Happy Friday, everyone! If you were like me, you got a little itchy on Wednesday and couldn't wait for a little day-game action on the diamond on Thursday. We got treated to what could very likely be a preview of a big-time playoff series ahead of us this October when the Astros and Yankees took part in a matinee game. It was great to have some actual baseball back and some box scores to frequent on Thursday and the Astros grabbed two from the Yankees in a doubleheader that is ultimately going to play a bigger role on Twitter and New York radio than a harbinger of what's to come in October.
It's a short night of games, so we'll dive into the important action you missed but also first dive deep into Scott White's midseason top-30 prospect column because there were a whole lot of awesome nuggets in there.
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Key takeaways from Scott's top 30
- Riley Greene would be the No. 1 prospect if Scott still considered him a prospect for the purposes of this list, but these rankings are only for prospects who have yet to reach the majors.
- Corbin Carroll is Scott's top-ranked hitting prospect. From Scott: "Carroll has breezed through every level, taking a wrecking ball to the upper minors this year after hardly playing the past two. He's already exceeded the power projections for someone of such small stature and is about as complete of a prospect as you'll find, standing out just as much for his speed and plate discipline."
- Grayson Rodriguez is Scott's top-ranked pitching prospect. From Scott: "Rodriguez is a near perfect pitching prospect, boasting premium velocity, plus command, a deep arsenal, a workhorse build and an unblemished minor-league track record. He'd already be in the majors if not for a lat strain suffered in early June, but he's said to be making good progress in his recovery and might even have a chance to pitch again this year."
- The Yankees have Scott's third-ranked prospect -- shortstop Anthony Volpe. From Scott: "Last year's emergent shortstop stud hit a speed bump at Double-A to begin the year but has been cruising since about mid-May, batting .303 with a .933 OPS in his past 48 games. That's about what we expected for a player who checks every box offensively, though you should note he's at some risk of shifting to second base."
- Jordan Walker is Scott's top-ranked third base prospect. From Scott: "Walker's ability to impact the ball is about as good as you'll find in all the minors, especially with Oneil Cruz having graduated to the majors. That said, Walker's hitting instincts are more natural than Cruz's, giving him a better batting average projection. He'll need to elevate the ball better, but he's already way ahead developmentally."
- Francisco Alvarez is Scott's top ranked catcher prospect. From Scott: "Catcher prospects are downgraded in Fantasy for their difficult developmental path and inherent playing-time concerns, but Alvarez may threaten for the top spot on some real-life rank lists. It's uncommon for any 20-year-old to reach Triple-A, much less at that position, but nothing seems to slow down his bat."
For more on Scott's entire top 30, you can find his midseason prospect rankings.
Montas electric but short lived
When he's on his game, Frankie Montas can be one of the most dominant pitch-for-pitch hurlers in the game, and that was the case -- albeit for a short-lived five innings -- against the Tigers on Thursday. Montas reached the upper 90s early and often, and racked up five strikeouts with just one walk. This was a showcase performance for him and he is likely to be one of the hottest commodities prior to the MLB's trade deadline. Montas now has a 3.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 105 strikeouts through 99 1/3 innings this season.
Five notable performances and developments
- Yordan Alvarez hit home run No. 27 to go along with a .309 batting average, 59 runs and 63 RBI in a true breakout season.
- Aaron Judge didn't skip a beat and clocked his league-leading 34th home run.
- The Nationals are fielding preliminary offers for a Juan Soto trade.
- Jacob deGrom threw five simulated innings and 60 pitches -- there is some speculation that his next outing will come with the Mets.
- The Dodgers are cautiously optimistic they'll have Walker Buehler back by September.