Murphy, Rutherford among top prospect performers Thursday

Rockies catcher continues torrid month; Yankees' first-round pick hitting .429 at Pulaski

Murphy, Rutherford among top prospect performers Thursday

Tom Murphy is likely hoping July never ends considering the Rockies' No. 11 prospect has raised his batting average over 100 points in 16 games so far this month.

Murphy went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored in Triple-A Albuquerque's 8-3 win over Salt Lake.

The 25-year-old has been red-hot at the plate all month, hitting .569 with 21 RBIs in 16 games.

Murphy has hits in 14 of 16 games this month, but a batting average doesn't go from .208 to .309 with just one hit a night. The catcher has at least two hits in 11 games and three or more in five, including a July 14 performance in which he hit for the cycle.

Murphy is likely to cool off at some point, of course, but after a rough June, Murphy has certainly dug himself out of a statistical hole and is now batting .309 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs through 55 games overall.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday:

Gleyber Torres (Yankees' No. 1, No. 26 overall) collected his first RBI for Class A Advanced Tampa while going 2-for-4 at the plate. After going 0-for-5 in his first game with his new organization, Torres has three hits in eight at-bats over his past two games.

A.J. Reed (Astros' No. 2, No. 38 overall) homered for the third time in four games in the first half of Triple-A Fresno's doubleheader. Reed hit a two-run homer in the first inning, drove in a run with a base hit in the third and singled again in the fifth, finishing 3-for-3 with three RBIs. He went 0-for-3 in the second game of the doubleheader.

• Blake Rutherford (Yankees' No. 5, No. 64 overall) continues to rake for the Rookie level Pulaski Yankees. The Yankees' first-round selection went 4-for-5 for the second consecutive night and is hitting .429 over his first 14 games in the Appy League and .370 overall through the first 22 games of his professional career.

Raimel Tapia (Rockies' No. 5, No. 88 overall) is staying hot for Double-A Hartford. The 22-year-old has six hits in his last nine at-bats and is hitting .331 through 98 games. A day after going 4-for-5, Tapia hit his eighth homer of the season, scored two runs and went 2-for-4.

• Keeping Richard Urena (Blue Jays' No. 1, No. 91 overall) off the basepaths is no easy task recently. The 20-year-old shortstop went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs for Class A Advanced Dunedin. Urena, who now has seven homers, also went deep on Wednesday and is 7-for-10 with six RBIs in his past two games.

Twins' No. 4 prospect Jorge Polanco (No. 99 overall) posted another three-hit game for Triple-A Rochester, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Polanco received some good news after the game, as the Twins announced they would be recalling him.

• Daniel Gossett (Athletics' No. 17) continues to put together quality outings for Double-A Midland. The right-hander gave up one earned run over seven innings and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his past nine starts. Gossett gave up just three hits and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts, a number he's reached three times this season.

• Once Dodgers' No. 18 prospect Brock Stewart found his rhythm, he was unhittable for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Stewart gave up one earned run on two hits in six innings, but he was lights out over the final five frames. Stewart retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, including eight in a row to end his night.

• Luiz Gohara (Mariners' No. 5) set a career high for strikeouts as he fanned 10 in six innings for Class A Clinton. The 19-year-old lefty threw 55 of his 75 pitches for strikes and gave up one earned run on four hits.

• Rhett Wiseman (Nationals' No. 30) did plenty of damage in the late innings as he led the Class A Hagerstown offense to a win. The 22-year-old hit a solo homer in the seventh and broke the game open with a three-run double in the eighth. Wiseman finished 2-for-3 in the first four-RBI game of his career.

Joe Gunkel (Orioles' No. 27) put past struggles behind him and spun a gem for Triple-A Norfolk. After surrendering five runs in six innings in his last start, Gunkel kept Columbus off the board with seven scoreless frames. The right-hander didn't walk a batter, throwing 58 of his 75 pitches for strikes, allowing five hits.

Reds' No. 21 prospect Aristides Aquino drove in a run and scored a pair in the first five-hit game of his career. The 22-year-old extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 5-for-5 performance for Class A Advanced Daytona. Aquino has 15 homers this season, but he wasn't able to hit one out and ended the day a homer short of the cycle.

German Marquez (Rockies' No 7) carried a no-hitter into the eighth for Double-A Hartford, but he couldn't quite finish the bid for history. After retiring the first two batters of the frame, Marquez gave up three straight hits, not only ending his no-hitter, but also snapping his scoreless streak at 15 innings. Marquez finished the frame and left the game after eight innings of two-run ball. He gave up three hits in total and struck out eight.

• Christin Stewart (Tigers' No. 3) homered for the second time in two nights for Class A Advanced Lakeland. Stewart went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and has driven in five runs in two games.

Twins' No. 21 prospect Daniel Palka highlighted a sixth-run second inning with a three-run homer for Triple-A Rochester. The blast, Palka's 26th of the season, was the beginning of a 3-for-5, three-RBI day that also included a double. Palka is hitting .315 in 19 Triple-A games.

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.