Padres prospect Brad Zunica homers for Amarillo Sod Poodles

Brad Zunica connects on his ninth homer of the year. (Photo: Grant Wickes)

Albuquerque Isotopes 12 Chihuahuas 2

Key Statistics: RF Michael Gettys 1-4, HR (11), RBI; CF Boog Powell 2-2 HR (5), BB, SB, RBI; RHP Fernando Rodriguez, Jr. (L, 1-1) 3.2 IP 10 H 7R 7 ER 2 BB 6K HR

Prospect Watch: Saturday’s 10-run defeat was the most lopsided of the year for the Chihuahuas as they have now lost two of the first three games of the five-game series. … Despite having an off night on the road, the Chihuahuas still had a pair of home runs to give them 96 on the year in 43 games to top the Pacific Coast League.  While there are many well-documented factors on why the ball is flying more this season, the second-place Sacramento River cats have just 73. … Boog Powell, 26, who as injured at the start of the year, has been playing out of his mind in his first 18 games.  He has a .404/.523/.769 slash line and, as we mentioned here a few days ago, the heavily right-handed Padres could be looking for the left-hander’s blend of speed and defensive ability.  The Padres signed Powell as a minor league free agent in the offseason after the Oakland A’s opted to outright him off their 40-man roster. Originally a 20th-round pick in 2012, the Orange County native has used up all three of his option years.

Sod Poodles 9 Frisco RoughRiders 5

Key Statistics: 2B Ivan Castillo 2-5, 2B, BB, SB; SS Owen Miller 2-4, 2 RBI, BB, SB; DH Kyle Overstreet 4-5, RBI; 1 B Brad Zunica 2-3, 2 HR 4 RBI, 2 BB;  RHP Emmanuel Ramirez (W, 3-4)  6.0 IP 8 H 5 R 5 ER BB 5 K 2 HR; RHP Kaz Makita 1.0 IP BB 2 K

Kyle Overstreet has been hot in May. Photo: Grant Wickes.

Prospect Watch: Brad Zunica, who had a big night with a pair of home runs, and Kyle Overstreet, who had four hits, paced the Amarillo offense for a big night on the road. The 6-foot-6 Floridian still struggles to make consistent contact, but he is also getting his enormous raw power more effectively this year when he does. His .220/.326/.475 line also includes nine home runs on the year, which is tied for the best in the Texas League. His walk rate and IsoP have bounced back to their 2017 levels after a down year in Lake Elsinore last season, and his strikeout rate has even come down slightly to a career-low 28.3%. He’s had some bad luck, hitting just .239 on balls in play, but his underlying contact numbers give reason for optimism going forward. … Overstreet struggled in April but has returned to form with a .360/.429/.400 slash line in May. … Dauris Valdez came off the Injured List and worked a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and a walk. The enormous righty spent the minimum seven days on the shelf after a rough outing last Friday but came back throwing heat again. He’s struck out 19 in 13 innings this year but has allowed 29 batters to reach base safely and surrendered five homers. … The Sod Poodles are now four games behind the RoughRiders in the first-half standings.

TheStorm game was rained out

The Lake Elsinore game in San Jose was postponed because of rain. The Storm will play their second doubleheader in four days Sunday to make it up.

Second baseman Xavier Edwards has been one of the best players in the Midwest League in 2019. Photo Jeff Nycz.

Lansing Lugnuts 7 TinCaps 1

Key Statistics: 2B Xavier Edwards 2-5; LF Dwanya Williams-Sutton 2-4; RF Augustin Ruiz 2-4; 1B Lee Solomon 3-4 2 2B; RHP Angel Acevedo (L, 0-5) 5.0 IP 6 H 4 R 4 ER BB 3 K; RHP Austin Smith 2.0 IP H 2 R R BB 2 K

Prospect Watch: Despite having 11 hits on the night, the TinCaps were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position as they went down at home against Lansing. … At 19, Xavier Edwards is leading the Midwest League in batting average at .366 and the Florida native could be a legitimate candidate for a promotion after the MLB draft in early June. The switch-hitter has only struck out 11 times in 149 plate appearances and has six extra-base hits. He extended his hitting streak to 13 Saturday night. … Austin Smith threw a pair of innings as the Padres’ top pick in 2015 tries to remake himself as a reliever in his fourth season with the TinCaps. Smith has a 3.38 ERA in eight innings with six strikeouts and a pair of walks.

For the box scores of all the games please go to the scoreboards.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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