A quick glance around at some notable Opening Day performances from American League prospects:
Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers: Injuries were the only thing that slowed Turner down last year, when he went 6-5, 3.28 at two Class A levels. Still just 19 years old, Turner made his Double-A debut last night for Erie against Altoona. Turner struck out the first two hitters of the game went on to fan nine over six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, and he retired 14 of the final 15 hitters he faced.
Matt Moore, lhp, Rays: Two-time defending minor league strikeout champ Moore began 2011 where he left off in 2010. In his first start for Double-A Montgomery, Moore fanned seven Birmingham hitters in five innings. He allowed a run on two hits, though that was enough to put him on the losing end of a 1-0 decision.
Enny Romero, lhp, Rays: As if the Rays didn't have enough pitching prospects, here's another one to keep an eye on. Making his full-season debut for low Class A Bowling Green, Romero carved up Dayton for five scoreless innings, permitting only one hit and one walk while striking out eight.
Royals Roundup: Making his first Triple-A start, lefthander Mike Montgomery gave up five runs on six hits over five innings against Albuquerque, though all of that damage was confined to the second and third innings. He settled down to retire the final seven hitters he faced. In the same game, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas hit third and fourth, respectively, for the newly re-branded Omaha Strom Chasers. Hosmer started 0-for-2 but had two hits later in the game to finish 2-for-5. Moustakas hit an RBI single in the third but otherwise had a quiet night, going 1-for-5. One level lower, shortstop Christian Colon homered in his first Double-A at-bat for Northwest Arkansas and went 2-for-4.
Jurickson Profar, ss, Rangers: Playing against older competition should be nothing new for Profar, who was the top prospect in the short-season Northwest League last year as a 17 year old. Moving up to the low Class A South Atlantic League, the now 18-year-old Profar homered in his first at-bat for Hickory and later added a stolen base.
Gary Sanchez, c, Yankees: Sanchez would be the SAL's youngest player if not for Profar, who's two months his junior. Making his full-season debut for low Class A Charleston, Sanchez went 2-for-4, including a home run in the fifth inning off Astros prospect Mike Foltynewicz.
Notable Pro Debuts: Royals outfielder Brett Eibner homered in his first professional at-bat for low Class A Kane County, finishing his night 1-for-3 . . . Blue Jays righthander Deck McGuire, Toronto's 2010 first-round pick, threw four scoreless innings coming out of the bullpen for high Class A Dunedin, striking out five.