Three great pitching performances and an offensive explosion in Lake Elsinore led to the farm going 2-1 on the night.
Chihuahuas (25-33): El Paso had a rough week against the Dodger affiliate Oklahoma City. They now travel to Las Vegas to begin a six-game series. Reiss Knehr will make his Triple-A debut for the Chihuahuas.
Corpus Christi Hooks 3, Missions 2
Key Stats LHP Ethan Elliott 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, ER, 2 BB, 5 K; CF Jose Azocar 2-for-4, BB, 3B, SB (11); RF Jack Suwinski 1-for-4, HR (14), RBI; 1B Kyle Overstreet 1-for-4, HR (3), RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: After ranking third in the High-A Central (HAC) in ERA (2.92), second in WHIP (0.97), third in batting average against (.204), and fifth in strikeouts (71), Ethan Elliott was deservedly promoted to Double-A. In his first start, he picked up exactly where he left off. He threw 65% of his pitches for strikes, allowing him to constantly work ahead of hitters. This lead to a lot of weak contact and strikeouts. Even after his defense let him down, turning a single into a triple, he retired the next few hitters to avoid the big inning. Elliott does not have overpowering stuff; he relies on locating his fastball and two solid off-speed offerings. … After leading the league in home runs through most of June, RF Jack Suwinski has been in a three-week slump. Since then, he has managed just one multi-hit game, and no home runs; until tonight. His home run tonight gave him 14 on the season and pushed him back into the top five in both home runs (14) and slugging (.547). It was Suwinski’s first extra-base hit this month. Hopefully, this home run is the start of a new streak. … The Missions went 1-for-16 with RISP.
TinCaps 2, West Michigan Whitecaps 1
Key Stats: RHP Matt Waldron (W, 3-4) 8 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 8 K; 3B Chris Givin 2-for-5, HR (2), RBI; RF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-5, RBI, 2B, SB (3); SS Justin Lopez 1-for-5
Prospect Watch: As good as Ethan Elliott has been in the HAC, Matt Waldron has been equally effective. He now ranks fourth in the league in ERA (3.24), fourth in the league in strikeouts (72), and by far the most innings pitched with 72.1 (the next closest is 13 innings behind). Most of that is due to his use of the knuckleball. Unlike a slider, a knuckleball doesn’t put as much force on your elbow, making it less taxing on the pitcher. So a pitcher like Waldron can throw 100 pitches without breaking a sweat. Over his last three starts, he has pitched 22 innings, including a career-high eight innings tonight. He also tied his career-high with eight strikeouts and did not allow an earned run for the first time all year. Even in the eighth inning, hitters were constantly guessing and flailing as the pitch fluttered up there. The pitch was so good, that his poor catcher Adam Kerner, had no idea where it was going. He had three passed balls which led to the lone run allowed by Waldron. If he can keep this pace up, he should be next in line for a promotion. … Waldron gave up his run in the first inning and for a majority of the game, it looked like he would be tagged with a tough-luck loss. That changed in the seventh when Chris Givin hit a towering home run down the left-field line. While it might seem odd to have someone hitting .162 hitting second for the TinCaps, Givin has been making loud contact since he arrived in Fort Wayne a few weeks ago. Manager Anthony Contreras has stated numerous times that he has faith in him and that it is not a matter of if, but when those loud outs start dropping for hits for Givin. … Tirso Ornelas picked up his league-leading 21st double immediately following the home run. While he ended up being stranded, it was his clutch, two-out single in the ninth that gave the TinCaps the win. Over the last week, Tirso is hitting .368/.429/.632
Storm 10, Visalia Rawhide 3
Key Stats: CF Robert Hassell III 3-for-5, SB (21); SS Euribiel Angeles 2-for-4, 2 RS, BB, 2B, SB (12); 2B Jarryd Dale 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2B; C Brandon Valenzuela 2-for-5, RS, 2 RBI; 1B Matthew Acosta 2-for-5, 2 RS, RBI, 2B, SB (5); RHP Carlos Guarate (W, 2-2) 6 IP, 6 K
Euribiel Angeles extends his hitting streak to 21 games with a single in the 7th.
It's the longest streak at the Low-A level this season. @Storm_Baseball franchise record is Tommy Medica's 29-game streak in 2012.
— Jason Schwartz (@jasondschwartz) July 15, 2021
Prospect Watch: After the top of the first, Visalia had three runs on three hits. From that point on they were outhit 14-to-1, and had only two baserunners in the final seven innings of the game. The Storm on the other hand were once again lead by top prospect Robert Hassell III. After picking up three more hits, he is now hitting .364/.417/.473 over the last 15 days, including three straight multi-hit games. When we talk about overall consistency, Hassell is a shining example. While every hitter goes through hot and cold stretches, Hassell’s longest stretch this year without reaching base has been two games, and even that has only happened four times all season. Combine that with above-average defense in center, and you have every bit the prospect the Padres were hoping for when they drafted. Hassell is now hitting .301/.381/.458 on the season, compared to fellow draft-class member Zac Veen’s .249/.364/.408. … During every day of Euribiel Angeles’ 21-game hitting streak, we have been struggling to find different things to write about him. Not only does he lead the league in batting average (.354), but is also the fourth hardest to strikeout. We commented a few weeks ago that he doesn’t walk much. Since that comment, he is second on the team in walks. All this is after he struggled for the first month hitting .264. Then in June his average rose to .385 and in July it is currently .447. It’s almost like he gets stronger as the game goes on. In fact, there’s a stat for that too. In the first inning, Angeles is hitting .241. After the first he is hitting .386. … Hassell and Angeles have not been the only ones on a tear recently. Jarryd Dale (.370/.414/.556) and Matthew Acosta (.300/.391/..450) have been giving the Storm much-needed depth throughout the batting order. … Despite normally starting, Carlos Guarate pitched the best game of his career. He threw six nearly perfect innings to earn the win. The only blemishes were a hit by a pitch and an error. His 4.94 ERA is inflated because of one start against Modesto where he gave up 10 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Since that horrendous start, Guarate has appeared in three games, pitching 14 innings, allowing just four runs, while striking out 17. Good enough for a 2.57 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and .184 BAA.
The ACL Padres had the night off and face the ACL Giants tomorrow. Look for the team to drastically change in the next 10 days as many of the newly drafted players start making their debut, while other players are sent back to the Dominican or released. Remember, this year, every team was limited to 180 players total (Active and Injured) in the minors. The Padres currently have over 165 players in the minors. Between drafting 21 and two non-drafted free agents have already signed, San Diego will have to make a few tough decisions.