Chihuahuas 3, Albuquerque Isotopes 3 (suspended in the fifth inning)
Prospect Watch: The battle of Triple-A West rivals was suspended due to rain, with the score tied at three in the fifth inning. The two teams will finish this game Monday as part of a doubleheader. The suspended game will go nine innings while the second game will be a seven-inning affair.
ACL Royals Gold 7, ACL Padres 6 (11 innings).
Key Statistics: 2B Neifi Antunez, 2-for-6; C Jared Lopez-Alvarez, 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI; 1B Anthony Nunez, 1-for-4, R, BB; RHP Victor Lizarraga, 4 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Steven Wilson, 1.2 IP, 5 K; LHP Alexuan Vega (L, 0-1) 0.1 IP, H, R.
Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres lost in extra innings to one of the Royals’ ACL teams. … Infielder Neifi Antunez was the only ACL Padre hitter to record a multi-hit game, as the 19-year-old had a pair of singles. He was signed by the Padres as part of their 2018 international signing period. He made his pro debut with the DSL Padres in 2019, hitting .274/.398/.340 in 29 games. … RHP Victor Lizarraga made his second professional start and fared well, throwing four innings of one-run ball. The 17-year-old pitcher allowed just two hits, walking one and striking out two. In two starts, the righty has struck out nine batters in seven innings. He signed with the Padres as part of this year’s international signing class, receiving a seven-figure bonus. … RHP Steven Wilson struck out all five batters he faced as the righty progresses in his rehab. The 26-year-old appeared in three games for El Paso before hitting the injured list on May 17th. Given his progression, he should be close to rejoining the Chihuahuas.
San Antonio Missions Week in Review (Split six-game series against Corpus Christi).
Top Prospects: It was a brutal week in San Antonio, as the organization confirmed that top prospect CJ Abrams will miss the rest of the season with a fractured left tibia and a sprained left MCL. He is going to miss three months. Abrams was slated to represent the Padres in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game this week. Abrams will finish the 2021 campaign with a .293/.363/.420 line in 183 plate appearances. … Outfielder Jack Suwinski had a relatively quiet series, failing to homer or drive in a run in the six-game set. Suwinski did hit safely in the final three games against Corpus Christi. That dropped Suwinski’s wRC+ to 149 which ranks seventh in the league. His .950 OPS ranks 4th in the league and he one off the league lead with 13 homers. … Infielder Eguy Rosario went 4-for-19 in the series with a double, five walks, and seven strikeouts. After a rough May, Rosario turned things around in June, hitting .303/.410/.562 with five homers.
Keep an Eye on: RHP Adrian Martinez was named the Double-A Central Pitcher of the Week for the week ending on July 4. The righty only made one start last week but it was a gem. He spun six no-hit innings on Friday, walking a pair and striking out a season-high nine batters. Martinez lowered his ERA to 3.04 which is the fifth-lowest in the Double-A Central. He also has the third-best K/BB in the league.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review (Lost five-of-six games to the Great Lakes Loons).
Top Prospects: The TinCaps won the opening game of the six-game series then proceeded to lose the next five to fall into last place. … Outfielder Tirso Ornelas hit safely in five of the six games he started but seven of his eight hits were singles. Ornelas made consistent contact, striking out just three times in 27 plate appearances but with just one extra-base hit on the ledger, his slash-line for the week was an underwhelming .296/.321/.333. The 21-year-old outfielder has not connected on a homer in 188 plate appearances this season. … Outside of a three-hit game on Friday night, it was a quiet series for infielder Justin Lopez. Lopez hit .200/.231/.440 with 11 strikeouts with just one walk. In June, Lopez hit .273/.349/.403 with a pair of homers. That .349 on-base percentage represented a career-high over a full calendar month. Going forward, Lopez will need to limit the strikeouts but his improvement in June was a step in the right direction. … As we wrote last week, LHP Ethan Elliott turned in his worst start of the year and took the loss on Friday. Elliott allowed a career-high five earned runs and tied a season-high with three homers allowed. Overall, Elliott has dominated the High-A Central League with one exception: his propensity to allow homers. Friday’s start raised his HR/9 to a league-leading 2.25. Despite the homers, Elliott is still among the league leaders in virtually every major pitching category.
Keep an Eye On: LHP Erik Sabrowski was drafted by the Padres back in 2018 in the 14th round, out of a junior college in Kansas. Shortly after being drafted, he had Tommy John surgery and finally made his pro debut this season in Fort Wayne. The early returns have been stellar: in 10 innings, Sabrowski has allowed just one run with four walks and 21 strikeouts. In his last outing, he struck out nine batters in four innings of work. As of now, he looks to have a home in the bullpen but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get a few starts as the season progresses.
Lake Elsinore Storm Week in Review (split six-game series with the Inland Empire 66’ers).
Top Prospects: The Storm had some excellent offensive performances but were only able to manage a split against their I-215 rival. … Outfielder Robert Hassell III had a nice series, hitting safely in the final four games of the series. Hassell had seven hits, including four doubles, to pace the Storm offense and struck out just three times in the series, lowering his K-rate to 19%. … Outfielder Joshua Mears sat out most of the series for undisclosed reasons, appearing in three games and only starting Sunday’s game, when he went 0-for-4. Over his last 15 games, Mears is hitting .178/.339/.444 with a strikeout rate hovering around 40%. In part because of a strong 14.3% walk rate, his offensive output is 10 percent above league average during the stretch.
Keep an Eye On: Infielder Euribiel Angeles finished up the homestand riding a 13-game hitting streak. During the six-game series, Angeles went 10-for-25 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. Overall, Angeles is hitting .333/.372/.441. The 19-year-old infielder hasn’t shown a ton of power but his ability to make consistent contact has been one of the biggest revelations in the system thus far in 2021.
Reviewing the Deals:
The Padres have traded over 40 players in the last calendar year in an attempt to fortify their major league roster. One of the larger deals the organization made was acquiring RHP Joe Musgrove from the Pittsburgh Pirates. That move helped the Padres improve their rotation depth and as we all know, Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history. Let’s take a look at the players that left the organization in the deal.
Outfielder Hudson Head was the best prospect that the Padres gave up in the deal, ranking seventh in our Top-25 list. The 20-year-old is playing in Bradenton, part of Low-A Southeast League. Overall, Head is hitting .205/.380/.391 – good for a 120 wRC+. He has seven homers and 23 RBI to his credit and his 19% walk rate has been elite, but he’s striking out in nearly a third of his plate appearances.
The Padres drafted RHP Drake Fellows out of Vanderbilt in the sixth round in 2019. He never threw a game in the Padres organization before being dealt to Pittsburgh because of a Lymphoma diagnosis just after the draft. While he has been in remission, Fellows opened the season on the injured list due to an elbow injury. He just made his professional debut last week in the Florida Complex League, where he threw two scoreless innings.
LHP Omar Cruz began the season in High-A Greensboro, where he pitched to a 3.45 ERA in seven starts while racking up 38 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. The solid work led to a promotion and he is currently pitching for the Double-A Altoona Curve. In two starts, Cruz has an excellent 1.69 ERA but his strikeout rate has dropped significantly. He started 10 games in 2019 for the TinCaps.
RHP David Bednar has been an important cog in the Pirates bullpen this year, after appearing in 17 games for the Padres between 2019 and 2020. The Pittsburgh native has appeared in 36 games for the Pirates, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 32 innings.
The Padres traded LHP Joey Lucchesi in the deal, who was flipped to the Mets as part of the three-team deal. The Pirates received catcher Endy Rodriguez from the Mets for the lefty. Lucchesi, 28, was in the middle of a solid stretch before sustaining an injury that required Tommy John surgery. Lucchesi will miss the rest of the year and will likely be out for the majority of 2022 as he recovers.