Down on the Farm: September 4- The Final Day of the Regular Season

Credit: El Paso Herald

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Credit: EVT News

Franchy Cordero– OF, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R

In what may just be his last regular season game with the El Paso Chihuahuas, Franchy Cordero hit yet another home run, driving in two runs and scoring three as well. Since returning to Triple-A for good in late July following his struggles at the big league level, Franchy Cordero has slashed .340/.381/.653 with a 162 wRC+ and a .313 ISO. There is some Pacific Coast League stat inflation there, but Cordero has been playing like a man on a mission since sporting a 40+ percent strikeout rate in his first taste of big league action. It seems like almost a guarantee that Cordero will be a September call-up once the Chihuahuas are done with the postseason, and if he can impress down the stretch, he should be a part of the Padres’ outfield plans in 2018 and beyond.

Hunter Renfroe– OF, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
1-1, 1 2B, 1 R

Hunter Renfroe didn’t get the start for the Chihuahuas on Monday night, but he did end up getting an at bat and drilling a double. Similarly to Cordero, Renfroe has been on a mission since his demotion a few weeks back. In 60 plate appearances over the last two weeks, Renfroe is batting just over .500 with four home runs and 12 total extra base hits with a .266 wRC+. Even more importantly, Renfroe has walked seven times to just seven strikeouts. It remains to be seen what kind of playing time Renfroe gets in San Diego this September, but it seems to be a given he will be a September call-up.

Christian Bethancourt– RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Speaking of September call-ups, there were rumors that right-hander Christian Bethancourt was going to be a call-up as well, as his name was even mentioned by Andy Green as a possibility last week. After a string of pretty successful outings at the beginning and middle of August, Bethancourt struggled a bit near the end of the month, and he saw those struggles bleed into his appearance tonight. At this point, it’s still clear that Bethancourt is not ready to be a big league pitcher. It should be interesting to see how this off-season plays out because the Padres have some decisions on their hands. Should they let Bethancourt switch back to catching fulltime, continue using him as a pitcher, or let him go altogether?

Jacob Nix– RHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

In what was the final outing of the regular season for Jacob Nix, in what has been a rollercoaster season, Nix delivered six strong innings for the Missions. Nix has had his share of ups and downs this season, especially since being promoted to Double-A, but Monday was yet again a glimpse of the kind of pitcher he can be when he puts it all together. His future is still unclear, but based on stuff alone, Nix has all the makings of a big league pitcher in the future.

River Stevens– LF/CF/RF/3B/SS/2B/1B/P/C, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm

Considering the Lake Elsinore Storm were already out of playoff contention and facing a team already in the playoffs, Monday night was expected to be rather uneventful. However, River Stevens made the night anything but uneventful, as the 25-year-old ended the night by playing every single position. After starting out in left field, Stevens moved to center in the second inning, right field in the third inning, third in the fourth inning, shortstop in the fifth inning, second base in the sixth inning, first base in the seventh inning, pitcher in the eighth inning, and finally catcher later in the eighth inning. In what was the last game of the Lake Elsinore Storm season, it was a truly unforgettable night for River Stevens.

Jerry Keel– LHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

To say Jerry Keel has had a wild season is a bit of an understatement. He’s spent time in Fort Wayne, San Antonio, and Lake Elsinore this year, but he’s had both good and bad moments at every level. Save for three bad starts in which he gave up seven, eight, and seven earned runs respectively, Keel has given up more than two earned runs on just one other occasion this season. Keel still might be a reliever long-term, but if his strikeout rate can play up further in the bullpen, he could be a good one someday. However, starting is still in the cards for Keel, and he should see some solid time in San Antonio next season.

Andres Munoz– RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Big right-hander Andres Munoz initially grabbed attention when he flashed a 100-plus mph fastball at the beginning of the season with Tri-City. Since then, Munoz has struck out a lot batters, walked a lot of batters, and found his way to Fort Wayne and into the Arizona Fall League as one of the youngest players. The big concern with Munoz is obviously the walk rate, but with a strikeout rate over 30 percent, Munoz can probably keep a walk rate near or over 15 percent and still have success in the lower levels of the minor leagues. However, Munoz won’t be able to maintain that same sort of success if he walks that many batters as he continues to progress through the minors. He’s still just 18 years old so there is plenty of time to figure out his mechanics and stuff.

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