Pipeline preview: Gray, Biddle headline Monday's slate
Pair of top pitching prospects aim to stay hot after impressive outings last time out
Tuning in to Minor League action on Monday will allow fans to check in on two of the game's finer pitching prospects and what they can do for an encore.
In his last start, Jon Gray took a perfect game into the sixth inning, only to go on to lose, 1-0. The No. 3 pick of the 2013 Draft, currently ranked No. 14 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, struck out eight and walked none while allowing three hits over six innings. It was the second straight strong start for the big Oklahoma product, allowing just the one run over 11 2/3 innings in those outings, shaking off a bit of a rough start to his first full pro season. He'll be pitching for Double-A Tulsa in NW Arkansas (Royals), a game that can be viewed on MiLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. ET.
Take a break after watching Gray and tune in to the Reading at Portland game at 6 p.m. ET. That Eastern League contest features Phillies left-hander Jesse Biddle, No. 51 on the Top 100, in another MiLB.TV broadcast. Biddle will be looking for his third straight start of double-digit strikeouts. He tossed seven shutout innings in his last outing, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out 10. The start prior to that saw him whiff 11 while again just walking one in another strong seven-inning performance. He has 38 Ks against just seven walks in 28 1/3 innings thus far.
It won't necessarily be easy for Biddle. He'll have to deal with the Minors' leading hitter in Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts. The second baseman, No. 59 overall, is hitting .405/.441/.643 thus far this season for Portland. The leadoff hitter has an active 14-game hitting streak going and has hit safely in all but one of his games this season.
Gray and Biddle are two of six Top 100 hurlers taking the mound on a busy Monday of Minor League action. Also starting are the Twins' Alex Meyer (No. 27), Red Sox right-hander Allan Webster (No. 44), Robbie Ray of the Tigers (No. 94) and Nick Kingham of the Pirates (No. 100).
Top prospect probables
Jose Urena (Marlins' No. 8), Jacksonville vs. Montgomery
Jon Gray (Rockies' No. 1), Tulsa at NW Arkansas
Sam Selman (Royals' No. 13), NW Arkansas vs. Tulsa
Jesse Biddle (Phillies' No. 2), Reading at Portland
Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays' No. 1), New Hampshire vs. Trenton
Robbie Ray (Tigers' No. 2), Toledo vs. Gwinnett
Nick Kingham (Pirates' No. 8), Altoona at Erie
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond vs. Bowie
Sean Manaea (Royals' No. 5), Wilmington vs. Myrtle Beach
Andrew Thurman (Astros' No. 16), Quad Cities vs. Clinton
Ismael Guillon (Reds' No. 10), Dayton vs. Lansing
Alex Meyer (Twins' No. 2), Rochester vs. Charlotte
Allen Webster (Red Sox's No. 3), Pawtucket at Lehigh Valley
Nate Karns (Rays' No. 7), Durham, vs. Scranton/WB
Michael Lorenzen (Reds' No. 5), Pensacola vs. Mississippi
J.R. Graham (Braves' No. 6), Mississippi at Pensacola
Paul Blackburn (Cubs' No. 14), Kane County at Cedar Rapids
Blake Snell (Rays' No. 9), Bowling Green vs. South Bend
Alec Asher (Rangers' No. 11), Frisco at Corpus Christi
Vincent Velasquez (Astros' No. 9), Lancaster vs. High Desert
Zeke Spruill (D-backs' No. 11), Reno at Las Vegas