MadFriars Player of the Week: INF José Iglesias, El Paso
José Iglesias had quite a series in Las Vegas after briefly opting out and then re-signing with the Padres. The 33-year-old’s 5-for-7 night with three homers on Wednesday he fueled a monster week. In five games, Iglesias went 12-for-27 with five doubles, scored eight runs, and drove in 11. The offensive output resulted in a slash-line of .444/.464/.963. The former MLB all-star is more known for his defense, but his ability to make consistent contact should serve him well in the hitter-friendly PCL.
MadFriars Pitcher of the Week: LHP Daniel Camarena, San Antonio
Camarena came into last Wednesday’s start with an ERA north of 10, but he found the recipe for success and turned in the system’s best start of the week. Camarena went six innings and allowed just one hit, walking one and striking out five. He needed just 70 pitches to power through his longest start of the season. The 30-year-old missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery. If he can string together outings like his performance against Frisco, he will give the Padres another much-needed depth option to rely on in the upper minors.
Chihuahuas (split series at Las Vegas Aviators)
Top Performers: Six games in Las Vegas will do wonders for a club’s offensive numbers. El Paso scored 65 runs on their visit to Sin City and had eight players finish the series with an OPS over 1,000. Iglesias had 12 hits and three home runs, but catcher Brett Sullivan had a higher OPS thanks to eight hits, four doubles, a triple, and an inside-the-park home run to go along with three walks in 20 plate appearances for a .471/.550/.1.000 slash line. … As you might imagine, the pickings weren’t as plentiful on the pitching side, but Pedro Avila threw three scoreless innings, punching out five against no walks and two hits. Former Fordham star righthander Reiss Kehr had nearly identical numbers, throwing three scoreless innings with four strikeouts against a single hit and no walks.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Fellow catcher Kevin Plawecki was just behind Sullivan in three games and 14 plate appearances, hitting.385 with a pair of home runs. Taylor Kohlwey matched Iglesias’ home run output with three and a couple of doubles in route to a 1.241 OPS, and Alfonso Rivas had five hits and a team-leading five walks in the three games he played before getting the call to the big club. The list could go on, as 12 of the 15 position players had batting averages of .290 or above in the past six games. … Aaron Brooks made two appearances and got one win while working three innings, giving up a run and striking out five without issuing a walk. … It wasn’t a pleasant week for most of the other pitchers, and Matt Waldron drew the short straw and made two starts. Matt and his knuckler struck out 10 batters in 10 innings, but the righthander also gave up four home runs and 10 earned runs. Jay Groome didn’t fare much better as the lefty allowed six runs in five innings with four walks while struggling with his command. (John Conniff)
Missions (4-2 at Frisco RoughRiders)
Top Performers: Lefty Jackson Wolf turned in another strong outing for the Missions, tossing six two-hit innings with eight strikeouts for the victory. Typically an extreme flyball pitcher, the Ohio native kept the ball on the ground more Thursday as he got through his work on 91 pitches. The 24-year-old has posted an impressive 61:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 45 innings for the year. … Tirso Ornelas headlined an atypically strong week for the Missions offense, posting a .333/.400/.667 line across 30 plate appearances. The left-hand-hitting outfielder had a pair of homers among his five extra-base hits while playing all six series games. While the Tijuana native has drawn a career-best 16.2% walk rate this year, his overall production hovers a bit below league average.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Duncan Snider allowed just two unearned runs over a season-high 5.2 innings and was in line for his first win before a late rally against the bullpen. The 6-foot-7 righty found a more consistent release point and could post six strikeouts against just one walk. After posting an impressive 57:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio following his signing as an undrafted free agent last summer, he’s struggled to a 31:26 mark in 42.2 innings this year. … Righthander Nick Hernandez locked down the back of the Missions bullpen, picking up a pair of saves in three scoreless appearances for the Missions. The 28-year-old, who signed as a minor league free agent after six years in the Astros organization, has struck out an eye-popping 39.5% of the batters he’s faced for San Antonio on the year, contributing to a stellar 2.04 FIP that belies his so-so 3.68 ERA. … Alek Jacob made two more scoreless appearances in the series and lowered his season ERA to 1.10. … Cole Cummings continued to enjoy his new assignment in Double-A, going 5-for-18 with a pair of homers and a team-high five walks in 23 trips to the plate. … Connor Hollis only played four games. Still, he made the most of it with a .308/.471/.692 line. The big line helped the 28-year-old continue his rebound from a rough April. (David Jay)
TinCaps (split series vs. South Bend Cubs)
Top Performers: Jackson Merrill led the team with nine hits, including two three-hit games. The shortstop also added a double, home run, and two stolen bases as he finds his stride after missing several weeks in the first two months of the season. He hit .360/.385/.520 on the week while playing all six series games. … Righty Adam Mazur turned in another fantastic start, delivering six scoreless innings, allowing four hits without a walk, and striking out three. Over his last three starts, Mazur has allowed just one run on 11 hits in 16.2 innings, good for a 0.54 ERA, while his 14:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio has helped him to a 0.72 WHIP. … In a virtual tie for the week, Ryan Bergert also tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits, three walks, and striking out five. Bergert has not allowed more than two runs in any of his nine starts this season and has a 1.42 ERA.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: Jakob Marsee had three multi-hit games, stole two bases, and scored at least one run in four of the six games. Altogether he hit .318/.375/.500 against the Cubs and now leads the club with 16 stolen bases for the year. … First baseman Nathan Martorella collected three doubles among his five hits and drew five walks against only three strikeouts on the week. He reached safely in all six games of the series. … Outfielder Joshua Mears hit a towering home run on Wednesday. He followed it up by striking out 8 of his next 11 plate appearances. … Righty Jairo Iriarte had another start where he showed just how much movement he had on his pitches. Hitters struggled to make contact, but Iriarte also struggled to find the plate. He walked five and struck out four over five innings of two-run ball. … Coming only an out short of matching the week’s top performers, Jared Kollar had to settle for 5.2 scoreless innings. The undrafted free agent allowed four hits and no walks while striking out three. In his five starts in May, Kollar had a 1.74 ERA while allowing only two walks in 20.2 innings. … The last of the talented starting pitching corps, Victor Lizarraga also had a stellar outing. Lizarraga allowed only one earned run over five innings. This was only the third time Lizarraga was allowed to go five innings all season. After allowing over four walks per nine in his first two seasons in the organization, the 19-year-old has only walked eight over eight starts this season. (Ben Davey)
Storm (split series against Visalia Rawhide, 3-3)
Top Performers: The Storm won the first 10 matchups against the Rawhide this season, including the opener of this series. The Rawhide punched back this time, and they salvaged a split with a win Sunday afternoon. … The Storm offense had two players achieve an OPS of 1.000 last week; first baseman Griffin Doersching paced the club with a 1.211 mark. The 24-year-old first baseman played four games and went 3-for-10 with a booming homer to right-center and six walks. The Oklahoma State and Northern Kentucky product has been strong over the last month. Since May 1, Doersching has been hitting .308/.387/.526 with a 12% walk rate, a passable 24.7% K-rate, and overall production that is 41% better than the league average. … Lefthander Austin Krob started Tuesday and became the first Storm pitcher to complete seven innings. The former 12th-rounder scattered just seven hits and allowed one run. He walked one and notched a career-high eight strikeouts. Krob has a 1.75 ERA this season, the second-lowest mark in the Cal League for players with a minimum of 30 innings.
Top Prospects and Others of Note: The obvious top story with the Storm was the arrival of prized prospect Ethan Salas, who joined the Storm at the beginning of the season. While it’s just one series, Salas looked the part of a top prospect. The 17-year-old Salas had two hits in his first game, including a double. He played in the series’ first five games and hit .333/.545/.400 with a double and seven walks. For now, Salas will alternate between catcher and designated hitter. His approach and presence in the box look much more advanced than his age. … Third baseman Graham Pauley had a walk-off single Saturday night and hit well overall. The Storm third baseman hit .407/.429/.471 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, and five RBI. The former Duke infielder showed a much more aggressive approach in this series and flashed more power than we have seen recently. He walked just once and struck out seven times.
Despite the rise in strikeouts, Pauley has walked (33 times) more than he has struck out (28 times) this season. He leads the Storm with a .918 OPS. … Robby Snelling kept the Rawhide off-balance on Thursday, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits over five innings. While the basepaths were full of Visalia runners, he struck out eight batters to limit the damage. Snelling’s 1.23 ERA is the lowest in the Cal League (minimum 30 innings). He’s stranded 91% of runners he’s allowed this season which likely isn’t sustainable, but he’s shown excellent command. He has been able to get a punchout when needed. Samuel Zavala had a quiet series, going just 1-for-12 with five strikeouts. The center fielder finished May hitting .282/.424/.423. … Righty Manuel Castro pitched 5.2 innings on Wednesday and allowed just one hit. The righty lowered his ERA to 3.16 with his excellent work. (Kevin Charity)
ACL Royals 11, ACL Padres 10
Key Stats: RF Daniel Monetesino 2-for-5, 2B; SS Spence Coffman 1-for-3, 2 SB; LF Braedon Karpathios 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB; RHP Henry Martinez 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 3 BB; RHP Jonney Rosario 1.2 IP, 3 K; RHP Francis Peña 1.2 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 4 K, BB, HBP, 2 WP; RHP Alejandro Lugo 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, K, 3 WP
Prospect Watch: The rookie league got underway Monday with a brisk three-and-a-half hour, 21-run affair with 28 strikeouts, seven wild pitches, and two passed balls. Welcome to the Complex League! Henry Martinez, the Padres’ 16th-round pick out of high school in Miami last summer, made his professional debut after working on the sidelines rather than in games last season. The righty and his defense struggled through the first inning, but then he settled in and allowed just two baserunners over the final three frames. Now 19, Martinez is a good bet to lead the team in innings pitched for the year. … The club’s other late-round high school selection, Spence Coffman, reached base three times and stole two bases. The middle infielder logged only 11 at-bats last summer after signing in the 19th round out of Tishomingo County, Mississippi. … Daniel Montesino finally made his stateside debut. He collected a single and double in five trips to the plate. The left-handed slugger, playing in right field for the night, missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery but showed impressive skills at the plate in the Dominican Summer League in 2021.
Names to Know: While it will be another five weeks before the first members of the 2023 draft class report to the Peoria Sports Complex – and the club will likely again be very cautious with pitchers once they arrive – the ACL Padres already have a strong mix of prospects. Even with Ethan Salas already out in Elsinore, the catching position will be deep in Peoria. Fourth-rounder Lamar King will share duties with a group that includes Venezuelan 19-year-olds Carlos Rodriguez, a switch-hitter, and Oswaldo Linares.
On the infield, Cuban shortstop Yendry Rojas was among the headliners of the 2022 Padres’ international free agent class and received raves for his approach from the left side in the DSL last year. Corner infielder Maikol Muñoz will also add some pop. Switch-hitter Estuar Suero will draw plenty of attention in the outfield. The 17-year-old is already 6-foot-5 and just growing into his power. Returners Eddy Beltre and Juan Murillo will look to build on solid production in their debut season. … With 21 pitchers on the roster, innings management is one of the primary focuses in the desert. The entire organization will look forward to Dylan Lesko‘s professional debut when he’s ready to go coming off of Tommy John surgery last spring in his draft year. Until then, lefties Zack Qin and Braian Salazar will join Martinez among the top prospects. (David Jay)