Wednesday Prospect Notebook: Wil Myers Homers Twice

Notable performances from prospects around the minors on Tuesday.

Wil Myers, rf, Rays. Evicted from Durham Bulls Athletic Park over the weekend during the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Myers and his Triple-A teammates won four of six games at Norfolk and Scranton Wilkes-Barre, then returned home and won twice more versus Buffalo. Myers served as a driving force in the last six of those games, going 11-for-28 (.393) with five homers, three doubles and 15 RBIs. With a 2-for-5 effort yesterday, he helped rally the Bulls to a 9-8 win with a two-run shot in the seventh inning and then another two-run homer in the ninth that tied the score. The hot spell has lifted the 22-year-old’s season batting line to .266/.346/.473 with nine homers and 40 RBIs through 47 games.

Jonathan Singleton, 1b, Astros. The most prominent prospect to receive 50-game suspensions last offseason, Singleton returned to action on Tuesday at low Class A Quad Cities. The 21-year-old went 2-for-2 with a walk, a first-inning home run and two RBIs for the River Bandits. The Astros want Singleton to regain his timing with Quad Cities before moving him quickly to Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City. A callup to Houston remains possible if he hits well, because Astos first basemen—mostly Carlos Pena and Chris Carter—are batting .217/.324/.375 with seven homers on the season. As an ’09 draft pick, Singleton would have to be added to the 40-man this offseason, regardless.

Zach Lee, rhp, Dodgers. The top pitching prospect in the system following Hyun-Jin Ryu’s graduation to the majors, Lee turned in his finest outing of the year for Double-A Chattanooga yesterday, registering a 74 game score in going six innings while allowing two hits and no runs. He matched his season high with seven strikeouts. The 21-year-old has improved his performance across the board—2.67 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.0 SO/9, just two homers in 11 starts—as he repeats the Southern League, where he spent the second half of 2012.

John Lamb, lhp, Royals. As the 2011 season dawned, the Royals appeared on the precipice of graduating an entire team of top-shelf prospects to Kansas City. Leading the pitching charge were a trio of lefthanders led by Lamb (No. 4 prospect) and also including Mike Montgomery (No. 5) and Danny Duffy (No. 7). Two seasons later, Lamb and Duffy have seen their careers sidetracked by Tommy John surgery, while Montgomery (now a Rays farmhand) carries a 1.57 WHIP across 256 innings at the Triple-A level. One glimmer of hope: Lamb may have recently turned the corner during his lengthy rehab from TJ—his nine starts for high Class A Wilmington this year are more than he’s made in a season since 2010. After running up a 6.35 ERA in his first seven starts for the Blue Rocks, he has pitched masterfully has last two times out, notching 13 strikeouts and allowing seven hits, three walks and no runs over 14 1/3 innings.

Micah Johnson, 2b, White Sox. A ninth-round pick out of Indiana last year, Johnson has improved his stolen-base efficiency and contact rate while making his full-season debut at low Class A Kannapolis. He leads the minors with 45 stolen bases (79 percent success rate) and has lowered his strikeout rate from 23 percent of plate appearances with Rookie-level Great Falls last year to 17 percent this year—but perhaps what’s most notable of late is his recent power spike. The 22-year-old Johnson has homered in three straight games during the Intimidators’ road trip and has batted 11-for-25 (.440) during his past six games. Hard hands at the keystone have contributed to 14 errors in 42 games, but his speed and offensive potential—he’s hitting .319/.407/.481 through 185 at-bats—keep him alive as a prospect.