El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)- Won 7-1
Jabari Blash 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
After what’s been a rather rough start to the year, Blash went deep for the first time on Saturday night. However, Blash is hitting just over .200 and getting on base at a sub-.300 clip over his first 29 at bats with the Chihuahuas. With an even 50 percent strikeout rate, Blash is showing the most obvious flaw in his game. The Padres saw something in Blash when they snatched him in the Rule 5 draft, and saw something even better when they officially acquired him from the Mariners last season. But he’s running out of time to prove them right.
Walker Lockett 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
That’s Walker Lockett, not Walter Lockett. I have made the same mistake on numerous occasions so I won’t give you a hard time if you think it’s Walter. With that being said, people will start remembering Walker’s name more frequently if he continues to pitch like this. He lacks the ceiling of his Chihuahua counterpart, Dinelson Lamet, but Lockett will see big league time in a rotation, perhaps as soon as this year. He’s going to have his share of clunker-type starts, but he is also capable of pitching gems like this. It remains to be seen which one will be the more frequent occurrence long-term.
San Antonio Missions (AA)- Lost 9-1
Luis Urias 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
The Missions lost 9-1 on Saturday night and it was a quiet day for the team at the plate, as they only collected seven hits in total. So I thought I would take another chance to talk about Luis Urias, who is now slashing .350/.418/.650 while still playing in a league where the average player is three or four years older than him. Yeah, he’s good.
Kyle Lloyd 1.2 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
After giving up only three earned runs in his first three starts, Lloyd got rocked on Saturday, giving up eight earned runs and failing to get out of the second inning. Lloyd will look to recover in his next start.
Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)- Won 8-7
Josh Naylor 3-5, 1 RBI, 2 R
Following a slow start to the season, Naylor has heated up over the last week or so. The big first baseman is still hitting only .246, but he has definitely made some progress. The biggest issue for Naylor is his propensity for hitting the ball on the ground. If he can make better, and more airborne, contact, he could really start putting it together.
Jean Cosme 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Originally acquired as part of the Odrisamer Despaigne trade, Cosme took off quite a bit last year with the TinCaps. In just over 100 innings, Cosme sported a 3.22 ERA with a K rate just over 20 percent. So far this season, Cosme has had his share of struggles. He hasn’t struck out as many hitters as he did last year and is walking hitters at an increased rate. However, if he can flip flop those numbers he should get back on track sooner rather than later.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low-A)- Won 12-2
Fernando Tatis Jr. 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Fernando Tatis has really struggled to start the season. Not only is he hitting just over .200 over his first 64 at bats, but Tatis is striking out over 35 percent of the time and walking only four percent of the time. There was always going to be growing pains with a guy as young as Tatis, but his game still looks so raw at this point. With his second home run of the year now under his belt, maybe Tatis can get going more consistently as the season wears on.
Austin Smith 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
I’m going to be upfront here. I really liked Austin Smith when the Padres drafted him in 2015. Our Editor in Chief, James Clark, and I got to talk to him for one of our very first podcast episodes, and he seemed like a nice kid with a good head on his shoulders. Since joining the Padres system, Smith has struggled immensely. In 120 professional innings split between rookie ball and low-A Fort Wayne, Smith has accumulated an ERA of 5.74 with just a 15 percent strikeout rate and 11 percent walk rate. Hopefully, Saturday’s strong outing, which may have been his best professional outing yet, is the start of something good.