Down on the Farm: April 25 – Injury Scare and Prospect Struggles

Credit: EVT News

El Paso Chihuahuas (14-5) Won 6-4

Chris Huffman ran into trouble from the get-go for the El Paso Chihuahuas, as the right-hander hit the first batter of the game, followed by a ground rule double and a two-run single. An error and a double steal brought home a third run before Huffman worked himself out of trouble. After a single and a walk began the second inning, Huffman retired 15 straight hitters before a one-out walk in the seventh inning pushed Huffman from the game.

The Chihuahuas picked Huffman up with three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game on two singles, a double, two walks, and another single, and two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead, this time on a single, double, and walk that loaded the bases prior to a two-run single by Franmil Reyes. The Chihuahuas added one more in the bottom of the seventh while the Salt Lake Bees added one of their own in the top of the eighth. Colten Brewer came on and pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in the ninth to get the save and seal the victory. Dusty Coleman, Javy Guerra, Nick Schulz, Diego Goris, and Shane Peterson all had two hits while Travis Jankowski had three of his own.

San Antonio Missions (10-8) Won 8-7

I swore I wasn’t going to write about Austin Allen again, and with an 0-4 it seemed like I wasn’t going to. That is until he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Missions an 8-7 victory. The Missions jumped to an early 3-0 lead with a series of hits in the first inning and a solo home run by Rod Boykin in the bottom of the second. However, the Frisco RoughRiders responded with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth off Jerry Keel to put the Missions in a 4-3 hole.

However, the Missions immediately got that run back on an RBI single by Peter Van Gansen. Three more runs off Dillon Overton gave the RoughRiders a 7-4 lead. The Missions were able to claw their way back with two in the seventh on an RBI triple by Josh Naylor followed by an RBI single by Ty France. The Missions were able to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth when Fernando Tatis Jr. reached on an error. The aforementioned Allen ended the game in the bottom of the ninth with a line-drive home run to right center field to seal the win for the Missions.

Lake Elsinore Storm (9-12) Lost 4-3

It was a bit of a pitchers’ duel in San Jose, as both teams were only able to push across one run each through the first five innings. The Storm were able to take the lead in the sixth on a Brad Zunica walk, Jorge Ona double, and Eguy Rosario sacrifice fly. However, the San Jose Giants were able to push two runs across against Elliot Ashbeck in the bottom of the seventh. The Storm were able to tie the game in the eighth on an RBI single by Jorge Ona, but the Storm wound up losing the game in the bottom of the tenth.

Fort Wayne TinCaps (7-13) Lost 8-3

Another day, another poor showing for the TinCaps offense; as a unit they only managed six hits in total. On top of that, it was another shaky outing for right-hander Mason Thompson, who has looked out of sorts so far this season. The TinCaps found themselves in a 6-1 hole after four innings and never were able to recover. They were able to push across two ninth-inning runs on a single, a throwing error, and a groundout, but it was too little, too late for the anemic offense. Travis Radke posted another scoreless inning and a third in relief, lowering his season ERA to 2.53.

Credit: El Paso Chihuahuas

Prospects of Note

Luis Urias – 2B, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
0-1

I didn’t want to write about Luis Urias in this light, but the young infielder had a bit of an injury scare on Wednesday. Removed following his first at-bat of the night, rumors and speculation abounded about Urias. Was it a call-up? Well, the answer to that was a resounding no, but there was some good news when it was announced that Urias was removed as a precaution after pulling his hamstring. Now an injury is never good news, but reports say that it was just a tweak and not a tear, so he should miss minimal time, if any at all.

Chris Huffman – RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K

It was an inauspicious start for Huffman, who gave up three earned runs in the first inning, but he really settled down after that, retiring 15 straight batters between the second and seventh innings. Huffman has continued to be dependable and consistent, as he has posted a 2.41 ERA over his first 18 and two-thirds innings this year after posting a 3.18 ERA in 144 and a third innings split between three levels last year. Huffman also posted ERAs in the 3.00s in both 2016 and 2015, showing how consistent he has been at every minor league stuff. He’s not a pure stuff guy, but he has shown he is capable of getting the job done regardless, and he may still have the ceiling of a back-end starter.

Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
0-5, 4 K

So much for Franchy Cordero being the king of the Golden Sombrero. It looks like the young outfielder might have some competition. In all seriousness, this is yet another disappointing night for Tatis, made even more disappointing by the fact that he hit two home runs on Tuesday night. Tatis is now up to 28 strikeouts and just one walk in 19 games and he is slashing just .188/.195/.363. It still seems a bit too early to be alarmed, but it’s hard to be overly optimistic at this point. With all that being said, it’s April, and Tatis will probably be fine. Until then, we will all be biting our fingernails a little more.

Credit: MiLB

Josh Naylor – 1B, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
2-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 R, 1 RBI

Another day, another big game for Josh Naylor. It’s a bit of a cliche, but Naylor looks like a whole new hitter in 2018. There have always been concerns about whether or not Naylor could tap into his raw power and turn it into in-game power, and he seems to have put some of those doubts to rest so far this season. With 11 extra base hits in his first 73 at-bats, Naylor is showing extra-base ability that was sorely lacking in years past. If he can keep hitting like this, he is sure to catapult himself back into the conversation of being an everyday big league starter. But there’s still some time before we can say that for certain.

Adrian Morejon – LHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

Adrian Morejon hasn’t been at all flashy so far this season, but Wednesday represented one of the nights where Morejon shined. You could say Morejon has been a bit underwhelming this season, with his ERA over 4.00 and just a 19-6 strikeout to walk ratio, but that’s mainly if you are just scouting the stat line. Morejon is still 19, is still one of the best left-handed pitching prospects in all of baseball, and is still in line to be a quality big leaguer if all breaks right in his development.

Jeisson Rosario – OF, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
2-5, 1 R

I am really only mentioning Jeisson Rosario here so I can talk about his .472 on-base percentage. .472! He is only 53 at-bats into the season, but the 18-year-old is playing in full-season ball with an 18 to 11 walk to strikeout ratio. No matter the age or level, that sort of plate discipline and command of the strike zone is impressive. Especially so for someone Rosario’s age.

Mason Thompson – RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 4 K

It’s been a rough go of it so far for right-hander Mason Thompson, who has now given up 15 walks and 18 earned runs in his first 13 and two-thirds innings of the season. You have to take development slowly for guys coming off Tommy John, and that may be the case with Thompson. Thompson has seen fellow 2016 draftee Reggie Lawson excel so far this season so maybe that helps motivate him to get things back on track. The talent here is immense so it’s only a matter of time before he works out some of the kinks.

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Patrick Brewer
Editorial and Prospect Writer for East Village Times. Twenty-five years young, Patrick has lived in San Diego for his entire life and has been a Padres fan nearly as long. Patrick lives for baseball and is always looking to learn new things about the game he loves through advanced stats.

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