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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Sanchez hits 1st Triple-A homer

Jesus Sanchez was one of three top-30 Rays prospects to homer for Durham Friday.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

A weird thing in recent seasons of minor league baseball is offense in the Appalachian League. Here is the league average OPS:

2017: .732
2018: .746

In 2018, teams were averaging nearly 5 12 runs per game. This season, the average OPS is back down to .704, closer to what it had been prior to 2017.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (54-38)

Durham fell apart late in a 10-9 loss to Norfolk. Joe McCarthy and Nick Solak homered in a three-run first, and after the Tides scored four in the third to go ahead, the Bulls posted back-to-back three-run innings in the fourth and fifth. However, they allowed six unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Sam McWilliams struck out eight but allowed four runs in five innings.

DH Matt Duffy: 1-for-5, 3 RBI, 1 K
LF Joe McCarthy: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.802)
2B Nick Solak: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K (.838)
RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K (.722)
C Anthony Bemboom: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B (.625)

RHP Sam McWilliams: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (7.20)

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (14-8)

Montgomery nearly pitched the organization’s second no-hitter in a week in a 4-2 win over Pensacola. Riley O’Brien struck out seven in five innings, and Brian Shaffer took over. However, with an out in the eighth, the Blue Wahoos finally got a hit and eventually scored a run in each of the last two innings.

2B Vidal Brujan: 1-for-3, 2 BB, 1 SB (.881)
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-5, 2 K (.660)
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 CS (.739)
3B Lucius Fox: 1-for-4, 1 R (.701)

RHP Riley O’Brien: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K (3.88)

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-4)

Charlotte scored four first-inning runs, and Joe Ryan was good again in the Stone Crabs’ 5-2 win over Tampa. All four runs scored on four different hits, including extra-base hits from Ronaldo Hernandez and Moises Gomez. On the mound, Ryan struck out five and gave up just a run in 6 23 innings. It was their 10th straight win.

SS Wander Franco: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (1.004)
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K (.689)
RF Moises Gomez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K (.665)
3B Jim Haley: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 2 SB (.746)
2B Jake Palomaki: 0-for-0, 3 BB, 1 HBP (.592)

RHP Joe Ryan: 6 23 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (1.78)

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (14-7)

Bowling Green lost a lead late in a 5-4 loss to Beloit. Seaver Whalen’s RBI double in the sixth gave the Hot Rods a 3-1 lead, but the Snappers took their first lead with a three-run homer in the eighth. Ford Proctor’s RBI single a half inning later tied the game, but Beloit went ahead for good in the ninth. Shane Baz struck out five and walked five in five, one-run innings.

C Chris Betts: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 3 K (.738)
SS Ford Proctor: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB (.755)
1B Seaver Whalen: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB (.714)

RHP Shane Baz: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K (3.19)

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (15-12)

Hudson Valley piled up 13 unanswered runs in a 16-4 win over Staten Island. The teams traded three runs in the first, and the Yankees went up 4-3 through 2 12 innings. It was downhill from there. The Renegades scored six a half inning later, capped by Garrett Hiott’s run-scoring double. They scored seven more in the seventh. Nathan Wiles allowed three runs in an inning, and Joe LaSorsa pitched the most out of anyone on Hudson Valley’s staff, lasting four innings.

CF Garrett Hiott: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.726)
SS Nick Sogard: 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB (.713)

RHP Nathan Wiles: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (4.91)

Rookie Princeton Rays (10-13)

Princeton’s rally fell short in a 9-8 loss to Kingsport. The Mets scored six in the fifth to go ahead 6-2 and three in the seventh to go up 9-3. The Rays scored twice in the eighth and three more in the ninth, but with the potential tying run on third base, Aldenix Sanchez flied out to end the game. Taj Bradley was charged with five runs — one earned — in 4 23 innings and has allowed eight unearned runs over his last two starts.

CF Nick Schnell: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K (.748)
C Luis Leon: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB (.892)
3B Gionti Turner: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB (.708)
2B Angelo Armenta: 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 CS (.684)

RHP Taj Bradley: 4 23 IP, 3 H, 5 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K (4.50)

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (6-8)

The GCL Rays’ games were postponed.


Saturday’s games (probables courtesy of

Durham vs. Norfolk 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Tyler Herb (4-6, 6.82)

Montgomery @ Pensacola 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Paul Campbell (4-1, 2.75) vs. Charlie Barnes (1-2, 3.67)

Charlotte vs. Tampa 6 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Jio Orozco (2-2, 3.16)

Bowling Green vs. Wisconsin 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Caleb Sampen (6-3, 3.07) vs. Reese Olson (2-5, 5.25)

Hudson Valley @ Mahoning Valley 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Liam Jenkins (0-2, 6.35)

Princeton @ Bluefield 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Cesar Loaiza (0-0, 3.24)

GCL Rays @ GCL Braves 10 a.m. DOUBLEHEADER

Completion of suspended game followed by seven-inning game.

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
35-56 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 439 R (8th) .758 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 5.49 ERA (14th) 1.52 WHIP (11th)
Top-30 prospects: 3B Ryan Mountcastle (3), OF Austin Hays (4), LHP Keegan Akin (6), RHP Luis Ortiz (13)

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Minnesota)
10-12 (T-3rd in SL South)
Offense: 377 R (3rd) .680 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.56 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Alex Kirilloff (2), RHP Brusdal Graterol (3), RHP Griffin Jax (14), RHP Jorge Alcala (16), C Ben Rortvedt (22), OF Aaron Whitefield (27)

Tampa Tarpons (Yankees)
11-13 (3rd in FSL North)
Offense: 338 R (7th) .641 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.83 ERA (10th) 1.32 WHIP (11th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Estevan Florial (1), RHP Clarke Schmidt (13), RHP Trevor Stephan (20), C Jason Lopez (21), RHP Frank German (23)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee)
13-8 (3rd in MWL West)
Offense: 360 R (11th) .644 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.75 ERA (9th) 1.29 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Adam Hill (21), OF Je’Von Ward (26)

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland)
14-14 (4th in NYPL Pinckney)
Offense: 108 R (T-7th) .681 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.72 ERA (14th) 1.46 WHIP (14th)
Top-30 prospects: OF George Valera (5), SS Brayan Rocchio (9), RHP Ethan Hankins (10), RHP Carlos Vargas (13), SS Raynel Delgado (23), OF Johnathan Rodriguez (29)

Bluefield Blue Jays
12-11 (2nd in AL East)
Offense: 139 R (1st) .739 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.36 ERA (7th) 1.42 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: IF Miguel Hiraldo (10), IF Leonardo Jimenez (21)

GCL Braves
4-7 (6th in GCL South)
Offense: 49 R (17th) .604 OPS (17th)
Pitching: 5.27 ERA (17th) 1.55 WHIP (16th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Michael Harris

Daily news and links

ESPN subscribers can read Keith Law’s midseason top 50 prospects.