Pipeline Preview: Moran, McKinney meet in Jupiter, Fla.
Pair of left-handed hitting 2013 first-rounders have impressed at the plate this season
On Saturday, many of the game's top prospects will convene in Minnesota, a day before they will play in the All-Star Futures Game at Target Field.
In a year or two, Marlins' No. 2 prospect Colin Moran and Cubs' No. 9 prospect Billy McKinney, two first-rounders from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, may be among the prospects playing for the U.S. team in the Futures Game. This year, however, they will spend All-Star weekend facing each other in the Florida State League, where Moran and Class A Advanced Jupiter are hosting McKinney and Daytona. They will play the second game of their four-game series Saturday at 6:35 p.m. ET.
Moran, ranked No. 43 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, and the Hammerheads won the first game of the series, 8-5, Friday night. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs.
The Marlins selected Moran with the sixth overall pick last year and he has quietly put together a solid first full professional season. In 71 games with Jupiter, he is hitting .303/.347/.408 with four home runs.
McKinney was drafted 18 picks after Moran and has only recently joined him in the Florida State League. Up until last week, McKinney was a member of the A's organization. He began the season playing center field for Class A Advanced Stockton. Just 19 years old, he was the third-youngest player in the California League on Opening Day, but held his own, hitting .241/.330/.400 with 10 home runs in 75 games.
When the Cubs and the A's executed the first major trade of the season last weekend, McKinney, shortstop Addison Russell (No. 11 on the Top 100) and Dan Straily were dealt to the Cubs in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
After the trade, McKinney joined Daytona, making his debut Monday. In his first six games with his new team, he is hitting .235/.381/.235 and has driven in three runs. He is also playing a new position, as he has slid over to right field in deference to Albert Almora, the Cubs' No. 4 prospect.
Saturday's Minor League slate will also be highlighted by a few pitchers ranked on the Top 100 Prospects list who are scheduled to start, including Archie Bradley (No. 4), Matt Barnes (No. 68) and Pierce Johnson (No. 82). Fans can watch all of them on MiLB.TV, beginning with Johnson and Double-A Tennessee hosting Jacksonville at 6:15 p.m.
Bradley, the D-backs' top prospect, is set to start for Double-A Mobile against Mississippi at 7 p.m. It will be his fourth start with the BayBears this season after an elbow strain sidelined him for two months. Since joining Mobile late last month, he has a 1.42 ERA and has struck out four batters and walked nine in 12 2/3 innings.
Top prospect probables:
Cody Anderson (Indians' No. 3), Akron at Trenton
Tyler Anderson (Rockies' No. 10), Tulsa vs. Arkansas
Aaron Blair (D-backs' No. 3), Visalia vs. Inland Empire
Bradley (D-backs' No. 1), Mobile at Mississippi
Barnes (Red Sox No. 6), Pawtucket at Toledo
Chris Beck (White Sox No. 8), Birmingham at Jackson
Tyler Danish (White Sox No. 4), Winston-Salem at Carolina
Zach Davies (Orioles' No. 12), Bowie vs. Richmond
Chase De Jong (Blue Jays' No. 12), Lansing at Bowling Green
Anthony DeSclafani (Marlins' No. 5), New Orleans vs. Memphis
Jarlin Garcia (Marlins' No. 19), Greensboro at West Virginia
Grayson Garvin (Rays' No. 18), Montgomery at Pensacola
Lars Huijer (Mariners' No. 20), High Desert at Lake Elsinore
Brian Johnson (Red Sox No. 12), Portland vs. New Hampshire
Pierce Johnson (Cubs' No. 8), Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
Austin Kubitza (Tigers' No. 19), West Michigan at Dayton
Cory Mazzoni (Mets' No. 11), Binghamton at Erie
Bryan Mitchell (Yankees' No. 13), Trenton vs. Akron
Victor Payano (Rangers' No. 14), Myrtle Beach vs. Lynchburg
Zach Petrick (Cardinals' No. 16), Memphis at New Orleans
Chris Reed (Dodgers' No. 6), Chattanooga vs. Huntsville
Adrian Sampson (Pirates' No. 20), Altoona at Harrisburg
Victor Sanchez (Mariners' No. 6), Jackson vs. Birmingham
Tyler Skulina (Cubs' No. 19), Kane County vs. Beloit
Tom Windle (Dodgers' No. 7), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Lancaster
Mike Wright (Orioles' No. 5), Norfolk vs. Gwinnett