Chihuahuas 9, Albuquerque Isotopes 2

Key Statistics: 2B Eguy Rosario 2-5, 2B; 3B Brett Sullivan 3-4, 2 2B; CJ Jose Azocar 1-3, 2 RBI, BB; C Cam Gallagher 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; 1B Kyle Martin 2-3, HR (10) 2 RBI, BB; LHP Jay Groome 4.2, 7 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K; LHP Aaron Leasher (W, 4-6) 2.0 IP, 4 K; RHP Michel Baez 0.2 IP, BB, K

Eguy Rosario leads the PCL in doubles with 30. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: On Marvel night, El Paso donned their Black Panther uniforms and won their fifth straight, their longest winning streak of the season. It was also Jay Groome’s system debut for the Padres. The big lefty was one of the top prospects heading into the 2016 draft, but had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and a missed season to COVID. Groome, 23, came back from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Corey Rosier, Max Ferguson and taking Eric Hosmer and cash to pay his contract at the trade deadline. A.J. Preller told The Darren Smith Show that the Padres paid more on Hosmer’s contract to get who they believed was a better prospect than was initially offered. Before Tommy John surgery, he threw in the high 90s with a big curve, but since coming back, he’s settled back into sitting 91-93 mph, and shelved the curve for a slider. With the Red Sox Double-A affiliate, he was having a strong year with a 3.52 ERA in 76.2 innings, an 81:38 strikeout to base-on-balls ratio, before being recently promoted to Triple-A Worcester, where in three starts, he had a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings. The 6-foot-6, 252-pound New Jersey native threw four and two-thirds innings and showed flashes of his swing-and-miss stuff in his first Chihuahuas appearance, but also struggled with his command, throwing 97 pitches with only 55 for strikes. His velocity sat in the low 90s, and the slider at times was very effective. … Eguy Rosario had two more hits and now leads the Pacific Coast League with 30 doubles. He’s hit in 10 straight games, with multiple hits in seven, raising his OPS 70 points in the process to move to ninth in the PCL. … Cam Gallagher, who came over from Kansas City for Brent Rooker, made his first start behind the plate after starting the previous evening at designated hitter.  With the Royals, he was hitting .214/.267/.333 in his sixth big league season.

Fernando Tatis made his 2022 debut on Saturday night. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Wichita Wind Surge 5, Missions 1

Key Statistics: DH Fernando Tatis 0-2, 2 BB, K; LF Tirso Ornelas 2-4, 2 CS; 3B Webster Rivas 2-4; RHP Reggie Lawson (L, 4-6) 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K

Prospect Watch: The big news was that Fernando Tatis, Jr. had his first plate appearance in 2022 after missing all of the season with an off-season wrist injury. Easing into game action as the designated hitter, he saw eight straight balls in his first two plate appearances. He struck out in the next at-bat then popped out in his final plate appearance to wrap up the night. Tatis is expected to play in the field at either shortstop or center on Sunday. … Reggie Lawson had another tough outing. Since throwing seven one-run innings on July 7, he’s managed only eight innings across his last four starts and hasn’t gotten out of the second in the last three. The 25-year-old righty has issued 18 walks and surrendered 12 hits in this stretch as his ERA has swelled to 5.63. … With a pair of singles, Webster Rivas has a 24-game on-base streak. … Tirso Ornelas had two more singles and is now slashing .303/.349/.423.  He has the lowest strikeout percentage of his career at 17.8 %, and his lowest walk rate at 5.7%.

Game 1: South Bend Cubs 6, TinCaps 3 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: RF Joshua Mears 2-2, 2B, BB; 1B Cole Cummings 1-3, BB; LHP Noel Vela (L, 6-7) 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Alan Mundo 1 IP, BB, 2 K

Game 2: TinCaps 1, South Bend Cubs (7 innings)

Key Statistics: 1B Carlos Luis 1-3, RBI; DH Cole Cummings 1-1, 2 BB; CF Joshua Mears 1-3; 3B Lucas Dunn 1-3; SS Jarryd Dale 0-2, BB, SB (23); LHP Jackson Wolf (W, 6-6) 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Seth Mayberry (S, 2) 1. IP, H, K

Jackson Wolf had his best outing of the season. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps lost the opener of the doubleheader but came back in the nightcap on a dominant two-hit performance by Jackson Wolf. … Joshua Mears started both games of the doubleheader and was 3-5 with a walk on the day and didn’t strike out. He’s whiffed nine times in his last 31 trips to the plate, well ahead of his rate in May, when he K’ed 20 times in 43 plate appearances. … Jarryd Dale swiped his 23rd base of the year and now ranks tenth in the Midwest League. He’s second among those left in the organization after the trade deadline. … Wolf threw his best game of the season as he only allowed a pair of singles in six innings of shutout ball. The 6-foot-7 lefty also picked off two runners at first base. Seth Mayberry got the save and now has 53 strikeouts on the year against 19 walks in 36.1 innings on the season. Offensively, the TinCaps managed only four singles in Game 2. In the third inning, Dale walked, then stole second base, and with two outs, Carlos Luis’ soft fly ball in front of the left fielder was enough to bring him home.

Storm 10, Visalia Oaks 1

Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill 3-5, RBI, SB (5); 1B Juan Zabala 2-4; 2B Nerwilian Cedeño 2-5, 5 RBI, GS HR (3); 3B Marcos Castañon 1-3 HR (15), 2 RBI, BB; DH Charlis Aquino 2-4, SB (18); RHP Victor Lizarraga (W, 6-2) 6 IP, 2H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6K; LHP Alexuan Vega 3 IP, 3 K

Jackson Merrill might be the best Padres prospect left standing. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch: The Storm held the home team to two hits as Lake Elsinore beat the Oaks for the third time in five games. … After going 1-for-14 in his first three games back with the club, Jackson Merrill has had back-to-back three-hit nights.  He is now hitting .367/.425/.456 in 18 games and 86 plate appearances in Low-A. … With home run number 15, Marcos Castañon moved to fifth in the Cal League and now has the tenth-best OPS at .880. … Victor Lizarraga picked up his sixth win with six innings of one-run ball, which ties him for fifth in the league. The 18-year-old has a very impressive 3.24 ERA in 15 starts and 72.1 innings with 71 strikeouts against 30 walks.

ACL Mariners 5, ACL Padres 2

Key Statistics: 2B Ethan Skender 0-2, BB; DH Jonny Homza 1-1, 2B; CF Eddy Beltre 2-4; SS Chase Valentine 1-2; C Romeo Sanabria 1-1; 3B Graham Pauley 2-3 HR (1) 2 RBI, BB; RHP Henry Baez (L, 1-4) 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Walki Lezan 1 IP, H, 2 K

Chase Valentine is one of 13 undrafted free agents the Padres added this month. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch: Jonny Homza, who was involved in a horrible mountain bike accident in the offseason, made his debut, doubling to right field in his only plate appearance. Homza was one of the better players in the first half for the TinCaps in 2021 before several nagging injuries cut his effectiveness in the field and at the plate in the later part of the season. When he’s healthy, the Alaska native is the rare catcher that can play nearly anywhere on the field and has a little pop. … Former Duke University star Graham Pauley hit his first professional home run with a line drive to right field with one on. The left-handed hitter was taken in the thirteenth round and can play second and third. … The Padres were aggressive in taking advantage of the ability to sign undrafted free agents for up to $125,000 without it effecting their bonus pool, signing 13 players after the draft including shortstop Chase Valentine. The 20-year-old from Phoenix was headed to Texas A&M, but he opted to go the JuCo route at Central Arizona after a coaching change in College Station. He hit .269/.357/.469 for the Vaqueros in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League, the only regular season collegiate league that uses wood and had committed to the University of Tennessee for the 2023 season. The Padres convinced the shortstop to forego his commitment and start his pro career instead. The middle infielder doubled for his first professional hit Saturday.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

One Comment

  1. […] up four runs in the seventh and tacked on two more in the ninth to deal the home team a loss. … Groome pitched well in his system debut last Saturday and was better tonight as he threw six innings in 79 pitches, 50 for strikes. He doesn’t have the […]


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