Down on the Farm: 2017 Recap- The San Antonio Missions

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Credit: MiLB

Biggest Surprise

Fernando Tatis promotion to Double-A

Right when it looked as though Fernando Tatis would stay in Fort Wayne all year, he was promoted. The promotion was not shocking, but the fact he skipped Lake Elsinore and the High Single-A level was. Tatis responded by hitting .255 (14-55) with one homer and six RBI in 14 games. He struck out 17 times, while walking twice. Tatis also played second and third base in his time in the Texas League. He helped the team in the playoffs and will play in the Dominican Winter League this season, where he was selected #1 overall in the draft.

Biggest Disappointment

No Championship for the Missions

This team should have won it all, but fell to the Rock Hounds in a series that was heartbreaking. San Antonio will soon join the PCL and the 2018 season will be the last chance for this team to win a Texas League Championship. With players like Adrian Morejon, Michel Baez, Logan Allen, Jorge Ona, and Michael Gettys in the system, the Missions could have very decent squad in the coming season. They will look to not only dominate in the regular season, but to dominate in the playoffs as well next year.

Other Performances of Note

Cal Quantrill (7-10) 3.80 ERA/1.47 WHIP  116 IP/40 BB/110 K

Health was a key for this young man and he successfully made it through the 2017 season without any issues to his surgically repaired elbow. Quantrill was able to utilize his off-speed pitches and though he did have a few rough moments, he really impressed the Padres’ front office. Quantrill will be brought along slowly in the spring as the team still wants to be cautious with the young right-hander. 2018 could be a big year for him, but the team will not rush him.

Eric Lauer (6-8) 3.30 ERA/1.25 WHIP  122.2 IP/36 BB/132 K

The left-hander out of Kent State progressed very nicely in his first full year of professional baseball. Lauer was able to get past some rough starts in Double-A to finish the season off with six consecutive starts, allowing only one earned run or less. His strikeout numbers plummeted in Texas, but he was able to maintain his impeccable control while pitching for the Missions. He has great poise on the mound and commands the strike zone traditionally. He could make a run at a rotation spot at some point in 2018 if everything breaks right.

Brad Wieck (2-1) 2.64 ERA/1.11 WHIP  38.2 IP/23 BB/61 K)

The 25 (soon to be 26)-year-old lefty had a solid year in the minors. He received a call-up to El Paso and was a key member of the Missions’ bullpen in 2017. Wieck battled some control issues from time to time, but at 6′ 9″, that will always be an issue for him. For the most part he was able to repeat his mechanics, and that bodes well for his future. Wieck is a bit of a late bloomer, but has progressed really nicely. He should get a cup of coffee in San Diego at some point in the 2018 season at the very least. He is filthy from the left side, hitting the mid 90’s with his fastball.

Josh Naylor 114 games/439 at bats (.280/.346/.415) .761 OPS (43 BB/84 K)

The powerful left-handed Canadian is on the fast track to the majors. He is still only 20, but has shown a ton of maturity at the plate in his brief tenure in the Padres’ organization. He is known for his power, but has had trouble showing it at the plate. Naylor only hit 10 homers in total for the year, and only two of them came in San Antonio. Given his age, the Padres do not seem too concerned about it. They always say that power is the last thing to develop in a good hitter. Naylor certainly qualifies as a good hitter. Only time will tell.

Credit: MiLB

Ty France 127 games/474 at bats (.278/.353/.373) .726 OPS (29 BB/84 K)

This SDSU product had a wonderful 2017 season which saw him promoted to Double-A from Lake Elsinore. France is a ball player. He does not do any one thing spectacularly, but he does have skill in all facets of the game. He enjoys grinding out at bats, and has surprising pop that could develop in time. France played both first and third where he showed decent footwork and a solid arm.

Trey Wingenter (2-1) 2.45 ERA/1.09 WHIP  47.2 IP/19 BB/64 K

The 23-year-old Wingenter recorded 20 out of 26 saves chances for the Missions in 2017. At 6′ 7″ and 200 lbs plus, he is an imposing force on the mound. Wingenter throws in the upper 90’s and could have an outside chance at a bullpen spot for the Padres in 2018. He hasn’t thrown in Triple-A yet, but has shown some great potential since he was drafted out of Auburn in the 17th round of the 2015 draft. Wingenter is a potential closer of the future.

T.J. Weir (6-2) 2.09 ERA/1.06 WHIP  77.1 IP/20 BB/79 K

This right-handed pitcher out of Ball State, drafted in 2014, had a very successful 2017 season. Weir started two games for the Missions, but he mostly pitched out of the pen, throwing 34 games in relief for San Antonio. He started the year in Lake Elsinore and went 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 10 games before his promotion. The smaller in stature Weir (6′ 0″), gets the most out of his motion and possess a very decent fastball.

Franmil Reyes 135 games/507 at bats (.258/.322/.464) .785 OPS (48 BB/134 K)

The large Dominican outfielder had a great year in San Antonio where he hit 25 homers and drove in 102 runs. He led the Padres’ minor league franchise in both categories as the 22-year-old might have finally found his stroke. He has legit power, but there are some concerns about his plate discipline and his ability to handle higher talent. Reyes hit 16 dingers last year, and eight the year before that. His power is certainly on the rise and he is one to keep an eye on for the 2018 season.

Enyel De Los Santos (10-6) 3.78 ERA/1.19 WHIP  150 IP/48 BB/138 K

The short-striding, right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic had a very solid year. He improved his strikeout numbers from 2016 and he also lowered his ERA in a higher division of minor league baseball. At 21, De Los Santos is younger than Quantrill, Lauer, and Lucchesi and is right alongside in term of development. He could eventually turn into a back-end bullpen piece, but that is only if he fails to stay consistent with his off-speed deliveries.

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