Down on the Farm: April 8 – Padres’ Affiliates Wrap Up First Weekend of Season
El Paso Chihuahuas (3-1) Won 8-5
After a fairly quiet first two innings, the Chihuahuas kicked off the scoring in the top of the third inning on a Nick Schulz single that followed a Travis Jankowski bunt single and Luis Urias walk. The 51s responded in the bottom of the fourth against Chris Huffman with a double followed by a two run home run, which gave them the lead. The scoring was again quiet until the top of the seventh when the Chihuahuas tied the game on a Franmil Reyes base hit. However, the 51s responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame against Michael Mariot on a three-run home run by Ty Kelly. With the score 5-2 51s, the Chihuahuas plated three runs to tie the game on an Allen Craig RBI single and a two-run home run by Stephen McGee. The Chihuahuas plated three more runs in the top of the ninth, this time on a two-run double by Nick Schulz and an RBI single by Allen Craig, giving the Chihuahuas a three-run lead. Jonathan Aro returned for his second inning of work, shutting the door on the 51s and giving the Chihuahuas their third win in four games to start the season. Nick Schulz (3-5, 3 RBI), Allen Craig (2-5, 2 RBI), and Stephen McGee (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI) did the heavy lifting for the Chihuahuas on the way to the win.
San Antonio Missions (3-1) Won 8-4
San Antonio wasted no time getting the scoring started on Sunday afternoon as center fielder Michael Gettys led off with his first home run of the season. However, Arkansas answered right back with a trio of singles against left-hander Jerry Keel to tie the game. The Missions answered right back with more runs of their own in the top of the second, thanks to a Josh Naylor single and Fernando Tatis Jr. sacrifice fly. Keel was pretty lights out the rest of his outing, giving up only the one earned run in five innings of work. San Antonio plated five more runs in innings four through six, buoyed by a Josh Naylor two-run home run in the fourth, a Peter Van Gansen double in the fifth, and a single by Fernando Tatis and an error by Arkansas. Things got a little dicey with three runs plated in the bottom of the ninth against Colby Blueberg, but the Missions were able to hold on for the 8-4 victory.
Lake Elsinore Storm (1-3) Lost 8-4
The Lake Elsinore Storm found themselves in an early hole against the Stockton Ports after an RBI double plated a run in the first inning against right-hander Pedro Avila. Things were quiet for both teams until the Ports plated three more runs in the fifth, this time on a home run and a pair of singles. However, this time the Storm responded with three runs of their own after two walks, a Hudson Potts RBI single, another walk, and a two-run single by Ruddy Giron which cut the Ports lead to 4-3. Things took a turn for the worse in the bottom of the seventh when the Ports plated three more runs against Trevor Megill. Both teams plated one more run each, but the game would end by a score of 8-4 in favor of the Ports. In what was a quiet day at the plate for the Storm, the team accumulated 12 strikeouts in total.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (0-4) Lost 10-8 and 12-1
The TinCaps began the day by finishing the game that was postponed on Friday night. Despite leading 6-2 when play was postponed on Friday, the TinCaps were not on their A-game to start off Sunday. Henry Henry made his season debut, giving up four earned runs in three innings pitched. Fred Schlichtholz wasn’t much better coming out of the bullpen, as he gave up four more earned runs in one and two-thirds innings. The TinCaps offense wasn’t able to do enough as two late runs were not enough to complete the comeback. Despite four players collecting two hits, the TinCaps could not overcome their pitching struggles.
In game two of Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader, the Lake County Captains were on top of Fort Wayne and Osvaldo Hernandez early. With one run in the first, two in the second, and one more in the third, the Captains staked themselves to an early 4-0 lead. The TinCaps plated one run on a Jack Suwinski home run in the bottom of the third, but a bullpen implosion by Will Stillman (2 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB) sealed the TinCaps fourth consecutive loss to start the season. The Caps bats were quiet with just five hits to go along with 10 strikeout and 13 batters left on base.
Prospects of Note
Chris Huffman – RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
There’s been a lot of conversation about Brett Kennedy lately and his consistency despite getting lost in the prospect shuffle. The same could probably be said about right-hander Chris Huffman, although to a lesser extent. Huffman threw 42 and two-thirds innings in High-A last year, posting a 3.16 ERA in the process. He proceeded to do the same in 69 Double-A innings, with a 3.13 ERA. To wrap the season, Huffman got a 32 and two-thirds innings taste of Triple-A, where he was once again solid with a 3.31 ERA. Huffman didn’t overpower at any level, posting strikeout rates at or below 20 percent at every level, but it’s hard to argue with his results and his ability to command the strike zone. Neither Huffman nor Kennedy jump off the page, but both have backend, big league rotation potential.
Josh Naylor – 1B, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
3-6, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Josh Naylor looks like a man playing for his life in his second taste of Double-A action. With Eric Hosmer entrenched at first base in San Diego for the foreseeable future, Naylor’s place in the organization has become somewhat hazy. However, Naylor has done nothing but hit so far this season. Naylor has now batted 16 times on the season, with 9 hits and 19 total bases. With three home runs, 10 RBI, and a .563/.556/1.188 slash line, and some time in left field, Naylor is pushing himself back into the conversation. If he can play a passable left field, and tap into his power more frequently, Naylor could be a top prospect after all.
Fernando Tatis Jr.- SS, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI
After starting the year hitless in his first three games, Padres’ fans were ready to call Tatis a bust. Just kidding. With a 3-5 day, Tatis got himself off the schneid and back into the hit column. There was never any doubt about Tatis as a prospect, and no amount of struggles will change that. Tatis is about as good of a prospect as you will find in baseball.
Michael Gettys – CF, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
I’m not counting on a Michael Gettys breakout, but there’s not a single Padres’ prospect who I want it from more than Gettys. Gettys has shown prodigious raw talent since being drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft out of high school. Since then, it’s been a lot of strikeouts and rare flashes of that raw talent. So far this year, Gettys is slashing .364/.417/.636 with six strikeouts in 11 at bats. This probably won’t be the year that Gettys figures it all out, but a guy can hope, right?
Jerry Keel – LHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Hudson Potts – 3B, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
In a system completely bereft of third base depth, Hudson Potts is just about all there is to find in the Padres’ organization. After being questionably drafted in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Potts struggled through his first year in the organization prior to a huge second half breakout last season. Potts still has a lot left to work on offensively, but he’s definitely a glimmer of hope.
Pedro Avila – RHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
This wasn’t the start we were expecting from Pedro Avila after he carved up the Midwest League for the majority of the 2017 season. The strikeouts weren’t there for Avila and neither was the stuff he had last year. It’s just one start so it’s important to not read too far into it, but this definitely wasn’t the start to the season he wanted.
Tirso Ornelas – OF, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
2-3, 2 1B
Osvaldo Hernandez – LHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 3 K
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.
Why was Franchy Cordero not in the line up? Injury or call up?