Ponce, Gohara among top prospect performers Saturday

Brewers' pitcher sets career high with a dozen strikeouts; Mariners' lefty stays hot with six scoreless

Ponce, Gohara among top prospect performers Saturday

With each start, Cody Ponce is showing improvement.

That certainly was the case on Saturday night as the Brewers' No. 8 prospect established career highs with 12 strikeouts in six scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Brevard County. He scattered three hits (all singles) and did not issue a walk, throwing 52 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

Ponce, 22, struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings and recorded multiple strikeouts in four of his six frames of work. All together, he fanned 12 of the 20 hitters he faced in the outing.

In his previous start for the Manatees, Ponce, the Brewers' second-round Draft pick in 2015, tossed five scoreless innings of two-hit ball, striking out five. For the season, he's pitched to a 3.24 ERA and a 29-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 25 innings (seven starts).

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday

No. 3 overall prospect J.P. Crawford (Phillies' No. 1) tallied a pair of extra-base hits for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, going 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs to pace the IronPigs in a 9-1 win over Buffalo. The home run was Crawford's fifth of the season and second at the Triple-A level, and both have come during his current five-game hitting streak. In that span, Crawford is 11-for-22 with five extra-base hits and four RBIs.

No. 84 overall prospect Alex Jackson homered as part of a three-hit performance in Class A Clinton's win against Quad Cities. The Mariners' No. 1 prospect has homered in two of his last three games, giving him eight in 46 contests for the season.

• Pacing Clinton on the mound was Mariners No. 5 prospect Luiz Gohara, who tossed six scoreless innings in his second start for the LumberKings. The 19-year-old lefty allowed three hits, walked one and fanned five in the outing. He also picked off two runners. Gohara, a native of Brazil, has a 1.38 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 26 innings this season between Clinton and Class A Short Season Everett.

"I think [the key for him] was just settling in," LumberKings manger Mitch Canham told MiLB.com. "His first outing [on July 4], it seemed like the game was moving too quick. It seemed like his energy level was too high the whole time. Today, he mixed pitches a bit earlier in the game rather than relying on his fastball. But after the second inning, he calmed down, took a deep breath and didn't waste energy in the dugout, which was good because he kept getting better and better as the game went on."

Blue Jays No. 6 prospect Richard Urena extended his hitting streak to seven games for Class A Advanced Dunedin by going 5-for-5 -- his first career five-hit game -- with a double in a loss to Fort Myers. The performance lifted the 20-year-old shortstop's season batting line to .292/.338/.420 through 76 games.

Rockies No. 9 prospect Tom Murphy belted home runs in his first two at-bats en route to collecting multiple hits for a fifth straight game for Triple-A Albuquerque in a win versus Las Vegas. He hit a two-run homer in the third inning and then added a three-run shot in the following frame. In his last five contests, Murphy is 14-for-19 with four home runs, two doubles, one triple and nine RBIs.

Pirates No. 10 prospect Alan Hanson combined to go 7-for-9 at the plate as Triple-A Indianapolis split a twin bill against Colorado Springs. The 23-year-old's seven-hit day saw him improve his batting average from .258 to .274.

Astros No. 15 prospect Miguelangel Sierra homered for a third straight game as he went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo shots for Rookie-level Greenville. The 18-year-old shortstop has gone deep eight times in his first 14 games this season.

"He's been hot," Astros hitting coach Cesar Cedeno told MiLB.com. "He has been swinging a good bat in the last 10 games. He's been attacking everything in the zone and making solid contact.

"He's just got that type of swing," added Cedeno. "He's got a short, looping kind of swing. When we worked with him, a lot of times his stride was too short, which didn't allow him to do the weight transfer. He's striding a little further out, and that's when he started producing the long ball."

Nationals No. 18 prospect Joan Baez set a career high with 10 strikeouts in five scoreless innings to lead Class A Hagerstown past Delmarva. He allowed just one hit and one walk while throwing 54 of his 80 pitches for strikes. Baez, 21, has been dealing of late for the Suns, posting a 2.00 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 27 innings across his last five starts.

Yankees No. 19 prospect Chance Adams extended his hitless innings streak to 10 as he fired six no-hit frames for Double-A Trenton in a win over Richmond. The 21-year-old righty has yet to lose a game this year, going 9-0 with a 2.62 ERA in 17 starts between the Class A Advanced and Double-A levels. He's posted a 98-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 85 2/3 innings in that span, all the while holding opposing hitters to a .178 average.

• In his second multi-homer game of the season, Rays No. 19 prospect Adrian Rondon tagged his fourth and fifth bombs and tallied three RBIs to power Rookie-level Princeton in a win over Bristol. In his second game of the season, back on June 24, the 18-year-old shortstop drove in nine runs with a trio of homers -- his first three pro homers.

Reds No. 22 prospect Aristides Aquino homered, tripled and plated four runs for Class A Advanced Daytona in a loss against Charlotte. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound outfielder is hitting .385 with three home runs and 17 RBIs over his last 10 contests. Overall, he's posted a .288/.350/.506 batting line with 12 home runs, 16 doubles and 50 RBIs in 79 games.

Giants No. 29 prospect Dylan Davis went 4-for-5 and hit his third home run in 10 games since being promoted to Class A Advanced San Jose. Prior to moving up to the California League, the 2014 third-rounder hit .288/.368/.496 with eight homers, 17 doubles and 43 RBIs in 63 games for Class A Augusta.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.