The Red Sox’s No. 4 prospect allowed hits to the first two hitters he faced in the outing, the first of which ultimately scored on a double steal, but he also struck out the side. He escaped further damage with back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame, stranding runners on second and third base. The 18-year-old southpaw fared much better in his second inning of work, however, notching two more strikeouts while retiring the side in order.
After his performance, Groome, who ranked as MLBPipeline.com’s No. 1 Draft prospect for 2016, has begun his career by allowing one run on three hits in four innings, with eight strikeouts and zero walks.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday
• No. 31 overall prospect Corey Ray’s solo home run in the seventh inning accounted for Class A Advanced Brevard County’s lone run in a 4-1 loss against Tampa. The homer was the Brewers’ No. 3 prospect’s fourth of the season, and, after finishing the game 2-for-4, he’s now hitting .242 through 52 pro games.
• For a third straight start, No. 71 overall prospect Brady Aiken (Indians’ No. 2) allowed one earned run on three hits in five innings for Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley. The two-time first-round Draft pick fanned five and did not issue a walk while throwing 65 pitches (43 strikes). He owns a 3.00 ERA with 13 hits allowed in 18 innings (four starts) since graduating to the New York-Penn League.
• No. 73 overall prospect Matt Manning (Tigers’ No. 1) lowered his ERA to 3.99 with three scoreless innings for the Tigers’ Gulf Coast League affiliate. The 2016 first-rounder yielded two hits and struck out five, giving him an impressive 46-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 29 1/3 innings to begin his pro career.
• No. 86 overall prospect Ian Anderson (Braves’ No. 5) tossed four strong frames in his first scoreless performance for Rookie-level Danville. The 2016 No. 3 overall Draft pick allowed four hits, walked one and fanned five in the outing.
• No. 95 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins’ No. 3) scattered five hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Double-A Chattanooga, striking out six and throwing 64 of his 103 pitches for strikes. The 22-year-old southpaw has been outstanding since moving up to the Double-A level, where he’s gone 8-1 in 12 starts with a 1.64 ERA. Gonsalves has been particularly dominant over his last 10 starts, posting a 0.72 ERA with 70 strikeouts and just 29 hits allowed in 62 2/3 innings.
• Mets No. 3 prospect Gavin Cecchini matched his career high in hits as he went 5-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas, which shut out Salt Lake, 9-0. He has hits in 10 of his last 11 games to go along with a .413 average and eight RBIs in that span.
• Cardinals No. 8 prospect Junior Fernandez allowed two hits in seven innings for Class A Advanced Palm Beach against St. Lucie in a game that was suspended after 7 1/2 scoreless innings due to weather. Though he initially struggled with the move up to the Florida State League, Fernandez, 19, has settled in to allow just one run in 20 innings across his past three starts.
“He was able to keep the fastball down and got a lot of ground balls tonight,” Palm Beach pitching coach Randy Niemann told MiLB.com. “He was also able to elevate when he needed to when he got to two strikes. He did an outstanding job and showed great poise.
“We’ve been working on his delivery to get it more consistent so he can keep his stuff down in the zone. He’s got a tremendous fastball, but when he gets up in the zone they can hit the ball hard against him. He’s starting to learn that if he gets ahead down in the zone, then he can elevate and it’s very difficult to hit because of his velocity.”
• Phillies No. 9 prospect Franklyn Kilome had it working for Class A Lakewood as he kept West Virginia off the board for seven innings in what was the longest scoreless start of his career. The 6-foot-6 righty allowed five hits, struck out five and found the strike zone with 63 of his 91 pitches. After a shaky start to his full-season debut, Kilome has rebounded to post a 3.07 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings (11 starts) during the second half.
• Padres No. 10 prospect Michael Gettys hit two home runs and went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored to lead Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore’s offense in a win over High Desert. The pair of homers gives the 20-year-old outfielder 12 for the season, doubling his total from his 2015 full-season debut. Nine of the homers have come in his 58 games since joining the Storm, during which he’s hitting .310.
• Phillies No. 13 prospect Rhys Hoskins is once again tied with teammate Dylan Cozens for the Minor League home run lead after he hit his 37th in Double-A Reading’s loss to New Hampshire. The 23-year-old first baseman is batting .278/.370/.568 overall and ranks second in the Minors with 111 RBIs.
• A’s No. 26 prospect Skye Bolt had hit just three home runs in 92 games this season before Saturday, when he hit a pair of solo shots to lead Class A Beloit past Kane County, 5-2. Overall, the 2015 fourth-rounder owns a.232/.321/.352 batting line in his first full professional campaign.
Source: Mets News / Cecchini among top prospect performers Saturday