A new month hopefully continues the hot streaks for some of the Padres’ top prospects as well and perhaps those who struggled in May can start anew. With the draft six weeks away, this is the month we start to see players being promoted/released as teams get set for the influx of new players. In the minors, two players now currently hold the title for most stolen bases and they are both Padres prospects.
Salt Lake Bees 6, Chihuahuas 5
Key Statistics: LHP Ryan Weathers 4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, BB, 6 K; SS CJ Abrams 1-for-4, RS; LF Brent Rooker 1-for-5, RS; C Luis Campusano 0-for-5; RF Shogo Akiyama 3-for-5, HR (3), 3 RBI; DH Brett Sullivan 2-for-4, RS, RBI; 1B Aderlin Rodriguez 2-for-3, BB, RBI
Prospect Watch: Like most young pitchers, Ryan Weathers, looked really good at times, and looked really bad at other times, but he did strike out at least one batter in every inning. He also bounced roughly 30 breaking pitches and had the bold strategy of throwing his fastball middle-middle. It led to some hard contact and an early exit from the game. When the smoke cleared, Weathers allowed six earned runs in 4.2 innings. On a positive note, he did strike out a season-high six batters and walked just one Salt Lake hitter. The rough outing raised his ERA to 7.36. … Luis Campusano had a rough game. The catcher went 0-for-5, struck out twice, and grounded into a double play. He has now had back-to-back hitless nights for the first time this year in El Paso. … Right fielder Shogo Akiyama had the only extra-base hit when he homered off of former Padre Gerardo Reyes. The 34-year-old slap hitter has really made it a point to increase his launch angle. He came into the season never hitting a home run in North America; he now has three.
Roster Moves: The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Padres beat reporter Kevin Acee and The Athletic’s Dennis Lin are reporting that Nomar Mazara, 27, will join the Padres for their upcoming series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Mazara is having a huge year with El Paso with a slash line of .367/.454/.641 in 152 plate appearances. The left-handed corner outfielder had three 20 home run seasons with the Texas Rangers and has also seen time with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.
Missions 5, Tulsa Drillers 4 (11 innings)
Key Statistics: Esteury Ruiz 1-for-4, HR (9), 2 RS, RBI, BB, 2 SB (35); RHP Adrian Morejon 2 IP, BB, 2 K; LF Tirso Ornelas 3-for-4, 2B; 2B Domingo Leyba 1-for-3, HR (2), RBI, BB, SB (1); SS Connor Kaiser 1-for-4, HR (2), RBI
Prospect Watch: In a competition no one knew was happening, Esteury Ruiz took over the professional baseball lead in stolen bases (major and minor) when he swiped second and then third for his 35th stolen base of the season. He inched ahead of fellow Padres prospect, Max Ferguson. No other player in baseball has over 30. Not only has Ruiz been a demon on the base paths but he homered for the ninth time Wednesday night. He leads the team with a .613 slugging percentage. He is now one home run away from matching his Double-A total from last year (10 in 84 games). Ruiz is also just one stolen base away from matching his total from last year. In nearly 40 games fewer he has already tied last year’s mark for runs (52), doubles (16), and triples (2). While he has been with the Padres since the Matt Strahm deal in 2017, this is his first full season playing center field (26 games last season). .. Adrian Morejon came on in the middle innings and cruised. He pitched a perfect sixth inning, where every type of pitch was hitting the bottom of the zone. He came out to pitch the seventh and the first batter he faced hit a grounder off of Morejon. He made the out and tried to call off the trainers who came out anyway. He walked the next batter before ending his night with an easy double play. In seven innings in San Antonio, Morejon has allowed one hit with eight strikeouts. … Left fielder Tirso Ornelas has now hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. His multi-hit game yesterday was the only one in May, making this a good and important start to June.
Great Lakes Loons 3, TinCaps 1
Key Statistics: RHP Efrain Contreras (L, 0-2) 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Dwayne Matos 2.2 IP, 3 H, 5 K; SS Jarryd Dale 1-for-4, RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela 1-for-4
Prospect Watch: According to the Loons’ announcers, a top-30 Padre prospect (Efrain Contreras) was facing off against five of the Dodgers’ top 15 prospects, all of which were batting one through five. This includes Dodgers’ number one prospect catcher Diego Cartaya making his High-A debut. While the Dodgers farm team ended up winning the game, outside of two big swings, it was Padres prospect Efrain Contreras, who was winning all the battles. Contreras, making his fifth “start” of the year as he is slowly getting back from Tommy John, struck out seven over 3.1 innings. He was on a 70-pitch limit, and as soon as he got his final out on pitch 69, he was lifted from the game. Like many pitchers just off a serious injury, the command comes and goes. He would look good at times and then the next pitch through 95 down the middle. On a positive note, Contreras has 14 strikeouts over his last 7.1 innings. … Offensively, the team could get nothing going. Newly promoted Lucas Dunn had the only extra-base hit. The team as a whole only managed three hits.
Storm 12, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 3
Key Stats: SS Max Ferguson 2-for-5, 2 RS, SB (35), 3B; 2B Nerwilian Cedeno 2-for-4, 2 RS, RBI, BB; LF Albert Fabian 2-for-4, 2 HR (5), 3 RS, 5 RBI, 2 BB; CF Justin Farmer 1-for-3, Grand Slam (6), 4 RBI, BB;
Prospect Watch: For about 30 minutes the Missions Esteury Ruiz had the stolen base lead. In the second inning, Max Ferguson re-tied it with his 35th stolen bag on the season. While Ferguson leads the Cal League in walks, he has been hitting near .200 with a .300 slugging percentage for most of the season. It has been a nice change of events that he is still walking but now is collecting more hits, and hitting for more power. Over his 14-game on-base streak he is hitting .296/.457/.463, with nine stolen bases. Those are the type of numbers that make someone a top prospect. … It was a big day for 2018 J-2 signings. In 2018, the Padres were handcuffed to sign players for no more than $300,000. Even with the financial handicap the Padres still expected a few players to break out. By the end of last year, only one, Euribiel Angeles, had broken out. However, he was the centerpiece in the Sean Manaea trade. Today, two more helped lay their claim. Albert Fabian had his first career multi-home run game. He also set a new career-high for RBI in a game (5). Despite only being in Elsinore for a month, Fabian has already eclipsed his previous season highs (Arizona Complez League/Dominican Summner League) in most offensive categories. The 20-year-old is hitting .250/.327/.489 in 23 games. … Also from that same signing class was Nerwilian Cedeno. After a really good campaign, last year in Arizona that saw him hit .241/.354/.537, there was building momentum to see how he would follow it up in Elsinore. An injury sidelined him for the first two months and he finally made his debut yesterday. In his second-ever full-season game he reached base three times, scored two runs, and drove in a run. Cedeno doesn’t have a ton of hype attached to him but after a strong campaign last year in the ACL, it’s intriguing to think about what he can do next. Other members of the 2018 class include fellow Storm teammates right-hander Jairo Iriarte, catcher Victor Duarte, and outfielder Charlis Aquino.