Tirso Ornelas, Padres prospect bats for Lake Elsinore Storm

Tirso Ornelas has returned to the Lake Elsinore Storm amid a rough 2019 campaign. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Chihuahuas night off

Sod Poodles 4 Midland RockHounds 3

AJ Kennedy homered for the second time in ten at-bats. Photo: Eddie Kelly

Key Stats: RHP Jesse Scholtens 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K; RF Edward Olivares 1-3, HR (17), 2 RBI, BB; C AJ Kennedy 3-4, HR (2), 2B; CF Taylor Trammell 0-5, 4 K

Prospect Watch: RF Edward Olivares‘s first home run since July 21 drove in the winning run as the Sod Poodles won their third straight. Despite the nearly month-long homerless drought, Olivares still has the team lead with 17 and seems a lock to join the 20-20 club this season. Wednesday’s was just Olivares’s fourth home run on the road this season.  … While Olivares broke an 80 at-bat homerless streak, backup catcher and defensive specialist AJ Kennedy homered for the second time in 10 at-bats.  The 30th-round pick in 2015 owns just a .182 career batting average and .507 OPS in five years with the organization, but the Padres love his defense and the way he handles a pitching staff.  His seven total bases set a new career-high, topping his previous high set three years ago in Lancaster. That game included a starting lineup with Javy Guerra, Ty France, Josh Naylor, Luis Urias, and Franmil Reyes, who homered twice. … Closer David Bednar turned in his eighth straight scoreless outing, striking out two of the three batters he faced to log his twelfth save of the season. The power righty has struck out 16 over his last nine innings and 71 in 50.2 innings overall.

Storm 14 Lancaster JetHawks 13 (10 innings)

Key Stats: LF Allen Cordoba 4-6, 2 R, RBI, 2B; Xavier Edwards 1-5, 2 R, BB, 2B; DH Luis Campusano 2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; SS Gabriel Arias 2-6, R, 2 RBI; 3B Eguy Rosario 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB; RF Tirso Ornelas 2-4, R, RBI, 2 BB; CF Jeisson Rosario 1-5, 3B, 2 R, RBI, BB

Prospect Watch: SS Gabriel Arias had reached base in 17 straight games.  That streak was on the line when he came up with two outs in the ninth of a 13-3 game.  He lined a single to left to keep the streak, and the game going.  Nearly 25 minutes later, Arias came up again — still with two outs — and lined an RBI single to center to tie the game at 13. In between, the Storm had a double, three singles and four walks as they mounted the system’s second remarkable comeback of the week. … The Storm finished off the win on an RBI single from Tirso Ornelas to open the 10th inning. The 19-year-old, who has had a nightmare season as he worked to integrate mechanical changes to his swing, reached base four times in the game, and has two hits in both contests since returning from a month in Arizona.  … With a triple and walk Wednesday, CF Jeisson Rosario pushed his line during a seven-game hitting streak to .345/.424/.517 over 33 plate appearances. His .297 slugging percentage on the year still raises a red flag, but he is one of many hitters in the system who has had a precipitous drop in strikeout rate in the second half.

Padres prospect Justin Lopez bats for the Fort Wayne TinCaps

Justin Lopez is finding his groove at the plate (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Lansing Lugnuts 5 TinCaps 3

Key Stats: LHP Omar Cruz 6 IP, 3 H, R, 7 K; SS Justin Lopez 1-3, 2 R, BB; 3B Ethan Skender 3-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

Prospect Watch: LHP Omar Cruz has enjoyed his promotion to Fort Wayne.  After walking six batters in seven innings (with 14 strikeouts) in two starts for Tri-City, Cruz has had very few problems with command — or anything else — in Fort Wayne.  The 20-year-old from Hermosillo, Mexico has allowed just one earned run on eight hits over 16.2 innings in his last three starts.  With Joey Cantillo‘s promotion, Cruz — another lefty with a breaking ball that’s a true weapon — might become the new number three behind Ryan Weathers and Efraín Contreras.  … It was a feel-good story when Ethan Skender, an overslot bonus signee back in 2016, finally made his first professional appearance in June.  After tearing the cover off the ball in the AZL, Skender has continued to do the same in Fort Wayne. He was the lone bright spot for the TinCaps Wednesday, driving in all three runs.  Skender is hitting .326/.386/.446 through 101 plate appearances with Fort Wayne and is now shifting the story from “feel-good” to “important for the organization.”  In Skender’s 24 games with the TinCaps, he has never gone hitless in consecutive games. His longest streak between hits… six at-bats.

Everett AquaSox 5 Dust Devils 1

Key Stats: LHP Jason Blanchard 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K; RHP Sam Keating 2 IP, H, 3 BB, 2 K; 3B Kelvin Melean 2-4, 2 2B, RS; RF Logan Driscoll 1-4, 3B

Prospect Watch: For the first time in his career, INF Kelvin Melean looks like the player the Padres were hoping to acquire when he got the club’s largest J-2 bonus in 2015.  After brutal stints in both Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne early this year, Melean is slugging .452 and reaching base at a .406 clip for Tri-City.  Still just 20, Melean has shifted around the infield to make room for other top prospects, but is finally settling in as arguably the best hitter in TC.  … Melean’s primary competition for that title, Logan Driscoll, tripled Wednesday as he continues to show plenty of pop.  While the offense hasn’t been especially surprising, his defensive role has. While the Padres called him as a catcher and he played their primarily at George Mason, he also logged time in the outfield. In part to protect his legs after a quad injury in June and long collegiate season, Driscoll has been in right field in 10 of his 15 games in the field. It will be interesting to watch his workload in Fort Wayne next season.

AZL Padres-1 9 AZL Diamondbacks 6

Key Stats: LHP Tom Cosgrove 2 IP, H, 3 K; CF Hudson Head 2-4, RS, RBI, BB; RF Joshua Mears 4-5, HR (5), 3 RS, 2 RBI; 1B Michael Suarez 2-4, 2B, RS, 2 RBI

AZL Padres-2 3 AZL Giants-Black 2

Key Stats: LHP Bodi Rascon IP, BB, K; 2B Ripken Reyes 3-4, RBI, 2B, SB (15); C Jared Alvarez-Lopez 2-4, RS

Prospect Watch: After signing at the deadline, LHP Bodi Rascon got a long ramp-up before his professional debut. Finally active, he struck out a batter in a scoreless inning. The 14th-round pick out of high school in Texas signed an above slot deal to bypass Oklahoma State. While he’s seen as something of a project, any 18-year-old already at 6-foot-5 could become a very intriguing prospect. … Fellow lefty Tom Cosgrove made his second rehab appearance since going on the IL for the Storm in early May.  He tossed two scoreless innings and could get back with the Storm by the end of the season. After a solid full-season debut in Fort Wayne last year, the Manhattan College product got hit hard in limited action before he was shut down this spring. … RF Joshua Mears came up a triple short of the cycle but went 4-for-5 on his best night as a professional. The Padres’ second-round pick has the loud tools that AJ Preller’s organization favors, and while the debut hasn’t quite gone as well as CJ Abrams‘s, Mears has shown plenty of power and good speed.  There are identifiable holes in his swing, but he has plenty of time to iron them out as he works toward his significant ceiling.

Posted by Ben Davey

Writer for MadFriars since 2011. San Diego raised. Grossmont alum. Die hard SD and sports fan. Currently keeping my day job as an AP Chemistry Teacher.


  1. Ben, Skender continues to show well after 3 years of inactivity/injury rehab. Looks to be a Rule 5 eligible in December but unlikely to be chosen. I see him in the starting infield at Lake Elsinore next year with Tucupita Marcano and Justin Lopez.



    1. You are right that he’s Rule 5 eligible, and equally right that he won’t need to be protected this winter. There are a few other guys in the mix to open 2020 on the infield for Elsinore, but I think it’s a safe bet Ethan will be among them.


  2. Did Andres Munoz get a bigger bonus than Melean? According to this … https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rCfd8UiXUEGhhlwxhAES8BGjfQPLwrCLUTcB-k806Dc/edit#gid=138775778 … he did.


  3. Yes-ish.
    The total the Padres spent to sign Munoz was higher, but remember that under the old system (which changed in the last year), 75% of what an MLB team paid went to the Mexican club and only 25% went to the player or counted as part of the spend. So Munoz only cost $175,000 against the Padres spend.


  4. […] accountable, which I thought was the most valuable asset to the team. As a team, if you look at the come-from-behind victory versus the Lancaster JetHawks on August 14, this gives you an essence of the team philosophy through the year and how it manifested with each […]


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