Pipeline preview: Vlad Jr. to debut with dad in stands
By William Boor
It's not every day a Major League legend comes to watch a Rookie ball game, but on Thursday night, Vladimir Guerrero will be watching from the stands when the Bluefield Blue Jays, Toronto's Appalachian League affiliate, open their season.
Vlad will be there for good reason: His son, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is slated to make his United States professional debut.
His debut for Bluefield in front of his father, a former American League MVP and nine-time Major League All-Star, highlights the action around the Minor Leagues tonight.
Here's a look at top prospects to watch Thursday in Minor League action:
Hitter to watch: Christian Arroyo (Giants' No. 1), Richmond vs. Hartford (1:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
The No. 73 overall prospect extended his hitting streak to six and raised his average to .392 with a 3-for-5 performance on Wednesday, the latest of many good games from the young shortstop. Arroyo is hitting .324 in the month of June and also has four RBIs over his past three games.
Reyes, the No. 11 overall prospect, threw a season-high 100 pitches in his last start, but he lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. The 21-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA through six starts and has been a strikeout machine, fanning 45 in 26 innings.
Berrios has been a bit up and down over the past month, but he has an opportunity to put together consecutive quality starts, something he hasn't done in a while. The right-hander gave up one earned run in six innings in his last outing and is looking for a similar start against Columbus.
Plutko was promoted to Triple-A prior to his last start and threw well -- 5 2/3 innings, three hits, two earned runs -- but can he do it again? The 24-year-old was putting together a quality year in Double-A by going 3-3 with a 3.27 ERA. Now it's time to see if he can carry that success to the Triple-A level.
Thursday's Top 100 probables:
No. 11 Alex Reyes (Cardinals' No. 1), Memphis vs. Colorado Springs (Triple-A)
No. 15 Jose Berrios (Twins' No. 1), Rochester vs. Columbus (Triple-A)
No. 53 Tyler Jay (Twins' No. 3), Fort Myers vs. Jupiter (A Advanced)
No. 55 Grant Holmes (Dodgers' No. 3), Rancho Cucamonga vs. High Desert (A Advanced)
More top prospect probables:
Trevor Williams (Pirates' No. 24), Indianapolis vs. Gwinnett (Triple-A) Chris Ellis (Braves' No. 12), Gwinnett vs. Indianapolis (Triple-A)
Adam Plutko (Indians' No. 14), Columbus vs. Rochester (Triple-A)
Austin Voth (Nationals' No. 9), Syracuse vs. Pawtucket (Triple-A) Miguel Almonte (Royals' No. 4), Omaha vs. New Orleans (Triple-A) Joe Musgrove (Astros' No. 7), Fresno vs. Albuquerque (Triple-A)
Thomas Eshelman (Phillies' No. 15), Reading vs. Akron (Double-A)
Tyler Beede (Giants' No. 2), Richmond vs. Hartford (Double-A) German Marquez (Rockies' No. 12), Hartford vs. Richmond (Double-A)
Chance Adams (Yankees' No. 20), Trenton vs. Bowie (Double-A)
David Hess (Orioles' No. 13), Bowie vs. Trenton (Double-A) Andrew Thurman (Braves' No. 16), Mississippi vs. Jacksonville (Double-A)
Daniel Gossett (Athletics' No. 23), Midland vs. San Antonio (Double-A) Matt Strahm (Royals' No. 10), Northwest Arkansas vs. Tulsa (Double-A)
Trey Nielsen (Cardinals' No. 22), Springfield vs. Arkansas (Double-A)
Austin Gomber (Cardinals' No. 17), Palm Beach vs. St. Lucie (A Advanced)
Domingo Acevedo (Yankees' No. 7), Tampa vs. Dunedin (A Advanced)
Jordan Stephens (White Sox No. 13), Winston-Salem vs. Wilmington (A Advanced)
Mike Soroka (Braves' No. 11), Rome vs. Charleston (A)
Joan Baez (Nationals' No. 18), Hagerstown vs. Lexington (A)
Jose Mujica (Rays' No. 25), Bowling Green vs. Fort Wayne (A)
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.