Sacramento River Cats 8 Chihuahuas 4
Key Statistics: 3B Matthew Batten 2-for-4, R, 2B; RF Taylor Kohlwey 2-for-3, BB, 3 RBI, SB (1); C Michael Cantu 1-for-4, R, HR (3), RBI; LHP Jerry Keel 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 7 K; RHP Steven Wilson IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas blew a late lead in their final game of the season. Despite finishing with the best record amongst the system’s full-season clubs (80-60), they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014. … Outfielder Taylor Kohlwey reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk. He also drove in three of El Paso’s four runs. The 25-year-old outfielder/first baseman enjoyed the finest professional season of his career in 2019. Between Lake Elsinore, Amarillo and El Paso, the Wisconsin-born Kohlwey hit .302/.396/.424 in just over 300 plate appearances. The lefthanded swinging Kohlwey has a nice stroke at the plate and held his own at first base — his first-ever crack at the position at any level. He isn’t necessarily a top prospect, but he is a very useful player who should find a home in the upper minors in 2020. … LHP Jerry Keel threw six innings and kept El Paso in the game, which is all you can ask for a starter in the PCL. Keel allowed four runs, all of which came via the three homers he allowed. Keel’s 151.1 innings thrown were third in the PCL and he tied for the league-lead with 26 starts. Keel was way too hittable, as the 207 hits he allowed were the most any PCL pitcher has allowed since 2015 when former Chihuahua and Padre Jason Lane allowed 212 (former big leaguer John Lannan allowed 209 in ‘15). At the very worst, Keel should help El Paso eat innings in 2020.
Sod Poodles 6 Arkansas Travelers 5
Key Statistics: CF Taylor Trammell 2-for-3, R, 2B, 3B, BB, RBI; 2B Owen Miller 2-for-4, 2 R; LF Tyler Benson 3-for-4, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI, SB (2); RHP Blake Rogers 4 IP, H, ER, 4 K; RHP Nick Kuzia (W, 2-2) 3 IP, 2 H, ER; RHP Tom Colletti (S, 1) IP, H, K.
Prospect Watch: The Sod Poodles won their regular-season finale. They open up the playoffs on Wednesday. … Top prospect Taylor Trammell doubled and tripled as he finishes the regular season on a five-game hitting streak. Trammell, 21, is hitting .361 over his last ten games with two homers, two doubles, a triple and eight runs scored. The left-handed swinging outfielder has been too prone to strikeouts but his loud contact over the last few weeks has allowed his tools to play. Outfielder Tyler Benson collected three hits, including his second homer as a Sod Poodle. The 2017 31st-rounder hasn’t received steady playing time during his tenure in the Padres system, but he has raked since being promoted to Amarillo. Benson, 23, is 10-for-24 with a pair of homers in 11 games as a Sod Poodle. Benson also saw time with Tri-City, Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore this year, and posted a career-high .790 OPS in 153 plate appearances, which is also a career-high. … RHP Blake Rogers made the spot-start and threw four innings and allowed just one run on a solo homer. Rogers has had an up-and-down year bouncing back-and-forth between Amarillo and Lake Elsinore. While his 5.60 ERA in Amarillo isn’t pretty, his underlying metrics show that he has been a bit unlucky. He has averaged more than a strikeout per inning in his fourth full season in the Padres’ system. That’s not bad when you consider that he was a 37th-round pick way back in 2015.
Storm 4 Lancaster JetHawks 3
Key Statistics: DH Allen Córdoba 2-for-3; 3B Gabriel Arias 1-for-4, R, HR (17), 2 RBI; SS Eguy Rosario 2-for-4, R, 3B; LHP Fred Schlichtholz 2.2 IP, BB, 5 K; RHP Mason Fox (W, 2-0) IP, H, K; LHP Cody Tyler (S, 2) IP, H, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm capped off their regular season in style by scoring three runs in the eighth for the comeback victory. Lake Elsinore will open California League play at the Diamond on Wednesday night. … Gabriel Arias belted a two-run homer in the eighth to put an exclamation point on his best season as a pro. Arias finishes 2019 with a .302/.339/.470 slash-line and a career-high 17 homers. Arias still has a little too much swing-and-miss to his game and his walk rate is troubling but he made serious adjustments in the second half and could be a borderline top-100 prospect going into next season. He is one of the most improved players in the system this season. … Shortstop Eguy Rosario tripled and singled as part of a multi-hit night. The 20-year-old Rosario hit .412 over his last 10 games and he finished his second stint in the Cal League with 40 extra-base hits, including eight triples which lead the club. We’ve mentioned that Rosario will be 40-man eligible after the season and if the Padres don’t add him to the 40-man roster, another organization could weigh whether to take a flier on him even though he’s well-removed from being big-league ready. … LHP Fred Schlichtholz made his first professional start and struck out five batters while completing 2.2 innings. The former Coronado High star capped off a very solid season for the Storm. Schlichtholz struck out 63 batters in 47.2 innings and his 3.97 ERA was inflated by one outing in which he allowed six runs in 2/3 of an inning.
For Subscribers: Luis Campusano has gotten a breather over the last week as he prepares for the playoffs and Arizona Fall League, but it’s been a stellar season for the 20-year-old receiver. Ben’s got an interview with him here. As always, if you’re not subscribing, please consider doing so.
Lansing Lugnuts 3 TinCaps 1
Key Statistics: 3B Ethan Skender 1-for-3, RBI; RF Agustin Ruiz 1-for-3; RHP Efraín Contreras (L, 6-6), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 K; RHP Franklin Van Gurp 2 IP, H, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps managed just four hits in their 2019 swan song. … Outfielder Agustin Ruiz had a single to wrap his third professional season. Ruiz, 19, showed a powerful stroke at times but for the most part, but he still struggled to get to his emerging power in games. Ruiz opened the season strong, struggled in May and seemingly turned a corner in June, when he broke out with four homers. He didn’t homer in any other month. Ruiz did, however, get his bat on the ball much more consistently through the second half of the season. … RHP Efraín Contreras finished a very good season with a strong outing. The righty went six innings and allowed a pair of earned runs on four hits, walking one and striking out a season-high nine. The 19-year-old finished ninth in the Midwest League with 121 strikeouts.
Dust Devils 7 Spokane Indians 3
Key Statistics: CF Reinaldo Ilarraza 3-for-4, R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 RBI, SB (26); RF Logan Driscoll 3-for-5, R, HR (3), 2 RBI; C Nick Gatewood 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR (4, 5), 2 RBI; RHP Luarbert Arias (W, 1-0) 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Jeferson Garcia 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Prospect Watch: The Dust Devils swatted three homers to finish the year at .500 (38-38). They open a playoff series against Spokane on Wednesday. … Catcher Nick Gatewood homered twice, as part of a three-hit game. The lefthanded swinging slugger struggled in his season debut with Fort Wayne, but has shown the power potential he possesses with the Dust Devils. Gatewood’s five homers have all come over his last 17 games. He continues to work to improve his defense behind the plate and at first base. … Right fielder Logan Driscoll homered as part of a three-hit night. The 21-year-old missed a chunk of time with an injury but will finish with a solid .268/.340/.458 batting line in his professional debut. … RHP Luarbert Arias made his Northwest League debut and pitched five solid innings to earn the win. The 18-year-old righty allowed just one earned run in five innings, walking one and striking out four. Arias has spent the last two years in the Arizona League. This season, Arias had 60 strikeouts in 51.1 innings for the AZL Padres-1.