With the Padres off for the day, and a rainout in Fresno, all eyes in the organization turned eastward, where Fort Wayne dropped a low-scoring affair in Lansing, San Antonio dropped one at old Padres stomping grounds at Hodgetown, and El Paso triumphed in a late-inning thriller in Las Vegas.
Transaction Note: The Padres announced that Brayan Medina was the player to be named later included in the Opening Day swap, which netted the Padres Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker in exchange for Chris Paddack, Emilio Pagan, and, eventually, Medina.
Medina is a 19-year-old righty who MadFriars ranked as the #18 prospect in this year’s Top 20. He’s a lottery ticket for Minnesota, but one with a high ceiling. We got a very limited glimpse at him in Peoria, where he appeared in 2019 instructs, then returned after the 2020 pandemic layoff to debut in the AZL in 2021, before returning to the Dominican Republic.
Medina is a uniquely high-ranked prospect for a PTBNL in such a trade, but the big picture in play is that the Padres had just acquired Sean Manaea, putting them over the luxury tax threshold. The trade with the Twins is truly a corresponding move, acquiring a closer who is possibly a rental in exchange for a controllable rotation piece in Chris Paddack, but also getting the $6.6 million in cash required from Minnesota to get back under the tax threshold. In addition to saving the Padres financial penalties, it potentially impacts compensation picks the Padres will receive if some of next winter’s free agents leave the club. That relief, of course, comes at a cost, and the Twins were able to buy a higher grade of prospect by bankrolling the Padres’ roster upgrades.
With Medina so far away from having any potential impact on the Major League roster, the Padres accomplished selling high on his potential at an age where the club is confident the next crop of signings can replace what was lost.
Chihuahuas 6, Las Vegas Aviators 5
Key Stats: RHP Jesse Scholtens, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K; RHP Evan Miller, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K; SS Eguy Rosario, 1-for-4, RBI; LF Thomas Milone, 2-for-2, BB, R; RF Trayce Thompson, 1-for-4,HR, R, RBI; 3B C.J. Hinojosa, 1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: It was a roller-coaster affair in Las Vegas, as the clubs swapped the lead a couple time before El Paso held off a late comeback by the Aviators. El Paso initially struggled at the plate, as old friend Adrian Martinez struck out four of the first seven Chihuahuas he faced, but things changed in the third inning, when a wild pitch plated the first run, then Eguy Rosario singled in Thomas Milone, who easily scored on the hit-and-run play. Rosario now has hits in two straight games after cooling off over the past week at the plate. … Milone reached base three times, a season-high for the 27-year-old outfielder. … Jesse Scholtens didn’t have his best stuff of the season (his ERA only raised to 1.69 after a scorching start to the year), but he gave El Paso five innings of three-run ball, and in the PCL, that’s darn near a quality start. Scholtens is the veteran of the staff, having spent all of 2021 with the Chihuahuas. … Evan Miller turned in a key two innings of one-hit, scoreless relief . The 26-year-old righty now has a 0.81 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work for El Paso. …Trayce Thompson broke a 3-3 tie with his sixth home run of the year, good for second place in the PCL. The 31-year-old outfielder’s torrid start to the season includes a .300/.383/.825 slash line, in addition to 12 RBI in 11 games. … C.J. Hinojosa‘s first home run of 2022 gave El Paso a pair of insurance runs, which they badly needed. The 27-year-old infielder joined the organization in the offseason as a free agent.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 8, Missions 5
Prospect Watch: The sweet-swinging Robbie Podorsky came a big fly shy of the cycle, but his three hits managed to raise his batting average to .542 in 24 at-bats back with San Antonio. The 27-year-old Podorsky, drafted in the 25th round in 2017, spent time with San Antonio and El Paso last year in an injury-plagued 2021. Yorman Rodriguez drove in a pair of runs on two hits to continue a solid start at the plate for the catcher. A native of Maracay, Venezuela, Rodriguez has been seeing increased playing time behind the plate after spending much of 2021 at DH and first base. … The second multi-hit game for Jorge Ona came with a pair of singles. The 25-year-old outfielder is in San Antonio to return to game action after missing all but five games of the 2021 season. … Carlos Belen has not allowed an earned run in 5.2 innings of work to start the season. The 26-year-old righty made 39 appearances for San Antonio in 2021. … Angel Felipe has proven to be a solid pickup for the Missions so far. The 24-year-old from Villa Mella, Dominican Republic, has tossed five scoreless innings in his first month with the club.
Lansing Lugnuts 2, TinCaps 0
Prospect Watch: A tough loss for Fort Wayne and starter Ryan Bergert, who pounded the strike zone with 50 strikes on 71 pitches, and allowed only a second-inning home run in the loss. The 22-year-old Bergert has a 16:3 K:BB ratio in 10.1 innings of Single-A work after 11 scoreless innings in the ACL in 2021. The Padres drafted the righty in the sixth round last summer out of West Virginia. … Nick Thwaits only needed six pitches to get through the eighth inning. The 22-year-old righty has looked good out of the pen in his first three appearances of 2022, after being used primarily as a starter to mixed results in his career to this point. … Faulkner University’s Olivier Basabe logged his second two-hit game in his return to Fort Wayne. The 24-year-old infielder, drafted in the eighth round in 2017, split time between the TinCaps and San Antonio last season. … The only extra-base hit of the game for Fort Wayne belonged to Brandon Valenzuela. The 21-year-old is slashing .273/.442/.455 in 33 at-bats, numbers in line with his offensive breakout at Lake Elsinore in 2021, where he slashed .307/.389/.444 in 329 ABs. …Corey Rosier‘s .211 average isn’t exciting for a leadoff hitter, but 14 walks, a .434 OBP, and five stolen bases in 12 games is another story.
Thursday’s Storm game at Fresno against the Grizzlies was postponed due to rain. The Grizzlies announced it would be made up as a part of a twin bill of 7-inning games for a Sunday doubleheader.
This gives James Wood an extra night of recovery, as he’s expected to return from a hand injury any day now.