Right-handers Eddie Butler and Alex Gonzalez, ranked 29 and 96, respectively, on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, met for the first time in their careers Sunday in Frisco. Gonzalez came out on top, as he led Double-A Frisco to a 9-2 victory against Butler and Tulsa.
Saturday, the Drillers will look for revenge when the Butler and Gonzalez meet for a rematch in Tulsa. The game, which begins at 8:05 p.m. ET, can be seen on MiLB.TV.
Gonzalez, the Rangers' No. 5 prospect, threw five hitless innings Sunday. He allowed two runs (both unearned) and struck out two batters. He picked up the victory and has now won his last five decisions. He hasn't lost since June 26.
Gonzalez began the season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and earned a promotion in early June. Between the two levels, he is 11-5 with a 2.39 ERA. He has struck out 94 batters and walked 36 in 120 2/3 innings. This is his first full professional season, after the Rangers selected him 23rd overall in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Butler, the Rockies' No. 2 prospect, began the season with Tulsa and pitched well enough to earn a call up to the big leagues. But after making his Major League debut June 6, he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The injury sidelined him for a month.
While Butler is now healthy again, he is still looking to recover his form. The RoughRiders scored five runs on eight hits in six innings against him Sunday and he lost for the third time in four starts since returning to Tulsa. In that stretch, he has a 5.48 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Butler will be in for another tough test against Frisco. Featuring third baseman Joey Gallo, No. 8 on the Top 100, the RoughRiders lead the Texas League in runs (565), OPS (.735) and batting average (.268) this season.
And Frisco's offense got another boost Friday, when outfielder Nick Williams, ranked No. 87 on the Top 100, was promoted from Myrtle Beach. The Rangers' No. 4 prospect hit .292/.343/.491 with 13 home runs in 94 games for the Pelicans and could make his RoughRiders debut Saturday.
In addition to Butler and Gonzalez, several other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are also scheduled to start Saturday, including Lucas Giolito (No. 10), Archie Bradley (No. 11), Jose Berrios (No. 36), Kyle Freeland (No. 70), Luke Jackson (No. 73), Touki Toussaint (No. 81) and Michael Feliz (No. 95). Fans can watch Bradley, Berrios, Jackson and Feliz on MiLB.TV, beginning with Berrios and Double-A New Britain hosting Harrisburg in a doubleheader that begins at 6:05 p.m.
Top prospect probables:
Berrios (Twins' No. 5), New Britain vs. Harrisburg
Clayton Blackburn (Giants' No. 7), Richmond at Portland
Butler (Rockies' No. 2), Tulsa vs. Frisco
Bradley (D-backs' No. 1), Mobile at Pensacola
Austin Brice (Marlins' No. 17), Jupiter vs. Charlotte
Alex Colome (Rays' No. 5), Durham vs. Charlotte
Zach Davies (Orioles' No. 8), Bowie vs. Trenton
Edwin Escobar (Red Sox's No. 11), Pawtucket vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Feliz (Astros' No. 7), Quad Cities vs. Burlington
Freeland (Rockies' No. 4), Asheville vs. Augusta
Luis Heredia (Pirates' No. 14), West Virginia at Lexington
Giolito (Nationals' No. 1), Hagerstown at Lakewood
Gonzalez (Rangers' No. 5), Frisco at Tulsa
Mitch Gueller (Phillies' No. 20), Williamsport at Mahoning Valley
Jackson (Rangers' No. 3), Round Rock vs. Tacoma
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 12), Elizabethton vs. Johnson City
Taylor Jungmann (Brewers' No. 11), Nashville at Albuquerque
Zach Lee (Dodgers' No. 6), Albuquerque vs. Nashville
Jorge Lopez (Brewers' No. 9), Brevard County at Dunedin
Michael Lorenzen (Reds' No. 4), Pensacola vs. Mobile
Luis Lugo (Indians' No. 20), Lake County at Fort Wayne
Roberto Osuna (Blue Jays' No. 5), Dunedin vs. Brevard County
Blake Snell (Rays' No. 13), Charlotte at Jupiter
Lewis Thorpe (Twins' No. 9), Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria
Toussaint (D-backs' No. 3), Missoula vs. Idaho Falls
Spencer Turnbull (Tigers' No. 12), Connecticut vs. Aberdeen
Logan Verrett (Mets' No. 20), Las Vegas at Omaha
Tyler Wilson (Orioles' No. 16), Norfolk vs. Gwinnett
Tom Windle (Dodgers' No. 7), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Lake Elsinore
Kevin Ziomek (Tigers' No. 5), West Michigan at Great Lakes