Pipeline preview: Cotton seeks third straight strong start for Sounds
By David Adler
Hitter to watch: Dominic Smith (Mets' No. 2), Binghamton at New Hampshire (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Smith, baseball's No. 62 overall prospect, has been on a tear. After a 3-for-5 performance on Sunday in which he finished a triple shy of the cycle, Smith heads into Monday's game on a 12-game hitting streak. He has five multi-hit games in those 12, including Sunday's effort. Smith is batting .299 with 13 home runs and 79 RBIs in 110 games at Double-A.
There's only one way Cotton could improve from his previous outing: get 27 straight outs. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 8 2/3 perfect innings in his last start for Triple-A Nashville, before surrendering a triple with two outs in the ninth inning. Monday will be Cotton's third start for Nashville since he was acquired in the deadline deal that sent Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Dodgers, and he has been dominant so far. In two starts, he's allowed only one run in 15 innings, with 17 strikeouts.
Two converted position players square off as top pitching prospects in a Class A Advanced matchup on Monday. Lowry, a 21-year-old right-hander picked in the fifth-round of the 2013 Draft, was once a catcher. Stinnett, a 24-year-old righty taken in the second round of the 2014 Draft, is a former college third baseman.
Lowry and Stinnett's late transitions to the mound are one of the reasons they're still pitching in the lower levels of the Minor Leagues, although both are also trying to put their stuff together to start advancing toward the big leagues. Lowry is 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 23 games with Winston-Salem this season with 86 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings. He's coming off a 3 1/3-inning, five-run outing against Carolina, although he had notched three straight quality starts before that.
Stinnett is 8-4 with a 4.46 ERA in 19 starts for Myrtle Beach, with 91 strikeouts in 109 innings. After allowing six runs or more in his first four starts of July, Stinnett appears to have settled down recently. In his last three starts, he's allowed five earned runs.
Monday's top prospect probables:
Adam Plutko (Indians' No. 14), Columbus vs. Durham (Triple-A)
Jon Gant (Braves' No. 22), Gwinnett at Charlotte (Triple-A)
Austin Voth (Nationals' No. 9), Syracuse at Toledo (Triple-A)
Trevor Oaks (Dodgers' No. 30), Oklahoma City vs. El Paso (Triple-A)
Jake Junis (Royals' No. 10) vs. Joan Gregorio (Giants' No. 7), Omaha at Sacramento (Triple-A)
Lucas Sims (Braves' No. 14), Mississippi at Jacksonville (Double-A)
Tyler Mahle (Reds' No. 6), Pensacola vs. Tennessee (Double-A) Paul Blackburn (Mariners' No. 17), Jackson vs. Biloxi (Double-A)
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 23), Chattanooga at Birmingham (Double-A) Vicente Campos (D-backs' No. 4), Mobile at Montgomery (Double-A)
Junior Fernandez (Cardinals' No. 8), Palm Beach vs. Charlotte (Class A Advanced)
Jon Harris (Blue Jays' No. 6), Dunedin at Clearwater (Class A Advanced)
Luis Lugo (Indians' No. 28), Lynchburg at Frederick (Class A Advanced)
Trey Ball (Red Sox's No. 14), Salem vs. Carolina (Class A Advanced) Casey Meisner (Athletics' No. 24), Stockton at Visalia (Class A Advanced)
Ryan Castellani (Rockies' No. 13), Modesto vs. Rancho Cucamonga (Class A Advanced)
Jordan Johnson (Giants' No. 9), San Jose at Bakersfield (Class A Advanced)
Angel Perdomo (Blue Jays' No. 15), Lansing vs. Great Lakes (Class A)
Jaimie Barria (Angels' No. 7), Burlington vs. Beloit (Class A)
Ronnie Williams (Cardinals' No. 22), Peoria vs. Cedar Rapids (Class A)
Cal Quantrill (Padres' No. 5), Tri-City at Boise (Class A Short Season)
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.