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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Franco named Midwest League Prospect of the Year

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In addition to Wander Franco, Chris Betts and Caleb Sampen were honored on the Midwest League’s postseason All-Star team.

Adam Sanford

Each season, there are a handful of pitchers who finish with an ERA under 2.00 with a significant amount of innings. Right now, there are seven with an ERA under 2.00 and 100 or more innings, and the Rays have two of them — Joe Ryan and Tommy Romero.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (70-61)

Durham shut out Gwinnett, 3-0. After an ugly collapse Friday, the Bulls kept the Stripers off the board Saturday. Cole Sulser opened with two scoreless innings, and Ricardo Pinto followed with eight strikeouts in 5 13 frames. Hoby Milner finished the game. All three of Durham’s runs came on home runs, first from Michael Perez and then Nate Lowe.

1B Nate Lowe: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB (.950)
C Michael Perez: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K (.838)

RHP Ricardo Pinto: 5 13 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K (4.13)

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (41-20)

Montgomery’s game was suspended.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (44-20)

Charlotte shut out Clearwater again, 5-0, clinching a playoff berth for the fifth time in franchise history. This time, it was Tobias Myers turning in a great start. He struck out five, walked none, and gave up just two singles. Carlos Garcia, Simon Rosenblum-Larson, and Ryan Sherriff combined to throw the final four innings. Izzy Wilson’s RBI triple in the third started the scoring, and Kaleo Johnson later hit an insurance homer.

SS Wander Franco: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.847)
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-3, 1 R (.699)
LF Niko Hulsizer: 0-for-4, 1 K (.504)
CF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 3 K (.757)
3B Kaleo Johnson: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K (.645)

RHP Tobias Myers: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (2.31)

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (37-24)

Bowling Green was edged by South Bend, 2-1. The Hot Rods’ only run came on Jonathan Aranda’s sacrifice fly in the fourth, and they only had four hits, including one in the last five innings. Easton McGee allowed a run in six innings.

CF Nick Schnell: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 K (.647)
RF Ruben Cardenas: 0-for-2, 2 BB (.797)

RHP Easton McGee: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (3.59)

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (38-28)

Hudson Valley needed more than one hit in an 11-inning, 4-3 loss to Tri-City. Nick Sogard hit an RBI single in the third. The Renegades still managed to score twice in the 10th to send the game to the 11th, but they couldn’t get on the board again. John Doxakis struck out four in four hitless innings, and Christopher Gau struck out eight in five, one-run innings.

SS Nick Sogard: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 SB (.656)

LHP John Doxakis: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K (2.20)
RHP Christopher Gau: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (4.11)

Rookie Princeton Rays (30-34)

Taj Bradley led Princeton to a 5-0 win over Greeneville. In the best outing of his young pro career, Bradley struck out a career-high nine in six, one-hit innings. Aldor Rodriguez and Ryan Jackson completed the shutout. The Rays got off to a fast start thanks to an RBI single by Jake Guenther and two-run single by Diego Infante in the first.

DH Diego Infante: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 K (.846)
1B Jake Guenther: 2-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, 1 HBP (.866)

RHP Taj Bradley: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K (3.18)
RHP Aldor Rodriguez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (5.79)

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (24-25)

The GCL Rays earned a 9-4 win over the GCL Braves. The Rays scored five runs in the third. The first run scored on a wild pitch, and Shane Sasaki singled in the next one. The Braves eventually cut their deficit to three, but Jelfry Marte cleared the bases with a triple in the seventh to add insurance. JJ Goss threw three scoreless innings.

RF Dylan Cozens: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
DH Shane Sasaki: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB (.493)
LF Zach Huffins: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI (.743)

RHP JJ Goss: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (5.82)

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Sunday’s games (probables courtesy of milb.com)

Durham vs. Gwinnett 5:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Montgomery @ Chattanooga 2:15 p.m. ET (radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
Jason Garcia (7-0, 4.00) vs. TBA
TBA VS. TBA

Completion of suspended game followed by scheduled game.

Charlotte vs. Clearwater 12:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Michael Plassmeyer (6-2, 2.23) vs. Ethan Lindow (0-1, 0.82)

Bowling Green vs. South Bend 3:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Faustino Carrera (8-6, 3.29)

Hudson Valley vs. Connecticut 4:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Kyle Serrano (0-4, 9.00)

Princeton @ Greeneville 5 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

The GCL Rays are off.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Stripers (Atlanta)
75-55 (1st in IL South)
Offense: 720 R (2nd) .808 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.18 ERA (1st) 1.33 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: OF Cristian Pache (1), RHP Ian Anderson (2), OF Drew Waters (3), RHP Kyle Wright (4), RHP Bryse Wilson (6), LHP Tucker Davidson (10), RHP Patrick Weigel (13), RHP Huascar Ynoa (19), RHP Chad Sobotka (22)

Chattanooga Lookouts (Cincinnati)
20-40
Offense: 562 R (3rd) .716 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.51 ERA (10th) 1.42 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: 3B Jonathan India (3), RHP Tony Santillan (5), C Tyler Stephenson (6), OF Stuart Fairchild (10), OF T.J. Friedl (12), LHP Packy Naughton (24), RHP Ryan Hendrix (27), 1B Ibandel Isabel (29), C Nick Ciuffo

Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia)
28-37
Offense: 475 R (8th) .675 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.56 ERA (7th) 1.26 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: C Rafael Marchan (6), LHP Zach Warren (17), C Rodolfo Duran (20), 2B Daniel Brito (21), OF Jhailyn Ortiz (22), RHP Kyle Glogoski (26), OF Matt Vierling (27)

South Bend Cubs
35-26 (2nd in MWL East)
Offense: 532 R (10th) .697 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.53 ERA (6th) 1.27 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Cole Roederer (4), OF Brennen Davis (5), 2B Chase Strumpf (7), OF Nelson Velazquez (13), RHP Jose Albertos (15), RHP Riley Thompson (20)

Connecticut Tigers
32-35 (2nd in NYPL Stedler)
Offense: 233 R (12th) .607 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.64 ERA (7th) 1.39 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: IF Nick Quintana (18)

Greeneville Reds
25-38
Offense: 263 R (10th) .669 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.82 ERA (10th) 1.34 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: SS Rece Hinds (13), 2B Tyler Callihan (16), OF Danny Lantigua (26), OF Allan Cerda (30)

Daily news and links

For the Orange County Register, J.P. Hoornstra looked at how improved minor league pay has affected Blue Jays prospects.