Pipeline preview: Allard seeks fifth straight quality start for Rome

Pipeline preview: Allard seeks fifth straight quality start for Rome

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

Hitter to watch: Daniel Palka (Twins' No. 20), Rochester at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Palka has been driving the ball out of the park all year and August has been no exception. The 24-year-old has seven homers in 21 games this month after going deep as part of a 2-for-4 day Thursday. Palka has a career-high 33 homers on the season and his 88 RBIs are two shy of his career-best, set a season ago.

Top Prospects: Palka, MIN

Pitcher to watch: Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 4), Rome vs. Augusta (7 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

The No. 67 overall prospect is seeking his fifth consecutive quality start. The 19-year-old has given up five earned runs over his past four starts and is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four August starts. Allard, the Braves' first-round selection in 2015, has a 3.83 ERA through nine starts with Rome this season, but those numbers are a bit misleading as the lefty got off to a slow start, surrendering 11 earned runs in his first 12 innings.

Top Prospects: Allard, ATL

Duel of the Day: Jharel Cotton (Athletics' No. 15) vs. Mike Mayers (Cardinals' No. 30), Nashville at Memphis (8:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Cotton got off to a hot start this month, allowing just one run over 15 innings -- including a near perfect game -- in two starts. His next two starts have been a bit more pedestrian -- nine earned runs over 10 2/3 innings -- but the 24-year-old has made a good impression with his new club. Since the Athletics acquired Cotton, he is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP through 25 2/3 innings.

Top Prospects: Cotton, OAK

Mayers has thrown well in August, posting a 2.49 ERA across four starts. The 24-year-old has given up one earned run or fewer in three of his past four starts and has accumulated 15 strikeouts over his past 11 innings. Mayers has a 3.20 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 14 starts with Memphis.

Friday's Top 100 probables:
No. 17 Anderson Espinoza (Padres' No. 1) vs. Beau Burrows (Tigers' No. 2), Fort Wayne vs. West Michigan (Class A)
No. 34 Francis Martes (Astros' No. 2), Corpus Christi vs. Midland (Double-A)
No. 38 Josh Hader (Brewers' No. 4), Colorado Springs at Oklahoma City (Triple-A)
No. 43 Riley Pint (Rockies' No. 4), Grand Junction at Ogden (Rookie)
No. 50 Amir Garrett (Reds' No. 2), Louisville at Indianapolis (Triple-A)
No. 67 Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 4), Rome vs. Augusta (Class A)
No. 72 A.J. Puk (Athletics' No. 2), Vermont at Connecticut (Class A Short Season)
No. 78 David Paulino (Astros' No. 5), Fresno vs. Sacramento (Triple-A)

More top prospect probables:
Adam Plutko (Indians' No. 14), Columbus at Toledo (Triple-A)
Austin Voth (Nationals' No. 9), Syracuse vs. Pawtucket (Triple-A)
Adalberto Mejia (Twins' No. 9), Rochester at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Triple-A)
Kendry Flores (Marlins' No. 13), New Orleans vs. Round Rock (Triple-A)
Jake Junis (Royals' No. 10), Omaha vs. Iowa (Triple-A)
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 23), Sacramento at Fresno (Triple-A)
Erick Fedde (Nationals' No. 4), Harrisburg at Hartford (Double-A)
Tyler Eppler (Pirates' No. 24), Altoona vs. Erie (Double-A)
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 22), Chattanooga at Jacksonville (Double-A)
Thomas Eshelman (Phillies' No. 19), Reading vs. New Hampshire (Double-A)
Kyle Crick (Giants' No. 25), Richmond at Akron (Double-A)
Thad Lowry (White Sox No. 22), Birmingham at Montgomery (Double-A)
Connor Sadzeck (Rangers' No. 12), Frisco at San Antonio (Double-A)
Lucas Sims (Braves' No. 14), Mississippi at Biloxi (Double-A)
Josh Staumont (Royals' No. 11), Northwest Arkansas at Springfield (Double-A)
Jack Flaherty (Cardinals' No. 4), Palm Beach at St. Lucie (Class A Advanced)
Zach Thompson (White Sox No. 23), Winston-Salem vs. Carolina (Class A Advanced)
Alex Young (D-backs' No. 4), Visalia vs. San Jose (Class A Advanced)
Ryan Castellani (Rockies' No. 13), Modesto vs. Lancaster (Class A Advanced)
Ryan Borucki (Blue Jays' No. 17) vs. Triston McKenzie (Indians' No. 7), Lansing at Lake County (Class A)
Peter Lambert (Rockies' No. 12), Asheville at Greenville (Class A)
Alec Hansen (White Sox No. 8), Kannapolis vs. Columbia (Class A)
Ofelky Peralta (Orioles' No. 13), Delmarva vs. Lexington (Class A)
Luiz Gohara (Mariners' No. 5), Clinton vs. Cedar Rapids (Class A)
Yadier Alvarez (Dodgers' No. 6) vs. Jose Paulino (Cubs' No. 29), Great Lakes at South Bend (Class A)
JoJo Romero (Phillies' No. 25), Williamsport vs. Brooklyn (Class A Short Season)
Cal Quantrill (Padres' No. 5) vs. Tyler Phillips (Rangers' No. 27), Tri-City at Spokane (Class A Short Season)

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.