Pipeline preview: Swihart, Portland set to face Altoona

Boston, Pittsburgh Double-A affiliates to begin three-game set on Tuesday

Pipeline preview: Swihart, Portland set to face Altoona

Double-A Portland has been the best team in the Eastern League so far this year and entered the week leading the Eastern Division with a 41-22 record.

Portland will take its show on the road this week, beginning a three-game series at Altoona on Tuesday. The game, which begins at 7 p.m. ET, can be seen on MiLB.TV.

In Western Pennsylvania, the Sea Dogs will be greeted by Curve shortstop Alen Hanson, ranked No. 57 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. He is on a seven-game hitting streak and has four multi-hit games in his last five. Overall this season, the Pirates' No. 5 prospect is hitting .268 with six home runs and 12 stolen bases in 58 games.

Portland is led by catcher Blake Swihart, ranked No. 51 on the Top 100, and shortstop Deven Marrero. Swihart, the Red Sox's No. 3 prospect, is hitting .287 with a .785 OPS and six home runs in 49 games this season. Marrero, the club's No. 13 prospect, is hitting .265 with a .352 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases in 51 games.

The Red Sox's No. 12 prospect Brian Johnson and the Pirates' No. 19 prospect Joely Rodriguez, a pair of left-handers, will face off on the mound Tuesday. Johnson is 3-1 with a 2.04 ERA since getting promoted from Class A Advanced Salem at the beginning of May. Rodriguez enters the game 3-4 with a 4.08 ERA.

Tuesday's Minor League slate is also highlighted by a few pitchers ranked in the Top 100 who are scheduled to start, including Jon Gray (No. 13) and Hunter Harvey (No. 93). Fans can watch Gray and Double-A Tulsa take on Springfield at 8:10 p.m. on MiLB.TV.

Another notable pitcher scheduled to start Monday is right-hander Alex Gonzalez, the Rangers' No. 6 prospect. After getting promoted from Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, he will be making his debut with Double-A Frisco. Gonzalez was the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and went 5-2 with a 2.62 ERA with Myrtle Beach to begin his first full professional season. He joins third baseman Joey Gallo, the Rangers' No. 4 prospect and No. 78 overall, in Frisco. He was also recently promoted from Myrtle Beach and hit a walk-off home run in his debut for Frisco on Monday.

Top prospect probables
Miguel Almonte (Royals' No. 5), Wilmington at Winston-Salem
Cody Anderson (Indians' No. 3), Akron vs. Binghamton
Tim Berry (Orioles' No. 6), Bowie vs. New Hampshire
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond at Trenton
Jamie Callahan (Red Sox's No. 18), Greenville vs. Charleston
Ian Clarkin (Yankees' No. 7), Charleston at Greenville
Alex Colome (Rays' No. 5), Durham at Norfolk
Anthony DeSclafani (Marlins' No. 6), New Orleans at El Paso
Amir Garrett (Reds' No. 19), Dayton vs. Bowling Green
Alex Gonzalez (Rangers' No. 6), Frisco vs. Midland
Jon Gray (Rockies' No. 1), Tulsa at Springfield
Hunter Harvey (Orioles' No. 3), Delmarva vs. Hickory
Kyle Hendricks (Cubs' No. 15), Iowa at Fresno
Luis Heredia (Pirates' No. 10), West Virginia vs. Greensboro
Larrs Huijer (Mariners' No. 20), Clinton vs. Burlington
Brian Johnson (Red Sox's No. 12), Portland at Altoona
Trevor May (Twins' No. 12), Rochester at Gwinnett
Bryan Mitchell (Yankees' No. 13), Trenton vs. Richmond
Ariel Pena (Brewers' No. 17), Nashville vs. Reno
Cody Reed (Royals' No. 14), Lexington vs. Asheville
Joely Rodriguez (Pirates' No. 19), Altoona vs. Portland
Tyler Skulina (Cubs' No. 18), Kane County at Peoria
Drew VerHagen (Tigers' No. 12), Toledo at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Austin Voth (Nationals' No. 16), Hagerstown at Lakewood

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.