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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Franco closes May with big game

The Rays’ top prospect is riding an eight-game hitting streak.

Adam Sanford

Wander Franco’s OPS in May was down 91 points compared to April, but he still had a great month. He batted .333, walked more than he struck out, and finished strong. In his ongoing hitting streak, he has five extra-base hits, so the power stroke may be back.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (31-22)

Durham was edged by Columbus, 2-1. The Bulls’ offense was shut down for the majority of the game. They had just three hits through the first eight innings, and they struck out 15 times. Jake Smolinski’s solo homer in the ninth accounted for their only run. Colin Poche opened with two strikeouts in 1 13 innings, and Ricardo Pinto was the bulk guy, allowing two runs in six frames.

2B Nick Solak: 0-for-4, 3 K (.826)
1B Nate Lowe: 0-for-4, 3 K (.814)
DH Brendan McKay: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K (.795)

LHP Colin Poche: 1 13 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (5.55)
RHP Ricardo Pinto: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (3.56)

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (31-22)

Montgomery survived a Birmingham comeback bid and held on for an 8-7 win. Jesus Sanchez’s second-inning grand slam gave the Biscuits an early 4-0 lead, and they led 8-3 after the top of the eighth. However, the Barons scored twice in each of their final two at-bats to make it a close game. Matt Krook allowed a run in two innings, and Kenny Rosenberg allowed four runs in 5 23 innings.

RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP (.804)
SS Lucius Fox: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 HBP (.673)
2B Robbie Tenerowicz: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SB (.720)
CF Miles Mastrobuoni: 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.733)

LHP Matt Krook: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (4.63)
LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 5 23 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (2.68)

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (28-26)

Joe Ryan dominated again in Charlotte’s 6-1 win over St. Lucie. It was the righty’s best start yet with the Stone Crabs. For the third straight time, he struck out eight batters, and he pitched 6 23 scoreless innings, yielding just two singles and walking none. He was backed by five runs over the first three innings, including home runs from Taylor Walls and Jim Haley.

DH Moises Gomez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K (.726)
SS Taylor Walls: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI (.780)
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K (.683)
LF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K (.731)
1B Jim Haley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI (.772)

RHP Joe Ryan: 6 23 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K (2.91)

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (32-23)

Wander Franco’s home run wasn’t enough in Bowling Green’s 5-2 loss to Lansing. After Ford Proctor led off the game with a walk, Franco hit his fifth homer of the season. But the Hot Rods only had four hits the rest of the game, including a Franco double. Easton McGee allowed four runs — three earned — in 5 23 innings.

SS Wander Franco: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI (.908)

RHP Easton McGee: 5 23 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 K (2.70)

Bowling Green’s site offers this recap.


Saturday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham vs. Columbus 12:35 p.m. ET, 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
TBA vs. Chih-Wei Hu (1-3, 6.54)
TBA vs. Cody Anderson (0-2, 4.35)

Montgomery @ Birmingham 7:30 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Josh Fleming (4-3, 3.35) vs. Kodi Medeiros (0-7, 7.05)

Charlotte vs. St. Lucie 6 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Stephen Woods Jr. (2-1, 3.94) vs. Kyle Wilson (3-5, 4.09)

Bowling Green @ Lansing 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Sean Wymer (2-4, 8.23)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Columbus Clippers (Cleveland)
31-21 (2nd in IL West)
Offense: 289 R (4th) .825 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.63 ERA (4th) 1.33 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: 1B Bobby Bradley (7), SS Yu Chang (11), OF Daniel Johnson (14), C Eric Haase (25), RHP Chih-Wei Hu, C Dioner Navarro

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
21-32 (5th in SL North)
Offense: 167 R (7th) .645 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.95 ERA (8th) 1.39 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Luis Robert (5), OF Micker Aldofo (6), OF Blake Rutherford (8), OF Luis Gonzalez (9), 1B Gavin Sheets (14), SS Laz Rivera (16), RHP Alec Hansen (17), RHP Zack Burdi (18), RHP Tyler Johnson (29), LHP Kodi Medeiros (30), LHP Hunter Schryver

St. Lucie Mets
26-27 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 213 R (4th) .670 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.61 ERA (7th) 1.32 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Desmond Lindsay (11), RHP Jordan Humphreys (16), 2B Carlos Cortes (19), RHP Tony Dibrell (24), LHP Kevin Smith (30)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
24-29 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 228 R (7th) .714 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.44 ERA (12th) 1.47 WHIP (13th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Jordan Groshans (5), OF Griffin Conine (15), C Gabriel Moreno (20), RHP Sean Wymer (26)

Daily news and links

At FanGraphs, Kiley McDaniel wrote an interesting piece on the state of hitter devlopment in college baseball.

We’re in the busiest part of mock-draft season, and Jim Callis has a new one on