Chihuahuas 12, Reno Aces 11
Key Statistics: 2B-3B Matthew Batten, 3-for-5, 3 R, BB, 2B; C Luis Campusano, 2-for-5, 2 R, HR (12), 2 RBI; 3B Ivan Castillo, 4-for-5, SB (8); CF Jose Azocar, 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI; LHP Daniel Camarena, 4 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 3 K; RHP James Norwood (W, 3-4) IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso won a crazy game on John and Mark’s final night. Read John’s recap here.
ACL Padres Game Cancelled
The ACL Padres game was cancelled for unspecified reasons. They were set to play one of the Royals’ ACL teams.
San Antonio Missions Week in Review (split six-game series against the Midland Rockhounds).
Top Prospects: Outfielder Agustin Ruiz was promoted to San Antonio at the start of the week and he made his presence felt almost immediately. After a 1-for-4 debut, Ruiz had three hits, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He also drove in seven runs, just one off of his career-high. Ruiz didn’t reach the heights of last Wednesday’s performance again, but he did hit safely in five of the six games he started. The left-handed-hitting outfielder left High-A Central League batting .253/.343/.466 with 15 homers. The power growth is remarkable, considering he hit just four with the TinCaps when they were a Low-A squad. … Esteury Ruiz (no relation) started off last week’s series with a bang, notching eight hits in the first four games before going hitless in the final two contests. Overall, Ruiz hit .320/.370/.600 in the six-game series with a homer, four doubles, and three stolen bases. Ruiz’s production has been excellent overall since he returned from the injured list at the end of July. In 19 games since returning, Ruiz is hitting an excellent .278/.354/.514 with three homers. The 22-year-old outfielder has always had an intriguing set of skills, including plus-speed, power, and excellent bat speed. If he can continue to put it together, he may play himself onto the 40-man roster this winter.
Keep an Eye On: RHP Pedro Avila appears to be finally stretching out as a starter. Typically, this development might feel a bit inconsequential but given the state of the major league rotation, it seems important. The 24-year-old started one game for the Padres in 2019, was injured shortly thereafter, and ultimately was forced to have Tommy John surgery later that summer. After being removed from the 40-man roster during his recovery, Avila has spent almost the entire year in the Missions bullpen, aside from a stretch in El Paso. Avila entered the San Antonio rotation at the beginning of the month and turned in his best outing of the season on Sunday. Avila worked four innings and allowed just one hit while walking a pair and striking out two hitters. Assuming that Avila can work five innings in his next start, he probably slots somewhere below Reiss Knehr and Adrian Martinez on the minor league options for the Padres rotation.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review: (split six-game series with the South Bend Cubs)
Top Prospects: After losing the first three games of the series, Fort Wayne bounced back to win the next three. Too bad there won’t be a game seven in the battle for Indiana minor league supremacy. … Tirso Ornelas had a very quiet series for the TinCaps. He homered in the game one, then went 1-for-17 with a walk and five strikeouts after that. The left-handed outfielder put together an excellent July (.276/.370/.414) but has struggled thus far in August (.136/.250/.341). If there is a silver lining, it is that Ornelas has three homers this month. … Infielder Justin Lopez finished the week on a positive note, hitting safely in the final three games of the series. Despite the three-game hitting streak, Lopez’s series against South Bend highlights the flaws in his game: too many strikeouts and a low walk-rate. Lopez had a walk-rate under 5% and a strikeout rate north of 26% in the series. The 21-year-old infielder put together a couple of solid months in June in July but he has struggled thus far in August. Through 47 plate appearances this month, Lopez has a .532 OPS.
Keep an Eye on: RHP Moises Lugo earned a promotion to San Antonio, after developing into the most reliable pitcher in the TinCaps’ rotation. Lugo, 22, wrapped up his campaign in the Summit City by firing six terrific innings on Saturday, allowing just one earned run on two hits. Lugo has gone at least five innings in his last five starts, after battling some shoulder fatigue in the middle of July. Lugo is currently third in the High-A Central in K% (29.9%), and leads the league in opponents batting average (.188). As of now, there is no corresponding roster move for Fort Wayne.
Lake Elsinore Storm Week in Review (split six-game series with the Visalia Rawhide).
Top Prospects: Robert Hassell III had another good series, after battling a sore shoulder after being hit by a pitch. Hassell saw action in all six games but only had official at-bats in four of them. He finished the series with three hits on Sunday. Overall, Hassell hit .316/.409/.421 with a pair of doubles. Hassell’s ability to make consistent contact has been one of the most impressive parts of his game; he struck out just once in 21 plate appearances, although the performance did come at the expense of the worst team in the league. Still, Hassell has checked every single box that you’d want him to. To be frank, it’s still a bit of a surprise that he hasn’t been promoted to Fort Wayne yet. … Infielder Euribiel Angeles had a monster series for the Storm, notching 11 hits while peppering line drives all over the Lake Elsinore Diamond. The 19-year-old hit safely in all six games – a hitting streak he will carry into their series against Inland Empire. After a slow start in May, Angeles is hitting a blistering .382/.442/.517 since June 1.
Keep an Eye on: The Lake Elsinore Storm pitching staff has struggled as a whole (5.22 ERA, 3rd-worst in Low-A West) but RHP Chase Walter has been a dominant piece of the bullpen. Walter, 23, signed with the Padres after the 2020 draft as a free agent. He pitched collegiately at Western Carolina where he posted big strikeout numbers but struggled with controlling a fastball that now can touch 98 mph. Last week against Visalia, Walter appeared in three games and completely toyed with a poor Rawhide lineup. Walter pitched five innings and allowed just one hit, walking one and striking out ten. Walter has struggled at times with command but he has also racked up 49 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. Walter has a 2.03 ERA this year for Lake Elsinore.