Acuna, Allard lead M-Braves, top prospects

Acuna, Allard lead M-Braves, top prospects

A pair of 19-year-old prospects were at the forefront of Double-A Mississippi's 9-1 victory over Mobile on Tuesday night, as Ronald Acuna paced the M-Braves at the plate, while Kolby Allard took care of business on the mound.

Playing in his first game for Mississippi after being promoted from Class A Advanced Florida early on Tuesday, Acuna, the Braves' No. 7 prospect, announced his arrival with a home run in his first at-bat, depositing the first pitch he saw over the wall in left-center field for a two-run shot. The No. 92 overall prospect would tally two more hits to finish 3-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base.

Acuna was promoted to Mississippi after just 28 games in the Florida State League. He batted .287/.336/.478 during his time with the Firefrogs, with 11 extra-base hits including three home runs and 14 steals.

Allard (3-1), meanwhile, tossed six innings of one-run ball to record his third straight win for the M-Braves. The Braves' No. 3 prospect (No. 46 overall) threw 58 of his 91 pitches for strikes, allowing three hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Allard has been anything but overmatched this season in the Southern League, despite making the jump directly from the Class A level. He's completed six frames in four of his seven starts this season, none of which have seen the teenage southpaw allow more than two earned runs.

After Tuesday's gem, Allard's ERA and WHIP sit at 1.38 and 0.95, through 39 innings.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

• No. 12 overall prospect Brendan Rodgers (Rockies' No. 1) belted a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning for Class A Advanced Lancaster, only to have it erased as Modesto rallied for five unanswered runs to win, 15-13. It was the second career grand slam as well as the second homer of the season for the 20-year-old shortstop, who finished the game with three runs scored and five RBIs in a 3-for-5 effort. He's now tallied 14 RBIs in 14 games, while hitting .373 with eight extra-base hits in that span.

Rodgers wasn't the only JetHawk to homer in the victory, as Sam Hilliard (Rockies' No. 30) went deep twice in a 3-for-6, three-RBI performance. The 23-year-old outfielder has hit five of his six homers in his past five games, during which he has 11 hits and 12 RBIs. He's batting .376 on the season, with 28 RBIs in 30 games.

• No. 13 overall prospect Michael Kopech (White Sox No. 3) yielded one earned run in six innings for Double-A Birmingham in a win over Pensacola. The flame-throwing righty threw a season-high 102 pitches (63 strikes), as he allowed two hits (including a solo homer), two walks, fanned six and generated seven ground-ball outs. Kopech, 21, has completed six frames in three straight starts for the Barons.

• No. 50 overall prospect Triston McKenzie (Indians' No. 3) set a career high as he struck out 14 of the 19 batters he faced in six scoreless innings to pace the Class A Advanced Lynchburg Hillcats in a 4-1 win over Carolina. The 19-year-old righty threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes, allowing one hit and one walk. McKenzie struck out the side in three of his six frames in the outing -- his first six outs were strikeouts as well as his last five -- and finished with eight swinging strikeouts. Overall, McKenzie has pitched to a 1.95 ERA this season, with 44 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in 32 1/3 innings.

"My command was great and everything was really working out there," McKenzie told MiLB.com. "I used the changeup intermittently to keep the hitters off balance. I mean, I'm definitely not keeping count of how many strikeouts I have while I'm on the mound, although I knew I had tallied a decent amount. But I was a little surprised when they told me how many I had when I was done."

• No. 55 overall prospect Dominic Smith (Mets' No. 2) drove in three runs on four hits to power Triple-A Las Vegas to a win over Albuquerque. Two of those hits were doubles, and the 21-year-old first baseman also scored three runs in a 4-for-5 performance that improved his season average to .326.

"I was trying to be very aggressive," Smith told MiLB.com. "One of my tendencies is that I like to take the first few pitches. Over the last few days, they've been coming with first-pitch fastballs and then coming back with breaking balls. I wanted to get ahead of that and hit good pitches. I faced [Matt Flemer] last week and had an idea what he'd try to do to get me out. Guys have been trying to get ahead with the fastball, so I [handled] that differently today."

• No. 81 overall prospect Raimel Tapia (Rockies' No. 5) matched Smith's big game by going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored for Albuquerque. The 23-year-old center fielder extended his hitting streak to 15 games with the multi-hit performance, his 10th in his past 12 games. He now leads all Pacific Coast League hitters with a .405 average.

• No. 88 overall prospect Cal Quantrill (Padres' No. 2) turned in his third consecutive six-inning start for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. The 22-year-old righty didn't permit a run in the outing, allowing four hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Quantrill owns a 1.54 ERA across his last four starts, during which he's punched out 28 batters in 23 1/3 frames.

A's No. 8 prospect Logan Shore was unhittable as he worked a season-high five innings in a no-decision for Class A Advanced Stockton. The 2016 second-rounder threw 44 of his 68 pitches for strikes, compiling five strikeouts and two walks before departing the game.

Brewers' No. 29 prospect Trey Supak established a new career high in strikeouts for a third straight start as he fanned 11 en route to his first win with Class A Wisconsin. The 20-year-old righty threw 60 of his 90 pitches for strikes, allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. In his two previous turns, Supak had registered eight and nine strikeouts. He's posted a 2.40 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 30 innings (six games/five starts) this season, all the while holding opposing hitters to a .158 clip.

Cardinals' No. 10 prospect Junior Fernandez needed just 97 pitches (65 strikes) to go the distance for Class A Advanced Palm Beach -- his first complete game in 42 career starts. The 20-year-old righty permitted one earned run on five hits in his nine-inning gem, also notching six strikeouts to match his season high.

Cubs' No. 12 prospect Victor Caratini is hitting .361 after his second straight four-hit game for Triple-A Iowa. He's 8-for-9 with one home run, two doubles and five RBIs in those contests, raising his average 48 points in the process.

Indians' No. 21 prospect Aaron Civale tallied seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings as Class A Lake County shut out Beloit, 1-0. The 2016 third-rounder allowed just two hits, throwing 65 of his 89 pitches for strikes in the outing. In seven starts totaling 41 1/3 innings, Civale, 21, has posted a 2.83 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and a 41-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

"I pitch to contact and let my defense do the work," Civale told MiLB.com. "They played good behind me. We didn't score too many runs, but I just tried to keep us in the game so we had a chance to win. We were short on bullpen arms, so I wanted to get as many innings as I could to give them a break."

Reds' No. 11 prospect Vladimir Gutierrez struck out a career-best 10 batters as he won for the third time in as many starts for Class A Advanced Daytona. The 21-year-old Cuban righty, whom Cincinnati signed for $4.75 million last September, worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk. After struggling early, Gutierrez has pitched to a 1.61 ERA, with 33 strikeouts and one walk, over his past 22 1/3 innings (four starts).

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.