A fantastic game from the Storm made up for an otherwise lackluster performance out of both San Antonio and Fort Wayne.

The Chihuahuas (44-70): The season keeps on going from bad to worse for the Chihuahuas.  They went two and four in their last series.  With the major league season just two weeks away from being over, it is looking less and less likely that the Padres will call up 44-year-old Joe Beimel.  Beimel currently has a 2.84 ERA in six games with El Paso.  More impressively, in 28 at-bats against left handed-hitters this season, Beimel has allowed just three of them to reach base (0.36 WHIP).  That number goes up against right-handed hitters (nine of 43 have reached base, 1.08 WHIP), but shows that Beimel could be a great option as a LOOGY out of the pen in San Diego.

Kevin Kopps made his Double-A debut in San Antonio. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Corpus Christi Hooks 4, Missions 0

Key Stats RHP Tyler Viza (L, 1-3) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Kevin Kopps IP, HBP, 2 K; SS Eguy Rosario 1-for-3, BB; CF Esteury Ruiz 1-for-4

Prospect Watch: The Missions were shut out and managed just four hits, all singles, in a Padres-esque loss.  The only highlight for the Missions was the Double-A debut of RHP Kevin Kopps.  Kopps did not allow a run and surrendered just two hits in eight innings with Fort Wayne before the promotion.  He hit a batter but struck out two in a quick inning.  Across 13.2 innings in professional ball, Kopps has allowed just five hits while striking out 22.  While Kopps making the majors out of spring training next year is a bit of a stretch, with his success in Double-A, do not be surprised if he gets a long look in spring training.

Dayton Dragons 9, TinCaps 2

Key Stats: CF Robert Hassell III 0-for-5.  SS Justin Lopez 2-for-4, HR (10), RBI; 2B Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, RS, SB; RHP Chase Walter 1.0 IP BB 2 K

Justin Lopez was 2-4 on Wednesday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: Not a great day for the TinCaps both on offense and defense.  The dynamic trio of Hassell, Angeles, and Valenzuela went a combined 0-for-12 with 2 RBI.  After a couple of weeks in Fort Wayne, all three have sub .800 OPS. … SS Justin Lopez did hit his 10th home run of the season.  While Lopez is a switch-hitter, all ten of his home runs and 31 of his 34 extra-base hits have come batting left-handed.  While he has way more at-bats batting left than he does batting right (307 vs 63), he has a nearly .200 OPS difference batting left (.732) compared to the right (.554).  It will be interesting to see if the Padres continue to develop Lopez as a switch-hitter. … With Kopps gone, arguably the most dangerous reliever for the TinCaps is the behemoth 6-foot-7 Chase Walter.  Walter struck out two in a scoreless inning for the TinCaps, and now has 73 strikeouts in 38.1 innings this season between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore.  Batters are hitting just .157 off of him, and batters are struggling to catch up with his mid to upper-90s fastball.

Padres prospect Carlos Luis bats for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Carlos Luis has big bat-to-ball skills. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Storm 17, Inland Empire 66ers 3

Key Stats: LHP Robert Gasser 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 K; RHP Ruben Galindo (W, 5-4), 4 IP, 5 H, ER, 6 K; CF Max Ferguson 2-for-4, 2 RS, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2B; SS Jarryd Dale 1-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI, BB, 2B; 1B Cole Cummings 2-for-3, 3 RS, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2B; DH Carlos Luis 2-for-3, 2 RS, 2 RBI, 2 BB; LF Pierce Jones 2-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI, BB

Prospect Watch: If it looks like there are a lot of walks and runs on the line that is because there were.  All nine batters scored a run and walked.  In total, the Storm had 13 hits and 14 walks leading to 17 runs.  In the eighth inning, the Storm had three straight bases-loaded walks followed by a bases-loaded hit by pitch.  All in all, a Storm team without a majority of their big hitters this season, scored 17 runs.  Meanwhile, the pitching staff allowed just one walk and struck out 13.  They were led by LHP Robert Gasser.  The supplemental pick (71st overall) did not allow an earned run over three innings.  In 15 professional innings, Gasser has allowed just two earned runs and boasts a 0.87 WHIP.  The three innings tonight pushed him over 100 innings for the season (including college).  The Padres, are always cautious with innings their first season, which is why three innings are the most he has gone this season.  Look for him to start next season in Fort Wayne (High-A). … Collecting two hits and two walks, was “center fielder” Max Ferguson.  In three years at Tennessee, Ferguson played three games in center.  In a week with the Storm, he has played five games in center.  Ferguson’s calling card might be his eye at the plate.  After reaching base four times tonight, Ferguson raised his OBP to .418 OBP, a stellar number considering he finished college with a career .390 OBP.  … Speaking of finishing college with a stellar on-base percentage, 1B Cole Cummings finished college with a .447 OBP.  He had 47 walks and 11 HBP in 61 games for UC Santa Barbara.  He finished 2021 with a ridiculous .341/.469/.513 line, but went undrafted mainly due to a lack of power at a corner infield position.  During his monster 2021 season, Cummings had only four home runs and 27 RBI.  In 32 games now since the Padres signed him as a UDFA, Cummings has four home runs and 23 RBI.  Since being promoted to Lake Elsinore, Cummings has hit in seven of eight games reaching base a total of 19 times during that stretch.

Jackson Merrill continues to swing it in the ACL. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Arizona Complex League Padres: The ACL Padres don’t play on Wednesdays.  The Complex League Padres look to finish off the 2021 season on a strong note.  While James Wood had his best game since being drafted yesterday, first-round pick Jackson Merrill still hasn’t had that breakthrough game.  His line of .280/.339/.383 is fine for a high schooler but can be seen as disappointing for a first-round pick.  As in most years, ACL stats are nice to see but are not indicative of future success.  Many Padre fans’ remember the hype surrounding Cedric Hunter after he posted a .371/.467/.484 line in the AZL back in 2006.  The very next year he could barely manage a .700 OPS with Fort Wayne.  Instead, pay more attention to the reports out if instructs in October.  That will give you more of an indication of what the Padres are seeing out of their players after their first few months in the system.

 

Posted by Ben Davey

Writer for MadFriars since 2011. San Diego raised. Grossmont alum. Die hard SD and sports fan. Currently keeping my day job as an AP Chemistry Teacher.

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