Newcomb, Margot among top prospect performers Thursday

Braves pitcher racks up 10 strikeouts; Padres' No. 2 homers twice in five-hit effort

Newcomb, Margot among top prospect performers Thursday

After his latest gem, it's safe to say Sean Newcomb has found a rhythm on the mound.

The Braves' No. 3 prospect (No. 57 overall) has struggled with consistency a bit this season, but he is locked in lately and in the middle of possibly his best stretch for Double-A Mississippi.

Newcomb fired his way through 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball on Thursday, but he was ultimately stuck with a no-decision.

The 23-year-old scattered three hits and gave up just one earned run. Newcomb has given up one earned run or fewer in three of his past four starts.

The lefty threw 67 of his 100 pitches for strikes against Pensacola and left the game with a season-high 10 strikeouts. Improved command not only increased the strikeouts, but also decreased the free passes.

After walking five and four in back-to-back starts in early July, Newcomb has walked two or fewer in four of his past five trips to the mound.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday:

Manuel Margot (Padres' No. 2, No. 34 overall) and Hunter Renfroe (Padres' No. 3, No. 50 overall) put on an impressive offensive display in Triple-A El Paso's 16-15 loss to Tacoma. Margot recorded both his first five-hit game and his first multi-homer game of the season as part of a 5-for-6, four RBI night. Meanwhile, Renfroe also homered and finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

Yohander Mendez (Rangers' No. 2, No. 66 overall) threw five scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock, keeping his ERA at 0.00 through two starts with the Express. The lefty gave up three hits over five innings and has allowed one earned run or fewer in three consecutive starts.

Athletics' No. 6 prospect Renato Nunez drove in four runs for the third time this season, leading Triple-A Nashville to a win. The third baseman hit his 18th homer of the season and finished the game 2-for-5.

• Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 7) put his speed on display, stealing four bases in Rookie-level Bluefield's doubleheader. The 17-year-old went 2-for-4 at the plate and has swiped 13 bags in 36 games this season.

• Tyler Beede (Giants' No. 2) spun another gem for Double-A Richmond, scattering four hits across seven scoreless frames. The right-hander tied his season high with nine strikeouts and has given up just one earned run over his last 13 innings.

• Michael Mader (Marlins' No. 24) threw 66 of 94 pitches for strikes in a strong start for Class A Advanced Jupiter. Mader, a lefty, gave up one unearned run on six hits in seven innings. After being charged with six runs in his last start, seven strong innings were a welcome sight.

Orioles' No. 19 prospect Brian Gonzalez extended his scoreless streak to 13 innings after his second consecutive start of six scoreless frames. The 20-year-old lefty struck out four and gave up just three hits while firing 55 of his 84 pitches for strikes for Class A Delmarva.

• Phillies prospects Dylan Cozens (No. 7) and Rhys Hoskins (No. 13) combined for four homers and seven RBIs in Double-A Reading's win over Bowie. Hoskins, who leads the Minor Leagues with 33 homers, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Cozens also hit two homers, but collected five RBIs thanks to an eighth inning grand slam to cap off his 3-for-4 game.

• Tyler Eppler (Pirates' No. 25) notched his third consecutive quality start for Double-A Altoona. The 23-year-old threw seven innings of one-run ball and gave up six hits.

Rangers' No. 9 prospect Eric Jenkins had a trio of extra-base hits in a 3-for-5 game with Class A Hickory. The 19-year-old hit his first homer since June 26 and added a pair of triples while also driving in four runs.

• After a stellar July, Red Sox No. 7 prospect Brian Johnson continued the trend into August with Triple-A Pawtucket. The left-hander gave up one earned run on three hits in six innings and has given up one earned run or fewer in five of his past six starts.

Twins' No. 7 prospect Alex Kirilloff has hits in seven of his past eight games after going 2-for-4 a double and his fifth homer for Rookie-level Elizabethton. The Twins' first-round selection is off to a hot start, hitting. 362 through his first 32 games.

White Sox No. 22 prospect Thaddius Lowry completed seven innings for the fifth time this season with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The right-hander gave up one hit, a season low, and was charged with just one run.

Billy McKinney (Yankees' No. 16) had his first three-hit game since he was traded to New York on July 25. The 21-year-old went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Double-A Trenton and is batting .320 through seven games with his new organization.

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.