Joey Lucchesi- LHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K
In what was arguably the worst start of his professional career, Lucchesi went only five innings for the Storm, giving up a season-high six hits, and a career-high three earned runs. Over his first 20 professional appearances, spanning 73 innings, Lucchesi had given up more than one earned run only three times. To say Lucchesi has been dominant to start his career is an understatement. However, Lucchesi looked mortal on Thursday night. His changeup was working fairly well, and he was getting whiffs with it in the mid-70’s, but he was giving up quite a bit of hard contact. It was only a matter of time before Lucchesi was going to face some adversity, so it is good he is getting at least a taste of some struggles before his inevitable promotion to Double-A. Even with the less than stellar start, he still has a sub-2.00 ERA on the season.
Jorge Ona- OF, Low-A Fort Wayne TinCaps
3-5, 1 2B, 5 RBI
It was really a shame that Ona went on the disabled list when he did, as he had collected 11 hits in his last seven games prior to going on the DL, including five multi-hit games. After a fairly quiet first few games coming back from injury, Ona made some noise on Thursday night, as he was a key part of the TinCaps 10-2 victory. With five runs batted in on the night, Ona has now driven in thirteen runs on the season. There is still a lot of work to do at the plate, but Ona has made positive strides in his first taste of professional baseball stateside.
Enyel De Los Santos- RHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
6 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
I can’t be the only one who is frustrated by De Los Santos. It seems like for every good start he has, he follows it with a bad one. After giving up eight earned runs two starts ago, De Los Santos gave up only two earned runs in his last start. Then he proceeded to give up eleven hits and four earned runs last night. It’s obviously reassuring to see no walks over his six innings, but De Los Santos is still giving up too much hard contact. De Los Santos has now given up 20 earned runs over his first 35 and two-thirds innings this season. The strikeouts have been there, but the walks are still too frequent, not to mention the high number of hits De Los Santos has given up. There’s a tantalizing profile here, but there’s still a lot of work to do to reach that potential.
Fernando Tatis Jr.- 3B, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
It’s been a slow start to the 2017 season for the former Chicago White Sox farmhand, Fernando Tatis Jr. After gaining quite a bit of attention at the end of last year and during the off-season, expectations were unreasonably high for the 18-year-old. At 18 years old, it’s hard to expect too much, even for a guy who received such glowing reports prior to Opening Day. So far, Tatis has shown flashes of brilliance, as well as flashes of very frustrating qualities, such as the high strikeout rate and sometimes undisciplined approach. Despite these flaws, Tatis showed what kind of tools he has on Thursday night with two home runs, two walks, and even a stolen base. There’s still a lot of mechanical work to do at the plate, but Tatis has all the tools to be a star if it all works out.
Austin Smith- RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Austin Smith is probably my favorite prospect who isn’t really considered a “prospect” anymore. After a disastrous debut in the AZL for the Padres in 2015, and another poor campaign in 2016, Austin Smith had fallen almost completely off the radar going into this season. He didn’t really help his case with two starts of six earned runs in the first month of the season. However, Smith has shown bright spots, including last night’s solid start, perhaps his best of the season. Smith has a lot of work to do to get himself back to where he was after being drafted, but this may be a good start.