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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Johnson’s grand slam carries Durham

A week after being activated from the disabled list, Micah Johnson’s big swing helped Durham earn a win Saturday.

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I’m certainly not the first to bring this up, but among all of the remarkable Wander Franco stats we’ve seen a month into his career, his low strikeout rate really stands out. At 6.2 percent, only five players with 100-plus plate appearances are striking out less often, including the Rays’ Daiwer Castellanos in the Dominican Summer League.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (60-44)

Micah Johnson’s grand slam was the difference in Durham’s 6-4 win over Syracuse. In the fifth, Johnson doubled and scored the first run of the game, but the Chiefs led 2-1 through seven innings. The Bulls tied the game on a balk, and after Jason Coats was intentionally walked, Johnson cleared the bases with his second home run of the season. Ryan Weber struck out six and was charged with a run in 6 13 innings.

2B Brandon Lowe: 0-for-1, 1 R, 3 BB
RF Justin Williams: 1-for-3, 1 K
3B Christian Arroyo: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 HBP
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-4, 3 K
DH Micah Johnson: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI

RHP Ryan Weber: 6 13 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (20-16)

Montgomery allowed five unanswered runs in a 5-2 loss to Jackson. The Biscuits scored both of their runs in the second inning on a Peter Maris RBI double and Thomas Milone groundout. However, they only had two hits the rest of the game. Sam McWilliams had a solid outing, striking out seven and allowing two runs in six innings. He has 15 strikeouts over his last two starts.

SS Jake Cronenworth: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
DH Nate Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 BB
LF Nick Solak: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Peter Maris: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K

RHP Sam McWilliams: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
LHP Matt Krook: 1 23 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-14)

Jesus Sanchez homered in Charlotte’s 9-8 win over St. Lucie. His 10th home run of the season led off the fourth and tied the game at three, and Joey Roach and Kevin Padlo later added RBI singles that inning. In the sixth, Sanchez’s RBI single gave the Stone Crabs the lead for good, and Jake Fraley tripled in a pair of insurance runs. After Reece Karalus opened, Kenny Rosenberg allowed five runs in 3 23 innings.

DH Lucius Fox: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SB
1B Brendan McKay: 1-for-5, 3 K
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
RF Jesus Sanchez: 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
LF Jake Fraley: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Reece Karalus: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 3 23 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (20-15)

Bowling Green was shut out by Fort Wayne, 3-0. All four of the Hot Rods’ hits were singles. Tobias Myers allowed three runs in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-4, 1 K

RHP Tobias Myers: 7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (27-13)

Hudson Valley rallied for a 6-4 win over Williamsport. Trailing 3-0 through five innings, the Renegades came alive with four runs in the sixth, all of which came with two outs. Jacson McGowan cleared the bases with a triple and scored on Marvin Malone’s single. In the seventh, an error and two wild pitches helped them add a pair of insurance runs. Starter Joe Ryan allowed three runs in four innings.

SS Ford Proctor: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K
DH Tanner Dodson: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
2B Tyler Frank: 2-for-4, 1 R

RHP Joe Ryan: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (23-12)

Princeton’s game was suspended.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (19-15)

Kaleo Johnson homered for the third straight day in the GCL Rays’ 5-1 win over the GCL Orioles. His seventh home run of the season gave them a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, and he doubled in the final run of the game in the four-run seventh that broke a 1-1 tie. Starter Christian Fernandez struck out five and walked four in 4 23 scoreless innings.

SS Jelfry Marte: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
3B Kaleo Johnson: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K

RHP Christian Fernandez: 4 23 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K


Sunday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham vs. Syracuse 5:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Andrew Moore (4-5, 4.13) vs. TBA

Montgomery vs. Jackson 6:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)

Charlotte @ St. Lucie 12 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Jose Mujica (rehab) vs. Anthony Kay (2-2, 1.42)

Bowling Green vs. Fort Wayne 3:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Paul Campbell (0-0, 5.79) vs. Aaron Leasher (5-4, 3.39)

Hudson Valley @ Williamsport 5:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. James MacArthur (1-0 1.38)

Princeton vs. Bluefield 5 p.m. ET (radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER

Completion of suspended game followed by seven-inning game.

The GCL Rays are off.

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Syracuse Chiefs (Washington)
42-63 (6th in IL North)
Offense: 401 R (11th) .688 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.03 ERA (10th) 1.35 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Victor Robles (1), C Pedro Severino (14), 1B Jose Marmolejos (18), IF Drew Ward (19), RHP Jefry Rodriguez (24), RHP Austin Voth (26)

Jackson Generals (Arizona)
Offense: 514 R (2nd) .739 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.94 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: IF Domingo Leyba (11), RHP Yoan Lopez (17), RHP Tommy Eveld (25)

St. Lucie Mets
13-21 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 311 R (12th) .638 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.77 ERA (8th) 1.31 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP David Peterson (2), OF Desmond Lindsay (8), LHP Anthony Kay (14), RHP Jordan Humphreys (15), IF Luis Carpio (26), C Ali Sanchez (27)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
16-18 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 428 R (9th) .666 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.58 ERA (5th) 1.31 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP MacKenzie Gore (2), SS Gabriel Arias (10), 2B Esteury Ruiz (15), C Luis Campusano (20), OF Jeisson Rosario (22), IF Luis Almanzar (24), RHP Mason Thompson (25), OF Tirso Ornelas (31)

Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia)
15-25 (T-5th in NYPL Pinckney)
Offense: 161 R (7th) .683 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.12 ERA (13th) 1.41 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Jonathan Guzman (15), RHP Francisco Morales (16), 3B Alec Bohm

Bluefield Blue Jays
23-14 (2nd in AL East)
Offense: 201 R (3rd) .778 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.75 ERA (6th) 1.36 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Eric Pardinho (6), C Hagen Danner (28)

Daily news and links covered Brendan McKay’s big Friday night at the plate.

Last week, updated its top-100 prospects list and also each team’s top 30.