Oklahoma City Dodgers 11 Chihuahuas 3
Key Statistics: LF Michael Gettys 3-5, RBI; 3B Ty France 1-4, HR (15) RBI; 2B Esteban Quiroz 1-2, BB; PH Jason Vosler 1-1, HR (12) , RBI; LHP Kyle McGrath 1.0 IP 7H 6 R 5 ER BB K HR; RHP Trevor Megill 1.2 IP 2 H 3 K
Prospect Watch: Playing at home, the Chihuahuas were down six runs before they even had a chance to bat, and even in the PCL that is a pretty steep obstacle to overcome. … Rehabber Jose Castillo, who had been close to the end of his IL stint, faced only three batters before he left with the trainer. The big man got the first batter he faced with a 92 mph fastball, gave up a PCL-special homer to left-hander Shane Peterson, then walked a batter on four straight pitches before Bronswell Patrick and a trainer came to the mound and quickly removed him. At the very least, this will likely push back his arrival to a bullpen that could desperately use him at full strength. … Ty France homered in his fifth consecutive game, tying Austin Hedges and Franmil Reyes for the longest consecutive home run streak in team history. Regardless of what anyone believes France’s future may be at the major league level, he is having an amazing season in El Paso. In 116 plate appearances, he has a slash line of .426/.504/.954 with 26 extra-base hits in 27 games. …It’s hard for someone 6-foot-8 and 250-pounds to blend into the background, but Trevor Megill, 25, is quietly putting up solid numbers in relief. In six outing for El Paso, the LMU product has allowed one run on eight hits over 11.2 innings, striking out 13 against two walks. Overall at three stops this season, he’s struck out 29 in 22 innings while walking five and posted a combined 0.82 ERA. The 2015 draftee had Tommy John surgery after his freshman year at LMU and missed all of 2016 with a series of unrelated injuries, and has yet to throw 40 innings in any season for the Padres organization. He already spent a month on the IL after four outings this year, but his velocity has been back this season and he’s holding opponents to just a .200 average overall.
Sod Poodles 11 Tulsa Drillers 6
Key Statistics: RF Edward Olivares 2-3, RBI, BB; 2B Owen Miller 4-5, HR (7) 3 RBI; 1B Brad Zunica 2-5, LF Tayler Kohlwey 3-5, 2 HR (3) 3 RBI; LHP Adrian Morejon 2.0 IP H K; RHP Emmanuel Ramirez (W, 6-4) 4.2 IP 3 H 4 R 4 ER 4 BB 7 K HR
Prospect Watch: Owen Miller and Tayler Kohlwey, both Wisconsin natives, were responsible for six of the Sod Poodles’ 11 runs as Amarillo improved to 32-34 on the first half and moved a game and a half out of first place in the Texas League South Division. Miller has been particularly hot in June with a .352/.390/.519 slash line. The Illinois State product, a year removed from being drafted in the third round, has been seeing time at both shortstop and second base. He’s hit five of his seven homers at home this year, while he’s drawn three-quarters of his walks on the road. … Kohlwey, 24, has been one of the better surprise contributors in the system this year. After posting a .977 OPS and playing first base for the first time in his professional career in April for Elsinore, he’s hitting .862 for Amarillo. The left-handed batter hit a pair of homers Saturday. … Adrian Morejon looked great, dialing it up to 98 and sitting in the 95 range but also went only two innings. This season Morejon has struggled with shoulder soreness and has not thrown five innings since April 16. The organization is being careful with him but still hope to get him stretched back out and will keep him in Double-A until he can get his innings up.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8 Storm 3
Key Statistics: 2B Esteury Ruiz 2-5, 2B; LF Allen Cordoba 1-3, 2 BB; RHP Reiss Knehr 1.0 IP H 2R 2 ER 4 BB 2 K HR
Prospect Watch: The Storm were down 3-0 early at Rancho Cucamonga and were never able to come back as they fell to only one game over .500 despite … Esteury Ruiz has lifted his on-base percentage from .258 in April, to .364 in May to .415 in June. Ruiz, despite having a slight frame, has wiry power. He’s collected 18 extra-base hits this year including five home runs and stolen 25 bases in 31 attempts. Encouragingly, his walk rate has increased and his strikeout rate dropped as the season has gone on. He is a big reason why the organization is not in any rush to promote Xavier Edwards up from Fort Wayne. …Tirso Ornelas, 19, is scuffling with the Storm and is only hitting .219. The good news is he’s still reaching base at a .319 clip, but the power has just been missing. His total of 12 extra-base hits in 238 plate appearances is not what anyone has hoped for. He’s had a big spike in his groundball rate and the number of balls he’s pulling.
Lake County Captains 7 TinCaps 4
Key Statistics: LF Michael Curry 2-4; SS Justin Lopez 2-4; DH Xavier Edwards 0-3, 2 BB, SB; RHP Efrain Contreras 2.2 IP 6 H 4 R 3 ER 2 K 2 HR
Prospect Watch: Lake County clinched a first-half playoff spot in Fort Wayne in a rain-delayed, almost four-hour game. Fort Wayne was only able to muster one extra-base hit, a double by catcher Juan Fernandez. … Michael Curry, a 16th round draft pick out of the University of Georgia last year, is on a nice ten game hitting streak with a .324 batting average over that period. The right-handed batter, who caught in college but AJ Preller joked was called as a hitter in the draft, was one of only two players with an OPS above .700 in the TinCaps lineup Saturday. … Edwards was hitless but still drew two walks to keep his on-base percentage at .404. He also stole his 18th base in 26 attempts. As we noted in our Q&A with him earlier in the week, since Edwards has moved to a head-first sliding technique to accelerate through the bag he has been much more successful. After attempting just one stolen base in a 17 game stretch, he’s swiped four over the last three contests.
Everett AquaSox 7 Dust Devils 3
Key Statistics: CF Matthew Acosta 2-4; 1B Jason Pineda 2-5; DH Nick Gatewood 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; RHP Ignacio Feliz (L, 0-1) 4.2 IP 6 H, 5 R (1 ER), 4 K, HR.
Prospect Watch: In what was a recurring theme tonight for the Padres’ farm clubs, Tri-City gave up four runs in the first and never got out of the hole. The Dust Devils have dropped their first two games. … The Padres drafted Jason Pineda, 19, out of the New York City area in the 17th round in 2017. The youngest position player in his class to sign, Pineda struggled for two years in the AZL with a .216/.326/.329 line but statistics at this level, and particularly for a player that age should be seen as a data point, not as the whole story. In his draft year, Pineda was seen by Baseball America as a player with a strong right-handed stroke and very good barrel awareness. He frequently put up some of the best exit velocities at the Peoria Sports Complex, but also struck out in a third of his plate appearances. The Padres were able to convince him to begin his development in professional baseball instead of at the University of Michigan. He’ll be an interesting player to follow this summer. … Ignacio Feliz‘s system debut certainly didn’t get off to an ideal start, but he bounced back nicely. The 19-year-old acquired from Cleveland last winter in exchange for Walker Lockett surrendered a two-out grand slam in the top of the first after a Pineda error extended the inning. After that, he got out of the inning with his third strikeout and then allowed just one hit over his next three frames. The righty ultimately finished having allowed one earned run on six hits and a hit batter over 4.2 innings of work.
We wrapped up our conversations with the national draft media experts with David’s discussion with Eric Longenhagen. The club has been fast to get 24 members of the class to sign already. With Dylan Fellows and his Vanderbilt teammates getting underway at the College World Series Sunday, it seems any more major signings will likely have to wait until he’s finished and able to turn his attention to the next stage of his career.