Staumont's 12-K gem leads top prospect performers

Staumont's 12-K gem leads top prospect performers

After struggling last week in his Triple-A debut, Josh Staumont bounced back in dominant fashion on Thursday night as he matched a career high with 12 strikeouts over six scoreless innings to pace Omaha in a 3-0 shutout of Round Rock.

Staumont, the Royals' No. 3 prospect, carried a perfect game for 4 2/3 innings before surrendering a hit to Ronald Guzman -- the only hit allowed by Omaha's pitchers in the contest. He issued two walks, both coming in his sixth and final inning of work, and threw 58 of his 92 pitches for strikes.

Staumont's 12-strikeout performance was already the third of his career since being selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Azusa Pacific. On Thursday, the hard-throwing, 23-year-old righty struck out the side in the first, third and fourth innings before capping his outing with a swinging strikeout of Will Middlebrooks.

Left-hander Matt Strahm, Kansas City's top-ranked prospect, entered in relief of Staumont and proceeded to toss two perfect frames while striking out three. It was the second scoreless appearance for the 25-year-old lefty since being option to Triple-A on Tuesday.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday

• No. 15 overall prospect Rafael Devers (Red Sox's No. 1) hit a two-run double as part of a 3-for-4 performance, though it wasn't enough to keep Double-A Portland from falling to Trenton, 6-2. The 20-year-old third baseman has hit safely in six straight contests to begin his season, with a .400 average (10-for-25) with four extra-base hits and six RBIs in that span.

No. 25 overall prospect Ian Happ (Cubs' No. 2) furthered his early-season power surge by hitting his second home run in as many days for Triple-A Iowa. The switch-hitting second baseman has hit a Minor League-leading five homers in his first eight games in the Pacific Coast League after combining for 15 in 134 games last season between the Class A Advanced and Double-A levels.

• In his first game back from a finger injury, No. 16 overall prospect Lewis Brinson (Brewers' No. 1) led off Triple-A Colorado Springs' win over Memphis with his first home run of the year. The 22-year-old outfielder departed in the fifth inning of the Sky Sox's season opener after suffering a dislocated finger on headfirst slide into second base.

No. 50 overall prospect Kolby Allard (Braves' No. 1) was sharp in his second start for Double-A Mississippi, tossing five scoreless frames against Tennessee during which he allowed just three hits. What's more, the 19-year-old southpaw notched his first professional hit -- a line-drive single to left field -- only to get thrown out one batter later while trying to go from first to third on a single.

No. 73 overall prospect Dylan Cease (Cubs' No. 3) tossed five scoreless innings in a no-decision for Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old righty threw 47 of his 75 pitches for strikes, permitting three hits and two walks while striking out seven. The performance lowered Cease's ERA to 1.00, and he's now fanned 15 batters in nine innings to begin the season.

• Reds No. 7 prospect Luis Castillo gave up one earned run for the second time in as many starts and allowed just three hits in seven innings for Double-A Pensacola. The 24-year-old righty, acquired from the Marlins in January in the Dan Straily trade, struck out six en route to his first win in the Reds organization.

• White Sox No. 10 prospect Dane Dunning was nothing short of dominant in his second turn for Class A Kannapolis as he struck out 13 of the 28 batters he faced and generated another eights on the ground over eight innings against Hickory. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and did not issue a walk. Acquired from Washington in December with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the Adam Eaton trade, Dunning, 22, has pitched to a 0.64 ERA with 21 strikeouts and zero walks across 14 innings.

• After a forgettable season debut on April 8 (2 IP, 7 H, 9 ER), Red Sox No. 12 prospect Michael Shawaryn rebounded to fire five scoreless of one-hit ball for Class A Greenville. The 2016 fifth-rounder struck out eight and issued one walk while finding the strike zone with 48 of his 68 pitches.

Pirates No. 20 prospect Kevin Kramer hit a pair of solo home runs to power Double-A Altoona past Akron, 3-2. The 2015 fifth-rounder hit solo shots in the fifth and eighth innings, the latter of which proved to be the game-winner for the Curve. He's hitting .423/.531/.846 with three homers through seven games.

Pirates No. 27 prospect Tyler Eppler allowed just one hit over six innings in what was his second scoreless performance for Triple-A Indianapolis. It also marked the first win for the 24-year-old right-hander, who has given up four hits over his first 11 frames of the season. Eric Wood (No. 30) went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double to pace the Indians offensively.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.