While Astros outfielder George Springer leads the Minor Leagues with 29 home runs, Cubs shortstop Javier Baez is hot on his tail. Baez, the Cubs' No. 1 prospect, hit two home runs Sunday to bring his total to 27 this season.
Baez, ranked No. 11 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list, has hit 10 home runs in 20 games since being promoted to Double-A Tennessee.
But as Baez has put on a power show, he has also struggled at the plate. He is hitting just .232 at Double-A and has struck out 32 times. He has 19 hits, including three doubles. At just 20 years old, Baez is one of the youngest players in the Southern League.
Despite his struggles, the Cubs have already seen signs of the player he can become.
"[Baez] has got bat speed and power in some ways like Gary Sheffield -- when I saw that swing -- and he lets it fly somewhat like [Dustin] Pedroia does in Boston," Smokies manager Buddy Bailey told MiLB.com.
Overall, Baez is hitting .265 with a .556 slugging percentage in 96 games between Class A Advanced Daytona and Tennessee.
Sox pitching prospect Owens in midst of stellar season
Left-hander Henry Owens, the Red Sox's No. 4 prospect, hadn't allowed a hit in back-to-back starts going into Sunday for Class A Advanced Salem. While he couldn't make it three in a row, Owens didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning against Potomac, ending his streak at 19 1/3 innings.
The streak began on July 11 and extended over four games before Potomac second baseman Cutter Dykstra singled to right field with two outs in the fourth on Sunday.
Owens threw seven shutout innings before running into trouble in the eighth. He was charged with four runs in the frame, and he ultimately took the loss, giving up four hits and posting seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. It was the first time in his career that he pitched into the eighth.
Owens, ranked No. 57 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list, has put together one of the most impressive seasons of any pitcher in the Red Sox organization. His 123 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings pitched lead the Carolina League and are the most by a Red Sox Minor Leaguer, and he owns a 2.92 ERA.
Astros prospect Springer on verge of historic season
George Springer has gotten used to circling the bases this year. This weekend was no different.
Saturday, Springer raced around the bases with an inside-the-park homer and then broke into a more conventional home run trot when he went deep again on Sunday. The center fielder leads the Minor Leagues with 29 home runs, 10 of them in the 29 games since he was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Springer, the Astros' No. 3 prospect, who has 33 stolen bases, is on the verge of becoming the first Minor Leaguer to have a 30-30 season since 2009, when A's outfielder Grant Desme hit 31 home runs and stole 40 bases.
And a 40-40 season, which hasn't been done in 57 years in the Minor Leagues, isn't out of the question for Springer with 35 games left on the RedHawks' schedule.
In 102 games between Double-A Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City, Springer is hitting .312 with a .613 slugging percentage. He played for the U.S. team in the Futures Game earlier this month and is ranked No. 27 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list.
Cubs pitching prospect Edwards impresses in debut
For the first time since being traded last week, right-hander C.J. Edwards took the mound for Class A Advanced Daytona on Sunday. Edwards, the Cubs' No. 12 prospect, was a part of the package the Rangers sent to Chicago in exchange for Matt Garza.
At the time of the deal, Edwards was with Class A Hickory, and he led the South Atlantic League in ERA (1.83) and strikeouts (122). The Cubs moved him up a level, but Edwards had no problem with the more advanced hitters of the Florida State League on Sunday.
Edwards threw five shutout innings and allowed just one hit in his debut for the organization. He struck out eight batters and walked one in Daytona's 2-1 victory.
After the game, Edwards told MiLB.com that he is simply trying to continue doing what has helped him find success all season.
"I'm doing the same things that got me to this point in my career," Edwards said. "Going out each and every day, ready to fight."
With the five shutout innings, Edwards lowered his ERA to 1.74 in 98 1/3 innings. That is the second-best mark among pitchers in full-season leagues. Only Rays right-hander Dylan Floro's 1.68 ERA in 96 2/3 innings at Class A Bowling Green is better.