Hader, Hansen among top prospect performers Sunday

Brewers' No. 4 prospect strikes out 12, White Sox's No. 8 flirts with no-hitter

Hader, Hansen among top prospect performers Sunday

Finding success at the Triple-A level hasn't come easily for Josh Hader. At least not until Sunday night, when the Brewers' No. 4 prospect set a career high by striking out 12 hitters in six scoreless innings to pace Colorado Springs in a 6-0 shutout of Round Rock. He threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing just two hits and one walk to record his first Triple-A win in 12 starts.

Ranked No. 39 on the Top 100, Hader has pitched better for Colorado Springs than his 1-5 record and 4.79 ERA suggest. With his performance Sunday, the 22-year-old left-hander now has fanned 81 hitters in 62 innings since being promoted from Double-A Biloxi on June 11, and he's yielded just three home runs in that span. Hader has thrown the ball particularly well of late, too, registering a 2.88 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings across his past six turns.

Overall, Hader owns a 2.95 ERA in 119 innings (23 starts) this season between the Double- and Triple-A levels, while his 154 strikeouts rank second among all Minor League hurlers.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Sunday

No. 68 overall prospect Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 4) completed eight innings for the first time in his career as Class A Rome defeated Asheville, 4-2. The 2015 first-rounder allowed two earned runs on seven hits in the outing, striking out four. Opposing Allard on the mound for Asheville was Rockies No. 12 prospect Peter Lambert, who scattered four hits and struck out four over six scoreless frames.

Royals No. 2 prospect Hunter Dozier homered for a second straight game on Sunday, when he went 2-for-4 with four RBIs for Triple-A Omaha. The deep fly was his 23rd of the season and 15th since being promoted to the Pacific Coast League, where he's hit .306/.369/.525 with 71 RBIs in 94 games.

Indians No. 7 prospect Triston McKenzie tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Class A Lake County to record his first full-season win. The 19-year-old righty scattered four hits, walked a pair and struck out eight, giving him at least eight strikeouts in five of his past seven starts. Overall, McKenzie has pitched to an excellent 1.48 ERA in 73 innings (13 starts) between the Class A Short Season and Class A levels, during which he's compiled 89 strikeouts against 19 walks while holding opposing hitters to a .190 average.

Blue Jays No. 7 prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to extend Rookie-level Bluefield's lead in a win over Danville. He tallied three RBIs in the game. At age 17, Guerrero Jr. has hit .276/.363/.467 through 52 games for Bluefield, with eight home runs, 40 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

White Sox No. 8 prospect Alec Hansen carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning on Sunday against Helena before finally allowing a one-out single. The knock snapped a streak of 14 consecutive hitless innings by the right-hander, who had fired five no-hit frames in his previous start. Hansen set a new career high as he struck out 13 of the 22 hitters he faced over six innings, with 59 of his 87 pitches going for strikes in the outing. The 21-year-old has now recorded double-digit strikeouts in three of his past four starts -- a stretch that has seen him pile up 38 strikeouts and allow only five hits while tossing 23 scoreless innings.

• Opposing hitters were no match for Royals No. 17 prospect A.J. Puckett, who fired five no-hit innings for Class A Lexington to lower his ERA to 3.09. The 2016 second-rounder notched four strikeouts and nine ground-ball outs and threw just 56 pitches (37 strikes) in the performance, and he's now completed five innings in seven of his nine starts since joining the Legends.

"I'm taking it one start at a time," Puckett told MiLB.com. "I took some positives from the last start even though I got roughed up. I tried to take those positives and moved forward into this outing. There are some things I could work on from today, too. I didn't throw my changeup too well, so that's something to look forward to getting better at in the future."

Rays No. 18 prospect Hunter Wood allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings to pace Double-A Montgomery in a 2-0 shutout of Chattanooga. He struck out six and issued one walk while throwing 51 of his 74 pitches for strikes. In what has been a breakout campaign, the 23-year-old righty -- who missed most of July and part of August with a broken thumb -- has held opposing hitters to a paltry .166 average in 101 2/3 innings between the Class A Advanced and Double-A levels.

"The key was just commanding my pitches," Wood told MiLB.com. "The last two games after being out a month and a half, I haven't been commanding my pitches very well. I commanded my pitches really well today, located my fastball, and everything worked off that."

D-backs No. 19 prospect Wei-Chieh Huang fired five innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen to pick up the win for Class A Short Season Hillsboro. The 22-year-old righty allowed three hits and one walk in the outing, while his nine strikeouts marked a new career high. Huang has piled 21 strikeouts in 12 innings across his past three appearances.

A's No. 22 prospect Jaycob Brugman improved his Triple-A batting average to .308 as he went 4-for-5 at the plate for Nashville. One of Brugman's hits was a three-run homer, which came with two outs in the seventh inning and increased his season total to 11.

• After going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs on Saturday, Giants No. 22 prospect Austin Slater stayed hot as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored to help power Triple-A Sacramento past Reno, 11-9. The 23-year-old outfielder has been on fire of late, with a .714 average (10-for-14), four extra-base hits, four RBIs and six runs scored in his past three contests.

Blue Jays No. 27 prospect Dwight Smith Jr. tallied his 11th home run and a triple in a three-hit performance for Double-A New Hampshire, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The home run, a solo shot in the ninth inning, was the 23-year-old outfielder's 11th of the season, and he's now one deep fly away from matching his career high.

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.