Baseball is back for prospect watchers a day early, as the lowest rung of the system got back to work in the desert. The rest of the organization will get back to work Friday, including our on-site coverage of the series in San Antonio this weekend.
ACL Rangers 5, ACL Padres 3
Prospect Watch: The Arizona Complex League got underway a day before the affiliated clubs, and the Padres fielded a lineup that showcased a good amount of talent, especially considering the 2022 draft class has yet to report. Jarlin Susana continues to earn consideration as one of the top prospects in the desert, tossing 11 outs’ worth of scoreless baseball. Susana, a 6-foot-6 righty who is barely four months removed from his 18th birthday, has now struck out 36 in 25.1 innings while walking 10. … Fellow January 2022 signee Juan Murillo hit his second home run of the season. Murillo, who was listed as a shortstop/outfielder by some outlets when he signed, has made all of his defensive appearances in the outfield, where he’s hit .328 with the two homers and 11 RBI in 61 at-bats in the Complex League. … Samuel Zavala returned to the lineup for only his third game of action this summer. After a strong showing in extended spring training, the 2021 signee from Venezuela has been waylaid by hamstring issues this summer. Zavala, who turned 18 last week, slashed .297/.400/.487 in 195 at-bats in the Dominican Summer League last year. He saw three plate appearances Thursday before being pulled for a pinch hitter. … 2021 first-round pick Jackson Merrill‘s second go at a rehab assignment commenced after the shortstop’s first pass at returning from a broken wrist was shut down by his own hamstring injury. Merrill had two hitless at-bats against rehabbing big leaguer Dane Dunning before following the Padres’ standard return-to-play protocols and exiting the game. Merrill will no doubt be champing at the bit to get back to action in Lake Elsinore, where the 19 year-old is slashing .393/.452/.518 in 56 at-bats this season.
Roster Notes: The Padres have been highly aggressive on the undrafted free agent market, with 13 deals now in place. Among the interesting story lines are Devin Ortiz, who was a two-way player for the University of Virginia this year, and a quartet of junior college products, including outfielder Braedon Karpathios and infielder Chase Valentine, who was headed to join the University of Tennessee Volunteers before agreeing to a deal. MLB’s rules now limit teams to 180 players under contract in the domestic minor leagues, and the Padres headed into the draft around 165. Expect a significant amount of turnover to begin as the first wave of draftees and undrafted free agents begin to make their debuts next week.