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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Franco shines in Charlotte debut

The best prospect in baseball reached base three times in his first Florida State League game.

Adam Sanford

Over the last few days, a couple pitchers who were previously position players made their mound debuts. For Princeton, former outfielder Eleardo Cabrera struck out three and was charged with four unearned runs in 2 23 innings. In the Gulf Coast League, former first baseman Vincent Byrd walked four and was charged with four runs — two earned — in two-thirds of an inning.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (48-29)

Jose De Leon had his longest outing yet in Durham’s 5-1 win over Charlotte. The rehabbing righty lasted 4 13 scoreless innings, striking out seven and giving up a hit and three walks. The Knights tied the game at one in the seventh, but the Bulls scored four in the eighth, including Nate Lowe’s two-run homer.

2B Nick Solak: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K (.898)
1B Nate Lowe: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K (.886)
DH Brendan McKay: 0-for-1, 1 BB, 1 HBP (.897 — left after HBP)

RHP Jose De Leon: 4 13 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (3-3)

A big inning cost Montgomery in a 5-3 loss to Jacksonville. Through four innings, the Biscuits led 1-0, and the Jumbo Shrimp hardly threatened. But that changed in the fifth. They sent nine to the plate and piled up all five of their runs. After Ivan Pelaez opened with two scoreless innings, Josh Fleming allowed all five runs — three earned — in seven innings.

2B Taylor Walls: 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 SB (.500)
RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4 (.783)
SS Lucius Fox: 0-for-3, 1 BB (.692)

LHP Josh Fleming: 7 IP, 6 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 6 K (3.87)

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (5-3)

Michael Plassmeyer had another great outing in Charlotte’s 2-0 win over Fort Myers. For the fourth time since the All-Star break — and third time against the Miracle — the Stone Crabs shut out their opponent. Plassmeyer struck out six and didn’t walk anyone in seven scoreless innings. In his debut, Wander Franco reached base three times and stole a base.

2B Vidal Brujan: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 K, 1 SB (.756)
SS Wander Franco: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS (1.417)
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (.723)
RF Moises Gomez: 0-for-4, 2 K (.671)
LF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB (.732)

LHP Michael Plassmeyer: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (2.78)

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-2)

Bowling Green improved to 1-0 in the post-Wander Franco era with a 5-2 win over Great Lakes. They trailed 2-0 before scoring five unanswered runs to close the game. Beau Brundage hit an RBI triple in the fifth to tie the game, and the Hot Rods went ahead later that inning on Ford Proctor’s sacrifice fly. Easton McGee struck out seven and allowed two runs in six innings.

C Chris Betts: 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 1 BB (.770)

RHP Easton McGee: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (3.88)
LHP Cristopher Sanchez: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (2.34)

Bowling Green’s site offers this recap.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (6-5)

Hudson Valley edged Staten Island, 7-6. The Renegades got most of their offense in their five-run second inning. Greg Jones started it with a bases-loaded walk, and Cristhian Pedroza and Hill Alexander each hit two-run singles. After the Yankees scored three straight late runs to tie the game, Jacson McGowan’s RBI double in the ninth provided the decisive run. Nathan Wiles allowed three runs in 1 23 innings, but Daiveyon Whittle was good in relief, striking out eight and allowing just a run in 5 13 innings.

DH Greg Jones: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (.635)
RF Hill Alexander: 4-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K (1.015)

RHP Nathan Wiles: 1 23 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (7.36)
RHP Daiveyon Whittle: 5 13 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K (0.59)

Rookie Princeton Rays (3-4)

Princeton needed more offense in a 6-1 loss to Pulaski. The Rays hit just three singles and already trailed 4-0 when Luis Leon drove in their only run on an RBI groundout. Taj Bradley was charged with four runs in 3 23 innings.

SS Jelfry Marte: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.489)

RHP Taj Bradley: 3 23 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (5.19)

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (1-1)

The GCL Rays held on for their first win of the season, a 6-5 decision over the GCL Red Sox. RBI hits from Daiwer Castellanos and Abiezel Ramirez in the fifth gave them a 4-0 lead, and Juan Garcia doubled in a pair in the sixth. In the eighth, the GCL Red Sox drew five of their nine walks to help score four runs. Evan McKendry started and pitched two scoreless innings in his pro debut, and Emilio Alfonzo worked five hitless frames in relief.

1B Jonathan Aranda: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 K

RHP Evan McKendry: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00)
RHP Emilio Alfonzo: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K (0.00)


Wednesday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham vs. Norfolk 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Luis Ortiz (2-6, 7.01)

Montgomery vs. Jacksonville 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Riley O’Brien (4-4, 3.42) vs. Daniel Castano (0-0, 1.98)

Charlotte vs. Fort Myers 10 a.m. ET (radio stream)
Joe Ryan (4-2, 2.00) vs. Edwar Colina (3-2, 3.51)

Bowling Green vs. Great Lakes 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)

Hudson Valley @ Staten Island 7 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Sam McWilliams (5-2, 2.00) vs. Cory Abbott (4-3, 3.50)

Princeton vs. Pulaski 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Matthew Peguero (0-0, 4.50) vs. Ken Waldichuk (0-0, -.--)

GCL Rays @ GCL Pirates 12 p.m. ET

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
28-48 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 381 R (8th) .759 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 5.59 ERA (14th) 1.53 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: 3B Ryan Mountcastle (3), OF Austin Hays (4), LHP Keegan Akin (6), RHP Luis Ortiz (13)

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami)
4-2 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 227 R (10th) .598 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.34 ERA (4th) 1.18 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Sixto Sanchez (1), RHP Jorge Guzman (7), OF Brian Miller (14), RHP Robert Dugger (22), SS Joe Dunand (23), SS Bryson Brigman (26)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
Offense: 286 R (7th) .688 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.15 ERA (3rd) 1.19 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: SS Royce Lewis (1), OF Trevor Larnach (5), RHP Jhoan Duran (7), RHP Blayne Enlow (8), C Ryan Jeffers (9), IF Jose Miranda (13), OF Akil Baddoo (19), RHP Jordan Balazovic (20), 2B Michael Helman (27), OF Aaron Whitefield (28)

Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
Offense: 385 R (1st) .733 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.91 ERA (11th) 1.30 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: 3B Miguel Vargas (21), RHP Zach Willeman (22), LHP Robinson Ortiz (23), LHP John Rooney (27), SS Jacob Amaya (30)

Staten Island Yankees
5-5 (T-2nd in NYPL McNamara)
Offense: 43 R (6th) .601 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 2.48 ERA (2nd) 0.84 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: OF Everson Pereira (3), SS Oswald Peraza (17)

Pulaski Yankees
4-2 (1st in AL East)
Offense: 37 R (3rd) .728 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.05 ERA (5th) 1.50 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Antonio Cabello (8), OF Anthony Garcia (15), RHP Yoendrys Gomez (25)

GCL Pirates
1-1 (T-2nd in GCL South)
Offense: Will update next series
Pitching: Will update next series
Top-30 prospects: RHP Quinn Priester, OF Sammy Siani

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