Padres prospect Gabriel Arias fielding for Fort Wayne TinCaps

Gabriel Arias’ bat is starting to develop to match his stellar defense. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Chihuahuas 14 – Albuquerque Isotopes 2

Key Stats:  RHP Cal Quantrill 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 4 K, BB, 7H; 2B Luis Urias 2-4, 2 R, 2B, BB; RF Forrest Allday 1-5, HR, 3RBI, R, K; 3B Ty France 1-2, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB; CF Dusty Coleman 3-5, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI; 1B Brett Nicholas 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, K; LF Shane Peterson 3-5, 2 R, RBI

Prospect Watch: Not only are the Chihuahuas on a tear through August, they’re being paced by key prospects. In his fourth start with El Paso, Cal Quantrill tossed six innings, giving up just one earned run to lower his Triple-A ERA to a stellar 2.74, a little more than half his Double-A number (though ERA estimators put the performances much closer together).  The strikeout rate has taken a dip, but there is nothing particularly disconcerting this soon after a promotion, especially in light of improved control.  The former first-rounder hasn’t walked more than one batter in any of his four starts.  … With another multi-hit performance by Luis Urias, he raises his August slash line to a sensational .436/.489/692.  His 8:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio is still well above his career norm, but it is clearly a calculated endeavor to sell out for more power as Urias has clubbed fourteen extra-base hits this month. … Ty France, the Padres 34th-round selection in the 2015 draft, continues to impress in his first taste of Triple-A ball, slashing a robust .283/.361/.585 slash line to go along with four home runs.  While the hitter-friendly league has certainly been beneficial for France, he displayed excellent patience yesterday, walking in three of his five plate appearances.

Frisco RoughRiders, Missions 3

Key Stats:  RHP Michel Baez 6 IP, 6 K, ER, 6 H, 2 BB; CF Buddy Reed 1-5, 3 K, 2B; LF Josh Naylor 1-4, R, BB, K; C Austin Allen 1-3, 2B, BB; 3B Hudson Potts 0-5, 4 K; DH Michael Gettys 1-3, CS, K

Prospect Watch:  After coughing up ten runs in his first 8.1 innings of Double-A ball, Michel Baez turned in his first solid start for the Missions, striking out six and allowing just one earned run over six innings of play.  Baez also walked only a pair of batters and kept the ball in the park after walking seven and giving up four homers in his previous two starts. … San Antonio is proving to be a little overwhelming for nineteen-year-old Hudson Potts, who struck out in four of his five at-bats Thursday night, but the organization knew it was an aggressive move for such a young prospect.  Given his age and track record of striking out frequently as he acclimates to a level, there is no need to panic over the poor numbers that could likely continue for what little is left of the season. … The Missions’ latest losing streak, now at four games, has all but certainly taken them out of the Texas League playoff mix.

Storm 6, Inland Empire 66ers 7

Key Stats:  RHP Pedro Avila 6 IP, 4 ER, 10 K, BB, 8 H; CF Edward Olivares 1-4, H, BB; 1B Brad Zunica 1-5, 2B, 2 R, BB, 3 K; SS Chris Baker 2-4, 2 RBI, R, K; DH Jorge Ona 0-4, 3 K

Prospect Watch:  Despite a six-run day for the Storm offense, they collected only two extra-base hits – a pair of doubles – the entire game.  Pedo Avila ten strikeouts were the story of the game, but the 21-year-old allowed four or more earned runs for the third straight start.  While his strikeout numbers are impressive, he has seemingly hit a wall in High-A for the second straight season with an ERA over four and a miserable 1.46 WHIP. The strong fastball/curve mix may portend a future in the bullpen. … With another three-strikeout game, Jorge Oña continues his disappointing season following an auspicious introduction to full-season ball in 2017.  Oña has struck out in nearly a third of his trips to the plate while walking a mere 33 times, and his batting average has cratered to a paltry .217 since the all-star break.

Great Lakes Loons 9, TinCaps 6

Key Stats:  RHP Ben Sheckler 3.1 IP, 8 ER, K, 2 BB; RP Austin Smith 2 IP, 3 K, 0 ER; SS Owen Miller 3-5, 3 2B, 2 R, RBI; 3B Gabriel Arias 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 3 K; RF Jack Suwinski 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB; 1B Jalen Washington 1-4, HR, R, RBI

Prospect Watch:  After homering only twice during the first four months of the season, Gabriel Arias collected his third long ball of the month, raising his slugging percentage to a stellar .578 for August.  The 27 strikeouts in August remain undesirable, but at 18 years of age, a strong finish to the season may not just boost his prospect status, but ultimately earn him a chance at a High-A assignment straight out of spring training. … While it was natural for a college hitter like Owen Miller to thrive at a short-season league, he is proving to be more advanced than even Low-A, collecting a trio of doubles in his fifteenth game with Fort Wayne.  The Illinois State product has struck out just four times in his last ten games as he has displayed a knack for putting the ball in play. While he’s walked only once in 57 plate appearances, the 21-year-old is batting .351 with a sustainable average on balls in play.

Eugene Emeralds 5, Dust Devils 0

Key Stats:  SP Angel Acevedo 7 IP, 6 K, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 H; SS Xavier Edwards 0-4, 2 K; RF Michael Curry 1-3; CF Tre Carter 0-2, BB; DH Gary Paulen 0-3, 3 K

Prospect Watch:  A day after pounding out 15 runs, the Dust Devils mustered just two baserunners all game while striking out eleven times in a miserable performance.  Xavier Edwards, who went hitless in the game, collected two of the eleven strikeouts but still maintains a superb 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio and a .419 on-base percentage.  … Michael Curry notched the team’s lone hit, a groundball single all the way back in the top of the first. With that hit, he improves his August batting average to just under .300 after batting thirty points below the Mendoza line in his first full month of the season. … Angel Acevedo, a 19-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, tossed his third quality start in four games.  Over his last ten games, he has allowed just one long ball and only 4.7 hits per game. Opponents are hitting just .211 against him on the year.

The Padres’ AZL affiliates had their final off-day of the season. They’ll open their final four-game stretch Friday.

Posted by Travis Barnett

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