Pipeline preview: Walker riding power surge at plate

Pipeline preview: Walker riding power surge at plate

Here's a look at top prospects to watch Thursday in Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Adam Walker (Twins' No. 16), Rochester vs. Buffalo (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Majestic home runs have always been a part of Walker's game, and the 24-year-old outfielder is on another power surge. Walker hit his 25th homer of the season Wednesday and has gone deep twice in the past three games and three times in his past six. In 113 total games this season, Walker is slashing .241/.308/.484.

Top Prospects: Walker, MIN

Pitcher to watch: Michael Kopech (Red Sox No. 5), Salem vs. Carolina (7:05 p.m. ET)

Kopech's season didn't begin until June 17 because of a broken hand suffered during Spring Training, but the No. 77 overall prospect has been dominant since he got on the mound. Kopech is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA through nine starts across two levels this season and has struck out 64 batters in 42 2/3 innings. The right-hander is also coming off an outing in which he fanned 11, a career high.

Top Prospects: Kopech, BOS

Duel of the Day: Rob Zastryzny (Cubs' No. 20) vs. Clayton Blackburn (Giants' No. 14), Iowa vs. Sacramento (10:05 p.m. on MiLB.TV)

After going 0-2 in July, Zastryzny is 3-0 with a 2.81 through three August starts. The 24-year-old lefty was roughed up a bit in his last outing but has held opponents scoreless in two of his three starts this month. Zastryzny struck out nine in his last start and has fanned 22 over his past 16 innings.

Top Prospects: Zastryzny, CHC

Blackburn threw a season-high 106 pitches (71 strikes) in his last start, so it's worth seeing if there are any lingering effects. After firing 105 pitches on Aug. 1, Blackburn gave up five runs in seven innings on Aug. 6. The 23-year-old right-hander had a rough patch in late June and early July, but he looks to be turning it around and has pitched into the sixth inning in five of his past six starts.

Top Prospects: Blackburn, SF

Thursday's Top 100 probables:

No. 77 Michael Kopech (Red Sox No. 5), Salem vs. Carolina (Class A Advanced)

More top prospect probables:

Nick Pivetta (Phillies' No. 18), Lehigh Valley vs. Syracuse (Triple-A)
A.J. Cole (Nationals' No. 13), Syracuse vs. Lehigh Valley (Triple-A)
Joe Gunkel (Orioles' No. 26), Norfolk vs. Durham (Triple-A)
Harrison Musgrave (Rockies' No. 26), Albuquerque vs. Oklahoma City (Triple-A)
Anthony Banda (D-backs' No. 3), Reno vs. Memphis (Triple-A)
Daniel Mengden (Athletics' No. 13), Nashville vs. Tacoma (Triple-A)
Nate Smith (Angels' No. 5), Salt Lake vs. New Orleans (Triple-A)
Rob Zastryzny (Cubs' No. 20), Iowa vs. Sacramento (Triple-A)
Clayton Blackburn (Giants' No. 14), Sacramento vs. Iowa (Triple-A)
Chance Adams (Yankees' No. 14), Trenton vs. Akron (Double-A)
Jen-Ho Tseng (Cubs' No. 26), Tennessee vs. Jacksonville (Double-A)
Andrew Suarez (Giants' No. 8), Richmond vs. Reading (Double-A)
Chih-Wei Hu (Rays' No. 6), Montgomery vs. Chattanooga (Double-A)
Chase De Jong (Dodgers' No. 17), Tulsa vs. Midland (Double-A)
Eric Skoglund (Royals' No. 24), Northwest Arkansas vs. Corpus Christi (Double-A)
Andrew Moore (Mariners' No. 10), Jackson vs. Birmingham (Double-A)
Ariel Jurado (Rangers' No. 8), Frisco vs. Springfield (Double-A)
Nick Kingham (Pirates' No. 11), Bradenton vs. Palm Beach (Class A Advanced)
Sandy Alcantara (Cardinals' No. 9), Palm Beach vs. Bradenton (Class A Advanced)
Fernando Romero (Twins' No. 7), Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie (Class A Advanced)
Jeff Brigham (Marlins' No. 19), Jupiter vs. Charlotte (Class A Advanced)
Corey Ray (Royals' No. 25), Wilmington vs. Potomac (Class A Advanced)
Brad Keller (D-backs' No. 14), Visalia vs. Stockton (Class A Advanced)
Gage Hinsz (Pirates' No. 20), West Virginia vs. Lexington (Class A)
Dario Agrazal (Pirates' No. 27), West Virginia vs. Lexington (Class A)
Scott Blewett (Royals' No. 13), Lexington vs. West Virginia (Class A)
Mike Soroka (Braves' No. 6), Rome vs. Hagerstown (Class A)
Luis Martinez (White Sox No. 25), Kannapolis vs. Greenville (Class A)
Roniel Raudes (Red Sox No. 13), Greenville vs. Kannapolis (Class A)
Cody Sedlock (Orioles' No. 1), Aberdeen vs. Tri-City (Class A Short Season)
Adonis Medina (Phillies' No. 17), Williamsport vs. State College (Class A Short Season)
Dakota Chalmers (Athletics' No. 10), Vermont vs. West Virginia (Class A Short Season)
Tyler Mark (D-backs' No. 26), Hillsboro vs. Salem-Keizer (Class A Short Season)
Max Wotell (Reds' No. 21), Billings vs. Idaho Falls (Rookie)

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.