Padres prospect Efraín Contreras pitches for Fort Wayne TinCaps

Efraín Ramirez has emerged as another teenage pitching threat for Fort Wayne. (Photo: Fort Wayne TinCaps)

Chihuahuas 8 Tacoma Rainiers 7

Key Stats: CF Michael Gettys 1-for-5, HR (19); DH Ty France 1-for-5, HR (16); 3B Jake Vosler 3-for-4; RHP Eric Yardley 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; RHP Gerardo Reyes 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; LHP Robbie Erlin 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas fell behind 6-0 after four innings, but two-out homers from Michael Gettys and Ty France powered yet another comeback win. Gettys has now homered in five straight games and hit in nine consecutive. The 23-year-old’s OBP continues to hover well below .300 and he struck out twice to push his K rate back up to 30%, so despite blowing past his career high in homers just halfway through the season, the tooled-up center fielder is still producing almost 20% below league average. … France’s seventh inning grand slam gave El Paso a lead they never surrendered. In 14 games since he was optioned back to El Paso, the corner infielder has pounded PCL pitching for a 1.181 OPS and has struck out just 10 times in 64 plate appearances. … Robbie Erlin, who is eligible to rejoin the big league club after Tuesday, and Gerardo Reyes, who was optioned from the majors Saturday, combined for 3.1 scoreless innings of relief Sunday. As he did during his assignment to Lake Elsinore in April, Erlin has worked on a three day schedule for El Paso. … While much has been written about the impact of the new baseball on PCL home run totals, there’s more to the Chihuahuas’ prowess than just the equipment. The squad’s 165 homers through 76 puts them 33 ahead of second-place Round Rock and they’ve hit more than half of them on the road.

Tulsa Drillers 5 Sod Poodles 3

Key Stats: RF Edward Olivares 2-for-3, SF, SB (17), OF Assist; 3B Peter Van Gansen 1-for-4, HR (5);  LHP Adrian Morejon 1IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, HBP; RHP Ronald Bolaños 5.2 IP, 6H, 1 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, HBP; RHP Michel Báez 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: Adrian Morejon once again couldn’t get beyond one inning of work, as the talented lefty labored through 37 pitches while surrendering a pair of runs. The 20-year-old has only topped 41 pitches once since leaving his start back on April 22 and spending three weeks on the Injured List. While he’s struck out 20 over 14.1 innings in eight outings since returning to action, he’s also allowed seven earned runs. He was uncharacteristically wild Sunday, walking two and hitting a batter. … Countryman Ronald Bolaños followed Morejon and held Tulsa to one run over 5.2 innings of work. The righty’s 22:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18.2 innings since joining Amarillo is better than his numbers over the first two months of the season in Lake Elsinore, but opponents are hitting .293 against him. Bolaños is still learning how best to deploy his wide array of pitches consistently. … Completing the Cuban pitching troika, Michel Baez surrendered two runs in the eighth to lose a game he entered tied. The big righty was working on only two days’ rest for the first time all season, and allowed five runners to reach safely. Báez is on a trajectory to be a relief option for the big league club in the second half if he can continue to put batters away.

Storm 11 Inland Empire 66ers 1

Key Stats: Allen Córdoba 4-for-5, 2B, SB (11); 2B Esteury Ruiz 1-for-3, BB, 2 SB (28), 2 K; 3B Eguy Rosario 3-for-4; C Luis Campusano 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR (7); LHP Aaron Leasher 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB, WP

Prospect Watch: Six different Storm hitters reached multiple times and Aaron Leasher turned in a stellar outing as Lake Elsinore cruised to victory Sunday. Luis Campusano continued his breakout campaign, blasting his seventh homer of the year and collecting a pair of doubles to push his slugging percentage back above .500. Among the league’s top 10 in slugging, only Campusano and Jeter Downs have struck out less than 20% of the time – and the Dodgers’ prospect has gone down on strikes more than 50% more often than Campusano. Campusano’s strikeout-to-walk rate is the best on the circuit. … Esteury Ruiz swiped two more bases and now shares the league lead with 28. For the second consecutive year, he’s putting up slightly better than league-average production at the plate despite a strikeout rate hovering just under 30%. While his walk and strikeout rates nearly mirror last year’s, he’s seeing just about half a pitch more per plate appearance this season and swinging through fewer pitches, encouraging signs for the 20-year-old. … Aaron Leasher matched a career high, striking out nine over six scoreless frames. The Michigan-born lefty has struck out nearly a batter per inning at every level since the Padres drafted him in 2017, but he’s almost cut his walk rate in half this year.

Great Lakes Loons 2 TinCaps 1

Key Stats: RF Agustin Ruiz 3-for-4, 2B; Grant Little 2-for-3; C Blake Hunt 1-for-3, 2B; RHP Efraín Contreras 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 8 K, 3 BB

Prospect Notes: The TinCaps couldn’t do anything offensively to support Efrain Contreras, who tossed five no-hit innings, then lost the game late. The 19-year-old, who was still in the DSL a year ago, now has the third-best strikeout rate in the Midwest League and, though he’s sitting just outside the top 10 in ERA, FIP marks him as the fourth-best qualifier on the circuit. While he doesn’t offer much physical projection, the Juarez native has added two pitches since his under-the-radar signing in 2017 and can match the intensity of any higher-profile prospect in the system. … Countryman Agustin Ruiz collected three of the TinCaps’ six hits, including his 15th double of the season. The 19-year-old started the year hot, had a dreadful May, but has bounced back with an .859 OPS in June. The left-handed batter has hit in five straight and has four three-hit games in his last seven starts.

Eugene Emeralds 4 Dust Devils 3

Key Stats: 1B Jason Pineda 2-for-4, 2B, BB; RF Matt Acosta 1-for-3, 2 BB; LHP Omar Cruz 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 10 K, 2 BB, HBP, WP

Prospect Watch: Almost a year to the day after Omar Cruz struck out 10 in four one-hit innings in his second AZL start, the lefty did the same in the Northwest League. The 20-year-old struck out six of the first seven he faced, but in the third inning he walked two, hit a batter and committed an error on a sacrifice bunt to plate a run. He avoided further damage by striking out three straight batters with the bases loaded. Only four of the 17 batters he faced put the ball in play – two were bunts and just one reached the outfield. Cruz, who posted a 2.01 ERA in six outings for the Dust Devils last year, was sent back to the Northwest League this year to improve command and efficiency this year. … Jason Pineda has three doubles among his seven hits on the young season, but has also struck out nine times. The Tri-City offense is averaging more than 10 strikeouts per game, but also leads the league with 53 walks in their first 10 contests.

AZL Indians Red 3 AZL Padre-1 2

Key Stats: SS CJ Abrams 2-for-4; DH Victor Nova 2-for-3, BB; RHP Matt Brash 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K; RHP Brandon Komar 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB; RHP Frank Lopez 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB

AZL Padres-2 7 AZL Dodgers Mota 3

Key Stats: 3B Ethan Skender 2-for-4, 2 HR; 2B Ripken Reyes 2-for-4, SB; RF Junior Perez 1-for-4, 2B, SB; LHP Jose Garcia 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB; RHP Michel Miliano 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; RHP 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K

Prospect Watch: Fourth-rounder Matt Brash and 13th-rounder Brandon Komar both made their professional debuts, working one and two scoreless innings respectively. The right-handers both worked as starters in northern states this year, so their introduction to the pro routine is likely to be quite measured through the summer. Both are likely to develop as relievers. … Frank Lopez made his first stateside appearance of the year after getting sent back to the Dominican during extended and pitching in three DSL games. The 18-year-old, the only member of the Padres’ 2017 international signing class to bypass the DSL entirely last season, already works in the low-90s with his fastball and has plenty of physical projection on a frame that’s already bigger than his listed 6-foot-1 height. Even though he’s repeating the league, the Venezuelan righthander is still among the youngest pitchers in the AZL this summer. … Ethan Skender homered in each of his first two at-bats Sunday and now has 11 total bases through his first eight professional at-bats. When he was last healthy in spring training way back in 2017, the right-handed hitter was lacing balls all around the Peoria Sports Complex, but a series of leg injuries finally resulted in major surgery last spring. At 22, he’s finally getting a chance to start his professional career. … Junior Perez doubled Sunday and has hit in each of his first four U.S. games. The 17-year old – he was the youngest player in the 2017 international class and won’t turn 18 until July 4 – has the frame to grow into a corner outfield threat.

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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