Justin Lopez Padres prospect batting for Fort Wayne Tincaps

Justin Lopez is getting to his power more consistently in 2019. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Chihuahuas 10 Salt Lake City Bees 8

Key Stats: 1B Aderlin Rodriguez 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR (16); DH Austin Allen 3-for-5, 2 2B; CF Boog Powell 1-for-2, 2 BB, SB (13); 3B Jason Vosler 3-for-5; LHP Jerry Keel 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: Austin Allen and Aderlin Rodriguez both continued torrid August hitting as the Chihuahuas held off a late rally to claim a series split in Salt Lake. Rodriguez doubled in a run in his second trip to the plate before hitting two-run homers in each of his next trips to the plate. The 27-year-old has hit in nine straight games, hitting .425 with six homers in that stretch. Since the All-Star break, the first baseman has tormented PCL pitchers with a .368/.403/.728 line. This month, his slugging percentage is an even more eye-popping .904. … Allen has been almost as unstoppable at the plate, hitting .382 with a .727 slugging percentage for August. After his 3-for-5 night Sunday, his OPS over 62 games in Triple-A this year is .998 as he’s produced about a third better than league-average on the year. … Jerry Keel kept a potent Bees lineup in check over six innings, allowing just one run on four hits. The big lefty from Palmdale, California, has been hampered by the free pass this year, issuing 56 walks in 133.1 innings overall. Keel has reined in the wildness this month, issuing only seven walks across 23.1 innings while posting a monthly-best 3.47 ERA in August. Keel, 25, has thrown a system-high 133.1 innings on the year.

Sod Poodles 2 Frisco Rough Riders 0

Key Stats: CF Taylor Trammell 1-for-4, 2B; 2B Ivan Castillo 2-for-3, Sac, SB (14); LF Tyler Benson 1-for-3, HR (1); 3B Hudson Potts 2-for-4; RHP Ronald Bolaños 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6K, 4 BB

Ronald Bolaños Padres prospect pitches for Amarillo Sod Poodles

Ronald Bolaños has shown flashes of dominance in the Texas League. (Photo: Eddie Kelly)

Prospect Watch: Ronald Bolaños, Nick Kuzia and Kaz Makita combined to blank the Rough Riders and keep Amarillo in the driver’s seat for playoff chase. Bolaños continued his up-and-down stint in the Texas League, bouncing back with six strong innings Sunday. The right-handed hurler, who will turn 23 this week, has gone six or more scoreless in three of his 13 Double-A outings, but also has a pair of eight-run outings. Bolaños has pushed his strikeout rate higher at each level,whiffing just over 26% of hitters he’s faced since joining Amarillo. He would be Rule 5 eligible this winter. … Tyler Benson connected on his first professional home run in his first start at Double-A. The left-handed hitting corner outfielder has been a solid contributor for Fort Wayne this season, two years after the Padres drafted him in the 31st round out of Bloomsburg University. … Hudson Potts posted his first multi-hit game in over two weeks, including an RBI single to open the scoring. The 20-year-old infielder came in mired in a 6-for-51 slump, though his strikeout rate has actually been down this month after hovering over 30% through the season. Potts will almost certainly be back in Amarillo next year to try to regain his prospect luster.

Storm 5 Stockton Ports 4

Key Stats: 2B Gabriel Arias 2-for-4, HR (15); CF Jeisson Rosario 2-for-4, OF Assist; C Jalen Washington 1-for-3, 2B, SF; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez 2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB; RHP Elliot Ashbeck 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; RHP Javier Guerra 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Prospect Watch: After a rare poor start by Osvaldo Hernandez, the Storm bullpen worked 6.1 scoreless frames to give the offense enough time to put things together for a comeback win. Hernandez opened the third inning with back-to-back walks before the Ports chased him with a double, sacrifice fly and single. The 21-year-old lefty came in having allowed just three earned runs over his previous 21.2 frames. Hernandez has largely maintained his low walk rate in the Cal League, but his strikeout rates have plummeted below six per nine innings this year. … Javy Guerra turned in another perfect inning, striking out two. He’s allowed just one earned run over his last 11 outings. Since coming off the disabled list for a side strain in early July, the newly-converted pitcher has walked only two batters in 14 frames while striking out 20. The live-armed righty needed just nine pitches to get through his inning Sunday. … Gabriel Arias capped off his blistering week with his third homer in four days to get the Storm on the board. The 19-year-old, who has always shown good raw power but hit just six homers in his first two seasons, now has 15 on the year and has vaulted to second on the team with an .826 OPS. While his swinging strikeout rate for the year still hovers over 20%, he’s shaved more than five points off of it in the last month and has cut his strikeout rate below 20% for August. He’d never had a month below 25% in his career prior to July.

TinCaps 4 Bowling Green Hot Rods 2

Key Stats: SS Justin Lopez 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB; DH Ethan Skender 2-for-3; LF Michael Curry 2-for-4; LHP Ryan Weathers 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 6 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: Justin Lopez picked up a pair of doubles and has now hit in 12 of 13 games. While he’s still striking out at a 25% clip this month, the 19-year-old switch-hitter has put together a .328/.361/.500 line in August. Although Lopez has posted just a .279 OPS across 168 games in the Midwest League, he’d be among the youngest players in the league if he were somehow to return to Fort Wayne to open the 2020 season. … Ryan Weathers labored through a season-high 85 pitches to get through 4.1 innings Sunday. The 19-year-old lefty struck out six, his highest total since he was shut down with a dead arm in early May. After a cautious ramp-up when he returned, the Padres’ top pick last summer had gone at least five frames in each of his last six outings. He sports a 25:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 31.1 innings.

Hillsboro Hops 9 Dust Devils 1

Key Stats: DH Sean Guilbe 2-for-4; 1B Jason Pineda 1-for-4, 3B; 2B Reinaldo Ilarraza 1-for-3, BB, SB (21), CS (5); RHP Ignacio Feliz 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 K, 3 BB, WP

Prospect Watch: Hillsboro jumped Tri-City starter Ignacio Feliz for six runs and chased him before he could finish the third inning. It was the shortest outing of the year for the 19-year-old, who came in with a 3.06 ERA. In his first season in the organization, the Dominican righty has posted a 45:22 strikeout-to-walk ratio though his velocity has yet to take the step forward from the low-90s many expected based on his athleticism. Already pitching well, he still has plenty of room for advancement in the next few years. … Sean Guilbe was the only Dust Devil with multiple hits in the game. His strikeout rate has spiked as he works on going after pitches in the zone more aggressively, but he’s still posted an .840 OPS this month.

AZL Brewers-Gold 5 AZL Padres-1 1

Key Stats: LF Yordi Francisco 1-for-4, 3B; 2B Luis Paez 2-for-4; RHP Miguel Rondon 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 2 BB

AZL Padres-2 7 AZL Indians-Blue 0

Key Stats: CF Angel Solarte 3-for-5, 3B, HR (4); SS Luis Almanzar 2-for-3, 2 SF, SB (3), CS (5); C Gilberto Vizcarra 2-for-5, 2B; RHP Carlos Guarate 5 IP, 2H, 0 R, 3 K, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: For the fifth time in his last six outings, righty Carlos Guarate tossed five scoreless frames, lowering his ERA to 1.52 on the year. The 18-year-old is pitching stateside for the first time since signing in 2017. He has allowed just 16 hits in his last 29 innings. While he’s only struck out 33 in 41.1 innings in the desert, he has allowed only 44 runners and has yet to surrender a homer. … After adding some good weight in the offseason, 18-year-old outfielder Angel Solarte has boosted his IsoP to .127 while repeating the AZL this year. The fast-twitch right-handed hitter is still reaching base at below a .300 clip even with a strikeout rate below 20%, but has the building blocks to do much more at the plate. … Righty Miguel Rondon turned in his third one-hit outing of the year. The undersized righty has struck out 48 in 39.1 innings.

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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