Pipeline preview: Nats prospect Bautista aims to stay hot
By Mike Rosenbaum
Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Monday's Minor League action:
Hitter to watch: Rafael Bautista (Nationals' No. 15), Harrisburg vs. Hartford (1:30 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Bautista stayed red hot on Sunday, when he went 2-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base for Double-A Harrisburg. The 23-year-old center fielder has collected multiple hits in six of his last eight games, during which he's hitting .425 with 17 hits and eight runs scored. Overall, Bautista owns a .277/.340/.335 slash line through 135 games, and he owns a share of the Minor League lead with 55 stolen bases.
Pitcher to watch: Dylan Cease (Cubs' No. 4), Eugene at Hillsboro (10:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Cease completed five innings for the first time as a pro and tied his career high with eight strikeouts in his last start for Class A Short Season Eugene. It was the third scoreless performance in four starts for the 2014 sixth-rounder, who boasts a fastball that can reach triple digits. The 20-year-old righty has impressed during his time in the Northwest League, pitching to a 2.50 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings (11 starts). He's held opposing hitters to a .190 average and just eight extra-base hits, one of which left the park.
Sims will look to put the finishing touches on a strong regular-season campaign in the Southern League that has seen him post a 2.56 ERA with 59 hits allowed and 96 strikeouts over 88 innings (16 starts) in two separate stints with Double-A Mississippi. The 22-year-old right-hander has rebounded from a forgettable mid-season stint at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he registered a 7.56 ERA across 11 appearances, with 37 walks and 12 home runs allowed in 50 innings.
Lopez, 23, appeared destined for big things in 2016 after receiving his first taste of the big leagues late last season, but the right-hander struggled out of the gate with Triple-A Colorado Springs and ultimately received a demotion to Double-A Biloxi late in July. He's gotten back on track in his return to the Southern League and currently is enjoying his best stretch of the season, having posted a 2.13 ERA in 25 1/3 innings across his past four starts.
Monday's Top 100 prospect probables
No. 98 Mike Soroka (Braves' No. 7), Rome at Augusta (7:05 p.m. ET)
More top prospect probables Joan Gregorio (Giants' No. 7), Sacramento vs. Fresno (Triple-A)
Jake Junis (Royals' No. 10), Omaha vs. Oklahoma City (Triple-A) Chih-Wei Hu (Rays' No. 6), Montgomery vs. Tennessee (Double-A)
Andrew Suarez (Giants' No. 8) vs. Tyler Eppler (Pirates' No. 21), Richmond vs. Altoona (Double-A)
Josh Staumont (Royals' No. 11), NW Arkansas vs. Arkansas (Double-A)
Nick Travieso (Reds' No. 15) vs. Thad Lowry (White Sox No. 21), Pensacola at Birmingham (Double-A)
Austin Gomber (Cardinals' No. 19), Springfield at Tulsa (Double-A)
Sam Howard (Rockies' No. 20), Hartford at Harrisburg (Double-A)
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 22), Chattanooga at Jackson (Double-A)
Grayson Long (Angels' No. 11), Inland Empire at Lancaster (Class A Advanced)
Cal Quantril (Padres' No. 5), Fort Wayne at Bowling Green (Class A)
Angel Perdomo (Blue Jays' No. 15), Lansing at Lake County (Class A)
Sandy Baez (Tigers' No. 16), West Michigan at Great Lakes (Class A)
Brian Gonzalez (Orioles' No. 20), Delmarva vs. Kannapolis (Class A)
Jonathan Hernandez (Rangers' No. 23), Hickory vs. Lexington (Class A)
Dario Agrazal (Pirates' No. 24), West Virginia vs. Greenville (Class A) Nick Wells (Mariners' No. 25), Clinton at Cedar Rapids (Class A)
Cody Sedlock (Orioles' No. 1), Aberdeen vs. Hudson Valley (Class A Short Season)
Logan Shore (A's No. 13), Vermont vs. Lowell (Class A Short Season)
Adonis Medina (Phillies' No. 17), Williamsport vs. State College (Class A Short Season)
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.