Round Rock Express 4, Chihuahuas 0

Key Statistics: RF Brian O’Grady 1-4; LF Taylor Kohlwey 1-4; CF Jose Azocar 1-4; RHP Brett Kennedy (L, 1-5) 5.2 IP 5 H 4 R 4 ER 4 BB 6 K HR; RHP James Norwood 1.0 IP 2 K

Joe Beimel. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: El Paso was held to three singles on the road in Round Rock as they fell to 38-53 on the year.  Brett Kennedy got the start and held the Express to one run through five innings before giving up a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Kennedy has had a tough year in Triple-A with an 8.91 ERA in 33.1 innings as he has battled two separate stints on the Injured List.  In 2018, before knew and shoulder surgeries, he posted a 10-0 record with El Paso and a 2.72 ERA in 89.1 innings to earn a promotion to San Diego. … After going hitless in his first Triple-A game, Jose Azocar has hit in 10 straight for a .359/.372/.615 slash line with eight extra-base hits in 11 games. The 25-year-old former Detroit Tigers farmhand signed as a minor league free agent in November and was impressive in the field on our visit this past weekend. 

Roster Moves: The Padres promoted 44-year-old left-handed reliever Joe Beimel from San Antonio to El Paso. Beimel told us during our visit in San Antonio that he had requested to start at Double-A after last pitching in the majors in 2015 with Seattle. It’s already a good story now, if he can make it all the way back to San Diego its a great one. Because of COVID protocols, jumping players straight from Double-A to the big leagues is a challenge this year.

Eguy Rosario has taken big steps forward for San Antonio this year. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Corpus Christi 6, Missions 5

Key Statistics: SS Eguy Rosario 2-3, BB, 3 SB (26); LF Jorge Ona 1-4, 2B, RBI; CF Agustin Ruiz 1-4, HR (3) 3 RBI; 2B Kelvin Melean 2-4;  LHP Osvaldo Hernandez 5.0 IP 5 H 4 R 4 ER 2 BB 2 HR; RHP Sam McWilliams (L, 0-1,BS,1))  2.0 IP 4 H 2 R 2 ER BB 4 K; LHP Tom Cosgrove 1.0 IP 3 K

Prospect Watch: The Hooks came back with a pair of solo home runs to send the Missions to defeat after San Antonio took three of the first four in Corpus Christi. … Eguy Rosario reached base three times and stole three on the evening to give him 26 in 38 attempts for the year. The infielder last stole that many in 2017, when he succeeded 33 times in 49 attempts between the then Low-A Midwest League and the AZL. He continues to get thrown out too often, but he has put up solid numbers for a 21-year-old in Double-A with a .271/.357/.440 slash line. Though he has played shortstop primarily since CJ Abrams went down, he profiles more at second or third.  He has improved his walk rate to 10.4% this year, up from 7.2% in his 2019 campaign. … Sam McWilliams continues a rough adjustment to Double-A after being sent down from El Paso on August 14.  In his first three appearances, he has given up six earned runs in 4.1 innings. The Padres claimed the 6-foot-7 righty off waivers from the New York Mets organization on June 5, then successfully outrighted him off the 40-man roster later that month. McWilliams has great stuff with 41 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched this year between three different teams and two different organizations, but 39 walks and 37 hits aren’t viable. … Jorge Oña doubled in his first game back in Double-A on a rehab assignment. The outfielder opened the year in the IL as he dealt with an elbow injury. One of the major signings of the 2016 international period, Oña put up some serious numbers in his first month with the Padres Double-A affiliate in Amarillo in 2019 at .348/.417/.539 before shoulder surgery derailed his season. He is still only 24 years old, but limited to left field and DH. … Lefty Tom Cosgrove came back from a two month stint on the IL in spectacular fashion, striking out the side with an immaculate inning. The Manhattan College product had his best year in Fort Wayne in 2018, posting a 3.71 ERA and 122 punchouts against 34 walks in 116.1 innings. He had Tommy John Surgery in 2019.

TinCaps 2, West Michigan Whitecaps 1

Key Statistics:  CF Grant Little 1-3, BB 2 SB (18); DH Ethan Skender 1-3, 2B, RBI, R; C Tyler Malone1-4, 2B; LHP Gabe Mosser 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R; LHP Gabe Morales (W, 1-0) 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Chase Walter 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K; RHP Wen-Hua Sung (S,4) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB

Ethan Skender’s alert baserunning was the difference in the game. (Photo:Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch:  Ethan Skender‘s RBI double in the fifth inning tied the game and he then scored the go-ahead run on one of organization’s the more savy baserunning plays this season. Ripken Reyes laid down a bunt for a hit and as Skender advanced to third base he noticed that the third baseman, pitcher and catcher were all converged around a rolling baseball seeing if it would go foul. With home base unoccupied, Skender kept running to score and put Fort Wayne ahead.  Tyler Malone, 23, the Padres’ 27th-round pick from Oregon State in 2019, started behind the plate.  The left-handed hitter has played at both corner outfield positions, first and seven games at catcher. Malone hit .258/.398/.364 in the AZL in 2019 and has posted a .210/.347/.371 slash line in 75 plate appearances between El Paso and the TinCaps this season. … The TinCaps’ pitching turned in a solid effort on the road as they only allowed one baserunner from the sixth inning until one out in the ninth. … After Gabe Mosser worked two scoreless innings in his first start since mid-July, Gabriel Morales worked four innings of one-run relief to pick up the win. The 22-year-old lefty struck out four in his first appearance since getting called up earlier in the week from Lake Elsinore. Chase Walter, 23, followed Morales to make his High-A debut as well. The 6-foot-7 undrafted free agent tossed a pair of scoreless innings without issuing a walk. With the Storm, Walter impressed with 52 strikeouts in 27.2 innings and a 2.28 ERA for Lake Elsinore.

Storm 3, Inland Empire 66ers 0

Key Statistics: SS Euribiel Angeles 2-4, SB (17) ; 1B Matthew Acosta 1-2, 2 BB, SB 97); 2B Jarryd Dale 1-4, 2B; RHP Levi Thomas 4.0 IP 3 H 2 BB 7 K; RHP Jason Reynolds 3.0 IP 2 H 6 K; RHP Alek Jacob 1.0 IP K

Padres prospect Levi Thomas pitches for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Levi Thomas delivers for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Prospect Watch: Four Storm pitchers combined to strike out 16 as they shut out the Angels’ Low-A affiliate for their second win of the series.  Former Troy star Levi Thomas, 23, has had an up-and-down season, but he continues to take the ball and throw strikes in his debut campaign. Thomas was on Saturday, mixing his low-90s fastball with a quality changeup and slider to work four scoreless frames and match his season high of seven strikeouts. The righty is second on the team in innings pitched with 62.2 and has struck out 73 against 29 walks, but has yielded 66 hits, including nine home runs. … Jason Reynolds worked three strong innings to get the win. The 22-year-old righty has turned in strong numbers for the Storm, posting a 5-1 record to go along with a 3.12 ERA in 40.1 innings.  Reynolds, a 32nd-round pick out of Lehigh in 2019, struggled to an 8.64 ERA for Tri-City in his debut, hurt by allowing 20 walks in 25 innings. He has cut that to 18 walks to go along with 42 strikeouts this year. … Euribiel Angeles rapped out two more hits to push his league-leading batting to .346. … Joshua Mears, Matt Acosta and Jack Stronach all returned to the lineup as they came off the IL following the team’s COVID-19 outbreak two weeks ago. Acosta, 23, doesn’t get much attention with all the young talent on the roster, but the outfielder/first baseman out of USC has had a solid year posting a .253/.384/.425 slash line.

Jackson Merrill in action at shortstop. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

ACL Mariners 5,  ACL Padres 4

Key Statistics: 3B Max Ferguson 1-2, 2 BB; SS Jackson Merrill 2-4, 2B; CF James Wood 2-4, RBI; DH Jared Alvarez-Lopez 2-4, RBI; RHP Wilton Castillo 3.0 IP 2 H R ER 3 K; LHP Ben Miller 1.0 IP 2 K; RHP Reinier Parra (L, 0-3) 0.2 IP 5 H 4 R 4 ER 2 BB K

Prospect Watch: On the most recent Friars on the Farm Podcast, our own Mark Wilkens made the observation that while all the minor leagues are about development, the Complex Leagues are really about development.  “Sometimes, I’m not sure they are really even keeping score,” he joked about people asking what Gore’s stats meant the other night. At the lowest level, the important thing was to see the velocity and command of his fastball, the break and movement of his slider rather than stat-line results. However, it’s nice to get results too, and the Padres’ top picks from this year’s draft have been getting them in the desert. The organization has to be ecstatic with what second-rounder James Wood has done. The 6-foot-7 outfielder, who earned the Padres’ biggest bonus in the class, has put up a .360/.448/.480 slash line in his first 58 plate appearances while playing in center defensively. Jackson Merrill, the first round prep pick out of Maryland has been nearly as good,  posting a .310/.379/.414 line at shortstop. … Big Cuban righty Wilton Castillo, yet another 6-foot-7 prospect in the system, had another solid outing.  On the season the 21-year old has 36 strikeouts in 23.1 innings against only six walks.  The club has worked him into action slowly in his debut campaign, limiting him to three inning stints.

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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