The Greensboro Grasshoppers, who have won four games in a row and remain competitive despite recent promotions of four All-Star players, open a six-game homestand Thursday. The Hoppers host three-game series against the West Virginia Power and Hagerstown Suns, teams that are a combined 15-25 since the start of the South Atlantic League season’s second half.
Information: gsohoppers.com or (336) 268-2255.
West Virginia Power
Parent club: Seattle Mariners
Friday: 7 p.m. Saturday: 7 p.m. Sunday: 4 p.m.
Three Power players to watch …
• RHP Devin Sweet: The 22-year-old pitcher from Greensboro was the News & Record's high school player of the year in 2014 for Southeast Guilford. He signed with the Mariners as an undrafted free agent out of N.C. Central last year. He pitched for three minor-league teams last summer, going 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA. He had been good in 19 appearances out of the Power's bullpen this season and was moved into the starting rotation the week before the All-Star Game. He’s 4-4 with a 3.34 ERA, with 18 walks and 80 strikeouts in 64⅔ innings. Sweet, who walked none and struck out 10 in seven innings last time out, should start the series opener.
• RF-CF Julio Rodríguez: The 18-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic is among the youngest players in the Sally League and rated by MLB Pipeline as the No. 6 prospect in Seattle’s farm system. Signed at 16 for a $1.75 million bonus, the right-handed batter hits for average and has untapped raw power. Activated from the injured list June 10 after recovering from a broken left hand, Rodríguez comes in batting .284 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 35 games.
• SS-2B Joseph Rosa: The 22-year-old switch-hitter from New York was signed as an undrafted free agent at 18 and is a career .266 hitter in 362 minor-league games, all but six of them at Class A or lower. The contact-hitting utility player has split time between the middle infield spots for the Power this season and comes in hot, batting .441 with nine runs scored and eight RBIs in his last 10 games. Rosa has batted .265 in 78 games, and he ranks 15th in the league with a .361 on-base percentage.
Parent club: Washington Nationals
Monday: 7 p.m. Tuesday: 7 p.m. Wednesday: noon
Three Suns to watch …
• C Israel Pineda: Washington’s No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, the 19-year-old Venezuelan catcher signed at 16 for a $450,000 bonus. A New York-Penn League All-Star last season, he batted .273 with four home runs and 24 RBIs before a broken hamate bone ended his season after just 46 games. He has struggled to duplicate that success in the Sally League, batting .212 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 62 games with Hagerstown.
• RHP Reid Schaller: A hard-throwing 22-year-old picked in the third round of the 2018 draft out of Vanderbilt, Schaller is rated by MLB Pipeline as the No. 15 prospect in Washington’s farm system. His fastball has touched 98 mph on the radar gun, but the Nationals have been cautious with him and his surgically repaired right elbow. Schaller also features a low-80s slider and a work-in-progress changeup. He has pitched 10 innings in three games for the Suns, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA, 11 walks and nine strikeouts.
• LF-RF Justin Connell: A 20-year-old contact hitter with good speed, MLB Pipeline ranks Connell as the No. 30 prospect in Washington’s farm system. Drafted in the 11th round out of high school in 2017, he’s a career .277 hitter in 141 minor-league games. Connell has a short right-handed swing and an excellent eye for the strike zone. He ranks among the top 12 in the Sally League in both walks (37) and on-base percentage (.377). He’s walked 72 times and struck out 70 times in 557 pro plate appearances.