Chihuahuas 9 – Las Vegas 51s 6
Key Statistics: 2B Luis Urias 2-for-3, HR (2), 2BB, 3R, PO; C Brett Nicholas 2-for-3, 2B, HR (6), 2BB; 1B Diego Goris 2-for-4, BB; RHP Brett Kennedy 5IP, 7H, 1ER, 8K, 2BB, HBP
Prospect Watch: With so much talent in the organization, Brett Kennedy tends to get lost in the shuffle sometimes. But, as I noted when I ranked him 12th in the system coming into the year, he’s well positioned to push for a big league roster spot at some point in the year. He certainly could have been more efficient on Sunday, but the righty turned in his fourth consecutive start allowing one or fewer earned runs to open the year. While he continues to rely heavily on his four-seam fastball, pitching coach Bronswell Patrick has him working on integrating a breaking ball more consistently. Kennedy struck out six total in his first two starts but jumped that total to 13 in the last two. He averaged nearly a strikeout per inning in San Antonio last year. … Luis Urias added 90 points to his OPS Sunday as he posted his second straight multi-hit game. The 20-year-old second baseman put the Chihuahuas up 2-0 with his second homer of the year in the first inning and also drew a pair of walks in the game. That closes the gap on his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 15:10 in 78 plate appearances, impressive by any standard but his own. … The Padres acquired both Diego Goris, long a useful contributor to the system, and AJ Preller connection Brett Nicholas from Texas in minor transactions over the last month to fill roster needs in El Paso. Both have been on fire, with hits in eight of their last nine contests each. Goris, 27, sports a .987 OPS and is walking more than twice as much as he ever has in the early going. Nicholas, 29, is slugging .807, which puts him squarely between Jabari Blash and Cody Decker near the top of the PCL leaderboard.
Midland RockHounds 8 – Missions 6
Key Statistics: LF Rod Boykin 1-for-3, 2BB, 2B; 1B Josh Naylor 1-for-5, HR (7); 3B Ty France 2-for-5, HR (1); DH Austin Allen 2-for-3, 2B, HR (6); PH Fernando Tatis Jr. 0-for1, K; RHP Cal Quantrill 5IP, 8H, 5ER, 3K, 0BB
Prospect Watch: The Missions mounted a four-run rally in the eighth, but fell short in Midland Sunday afternoon. Fernando Tatis, Jr. got a day off, but entered with two outs during that rally and was called out on a pitch under his hands to end the frame. Josh Naylor and Austin Allen continued their torrid starts, each adding another homer to their totals to remain 1-2 at the top of the Texas League. Perhaps as impressive for the slugging lefties, they now own strikeout rates of 9 and 14 percent respectively. Allen is pacing the circuit with a .780 slugging percentage and 1.202 OPS, with Naylor right behind him at .730 and 1.176. … For the second straight outing, Cal Quantrill used 88 pitches to get through five innings of work. He’s worked in the zone consistently except for his first start of the year but wasn’t able to keep hitters off balance as effectively Sunday as he had in the last two starts. Midland jumped him for a season-high eight hits including four for extra bases, and five runs. He didn’t issue any walks for the first time in 12 Texas League starts, but also matched his low-water mark at the level with only three strikeouts. Overall, it’s been a solid start to the campaign for Quantrill in a system that has had a number of great ones.
Storm 8 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 6
Key Statistics: C Luis Torrens 2-for-3, 3B, HR (2), 2BB, 4RBI; CF Buddy Reed 3-for-5, 2B, HR (4); 3B Eguy Rosario 3-for-4, BB, 2B; 1B Hudson Potts 2-for-4; RHP Elliot Ashbeck 1IP, 0H, 0R, K, S (1)
Prospect Watch: The Storm jumped Buddy Reed showed his top-shelf athleticism in big and small ways Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder turned a soft liner in front of him into a double in the first, laid down a bunt single that didn’t even draw a throw in the fourth, and then flew around the bases for an inside-the-park homer in the eighth. Reed has now hit in nine straight games to push his OPS to 1.129, third in the offense-happy Cal League. The switch-hitter struggled to make contact from the left side last year, striking out in a third of his plate appearances and posting an ugly .229/.285/.394 line in the Midwest League. He’s shaved nearly 10 percent off his K rate from the left side in the early going this year. … Luis Torrens, who Kevin profiled for subscribers today, had a big day at the plate. Now 21 years old and finally getting regular action against age-appropriate competition, the Venezuelan backstop hit his second homer of the year and legged out a triple in the game. He has five multi-hit games in his last six starts and has pushed his slash line up to .280/.321/.500 in the early going. … After showing better patience at the plate in spring training, it took Hudson Potts ten games to draw his first walk of the season. But the slugging corner infielder has three, with only three strikeouts, in the last seven. He owns a nicely balanced .400 OBP and .600 slugging percentage in April, compared to a .259/.316 line in his first month at Fort Wayne a year ago. … Gerardo Reyes struggled in a rare bad outing, allowing the first five men to reach base in the ninth. Elliot Ashbeck relieved with the bases loaded and got a grounder, strikeout and fly ball to escape the jam and collect his second full-season save. The 24-year-old righty missed much of 2016 and 2017 after Tommy John surgery but owns a 1.88 ERA in 81.1 professional innings.
TinCaps 7 – Dayton Dragons 6
Key Statistics: C Juan Fernandez 1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, E; 1B Carlos Belen 1-for-3, BB, 2R; RHP Adrian Martinez 3IP, 4H, 3ER, 6K, 3BB; RHP Jared Carkuff 3.1IP, 2H, 0R, 2K, 1BB
Prospect Watch: The Dragons committed four errors to give the TinCaps an equal number of runs, and Jared Carkuff delivered some much-needed quiet innings to lead the TinCaps to their second straight series victory. Carkuff, 24, came over from the Blue Jays system with Edward Olivares in the Yangervis Solarte trade this winter just 18 months after Toronto took him as a late-round pick out of Austin Peay. The righty bounced between four levels last year and has already filled needs in San Antonio and El Paso this month. Sunday, he threw a season-high 3.1 innings of scoreless ball to pick up his first victory in the organization. … Esteury Ruiz singled twice out of the leadoff spot. He’s now hit in eight of nine contests with a .333 average in that span. The 19-year-old has an unsightly 16:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the early going. The Padres do seem to be committed to giving him regular playing time at third base, where he started Sunday, in addition to second.
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For the box scores of all the Padres’ affiliates games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards.