Brian O’Grady had another solid night for El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Round Rock Express 12, Chihuahuas 9

Key Statistics: CF Brian O’Grady 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR (5), 3 RBI; RF Patrick Kivlehan 3-5, HR (8) 2 RBI; LF John Andreoli1-5, HR (3), 2 RBI; 1B Gosuke Katoh 2-4; C Michael Cantu 1-2, 2 BB; RHP Pedro Avila 2.0 IP H 2 K; RHP Aaron Northcraft (L, 0-2) 0.2 IP 5 H 5 R BB

Prospect Watch: El Paso was up 9-0 in the fourth inning and then gave up 12 straight runs in a tough loss to the Rangers’ affiliate in Round Rock as the Chihuahuas dropped their second straight after taking the opener. … Right-hander Brett Kennedy started the game but had to leave after facing one batter in the second inning with what looked to be a minor strain under his rib cage. It appeared to be more of a precautionary measure.  … Brian O’Grady, 29, came within a single of getting a cycle but couldn’t get it done in his last two at-bats. To top it off, he added an outfield assist. O’Grady is putting up some numbers in Triple-A with a slash line of .309/.345/.727 and 11 extra-base hits in 13 games while playing all three outfield positions.  He previously played in the Reds and Rays organizations before signing with San Diego in the offseason. His best year came with Triple-A Louisville in 2019, when he hit 28 bombs in 480 plate appearances for a .280/.359/.550 slash line. … Luis Campusano, serving as the designated hitter, went hitless in five at-bats. .. With the big club actively searching for innings, Pedro Avila might be a candidate. The 24-year-old was promoted from the Missions at the end of May, and all three runs he has given up over his last eight innings at two levels came in one outing. The 24-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2019, after months of rehabbing an elbow injury that popped up soon after his one big league start.

Eguy Rosario also fell a hit short of a cycle on Saturday night. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 17, Springfield Cardinals 1

Key Statistics: SS CJ Abrams 3-5, BB; DH Kyle Overstreet 2-5, 3 RBI; 1b Tyler Kohlwey 2-4, 4 HR (1) RBI, 2 BB; LF Esteury Ruiz 2-5, RBI; 3B Eguy Rosario 4-5 2B, HR (3), 5 RBI, BB; 2B Chris Givin 1-3 (HR (1), 2 BB; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez (W, 1-2) 5.2 IP 3 H 0 R 0 ER4 BB 2 K

CJ Abrams had three hits in San Antonio’s romp. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: The Missions nearly scored as many runs tonight as they had in their previous four games against Springfield as they opened the scoring with six runs in the first inning. … Eguy Rosario was a triple away from the cycle. While he made his stateside debut in 2016, he is still only 21. After starting the year in a 5-for-41 slump, the Dominican native has pushed his slash line up to .244/.313/.419. Rosario, who spent considerable time this spring in big league camp, posted a solid .742 OPS for Lake Elsinore in 2019 and offers some versatility around the infield. … CJ Abrams filled up the stat sheet, showing off his blazing speed on two plays. Abrams beat out a tapper in front of the plate, then scored from first base on DH Kyle Overstreet’s single. Scouts’ talk about Abrams’ 80-grade speed seems very real. … Osvaldo Hernandez bounced back after giving up eight earned runs to Northwest Arkansas in four innings hist last time out to post zeroes over nearly six innings. The Cuban native, generously listed at 6-feet, was our number 18 prospect coming into the year. The lefty relies on more of a mix of pitches and speeds than velocity. He is one of the more athletic pitchers in the Padres’ system.

Agustin Ruiz blasted his seventh home run in a losing effort. (Photo: Jeff Nycz).

Cedar Rapids Kernels 11, TinCaps 5

Key Statistics: C Jonny Homza 2-5, RBI; RF Agustin Ruiz 2-3, HR (7) RBI, 2 BB; RHP Gabe Mosser 4.2 IP 5 H 4 R 3 ER 4 BB 4 K

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps’ three-game winning streak came to an end Saturday. … Agustin Ruiz’s seventh home run of the season has him tied for fourth overall in the High-A Central. Ruiz has now hit more home runs in 22 games than he had in 120 games during his 120 games for the TinCaps in Low-A in 2019. The 21-year old Mexican native has a .227/.337/.489 slash line with 14 walks and 34 strikeouts in 104 plate appearances. The organization has played him at all three outfield positions this year, and he has put on some noticeable size from two years ago. As with most of this year’s TinCaps lineup, they would like to see the contact rate pick up. … Jonny Homza extended his hitting streak to 11 games and carries a team-leading OPS of .861. Ruiz, at .825, is the only other qualifying batter above .700. While the club’s .334 on-base percentage is league average, they are only hitting .222 as a team. Luis Almanzar‘s .273 average leads the regulars.

Storm 6, Stockton Ports 3

Key Statistics: CF Robert Hassell III 2-5, 2B; DH Jordy Barley 2-5, HR (4), 2 RBI, 3 K; LF Angel Solarte 2-4; LHP Noel Vela (W, 1-2) 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K; RHP Chase Walter 1.0 IP 3 K

Robert Hassell III had his ninth multi-hit game on the season. (Photo: Lake Elsinore Storm)

Prospect Watch: The Storm took advantage of a pair of late errors by the home team to put four runs on the board in the eighth and ninth innings for their second straight win and will try to even the series on Sunday. … Lefty Noel Vela posted one of the system’s best pitching lines of the year, allowing just one run while striking out 11 over six innings. Over his last three starts, the 22-year-old has given up just a pair of runs against 21 Ks in 14 innings. Drafted out of high school in the 28th round in 2017 when the college program to which he committed was discontinued, Vela’s intriguing athleticism was enough to secure the then-maximum $125,000 signing bonus. While he fought injuries and inconsistency in parts of three AZL seasons, Vela is showing that his three-pitch mix can play. … Robert Hassell III posted his ninth multi-hit game in his 27th contest so far. The club’s top pick last summer has 19 walks against 28 strikeouts with 13 extra-base hits. .. Jordy Barley hit his team-leading fourth home run. Barley is second in the league with 13 stolen bases and has not been thrown out yet, and is second on the club with 29 hits. He has also struck out 34 times in 27 games, sports a .289 on-base percentage, and a team-leading 11 errors. As all of us have written in this column repeatedly, the 21-year old has tremendous talent; it’s just a question of getting it out more consistently. Then again, that’s what the minor leagues are all about. … Chase Walter, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Carolina last summer, made his professional debut a memorable one by striking out the side.


Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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