Ivan Castillo in action for the Sod Poodles. (Photo: Eddie Kelly)

Chihuahuas 13 Albuquerque Isotopes 9 (11 innings)

Key Statistics: CF Travis Jankowski 0-7, 4 K; LF Boog Powell 3-6, 2 RBI; 1B-3B Ty France 4-5, 2 2B RBI, BB; C Austin Allen 3-4, 2B , 5 RBI, BB; 3B Jason Vosler 2-5, RBI; RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 3.0 IP 6 H 7 R 7 ER 3 BB 3 K 3 HR; LHP Brad Wieck (W, 1-1) 2.0 IP 2 BB 2 K; LHP Travis Radke 1.0 IP K.

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas scored five runs in the top of the eleventh inning to notch their fourth victory in a row. …Juiced ball or not, Ty France is having a season at the plate he will tell his grandchildren about. In 55 games, he has 40 extra-base hits for a .379/.440/.773 line.  If you are into more advanced metrics, his wRC+ of 194 tops all hitters in the PCL. …In our Q&A that we ran the other day, Austin Allen said that when he is on the fastball, he is doing well. With five RBI, he was on the fastball tonight.  For the season, the Missouri native has a .368 on-base percentage and a .588 slugging percentage in addition to a pair of trips to the big leagues.  He is making the case to be on someone’s big league roster. …In an evening with a lot of offense Travis Jankowski had a tough night, going hitless with four punchouts. Sunday will mark the 20-day limit for his rehab assignment. Even if he is not immediately recalled, the club will need to make a 40-man roster move with him at that point. … Big Brad Wieck can certainly pitch in the PCL. In 13.2 innings he has 26 strikeouts against only six walks as the opposition is hitting only .149 against him.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals 14 Sod Poodles 3

Key Statistics: SS Ivan Castillo 2-5 HR (7), RBI; C Luis Torrens 2-3, BB; DH-1B Brad Zunica 1-3, 2B, BB; RHP Jesse Scholtens (L, 3-5) 4.0 IP 10 H 8 R 8 ER BB 2 K 3 HR; RHP Peter Van Gansen 1.0 IP 2 BB

Ivan Castillo is racing towards the Texas League batting crown. (Photo: Eddie Kelly)

Prospect Watch: The best news to come out of Saturday’s game for the Sod Poodles was Ivan Castillo extending his hitting streak to 17 games.  Signed as a minor league free agent out of the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Castillo, 24, is easily having his best professional campaign. Last season in the High-A Florida State League, he posted an OPS of .793, this season with Amarillo he is at .906.  One of the interesting parts about Castillo’s numbers is that he is hitting only slightly better in hitter-friendly Hodgetown, .346/.377/.566, than he is on the road, .345/.368/.500.  Ivan is having a good year. …The catching position might be the one where the organization has the most depth.  This year, Luis Torrens has a .287/.363/.460 slash line. His walk rate is up from last year in Lake Elsinore and his strikeout rate has only moved up slightly.  His defense has picked up quite a bit and the former Rule 5 selection by San Diego could be an attractive piece to other organizations that don’t have San Diego’s catching depth. 

Storm 5 Visalia Oaks 0

Key Statistics: 3B Eguy Rosario 2-4, RBI; SS Gabriel Arias 2-4 HR (8), 3 RBI; 1B Olivier Basabe 2-4, 2B; DH Esteury Ruiz 1-3, BB, SB (30); RHP Luis Patiño (W, 6-8) 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Seth Blair 1.0 IP, 2 K

Prospect Watch: After MacKenzie Gore’s promotion to Double-A Amarillo, Luis Patiño became the top pitching prospect in Lake Elsinore. Over his past few outings, he’s looking like he doesn’t want to stay behind. After 6.1 scoreless innings Saturday, he has given up just one earned run and has 16 strikeouts against just three walks in 12.1 innings over his last two starts.  The 19-year old had an electric performance in the Future’s Game and so far in July, he has an ERA of 1.88 in 14.1 innings. …By now, most people who follow the Padres’ system know about Gabriel Arias’s glove, and that his hitting has to pick up.  In July, his hitting has picked up.  This month he has a slash line of .381/.426/.524 and has cut his strikeout rate significantly. There’s plenty of power in there if he makes contact more consistently. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels 6 TinCaps 4

Key Statistics: SS Tucupita Marcano 2-3, 3B, BB; CF Juawan Harris 2-3, BB; RHP Efrain Contreras (L, 4-4) 5.0 IP 9 H 6 R 5 ER BB 4 K HR; RHP Jose Quezada 2.0 IP 2 H 4 K

Tucupita Marcano’s bat has heated up in July. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps came close to pulling off another comeback when they had the bases loaded in the ninth inning with no outs, but couldn’t come through for the hometown crowd in what would have been their third straight come-from-behind win. …With Xavier Edwards‘s promotion to Lake Elsinore, expect to read more about Tucupita Marcano‘s work. His manager Anthony Contreras said earlier that when the weather heated up, he expected Tucupita’s bat to as well. After struggling coming back from a wrist injury in June with a .219/.266/.274 line, he appears back on track in July with a .306/.342/.389 line.  He’s only 19 and the left-handed-hitting Venezuelan has quite a bit of physical projection left.

Vancouver Canadiens 5 Dust Devils 2

Matthew Acosta was the Padres 12th round draft pick out of USC this year. Photo: Mike Wilson

Key Statistics: RF Matthew Acosta 2-4; 1B Carlos Luiz 2-4; SS Jordy Barley 1-4, HR (3), RBI; LHP Ethan Elliott 3.1 I 3 H 5 K; RHP Felix Minjarez (L, 2-1) 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K; RHP Wen-Hua Sung 2.0 IP 3 H, 1 ER, BB, 2 K

Prospect Watch:  The Dust Devils fell to four games under .500 with their loss on the road to Vancouver.   One of the brighter spots of the season has been the play of outfielder Matthew Acosta, 21, a 12th-round pick out of USC in this year’s draft.  He is tied with Jordy Barley for the most hits on the team at 35 and has posted a slash line of .299/.394/.359. … A player going the opposite direction is outfielder Mason House, who is hitting just .091 in 47 plate appearances with 24 strikeouts.  House, given an over-slot bonus as a third-rounder in the 2017 draft, has struggled to turn his considerable tools into any sort of consistent production because of his contact issues.

AZL Padres-2 5  AZL Padres-1 4

Key Statistics: (AZL-2) 2B Ripken Reyes 2-4, 3B, RBI; Cristian Heredia 2-4; RHP Jeferson Garcia 5.0 IP 3 H 2 R ER 3 BB 6 K; RHP Keegan Collett 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; LHP Anderson Polanco 1.0 IP BB K; (AZL-1)  C Chandler Seagle 2-4, 2B; SS C.J. Abrams 1-4, BB, RBI; RHP  Luarbert Arias (L, 1-1) 4.2 IP 5 H 3 R 3 ER BB 6 K; RHP Moises Lugo 4.1 IP 2 H 2 R ER 2 K

Prospect Watch: It’s not exactly Auburn-Alabama on a College Football Saturday, but for the two Padres teams in the AZL it might determine who makes the run to AM/PM for a cold beer after the game. … We have kind of started to run out of eye-popping statistics to tell you about CJ Abrams, but I’ll take a swing.  In 23 games, the 18-year-old has 44 hits, 18 of them for extra-bases.  He has 12 steals in 16 attempts and has a .419/.452/.676 slash line in 112 plate appearances.  He has seven errors in 19 games at shortstop, but I’m still ready to see him in Tri-City in the Northwest League. … Luarbert Arias, 18, has a 27:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio and the AZL is hitting only .206 against him.  Arias, signed out of the Dominican Republic at 16, is in his second year in the AZL. Last year, when he finished with a 3.50 ERA in 43.2 innings, we liked his ability to spin the baseball.  This year he is at 2.01 in 22 innings. …Venezuelan Jeferson Garcia, another of the other pitchers we liked last year, has been up-and-down as an 18-year-old this season. He still has a strong 29:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23.2 innings, but he’s been hittable enough that he sports a 6.46 ERA – recognizing that ERA in the AZL is something everyone should take with a very healthy grain of salt.

For the box scores of all the games please go to the MiLB.com 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.


  1. Steve Virissimo July 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    John, not a big deal, but I want you to know I’m reading your stuff. Your notes show AJ Abrams went 1-4 versus Padres AZ-2 last week (7/15). He was actually hitless that game and it ended his 20 game hitting streak to start his pro career. I was there and was kinda in shock and had to think about it for a minute. He did score and I think he also walked. Just say-in. Love your work.


    1. Thank you, Steve. I did make that mistake that ”CJ” Abrams did go 0-4. As you noted, I made a mistake when looking at the box score. Although I’m still trying to figure out if it’s ”C.J.” or ”CJ.” Thank you for reading. John


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