Salt Lake Bees 8, Chihuahuas 5
Key Statistics: DH Jorge Alfaro, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI; 3B Brandon Dixon, 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI; 1B Kyle Martin, 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; LHP Luke Westphal, 2 IP, BB, K; LHP Tom Cosgrove, IP, K; RHP Angel Felipe, 1.1 IP, 2 K; LHP Jose Castillo (L, 3-2) 1.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: This game was a weird one, even for the Pacific Coast League. Salt Lake scored a single run in the third inning thanks to a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly. The Bees went into the eighth inning without a hit. Then they exploded for five runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to turn a low-scoring game into an 8-5 win. … Rehabbing catcher Jorge Alfaro started at designated hitter and blasted a 486-foot homer for his only hit of the night. The 29-year-old is 2-for-8 in his current rehab stint. He should jump behind the plate as he marches towards activation for the stretch run. … Third baseman Brandon Dixon was probably miscast in Double-A where the 30-year-old with 500+ big league at-bats posted an OPS north of 1.200. The veteran continues to hit since his promotion to Triple-A. Dixon singled, doubled, and drove in two runs. The former Cincinnati Red has a .955 OPS in five games in El Paso. … Right-hander Angel Felipe recorded four outs without allowing a baserunner. He struck out a pair in the process. The 25-year-old former Rays farmhand has a 6.75 ERA in 10 games with El Paso. Most of the damage against Felipe has been self-inflicted. In 9.1 Triple-A innings, he has walked six and hit three batters. Opposing batters are hitting just .129 off of him. While it’s a small sample size, he has the kind of high-octane stuff organizations love in the back-end of the bullpen Felipe’s fastball touched 98.9 Friday night and he works with a slider and cutter in the mid-80s. He could have a case for a 40-man roster spot this winter, otherwise, he could leave as a minor league free agent.
Corpus Christi Hooks 8, Missions 0
Key Statistics: SS Connor Hollis, 1-for-3, BB; 1B Yorman Rodriguez, 2-for-3, BB; C Webster Rivas, 2-for-3; RHP Kevin Kopps, 2.2 IP, H, 3 BB, 2 K; LHP Noel Vela (L, 1-2) 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions managed just five hits and they struck out 13 times in a loss against Corpus Christi. … San Antonio got a little unconventional Friday night, as reliever Kevin Kopps started and southpaw Noel Vela entered as a reliever. Kopps pitched into the third inning and didn’t allow a run. His command was spotty, as he walked three, but he also struck out a pair. Kopps started his previous outing on August 28. The 25-year-old has pitched well since July, outside of one poor outing this month. Over his last 14.1 innings, he has struck out 18 batters. … Vela took over for Kopps in the third and wound up taking the loss. Vela allowed five runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out three. The 23-year-old Vela has struggled in his brief tenure as a Mission as he wraps up his second season outside of the complex league. He has eclipsed 100 innings for the first time as a professional, notching 117 strikeouts. He also pitched after Kopps last week, so the organization may be trying to put a cap on his innings. The Missions have 14 more regular season games, plus at least two playoff games before the season ends. … First baseman Yorman Rodriguez had a pair of singles and drew a walk. He was the only Missions batter to reach base three times. The 25-year-old has done a much better job of working the count since August 1. Over his last 28 games, Rodriguez was a 13.3% walk rate. Before August, Rodriguez walked in just five percent of his plate appearances. If Rodriguez can continue his current approach, he could be an interesting guy to watch. His hit-tool has flashed above average throughout his time in the system.
TinCaps 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 2
Key Statistics: RF Agustin Ruiz, 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI; SS Jarryd Dale, 2-for-4, RBI; LF Albert Fabian, 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; LHP Jackson Wolf (W, 7-8) 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; RHP Keegan Collett (S, 1) 2.2 IP, 4 K
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps had 12 hits and rode excellent pitching to a win in the last Friday night game at Parkview Field this season. … Right fielder Agustin Ruiz had three hits, including a double. It’s been a tough year for Ruiz but he has shown flashes of finding the success he enjoyed with the TinCaps a season ago. He hit .234/.318/.442 in August after slugging just .207 in July. … Left-hander Jackson Wolf pitched into the seventh inning and earned his seventh win in the process. Wolf allowed just two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out six. The 23-year-old has been at his best over the last two months after a rough June. He has thrown at least five innings in 10 straight starts and he’s pitched at least six innings in five of those games. Wolf ranks second in the Midwest League with 119 innings pitched and his 1.13 WHIP is the third-lowest among qualifiers. … Reliever Keegan Collett took over for Wolf and recorded the final eight outs without a runner reaching base. He struck out four batters and notched his first save as a TinCap. Collett reached a milestone in the process – he surpassed 100 strikeouts this season. He has a remarkable 101 punchouts in just 57.2 innings between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne. His 40 walks on the year mark a significant improvement from his first two seasons after the Padres drafted him in the 35th round in 2019, but he will still need to refine his control moving forward.
Roster Moves: The TinCaps made a few roster moves – all of which impacted the pitching staff. Relievers Gabe Morales and Alan Mundo were placed on the seven-day injured list, effectively ending their season. Right-handers Wilton Castillo, Miguel Mendez, and Walki Lezan were added to the roster from the ACL.
Storm 10, Visalia Rawhide 1
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill, 1-for-3, 2 R, BB; 3B Marcos Castañon, 1-for-4, R; DH Juan Zabala, 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, SB (14); RHP Jairo Iriarte (W, 4-7) 6 IP, 6 H, ER, 8 K; RHP Craig Stammen, 1.2 IP, BB, K
Prospect Watch: The Storm took apart Visalia, winning in a blowout. The Storm have won four straight in the series, outscoring Visalia 40-19 in the process. … Shortstop Jackson Merrill singled and walked in four plate appearances. Merrill’s single extended his hitting streak to eight games. The left-handed hitter has done an excellent job of making hard contact to the opposite field and has shown more power as the season has progressed. In 38 games with the Storm, Merrill is hitting .341/.395/.506. … Designated hitter Juan Zabala extended his hitting streak to five games with a three-hit night, including a double. Zabala also scored a pair of runs and stole his 14th base. The 23-year-old was traded to the Padres organization in June and he’s flourished while receiving regular playing time. Coming into 2022, Zabala never played more than 51 games in his five seasons in the Dodgers organization. He’s played in 54 games this year with the Storm, hitting .299/.388/.406. … Righty Jairo Iriarte turned in one of his best starts of the season, pitching six strong innings and allowing just a run on six hits. He didn’t allow a walk and he notched eight strikeouts – a new career-high. The 20-year-old has shown a lot of growth this season but sometimes struggles to throw his fastball for strikes. He has a fastball that has touched 94mph in game action and he has plenty of room for growth. He has struck out 103 batters in 87 innings in his second stint in the Cal League. … Craig Stammen threw 20 pitchers over 1.2 innings in his second rehab appearance with the Storm. The righty walked one and struck out one in an easy outing.