McKinney, Williams among 10 top prospect performers Monday

Cubs No. 3 prospect homers and No. 30 prospect spins six innings of one-hit ball for Smokies

McKinney, Williams among 10 top prospect performers Monday

Cubs No. 30 prospect Ryan Williams got some help from No. 3 prospect (No. 40 overall) Billy McKinney on Monday night, but the Double-A Tennessee hurler did most of the work himself in a commanding six-inning performance.

The Smokies prevailed over Jackson, 6-5, thanks to a strong effort from Williams, who struck out five and allowed just one hit in his half-dozen frames before turning the ball over to a bullpen that surrendered five runs down the stretch. Williams, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, picked up right where he left off in his last start, and has given up just four hits in his past 12 innings, all clean frames.

After the win, he credited catcher Willson Contreras with calling a great game.

"I don't think in the six innings I shook him off more than once or twice," Williams told "We just had a really good sync going. We talked about the gameplan before the game and kind of just took it from there. We knew what each other was thinking, so that definitely was helpful."

The 23-year-old is 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA since joining the Smokies on June 3.

"Being my first full season in the Cubs' Minor Leagues, moving to be a starter this year, it's definitely nice working deep into a game, getting a feel for this kind of workload," he told "It's definitely a feel-good thing when it does happen."

Monday, Williams got some offensive help from McKinney, who finished 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. The outfielder has six hits in his past three games and his .284 average is the highest its been since July 17.

The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers

Braves No. 3 prospect (No. 100 overall) Kolby Allard made his pro debut for the Gulf Coast League Braves, striking out the side in his only inning of work. Just 17 years old, the No. 14 overall pick signed with Atlanta on July 9. Many experts asserted Allard would have gone higher in the Draft, if not for a lingering stress fracture in his back. "I'm not worried about my back," he said in July. "It's not like it's a career thing. It's just a freaky little thing. I'm ready to put it behind me." One month later, he's doing just that.

Orioles No. 12 prospect Trey Mancini picked up a season-high four RBIs for Double-A Bowie. The first baseman finished 2-for-4 with two runs and a homer. He's hit in 10 straight games, improving his average from .344 to .363 in that time. Mancini has 20 doubles, eight homers and 39 RBIs in 57 games for the BaySox.

Pirates No. 8 prospect Kevin Newman recorded his first hit for Class A West Virginia as part of a 1-for-4, two-run night. The first-round pick is coming off a 38-game stint at Short Season West Virginia, where he hit .226/.281/.340 with 10 doubles, two homers and nine RBIs. He'd been hitting well over the past two weeks, collecting five multi-hit efforts in that time. A product of the University of Arizona, he led the Wildcats with 19 doubles while posting a .370 average this past season.

Pirates No. 9 prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes sits on top of the Gulf Coast League with a .379 average and .472 on-base percentage after going 3-for-8 with two RBIs in Monday's doubleheader. The first-round selection has been tearing it up for the GCL Pirates, hitting four doubles, a triple and 12 RBIs through 31 games. He's also collected 16 walks against 14 strikeouts and swiped five bases in six tries.

Rays No. 24 prospect Jake Bauers slugged a three-run home run in Double-A Montgomery's 11-7 win over Jacksonville. The first baseman went 2-for-5 with two runs and has two homers in his past five games. Bauers is hitting .288/.352/.431 with 11 doubles, four homers and 27 RBIs in 42 games. This run follows an excellent stint at Class A Advanced in which he collected 38 RBIs in 59 contests.

Red Sox No. 6 prospect (No. 72 overall) Andrew Benintendi socked his fifth homer of the season for Class A Short Season Lowell. He's been holding his own for the Spinners since signing in early July, posting a .263/.395/.485 line with three triples and 13 RBIs. He's now hit in four straight games and his three RBIs tied his season high.

Royals No. 2 prospect (No. 92 overall) Ashe Russell gave up one run in four innings for the third straight game. The Rookie-level Burlington hurler collected a career-high six strikeouts while allowing one walk and four hits in a no-decision. He remains 0-1 with a 3.96 ERA, his lowest number since July 10 and a result of three consecutive starts in which he's thrown four innings and only allowed one run.

White Sox No. 3 prospect (No. 62 overall) Frankie Montas was excellent for Double-A Birmingham, striking out five while allowing one unearned run on four hits in five innings. The win was his first since July 19, and he's now 4-3 with a 2.59 ERA. Montas has done a good job with his strikeout-to-walk ratio, K'ing 87 batters while issuing just 38 free passes this season.

Alex M. Smith is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.