Padres Prospect Ronald Bolanos pitches for Amarillo Sod Poodles

Ronald Bolaños has been inconsistent in Amarillo, but has dominated when he’s on. (Photo: Grant Wickes)

Chihuahuas 6 Sacramento River Cats 0

Key Stats: LHP Dillon Overton 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 5 K, 0 BB; RHP Steven Wilson 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; 3B Jason Vosler 3-for-4, HR (20); C Webster Rivas 2-for-4

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas jumped 2011 Padres draftee Burch Smith for six runs over the first five-plus innings and cruised to victory. They head into the final eight days of the season trailing Las Vegas by three games. Jason Vosler became the fourth Chihuahua to reach the 20 homer plateau this season, golfing a low fastball out to center as part of a three-hit day. The 25-year-old corner infielder pushed his hitting streak to 16 games, tying the team’s high for the year. A lefthander who was seen more as a contact hitter than power threat when the Cubs drafted him in 2014, Vosler has hit 20 homers three straight years. … Dillon Overton turned in his best start of the year, blanking division-leading Sacramento for six innings without issuing a walk. The 28-year-old lefty has pitched to a 3.85 ERA this month, going at least five innings in all five starts. … Steven Wilson threw two more scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts a day after he turned 25. The righty, drafted as a redshirt senior out of Santa Clara last June, has far exceeded any reasonable expectations for his first full professional summer, holding opponents to a .170 average and striking out 37 in 31.2 innings since jumping to Triple-A.

Sod Poodles 5 Arkansas Travelers 2

Key Stats: RHP Ronald Bolaños 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 8 K, 1 BB; RHP Dauris Valdez 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 K, 0 BB; RHP David Bednar 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K; 1B Luis Torrens 2-for-3, 2B, BB; 2B Ivan Castillo 1-for-4, HR (8),

Prospect Watch: Ronald Bolaños turned in his second straight six-inning shutout start to lead the Sod Poodles to victory Sunday. The Cuban righty has had seven stellar outings since the All-Star break, but was hit hard in a few others to yield a 3.51 ERA. With eight strikeouts Sunday, Bolaños has 140 on the year, trailing only Joey Cantillo in the Padres system. The 23-year-old will be Rule 5 eligible this winter. … Gigantic reliever Dauris Valdez struck out all four batters he faced Sunday, continuing his longest stretch of professional success. The righty, who can hit triple digits with his fastball, had an ERA a hair under nine at the end of May. In 26 outings since, the 23-year-old has posted a 3.34 mark with 38 strikeouts. This month, opponents have managed just one run in 10.2 innings while hitting .061 against him. … Making his first start of the year at first base and just his fourth as a professional, Luis Torrens reached base three more times Sunday, pushing his on-base percentage up to a team-best .365. The 23-year-old is one of the few Sod Poodles batters who has been as effective on the road as he has at home this year.

Lancaster 8 Storm 3

Key Stats: Luis Campusano 2-for-5, 2B; LF Jack Suwinski 2-for-4; RHP Elliot Ashbeck 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: One-time unsigned Padres draftee Ryan Rolison held his would-be organizationmates to two runs over six innings as Lancaster claimed the victory. Luis Campusano collected the only extra-base hit of the day for Lancaster, an RBI double with two outs in the ninth. The Storm’s breakout superstar was also the only hitter in the lineup to notch two hits as the team went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The 20-year-old from Georgia continues to rank among the toughest outs in the Cal League, striking out only 11.8% of the time. … Jeisson Rosario reached base three more times, extending his on-base streak to 16 games. The left-handed hitting outfielder has seen his on-base percentage skyrocket to .390 in the second half, fueled by a walk rate of nearly 20%. Six of his 20 extra-base hits on the year have come this month. … Jack Suwinski collected two singles to extend his baby hitting streak to four games. The Chicago-area product started the year hot, but his .742 August OPS would be his best monthly production since April. Now in his third full-season campaign, the 21-year-old is striking out and walking at a higher clip than previous years.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4 TinCaps 2

Key Stats: CF Jawuan Harris 1-for-3, HR (7), BB; RF Agustin Ruiz 2-for-4, 2B; 2B Ripken Reyes 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Edwuin Bencomo 4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: Center fielder Jawuan Harris led off the game with a homer to extend his hitting streak to six games, but the TinCaps plated just one more run and dropped their second straight in West Michigan. Harris, 22, is finishing his first full year dedicated only to baseball with a flourish, posting an .808 OPS so far in August. The former two-sport athlete at Rutgers has struck out a team-high 127 times on the year, but the speedster is getting to his raw power more regularly when he does make contact in the second half of the year. While the right-handed batter has an OPS more than 300 points higher against lefties than same-handed pitchers, Sunday’s homer was his fifth of the year off a righty. … After a pair of singles Sunday, Michael Curry‘s team-best wOBA crept up to 146. The former Georgia Bulldog has been especially deadly during day games, posting a .948 OPS in 18 contests under the sun. … Making his third start for the TinCaps, Edwuin Bencomo allowed one run over four innings while striking out five. The 20-year-old righthander has allowed Midwest League opponents a .311 average but has a 3.69 ERA across 31.2 innings.

Dust Devils 4 Boise Hawks 2

Key Stats: SS Jordy Barley 2-for-3, 2B, BB, K; 2B Kelvin Melean 1-for-3, BB; RHP Connor Lehmann 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; RHP Jason Reynolds 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 0 BB

Prospect Watch: Tri-City plated two runs in the eighth inning to claim the victory Sunday evening. They remain two games off the division lead and two ahead in the race for the final playoff spot. Kelvin Melean got the scoring started for the Dust Devils, coming through with a two-out, two-run double after a pair of walks in the third inning. The 20-year-old infielder also drew a walk on the night to keep his Northwest League on-base percentage above .400. His .329 batting average is second on the circuit. … Two New Jersey-born pitchers from this year’s draft combined for six innings of work Sunday evening. Starter Connor Lehmann, who tossed 90 innings in his redshirt senior year for St. Louis this spring, got through just two innings on 43 pitches, but kept his season ERA at 2.63. The big righty, who turned 23 this month, gave up a season-high four hits. Through 27.1 innings, professional hitters own a .208 average against him. … Jason Reynolds, who got a slightly larger signing bonus even though the Padres called him 25 rounds later out of Lehigh, worked a season-high four innings, allowing just one run. The Padres lured him away from his engineering program after his junior year. While his numbers in the Patriot League weren’t especially impressive, he added velocity in his final collegiate season to draw attention when scouts came in to see teammate and third-round pick Levi Stoudt. Encouragingly, the 20-year-old righty did not walk a single batter Sunday for just the second time in 11 professional outings. He’s struck out 24 in 23.1 innings, but walked 18.

AZL Indians-Blue 11 AZL Padres-1 3

Key Stats: DH Yordi Francisco 2-for-3, 2B, BB; RHP Frank Lopez 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R (2 ER), 4 K, 2 BB; RHP Martin Carrasco 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB

AZL Padres-2 16 AZL White Sox 11

Key Stats: LF Taylor Lomack 4-for-6, SB (10); CF Angel Solarte 2-for-3, 2B, SF, HBP; SS Yeison Santana 2-for-3, HBP, BB, E (17); C Jared Alvarez-Lopez 1-for-5, HR (1); LHP Bodi Rascon 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 4 K, 0 BB

Taylor Lomack bats for the AZL Padres

Taylor Lomack has made frequent, quality contact in his professional debut. (Photo: Joseph Coblitz/Burning River Ball)

Prospect Watch: The Padres-1 squad committed six errors as they dropped their penultimate game. Frank Lopez was the tough-luck loser as the Indians piled on five unearned runs over four innings. The 18-year-old shaved a half run off his ERA in his second season in the AZL, finishing this year with a 3.30 mark and 49 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. … Yordi Francisco, who had been in a 3-for-35 slump, had two hits and a walk. The Dominican outfielder will be 23 at the start of next season, so his window of opportunity will be quite narrow. … The Padres-2 team has won eight of their last 10 and will finish with the second-best record in the league. Taylor Lomack collected four hits out of the leadoff spot, pushing his average up to .343 in his professional debut. If the 20-year-old outfielder, selected out of junior college on day three of the draft, can get six plate appearances again in Monday’s season finale, he should have enough to qualify among the top five in the league. … Cristian Heredia, 18, is closing with a bang after slumping badly this month. Following a 1-for-22 stretch, the big outfielder has hit in four straight. Even with his fade this month, he’ll wrap the year with a wOBA north of .350. … Luis Almanzar, the highest paid of the traditional J2 signees in 2016, might finally be starting to turn things around a bit. Now 19, the Dominican corner bat hit his first homer in the desert and had his fifth multi-hit game in eight days. After being pushed aggressively two straight years and struggling, the Padres gave Almanzar another crack at the Midwest League to open the season, but he managed just a .538 OPS across 53 games. His first few weeks back in the desert didn’t look much better as he struck out in nearly a third of his plate appearances, but he’s finally reined in the whiff issues over the last few weeks. He’ll be a 20-year-old looking to make the TinCaps roster again next spring training. … Bodi Rascon extended out to three innings in his third professional outing, continuing to work without allowing an earned run. The Padres drafted the big lefty out of high school in Texas, agreeing to fourth-round money to get him in the system. In six controlled innings since signing, Rascon has struck out six.

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.


  1. David,
    Thanks for the info on Bolanos – I missed him in my Rule 5 eligibility list. Outside of possibly Adrian Martinez, Bolanos has probably flashed the most talent of those starting pitchers who will become eligible. A ton of relievers hit the list, including Bednar, Ashbeck, D. Valdez, E Miller, Jordan Guerrero and (before he got hurt again) Hansel Rodriguez. Doesn’t look like much for position players on the Rule 5 list of eligibles – possibly Esteury Ruiz and Jorge Ona as the most advanced – but both are a long way from major league ready.

    One question for which I can’t find any information. Supposedly the Padres signed Francisco Lucumi, a RHP, in their 2018 International class. I don’t see him mentioned anywhere after a brief listing in Baseball America. Anything that can be said publicly about him?

    Thank you!



    1. While it was reported that Lucumi had agreed to a deal with the Padres heading into July 2, he never actually signed a deal. As far as I know, he did not come to agreement with any other organization either. I suspect that means there was either an issue with his paperwork or his health, but never confirmed that suspicion.

      I do think you’re right about position players with Rule 5 eligibility.


  2. David,
    Thanks for closing the loop on Lucumi! With the depth the Padres have in their pitching, his loss won’t be felt.



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