Hello, and happy Friday! After joining MadFriars before the 2020 season, I finally get to write my first Daily recap. We are so glad to be back and so grateful to have you back with us for the 2021 season.
Chihuahuas 7, Tacoma Rainiers 6 F/12
Key Statistics: LHP Daniel Camarena, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K; RHP Jordan Guerrerro (W, 1-0)(BS, 1), 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), BB, K; 2B Ivan Castillo, 4-for-5, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI; LF Ben Ruta, 1-for-3, 2 BB; SS Tucupita Marcano, 0-for-4, 2 RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: The last affiliate to have their opening day gave their fans bonus baseball, as a scoreless game for nearly five innings became a 12-inning slugfest in Tacoma. The Chihuahuas took the lead for good in the top of the 12th, with Ivan Castillo adding a triple to an already stellar season debut. … Castillo collected four of El Paso’s seven hits and he drove in three runs to pace the Chihuahuas offense. Castillo, 25, won the Texas League batting title in 2019 with Amarillo. The switch-hitting infielder can play all over the diamond as well. … Cathedral Catholic alum Daniel Camarena got the start for El Paso, throwing three shutout innings in his first game action for the Padres organization. Camarena did not walk a batter, and 21 of his 28 pitches landed for strikes. The 28-year-old lefty signed with the Padres on a minor league deal last year after spending 2019 with the Yankee’s top affiliate. While the overall results haven’t been pretty in the upper minors, Camarena has started 135 games in his professional career. He spent last year at the Padres’ alternate site. … Mason Thompson pitched the seventh and allowed a home run to Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic, but did notch a strikeout in his Triple-A debut. The six-foot-seven righty has a big fastball that can touch the upper 90s. He hasn’t had success as a starter in the Padres’ system but a move to the bullpen gives him a chance to help the big league club soon, assuming he can stay healthy.
Corpus Christi Hooks 6, Missions 1
Prospect Watch: The Missions dropped their second in a row at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi as the Hooks jumped to an early lead and never looked back. Kyle Overstreet, making his first start of the season, paced the San Antonio offense with two hits and the lone Missions RBI. The 27-year-old Alabama product is nominally a catcher, but also has shown he can play the corners, as he did often for Amarillo in 2019. This season is Overstreet’s third stint with a Padres’ Double-A affiliate. … Fred Schlichtholz struck out two batters in the seventh inning. The 25-year-old Chula Vista native and Fresno State alum saw his first game action since the 2019 season when he pitched for Lake Elsinore. He struck out 63 batters in 47.2 innings in ’19. … Jose Quezada picked up where he left off in 2019, striking out two in the 9th inning, showing continued progress on his command. Quezada pitched 70.1 innings out of the Fort Wayne bullpen in 2019 and figures to give the Missions a multi-inning reliever with the ability to miss bats. … Robbie Podorsky is now on a three-game hitting streak after going 1-for-3 for the second night in a row. He’s batting .545 for the Missions with a pair of stolen bases in the early stages of 2021. The 26-year-old from McNeese State has a career .331 average in the minors but slugged just .366 in 2019 with the Storm.
West Michigan Whitecaps 6, TinCaps 3
Our own John Conniff made the trip to Fort Wayne to cover this game and catch Anderson Espinoza’s return to the mound.
Storm 9, Visalia Rawhide 7
Key Statistics: CF Robert Hassell III, 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SB; SS Jordy Barley, 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB; 1B Brandon Valenzuela, 2-for-5; LF Jack Stronach. 2-for-4, RBI; RHP Miguel Rondon (W, 1-0), 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 6 K
The Storm peppered the Rawhide with 12 hits but committed three errors which allowed Visalia to launch a late rally. … Jordy Barley got things started for Elsinore with an RBI groundout in the first, followed by his first home run of the year in the second inning, a three run shot. Barley, 21, is in his first full-season campaign after spending 2019 with the short-season Tri-City Dust Devils. He led Tri-City with eight homers and six triples that season. … Robert Hassell III followed up his first professional hit Wednesday with his first professional home run, a seventh-inning shot to left-center. Hassell added a double, a single, a walk, and two stolen bases, in addition to scoring three runs and driving in three. The eighth overall pick in 2020 is off to a .286/.375/.643 start. … Brandon Valenzuela started at first base after catching the first two games. The 20-year-old member of the 2017 international signing class continued a hot start at the plate, batting .455 with a 1.327 OPS in his first three games. Jack Stronach got his first two hits of the season in his second start. The former UCLA Bruin is praised by the organization for his versatility, and he’s looking to build off a hot finish to his 2019 season with Tri-City. … Joshua Mears left the game after being hit by a pitch in the 4th inning. Currently, there is no word on his status for Friday’s game. … Miguel Rondon had an adventurous fourth inning, with a Jordy Barley fielding error, a hit by pitch, two singles, and a wild pitch. He settled in after that, allowing only a walk in the fifth, and earned the victory.