Luke Westphal in action with El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Chihuahuas 6, Sugar Land Skeeters 3

Key Statistics: CF Brian O’Grady, 1-for-3, R, HR (9), RBI, 2 BB; SS Pedro Florimon, 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (8), 2B, RBI, BB; 1B Gosuke Katoh, 2-for-4, R, HR (4), 3 RBI; LF Matthew Batten, 1-for-2, R, 2 BB; LHP Luke Westphal, 3 IP, H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 2 K; RHP Alex Powers, 2 IP, BB, 3 K; LHP Matt Strahm, 1.2 IP, 2 K; RHP Steven Wilson, IP, K; RHP James Norwood (S, 2) IP, 3 K

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas allowed just one hit on the evening and were able to secure their first victory ever against the Sugar Land Skeeters. … Center fielder Brian O’Grady made his first appearance in El Paso since being optioned back and hit his ninth homer of the year. O’Grady also drew a pair of walks. The 29-year-old has done everything you could ask for in Triple-A; he’s hitting .321/.391/.642 overall. He’s seen time in the big leagues but with Friday’s acquisition of Jake Marisnick from the Cubs (you can read our trade analysis here), he may not be afforded another opportunity. … Veteran infielder Pedro Florimon doubled and homered Friday night. The 34-year-old infielder has been a versatile player for El Paso and has given the club steady contributions at the plate. After a scorching June (.997 OPS) he has a solid .779 OPS in July. … LHP Luke Westphal got the start and struggled badly with his command. In the second inning, he walked four batters which led to all three runs Sugar Land scored. The lapse in control is surprising, considering that Westphal walked just three batters in 19 innings going into Friday’s start. The former High Point Rocker has pitched well since joining the Padres’ organization last month via the Atlantic League. His ERA stands at 4.91 in six Triple-A starts. … RHP Steven Wilson fired a scoreless inning, notching a strikeout. Wilson missed six weeks with an injury but he has been solid when on the mound. In seven July outings, Wilson has allowed just one earned run in eight innings with 11 strikeouts. … LHP Matt Strahm worked 1.2 innings and notched a pair of strikeouts. Strahm is currently on a rehab assignment and has had three scoreless outings since joining the Chihuahuas. He has been pitching on two days rest since joining El Paso.

Allen Cordoba had the game-winning homer for San Antonio Friday night. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 7, Amarillo Sod Poodles 5 (11 innings)

Key Statistics: CF Jose Azocar, 2-for-4, R, HR (8), 3 RBI, BB; 3B Allen Cordoba, 3-for-5, 3B, HR (4), R, 2 RBI; C Juan Fernandez, 1-for-4, 2 R, HR (5), RBI; RHP Adrian Martinez, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K; RHP Carlos Belen, 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K; LHP James Reeves (W, 2-0) 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 K

Adrian Martinez. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: The Missions took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning; then the pitcher’s duel turned into complete chaos. The Sod Poodles scored two runs in the ninth to tie things up. San Antonio responded with three in the top of the tenth, only to have Amarillo score three more times to send the game to an 11th inning. The Missions put the game away in the 11th, thanks to a two-run homer from Allen Cordoba. … Cordoba’s pivotal shot capped off a great night. The 25-year-old infielder had three hits and was just a double short of hitting for the cycle. The big night raised Cordoba’s OPS to an impressive .816. … Outfielder Jose Azocar returned from the temporarily inactive list and had a pair of hits, including his eighth homer of the season. The former Tiger farmhand has been excellent for the Missions this season, showing increased patience, a good arm, and some decent power. Azocar has done his best work in July, hitting .333/.414/.586 with five homers. … RHP Adrian Martinez got the start and put an exclamation point on July with another excellent outing. Martinez worked 5.1 innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. In six outings in July, Martinez allowed only one earned run in 33.2 innings – good for a 0.27 ERA. The 24-year-old has developed into a realistic option for the Padres starting rotation, should they need another starter at some point. Martinez’s 2.20 ERA leads the Double-A Central.

Reinaldo Ilarraza’s speed is a weapon for Fort Wayne. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Lansing Lugnuts 9, TinCaps 6

Key Statistics: DH Jonny Homza, 2-for-5, R, BB, 2 RBI; 1B Luis Almanzar, 2-for-4, BB, 2 RBI; SS Chris Givin, 2-for-5, 2B; CF Reinaldo Ilarraza, 2-for-5, R, SB (26); RHP Connor Lehmann (L, 0-1) 2.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, K; RHP Edwuin Bencomo, 2 IP, 2 K

Prospect Watch: The Lugnuts scored six runs in the third inning and rode the big inning to victory. … Jonny Homza had a pair of singles – an encouraging sign after a rough July. Homza started the month by hitting safely in his first five games. After that, Homza went through a 6-for-49 stretch that included 17 strikeouts. Even after enduring a rough stretch, Homza still has a .799 OPS in his first run at full-season ball. … Center fielder Reinaldo Ilarraza singled twice and stole his 26th bag of the year. He ranks fifth in the HAC in stolen bases. The 22-year-old switch-hitter has excellent speed but has had issues making contact. He has a 30% K-rate and his ISO of .076 is the third-lowest in the league. You can live with a high K-rate from a guy with power but extra-base pop is simply not a part of Ilarraza’s game. If he can make more contact, his versatility gives him a chance to develop into an interesting prospect. … Right-handed pitcher Connor Lehmann made his TinCaps debut and struggled in his 2.2 innings of work. The Saint Louis University product allowed eight hits and six earned runs. In 25 innings between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, Lehmann has shown the ability to miss bats (32 strikeouts) but opposing batters have a .926 OPS against the 2019 seventh-rounder.

Fresno Grizzlies 3, Storm 0

Key Statistics: C Brandon Valenzuela, 2-for-4, 2B; LF Angel Solarte, 1-for-4, 3B; LHP Noel Vela (L, 1-8) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K; LHP Hazahel Quijada, 2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 4 K

Padres prospect Brandon Valenzuela plays for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Brandon Valenzuela has been a stalwart behind the plate for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Prospect Watch: The Storm managed just four hits in a shutout loss to new rival Fresno. The Storm had some opportunities to cash in but went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners stranded. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela had a multi-hit game, including a double in Friday night’s loss. The switch-hitting catcher has been red-hot at the plate this month, hitting .349/.393/.506. With his multi-hit effort, Valenzuela is seventh in the LAW with a .303 batting average. … Angel Solarte gave the Storm one of their best chances to score when he laced a triple into the right-field gap. As the score indicates, he was ultimately stranded at third. Solarte is hitting .330 in July with six doubles and a triple. Conversely, he’s walked just twice in 90 plate appearances. The 20-year-old should continue to get an opportunity to play every day in the Storm outfield even when Joshua Mears comes off the shelf. … LHP Noel Vela pitched well again but earned his eighth loss of the year, despite allowing just two unearned runs. Vela allowed a one-out single in the sixth before inducing a flyout. He appeared to get out of the inning but a fielding error allowed a run to score. Vela allowed another single to plate the other run before he was able to get out of the inning. The southpaw has developed into the most reliable starter the Storm have this season, showing the ability to miss bats and limit hard contact. His line-drive percentage is the sixth lowest in the league among pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings. He will need to limit the free passes going forward (5.71 BB/9) but he’s definitely one of the more interesting prospects on the Storm roster.

ACL Padres 9, ACL Royals 1 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: 2B Max Ferguson, 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI; DH Jackson Merrill, 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI; 3B Lucas Dunn, 3-for-4, 3 R, 3B; CF James Wood, 2-for-4, R, RBI; LF Willmert Paula, 3-for-3, 2B, RBI; RF Edwin Rojas, 2-for-3, R, 2B, SB (3); RHP Wilton Castillo, 3 IP, BB, 4 K; RHP Yerry Landinez (W, 1-0) IP, 2 K

Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres pounded out 14 hits and cruised to a win in a shortened, seven-inning affair. … The 2021 draft class was featured prominently in this game. First-rounder Jackson Merrill went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Merrill has hit safely in all four of his appearances since becoming a professional. He’s 5-for-12 as a pro, with a double, a triple, and three RBI. … Second-rounder James Wood also had two hits and drove in a run. Wood received the highest bonus ($2.6 million) of any player the Padres selected in 2021. He’s off to an excellent start, with five hits in his first two games. .. Third baseman Lucas Dunn tripled as part of a three-hit night. His first professional hit came in the first inning when he plated a run with a single. Dunn was drafted in the eighth round out of Louisville. … Fifth-rounder Max Ferguson had two hits, including a double. The 21-year-old out of Tennessee has two consecutive multi-hit games. … RHP Yerry Landinez pitched a scoreless inning and earned his first professional win. Landinez started his career as a position player but outgrew any defensive home and converted to pitching this year. He has not allowed a run in three outings in the Complex League.

For more on the Padres’ 2021 draft class, please check out our interview with Baseball America’s JJ Cooper, The Athletic’s Keith Law and Jim Callis from MLB Pipeline.


Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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