El Paso Chihuahuas
Jamie Romak 4-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Jamie Romak continued his strong start to the season with four more hits and two more home runs. Romak is now hitting .333 on the season with eight home runs. He’s no prospect, but he’s hitting enough to perhaps play himself into San Diego if needed later in the season. Either way, it’s not a profile to get too excited about. But it’s good to see him excelling with the Chihuahuas.
Carter Capps 1 IP, 1 R, 2 BB
In his fourth rehab appearance, second with the Chihuahuas, Capps had some struggles. Capps managed to get through his only inning of work, but walked two and gave up one run in the process, despite not giving up any hits. Capps is still seemingly figuring it out, but it’s probably only a matter of time before Capps finds his way back to the big leagues. He’s gotten most of his velocity back at this point, but it remains to be seen if he can be the same dominant pitcher he was with the Marlins prior to his Tommy John surgery.
San Antonio Missions
Luis Urias 4-5, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 5 R
Another night, another jaw-dropping performance from Luis Urias at the plate. One night after collecting four hits in a victory for the Missions, Urias did it yet again, collecting four more hits and scoring five times in a 16-13 slugfest victory. If Urias continues to excel to this extent, it seems to be only a matter of time before he finds himself in Triple-A. After that, the next step is the big leagues, which might not even phase Urias, the way he’s been playing. At only 19 years old, Urias is definitely nothing short of highly impressive. And that should only continue as the season wears on.
Fernando Perez 4-6, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Although Luis Urias has been the most impressive Missions player to start the year, he wasn’t alone in his strong offensive performance Friday night. With a home run, two doubles, and five runs driven in, Fernando Perez also had himself quite a night. Perez has had a bit of a quiet professional career to this point, as he struggled through two full seasons in High-A Lake Elsinore before finally earning a promotion to Double-A to start this season. Perez has gotten off to a bit of a slow start this year, but this strong night could be a sign of things to come.
Franmil Reyes 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB
If Urias is a top prospect and Perez is more of a fringe prospect, Franmil Reyes is somewhere in the middle. Reyes very quietly had a strong year with the Storm last year, and is hitting .316 to start off the season. After hitting 16 home runs last season, Reyes demonstrated the power that he is capable of. At 6’5” and 240 pounds, Reyes has a lot of size and power in his frame. He’s never going to be much of a defender or runner, but if he can hit enough, he may just prove himself worthwhile as a big leaguer someday. However, at just 21 years old, he’s still a bit raw with quite a bit of progress to make.
Lake Elsinore Storm
Austin Allen 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI
The Storm lost a very quiet game 4-1, so Allen’s home run was the only real offensive action to speak of. Currently the Padres 29th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Allen can be most easily described as a bit of the opposite of Austin Hedges. While Hedges has long been known as a glove-first catcher, Allen is all bat, as his catch framing skills are raw and he needs a lot of work on his catch and throw with baserunners. With that being said, the bat is what will keep Allen interesting, and despite his struggles early this season, his strong plate discipline has still showed in his near 10 percent walk rate and 20 percent strikeout rate.
Pedro Avila 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Acquired from the Nationals this off-season in the trade of Derek Norris, Avila looked much better than he did in his first two starts. In those first two starts, Avila gave up eight runs (five earned) on 11 hits in seven and two-thirds innings. There’s quite a bit of pressure on Avila given how deep the Storm pitching staff is, but that pressure didn’t seem to phase him on Friday night. Avila may take his lumps this year, but he really could be an under the radar prospect for the Padres this season and going forward.
Fort Wayne TinCaps
Jorge Ona 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
After having his share of ups and downs over the first few weeks of the season, Ona hit his first home run on Friday night, showing the power potential in his massive frame. Ona will strike out a lot as he continues to develop, but if he can show this kind of power, the Padres will take the strikeouts.
Jerry Keel 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Speaking of under the radar prospects, Jerry Keel may be one of my favorite prospects that isn’t included on any top-30 lists. Keel struggled in both High-A and Double-A last season, but he has so far looked good back in Low-A. At 23, Keel is still only two years out of the 2015 draft. He’s never going to be a top prospect, but there’s still a lot of room for growth on the mound. And Friday was a highly encouraging sign.