Pipeline preview: Allard makes playoff start for Rome
By William Boor
Here's a look at top prospects to watch Thursday in Minor League action:
Hitter to watch: Yairo Munoz (Athletics' No. 7), Midland vs. Northwest Arkansas, Game 3 of Texas League Finals (8 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
Munoz has been an offensive force through the first two games of the Texas League Finals and will look to stay hot as the RockHounds attempt to clinch a title. The 21-year-old went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Wednesday and is 3-for-7 with three RBIs through the first two games of the series.
Pitcher to watch: Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 4), Rome vs. Lakewood, Game 3 of South Atlantic League Finals (7:05 p.m. ET)
After losing in Game 1, Rome bounced back to take Game 2 and will turn to Allard, the No. 63 overall prospect, in a pivotal Game 3. The 19-year-old lefty has won five consecutive decisions and went 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 11 starts for Rome this year. Allard has also made one postseason start already, in which he gave up three hits over six scoreless innings.
Blackburn hasn't lost a decision since July 30 and will be pitching with a chance to clinch a title for Jackson, which currently leads the Southern League Finals, 2-0. The 22-year-old was traded from the Cubs to the Mariners in late July and went 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA in eight games with Jackson.
Weigel was brilliant in his first postseason start and will need to spin another gem as Mississippi hopes to extend its season. Pitching in the semifinals, the 22-year-old struck out eight and gave up just three hits in seven scoreless frames. Dating back to the regular season, Weigel hasn't given up an earned run in his past 16 1/3 innings.
Thursday's Top 100 probables
No. 63 Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 4), Rome vs. Lakewood, Game 3 of South Atlantic League Finals (Series tied 1-1)
More top prospect probables:
Paul Blackburn (Mariners' No. 18), Jackson vs. Mississippi, Game 3 of Double-A Southern League Finals (Jackson leads series 2-0)
Patrick Weigel (Braves' No. 28), Mississippi vs. Jackson, Game 3 of Double-A Southern League Finals (Jackson leads series 2-0)
Josh Staumont (Royals' No. 11), Northwest Arkansas vs. Midland, Game 3 of Double-A Texas League Finals (Midland leads series 2-0)
Alex Young (D-backs' No. 4), Visalia vs. High Desert, Game 1 of Class A Advanced California League Finals Alberto Tirado (Phillies' No. 29), Lakewood vs. Rome, Game 3 of Class A South Atlantic League Finals (Series tied 1-1)
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.