA vs. Abdiel Mendoza (0-0, 4.50)

Princeton vs. Danville 7 p.m. ET (radio stream)

GCL Rays vs. GCL Orioles 12 p.m. ET

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh)
39-31 (2nd in IL West)
Offense: 310 R (3rd) .769 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.75 ERA (7th) 1.41 WHIP (14th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Kevin Newman (5), RHP Nick Kingham (8), 2B Kevin Kramer (12), OF Jordan Luplow (13), 2B Max Moroff (16), RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (17), LHP Brandon Waddell (19), RHP Clay Holmes (21), RHP Tyler Eppler (29), OF Daniel Nava

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
1-0 (T-1st in SL North)
Offense: 302 R (7th) .728 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.67 ERA (10th) 1.43 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Alec Hansen (3), RHP Dane Dunning (5), C Zack Collins (6), RHP Dylan Cease (10), RHP A.J. Puckett (15), OF Alex Call (21), LHP Ian Clarkin (22), LHP Bernardo Flores (26), OF Tito Polo (27), OF Ryan Brett

Palm Beach Cardinals
0-1 (T-4th in FSL South)
Offense: 277 R (8th) .704 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.57 ERA (4th) 1.26 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Junior Fernandez (21), OF Dylan Carlson (24)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
0-1 (T-6th in MWL East)
Offense: 293 R (13th) .705 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.42 ERA (15th) 1.37 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: 3B Nolan Jones (4), OF Will Benson (10), OF Oscar Gonzalez (20), IF Ernie Clement (24)

Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland)
5-2 (1st in NYPL Stedler)
Offense: 27 R (7th) .672 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 2.77 ERA (3rd) 1.27 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: 2B Marcos Brito (28), OF Jameson Hannah, SS Jeremy Eierman

Danville Braves
2-1 (T-1st in AL East)
Offense: 7 R (7th) .608 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 2.25 ERA (5th) 1.15 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: 1B Greyson Jenista

GCL Orioles
0-3 (T-3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 8 R (15th) .593 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 10.08 ERA (17th) 1.80 WHIP (15th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Lamar Sparks (25)

Daily news and links reported on Brendan McKay’s injury. He’s expected to miss a few weeks.