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Pipeline Preview: Reds, Braves' ace prospects meet

Matchup of Cincy's Stephenson, Atlanta's Hursh headlines Saturday's Minors slate

Pipeline Preview: Reds, Braves' ace prospects meet

Saturday's premier Minor League pitching matchup pits Reds' No. 1 prospect Robert Stephenson against Braves' No. 3 prospect Jason Hursh as Double-A Pensacola hosts Mississippi. The game can be seen on MiLB.TV at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Stephenson, ranked No. 18 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has had an up-and-down start to the season. He enters the game with a 4.41 ERA and a 21-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 16 1/3 innings.

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Hursh was the Braves' first-round selection in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He pitched well at Class A Rome after signing, emboldening the Braves to push him to Double-A for his first full professional season. He has a 2.95 ERA and a 10-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18 1/3 innings this season.

Other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 who are scheduled to start Saturday include Archie Bradley (No. 5), Kevin Gausman (No. 30), Kyle Crick (No. 31), Eddie Butler (No. 39) and Lucas Sims (No. 57). Fans can watch all but Sims on MiLB.TV.

Elsewhere, catcher Tommy Joseph will look to stay hot as Double-A Reading faces New Hampshire in a game that can be seen on MiLB.TV at 5:05 p.m. The Phillies' No. 16 prospect has an eight-game hitting streak and has hit three home runs in four games after going deep Friday against the Fisher Cats.

Joseph, who was acquired from the Giants in July 2012 as a part of the Hunter Pence trade, missed much of the 2013 season due to issues stemming from a concussion he suffered in May. While he is now healthy, he struggled at the outset of this season. He went 2-for-22 with seven strikeouts in his first seven games before his hitting streak began April 13 at Harrisburg. He is hitting .364 with a .687 slugging percentage during the streak.

Top prospect probables

  • Jason Adam (Royals' No. 9), Northwest Arkansas at Tulsa
  • Cody Anderson (Indians' No. 4), Akron vs. Altoona
  • Christian Binford (Royals' No. 12), Wilmington vs. Myrtle Beach
  • Archie Bradley (D-backs' No. 1), Reno vs. Salt Lake City
  • Eddie Butler (Rockies' No. 2), Tulsa vs. Northwest Arkansas
  • Andrew Chafin (D-backs' No. 13), Mobile vs. Jackson
  • Adam Conley (Marlins' No. 5), New Orleans vs. Omaha
  • Tim Cooney (Cardinals' No. 10), Memphis at Round Rock
  • Kyle Crick (Giants' No. 1), Richmond vs. New Britain
  • Jacob deGrom (Mets' No. 13), Las Vegas vs. Tacoma
  • Michael Feliz (Astros' No. 10), Quad Cities at Peoria
  • Kevin Gausman (Orioles' No. 2), Norfolk vs. Columbus
  • Drew Gagnon (Brewers' No. 17), Huntsville at Tennessee
  • Kyle Hendricks (Cubs' No. 15), Iowa at Colorado Springs
  • Jason Hursh (Braves' No. 3), Mississippi at Pensacola
  • Luke Jackson (Rangers' No. 8), Frisco at Corpus Christi
  • Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 10), Cedar Rapids at Clinton
  • Dace Kime (Indians' No. 15), Lake County at South Bend
  • Cody Kukuk (Red Sox No. 17), Greenville vs. Lexington
  • Jairo Labourt (Blue Jays' No. 12), Lansing vs. Bowling Green
  • Matt Magill (Dodgers' No. 12), Albuquerque at Fresno
  • Cody Martin (Braves' No. 10), Gwinnett at Toledo
  • Adalberto Mejia (Giants' No. 3), Richmond vs. New Britain
  • Andrew Mitchell (White Sox No. 17), Kannapolis at Rome
  • Mike Montgomery (Rays' No. 18), Durham vs. Scranton Wilkes Barre
  • Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' 10), Buffalo vs. Louisville
  • Keyvius Sampson (Padres' No. 14), El Paso at Sacramento
  • Angel Sanchez (Marlins' No. 16), Jacksonville vs. Montgomery
  • Luis Severino (Yankees' No. 10), Charleston at Delmarva
  • Lucas Sims (Braves' No. 1), Lynchburg vs. Potomac
  • Robert Stephenson (Reds' No. 1), Pensacola vs. Mississippi
  • Domingo Tapia (Mets' No. 14), St. Lucie vs. Bradenton
  • Taylor Williams (Brewers' No. 16), Wisconsin at Kane County

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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