Tuesday's best: Merryweather excels in Triple-A debut

Tuesday's best: Merryweather excels in Triple-A debut

The Indians tasked Julian Merryweather with a tough assignment for his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, sending the freshly promoted right-hander to the mound for Columbus in a road matchup versus a loaded Scranton/Wilkes-Barre offense.

The Indians' No. 25 prospect proved more than up for the challenge, as he allowed four hits and struck out eight over eight scoreless innings to lead Columbus in a 5-0 win.

Merryweather threw 97 pitches, 67 for strikes, and retired the final 10 batters he faced in the outing, which matched the longest of his career. The 25-year-old also generated 10 ground-ball outs, a product of his heavy, sinking fastball in the low to mid-90s, all the while navigating a lineup that featured five prospects ranked in the top half of the Yankees' Top 30 list.

Merryweather received a bump to the Minors' highest level after going 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA and .196 opponents' average over 50 2/3 innings (nine starts) with Double-A Akron. He'd struck out 52 batters against 10 walks, and led the Eastern League with a 0.93 WHIP.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

No. 75 overall prospect Derek Fisher (Astros' No. 4) homered for a third straight game to help power Triple-A Fresno past Albuquerque. The home run, a two-run shot in the first, was Fisher's 13th of the season and extended his hitting streak to six games, during which he's batting .480 (12-for-25) with eight RBIs.

A's No. 5 prospect Daniel Gossett matched his season high with eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits over six innings in his second straight scoreless start for Triple-A Nashville. The 24-year-old didn't issue a walk in either outing, something he was unable to do in any of his eight previous starts, and has seen his ERA drop from 4.31 to 3.19 behind 14 scoreless frames in that span.

• Fresh off of earning Player of the Week honors in the Midwest League, Blue Jays' No. 9 prospect Bo Bichette connected on a solo home run, his fifth, and reached base twice via walks in a 1-for-3 showing for Class A Lansing. The 19-year-old middle infielder is raking at a .415 clip (17-for-41) during his 10-game hitting streak, and he leads all Midwest League hitters in average (.372), slugging (.598) and OPS (1.050).

• Blue Jays' No. 12 prospect Max Pentecost belted his ninth homer and later added his first triple before finishing 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Class A Advanced Dunedin. Defensively, Pentecost, catching for the first time since his pro debut after losing all of 2015-16 due to injury, has thrown out three of six attempted basestealers, without committing either an error or a passed ball, in 10 games behind the plate.

Cardinals' No. 24 prospect Zac Gallen, 21, nearly went the distance en route to his fifth win for Class A Advanced Palm Beach. The 2016 third-rounder ultimately completed a career-high 8 2/3 frames, allowing one earned run -- which scored on a two-run homer after he'd departed the game -- on four hits with three strikeouts and 13 ground-ball outs. The righty is having a breakout full-season debut, as Tuesday's outing thrust him into a first-place tie in the Florida State League in WHIP (0.97) and into second in ERA (1.62).

Dodgers' No. 26 prospect Johan Mieses bumped his home run total to six with his second two-homer game of the season for Double-A Tulsa. In doing so, the 21-year-old outfielder snapped out of a 1-for-26 funk.

• Dodgers' No. 27 prospect Brendon Davis went 3-for-4 and fell a double short of hitting for the cycle in Class A Great Lakes' win over West Michigan. The home run, a solo shot in the first inning, was the fifth of the season for the 19-year-old shortstop, who's posted a much improved .282/.398/.460 slash line through 46 games in his second tour of the Midwest League.

• Indians' No. 30 prospect Conner Capel continued his power surge as he went deep for the seventh time in his last 13 games for Class A Lake County. The toolsy 20-year-old outfielder's average has ticked up to .198 from .172 in that span as he continues to slug his way back from a slow start.

Mariners' No. 4 prospect Andrew Moore scattered four hits over eight scoreless innings, with one walk and three strikeouts, in his best start since joining Triple-A Tacoma. D.J. Peterson (No. 11) went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run to pace the Rainiers offensively. With a .317 average (13-for-41), two home runs and 11 RBIs over his last 10 games, the 25-year-old first baseman appears to be finding his stroke after a slow start.

Marlins' No. 9 prospect James Nelson extended his hitting streak to 16 games with his second homer in as many days for Class A Greensboro. After getting a late start to his season, the 19-year-old third baseman has racked up 47 hits in 35 games en route to a .343 average, third best in the South Atlantic League.

Mets' No. 29 prospect Jordan Humphreys became the first Minor League hurler to reach eight wins (8-1) as he allowed one unearned run on two hits with eight strikeouts over six innings for Class A Columbia. The 20-year-old righty -- the Mets' 18th-round pick in the 2015 Draft -- has been exceptional in his first full season, as he now leads the South Atlantic League in ERA (1.40), WHIP (0.66) and opponents' average (.153) after Tuesday's performance. What's more, Humphreys has compiled 73 strikeouts, good for second in the circuit, against just seven walks in 57 2/3 innings (nine starts).

Reds' No. 9 prospect Tyler Mahle returned to his scoreless ways as he fired seven innings of three-hit ball to pace Double-A Pensacola in a shutout of Jacksonville. The 22-year-old right-hander issued one walk and matched his career high with nine strikeouts in the outing, ultimately throwing 65 of his 102 pitches for strikes. Overall, Mahle's six wins, 0.85 WHIP and 69 2/3 innings pitched all lead the Southern League, and he also ranks second in both ERA (1.55) and strikeouts (72).

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.