Prospect Notebook: Billy Hamilton Is Closing On Micah Johnson

Billy Hamilton, of, Reds: For almost the entire season, White Sox second base prospect Micah Johnson has been running away with the minor league stolen base crown. But as we head into the final month of the season, baseball's fastest man is trying to catch Johnson with a strong finishing kick.

Hamilton, the minors’ stolen base leader in 2011 (104 steals) and 2012 (a record-breaking 155), stole his 67th base last night, bringing him to seven back of Johnson's 74. It also put Hamilton one above high Class A Lake Elsinore outfielder Travis Janikowski (Padres) who now has 66.

The race for the minors stolen base crown has turned into a four-player race. Johnson, thanks to his seven steal lead, is the favorite, but his pace has slowed dramatically. He stole one base every 1.26 games in low Class A, but his pace has slowed to one base every 2.4 games in high Class A.

Hamilton has been on a consistent pace all year. He stole 15 bases in April, 15 more in May and after spiking to 19 in June, he returned to stealing 15 more in July.

The sleeper in the stolen base race is low Class A Lexington outfielder Terrance Gore (Royals). With 61 steals, Gore is 13 behind Johnson. But Gore stole 23 bases in 28 games in July so he has shown that he can collect steals in bunches and that he’s stealing more as the weather heats up. His success rate is equally impressive, he's been caught only twice in his last 32 attempts.

Carlos Correa, ss, Astros: Correa is making a pretty strong case to be the most valuable player of the Midwest League.

Correa went 2-for-4 with two doubles last night for his fifth consecutive multi-hit game. The Astros shortstop prospect is now third in the league in batting average at .334, and he'll move up before long when Byron Buxton, now playing in the Florida State League, drops out of the ranks of official qualifiers. He also ranks third in the league in on-base percentage (.416) again behind the soon-to-not qualify Buxton and fourth in the league in doubles (29). And the 18-year-old is doing it all as one of the youngest players in the league and while playing a solid shortstop.

Tyler Glasnow, rhp, Pirates: Wednesday night's start against Delmarva did nothing for Glasnow's ERA, but it was a further sign of how the extremely tall righthander is putting things together in an excellent season.

Glasnow gave up four runs in five innings, which equalled the most earned runs he's allowed in any start this season. The six hits he allowed were also a season high. But at the same time, Glasnow showed that he could find and fix problems on the mound to salvage a solid outing from a rough start.

He ran into trouble in the first, as he gave up singles to three of the first four batters he faced, allowing one run in the process. Delmarva first baseman Wynston Sawyer then cleared the bases with a three-run home run as Delmarva scored all four runs in the first.

After Sawyer's home run, Glasnow struck out the next two batters. He started the second inning by getting in another jam, as a walk and a single put two men on with no out. But he struck out the next two batters and got an infield pop fly to end the inning.

From there Glasnow put it on cruise control as he struck out six of the final nine batters he faced. He finished the game with 12 strikeouts and one walk. The 12 strikeouts tied his season high.