Cubs' Happ, Caratini lead top prospect performers

Cubs' Happ, Caratini lead top prospect performers

Any concerns about Ian Happ's bruised left thumb were laid to rest on Monday as the Cubs' No. 2 prospect belted his ninth home run in a five-RBI performance for Triple-A Iowa in a loss against Memphis.

Playing in his second game since returning from the disabled list, Happ, ranked 23rd on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, went deep in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a three-run shot to left-center field. He'd later add a two-run double in the sixth inning before finishing 2-for-5. Through 23 games, Happ is hitting .264/.340/.604 with 23 RBIs.

Cubs' No. 12 prospect Victor Caratini also had a big game for Iowa as he finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle in a 4-for-5 showing. The 23-year-old went back-to-back with Happ in the third inning for his third homer of the season and second in three games.

Memphis, meanwhile, received contributions from several Cardinals' Top 30 prospects, most notably No. 2 Carson Kelly, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs. The No. 34 overall prospect has been on a tear lately, hitting .600 (12-for-20), with one homer, four doubles and eight RBIs in his past five games.

Harrison Bader (Cardinals' No. 5) also tallied three hits for the Redbirds, finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored, while Paul DeJong (No. 11) went 2-for-5 with his seventh home run.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday

• No. 29 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) reached base in each of his five plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two walks as Class A Lansing defeated Clinton, 4-3. It was the second three-hit game of the season for the 18-year-old third baseman, who also scored two runs and tallied an RBI in the contest. He's hitting .333 through 26 games this season, with 13 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and more walks (19) than strikeouts (14).

• Making his professional debut, No. 37 overall prospect Braxton Garrett (Marlins' No. 1) tossed 4 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit, in a no-decision for Class A Greensboro. The 2016 first-round pick (No. 7 overall), compiled three walks and four strikeouts and generated another seven outs on the ground in the performance.

"It was awesome," Garrett told MiLB.com. "It feels like I'd been waiting for so long, but to get out there again was awesome. All the kids that were here [on field trips] were impressively loud too, which made things a lot of fun."

The Marlins kept Garrett off the mound last summer after the 6-foot-3 left-hander's lengthy (albeit dominant) senior season at Florence (Ala.) High. Though he impressed during the fall in instructional league, and once again this spring in Minor League camp, the club maintained its conservative approach with Garrett, holding him back in extended spring training before deploying him to Greensboro ahead of Monday's start.

"I'm just happy to be competing again, really," he said. "The four days between starts are the worst because being on the mound is the highest of highs for me. I want to be better. ... I'll learn from today, like the way working from behind was my biggest flaw. But really, I was happy with the way I threw. Throwing in front of 7,000 people like that. It was a good day."

• No. 67 overall prospect Jake Bauers (Rays' No. 4) connected on his first home run since April 12, a solo shot in the sixth inning, to help power Triple-A Durham past Columbus. He finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate, also hitting a double and scoring three runs.

• After hitting his Florida State League-leading 10th home run in his 30th game for Class A Advanced Florida, Braves' No. 23 prospect Alex Jackson is one home run short of matching his career-high total from 2016, which he achieved over 92 games in the Class A Midwest League. Jackson finished the game 2-for-5 with a double and four RBIs, and he's now gone deep in three of his past four games.

• Cardinals' No. 9 prospect Dakota Hudson tossed six scoreless frames in his best start of the season for Double-A Springfield. The 22-year-old right-hander, a first-round Draft pick last June, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out four, also generating 10 ground-ball outs in the 90-pitch (56 strikes) performance. He owns a 3.41 ERA through six starts totaling 34 1/3 innings.

D-backs' No. 8 prospect Jon Duplantier tossed six strong innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with seven strikeouts, en route to his second win for Class A Kane County. The 22-year-old righty has been stellar this season, posting a 0.87 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in 31 innings, during which he's posted a 40-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio while holding opposing hitters to a .137 average.

Mets' No. 29 prospect Jordan Humphreys recorded his Minor League-leading sixth win for Class A Columbia. The 20-year-old righty, the Mets' 18th-round pick in 2015, allowed one run one two hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. He's now 6-0 with a 1.63 ERA and a 49-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38 2/3 innings (six starts).

Phillies' No. 22 prospect Drew Anderson set a career high with 10 strikeouts and worked a season-high seven innings to record his third win (3-0) for Double-A Reading. He threw 70 of his 101 pitches for strikes, allowing one earned run -- coming a solo home run with two outs in the sixth inning -- on three hits. Though he owns a 5.53 ERA through 27 2/3 innings, the 23-year-old righty-hander has improved in three straight starts for the Fightin Phils.

Rangers' No. 15 prospect Yanio Perez had yet another big game for Class A Hickory, as he went 3-for-4 with a solo homer in a victory over Hagerstown. With a .349/.427/.604 slash line, 37 hits, seven home runs and 22 RBIs, the 21-year-old outfielder ranks among the South Atlantic League leaders in most offensive categories. On the mound for the Crawdads, right-hander Jonathan Hernandez (Rangers' No. 18) fanned a season-high 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on six hits.

Reds' No. 15 prospect Tony Santillan got back on track with a strong start as he pitched Class A Dayton to a 4-1 win over Cedar Rapids. The 20-year-old right-hander notched a season-best 10 strikeouts and yielded just one run on two hits in six innings. More importantly, it was the first time in seven starts this season in which Santillan did not issue a walk.

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.