Monday was a slightly abbreviated night in the system, as only three full-season teams were in action. The headline in the system was Chris Paddack’s return to the mound for Lake Elsinore. El Paso and San Antonio went down in close games.
Reno Aces 8, Chihuahuas 6
Key Statistics: LF Cory Spangenberg, 2-for-6, R, 3B; 2B Luis Urias, 2-for-4, R, BB, 2B; 1B Brett Nicholas, 1-for-4, R, HR (8), 3 RBI, BB; C Raffy Lopez, 2-for-3, R, HR (7), 2 RBI, 2 BB; 3B Diego Goris, 4-for-5, 3B, R, SB (2); RHP Chris Huffman, 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Trey Wingenter (L, 1-1) IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K; RHP Robert Stock, IP, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso overcame an early six-run deficit to tie the game in the middle innings before losing late. The Chihuahuas lost at home, where they are just 5-7. They are 11-1 on the road. … Since a 0-for-4 performance dropped his average to .244 two weeks ago, second baseman Luis Urias has been red-hot. Urias had a pair of hits and drew a walk Monday night. Since April 17th, Urias is hitting .352, with seven walks and six strikeouts. For the season, Urias is hitting .307/.416/.440. … The Chihuahuas socked two homers — one each from Raffy Lopez and Brett Nicholas. Nicholas, who was acquired a few weeks ago from the Rangers, is third in the PCL with eight homers (one behind Salt Lake teammates and former big leaguers Chris Carter and Jabari Blash), while Lopez has seven. Lopez drew a pair of walks. After he didn’t walk in his first nine games with the Chihuahuas, he’s taken eight free passes in the last 10 contests to push his on-base percentage up to .372. With Austin Hedges leaving the big league game early, Lopez could be in-line for a second stint with the Padres. … Utility infielder Diego Goris capped off an impressive first month with four hits and a stolen base. Goris, who left the system as a free agent this winter, was re-acquired by the Padres on March 23rd. He has an OPS north of 1.000 and has nearly doubled his walk rate from a season ago. … Robert Stock, who was promoted from Double-A earlier in the day, worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. He’s now K’ed 17 in 10 innings of work since signing as a minor league free agent this winter.
Midland RockHounds 4, Missions 3
Key Statistics: DH Josh Naylor, 2-for-4; 1B Kyle Overstreet, 2-for-4, HR (4), R, 2 RBI; LHP Jerry Keel, 7 IP, 2 H, ER, 5 K; LHP Brad Wieck, IP, 2 H, 2 ER, K; RHP Rowan Wick (L, 1-1) IP, ER, 4 BB, K.
Prospect Watch: The first month of the season is in the books and the numbers aren’t pretty for Fernando Tatis Jr. The top prospect had an RBI ground-out and pair of strikeouts on the afternoon and hit just .177/.231/.333 in the season’s first month, with 34 strikeouts in 96 at-bats. On the positive side of things, Tatis hit three homers and has walked five times in the last four games. For context, Tatis hit just .230/.313/.345 with 29 strikeouts in 87 at-bats last April in Fort Wayne. He went on to improve his walk rate and reduce his strikeouts in every month after that. … Josh Naylor had another multi-hit game Monday, raising his slash-line to .379/.450/.674. … Lefty Jerry Keel carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before giving up a leadoff single. A two-out single by Sean Murphy pushed across the one run charged to him. Keel has been very good in three starts, where he has pitched to a 0.95 ERA. In two other starts, Keel has allowed 10 runs in 8.1 innings. The lefty has a low 90’s fastball and a pretty decent breaking ball. Monday was the first time this year Keel didn’t issue a walk. … LHP Logan Allen was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week. Allen pitched 13 innings last week and had an ERA of 1.38 over two starts.
Roster Note: With Stock’s promotion to El Paso, flame-throwing righty Gerardo Reyes earned his first promotion to San Antonio. Reyes, 24, grew up four hours south of San Antonio near McAllen, Texas. He was acquired from the Tampa Rays with Wil Myers.
Storm 6, Inland Empire 66’ers 1
Key Statistics: CF Buddy Reed, 3-for-4, 2 R, HR (5), RBI, BB, SB (13); RF Jorge Ona, 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI; RHP Chris Paddack (W, 1-0) 6 IP, 3 H, 7 K; RHP David Bednar, 2 IP, H, R (0ER), BB, K.
Prospect Watch: Righty Chris Paddack, making his first outing since July 18, 2016, threw a career-high six clean innings in a Storm victory. Paddack, who missed nearly two years recovering from Tommy John surgery, struck out seven while allowing just three hits and no walks. Paddack showed excellent command of his fastball, which touched 95, and generated a few ugly swings with his changeup. He threw just 75 pitches, 55 for strikes, in his six frames. Despite only working 87.2 innings in three seasons, Paddack landed at number 15 on our Padres top prospects list coming into the year. … Outfielder Buddy Reed continues to hit at a prodigious clip. He added three more hits, including a homer and another bunt single to the ledger. Reed also swiped a bag and leads the Cal League with 13 steals. While Reed’s start is encouraging, he is hitting nearly .500 on balls in play and his strikeout rate is virtually the same as it was in Fort Wayne a season ago. Still, Reed’s mix of power and speed is a major positive in the system this season. … Outfielder Jorge Ona had three hits and fell just a homer shy of the cycle. The Cuban outfielder is hitting .385 over his last ten games, with five multi-hit games in that span. Ona has only found the seats once in 2018 but does have a useful .800 OPS for the Storm.
If you missed it, we fielded questions in our first mailbag. That’ll be a recurring feature every other Monday, so feel free to direct questions to us on Twitter @MadFriars or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re not going to say subscribers will get priority for a response, but we’re not going to not say that either.