Albuquerque Isotopes 8 Chihuahuas 7
Key Stats: Travis Jankowski 3-for-5, 2B; 3B Ty France 3-for-4, 2B, BB; Josh Naylor 2-for-5, 2B; C Webster Rivas 2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB; RHP Tyler Higgins 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB
Prospect Watch: El Paso left the tying run in scoring position in the ninth as they came up short in a game that seesawed back-and-forth all night. Tyler Higgins gave up a run in two innings as the opener for El Paso. The 28-year-old righty, who missed seven weeks after an emergency appendectomy earlier this season, has given up a run in his last five outings. A minor league free agent signee, Higgins had been seen as a potential big league contributor before the recent slide. He could still put himself in a position to help if needed with a quick turn-around. … In what will be his last game on a rehab assignment, Travis Jankowski bounced back from Saturday’s rough night with a three-hit effort. The defensive specialist went 15-for-59 with 10 walks and as many strikeouts working back from a broken wrist. He’ll need to rejoin the 40-man roster in the next two days. … Josh Naylor had a single and double in his first game back in Triple-A, extending his on-base streak for the Chihuahuas to seven games over two months. … Ty France continues to make a joke of the PCL. After another three-hit night Sunday – his 12th game with at least that many in 56 contests for El Paso – his OPS for July sits at 1.072, 200 points below his mark in June.
Sod Poodles 7 Northwest Arkansas Naturals 0
Key Stats: 2B Ivan Castillo 2-for-4, 2B; CF Edward Olivares 1-for-1, HR (16), 2 BB, HBP; 3B Hudson Potts 1-for-3, BB; RHP Lake Bachar 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 K, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: Amarillo put up six runs against top Royals pitching prospect Jackson Kowar and Lake Bachar turned in his third stellar outing on the month as the Sod Poodles cruised to victory Sunday. Bachar dominated, allowing just three singles through his first seven frames. Thanks to a pickoff and caught stealing, he faced just one over the minimum and tossed 80 pitches through his first seven innings. The 24-year-old righty from the Chicago area tired a bit in the eighth, issuing both of his walks and a single before giving way to Evan Miller with two outs. Miller promptly got a groundout to end the Naturals’ only threat of the game. Bachar, the Padres’ fifth-round pick in 2016, had a rough May but has rebounded impressively over the last two months. He sports a 2.07 ERA over his last 10 outings, and a 1.83 mark with a 39:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34.1 innings in the second half. He matched his career-high with nine strikeouts Sunday. Injuries waylaid the former kicker and punter in 2017, and he struggled last season, but his high-spin fastball and two effective breaking balls make him a tough match-up when his command is sharp. … Edward Olivares reached base four more times, including connecting on his 16th homer of the year to pace the offense. The fleet-footed outfielder jumped a 1-0 fastball from Kowar and hit the 95 mph offering high off the batter’s eye in dead center. In 23 games since the All-Star break, the 23-year-old has torched the Texas League for a .393/.460/.726 line while providing plus defense and adding value on the basepaths as well. He’s nearly cut his strikeout rate in half from the first half while also getting a good spike in his walk rate. … Ivan Castillo extended his hitting streak to 18 with an infield single and a two-run double.
Visalia Rawhide 6 Storm 2
Key Stats: C Luis Campusano 1-for-4; RF Allen Córdoba 1-for-4, 3B; 1B Olivier Basabe 1-for-3, BB; RHP Caleb Boushley 5 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, HBP; RHP Javier Guerra 1 IP, 1H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB
Prospect Watch: With two outs in the second inning, Visalia strung together seven straight hits to plate five runs against Caleb Boushley and never looked back. In all, Boushley, 25, gave up six runs on 11 hits over five innings. When he’s been on, the righty from Wisconsin keeps hitters off-balance with an array of offspeed offerings and well-located sinker, but he’s been hit hard a few times the command has been off. … Javy Guerra continues to work one inning every third day as he looks to find his rhythm as a pitcher. The 23-year-old Panamanian allowed a leadoff single on a grounder up the middle but quickly got a double play and another groundout in his eight-pitch outing. … Allen Cordoba led off the seventh with an opposite-field triple for the Storm’s only extra-base hit of the night. The 23-year-old is hitting .374/.434/.520 since the All-Star break. He already has career highs in plate appearances, and while he’s looking like the player the Padres might have hoped when they carried him on the 25-man roster for all of 2017, he’s also in line for minor league free agency after the end of next season.
TinCaps 8 Cedar Rapids Kernels 7
Key Stats: CF Jawuan Harris 2-for-5, 2B, BB, SB (21), K; RF Agustín Ruiz 1-for-3, 2 BB; DH Tyler Benson 3-for-3, 2B, 3B, 2 BB; LHP Cullen Dana 3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; RHP Brandon Komar 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 3 BB
Prospect Watch: For the second time in four days, the TinCaps rallied late for a victory. The home club won when Twins prospect Wander Javier couldn’t field a bases-loaded, two-out grounder by Jawuan Harris in the bottom of the ninth. … In addition to the grounder, Harris singled and doubled to extend his hitting streak to six games and swiped his 21st base in 24 attempts. The 22-year-old former two-sport Rutgers player missed two weeks on the IL last month but is showing signs of putting things together at the plate recently. While his 30% strikeout rate is alarming, his 12.3% swinging-strike rate is in the middle of the pack for the Midwest League as he continues to work deep into counts. He’s seen nearly 4.2 pitches per plate appearance while drawing a walk every six trips to the plate. The skillset is there for a jump forward as Harris gets more looks at high-quality pitching. … Fellow outfielder Agustin Ruiz also extended his hitting streak to six games while drawing a pair of walks. The 19-year-old outfielder has been streaky all year, putting up strong numbers in April and June, but also an abysmal May and a 2-for-35 stretch earlier this month. The left-handed hitter has already hit triple-digit strikeouts for the year but has drastically cut his K rate this month. He’s struck out just three times over his last 56 plate appearances. … Cullen Dana made his first full-season start, giving up three runs in as many innings. The big lefty out of Seton Hall, working his way back from Tommy John surgery early last spring before his junior year, hadn’t allowed a run in six outings with Tri-City. The 21-year-old from New York didn’t have huge velocity before his surgery, but he pairs a fastball that sits around 90 with a curve and change he commands well.
Vancouver Canadians 10 Dust Devils 1
Key Stats: RF Jack Stronach 1-for-3, 2B, BB; C Jonny Homza 1-for-3, 2B, BB; RHP Nick Thwaits 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 K, 3 BB
Prospect Watch: The two lowest-scoring offenses in the Northwest League matched up again Sunday. Only one looked the part. Vancouver went ahead early and piled on late while Tri-City could put little together. Starter Nick Thwaits gave up a pair of runs in the first and two more in his final frame, the fourth. The 20-year-old from Ohio has given up 10 runs over his last 13.1 innings of work and has seen his strikeout rate nosedive from 32.1% in the AZL last summer to 18.1% against more advanced Northwest League hitters. While Thwaits has significantly reduced his walk rate, he’s also giving up plenty of loud contact on the year. … The Dust Devils plated their only run off talented righty Adam Kloffenstein in the fifth when Jonny Homza led off with a double, advanced on a flyout and then came in on a sacrifice fly. Homza got off to a slow start this year but has hit in eight of his last 10 games. The Anchorage, Alaska native has had an especially steep learning curve since the Padres drafted him out of high school in the fifth round in 2017. They asked the now 20-year-old to catch while facing his first advanced competition. Homza has taken to the task diligently and continues to flash solid raw power as he gets the many, many reps against good pitching that he’ll need. … Competitive Balance pick Logan Driscoll returned to the lineup for the first time in just over a month, going 0-for-4 as the designated hitter. The George Mason product came up lame running out a grounder on June 18 and had been sidelined since. It will be worth watching how the organization reintroduces him in his hybrid catching/outfield role in the coming week.
AZL Indians-Blue 10 AZL Padres-1 4
AZL Padres-2 3 AZL White Sox 2
Key Stats: CJ Abrams 1-for-4, BB, SB (13), 2 E (13); LF Joshua Mears 1-for-4, HR (2), BB, SB (6), 3 K; RHP Dylan Coleman 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB; LHP Dylan Hoffman 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, HBP, WP; CF Angel Solarte 2-for-4, HR (3); RF Junior Perez 1-for-3, HR (4); LHP Alexuan Vega 4 IP, 3 H 1 R (0 ER), 4 K, 1 BB; LHP Fernando Sanchez 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 8 K, 0 BB
Prospect Watch: Angel Solarte continues to impress in his second trip through the AZL. The 18-year-old Venezuelan, who held his own last year despite being physically overmatched, has hit in eight straight. His added strength this year is translating to harder, more frequent contact while helping his speed on both sides of the game. He led off the bottom of the ninth with his third homer of the year to claim a walk-off victory. … Fellow 18-year-old outfielder Junior Perez has made – despite some concerning strikeout rates in his first season stateside – even more of an impact for the AZL-2 club. A future corner bat, Perez hit his fourth homer of the year and third in four games. He’s hit in 12 straight and his .408 wOBA is tied for second behind C.J Abrams among Padres AZL hitters with 100 plate appearances. … Abrams, meanwhile, had a single and walk and stole his 13th base Sunday. He’s hit in all but one of his 24 professional games. … Big Joshua Mears connected on his second professional homer Sunday. The Padres’ second-round pick has hit in seven of his last eight but has also struck out 14 times over that stretch. … Dylan Hoffman, son of Padres third base coach Glenn, made his professional debut, giving up one run in his inning of work. The Padres drafted the 24-year-old Hoffman, a lefty, out of Waldorf University in Iowa, in the 39th round. … Luis Almanzar appeared in his first professional game as an outfielder a week after he was shipped back to the AZL after another disappointing run with the TinCaps. Almanzar, who got the largest bonus of all the traditional international free agents in the Padres’ 2016 bonanza, had just a .538 OPS in 53 games for Fort Wayne this year – an improvement on his .506 mark last year. Now 19, Almanzar had a double in four plate appearances and caught the only ball hit his way in left.