PEORIA, Ariz. — With big league camp breaking and the Mexico City delegation wrapping up their weekend abroad, there were plenty of moving parts for Padres minor leaguers Sunday afternoon. Nearly a dozen players went over to the Cactus League finale while there were two full intrasquad games and another four-inning game on the back fields.
The marquee featured Nick Margevicius and Adrian Morejon on Field 6 and they didn’t disappoint. With Andy Green watching before he went over to see the presumed two final candidates for the big league rotation get hit hard, Margevicius worked four solid frames. He gave up one quick run when Buddy Reed led off with a hit to left-center that he legged into a double. Eguy Rosario followed with a single that could score only a handful of runners and Reed crossed the plate easily.
After that, a lineup of mostly Double-A hitters managed just one more hit. As he has all spring, the lefty kept hitters off-balance working with a fastball that topped out in the low 90s. He was especially rough on left-handed hitters, getting several rollover grounders to the left side. He did not walk a batter.
Meanwhile, Morejon simply carved up a lineup of hitters from across the system. Working 94-96 with his fastball and adding and subtracting easily with his curve and both variations on his change-up, he tossed five hitless innings, striking out four and walking just one. The 20-year-old lefty hit one batter, but few opponents made good contact against him. He’s on track to open in Amarillo. After logging only 65 innings because of a variety of nagging injuries last year, Morejon has an opportunity to assert himself this year.
Over on Field 5, Emmanuel Ramirez and Jesse Scholtens worked four innings each as they stretch out for likely work in the El Paso rotation. Ramirez, who has served as a swingman for three years, continues to show a split-fingered fastball that helps his other stuff play up. Scholtens, 24, showed both his curve and slider in different counts, a pattern he’ll need to continue when he gets his second shot at Triple-A. Both pitchers got through their work efficiently enough that they extended in the bullpen to prepare for the season.
Ramon Perez tossed four innings in a hybrid between a live BP and an intrasquad game. The 19-year-old Cuban continues to fly under the radar but should be a valuable contributor in Fort Wayne in 2019.
Henry Henry, who still looks like he could someday add 30 pounds to his frame, worked 91-93 and showed flashes with his curve. He got a strikeout looking with one that came back to catch the outside corner against a left-handed batter, but at times the pitch spun more than it broke.
Ignacio Feliz also got four innings as he stretches out for a spot in Fort Wayne. The Padres acquired the righty from Cleveland in exchange for Walker Lockett as they set their 40-man roster this winter. The 19-year-old Dominican gets good extension although he might not quite reach his listed 6-foot-1 height and mixed in a few effective changeups.
Dietrich Enns and Dillon Overton, both also in the mix for innings in El Paso, worked behind fellow southpaws Margevicius and Morejon. Overton, claimed from the Mariners midway through 2017, held opponents to a .235 average last season. He gave up some loud contact Sunday, including a line drive blast over the left field wall by 18-year-old Yerri Landinez. Easily a few inches and 40 pounds bigger than he’s listed at, the switch-hitting Dominican third baseman had a rough showing as a 17-year-old in the AZL last summer, but has an immense toolset to work with.
- He may bounce around between first base, designated hitter and catcher this year, but Nick Gatewood is going to hit. He had a couple of impressive at-bats, including turning around a Henry fastball for a double to left field.
- Reed missed some time after his collision with Josh Naylor in the big-league game, but he was on fire today. He took four extra bases, making it look easy as he flew around the basepaths. There are few players in the system more dynamic than the Florida Gator.
- With middle infield spots up for grabs in Amarillo, Matthew Batten continues to do everything he can to take a job. A 32nd-round pick out of Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University in 2017, Batten has put up a double-digit walk rate since coming into the system while working effectively everywhere around the infield.
- Lee Solomon‘s name doesn’t jump out compared to all the other talent the Padres had in Peoria last summer, but he’s an all-around player who will make a difference in Fort Wayne this season.