Chihuahuas 1, Albuquerque Isotopes 0
Key Statistics: RF Taylor Kohlwey, 1-for-3, BB; 1B Gosuke Katoh, 1-for-3; PH Webster Rivas, 1-for-1, HR (2), RBI, R; RHP Reiss Knehr, 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Parker Markel (W, 2-0) 2 IP, 4 K; LHP Daniel Camarena (S, 1) IP, H, BB, K.
Prospect Watch: Webster Rivas‘s pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the eighth was the only run of the game. The pinch-hit was his first appearance since being optioned back to Triple-A when Austin Nola was activated. Rivas was the backup in San Diego and he figures to be the backup in El Paso as well. He could get some at-bats as a designated hitter though. In 11 games with the Chihuahuas, Rivas has an .894 OPS. … RHP Reiss Knehr turned his best start at any level this season, firing six shutout innings, but he did not factor in the decision. Knehr had everything working and allowed just two hits and two walks. His seven strikeouts tied a season-high. The 24-year-old has made one official big league start and he started the game in Atlanta that was suspended. With more performances like he had Monday, he should get another opportunity to pitch for San Diego at some point … LHP Daniel Camarena made his first official appearance at any level since July 10 and got his first save of the year. The grand slam-hitting pitcher started the year in the El Paso rotation but he may stay in the bullpen to keep him available for the next time the Padres need a fresh arm.
ACL Padres 6, ACL Royals Gold 4
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill, 1-for-3, 2B; RF Cristian Heredia, 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, HR (1), RBI; C Colton Bender, 1-for-2; RHP Brett Kennedy, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 7 K; LHP Bodi Rascon (W, 1-1) 3 IP, 3 H, R, 5 K; RHP Reinier Parra (S, 1) IP, 2 H.
Prospect Watch: The Padres got their first look at several of their 2021 draft picks in a win against one of the Royals’ ACL teams. … Jackson Merrill, the Padres’ first-rounder this year, doubled in the third at-bat of his professional debut to drive in his first run. Merrill signed an under-slot, $1.8 million deal to join the organization. Our John Conniff interviewed Merrill shortly after draft. That article is available to our subscribers … RF Cristian Heredia had a pair of doubles and his first homer of the season. The 20-year-old spent the 2019 season in the Arizona League and put up solid numbers. This season in 14 games, he is hitting .306/.414/.490 with just seven strikeouts in 58 plate appearances. … RHP Brett Kennedy made his third rehab start, completing five innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits. Kennedy struck out seven hitters as he inches toward making his way back to the upper levels. The 26-year-old righty left a start for El Paso on June 5 with what appeared to be a strain below his rib cage. … LHP Bodi Rascon completed three innings and earned the first win of his professional career. Rascon, 20, struggled out of the gate this season but has pitched well his last two times out. In those two outings, he has allowed just one unearned run in six innings with one walk and nine strikeouts.
Ben Davey discussed Merrill and the rest of this year’s draft with Jim Callis, MLB Pipeline senior writer. We’ll continue our series, available to everyone, with The Athletic’s Keith Law later today.
San Antonio Missions Week in Review (Missions won four-of-six against the Springfield Cardinals).
Top Prospects: Infielder Eguy Rosario was the Missions’ hottest hitter last week and he paced their offensive attack. In six games, the 21-year-old hit .385/.431/.571 with a homer and six runs scored. Since June 1, Rosario has hit .308/.404/.527 with eight homers. Without CJ Abrams and with the trade of Jack Suwinski, Rosario might be the top position player prospect on the Missions roster. … RHP Adrian Martinez continued his dominance in July with another solid outing on Saturday night. The 24-year-old didn’t have his best stuff, but he still shut down the Springfield lineup for six innings. In four July starts, Martinez has a 4-0 record with an 0.39 ERA. His strikeout numbers are a little underwhelming but he has done an excellent job of limiting hard-hit contact.
Keep an Eye On: Outfielder Michael Curry might be the biggest benefactor from the trade of Suwinski. The former Georgia Bulldog hasn’t received a lot of playing time this year, but in July he has flashed some power. In 50 plate appearances this month, Curry is hitting .273/.360/.500 with three homers. He has a bit of swing-and-miss to his game but his power is interesting.
Let’s Make a Deal: The Padres made a big trade, acquiring infielder Adam Frazier for three Padres prospects. We broke down the deal in further detail.
On-site content: We had a couple of subscriber pieces this week involving Missions’ players. Mark Wilkens talked to reliever Dylan Rheault about his journey professionally and Kevin talked to newly-promoted pitcher Matt Waldron about the development of his knuckleball.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review (Split a six-game series against Dayton Dragons).
Top Prospects: It was a rough week for catcher Jonny Homza, who has struggled in July after a hot June. In the series against the Dragons, Homza went 3-for-20 with eight strikeouts. Homza had a .900 OPS in June but it has dropped to .654. The young catcher is in the midst of his first full season of catching full-time. Overall, he has been the TinCaps’ most productive player at the plate in 2021. … Outfielder Agustin Ruiz busted out of a slump and clubbed two homers in the series against Dayton. Coming into the series against Dayton, Ruiz was hitting just .217/.273/.250 in July. His 12 homers lead the team and he ranks eighth in the HAC.
Keep an Eye On: LHP Mason Feole struggled through a rough outing on July 11 in which he walked five batters and recorded just two outs. In his three previous appearances, Feole allowed six earned runs without completing an inning in any of the games. However, in his last four outings, The UConn product has not allowed an earned run and in three of those outings, he did not allow a walk. The 22-year-old southpaw has had a rough pro debut following Tommy John surgery, but the last week or so has provided a glimpse at what earned him a slightly overslot deal as an 11th rounder in 2019.
Lake Elsinore Storm Week in Review (lost four-of-six at Inland Empire).
Top Prospects: The Storm lost four-of-six, but Robert Hassell III certainly did his part. The former first-rounder hit .348/.516/.435 in series with seven walks and just two strikeouts in 31 plate appearances. He didn’t reach the seats in the series but he did have a pair of doubles. In July, Hassell sports a .386/.495/.500 line with 10 doubles and seven stolen bases. … Infielder Euribiel Angeles played in just two games in the series against Inland Empire. There is no word on an injury but the Storm clearly missed his presence. He had just one hit in 10 at-bats in the two games he started. Despite the slow series, Angeles is still hitting .340/.396/.460.
Keep an Eye On: Catcher Brandon Valenzuela had a big series, hitting .429/.467/.607 with three doubles, a triple and three RBI. The catcher has been a very steady contributor at the plate this year, hitting .301/.382/.439 with five homers – already a career-high. He has seen playing time at first base and has shown good hands there. His receiving skills are improving behind the plate and he has a chance to be a good defender there. He is a switch-hitter which further adds to his versatility.