Brewers prospect picks up 14th win with shutout for Double-A Biloxi
By Mike Rosenbaum
Considering the year he's had, it was only appropriate for Brandon Woodruff to conclude his regular season with yet another dominating performance.
The Brewers' No. 25 prospect fired seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, to pace Double-A Biloxi in a 7-0 shutout of Mississippi on Sunday. He fanned nine hitters and generated eight ground-ball outs, throwing 72 of his 92 pitches for strikes, and retired 15 straight hitters between the second and seventh innings en route to facing three over the minimum.
The stellar performance netted Woodruff his 14th win of the season and 10th in 20 starts with the Shuckers, for whom he posted a 3.01 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP in 113 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old right-hander's nine punchouts increased his Minor League-leading total to 173.
Woodruff, an 11th-round Draft pick in 2014 out of Mississippi State, began the season at Class A Advanced Brevard County, where he had spent all of 2015. This time, however, he made quick work of the Florida State League, posting a 1.83 ERA in 44 1/3 innings in eight starts to earn a mid-May promotion to Biloxi. All together, Woodruff finished the regular season with a 2.68 ERA in 28 starts between the two levels, and he allowed just 121 hits (six home runs) and 40 walks in 158 innings.
Pacing Biloxi's offense was catcher Jacob Nottingham, the Brewers' No. 15 prospect. He hit his 11th home run -- a solo shot in the fourth inning -- and drove in a pair of runs in a 3-for-5 performance. The 21-year-old backstop enters the final day of the regular season having produced a .235/.297/.350 batting line in 111 games for the Shuckers.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Sunday
• One day removed from collecting his first Triple-A hit, No. 34 overall prospect Cody Bellinger recorded his first Triple-A home run, and then another, in his first start for Oklahoma City. The Dodgers' No. 1 prospect belted a solo homer to right field in the third inning and then gave Oklahoma City the lead with his two-run shot in the fifth en route to going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. The pair of deep flies gives the 21-year-old Bellinger 25 in 116 games for the season, and he's now homered 55 times in 244 games in two full-season campaigns. The game also marked the Triple-A debut of right-hander Chase De Jong (Dodgers' No. 17), who hurled 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball and matched his season high with eight strikeouts.
• Orioles No. 5 prospect Trey Mancini tallied a pair of doubles as well as four RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk in a loss against Durham. He finished the contest 2-for-3, also reaching base two times via walks. The 24-year-old first baseman has accrued 51 extra-base hits, including 20 home runs in 141 games this season between the Double- and Triple-A levels.
• After recording a career-high five RBIs in just his second game for Double-A Midland on Saturday, A's No. 7 prospect Richie Martin went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the RockHounds in a 5-4 win over Frisco. The 2015 first-rounder has hit .455 with seven RBIs and two steals since being promoted from the Class A Advanced California League, where he batted .230/.332/.312 over 86 games.
• Picking up a resumed game that he started on Aug. 13, Nationals No. 8 prospect Dane Dunning recorded his first career complete game for Class A Short Season Auburn, allowing one earned run on six hits in nine innings. He racked up eight strikeouts against one walk, giving him a 32-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35 2/3 innings (eight starts).
• Phillies No. 9 prospect Franklyn Kilome's final regular-season start for Class A Lakewood was an absolute gem, as he yielded just two hits over six scoreless innings in a shutout over Greenville, 3-0. The 6-foot-6 right-hander notched 10 strikeouts against zero walks and retired the final 17 hitters he faced, ultimately throwing 58 of his 79 pitches for strikes. The scoreless performance was Kilome's second in as many starts and slashed his ERA to a season-best 3.85. All together, he fanned 130 hitters in 114 2/3 innings (23 starts) for the BlueClaws.
• White Sox No. 11 prospect Jordan Stephens put a bow on his season by tossing five scoreless frames in another dominant performance for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The 23-year-old right-hander scattered four hits, issued two walks and struck out eight, as 61 of his 88 pitches went for strikes. Stephens posted 29 strikeouts in 15 innings in his final three starts to finish the season with 155 punchouts, the highest total by a Carolina League hurler since 2012.
• Taylor Hearn, the Pirates' 22nd-ranked prospect, tossed five innings of one-run ball and set a career high with nine strikeouts, though it wasn't enough to keep Class A West Virginia from falling to Greenville, 2-1. The 2015 fifth-rounder registered a 1.99 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings for the Power after coming over from the Nationals in the Trade Deadline deal for Mark Melancon.
• D-backs No. 27 prospect Justin Donatella spun five scoreless innings, allowing two hits, to pace Class A Advanced Visalia in a shutout of San Jose. He also matched his season high with seven strikeouts in the outing. In his full-season debut, the 21-year-old righty posted a 3.35 ERA in 27 starts between the Midwest and California Leagues, compiling 111 strikeouts against 29 walks in that span.
• Reds No. 28 prospect Gavin LaValley's four extra-base hits and career-high five RBIs proved the difference in Class A Advanced Daytona's 6-4 win over Brevard County. After hitting a two-run double in the first inning to give the Tortugas an early lead, the 21-year-old connected for solo home run in the third and then tallied RBIs with his doubles in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, to finish 4-for-5 at the plate.
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.