There were some good individual performances Friday night but the system managed just a .500 record. It’s also the last weekend before the Arizona Complex League is slated to open on Monday. As always, we will have all the coverage you need.
Chihuahuas 6, Salt Lake Bees 4
Key Statistics: C Luis Campusano, 2-for-4; 2B Eguy Rosario, 2-for-4, SB (8); LF-C Brett Sullivan, 1-for-3, R, RBI; LHP Ian Krol, IP, H, BB, K; RHP Pedro Avila (W, 1-2) 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; LHP Ray Kerr, IP, H, K; Yusmeiro Petit (S, 1) IP, 2 H, ER, K.
Prospect Watch: It wasn’t your typical slugfest in the elevation of Salt Lake City but the Chihuahuas did rack up 10 hits – eight of them singles – to capture the victory over the Angels’ top farm team. … With Brent Rooker‘s promotion to San Diego, El Paso was left a little light in outfielders. As a result, Brett Sullivan made his first start in left field since joining the organization. Sullivan singled and drove in a run Friday night. The 28-year-old former Tampa farmhand got off to a hot start with El Paso but he hit just .196/.276/.294 in May. He’s opened June with a 4-for-11 start. … Luis Campusano started behind the plate and singled twice. He left in the eighth after taking a foul ball off his inner thigh an inning before. The top prospect is hitting .327/.398/.522 this season. … El Paso used Ian Krol as an opener and he responded to the challenge by firing a scoreless inning. The 31-year-old has pitched much better than his 6.43 ERA. He had one disastrous outing in which he allowed seven runs while recording just one out. In 21 innings, he’s struck out 29 batters. … RHP Pedro Avila followed Krol and earned his first victory of the season. Avila pitched 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on three hits. The 25-year-old has struggled to command his fastball at times and it’s hurt him. In 23.1 innings this season with El Paso, Avila has walked 17. The walks have contributed to an ugly 8.10 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. Avila will need to limit the walks in order to have a chance to get back to the big leagues.
Tulsa Drillers 8, Missions 4
Key Statistics: 3B Connor Hollis, 3-for-5, R; RF Thomas Milone, 2-for-3, R, BB, RBI, 2B; C Chandler Seagle, 3-for-3, BB, RBI; RHP Lake Bachar (L, 0-1) 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; RHP Nolan Watson, 2.2 IP, H, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Kevin Kopps, 2 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: Tulsa used a five-run fifth inning to easily defeat the Missions. … Esteury Ruiz has been the headliner this season for the Missions (and rightfully so) but Connor Hollis has been an important part of the Missions’ resurgence in May. The infielder had three hits Friday and he scored a run. Hollis’s excellent night at the plate helped him break an 0-for-11 stretch and leaves his line at a strong .315/.433/.467 for San Antonio in 2022. … Chandler Seagle, an offensive threat? Maybe. The typically light-hitting catcher had his fourth career three-hit game and his first since 2019 when he was playing the ACL. The defensive stalwart hit a respectable .264/.328/.377 in May and he’s started June by doing his best Tony Gwynn impersonation. Seagle is 5-for-6 with a walk over his last two games. Seagle has raised his batting average to .272, 61 points higher than his career line. Seagle has been in professional baseball since 2017 because of his receiving skills behind the dish. If he can hold his own at the plate, he’s going to have a chance to reach the big leagues as a backup catcher. … RHP Lake Bachar started for the Missions and pitched three innings, allowing a two-run homer to Drillers slugger James Outman. The two-run homer gave the Drillers the lead and tagged Bachar with the loss. On a positive note, Bachar was able to strike out a season-high three batters. Bachar, 27, is making his way back from Tommy John surgery. Pre-surgery, Bachar was delivering some of the best results in the system and a depth option for the big-league club. In 14 innings, Bachar has allowed just seven hits but he’s only managed to punch out six. Bachar has never been an overpowering pitcher but he did average a strikeout per inning in 2019. … RHP Kevin Kopps pitched the final two innings, the first time in his professional career he has recorded six outs. Kopps allowed one run, one hit, two walks and he struck out three. The 25-year-old was touted as a plug-and-play reliever; someone who was virtually big-league ready after the Padres drafted him in the third round last July. Kopps has shown that his stuff plays out of the bullpen this season. Opposing batters are hitting just .140 off of the former Golden Spikes Award winner, however he has walked 14 batters in 17 innings. For context, Kopps walked just 18 batters in 89.1 innings last season while pitching with the University of Arkansas. If Kopps can cut down the walks, he could be a contributor to a Padres bullpen that could sorely use another late-inning weapon.
TinCaps 7, Great Lakes Loons 5
Key Statistics: CF Matt Acosta, 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela, 1-for-4, HR (3), R, 3 RBI; 3B Lucas Dunn, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI; 1B Jack Stronach, 2-for-4, R; RHP Ryan Bergert, 4.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K; RHP Brandon Komar (W, 1-2) 2.2 IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Luke Boyd (S, 3) 0.2 IP.
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps used a pair of homers to defeat the Loons in Midland, Michigan. It was the first time the TinCaps hit two or more homers since April 23 in Lansing. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela hit his second homer in four games in the TinCaps’s win. The three-run shot was Valenzuela’s third homer of the year. The talented backstop got off to a slow start but he is finally starting to heat up just as the Midwest inches closer to the summer. Valenzuela’s homer extended his hitting streak to five games. Valenzuela is 9-for-21 with two homers during the hot stretch. … The other homer came off of the bat of newly-promoted infielder Lucas Dunn, his first at the High-A level. The former Louisville star has had one hit in each of his first four games with Fort Wayne. In a very small sample, Dunn is off to a .267/.333/.533 start in the Midwest League. … Matt Acosta entered Friday’s game in a 1-for-20 slump but he broke out with a three-hit game. Chaos ensued with Acosta’s third hit. He lined a single into left which was the beginning of a triple play. Despite the wackiness, Acosta’s night is an encouraging sign. Acosta started his TinCaps career with five hits in his first two games so perhaps his performance will get him back on track. The left-hander has shown some power this season and his next homer will give him a new career-high. He has six on the season between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne. … Starter Ryan Bergert pitched into the fifth but could not complete the frame to notch the victory. Bergert struggled with efficiency but allowed just one run on two hits. Bergert tied his season-high with three walks but he did punch out eight batters. The former West Virginia righty dominated in April before pitching to a 7.48 ERA in five May starts. Despite getting hit around a bit, Bergert has had no issue missing bats. He has racked up 54 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. … Brandon Komar relieved Bergert and shut down Great Lakes for 2.2 innings. Komar has not allowed an earned run in his last four outings, spanning 12.1 innings. He’s only allowed four hits during that stretch, walking two, to go with 13 strikeouts. The reliever has had a few clunkers this season but he’s typically been a reliable, multi-inning option out of the TinCaps’ ‘pen.
Roster Move: The TinCaps placed Robert Hassell III on the COVID list after he’d already missed several games. The TinCaps activated outfielder Angel Solarte to take his place on the active roster. Corey Rosier was also placed on the COVID list a few days ago.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 5, Storm 4
Key Statistics: LF Albert Fabian, 3-for-4, 2B, RBI; C Jared Alvarez-Lopez, 2-for-4, RBI; 3B Kervin Pichardo, 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI, BB; RHP Garrett Hawkins (L, 2-4) 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 9 K; RHP Keegan Collett, 1.2 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm dropped their second straight to the Dodgers’ Cal League squad. Lake Elsinore will need to win both games this weekend to take the series. … One would have assumed that the Storm would struggle without top prospects Jackson Merrill and James Wood on the injured list but outfielder Albert Fabian has emerged as an intriguing bat. The 20-year-old had three hits Friday, including a double, a night after connecting for two homers. He now has a .849 OPS in just over 100 plate appearances and after failing to break spring training with the club, now might be their most dangerous hitter. … Third baseman Kervin Pichardo hit his first homer as a member of the Padres organization in the ninth inning. Pichardo, 20, came over from the Phillies in exchange for RHP James Norwood in a late spring training trade. Pichardo has played sparingly and has struggled when given an opportunity. In 98 plate appearances, Pichardo is hitting just .159/.279/.250. … Catcher Jared Alvarez-Lopez had a pair of hits and drove in a run the Storm loss. The 21-year-old catcher has received the bulk of the starts behind the dish this season for the Storm. He hasn’t shown much power but has hit a passable .267/.353/.350 in June. He is still looking for his first homer this year. … RHP Garrett Hawkins got the start and struggled a bit. He worked into the sixth inning but allowed four earned runs and ended up absorbing the loss. Hawkins, 22, got off to a blazing start but has fallen on hard times recently. In his last 20 innings, Hawkins has allowed 18 earned runs. If you are searching for a silver lining, Hawkins has struck out 32 batters in that span. The big righty has flashed premium stuff for the Storm but he will need to be more consistent.