Down on the Farm: Weekly Review August 14-20- Urias, Avila, Ruiz & Potts

Credit: Journal Gazette

Credit: EVT News

Franchy Cordero– OF, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
9-24, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI, 12 TB

Week after week, Franchy Cordero continues to hit, as this marks the third straight week he has been mentioned in the Weekly Review. However, Cordero also continues to strike out, now at a 29 percent rate for the season. That’s clearly better than his near 45 percent strikeout rate in the big leagues, but the strong hitter’s environment of Triple-A still makes his 29 percent strikeout rate a troubling number. If this strikeout rate continues, Cordero won’t be an everyday major league contributor, even with his speed and defense. At 22 years old, he still has a lot of time to figure things out.

Luis Urias– 2B, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
4-20, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 8 TB

It wasn’t a great week for Luis Urias by any means, but he is worth talking about because he collected two extra base hits over the weekend. Urias is still just 20 years old and playing in Double-A, but there is some cause for concern with his lack of power, especially given the fact he has just four extra base hits over his last 52 bats dating back to last month. Urias can be an everyday major leaguer with his impressive plate discipline, but the lack of power could keep him from becoming a star-level player. Even so, Urias has still had a successful season for a 20-year-old playing against much older competition.

Joey Lucchesi– LHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K

Who would have thought that Joey Lucchesi would be the most impressive of the Lake Elsinore Storm starters to earn his promotion to Double-A? Eric Lauer, Cal Quantrill, and Jacob Nix have all had a good deal of success, but none have matched Lucchesi to this point. Lucchesi has watched his strikeout rate fall in Double-A, although he has still managed to consistently get hitters out. Lucchesi has not given up more than four earned runs in a start all season, and has given up no more than three earned runs in any outing since his Double-A promotion. It remains to be see how far Lucchesi’s deceptiveness will get him long-term, but it has worked well for him so far.

Logan Allen– LHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
6 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K

Logan Allen often goes overlooked simply because he is a level below the San Antonio pitchers mentioned above. However, Allen has probably been the most impressive of the bunch for much of this season, as Allen has very consistently pitched into the sixth or seventh inning in just about every start. Allen did have one start where he gave up six earned runs last month, but other than that he has not given up more than three earned runs in any other start. The walks are still a minor issue, but if Allen continues to keep up a decent strikeout rate and working on his secondaries, he will continue to progress well through the Padres’ system.

Credit: M.Kreg/EVT Sports

Hudson Potts– 3B, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
14-28, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 R, 6 RBI, 18 TB

What a week for Hudson Potts. While Fernando Tatis Jr. continues to garner a vast amount of attention for his impressive season, which culminated in his promotion to Double-A on Sunday, third baseman Hudson Potts has really come into his own in recent weeks. Over the last week and a half, Potts has 20 hits and three home runs and is really coming on offensively. After his early season struggles, Potts still has just a 93 wRC+ on the season, even after sporting a 190 wRC+ so far in the month of August. If Potts continues this hot streak through the remainder of the season, it appears he could start next season in Lake Elsinore. Potts just goes to show that prospect development is not always quick, and it’s not always so linear.

Pedro Avila– RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
13.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 20 K

Speaking of prospect development not being linear, right-hander Pedro Avila has absolutely dominated in recent weeks after being demoted from High-A Lake Elsinore back to Low-A Fort Wayne. He’s maintained a similar high strikeout rate in Fort Wayne, but he has considerably cut his walk rate and it has really paid off for him. Over his last eight starts dating back to the beginning of July, Avila has struck out 78 batters while walking just seven in 54 innings. Beyond that, Avila has given up just nine earned runs during that streak and has had three 10+ strikeout performances. Now it appears Avila has really put himself on the prospect map, as if the Padres needed any more good pitching prospects.

Nick Margevicius- LHP, Short Season, Tri-City Dust Devils
4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Drafted in the seventh round, left-hander Nick Margevicius has been one of the more impressive members of this year’s Padres draft class. After five impressive outings spanning 19 innings in the Arizona Rookie League, Margevicius has looked just as good in his first taste of a higher level in short season ball with the Dust Devils. In his 38 total innings so far this season, he has not only struck out 49 batters, but he has walked just seven total.

Credit: MiLB

Esteury Ruiz– 2B, Rookie League, AZL Padres
7-16, 3 2B, 5 R, 1 RBI, 10 TB

Esteury Ruiz has been crazy impressive since being acquired by the Padres from the Kansas City Royals in late July. While he cooled off a bit this week, he is still showing a lot of extra base power and a great all fields approach. The big concern here is the risk that comes with an 18-year-old tearing it up in Rookie ball, but it appears that more and more scouts are taking notice and suggesting Ruiz could be a special player long-term. That’s still a long way away, but it’s been so far so good for another teenaged lottery ticket acquired by A.J. Preller. *cough* Fernando Tatis Jr. *cough*

Mackenzie Gore- LHP, Rookie League, AZL Padres
4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

While there was some uncertainty about whom the Padres would select with the third overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, it appears the team made the right selection with left-hander MacKenzie Gore, who has looked very impressive in his short stint in the AZL to this point. Gore is now up to 16 innings on the year, striking out 24 to just three walks in that span. It seems a late season promotion to a higher level may not be entirely out of the question, although there are only a few more weeks left in the regular season schedule for the various minor league affiliates. Either way, Gore will be someone to watch going forward into 2018 and beyond.

Tirso Ornelas- OF, Rookie League, AZL Padres 2
8-21, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI, 19 TB

I have been known to wax poetic about Henry Henry‘s 80 grade name, but have I mentioned that Tirso Ornelas also has one of my favorite names in the entire organization? It really just rolls off the tongue. Anyway, after a tough start to his first professional season, the 17-year-old has come on strong in recent weeks. While Ornelas hadn’t really unlocked much power before this week, his 6’4” frame should allow him to develop more power as his body matures. Until then, he has shown he has a good feel at the plate and the ability to spray the ball to all fields.

Jeremy Smith- RHP, Rookie League, AZL Padres 2
4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Given that he was drafted in he 38th round of this year’s MLB Draft, it’s very likely that Smith never sees the major leagues. However, so far he has looked really impressive in his short stints this season. He’s a 23-year-old pitching in the Rookie League, but you can’t argue with the solid numbers he has put up so far.

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