Tuesday featured some of the top prospects in the Padres system contributing big nights at the plate and a pair of great pitching performances by two of the higher-profile arms in the organization.
Chihuahuas 10, Las Vegas Aviators 9
Key Statistics: CF Esteury Ruiz, 2-for-4, 2 R, BB, RBI; SS C.J. Abrams, 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR (6), 2 RBI, 2 SB (8, 9); DH Luis Campusano, 2-for-4, 2 RBI; RF Brent Rooker, 2-for-5, 2B, RBI; 2B Eguy Rosario, 1-for-3, 2 R, HR (7), RBI, BB; LF Taylor Kohlwey, 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (5), 3 RBI; 3B C.J. Hinojosa, 2-for-3, R, BB; LHP Luke Westphal, 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Ryan Lillie (W, 2-0) 2.1 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Evan Miller (S, 3) 0.1 IP, H
Prospect Watch: El Paso’s offense fired on all cylinders in their series opener against Las Vegas, scoring 10 runs on 15 hits, including three homers. Former Chihuahua Adrian Martinez took the loss for Vegas. … At some point, Esteury Ruiz is going to cool off … we think. It didn’t happen Monday night. Ruiz had two more hits and drew a walk to raise his Triple-A batting average to .448 in seven games. Between San Antonio and El Paso, Ruiz has an insane .483 on-base percentage. … Filed under things you love to see: C.J. Abrams‘ current hot stretch. Abrams extended his hitting streak to six games with a three-hit night that included a monster homer deep to right center. Abrams was a triple away from completing his first career cycle. After a rough start to his Triple-A career, Abrams is feasting on PCL pitching to the tune of .395/.422/.581 this month. The impressive line just scratches the surface of what he has done. Abrams struck out his second at-bat Tuesday for the first time since May 30. He’d gone 50 plate appearances without a strikeout. … Taylor Kohlwey had another multi-hit effort that included his fifth homer of the season. The 27-year-old is in the midst of another good campaign in El Paso. He’s not flashy and doesn’t possess a ton of power, but he gives the club quality at-bats night after night. His multi-hit effort raised his OPS to .910 – about 100 points higher than he produced last season. … Lefty Luke Westphal celebrated his 33rd birthday by tossing 3.2 scoreless frames to open the game for El Paso. The Wisconsin native, who had been out of affiliated ball for almost five years when the Padres signed him last summer, has posted a solid 4.13 ERA working as a swingman for the Chihuahuas staff this season.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 6, Missions 3
Key Statistics: 3B Connor Hollis, 2-for-5, 2 3B, RBI; 2B Kelvin Alarcon, 2-for-5, R, 2B; LF Tirso Ornelas, 2-for-4; RF Ripken Reyes, 2-for-3, R, BB, RBI; RHP Thomas Eshelman (L, 2-4) 5 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 4 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Henry Henry, 3 IP, 2 H, K
Prospect Watch: Amarillo scored four in the first and two more in the second, then held off the Missions for the rest of the night in San Antonio. … Connor Hollis did his best to get the Missions offense going, as he tripled twice out of the leadoff spot. The 27-year-old came into Tuesday’s game with just one three-bagger all season. The former Ray has been a revelation for the Missions this year and a big reason why the team has played well after a horrendous start to the season. Tuesday’s effort raised his batting average to .340 – the fourth-highest in the Texas League and just four points away from the recently-promoted Esteury Ruiz. John Conniff has an excellent Q&A with Hollis for our subscribers. … Second baseman Kelvin Alarcon pitched in with two hits out of the two-hole. The 23-year-old infielder has spent most of the year in extended spring training but thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak, he finds himself in San Antonio. Alarcon has played in 243 games since coming into the system in 2015 and has appeared at every level in the system. Including the two games he played with the Chihuahuas earlier this year, Alarcon is hitting .414/.485/.517 in a small, five-game sample. … RHP Thomas Eshelman got knocked around early but righted the ship enough to complete five innings. Eshelman kept the ball in the yard and only allowed one extra-base hit. The 27-year-old veteran has been able to eat innings for the Missions this year but he’s been knocked around a bit. Opposing batters are hitting .311 off the former Oriole. He’s walked just four batters in 50 Double-A innings, although he’s struck out just 28.
Roster Moves: The Missions are still struggling with COVID-19. They welcomed back RHP Carlos Belen, but outfielder Korry Howell was placed on the COVID list. LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, C/INF Yorman Rodriguez, INF Connor Kaiser, and OF Jorge Ona all remain sidelined.
The Missions got a few reinforcements, in LHP Fred Schlichtholz and RHP Brandon Komar from the TinCaps. Komar won the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for his effort last week, and was our Pitcher of the Week for the system. The Missions sent RHP Luis Madrazo, who didn’t appear in a game, back to Fort Wayne.
TinCaps 3, Lansing Lugnuts 1
Key Statistics: LF Corey Rosier, 1-for-4, R, 2B; CF Robert Hassell III, 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI; SS Jarryd Dale, 2-for-4, RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela, 1-for-4, HR (5), RBI, R; LHP Robert Gasser (W, 2-7) 5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Edwuin Bencomo, 2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 2 K; LHP Ramon Perez, IP, BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: Corey Rosier and Robert Hassell III opened the game with baci-to-back doubles and Jarryd Dale followed with an RBI single to give the TinCaps all the runs they needed. … Hassell’s double extended his hitting streak to five games. He missed about two weeks on the COVID list but he’s 3-for-8 with a homer and two doubles since returning. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela gave the TinCaps some insurance late with his fifth homer of the year. The talented catcher has flashed some power this month for a TinCaps lineup that has struggled to push across runs. He is slugging .513 in June. … LHP Robert Gasser turned in his second consecutive solid outing, throwing five scoreless frames to earn his second win of the year. The 23-year-old had some clunkers in May, but he’s shown better control and command in June. Over his last two starts, Gasser has allowed just one run in 12 innings with two walks and 15 strikeouts. The key to Gasser’s success this month has been limiting free passes. In May, he walked 10 in 23.2 innings and lost four of his five starts. … RHP Edwuin Bencomo pitched two innings and was able to earn a hold for his efforts. Bencomo allowed a run on two hits, walking one and striking out two. The right-hander doesn’t get many accolades but he’s been an extremely reliable reliever throughout his time in the Padres’ system. In 14 games for Fort Wayne this season, Bencomo has pitched to a 2.48 ERA over 32.2 innings while averaging just shy of a strikeout per inning. Over the past two seasons with the TinCaps, his WHIP is just a tick over one.
Roster Moves: In addition to Madrazo, the TinCaps received RHP Ethan Routzahn, who had been on the injured list all year. The 24-year-old signed as an undrafted free agent last year after pitching collegiately at St. John’s. Between the ACL, Lake Elsinore, and El Paso, Routzahn pitched to a 2.29 ERA in 16 games. The TinCaps sent RHP Wen-Hua Sung and LHP Danny Denz to the Arizona League.
Modesto Nuts 17, Storm 3
Key Statistics: SS Max Ferguson, 1-for-3, 2 BB, SB (39); DH Cole Cummings, 1-for-3, BB; 1B Carlos Luis, 3-for-4; RHP Wilton Castillo (L, 0-2) 2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, K; LHP Alexuan Vega, 2 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: Things got a little nutty in Modesto. Storm pitching allowed 17 runs on 18 hits and position player Charlis Aquino was forced to record four outs. … Max Ferguson singled, drew two walks, and stole his 39th base of the year in the loss. Normally, when Ferguson is getting on base, the Storm offense is very potent, despite a lack of power in the current lineup. June has not been kind to the fleet-footed Ferguson. After putting up identical .420 on-base percentages in April and May, he has reached base at just a .268 clip in June. If you are looking for a positive, his .353 slugging percentage this month is about 70 points higher than his output in the first two months of the season. … First baseman Carlos Luis singled three times Tuesday night. The 22-year-old has looked good at the plate this season and he is finally starting to reward the Padres for their patience. Luis is hitting .303/.378/.394 this month. … Wilton Castillo started for the Storm and got knocked around. The six-foot-seven righty allowed five runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Castillo, 21, got into 15 games last season with the ACL Padres after signing in January, 2021. This season, he’s appeared in three games for the Storm and the results have not been pretty. In 7.2 innings, he’s allowed 13 runs on 15 hits.
ACL Dodgers 3, ACL Padres 0
Key Statistics: RF Eddy Beltre, 1-for-4, 2 SB (3, 4); 2B Rosman Verdugo, 1-for-3; RHP Jarlin Susana, 4 IP, 7 K; RHP Manuel Castro (L, 1-1) 4.2 IP, H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K
Prospect Watch: Miles Mikolas was one of the top stories in Major League Baseball Tuesday as the former Padre lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth. The ACL Padres know his pain. The ACL squad had a no-hitter going in the ninth with two outs. After a walk and an error, the ACL Dodgers hit a three-run homer to earn the walk-off win. … RHP Jarlin Susana dominated in his second professional start. The hard-throwing righty mowed through the ACL Dodgers’ lineup, striking out seven of the 13 batters he faced, allowing just one runner on a hit batter. Through his first seven professional innings, Susana has allowed just one hit and one walk to go with nine strikeouts.… RHP Manuel Castro took over for Susana and was arguably just as dominant. After walking the first batter he faced, Castro mowed down 13 in a row before a one-out walk in the ninth. After his eight strikeout, he got a would-be inning-ending grounder to shortstop, but a Victor Acosta error extended the frame. Dodgers DH Thiran Liranzo then ended the no-hitter and the game with a walkoff homer. The 20-year-old righty, listed almost a foot shorter than Susana, signed out of Guasave, Mexico last year. He appeared in nine games last season with the DSL Padres and pitched to a 1.04 ERA. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 8.2 innings so far this year. … We are 1/10 through the ACL season (they play 60 games) and thus far Eddy Beltre has been the offensive star for the club. Beltre singled in four at-bats and stole two bases. Through five games, Beltre is hitting .375/.375/.563. … Outfielders James Wood and Joshua Mears were both in the lineup but neither found the hit column.