Pipeline Preview: Ward riding power surge

Pipeline Preview: Ward riding power surge

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Drew Ward (Nationals' No. 18), Harrisburg at Hartford (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Ward's power surge continued Thursday as he homered for a second straight game for Double-A Harrisburg, also marking his third time in his last five games. His latest home run, a solo shot, was the 10th this season for the 22-year-old third baseman, who's slashing .345/.472/.690 since the calendar flipped to August.

Top Prospects: Ward, WSH

Pitcher to watch: Alec Hansen (White Sox No. 9), Winston-Salem vs. Lynchburg (7 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Hansen racked up 12 strikeouts for a second straight start on Aug. 5, when he tossed six scoreless innings to pace Class A Advanced Winston-Salem in a shutout of Potomac. The 22-year-old right-hander has been excellent in eight starts with the Dash, posting a 2.38 ERA with 58 strikeouts and a .199 batting average against in 41 2/3 innings. Hansen's 150 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings (12.5 strikeouts-per-nine) ranks among the top five in the Minors this season, and he's pitched to a 2.44 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .204 clip.

Top Prospects: Hansen, CWS

Duel of the day: Chance Adams (Yankees' No. 3) vs. Ryan Yarbrough (Rays' No. 23), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Durham (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Adams, MLBPipeline.com's No. 61 overall prospect, is coming off back-to-back wins for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, both six-inning performances in which he allowed five hits and two or fewer earned runs. The 23-year-old has won half of his 16 starts in the International League, all while registering a 2.37 ERA and holding hitters to a .174 average over 87 1/3 frames.

Top Prospects: Adams, NYY

Yarbrough, 25, has yet to allow a run in August, logging 13 2/3 scoreless frames in his last two starts for Durham. He's allowed just four hits and two walks between the outings. The left-hander has been a model of consistency in his first Triple-A campaign, going 12-5 in 22 starts while posting a 3.27 ERA with 131 strikeouts and 35 walks in 135 innings.

Top Prospects: Yarbrough, TB

Friday's Top 100 prospect probables
No. 35 Kyle Wright (Braves' No. 35), Florida at Jupiter (6:30 p.m. ET)
No. 38 Mike Soroka (Braves' No. 5), Mississippi at Jacksonville (7:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 52 Sixto Sanchez (Phillies' No. 2) vs. Spencer Turnbull (Tigers' No. 24), Clearwater vs. Lakeland (6:15 p.m. ET)
No. 53 Jack Flaherty (Cardinals' No. 3), Memphis at Nashville (8:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)
No. 79 Luis Ortiz (Brewers' No. 3), Biloxi vs. Tennessee (7:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

More top prospect probables
Julian Merryweather (Indians' No. 13), Columbus at Pawtucket (Triple-A)
Myles Jaye (Tigers' No. 25), Toledo vs. Buffalo (Triple-A)
Rogelio Armenteros (Astros' No. 26), Fresno at Albuquerque (Triple-A)
Grayson Long (Angels' No. 9), Mobile at Pensacola (Double-A)
Joey Lucchesi (Padres' No. 9), San Antonio vs. Tulsa (Double-A)
Genesis Cabrera (Rays' No. 15), Montgomery vs. Jackson (Double-A)
Zack Littell (Twins' No. 16) vs. Jordan Stephens (White Sox No. 21), Chattanooga at Birmingham (Double-A)
Heath Fillmyer (A's No. 21), Midland at Arkansas (Double-A)
Thomas Pannone (Indians' No. 21), New Hampshire at Erie (Double-A)
Yefry Ramirez (Orioles' No. 23), Bowie vs. Portland (Double-A)
Ryan Helsley (Cardinals' No. 24), Springfield at Corpus Christi (Double-A)
Pedro Payano (Indians' No. 30), Frisco at NW Arkansas (Double-A)
Mike Shawaryn (Red Sox's No. 8), Salem vs. Wilmington (Class A Advanced)
Shaun Anderson (Giants' No. 17), San Jose at Modesto (Class A Advanced)
Jose Almonte (D-backs' No. 26), Visalia at Stockton (Class A Advanced)
Joey Wentz (Braves' No. 9), Rome at Greenville, Game 2 (Class A)
Darwinzon Hernandez (Red Sox's No. 17), Greenville vs. Rome (Class A)
Juan Hillman (Indians' No. 18) vs. Yennsy Diaz (Blue Jays' No. 27), Lake County at Lansing (Class A)
A.J. Alexy (Rangers' No. 19), Hickory at Columbia (Class A)
Josh Pennington (Brewers' No. 22), Wisconsin at Kane County (Class A)
Scott Moss (Reds' No. 30), Dayton at South Bend (Class A)
David Peterson (Mets' No. 3), Brooklyn at Hudson Valley (Class A Short Season)
Wil Crowe (Nationals' No. 6), Auburn at Lowell (Class A Short Season)

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.