Lively spins gem for Lehigh Valley

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“Tonight was one of those nights where he could do anything he wanted to,” Trenton manager Bobby Mitchell told “Look at the home run, for instance. He went deep with two strikes, which just shows such maturity. He’s so confident that even if he gets two strikes on him, he never shows real anxiety or panic. It’s a great thing for any player, but at his age, it’s special.”

The 20-year-old shortstop doubled in the first, his first hit since he went on the DL on April 19 with mild rotator cuff tendinitis, and then he highlighted a four-run fifth inning with his first homer at the Double-A level — a three-run blast out to left.

The three-hits and seven total bases marked season-highs for Torres, who is getting his first taste of Double-A. Torres has played in 12 games and is batting .267 with five extra-base hits.

“He struggled a little bit right before he was disabled, but he got locked in during batting practice,” Mitchell said. “His BP had a purpose and it carried over into the game. If he stays focused, which I have no doubt he will, the sky is really the limit for him.”

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday

Yoan Moncada (White Sox No. 1) extended his hitting streak to seven games with hits in both ends of Triple-A Charlotte’s double-header against Columbus. Baseball’s top prospect combined to go 4-for-8 with a stolen base over the two games and is off to a fast start this season with hits in 15 of the 20 games he’s played in.

• No. 3 overall prospect Amed Rosario (Mets No. 1) put together another strong game for Las Vegas. Rosario hit his first Triple-A homer and swiped his seventh base of the year as part of a 2-for-4 performance. The highly-touted shortstop is off to an incredibly fast start this season with hits in 19 of the 22 games he’s played in. Rosario has two or more hits in 13 of those games and is hitting .407 overall.

No. 20 overall prospect Bradley Zimmer (Indians No. 1) took advantage of Columbus’ doubleheader, posting a pair of multi-hit games, something he’s now done three straight times. Zimmer went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer out of the leadoff spot in Columbus’ 8-1 win and then went 2-for-5 in the 6-3 loss.

Franklin Barreto (Athletics No. 1, No. 46 overall) continued his hot start with another three-hit day for Triple-A Nashville. Barreto has three or more hits in five games this season after going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in the Sounds’ win over New Orleans. The 21-year-old shortstop has hits in eight of his past nine games and is batting .349.

• Dylan Cease (Cubs No. 3, No. 69 overall) continues to rack up the strikeouts for Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old right-hander matched his career high with 10 strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Cease has given up one earned run or fewer in four of his five starts this season and has fanned 47 in just 28 1/3 innings.

• Indians’ No. 8 prospect Erik Gonzalez watched his batting average soar more than 30 points as he raked in both ends of a doubleheader for Triple-A Columbus. The 25-year-old shortstop collected five hits Saturday, going 3-for-5 in the first game and 2-for-4 in the nightcap, bumping his average from .244 to .275.

• White Sox No. 11 prospect Spencer Adams notched his first win of the season for Double-A Birmingham. Adams walked four and gave up eight hits in six innings, but he was able to work his way out of trouble, allowing just an unearned run.

• Yanio Perez (Rangers No. 15) is off to a torrid start in his full-season debut. Perez, whom the Rangers signed out of Cuba in September, went 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored for Class A Hickory in a win over Columbia. Through 22 games Perez has already hit five homers and driven in 16 runs. The 21-year-old is also in the middle of a seven-game hitting streak that includes five multi-hit games and has seen his slash line balloon to .342/.435/.582.

Athletics’ No. 17 prospect Matt Olson also had a big day at the plate for Nashville, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Olson got off to a slow start this season but may be digging his way out of the slump. The four hits marked a season high for Olson, who is in the midst of a five game hitting streak during which he’s bumped his average from .186 to .267.

Blue Jays’ No. 22 prospect Danny Jansen bumped his average up to .416 with his second four-hit game of the young season. Jansen, a catcher, went 4-for-5 with a double and a pair of RBIs as Class A Advanced Dunedin won its third straight.

• Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25) tripled his home run total on the season, going deep in each of Class A Advanced Carolina’s games against Frederick. Unfortunately for Gatewood, it was not enough as Frederick swept the doubleheader. Gatewood finished the day 2-for-5 with a pair of solo homers.

Ben Lively (Phillies No. 25) notched just one strikeout in seven innings, but that hardly seemed to matter as he was brilliant for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Lively threw 67 of his 90 pitches for strikes, giving up six hits, no walks and one unearned run.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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