Brewers trio among 10 top prospect performers Thursday

Top 2 prospects pace Shuckers' offense, No. 9 prospect allows one unearned run

Brewers trio among 10 top prospect performers Thursday

The Milwaukee Brewers' top prospects were on full display Thursday night as Double-A Biloxi defeated Pensacola, 4-2, in the Southern League semifinals.

No. 9 prospect Jorge Lopez set the tone for the Shuckers on the mound, allowing an unearned run on two hits in 6 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out seven and issued three walks in the outing, throwing 65 of his season-high 115 pitches for strikes.

Lopez was one of the top pitchers in the Minors over the final three months of the season, posting a 9-3 record in 15 starts to go along with a 1.54 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 94/30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 99 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-4, 165-pounder also registered a 10 percent swinging-strike rate and held opposing hitters to a .193/.258/.279 batting line in that span.

On the other side of the ball, Orlando Arcia and Brett Phillips turned in multi-hit performances to pace the Shuckers' offense.

Arcia, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect (No. 12 overall), got Biloxi on the board in the bottom of the first with a run-scoring triple -- his eighth of the season -- and then put the team up for good in the fifth with an RBI groundout. The 21-year-old shortstop was outstanding this year in his first taste of the Double-A level, batting .307/.347/.453 eight home runs, 52 extra-base hits, 69 RBIs and 25 steals in 129 regular-season games. Arcia also led the Southern League in doubles (37), recorded the second-most hits (157) and total bases (232), and ranked fifth and seventh in batting average and OPS (.800), respectively.

Phillips, fresh off the disabled list, also had a big night at the plate, as the Brewers' No. 2 prospect went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. His second double, in the bottom of the sixth inning, extended Biloxi's lead to 3-1.

Acquired at the Trade Deadline in the Carlos Gomez deal, Phillips, put up monster numbers this season during his time with the Astros, batting .320/.377/.548 with 16 home runs, 27 doubles, 11 triples, 71 RBIs, 90 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 97 games between Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi.

Phillips didn't fare as well after the trade but was by no means bad, posting a respectable .250/.361/.413 batting line with 10 extra-base hits and 14 runs scored in 23 games for Biloxi.

The rest of the 10 best performances from top Minor Leaguers

Astros No. 24 prospect Nolan Fontana hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth as part of 2-for-2 performance in Triple-A Fresno's 5-4 win over El Paso in the Pacific Coast League semifinals. The 24-year-old shortstop also drew a walk and scored three runs for the Grizzlies. A second-round pick in the 2012 Draft, Fontana spent the entire 2014 season at Fresno, where he posted a .241/.369/.357 batting line with 30 extra-base hits, 56 runs scored and 74 walks in 117 games. .

Athletics No. 3 prospect Sean Manaea struck out two hitters in each of his first three innings en route to piling up eight punchouts in seven innings as Double-A Midland hammered Corpus Christi, 9-3, in the Texas League playoffs. The 23-year-old southpaw has been nothing short of spectacular for the RockHounds since coming over from the Royals at the Trade Deadline in the Ben Zobrist deal, going 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 59/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 2/3 innings (eight starts). Overall, Manaea has pitched to a 2.66 ERA with 98 strikeouts (10.9 K/9) against 26 walks (2.9 BB/9) in 81 1/3 innings between the Class A Advanced and Double-A levels.

Athletics No. 6 prospect Renato Nunez went 2-for-4 and helped secure Midland's win with a ninth-inning grand slam. The multi-hit effort extended the 21-year-old third baseman's hitting streak to seven games, during which he's batting .424 with three home runs, four doubles and 15 RBIs. Nunez made noticeable strides this season against advanced competition in the Texas League, batting .278/.332/.480 with 18 home runs, 23 doubles and 61 RBIs in 93 games for Midland. Perhaps more importantly, the right-handed hitter reduced his strikeout rate to 15.9 percent after posting a 20.1 percent clip last season in the California League.

Athletics No. 25 prospect Daniel Mengden had a strong outing for Class A Advanced Stockton in the California League playoffs, yielding two earned run on four hits in six innings in a win over San Jose. The 22-year-old right-hander -- acquired from the Astros in the Scott Kazmir trade-- struck out seven and did not issue a walk. Mengden pitched well in the Midwest League to open the season but struggled upon moving up to the hitter-friendly California League, posting a 4.70 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 92 innings between Lancaster and Stockton.

Cardinals No. 21 prospect Austin Gomber allowed a run in the first inning but was lights out after that, striking out seven batters over six innings as Class A Advanced Peoria took down Kane County, 3-2. In his first start since August 29, the 21-year-old lefty scattered six hits and did not issue a walk, throwing 64 of 92 pitches for strikes. A case can be made that Gomber was the top pitcher in the Midwest League this year, as he paced the circuit in wins (15), WHIP (0.97) and strikeouts (140) while also registering a 2.67 ERA in 135 innings. The 2014 fourth-rounder has been especially good of late, too, going 6-0 with a 0.69 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 46/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 39 1/3 innings over his last six starts.

Rays No. 16 prospect Chih-Wei Hu kicked off the Florida State League finals by firing a career-high eight scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Charlotte in a 1-0 win over Daytona. The 21-year-old right-hander scattered five hits, walked one and struck out nine in the outing, and he generated 10 groundball outs compared to just two in the air. Hu spent most of the season in the Twins' system pitching for Class A Advanced Fort Myers, where he posted a 2.44 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 73/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 84 2/3 innings (15 starts). Shipped to Tampa Bay at this year's Trade Deadline in the Kevin Jepsen deal, Hu went 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts for the Stone Crabs prior to his gem on Thursday.

Reds No. 20 prospect Jackson Stephens was the tough-luck loser in Thursday's Florida State League playoff matchup between Daytona and Charlotte, allowing one earned run on five hits in seven innings. The 2012 18th-rounder had an up-and-down first half for the Tortugas but found his groove in time for the final two-plus months of the regular season, during which he went 7-3 with a 2.02 ERA and 54/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 75 2/3 innings (13 starts). The 21-year-old right-hander has quietly put together his best professional campaign, posting a 2.90 ERA over 152 1/3 innings (27 starts) in the Florida State League.

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