Las Vegas Aviators 8, Chihuahuas 3

Key Statistics:  C Luis Campusano 2-for-3, 1B Alfonso Rivas 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB; DH Jose Azocar 1-for-4, 2 RBI; 2B-SS Max Schrock 1-for-3, BB; 3B Brett Sullivan 1-for-3, RBI; RHP Aaron Brooks 2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, K; RHP Sean Poppen 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K; LHP Jared Koenig 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2K

Luis Campusano on rehab in the ACL. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch:  The Chihuahuas struggled again and have now lost 10 of their last 12 games, but the big news was the inclusion of Luis Campusano in the lineup on a rehab stint after three games in the ACL. Campusano was behind the plate defensively and made a nice slide in the fourth when he scored from second base on Jose Azocar’s single to left field. Kevin Plawecki replaced him in the sixth inning after he had collected a pair of singles in three at-bats. … On a bullpen day, Aaron Brooks made his first start of the year. The 33-year-old righty allowed three runs over two innings. The San Bernardino native has worked primarily as a starter over nine professional seasons before signing with the Padres in the offseason. … Brett Sullivan replaced the injured Tim Lopes in the fourth inning as Max Schrock moved over to short, and Sullivan came in at third base. It was the former Pacific University infielder’s second game in the field at a position other than catcher. In 2022 he appeared in 13 games in left field and another 13 at third. On the season, after having his first call-up to the major leagues in April, he is hitting .329/.410/.540.

Corpus Christi Hooks 7, Missions 5

Key Statistics: 2B Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela 2-for-3, 2 BB; LF Daniel Johnson 2-for-4, 2B, HR (6) RBI; 3B Jake Perez 1-for-3, HR (2), 2 RBI, BB; RHP Bobby Milacki (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K, 2 HR; RHP Kevin Kopps 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K

Brandon Valenzuela is off to a fast start with San Antonio. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Prospect Watch: Down 5-1, the Missions got a pair of home runs by Jake Perez and Daniel Johnson to close the gap, but the Hooks tacked on a couple of runs as the home team held on for their third victory in five games. San Antonio will seek to even the series on Sunday. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela, 22, continues his strong season after being recently promoted to the Missions. After posting a .828 OPS in 153 plate appearances with the TinCaps, he is hitting .292 with a .452 on-base percentage with San Antonio while playing well at the deepest position in the Padres organization. A big reason for his success is some tweaking of his swing mechanics and the health of his hip. … Ripken Reyes, 26, isn’t slowing down. He reached base three times and continues to sit atop the Texas League in on-base percentage at .434. On the season, he has an .828 OPS and is on pace for career highs in extra-base hits, and has equaled his career-best in stolen bases with 15 in 21 attempts. … Kevin Kopps, 26, is posting better strikeout numbers this season, and his walk rate has decreased by nearly 20%.  However, he has been unlucky with his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) at .402 this season compared to .290 in 2022. Still, his ERA is down to 3.66 from 4.14 and he has 55 strikeouts against 20 walks in 41.1 innings. Kopps has a great chase pitch with his gyro/slider; his key is getting batters off the outside part of the plate with his two-seam fastball.

Robby Snelling has been solid since moving up to High-A. (Photo: Courtesy, The Journal Gazette/Dylan Sinn).

West Michigan Whitecaps 3, TinCaps 1

Key Statistics: CF Jakob Marsee 1-for-4, 2B; 3B Marcos Castañon 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; SS Nerwilian Cedeño 1-for-4, 3B; LHP Robby Snelling 5.2 IP, 5H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Will Geerdes (L, 0-1) 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER; RHP Henry Henry 1 IP, BB, K 

Prospect Watch: The Whitecaps scored twice to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth and claim the win to get on the board after four straight losses to the TinCaps. … Robby Snelling performed well in his second start in High-A, allowing one run over 5.2 innings as he tossed 88 pitches. The 19-year-old is struck out five and is holding Midwest League opposition to a .231 batting average through his first 10.2 innings. … Marcos Castañon had two more hits to continue his red-hot July. The 24-year-old infielder has a .370/.469/.889 slash line in 31 plate appearances this month, witheight extra-base hits, three of which have gone over the wall. He has 23 RBI in his last 19 games and is riding a six-game hitting streak. … On the season, Jakob Marsee is third in the league with a .391 on-base percentage and is second with 28 stolen bases. However, he opened the year with a slugging percentage of just .250 in April. The organization has worked with him to drive the ball more and he has improved every month, with a .413 slugging percentage in May and .433 in June. With a double Saturday, he’s at .434 this month. Defensively, the 2022 sixth-round pick from Central Michigan University has been plus in center fielder. … The Padres’ lone representative at the Futures Game, Jackson Merrill, was 0-for-2 though he had an entertaining half-inning conversation with the announcers while mic’ed up on the field. Former Padres’ prospects lefthander Joey Cantillo (Guardians) and outfielder James Wood (Nationals) also appeared in the game. 

Visalia Rawhide 12, Storm 6

Key Statistics:  C Ethan Salas 0-for-2, BB, RBI, 2 SB (5); CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-2, HR (8), 2 BB, 2 RBI; 3B Devin Ortiz 2-for-5, RBI; LF Brandon Karpathios 1-for-3, BB; RHP Henry Williams 2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR; RHP Thomas Balboni 0.1 IP, 5 H 6 R BB K, HR; RHP Dylan Nedved 2 IP, 4 K; RHP Cole Paplham 1 IP K

Samuel Zavala locks in. (Photo: Gail Verderico/IG @baseball_gail)

Prospect Watch: The Storm put up four runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game, but the wheels came off in the bottom of the inning, with the Rawhide putting six runs on the board as Thomas Balboni endured a nightmare appearance. Visalia tacked on two more to cruise and will try to even the series Sunday. … Ethan Salas was hitless, but walked and stole second and third base in the third inning then drove in a run with a groundout late. He has five steals in six attempts to go along with 14 extra-base hits in his first 30 professional games. … Samuel Zavala is off to a strong start in July, hitting .286/.467/.619 though his first nine games and 29 plate appearances. On the season, the 18-year-old leads the Cal League with 57 walks and is seventh with a .404 on-base percentage.

Romeo Sanabria has been dominating in the ACL. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

ACL Padres 4, ACL Royals 3 (F/7)

Key Statistics: 1B Romeo Sanabria 1-for-2, SF, RBI; RF Juan Murillo 1-for-1, 2B, 2 BB; LF Jacob Campbell 1-for-3, 2 RBI, SB (3); LHP Zack Qin 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, BB, K, HR; RHP Jordan Guerrero 1 IP; LHP Javier Chacon 0.2 IP, 1 K, 2 BB; RHP Jonney Rosario 1 IP, 2 K  

Prospect Watch: Romeo Sanabria, 21, went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and heads into the all-star break with the ACL’s sixth-best slugging percentage at .600 and sitting eighth in OPS at 1.050. The Padres’ 18th-round pick after hitting .400/.484/.578 in his only season at Indian River State College (hard-core Padres fans might recognize it as the school that produced 2011 first-rounder Cory Spangenberg), Sanabria leads the league in RBI with 27 while hitting .365 in 99 plate appearances. A left-handed hitter who caught in college, the organization has moved him to first base, where his bat will have to carry him. Much bigger than his listed 6-foot-2, and 200 pounds, the Miami native could well see a promotion to Lake Elsinore in the second half. … 17-year-old Zack Qin, signed out of the MLB Draft League by the Padres last summer, continues to find his way in the desert. The first Padres player from mainland China, the lefty has 17 strikeouts in his first 17.1 professional innings but has also walked 11 while giving up 14 hits. … Big righty Jordan Guerrero made his second rehab appearance as he works to come back from multiple arm surgeries. The last member of the Padres’ first draft under A.J. Preller’s front office still in the organization, Guerrero has worked just 11 innings since hitting the IL in August, 2021.

Roster Transactions: Lefty Javier Chacon, who hit the Injured List for Lake Elsinore in late April, began a rehab assignment in the desert Saturday. The 20-year-old from Cuba showed well with the complex league club last year. … With only 180 domestic reserve spaces available and the draft beginning Sunday, the Padres transferred pitchers Isaiah Lowe, Garrett Hawkins, and Jesus Gonzalez to the 60-day IL Saturday. Lowe has been dealing with rotator cuff issues since starting the year hot in Lake Elsinore. Hawkins hit the shelf in May with what was initially reported to be a side/lat issue. The organization will still need to find at least a dozen more spots to accommodate draftees, players returning from the 60-day IL, and any minor league free agents they want to bring in.

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.

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