Chihuahuas 9, Round Rock Express 6
Key Statistics: LF Taylor Kohlwey, 3-for-5, R, 2B, SB (5); CF Jose Azocar, 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, SB (4); 2B Ivan Castillo, 3-for-4, R, R, RBI; RHP Adrian Martinez, 5 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, BB, 5 K; RHP Taylor Williams (W, 2-0) 3 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K; RHP Shaun Anderson (S, 1) IP, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso scored five runs in the final three innings to halt a two-game losing streak. … Left fielder Taylor Kohlwey had three hits Monday, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Kohlwey singled twice and doubled in five plate appearances. The 27-year-old outfielder continues to hit and has forced the Chihuahuas to play him every day. Since July 1, Kohlwey is hitting .346/.402/.488, good for a wRC+ of 122. … While we are on the topic of hitting streaks, Jose Azocar had a pair of hits, extending his own hitting streak to 12 games with another multi-hit performance. The 25-year-old has been tremendous since his promotion to El Paso and he has stepped right into the middle of the El Paso lineup. In 13 games with the Chihuahuas, Azocar has a 1.090 OPS. … RHP Adrian Martinez made his second start in Triple-A and was able to complete five innings, which is a positive development. On the flipside, Martinez struggled to limit hard contact. He allowed 11 hits, including three homers, and ultimately took the no-decision. Martinez was virtually unhittable in his last few outings in Double-A but he has had a rough introduction to the brutality of the Triple-A West League. In eight innings with El Paso, opponents are hitting .462 off of the Mexicali native. Martinez will need to locate his sinker more consistently as he did with San Antonio earlier in the season and work in something to keep opponents off the fastball when it misses to have a chance to make his big league debut down the stretch. … Righty Taylor Williams earned his second win of his rehab assignment by firing three shutout innings after taking over for Martinez. The outing was fairly interesting, considering Williams hasn’t thrown three innings in any outing since June 23, 2019, when he played for the San Antonio Missions, as a member of the Brewers’ organization. With their dearth of starting pitching options, perhaps the Padres are looking for Williams to throw 2-3 innings each outing to help out a starting staff that currently runs just three deep.
ACL Padres 5, ACL Giants 4 (7 innings)
Key Statistics: DH John Andreoli, 2-for-2, R, HR (1), 4 RBI, 2 BB; SS Jackson Merrill, 3-for-4, 2B; 2B Max Ferguson, 1-for-4, R, 2B; RHP Victor Lizarraga, 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K; LHP Alexuan Vega (W, 1-1) 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Alan Mundo (S, 3) 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: The ACL bunch got four RBI from rehabbing John Andreoli and beat the ACL Giants on the road. … Jackson Merrill, the Padres top pick in July’s draft, set a new career-high with three hits, including a double. Merrill, 18, opened his professional career with a ten-game hitting streak before hitting a brief slump. Merrill’s three-hit night extended his current hitting streak to four games. The early returns on the shortstop have been positive; he has a .852 OPS in 69 plate appearances. … RHP Victor Lizarraga made his first appearances in three weeks and tossed a pair of scoreless frames. The 17-year-old allowed just one hit while walking one and striking out three. The right-hander got off to a quick start in the desert this season but allowed 12 earned runs in the 8.2 innings prior to Monday’s performance. Lizarraga signed with the Padres in March for a bonus north of $1 million. … LHP Alexuan Vega finished the final two innings and earned the win but he made things interesting. Vega pitched two innings and allowed a pair of hits and walked three batters, striking out four. Vega, 22, is spending his third season in the desert and much like his previous campaigns, he has had issues throwing strikes. Vega has walked 13 innings in just 10.1 innings.
San Antonio Missions Week in Review (won four of six against Corpus Christi).
Top Prospects: The Missions had a good week as they took a series against the Hooks, a team that has given them plenty of fits over the years. … It was a banner week for Esteury Ruiz, as he won the Double-A Central Player of the Week for his efforts. Ruiz hit .333/.419/.741 with three homers, four RBI, and eight runs scored. He also hit safely in all six games of the series and stole a pair of bases for good measure. Ruiz has broken out this month for the Missions in August, hitting .300/.385/.563 overall. After struggling through the 2019 season with the Storm, Ruiz’s progress is intriguing, considering the lack of premium bats in the upper minors. … As we have mentioned previously, when shortstop Eguy Rosario is going well at the plate, the Missions’ offense looks potent but when he is struggling, they have issues scoring runs. It’s no coincidence that the Missions went 4-2 in a week when Rosario hit .381/.500/.571. Rosario only struck out three times in the six-game set against five walks. The 21-year-old infielder was in a slump before breaking out in this series. Overall, Rosario leads the club with a 117 wRC+. … Outfielder Agustin Ruiz connected on a pair of homers in the six-game set but otherwise struggled. Ruiz went just 4-for-29 in the series with eight strikeouts. Ruiz hit just .105 on balls in play so perhaps his week can be attributed to bad luck.
Keep an Eye on: RHP Moises Lugo made his Double-A debut on Friday night and flashed the stuff that resulted in a promotion from Fort Wayne. Lugo struck out seven in 4.2 shutout innings. Lugo has notched at least seven strikeouts in six of his last seven outings and has just nine walks in those outings. Before the 2021 season, Lugo had pitched just three games above the complex league.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review (split six-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps).
Top Prospects: Jonny Homza has played sparingly in August and appears to still be dealing with a shoulder issue. Homza went 2-for-13 in four games against West Michigan with seven strikeouts. After breaking out in June, Homza fell back in July and missed 10 games this month, although he was not placed on the injured list. In 31 August plate appearances, Homza is hitting .138/.200/.138. … Tirso Ornelas struggled again last week, going just 1-for-18 with nine strikeouts in five starts. August as a whole has been a brutal month for Ornelas – he is hitting just .113/.222/.274 in 70 August plate appearances.
Keep an Eye On: LHP Noel Vela was easily the best starting pitcher on the Lake Elsinore staff and he has been able to continue his ascent with the TinCaps. Vela threw 4.2 innings of scoreless ball on Sunday, notching four strikeouts. The 22-year-old has fared well in four starts with the TinCaps. While his strikeout rate is down just a bit with the TinCaps (8.66 K/9), his underlying numbers are better in the High-A Central and he has reduced his walk rate a bit. Despite having a solid 3.75 ERA between the two stops, Vela has a 1-10 record.
Lake Elsinore Storm Week in Review (Split six-game series with the Inland Empire 66’ers).
Top Prospects: The Storm were able to win the final two games of the series with Inland Empire to salvage a series split. … Robert Hassell III notched four multi-hit games in six games and smacked his fifth homer of the year on Sunday. Hassell reached base at a .500 clip during the series as he continues to demonstrate that he has mastered the Low-A level. He has a .963 OPS this month, the highest he has produced in any month thus far. He turned 20 on August 15. … Joshua Mears played in just two games in the series, as he was finally activated after the team’s COVID outbreak. He made his presence known on Sunday by blasting his 15th homer in just 255 plate appearances. The Lake Elsinore Diamond typically suppresses offense, especially compared to the rest of the league, but Mears has a 1.104 OPS at home this season. Mears’s power continues to be one – if not the – loudest tools in the system. … Infielder Euribiel Angeles had a quiet series, going 4-for-21 with a double. Angeles continued to make frequent contact but could not find the holes he typically has all year. Despite the slow week, Angeles has a .342/.405/.461 this month and his .341 average leads the league.
Keep an Eye On: LHP Robert Gasser. Gasser, 22, was the Padres’ Competitive Balance Round B pick in July, after an excellent season at the University of Houston. Gasser made his Storm debut last week and allowed a homer in two innings of work. While he figures to be limited down the stretch, he is instantly the best pitching prospect on the Storm roster.