Christian Villanueva– 3B, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
9-20, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 15 TB
If not for the Padres’ insane infield depth, third baseman Christian Villanueva might have finally caught his long-awaited major league break. However, with Yangervis Solarte, Cory Spangenberg, Carlos Asuaje, and Ryan Schimpf ahead of him on the depth chart, Villanueva continues to crush Triple-A pitching. Villanueva is now up to a .306/.375/.584 slash line on the season with a 141 wRC+. He may be a 26-year-old playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but Villanueva has had an impressive start to the season. Maybe he’ll get that long-awaited major league debut after all.
Carter Capps– RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
After a tumultuous start to his injury rehab, it appears that right-hander Carter Capps is finally figuring it out. Returning from Tommy John surgery is never easy, but it has been especially difficult for Capps given not only his odd throwing motion but Major League Baseball’s rules on his throwing motion. Due to those reasons, Capps has had to really re-figure out how to throw a baseball, but it seems like he has finally gotten into a rhythm. A week with no hits, earned runs, or walks is a good positive development for Capps, who now has not given up an earned run since his June 6th re-return following some time in Arizona. If this continues, Capps may find his way to San Diego before the end of the season after all.
Luis Urias– 2B, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
9-17, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 6 BB, 10 TB
Just when Luis Urias was starting to heat up, he ended up injured on Saturday night. After rolling his ankle, which is being called a sprain, Urias is expected to miss around 10 days. Despite heating up in recent weeks, Urias is still showing the same problems he has shown for much of the rest of the year: while the singles and plate discipline are there, the extra base hits just aren’t coming. Urias can still be a good player at the next level with his command of the strike zone and strong hit tool, but he’ll never be truly great if he can’t access more of that power in games.
Cal Quantrill– RHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
It would have been easy to write about Joey Lucchesi again given his strong eight-inning performance from this week, but I decided to go a different direction with this and write about Cal Quantrill instead. After struggling quite a bit in his Double-A debut, Quantrill rebounded in a big way on Friday night, as the right-hander gave up only one earned on six hits in six and two-thirds innings. He wasn’t overpowering by any stretch, but he did more than enough to get the job done for the Missions. Quantrill still needs to work on consistently repeating his delivery and not making mistakes with his mechanics, but all the stuff is there to be a front-of-the-rotation type of starter.
Austin Allen– C, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
11-22, 1 2B, 2 HR, 18 TB
I would say I am getting sick of writing about Austin Allen, but his recent string of success has been a lot of fun to watch. After starting the season off with a single heavy approach, Allen has turned up the extra base power in a big way since the all-star break. Allen now has 10 long balls since the break, as well as eight doubles to go with those home runs. Allen is only improving at the plate as the season progresses, but his development still hinges on whether he can be an everyday catcher at the big league level.
Jesse Scholtens– RHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Following an impressive six-start stretch to begin the season with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, Scholtens earned himself a promotion to Lake Elsinore in mid-May. Since then, Scholtens has had his share of ups and downs, but he made one of his better starts of the season on Tuesday, giving up only one earned run over his six innings of work. There’s still a lot of work to do for Scholtens to have a chance at sniffing a big league rotation, but this season has so far been a positive one for the righty.
Jorge Ona– RF, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
9-19, 2 2B, 2 BB, 11 TB
In a weird way, Jorge Ona has had a similar season to Luis Urias, albeit with a little more extra base power. Ona has only hit eight home runs on the season, in addition to fifteen doubles and one triple, but he’s still been a very productive hitter despite that. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the TinCap player grabbing headlines, but Ona has been nearly as good as Tatis all season long. Ona may not have as many potential impact tools as Tatis, but there’s still a good amount of room for growth as he progresses through the minor league system.
Michel Baez- RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Michel Baez is just way too good. Sure, he’s a 21-year-old pitching in Low-A ball, but it is still so impressive to see him blowing away hitters on a weekly basis. It’s even more impressive given how much progress he has made over the last six months. It may just be a matter of time before Baez gets some better competition in Lake Elsinore this season.
Justin Lopez– SS, Short Season, Tri-City Dust Devils
7-18, 1 2B, 4 BB, 8 TB
The 2017 season has been a rough one for young shortstop Justin Lopez so far, but this week saw some positive developments at the plate. Despite struggling to make consistent contact and failing to get many walks, Lopez took a turn this week with several walks and a good amount of hits. He’s still just a kid, literally, as he’s only 17 years old, so it’s hard to be too hard on him.
Henry Henry– RHP, Short Season, Tri-City Dust Devils
7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
I already wrote about Henry Henry once this week, but there’s never a bad time to write about a guy with two first names. Although Adrian Morejon had a solid start last night for the Dust Devils, Henry has been just as impressive so far this season.
Gabriel Arias– SS, Rookie League, AZL Padres
6-17, 1 2B, 7 TB
Everything that applies to Justin Lopez above also applies to Gabriel Arias. At 17 years old, Arias has gotten off to a slow start this season, but did make some positive strides at the plate this week.
Blinger Perez– C, DSL Padres
10-25, 3 2B, 13 TB
Martin Carrasco– RHP, DSL Padres
7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K