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Baseball America Prospect Report—Sept. 27, 2021

M.J. Melendez, C, Royals: Melendez’s amazing season jumped to another level on Sunday, as he had his sixth multi-home run game of the season with two home runs for Triple-A Omaha. That gives Melendez 41 home runs on the season. With no other active player having more than 34 home runs and just five games left to play, Melendez is virtually assured of being the MiLB home run champ.

But there’s more. Melendez’s 41 home runs are the most by any minor league since Kris Bryant hit 43 in 2014. No minor leaguer has hit more than Bryant’s 43 home runs since Ryan Howard hit 46 home runs in 2004.

Melendez also is the first catcher to reach 40 home runs since Todd Greene hit 40 in 1995.

Here’s home run No. 40:

And here's home run No. 41:

Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals: The only reason Melendez doesn’t have an eight-home run lead over any active player is because Pratto also homered, giving him 34 this season. With five games left, Pratto has a chance to catch or pass Griffin Conine, who currently ranks second in the minors with 36 home runs.

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Tigers: Torklelson has homered in three straight games, pulling him out of a slump that had seen his Triple-A batting average dip below .200 while his on-base percentage dipped below .300. Now he’s hitting .237/.335/.534 with Toledo with 10 home runs in 155 plate appearances. It’s notable that Torkelson has not played a game at third base since his promotion to Triple-A. He’s played first base and DH, but his last game at third base was on Aug. 12.

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates: Cruz has played four games in Triple-A after a promotion last week. He now has three Triple-A home runs having homered on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jose Miranda, DH, Twins: If you’re picking a breakout prospect of the year, you’d struggle to come up with a better option than Miranda. Miranda went 3-for-6 with a double for Triple-A St. Paul on Sunday. That was his fifth three-hit game of the month, as he raised his line with the Saints to .341/.394/.556. Miranda now has nine three-hit games, a four-hit game and a five-hit game this year to go with 20 two-hit games. He’s gone hitless only 11 times all year.

Ben Brecht, LHP, Rays: Brecht, the Rays’ fifth-round pick in 2019, worked six scoreless innings as Low-A Charleston knocked off Down East, 9-2, to claim the Low-A East championship. Brecht allowed only two hits and no walks while striking out five.

Osleivis Basabe, SS, Rays: If Brecht was the RiverDogs' pitching star, Basabe was the team’s hitting star. He went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. The title was Charleston’s first in franchise history and the first for a Charleston team since 1922.

Alan Rangel, RHP, Braves: Rangel held Montgomery to three hits and one unearned run in six innings as the M-Braves knocked off Montgomery, 2-1, to claim the Double-A South Championship.

Greyson Jenista, RF, Braves: Jenista’s two-out fifth inning home run was the difference maker for Mississippi’s offense in its 2-1 title clincher.

Tucker Bradley, RF, Royals: Quad Cities' nine-hole hitter went 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs. That’s all the River Bandits needed to win the High-A Central title thanks to . . .

A.J. Block, Caden Monke, Zach Haake and Nathan Webb, Ps, Royals: Quad Cities had four pitchers combine on a two-hitter to shutout Cedar Rapids to claim the High-A Central title. Block worked 3.2 innings, Haake worked 2.1, Monke struggled (.1 IP, 3 walks) but Webb then came in to finish it off, allowing one hit and two walks in 2.2 scoreless innings. According to the broadcast, Webb touched 100 mph in the ninth.

ARIAAA#3Alek Thomas, OF51210.313CS (9),
ARIMAJ#8Geraldo Perdomo, SS20100.235BB (53),
ARIAAA#18Drew Ellis, 3B50000.261
ARIAAA#27Stuart Fairchild, OF30010.287
ATLAAA#2Drew Waters, OF41120.247HR (11),
BALAAA#1Adley Rutschman, C40110.286BB (76),
BALAAA#17Kyle Stowers, OF31110.2832 BB (70),
BALAAA#19Yusniel Diaz, OF50000.161
BOSAAA#1Triston Casas, 1B41100.281BB (54),
BOSAAA#2Jarren Duran, CF51110.251HR (18),
BOSAAA#4Jeter Downs, 2B30000.182BB (37), E (12),
CHCAAA#1Brennen Davis, OF40100.263
CHCMAJ#11Greg Deichmann, OF10000.264
CHCAAA#21Christopher Morel, SS41110.225HR (19),
CINMAJ#1Jose Barrero, SS41210.2942B (22), BB (38),
CINAAA#21Alejo Lopez, SS51120.318HR (6),
CINMAJ#22T.J. Friedl, OF21100.271
CLEMAJ#15Owen Miller, SS40100.250
CLEAAA#16Richard Palacios, 2B40000.294
COLAAA#5Elehuris Montero, 3B51100.2762B (20), 2 E (21),
COLAAA#10Ryan Vilade, OF52300.283
CWSMAJ#8Gavin Sheets, 1B40100.269
CWSAAA#17Romy Gonzalez, SS40100.280
DETAAA#1Spencer Torkelson, 3B52220.2652B (27), HR (28),
DETAAA#2Riley Greene, OF51100.298
DETMAJ#11Daz Cameron, OF30000.248
DETAAA#12Ryan Kreidler, IF32100.2752 BB (52),
DETAAA#22Kody Clemens, SS31100.243BB (35),
DETAAA#27Jacob Robson, OF40110.290E (3),
HOUAAA#1Korey Lee, C40000.277E (8),
HOUAAA#2Jeremy Pena, SS40000.353
HOUAAA#3Pedro Leon, SS31000.226BB (37), E (9),
KCAAA#1Bobby Witt, SS50000.297
KCAAA#4Nick Pratto, 1B51210.265HR (34),
KCAAA#6M.J. Melendez, C43240.2842 HR (40), BB (71),
KCMAJ#7Kyle Isbel, OF40000.269
KCAAA#24Lucius Fox, SS50330.2332B (13),
LAAMAJ#2Brandon Marsh, OF40100.272
LAAAAA#27Michael Stefanic, OF50100.343
LADAAA#23Zach Reks, OF30000.271BB (45),
MIAMAJ#3Jesus Sanchez, OF30000.287BB (31),
MIAMAJ#11Lewin Diaz, 1B41110.241HR (27),
MIAMAJ#30Bryan De La Cruz, OF40000.323
MINAAA#8Jose Miranda, 3B61330.3382B (29),
MINMAJ#11Nick Gordon, OF40000.264
MINAAA#15Gilberto Celestino, OF51100.252
MINMAJ#19Brent Rooker, OF20000.228
NYMAAA#4Mark Vientos, 3B32100.2862 BB (32),
NYMAAA#11Khalil Lee, OF30110.2572B (21), 2 BB (67), SB (8),
NYMAAA#21Travis Blankenhorn, 2B51200.230SB (3),
NYYAAA#13Estevan Florial, OF40000.228
NYYAAA#16Oswaldo Cabrera, SS31210.2662B (30), HR (27),
NYYAAA#24Donny Sands, C10000.260
OAKAAA#3Nick Allen, SS41210.291SB (10),
OAKAAA#7Luis Barrera, OF21010.2742 BB (39),
OAKAAA#12Zack Gelof, 3B31100.310BB (20), E (9),
PHIAAA#3Bryson Stott, SS31200.3092 BB (63),
PHIAAA#8Rafael Marchan, C50000.210
PHIMAJ#10Matt Vierling, OF20000.284
PHIAAA#11Simon Muzziotti, OF40010.283
PHIAAA#13Mickey Moniak, OF51120.234HR (15),
PHIAAA#15Nick Maton, 2B40100.219E (6),
PITAAA#1Oneil Cruz, SS34210.301HR (15), 3 BB (25), 2 E (16),
PITAAA#7Tucupita Marcano, UTL51120.245
PITAAA#23Rodolfo Castro, 2B53330.2442B (18),
PITAAA#29Canaan Smith-Njigba, OF31000.2612 BB (47),
SFAAA#3Heliot Ramos, OF30010.250BB (42),
TBAAA#2Vidal Brujan, 2B42100.253BB (47), SB (44), E (11),
TBAAA#5Josh Lowe, OF20000.2942 BB (59), SB (27),
TBAAA#8Taylor Walls, SS21110.2312 BB (60), SB (14),
TBAAA#28Miles Mastrobuoni, UTL40100.303
TEXAAA#2Josh Jung, 3B40100.313
TEXAAA#9Sam Huff, C31110.240HR (12), BB (20),
TEXAAA#25Davis Wendzel, SS40000.245
TORAAA#1Gabriel Moreno, C20000.378
TORAAA#7Otto Lopez, 2B50220.3192B (30),
TORAAA#18Kevin Smith, SS32100.2682B (25), 2 BB (46), 2 SB (18),
WASAAA#14Donovan Casey, OF40000.275BB (35),
WASMAJ#18Riley Adams, C20000.2352 BB (30),
WASAAA#23Tres Barrera, C30100.225BB (34),
MJ Melendez Zachlucyfourseam

Top 10 Most Improved MLB Prospects In Full-Season Ball In 2021

Prospects who gained the most ground between 2019 and 2021, as measured by offensive production in the full-season minor leagues.

ATLAAA#13Jasseel De La Cruz, RHP0.2133327.03
ATLAAA#20Daysbel Hernandez, RHP1.0100023.57
BOSAAA#12Connor Seabold, RHP2.1333333.60
CHCMAJ#12Keegan Thompson, RHP3.0311172.65
HOUAAA#10Tyler Ivey, RHP1.2230225.52L (0-1)
KCAAA#14Austin Cox, LHP2.0455223.60
KCAAA#20Angel Zerpa, LHP1.1233114.58L (4-4)
LAAAAA#20Ryan Smith, LHP4.2543324.38
LAAMAJ#30Austin Warren, RHP0.022100
LADAAA#7Andre Jackson, RHP4.2333453.46L (5-6)
MILMAJ#8Aaron Ashby, LHP1.0100024.00
NYYAAA#4Luis Gil, RHP0.1122213.73
NYYAAA#14Hayden Wesneski, RHP4.1433363.30L (10-6)
NYYAAA#21Nick Nelson, RHP1.0100105.17
OAKAAA#28Brian Howard, RHP6.0411155.88W (7-3)
PHIMAJ#6Hans Crouse, RHP3.0211413.27L (5-5)
PHIMAJ#25Cristopher Sanchez, LHP2.0100124.90
PITMAJ#25Max Kranick, RHP5.0400354.82W (7-7)
SFAAA#11Sean Hjelle, RHP4.1788544.54L (4-8)
TBMAJ#1Shane Baz, RHP5.2300192.01W (7-4)
TBAAA#27Louis Head, RHP1.0000022.40Sv (5)

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