Austin Nola continued his rehab with El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Las Vegas Aviators 12, Chihuahuas 2

Key Statistics:  2B Ivan Castillo 2-5; SS Pedro Florimon 2-4, 3B, RBI; 1B Luis Campusano 1-4, SB (1); CF Robbie Podorsky 2-4; C Austin Nola 0-3, BB;  LPH Jerry Keel (L, 1-3) 5.0 IP 8 H 6 R 6 ER 2 BB K HR; RHP Mason Thompson 1.0 IP

Prospect Watch:  El Paso took the early lead on Pedro Florimon’s RBI single in the second inning, but it was all downhill after that. The Chihuahuas had 11 hits but were only 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. … The rehabbing Austin Nola made his second start at catcher after spending most of his initial rehab assignment at first base and designated hitter. .. With Nola behind the plate, Luis Campusano made his first start of the season at first base. He had played the position before at both Lake Elsinore in 2019 (two games) and Fort Wayne in 2018 (four games). He also had his first stolen base of the season. … Mason Thompson worked a clean inning in his third outing since returning from the big league bullpen. The big righty’s Triple-A ERA away from Southwest University Field is nearly four runs better than his mark at home.

Adrian Martinez might be in line for a big league spot start. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 3, Corpus Christi Hooks 0

Key Statistics:  3B Allen Cordoba 2-4, 2B; RF Jack Suwinski 0-2, 2 BB; DH Dwanya Williams-Sutton 1-2, 2 BB; RHP Adrian Martinez (W, 5-3) 5.0 IP 6 H 3 BB 3 K; RHP Henry Henry 2.0 IP H BB; RHP Nick Kuzia 1.0  IP H K; RHP Jose Quezada (S,9) 1.0 IP K

Prospect Watch: Pitching was the story of the night, as the Missions broke a four-game losing streak. If you are looking for potential internal options for the Padres’ pitching staff Adrian Martinez, 24, and his sinker/slider combination might be the best choice in the entire organization. With five scoreless frames Saturday, Martinez lowered his ERA for July to 0.53 ERA across 17 innings in three starts. The Mexicali native has allowed just 10 hits while striking out 16 against seven in that span. He relies on a heavy low- to mid-90s sinker to go along with a very effective slider. Phillip Wellman told us last week Martinez is one of the pitchers he would recommend if the Padres need a spot starter. … Henry Henry‘s two scoreless innings dropped his ERA for the month to 2.08 as he continues to show month-to-month improvements. Overall, the 22-year old Dominican has a 2.92 ERA in 37 innings this season. He’s been especially effective against right-handed hitters, who are batting just .157 against him. … With a pair of walks tonight, Dwanya Williams-Sutton has a .409 on-base percentage in his first twelve games with the Missions.  On the season, between Fort Wayne and San Antonio, the former East Carolina star has reached at a .436 clip. In addition to his discerning eye, Williams-Sutton continues to be a magnet for thrown pitches, getting plunked six times in 110 plate appearances so far this year.

Anderson Espinoza had one of his best outings of the season coming off of his suspension. (Photo: Jeff Nycz).

TinCaps 3, West Michigan Whitecaps 1

Key Statistics:  C Adam Kerner 1-2, 2 BB, RBI; LF Grant Little 1-4, 2B, RBI; RHP Anderson Espinoza 3.0 IP BB 2 K; RHP Moises Lugo (W, 1-3) 4.0 IP 2 H 9 K

Moises Lugo didn’t walk a batter for the first time this year. (Photo: Jeff Nycz).

Prospect Watch: Grant Little’s double down the left field line broke up a scoreless tie in the sixth. He came around to score on a one-out grounder and Adam Kerner added an RBI single one inning later to give the visitors all they needed thanks to some standout pitching. Anderson Espinoza returned from a ten-day suspension to toss three no-hit innings using only 32 pitches, 18 of which were for strikes. The Padres are going very slowly with the talented Espinoza, who although he is only 23, hadn’t pitched in a regular-season game since 2016 because of two Tommy John surgeries. So far Espinoza is accomplishing the goal the organization was looking for him coming into the season, get back on the mound on a regular basis. … Somewhat lost with Espinoza’s return was another strong appearance by Moises Lugo, who missed his last turn in the rotation with a balky shoulder.  Lugo has held High-A Central batters to only a .194 batting average and has 59 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. However, the 22-year-old has walked 25, which would be the worst walk rate among qualified pitchers in the league if he had one more inning pitched. So while the nine strikeouts Saturday are nice, not walking a batter for the first time in his 12 appearances this year is even better. 

Padres prospect Brandon Valenzuela swings for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Brandon Valenzuela had six RBI for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Storm 11, Visalia Rawhide 6

Key Statistics: C Brandon Valenzuela 3-5, 2B, HR (5), 6 RBI; RF Joshua Mears 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB,  CF Robert Hassell III 0-2, 3 BB; SS Euribiel Angeles 0-3, RBI, 2 BB; LF Angel Solarte 2-4, RBI; RHP Jesus Lugo 4.0 IP 2 H 2 BB 5 K; RHP Cullen Dana (W, 1-0) 2.0 IP H 2 K

Prospect Watch: Brandon Valenzuela had the best offensive night of his career with six RBI on a double and his fifth home run of the season. The Storm jumped out to a six-run lead in the bottom of the second inning but needed to tack on four more runs in the eighth to hang on as the Rawhide plated three in the top of the ninth. .. . Valenzuela, a Hermosillo, Mexico native came into the season more known for his glove, but the switch-hitter has also shown that he can handle the bat with a .371 on-base percentage. He is coming off of a big June when he slashed .302/.394/.442. … Robert Hassell III is in the Top 10 of the Low-A West in walks (35), stolen bases (21), hits (76), doubles (21), runs (48) – ok, I’m going to stop now.  He is having a very good offensive season in addition to showing that he can handle center field defensively. … As good as Hassell has been, Euribiel Angeles, the system’s breakout prospect in 2021, has matched him. The 19-year-old leads the Low-A West with a .348 batting average and leads the Storm in total bases with 119 to Hassell’s 115. … In 2019, Joshua Mears started his professional career slowly before he found his rhythm in the second half of the Arizona League season and got hot. This year, the big man from Washington state got off to a slow start, but is hitting a blistering .364/.451/.886 in July. In 50 plate appearances this month, he has 16 hits, 10 for extra bases and six walks.

ACL Mariners 5, ACL Padres 2

Key Statistics: LF Cristian Heredia 2-3; RHP Justin Lange (L, 0-1) 1.2 IP 3 R 3 ER 4 BB 4 K; RHP Josh Paulina 3.0 IP H 2 R 2 ER BB 6 K

Prospect Watch: Justin Lange, fell to the Padres’ second pick in the 2020 draft because, despite his talent, he was seen as especially raw. Both were on full display from the 6-foot-4, 220 pound native of the Hill Country in Texas Saturday as Lange struck out four of the first five batters he faced before issuing four straight walks. He left with the bases loaded and two of those runners came around to score. Through 8.2 innings, the 19-year-old righty has struck out 14. … Fellow 2020 graduate Josh Paulina, who became the rare undrafted free agent signee out of high school. The 6-foot-6 righty gave up a chance to play baseball at the University of Pittsburgh to get started professionally. After three strong innings Saturday, he’s logged 14 strikeouts in 9.1 innings against five walks.

System Updates

Baseball America reports that the Padres have added four undrafted free agents to the system. Right-handed pitcher Brenden Heiss was drafted of high school way back in 2016, but didn’t sign and has had a nomadic collegiate career. Lefty Matt Sparling, also a 2016 high school grad, was injured in 2019 and got only one appearance for Florida Atlantic before the 2020 season was shut down. He had a solid showing for the Owls this year. Justin Farmer is a power-first outfielder out of Florida International, where he had one year of eligibility remaining. Cole Cummings, 23, grew up a Padres fan in Corona and had a big senior year for a talented UC Santa Barbara club this year.

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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