After being developed as a starter in the Blue Jays' system during his first three pro seasons, Tirado made the move to bullpen in 2015 and continued to excel in the role following his acquisition by the Phillies at the 2015 Trade Deadline as part of the Ben Revere deal.
However, Tirado struggled mightily to begin the 2016 season, posting a 10.97 ERA with 15 walks in 10 2/3 innings in 10 appearances between Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater. He ultimately received a demotion back to extended spring training to resume his development as a starter. The return to his original role appers to be exactly what the 21-year-old right-hander needed to jumpstart his season.
Tirado has been a different pitcher since he rejoined the BlueClaws' starting rotation on June 28, posting a 2.19 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings across 11 starts. Opposing hitters, meanwhile, own a .195 average against him in that span.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• Nos. 8 and 9 overall prospects Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows (Pirates' Nos. 1 and 2) led Triple-A Indianapolis to a 4-1 victory over Louisville in game one of a double header aginst Louisville. Glasnow, 23, allowed one earned run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, with four walks and eight strikeouts. Meadows provided the Indians with important insurance runs with his two-run homer in the sixth inning, giving him home runs in back-to-back games and 12 for the season.
• No. 13 overall prospect Amed Rosario (Mets' No. 1) collected four hits for the second time this season, though it wasn't enough to keep Double-A Binghamton from being shut out by Altoona. He also stole a base, giving him 18 for the season. The 20-year-old shortstop is hitting .335/.382/.447 over 50 games since being promoted to Double-A.
• No. 14 overall prospect Ozzie Albies (Braves' No. 2) went 2-for-4 to improve his batting average to .326 for Double-A Mississippi. One of the 19-year-old's hits was his 6th home run and he also stole his 30th base. It was his second straight game with both a homer and a steal. On the mound for the M-Braves was right-hander Patrick Weigel (Braves' No. 28), who, in just his third Double-A start, allowed one earned run on two hits over 8 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old righty made the jump directly from Class A Rome, where he had posted a 2.51 ERA with 135 strikeouts in 129 innings.
• No. 34 overall prospect Cody Bellinger (Dodgers' No. 1) stayed red hot in Double-A Tulsa's 5-1 win over Northwest Arkansas by going 2-for-4 with his 23rd home run. The 21-year-old first baseman -- who also can play all three outfield positions -- has gone deep five times in his last eight games. He's a prospect worth following closely in this year's Arizona Fall League.
• It took him 10 starts, but No. 41 overall prospect Riley Pint (Rockies' No. 3) recorded his first pro win for Rookie-level Grand Junction. The 2016 No. 4 overall Draft pick allowed three hits and three walks with two strikeouts over five scoreless innings, though he threw just 39 of his 74 pitches for strikes. The hard-throwing right-hander also generated eight outs on the ground.
• No. 46 overall prospect Franklin Barreto (A's No. 1) collected his first hit for Triple-A Nashville and then two more, finishing 3-for-5. His final hit of the night was a walk-off triple that lifted the Sounds over Iowa, 6-5.
• In his longest pro start, No. 84 overall prospect Ian Anderson (Braves' No. 5) allowed one earned run on two hits in six innings for Rookie-level Danville. The 2016 No. 3 overall Draft pick issued one walk and fanned five. After initially struggling following his promotion to the Appalachian League, the 18-year-old righty has given up just one run over 10 innings in his last two starts, striking out 10.
• Giants No. 25 prospect Kyle Crick had it working Thursday as he paced Double-A Sacramento in a shutout of Hartford with six scoreless innings of four-hit ball. The 23-year-old righty struck out six and issued two walks, the fewest free passes he's issued in a start since July 21.
• Orioles No. 2 prospect Chance Sisco had a Triple-A debut to remember on Thursday, when he went 2-for-5 with five RBIs and hit an eighth-inning grand slam -- his fifth home run of the season -- to help power Norfolk past Charlotte. The 21-year-old catcher was promoted to the Minors' highest level after hitting .319/.405/.422 with 33 extra-base hits in the Eastern League. Mike Yastrzemski (Orioles' No. 17) also had a big game for the Tides, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and finishing a single short of completing the cycle.
"I was just looking for a fastball up in the zone," Sisco told MiLB.com when asked about his grand slam. "The at-bat before [during the sixth inning], I got to a 2-0 count but got a fastball low that I swung at and ended up grounding out. This time, I was ahead again and wanted something more up that I could put a better barrel on. I wasn't trying to pull it or go oppo or anything like that. I was just sticking with my up-the-middle approach, and luckily, I was able to get enough on it."
• Orioles No. 8 prospect Keegan Akin fired three scoreless, hitless innings with four strikeouts for a second straight start for Class A Short Season Aberdeen. The 2016 second-rounder has not allowed an earned run in his last 20 2/3 innings dating back to his start on July 24. Akin has pitched to a 1.04 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in 26 innings spanning nine starts.
• After yielding a combined 16 runs in 16 1/3 innings across his previous three starts, Rangers No. 12 prospect Connor Sadzeck hurled 5 2/3 scoreless frames with eight strikeouts to record his 10th win for Double-A Frisco. The 6-foot-7 right-hander permitted three hits and two walks.
• Rangers No. 28 prospect Victor Payano didn't earn the win despite allowing one hit over six scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock. The 23-year-old lefty struck out four and issued zero walks, with 50 of his 74 pitches going for strikes.
"He commanded his curveball, which made him effective and helped his fastball play a little higher," Round Rock pitching coach Greg Hibbard told MiLB.com of Payano. "Having the no walks is something that he's been striving to do a better job of doing. It was just the combination of trusting his delivery and not panicking when he [didn't] execute a pitch."