Oklahoma City Dodgers 13, Chihuahuas 5
Key Statistics: LF Brent Rooker 3-4, 2 BB; RF Nomar Mazara 2-5, 2 2B; 3B Matthew Batten 2-3 HR (6), BB; LHP Ryan Weathers (L, 1-2) 4 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 4 K, 4 BB, 2 HR
Prospect Watch: El Paso was blown out in their series-opener in the Sooner State. … Matthew Batten, who earned our MadFriars Player of the Week recognition for his performance last week, stayed hot against the Dodgers. Batten had two more hits, including his sixth homer in 34 games during 2022. He hit six homers in both 2019 and 2021, although it took over 100 games in each season to amass that total. Batten’s growth at the plate this season goes much deeper than power. He’s cut his K-rate from 25.5% last season to 18% this season. He’s also walking in 15% of plate appearances, up from just 10% a year ago. In the hitter-friendly PCL, Batten is 12th in wRC+ and his .417 on-base percentage is the eighth-best in the circuit. The 26-year-old continues to make a case for a big league opportunity, should the need for another infielder arise. Batten’s rise as a 32nd-round pick in 2017 has been fun to watch. … Outfielder Brent Rooker reached base four times and had his first three-hit game as a member of the Padres organization. Rooker has eight hits over a current four-game hitting streak to bring his slash-line up to .275/.362/.569 this season. … Ryan Weathers started and got through two innings unscathed before falling apart in the third. After recording the first out on a pop-up, Weathers allowed a homer, a single, and another homer before pitching coach Mike McCarthy came out for a visit. Weathers proceeded to walk the next two batters, then he allowed a two-run double to put the game out of reach. The southpaw came back out for the fourth inning and he was promptly touched up for three more runs before completing his evening. When the smoke cleared, Weathers was touched up for a career-high eight earned runs. The former big leaguer has allowed 14 earned runs in his last two starts. Weathers’ poor outing raised his ERA to 7.91.
Missions 5, Midland RockHounds 2
Key Statistics: CF Esteury Ruiz, 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, RBI; 3B Connor Hollis, 3-for-4, 2 RBI, SB (6); 1B Yorman Rodriguez, 2-for-4, R; C Chandler Seagle, 1-for-3, R, BB; LHP Gabriel Morales, 1.2 IP, H, 3 BB, K; RHP Henry Henry, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Alek Jacob, 2 IP, BB, K; LHP Tom Cosgrove (W, 4-0) 1.2 IP, H, K; RHP Angel Felipe (S, 4) 1.1 IP, BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions chipped away at an early deficit to win their opener in Midland. … Esteury Ruiz reached base three times, extending his on-base streak to an incredible 34 games. Ruiz singled, doubled, and drew his 27th free pass of the year, raising his Texas League-best on-base percentage to .504. We’ve written quite a bit about Ruiz’s breakout in the season’s first six weeks but he has shown no signs of regression. He’s lowered his strikeout rate, increased his walk rate and has flashed more power than ever. The 23-year-old is a big reason the Missions have overcome a terrible start to put themselves firmly in the playoff picture. … As good as Ruiz has been this season, Connor Hollis has nearly matched his level of production. Hollis singled three times and drove in a pair of runs hitting behind Ruiz. In May, Hollis is hitting .417/.561/.604. Hollis’ on-base percentage leads the Texas League this month. Ruiz is right behind him at .503. The Missions have drawn 88 walks this month, tops in the 10-team circuit. … Gabriel Morales made the start but was lifted after 33 pitches with an apparent injury. We will be sure to update our readers on his status. … The Missions’ bullpen ate up 7.2 innings behind Morales, with Angel Felipe recording the final four outs. The 24-year-old joined the Padres’ organization in the off-season after pitching six seasons in the Rays’ organization. Felipe has thrived as a late-inning reliever with the Missions so far in 2022. He’s struck out 18 batters in 14.2 innings while racking up four saves. Felipe has a 1.23 ERA in his first crack at Double-A.
TinCaps 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 4
Key Statistics: SS Jarryd Dale, 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, SB (9); 1B Matthew Acosta, 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR (1), RBI; 2B Ripken Reyes, 3-for-4, BB, 2B, 3B; RHP Ryan Bergert, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Felix Minjarez (W, 4-0) 2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, K; RHP Luke Boyd (S, 2) IP, H
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps returned home after a rough 12-game road trip to take the opener against the Whitecaps. … First baseman Matthew Acosta had a monster TinCaps debut (more than that later), finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Acosta homered three times in his final series with the Storm last week. The former USD star has six homers this year, tying the career-high he set last season. … Ripken Reyes had three hits on Tuesday and just needed a homer to complete the cycle. Reyes, 25, has quietly been a productive member of the lineup while hitting at the bottom of the order. He has a .781 OPS with ten extra-base hits this season. … Shortstop Jarryd Dale reached base four times, twice via single to go with a pair of walks. Dale has swung the bat well in May after a rough April. He’s hitting .295/.380/.341 in 49 plate appearances this month.
Roster Moves: Acosta’s arrival was necessitated by the Padres putting outfielder Joshua Mears on the Development List, a day after manager Brian Esposito explained to local radio host Brett Rump that Mears got the weekend off because he needed “a little reset.” Mears was the toast of the Padres’ organization when he hit five homers in a series against Lansing in April. On April 23, Mears homered twice to lead the TinCaps to a sweep of a doubleheader. Since then, Mears’ production has been in a tailspin. Over his last 19 games, Mears is hitting just .127/.253/.286 with a K-rate hovering around 50%. Obviously, Mears will need to make more contact to let his immense power show in-game situations. His status will be one to watch in the coming weeks. By rule, an assignment to the Developmental List must last at least seven days.
Storm 9, Visalia Rawhide 3
Key Statistics: SS Max Ferguson, 1-for-4, 3 R, 2 BB, SB (27, 28); 3B Lucas Dunn, 3-for-4, R, BB, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI; DH Carlos Luis, 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB; RHP Kobe Robinson, 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Aaron Holiday, 3 IP, H, 2 K; LHP Ben Miller (W, 1-2) IP, H, ER, BB
Prospect Watch: When Max Ferguson gets on-base, the Storm offense is potent. The versatile Ferguson reached base just once in the series in San Jose but Ferguson was on three times Tuesday. The former Tennessee star singled and drew a pair of walks and swiped a pair of bags. Ferguson has a minor league-leading 28 stolen bases and is second in the Cal League with 28 runs scored. … When Ferguson gets on, Lucas Dunn has been the biggest beneficiary and Tuesday was no exception. Dunn had three hits and drove in a pair of rums. RBI is an antiquated statistic but Dunn’s 25 RBI are the fifth-most in the Cal League. While Dunn has only one homer this season, he’s hitting .341/.451/.512 with runner’s in scoring position and he has power to build on. … Kobe Robinson made the start and pitched four innings before turning things over to the bullpen. Robinson walked three batters and allowed five hits and two earned runs. The 21-year-old has been deployed as a multi-inning reliever and a piggyback starter so far in 2022. He’s struck out 22 batters in 18.2 innings. … Aaron Holiday relieved Robinson and shutdown Visalia over three innings. Holiday allowed just one hit, striking out a pair. Opposing hitters are batting just .128 this season against the former Oakland A’s prospect.
Roster Moves: With Matthew Acosta now in Fort Wayne, outfielder Michael Green was promoted from the ACL to take his place on the roster. Green, 23, signed with the Padres as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 draft. The former Clemson outfielder went 0-for-2 in his professional debut Tuesday.