Albuquerque Isotopes 6, Chihuahuas 3

Aaron Leasher in action for the El Paso Chihuahuas (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: CF Daniel Johnson, 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; DH Ji-Man Choi, 1-for-3, BB; RF Tirso Ornelas, 1-for-3, R, BB; LHP Aaron Leasher (L, 2-2) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K

Prospect Watch: The bats were quiet Tuesday night for the Chihuahuas as they managed just six hits in a loss at home to the Isotopes. The loss dropped El Paso to 60-79 this season. … The only extra-base hit from El Paso came from Daniel Johnson, who doubled in a pair of runs in the eighth inning. The 28-year-old outfielder has hit well since joining the Chihuahuas, providing a source of power and speed at the top of the lineup. In 18 games for El Paso, Johnson has a .979 OPS – about 200 points higher than the mark he posted with the Missions. Assuming he’s not added to the 40-man roster, Johnson will hit the market as a free agent again this winter. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since the 2021 season. … Designated hitter Ji-Man Choi singled and drew a walk in his continued effort to rejoin the Padres lineup. The former Pirate originally hit the injured list with a rib strain in mid-August and is battling a foot injury after fouling a ball off himself in his first game back. While with the Pirates, he also missed two months with an Achilles injury. … Left-hander Aaron Leasher took the loss Tuesday despite pitching fairly well. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walking four and striking out four. After a miserable start to his season with the Chihuahuas pitching out of the bullpen, the former Morehead State hurler has found a role in the rotation. In seven starts with El Paso, Leasher has a 3.66 ERA, spanning 32 innings. 

Robby Snelling dazzled over five innings. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Missions 4, Springfield Cardinals 3

Key Statistics: 3B Graham Pauley, 1-for-4, R, HR (2), RBI; LF Cole Cummings, 2-for-2, 2 R, HR (11), 2 RBI, BB; CF Homer Bush Jr., 2-for-3, RBI; LHP Robby Snelling (W, 2-0) 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 K; RHP Raul Brito, 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K; LHP Daniel Camarena (S, 2) IP

Graham Pauley has another big night. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Prospect Watch: The Missions began their final regular season series in style with a win over Springfield. … Graham Pauley only had one hit, but he made it count. The third baseman connected on a solo homer – his second in 16 games with the Missions and his 22nd overall. The third baseman has been the best hitter in the system all year, but he’s turned things on in the second half. Over his last 61 games, most of which came with Fort Wayne, the left-handed hitting infielder has 16 homers. In 123 games this season, Pauley has a .933 OPS. … While Pauley has been hot all season, no Missions hitter has been as hot as Cole Cummings this month. The left fielder had two hits, including his 11th homer of the season. The 25-year-old didn’t hit much after being promoted mid-season from Fort Wayne, but he has four homers in 37 plate appearances this month. His power display has resulted in a slash-line of .323/.432/.839. Cummings will have five more games to reach a new career-high in homers; he hit 12 between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne last season. … Homer Bush Jr. was a bit of a surprise addition to the Missions’ roster last week, considering he was in college just three months ago. However, the outfielder has played well since joining the Double-A roster. He had a pair of singles and drove in a run Tuesday. He is 4-for-9 since joining the Missions’ roster. … At some point, you’d expect Robby Snelling to hit a wall, but that will not happen in 2023. Once again, the 19-year-old lefty pitched well, picking up his second Double-A win. Snelling worked five innings, allowing just one run on three hits. He struck out three batters without walking one. The Reno, Nevada native has walked 10 batters in 17.1 innings, but he’s been able to limit the damage with 19 strikeouts. Snelling finishes his first full professional season with an 11-3 record and a 1.82 ERA with a stellar 118:34 strikeout-to-walk ratio between Lake Elsinore, Fort Wayne, and San Antonio in 103.2 innings. 

Henry Baez answered the bell with a big start. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 5, Great Lakes Loons 0 (TinCaps lead best-of-three playoff series, 1-0)

Key Statistics: LF Tyler Robertson, 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B; CF Samuel Zavala, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), 3 RBI; Nerwillian Cedeňo, 1-for-3, 2B, BB, RBI; RHP Henry Baez, 4 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 4 K; RHP Ethan Routzahn (W, 1-0) 2 IP, H, BB, K; RHP Carter Loewen, 2 IP, BB, 3 K; RHP Cole Paplham, IP, 3 K

Samuel Zavala had the big home run in the TinCaps playoff victory. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps rode excellent pitching and a few big hits to a win in their playoff opener in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 3,657 at Parkview Field. The TinCaps will hit the road with two chances to advance to the Midwest League Championship series. They will play Thursday and potentially Friday against the Loons in Midland, Michigan. … The great thing about the playoffs is that it is essentially a brand new season, a clean slate. No one needed a clean slate more than Samuel Zavala. The talented outfielder went 4-for-51 in 14 games with the TinCaps and missed the last few regular season contests with a minor oblique issue. However, on Tuesday, the 19-year-old put the game on ice with a pivotal three-run homer in the seventh inning. The top prospect posted a .871 OPS with the Storm, earning a late-season promotion to Fort Wayne. … Left fielder Tyler Robertson scored two runs with a pair of doubles. The 23-year-old finished strong in September, going 14-for-32 with two triples and two homers. The 6-foot-4 outfielder brings plenty of athleticism and power at the top of the order. … Last week, Henry Baez struggled against Dayton, but he redeemed himself Tuesday night with a gutsy performance. He kept the Dragons off the scoreboard for four innings, allowing three hits. He did walk five batters but managed to wiggle out of trouble with four strikeouts. The 20-year-old pitched well with the Storm before earning a promotion to Fort Wayne in August. He struggled with the TinCaps, pitching to a 7.20 ERA in four starts. … While it wasn’t a save situation, Cole Paplham came in for the TinCaps and shut down the Loons, striking out the side in order. Paplham, 23, made eight appearances down the stretch for Fort Wayne, allowing just one run in eight innings. He walked just one and struck out 11. The hard-throwing Wisconsin native is a pure reliever, but his velocity can play in the back end of a big-league bullpen. 

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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