With all eyes on Target Field and the All-Star Game and three Minor Leagues on their own All-Star break, Tuesday's Minors schedule is a light one. But the day still includes some exciting matchups between some of the game's youngest top prospects.
One of the day's best will take place in the South Atlantic League, where Rockies' No. 3 prospect David Dahl and Mets' No. 3 prospect Dominic Smith will square off as Class A Asheville hosts Savannah for the opening game of a three-game series beginning on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Dahl, ranked No. 56 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has bounced back well after what amounted to a lost season in 2013. He played in just 10 games last year due to a stint in extended spring camp for disciplinary reasons and a torn right hamstring
This year has been a much different story for Dahl, 20. He earned a spot in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game last month and enters Tuesday hitting .299/.338/.495 with 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
Smith, No. 87 on the Top 100, is in his first full professional season after the Mets selected him 13th overall in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. After a rough April when Smith hit .212/.261/.247 and drove in one run in 25 games, he has steadily gotten better. In 35 games in June and July, Smith is hitting .326/.371/.420 with 13 RBIs.
While Smith has shown a good feel for hitting, the 19-year old's power still hasn't shown up much in games. It's only a matter of time before his smooth left-handed swing produces a home run this season, and he might be able to take advantage of the favorable hitting conditions at Asheville's McCormick Field this week.
A little further down the Minor League ladder, a Northwest League series between short-season Eugene and Vancouver will include two exciting teenage shortstop prospects. Blue Jays' No. 7 prospect Franklin Barreto and the Canadians will play host to Padres' No. 12 prospect Franchy Cordero and the Emeralds at 10:05 p.m. ET.
After leading the Gulf Coast League in slugging percentage as a 17-year-old last season, Barreto has kept hitting this season in Vancouver. He enters Tuesday with a line of .316/.407/.436 with 23 runs and 11 stolen bases in 29 games.
Cordero, 19, began the season with Class A Fort Wayne. Though Cordero struggled in the Midwest League (hitting .188/.237/.235 in 22 games), he has been much better since joining Eugene. Cordero is hitting .284/.348/.500 with four home runs and four stolen bases in 26 games.