While no minor league all-star games were played this year, the minors took a break at the same time as the big league clubs, setting up brief three-games series in the full-season leagues. Even in the fleetingly small sample, a few performances stood out.
El Paso Chihuahuas (52-41): (Swept at Reno)
Top Performers: The Chihuahuas lost all three games, the last two game in walk-off fashion. Rehabbing MLB player Wil Myers had a hit in each of the three games, going 4-for-14, with a double and five strikeouts. Myers will hope to improve upon these numbers before coming back to the Padres. … After going hitless in the first game, CF Jose Azocar collected six hits including a double and home run over the final two games. … OF Brent Rooker had a hit in each game including a big three-run homer on Sunday that gave the team an early lead. Despite getting just seven at-bats in San Diego, Rooker is hitting .340/.458/.787 in July alone in El Paso with six home runs. … Before going hitless in the final game, Eguy Rosario was in line to be the top performer. He went 4-for-8 over the first two games with a double, triple, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base in that span. … OF Taylor Kohlwey went 5-for-12, with two runs, two RBI, and two walks. With a week left in July, he is hitting .338/.450/.446 for the month.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Top 100 prospect, C Luis Campusano, went 2-for-10 on the week with a solo HR (7). … RHP Michel Baez appeared in two of the three games, and allowed five of the ten batters he faced to reach base. He is still showing plus stuff, but the location hasn’t come back as quickly after his Tommy John procedure. … LHP Jose Castillo was responsible for one of those walk off losses, surrendering a walk-off two-run blast on Saturday. It was his only appearance of the weekend. … RHP Alek Jacob also had a tough week. He allowed the first two home runs of his season and first three runs since arrive in El Paso July 7 on Sunday. … LHP Ray Kerr hit 98 mph on the mound from the left side, He was one of the few relievers to have two scoreless relief appearances but also walked two in 1.1 innings with two strikeouts. He has yet to allow a run since being optioned back to El Paso on July 3. … RHP Reiss Knehr is 100% a bullpen arm now. He appeared in one game in the series, allowing a run over two innings with two walks and two strikeouts. … RHP Dinelson Lamet appeared in one game, striking out two in his only inning of work. … LHP Ryan Weathers did not appear in the series, and hasn’t had an appearance since July 13. Weathers threw 104 innings last year, and is already at 88 innings so far this year, so the break gave him an opportunity for some extended rest. He is scheduled to take the mound Thursday. (Ben Davey)
San Antonio Missions (won series over Corpus Christi, 2-1).
Top Performers: The Missions returned from a four-day break and won a brief, three-game series against Corpus Christi. … Infielder Connor Hollis was the best hitter for the Missions in their weekend tilt, starting all three games and going 5-for-12. He will enter play on Tuesday riding an eight-game hitting streak. The former Rays farmhand has been a consistent hitter all season. He is hitting .342/.461/.438 in July. … Juan Fernandez hit safely in all three games, going 6-for-12. The catcher/first baseman has struggled over the last two months after hitting well in May. The excellent series improved his July slash-line to a meager .231/.286/.282. … LHP Ben Krauth had his best outing of his brief tenure in the Padres organization. He threw four innings and allowed just one earned run, striking out five and walking one. Krauth, 28, opened the year in the bullpen of the Guardians’ Triple-A affiliate before being released. Before his stint with the Missions, the last time Krauth started a professional game was 2017.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Right-hander Kevin Kopps fired a pair of scoreless innings Friday night. Kopps allowed a pair of hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The former third-rounder has pitched much better in July, as he has seen a reduction in his walk rate. In six July outings, Kopps has allowed just two earned runs in nine innings pitched. … Righty Moises Lugo took over for starter Brandon Komar on Sunday and dominated the Corpus Christi lineup. Lugo worked a season-high 3.1 innings and didn’t allow an earned run. He walked one and struck out a season-high seven. Lugo has worked as a multi-inning reliever this year after showing promise as a starter last year. He has 18 strikeouts in 12.1 innings this month. (Kevin Charity)
Fort Wayne TinCaps: (Won series at Dayton Dragons, 2-1)
Top Performers: Corey Rosier went into the break hot and continued in the three-game series, getting on base six times with five hits including a home run. Rosier might be the fastest player in the Midwest League and stole three more bases without getting caught to push his total to 29 for the year in 33 attempts. … Lucas Dunn had three doubles and a home run with a pair of walks in 13 plate appearances. The former Louisville star has had a good month with a .262/.387/.377 line in 77 plate appearances with four of his five extra-bases hits in this past three games series. .. Lefty Noel Vela had his best outing of the year, going seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts against just a single walk. The South Texas native has the stuff; it’s just been a question of harnessing it more consistently and going deeper into games as he continues to make a push to head back to his home state. … Right-hander Ryan Bergert also put together an impressive outing, going 5.1 innings, allowing a pair of runs with seven strikeouts and a single walk.
Top Prospects of Note: Robert Hassell III had three hits in three games with a pair of walks as he reached base at a .400 clip for the series. .. Mathew Acosta got into a couple of games and had three hits, including a hustle double. Catcher Brandon Valenzuela’s bat is slowly coming around with a .250/.357/.333 line for the past three games. Max Ferguson continues to struggle against High-A pitching with seven strikeouts, no walks, and one hit in the series. In our interview with Max, he talked about making several swing adjustments to bring more power into his game, so it’s understandable that there will be some struggles for the University of Tennessee product. .. A pair of relievers stood out this series. Righty Seth Mayberry had a nice outing in his one appearance, throwing two innings with three punchouts against a walk to earn his third win of the year. The Dinwiddie, Virginia native is 3-1 on the season with a 4.22 ERA and 50 strikeouts against 18 walks in 32 innings. Puerto Rico native Jose Espada, 25, who had pitched in the Blue Jays and Red Sox organizations before starring with the Milwaukee Milkmen of the independent American Association, was signed by the Padres on July 1 and sent to Fort Wayne. Like Mayberry, Espada made one appearance, threw a pair of innings, and had six strikeouts against a walk and one hit batter. (John Conniff)
Lake Elsinore Storm (swept in a three-game series at Inland Empire 66ers)
Top Performers: It was a rough weekend for the Storm as they were swept on the road in San Bernardino. The Storm have lost five in a row overall, dropping their second half record to 12-12. … First baseman Carlos Luis had five hits, all singles, in the first two games of the series. His hot series pushed his season batting average back above .300. The 22-year-old has shown a good approach at the plate but he’s struggled to drive the ball in July. He is slugging just .324 this month after posting a .535 mark last month. … LHP Bodi Rascon pitched well once again but failed to earn the win thanks to a lack of offense. Rascon started Sunday and completed six shutout innings. It was the first time in his professional career he worked six innings. The 21-year-old has been a revelation in July. In three starts, Rascon has allowed just one earned run in 16 innings. In those 16 innings, he’s allowed just eight hits and four walks. Opposing batters are hitting just .148 against Rascon this month.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Outfielder James Wood went 3-for-11, doing his best work with two hits, including his eighth homer of the year, on Saturday . The 19-year-old Wood continues to perform at a high level in the Cal League. He has shown excellent discipline at the plate and one of the most exciting skill-sets in the organization. Wood is hitting .324/.446/.574 this month. … After a hitless Friday, outfielder Albert Fabian had back-to-back two-hit games to finish the weekend. The 20-year-old outfielder has shown some pop this season and has been a consistent performer for Lake Elsinore. He is hitting .286/.333/.429 this season. (Kevin Charity)
ACL Padres (2-2 on the week)
ACL Padres 7, ACL Royals 6
Key Stats: RF Ruben Salinas 4-for-5, 3B, CS (3); CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-2, BB, Sac; C Carlos Rodriguez 2-for-5, E (3); LHP Javier Chacon 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 K, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The complex league club put up four runs in the top of the ninth to claim the victory Monday night in the last game before they’ll start to integrate new arrivals from the draft and undrafted free agency. Samuel Zavala and Jackson Merrill both made the start and pushed up to four plate appearances as they continue to work back from hamstring injuries. Zavala reached base twice. … Ruben Salinas had another strong game, collecting four hits including a triple. … Lefty Javier Chacon allowed just three singles over 3.1 scoreless frames. He sports a 2.40 ERA with 20 strikeouts across 15 innings this month.
Top Performers and Others of Note: Salinas went 10-for-18 while collecting a hit in each of the four games. The 19-year-old outfielder has raised his slugging percentage 122 points during his current six-game hitting streak. … After missing the first month of the season, catcher Carlos Rodriguez has been slow to put it together, but went 5-for-14 with a pair of doubles after the break. The Venezuela native, who debuted in the DSL last year, offers a good balanced profile behind the plate. … Chacon wasn’t the only starter to work into the fourth inning, as Jarlin Susana tossed 3.2 scoreless scoreless frames with three strikeouts and Henry Baez allowed one run over four innings.