Gonzales, Weaver among 10 top prospect performers Friday

Cardinals No. 2 prospect looks sharp in rehab start, No. 12 prospect sets two career-high marks

Gonzales, Weaver among 10 top prospect performers Friday

The Cardinals -- an organization long known for developing young pitching talent -- got two very encouraging outings from a pair of their top prospects on Friday night. Left-hander Marco Gonzales and right-hander Luke Weaver combined to throw 10 2/3 innings of shutout ball for two of St. Louis' affiliates.

Gonzales, the club's No. 2 prospect, tossed three innings of shutout ball for Springfield in his first start at Double-A this season. Gonzales, baseball's No. 82 overall prospect, is making his recovery from a pectoral injury that sidelined him for more than two months. He began the season with Triple-A Memphis.

Meanwhile, Weaver, the organization's No. 12 prospect, set career-high marks in innings and strikeouts in what probably qualifies as his best professional start. Pitching for Class A Advanced Palm Beach, Weaver tossed 7 2/3 scoreless frames, allowing just three hits, while striking out eight.

"Everything went really well -- I had mostly all the pitches working and I did a good job mixing them up," Weaver told MiLB.com. "I stayed down in the zone with the fastball and got some quick outs."

Weaver, the Cardinals' first-round pick in the 2014 Draft, has a 2.17 ERA in 11 starts for Palm Beach this season.

"I think a lot of the setups and strikeouts came off the changeup, that's just my pitch," he said to MiLB.com. "I can always count on having some good action, and tonight I was able to do a good job placing it. Getting ahead of the hitters was the biggest thing for me -- getting them into a two-strike count opens up much more possibilities, so I was able to put it all together."

The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers

Astros No. 2 prospect (No. 56 overall) Domingo Santana went 2-for-5 and homered in Triple-A Fresno's 8-2 victory over El Paso on Friday night. It's Santana's third homer in his last three games and his 14th of the season. Santana, a powerful right-handed-hitting corner outfielder, upped his average to .323 for the Grizzlies this season.

Blue Jays No. 16 prospect Matt Dean launched two homers and finished his night 2-for-4 with a career-high six RBIs for Class A Advanced Dunedin. The right-handed hitting first-baseman launched a two-run shot in the first and a grand slam in the sixth for his eighth and ninth home runs of the season. He also ran his RBI total to 43. "I felt good tonight," Dean said to MiLB.com. "Lately I've been seeing the ball pretty well. To have two home runs in a night, you'll always take those." Dean's homer was his first dinger in more than a month. Before his multi-homer game, his most recent roundtripper came on June 13. "I hadn't really been driving in guys the way I wanted to this year, but there's a lot of games left," Dean told MiLB.com. "To have a night like that, it's awesome."

Cubs No. 21 prospect Christian Villanueva recorded his second multi-homer game of 2015 as he went deep twice for the Iowa Cubs -- a pair of solo shots in the third and fourth innings. Villanueva, a 24-year-old third baseman who signed with the Cubs in 2009, now has 13 homers this season between Double- and Triple-A. Eleven of those have come for Iowa.

Dodgers No. 6 prospect Chris Anderson became the first Drillers pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game at ONEOK Field in Tulsa on Friday night. He dominated Double-A Arkansas hitters en route to a 2-1 victory. Anderson, the Dodgers first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, needed just 104 pitches to record the complete game for Tulsa. The right-hander struck out eight and surrendered just four hits and a walk.

Indians No. 3 prospect (No. 87 overall) Bradley Zimmer, the club's first-round pick in the 2014 Draft, went 2-for-3 with a homer for Akron on Friday night -- his first career Double-A home run. Zimmer was playing in his second game for the RubberDucks. In 77 games for Class A Advanced Lynchburg this season, the lefty-hitting first baseman batted .305/.401/.488 with 10 homers.

Phillies No. 8 prospect Jesse Biddle tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Biddle was making just his second start for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs and he turned in an outing far superior to his first, in which he surrendered seven earned runs in 2 1/3 frames. With the win, Biddle improved to 8-2 this season between Double- and Triple-A.

• Pirates first-round pick Kevin Newman hit his first professional home run on Friday night -- a two-run shot in the third inning of Class A Short Season West Virginia's 7-3 win over State College. Newman, a shortstop out of the University of Arizona who went No. 19 overall in June's Draft, finished the night with two hits in four at-bats.

Royals No. 4 prospect (No. 66 overall) Miguel Almonte made his debut for Triple-A Omaha on Friday night, allowing just one run on one hit over five innings. The right-hander threw 81 pitches -- 50 for strikes -- and struck out eight Nashville hitters, while walking one in the Storm Chasers' 4-3 loss. Almonte had posted a 4.03 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 17 starts for Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.