With the minor leagues taking most of this week off along with the All-Star Break in the Majors, we look back at the top performers across the system over the week that ended Sunday.
MadFriars Player of the Week: outfielder/first baseman Taylor Kohlwey, El Paso
The 27-year-old outfielder had another big week, pacing a Chihuahuas offense that was firing on all cylinders. For the week, Kohlwey hit .455/.571/.682 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. The monster week pushed Kohlwey’s OPS for the year to .947. Perhaps just as impressively, Kohlwey has walked as many times as he’s struck out this season (45). There isn’t an obvious need for his services in the big leagues, but Kohlwey continues to keep himself in the conversation.
MadFriars Pitcher of the Week: LHP Noel Vela, Fort Wayne
Vela had the luxury of making two starts last week, and he pitched well in his outings against Lansing. Vela allowed one earned run in six innings Tuesday and followed that up on Sunday by allowing two earned runs in five innings. For the week, Vela pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings, walking four and striking out eight.
El Paso Chihuahuas: Week In Review: (Won series against the Round Rock Express, 4-2.)
Top Performers: After being sent down last week, outfielder Brent Rooker did not miss a beat for El Paso. He homered twice in his first game back to lead a comeback against Round Rock and then capped off the week by homering in back-to-back games to end the week. Rooker ended up with four home runs and nine RBI. … CJ Hinojosa turned 28, celebrating by driving in the game-tying run to lead the comeback that resulted in a walk-off an inning later. CJ had a hit in all six games, including home runs in back-to-back games this weekend. He is hitting .345/.350/.690 over the last two weeks. … Not only did righty Reiss Knehr throw a scoreless 1.2 innings with the Padres in Colorado, but he returned back to Triple-A and fired two perfect innings in two appearances, striking out half of the batters he has faced.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Right-handed sidewinder Alek Jacob became the first 2021 draft pick to reach Triple-A after his promotion earlier this month. He continued his strong performance by not allowing a baserunner over 1.2 innings of work. Jacob has faced 12 batters in Triple-A and retired 11 of them. …. After a rough start to his Triple-A season, Michel Baez had two scoreless appearances this week. He struck out three in 1.2 innings but did allow four baserunners. … After two dominant scoreless innings on Thursday, lefty Jose Castillo returned to the mound on Sunday, and his control wasn’t there. He allowed four baserunners in one inning, surrendering two earned runs. Even with the bad outing, Castillo still has a sparkling 1.52 ERA on the season. … Ryan Weathers made one start this week, and it didn’t go well. He surrendered six earned runs on 11 hits over 6.1 innings. …. Luis Campusano collected five hits, all singles, over his six games, splitting time between catcher and DH. After crushing the ball for most of the season, Campy is hitting .214/.298/.286 in July. … Eguy Rosario had another good week with nine hits; he had a hit in the last five games and is hitting a stellar .389/.478/.704. (Ben Davey)
San Antonio Missions: (Won series at Amarillo Sod Poodles, 4-2)
Top Performers: Bouncing back from a bat-silencing series loss against Frisco, the San Antonio offense came alive in a big way at Hodgetown, as the current and former Padres Double-A affiliates clashed in Amarillo. Thomas Milone hit safely in every game of the series but really came alive in the final stretch, managing six of his eight hits in the final three games of the road trip, including home runs in Friday and Saturday’s games. His 1.183 OPS led the Missions in the series, and his two home runs tied for the team lead. … Connor Hollis hit .440 for the week and led San Antonio with 10 runs scored. He was second on the team with four doubles, and his 1.163 OPS finished just below Milone’s for the week. … Webster Rivas hit safely in all six games, including a seven-RBI game on Saturday. His nine runs batted in led the team for the week, and he tied for second with 11 hits in the series. … Yorman Rodriguez tied Milone with two home runs in the series and managed an OPS of exactly 1.000. Rodriguez, who is now batting .302 with 10 home runs for the season, bookended the series with a home run in the first and last game of the series.
Ryan Lillie gave the Missions five scoreless innings in his longest start of the season, striking out a pair of batters and walking none. The former Marlins farmhand is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 innings for July. … Southpaw Fred Schlichtholz appeared twice in the series without allowing a run, blanking the Soddies over 2.2 innings. … Angel Felipe made three appearances in the series, earning a save and bouncing back from allowing a run in a third of an inning on Tuesday, throwing 2.2 innings of shutout ball in his next two appearances.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Reggie Lawson found himself a bit out of his groove, ending a streak of six straight starts allowing one run or fewer by allowing three runs over three innings, walking five, and striking out six. … Kevin Kopps made one appearance, allowing a run in two innings of work, walking one batter, while the lone hit he allowed left the yard. … Tirso Ornelas started off the series on a high note, hitting safely in the first four games of the series, including a home run and a double on Friday, before going 0-for-8 over the weekend to close out the series. (Mark Wilkens)
Fort Wayne TinCaps Week in Review: (Won Series with the Lansing Lugnuts, 4-2)
Top Performers: Lucas Dunn had a big week slashing .353/.476/.353 as last year’s eighth-round choice out of the University of Louisville had one of his better series in High-A. … Corey Rosier continued with a strong July, hitting .333/.450/.667 against the Lugnuts with five hits, including a triple and a home run. Rosier has put up solid on-base numbers and steals this season, but this has been his best month of making consistent contact after a huge year in Low-A with the Mariners organization last season.
Top Prospects of Note: Before packing off to go to the Future’s Game, Robert Hassell III had three hits, including a double and a walk, in ten plate appearances against the Lansing Lugnuts. As of now, there is still no word if this was Hassell’s last appearance at Parkview Field before a widely-expected departure for Double-A San Antonio. … Righty Ryan Bergert got his first win out of the Arizona Complex League and went six innings in his longest outing of the year, giving up three runs but striking out four and, most notably, not walking anyone. Because of Bergert’s spin on his fastball, the pitch appears to be rising to opposing hitters, making it a tough at-bat when he’s on. (John Conniff)
Lake Elsinore Storm (Split series with the Modesto Nuts, 3-3)
Top Performers: The Storm won three of the first four of their series with Modesto, but a pair of weekend losses meant they had to settle for a split. … The team struggled to prevent runs in the final two games, but you can’t blame reliever Keegan Collett for that. The 23-year-old pitched in a pair of games, throwing 3.2 shutout innings. Of the 11 outs he recorded, 10 came by way of the strikeout. Collett’s performance is impressive when you consider that he was a 35th-round draft pick in 2019. With the draft being shortened to 20 rounds, there’s no guarantee he would get an opportunity if he came out of college this year. The former Florida Gulf Coast righty still issues too many walks (25 in 40 innings), but he’s struck out 72 batters – good for a K/9 of 16.2. That is the highest K-rate in the Cal League (minimum 40 innings). … Outfielder Albert Fabian played in all six games and hit .280/.357/.560 with two doubles, a triple, and a homer. The 20-year-old has broken out this season with the Storm. He came into this season with just two professional homers, but he’s already hit 10 with Lake Elsinore.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Outfielder James Wood had another nice week, as he clearly enjoyed being protected in the lineup by a rehabbing Wil Myers. Wood capped off the week by homering to the opposite field in his final at-bat on Sunday. For the week, he hit .348/.500/.565 with two doubles, a homer, and seven walks. … RHP Garrett Hawkins pitched four scoreless innings on Friday but couldn’t complete five innings to earn the win. He threw 72 pitches; with a few exceptions, the organization has attempted to keep him right at 75-80 pitches. After a rough June, Hawkins’ results have stabilized a bit in July. He’s allowed just two earned runs in 15 innings this month. … RHP Duncan Snider took over for Hawkins on Friday and allowed just one earned run. The 24-year-old has been quite the story in July. The Padres signed him out of the independent American Association, and he has allowed just one earned run in 10.2 innings. (Kevin Charity)
ACL Padres (2-3 on the week)
Top Performers: The ACL played just two nine-inning games during the week, cutting the sample size into the break to tiny numbers. Ruben Salinas continued his solid season, going 6-for-16 with a triple and homer while walking and striking out three times each. The 19-year-old from Baja California had been striking out at a much higher clip earlier in the season. … Victor Acosta went 5-for-19 in five contests, collecting a pair of extra-base hits and swiping two bases as well. … On the mound, Miguel Rondon tossed four scoreless innings, working around three walks and a pair of hits in the process. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has had a rough go in his repeat year in the desert. Still, it has plenty in the tank to be effective when he’s in the zone. … Jarlin Susana continues to overwhelm ACL hitters, striking out eight in his four innings of two-run work Tuesday. The big righty has whiffed 33 in 21.2 innings of work in his debut, though his nine walks have bumped up his ERA despite a .189 opponents batting average. … Cuban lefty Javier Chacon struck out six in his three innings of work but allowed two runs along the way. (David Jay)