Down on the Farm: April 30 – Chris Paddack Shines in Return

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Players of Note

Brett Nicholas/Raffy Lopez – C, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB

With the injury to Austin Hedges last night (the catcher was removed from the Padres’ game because of right elbow tendinitis), the Padres may need an extra catcher if Hedges is forced to go on the disabled list. The two likeliest options for the Padres sit in Triple-A, as both Nicholas and Lopez are raking so far this season. Both have been rotating between catcher, first base, and designated hitter, and hitting well regardless of position. Nicholas and Lopez both went deep last night and Lopez has homered in four straight games while Nicholas has mashed eight home runs on the season (Lopez has seven of his own in total). Lopez is currently on the 40-man roster, which makes him the likelier option of the two, but we first have to wait and see the severity of Hedges’ injury.

Robert Stock – RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

After a stellar start to his season in Double-A, with 15 starts in nine innings, Stock made his first appearance in Triple-A last night and continued his string of success. With his strong spring training showing and his solid start to the season, Stock could be an option in the Padres’ bullpen later on this season; perhaps sooner rather than later if he keeps pitching like this.

Austin Allen – C, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R

Speaking of catchers, Austin Allen is absolutely destroying Double-A so far this season. After another double last night, Allen is up to 20 extra base hits on the season, which includes 12 doubles and eight home runs. His overall line is up to .364/.423/.773 on the season and he has eight walks with just 14 strikeouts. With over-the-top numbers like that, he may not be long for Double-A (which I have been saying just about every time I write about him). It’s way too soon to speculate about him getting called up to the big leagues, but the Padres are going to have a bit of a conundrum down the line when Allen is ready for the bigs.

Jerry Keel – LHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Jorge Ona – RF, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
3-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Jorge Ona got off to a bit of a slow start this season along with most of his Lake Elsinore teammates, but he has turned it on a bit as of late. Ona is slashing .419/.471/.581 over the last 10 days, which pulls his slash line up to a solid .293/.348/.451 for the year. The real knock against Ona so far has been that he has yet to really tap into his in-game power. However, he does have six doubles, one triple, and one home run so far this season. He had a total of 30 extra base hits last year, as he looks to exceed that total in the more hitter-friendly Cal League. Ona’s slugging percentage is about .50 points higher than last year, so if he keeps that trending in the right direction, he could be in for a big year.

Chris Paddack – RHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

After a nearly two-year layoff following Tommy John surgery, right-hander Chris Paddack made a triumphant return last night, as he looked like he has not missed a step during his recovery. Paddack was able to show great command of his fastball, and he continually used his plus changeup to get hitters out. Lost in the shuffle of top pitching prospects because of his injury, Paddack could be in for a huge year, which would vault him back into the conversation of the best pitching prospects in the Padres’ organization.

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