Chihuahuas 4, Oklahoma City Dodgers 3
Key Statistics: 2B Tucupita Marcano, 3-for-5, 2 R; CF Brian O’Grady, 2-for-4, 2B; 1B Nick Tanielu, 2-for-5, R, RBI; C Luis Campusano, 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI; LHP Daniel Camarena (W, 3-2) 5 IP, 7 H, ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Evan Miller, IP, 2 H; RHP Mason Thompson. IP, 2 H, 2 ER, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso won their third straight game against the Dodgers. They can win the series with a victory Tuesday. … Catcher Luis Campusano paced the offensive attack with a double and a pair of runs batted in. Campusano is 9-for-21 over his last five games with two doubles and a homer. After a rough stint in the big leagues and a slow start upon his demotion to El Paso, the top catching prospect has seemingly found his hitting stroke. The 22-year-old is hitting an excellent .318/.400/.545 with just six punchouts in June. … Infielder Tucupita Marcano continued his torrid stretch, adding three more hits to his ledger. Marcano has hit safely in all six games he has played in since being demoted to Triple-A last week. During the hitting streak, Marcano is slashing .444/.500/.556, In typical Marcano fashion, he has struck out just four times in 30 plate appearances. … LHP Daniel Camarena had another solid outing and picked up his third win. The former Cathedral Catholic star pitched five innings and scattered seven hits, allowing just one earned run. The southpaw, who earned Triple-A West Pitcher of the Week honors for his outing last week, is not overpowering but he has been the most consistent starter for the Chihuahuas this season. In June, he has a 2.12 ERA in three starts with 13 strikeouts in 17 innings.
San Antonio Roster Moves: Despite the off-day, the Missions announced a series of moves:
Placed on the seven-day IL: OF Esteury Ruiz. Ruiz, 22, was placed on the injured list a day after hurting his hand going head-first into second base on a stolen base. Ruiz has scuffled a bit this season, hitting .237/.313/.325 with a homer and 14 RBI, but is second in the Double-A Central in stolen bases with 15 in 16 attempts. He missed the end of the 2019 season with a wrist injury.
Promoted to San Antonio: Infielder Yorman Rodriguez. The 23-year-old was drafted in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft last December. In nine games with Fort Wayne, Rodriguez was hitting .243/.300/.270.
Released: The organization has released first baseman Brad Zunica. Zunica, 25, has played sparingly this year, relinquishing playing time to Taylor Kohlwey. In 60 plate appearances, Zunica hit .167/.274/.241 with four doubles. His best pro season came in 2017, when he hit 18 homers for the TinCaps, ranking third on the club behind Hudson Potts and a shortstop named Fernando Tatis Jr. In 482 games in the Padres’ system, Zunica slashed .243/.324/.434 with 72 homers.
San Antonio Missions Week in Review: (Missions won series against Midland 5-1).
Top Prospects: Top prospect CJ Abrams had a good series, hitting .304/.385/.391 with a pair of doubles. Abrams is still getting on base at a solid clip but he went over two weeks without an extra-base hit. Since May 24, Abrams is slugging just .340 and has a wRC+ of just 96. The overall body of work for Abrams is still solid and the leg injury he suffered last month could be affecting his ability to drive the ball. Abrams did have a pair of doubles in the Midland series, so perhaps it is a sign that he will regain the pop that made him such a threat early in May. … It might be time to start looking at Jack Suwinski as a serious option going forward. The outfielder hit three more homers against Midland, including a multi-homer game. He also tripled twice and put up an OPS north of 1.500 in the six-game tilt. Suwinski is pounding Double-A pitching this season and his production seems to be real. He’s increased his fly ball percentage significantly this season and has the fifth-lowest groundball rate in the circuit. Perhaps most impressive is the damage he has done at Wolff Stadium. In 11 games at the notorious pitcher’s park, the left-handed-hitting outfielder is hitting an outrageous .333/.429/.889 with four homers, three triples, and a double. Overall, Suwinski’s .701 slugging percentage is second in all of minor league baseball.
Keep an Eye on: LHP Aaron Leasher. The 25-year-old had one of the best outings by any Padres’ farmhand this season when he allowed just one hit across six shutout innings in the Missions’ 2-0 victory. After a poor outing on June 1st in which he allowed four runs while recording just one out, Leasher has thrown 11 innings without allowing a run. The former Morehead State lefty has a 3.04 ERA this season while averaging a strikeout per inning.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review (split series against Lake County).
Top Prospects: Outfielder Tirso Ornelas had a nice series, socking five doubles in the five games he played. The 21-year-old has had a bit of an uneven season in Fort Wayne although there have been some positive developments. Ornelas is tied for the league-lead in doubles with 15 and his 20% K-rate is below the league average. On the other hand, Ornelas has not homered in 120 plate appearances and his overall offensive production has been below average. The left-handed swinging outfielder has looked better in his second look at the High-A level, so that’s something to take away. … Jonny Homza‘s offensive breakout has been almost as staggering as Suwinski’s to see unfold. Homza had a multi-homer game Tuesday and went 7-for-18 in five games. Through 133 plate appearances, Homza is hitting a blistering .269/.406/.537 – good for a 156 wRC+ which ranks third in the league. The 22-year-old is still striking out a bit too much but his power behind the plate is intriguing.
Keep an Eye On: RHP Matt Waldron continues to throw the ball well and this week was no exception. The 24-year-old Waldron went six innings and allowed just two earned runs. Waldron has a fastball that sits in the low-90s and has experimented with a knuckleball that he has unveiled in game action. Waldron’s command has been impressive; his BB/9 of 0.98 is the fourth-lowest on the circuit.
Lake Elsinore Storm Week in Review (split series against Rancho Cucamonga).
Top Prospects: Outfielder Robert Hassell III had a great series, hitting .385/.429/.654 with a homer, two doubles, and a triple while scoring six runs. Hassell is hitting .358/.393/.623 in June with just seven strikeouts in 55 plate appearances – three coming Sunday. It would not be a shock to see Hassell III get the call to Fort Wayne in the not-too-distant future. … Outfielder Joshua Mears had a week for ages as he propelled the Storm to consecutive wins to end their series. Mears hit four homers in his last three games, including two monster homers on Sunday. Coming into the weekend, Mears had a 91 wRC+; his three-game homer-fest raised it to 130. The powerful outfielder has had struggles with contact this season but this weekend showed that when he does make contact, it’s as tantalizing as the Padres have in the organization. His power potential will be a storyline to watch in the summer months. … We mentioned yesterday that shortstop Jordy Barley swiped five bags in Sunday’s victory, giving him 18 steals on the season, two behind Rockies’ first-rounder Zac Veen for the league lead. Barley has been electric at times this year but he has struggled on defense, as evidenced by his 19 errors. The talented infielder has some of the best physical tools in the organization.
Keep an Eye On: Infielder Jarryd Dale. Dale, 20, has been an excellent player all season for the Storm and this past week was no exception. Dale hit safely in all five games, hitting .385/.435/.476 with a pair of doubles. Overall, Dale has a slash-line of .297/.376/.423. Yesterday, we profiled Dale’s rise from the Australian Baseball League to Lake Elsinore.
Remember the Snell trade: The Padres made a couple of moves in the off-season that bolstered their rotation at the expense of several young players. The Padres moved big league catcher Francisco Mejia, RHP Luis Patino plus prospects Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox. Let’s take a look at how those players are doing.
RHP Luis Patino made his big league debut with the 2020 Padres and flashed some excellent stuff but struggled to throw strikes consistently. The right-handed hurler is currently pitching at Triple-A Durham, where he has a 4.35 ERA in three starts. He made three appearances with the big league club to mixed results. Patino has struck out 13 batters and walked just two in 10.1 innings. … Catcher Francisco Mejia has seen a lot of playing time with the Rays this year and has hit well. Mejia’s .252/.319/.393 slash-line is slightly above league average. … Catcher Blake Hunt is currently playing for High-A Bowling Green where he has seen a substantial increase in his strikeout rate but his overall offensive production has been excellent. Hunt is hitting .235/.347/.451 with five homers which equals his career-high. Hunt is an excellent defensive catcher and if he can continue the offensive breakout he has a chance to be a top-100 prospect shortly. … RHP Cole Wilcox is pitching for Low-A Charleston where he has looked dominant. The 21-year-old was drafted by the Padres in the third round last season and he ultimately signed an over-slot bonus of $3 million. Wilcox saw time at the alternate site last season but never appeared in a regular season game as a Padres farmhand. In 32 innings, Wilcox has a 1.69 ERA while averaging a strikeout per inning. He has yet to allow a homer as a professional.