Padres prospect Kyle McGrath pitches for El Paso Chihuahuas

Kyle McGrath flirted with perfection in his fourth career start Sunday. (Photo: Grant Wickes)

Chihuahuas 6 Omaha Storm Chasers 3 (F/10)

Key Stats: CF Franchy Cordero 1-for-5, 3B, BB, 2K; 2B Luis Urias 0-for-5, 3 K; RF Jose Pirela 2-for-5, 2B; LF Michael Gettys 1-for-3, HR (13), 2 BB, 2 SB (9); LHP Kyle McGrath 7IP, 3H, 3ER, 6K, 0BB

Prospect Watch: Until three weeks ago, Kyle McGrath had never started a professional baseball game and never finished four full innings in a contest. Sunday, the 26-year-old lefty carried a perfect game into the eighth inning. The 2014 36th-rounder struck out a career-high six batters before hitting a wall. He gave up a pair of singles to open the eighth and then, on his 95th pitch of the day, surrendered a three-run homer by Royals prospect Samir Dueñez. The lefty with a funky over-the-top delivery contributed as a big league bullpen piece over the final two months of the 2017 season and got four games with the Padres in 2018 before the club DFA’ed him. Starting out of necessity for El Paso, he’s allowed seven earned runs in 20 innings with a stellar 17:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. … Michael Gettys homered in his first plate appearance, then drew a pair of walks and swiped two bases later in the game. While the 23-year-old’s tools have always been obvious, he’s struggled to put the bat on the ball consistently. While his strikeout rate has finally edged below 30%, he’s also walking at a career-low 4.5% rate. Even though he’s on pace to make a run at a 30/30 season, he’s also producing about 30 percent below a league-average offensive performer in the PCL.

Sod Poodles 6 Corpus Christi Hooks 0

Key Stats: LF Ivan Castillo 2-for-4, 2 R; SS Pete Van Gansen 1-for-3, BB, 2B; LHP Adrian Morejon 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 7 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: Lefty Adrian Morejon continued to ease back into work after shoulder soreness limited him to just three outings and seven innings in May. While it doesn’t sound like there has been any sign of structural injury, the club has been exceptionally cautious with the talented 20-year-old. Morejon gave up some loud contact in the first inning, including a two-out double, but came back with a pop-up and two strikeouts in the second. As with when they restarted him last month, the Padres gave Morejon three days off between his first two outings. Expect him to get four days before stretching out for another frame in his next appearance. … Emmanuel Ramirez had his split-finger fastball working as he followed Morejon. The 25-year-old righty allowed just four singles over six scoreless frames. After a rough April, Ramirez sports a 3.19 ERA with a strong 41:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 42.1 innings since the start of May. … With Rodrigo Orozco joining Jorge Oña on the Injured List, infielder Ivan Castillo will get a chance to show off a bit more of his versatility. The switch-hitting minor league free agent signee added two more hits while making his first start in the outfield as a member of the Padres organization. The 24-year-old logged 19 starts in left for the Blue Jays’ High-A affiliate last summer. He’s closing in on the plate appearances he’d need for his .353 batting average to officially top the Texas League.

Storm 5 Lancaster JetHawks 4

Key Stats: 3B Gabriel Arias 3-for-4, 2 HR (7); SS Eguy Rosario 2-for-4, SB (8); RHP Elliot Ashbeck 4.1IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2BB

Prospect Watch: While former Padres draftee Ryan Rolison largely held them in check over the first six innings, Elsinore rallied for four runs against the JetHawks bullpen to win their third straight. … Gabriel Arias, playing at third base for just the second time this year, homered twice and singled in four trips to the plate. The talented infielder had a rough May after spending the first week of the month on the Injured List but has turned it on of late. He’s hit in nine straight games and, despite 11 strikeouts in 39 plate appearances, sports a 1.018 OPS so far this month. While he’s often sold out for pull power, his two blasts Sunday were to right-center and left-center. Through 51 games in Elsinore this year, he’s surpassed his 2018 season home run total. … The second outing of Seth Blair‘s improbable return went better as the 30-year-old righty followed strong outings by Elliot Ashbeck and Will Headean by giving up one unearned run over two frames to pick up his first win since 2014. Headean, who missed all of 2018 after Tommy John surgery, gave up two runs in his first outing off the Injured List but has worked 4.2 scoreless frames with five strikeouts since.

Dayton Dragons 5 TinCaps 4

Key Stats: SS Tucupita Marcano 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; RF Aldemar Burgos 1-for-4, 2B, OF Assist; 1B Lee Solomon 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Efraín Contreras 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 1BB, WP; RHP Henry Henry 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, WP

Prospect Watch: Thanks to another strong outing by Efraín Contreras, the TinCaps took a 4-1 lead to the eighth, but Henry Henry, who’s been stellar in relief all year, had a rare rough outing to allow the Dragons to walk-off with the win. Contreras, the youngest of the three teenagers in the TinCaps rotation, matched his season high with eight strikeouts over six frames. That pushed his strikeout rate to 27.8%, good for fifth on the circuit, while his 5.8% walk rate is tied for third-lowest. The two have powered his FIP to 2.85. Only one other pitcher 20 or younger, and no teenagers, have a sub-4.00 FIP in the Midwest League. … Tucupita Marcano picked up an RBI double for his first hit since coming off the Injured List Saturday. The left-handed hitter has pushed his strikeout rate below teammate Xavier Edwards‘s while hitting for slightly more power than his more-acclaimed fellow infielder.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

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