Here are the players of the week in the Padres organization.
Farm batter: Gabriel Arias (A+)
In a system full of great middle infielders, it’s easy to forget about Arias. He has worked hard this year to make sure that changes. The 19-year-old Venezuelan is batting .308 with 15 home runs and a .826 OPS in 108 games for High-A Lake Elsinore. He has always been considered a glove-first prospect, but this year, he has produced solid numbers, even with him playing in the hitter-friendly California League.
— James E. Clark 3 (@EVT_JClark) August 16, 2019
On Saturday, Arias enjoyed a four-hit day, going 4-for-4 with two triples and a home run. He also was productive on the base paths, scoring seven runs and stealing a bag. He had just one hit-less day this week and still hit .462. If his bat can continue developing as he faces tougher pitching, he may become the next big shortstop prospect in the Padres’ loaded system.
Farm pitcher: Omar Cruz (A)
This is not Cruz’s first time on this list. Cruz started the season in Short-Season Tri-City and worked his way up to Fort Wayne, where he has made seven starts with a solid 2.78 ERA. His 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings are one of the best among TinCap pitchers. He had a strong start on Wednesday, striking out seven in six shutout innings. The 20-year-old Mexican is in his second professional season and has a career ERA of 2.33.
Cruz is one of many strong lefty pitchers in the Padres system. He has had three straight starts of over five innings with one run or less allowed.
MLB batter: Eric Hosmer
Hosmer continues his redemption campaign with another stellar week in which he flirted with a .500 batting average. Hosmer collected three hits in two different games this week, the first coming on Tuesday against the Rays as he added an RBI double and a run scored. He also had three hits in Saturday’s win over the Phillies. His numbers have improved from last year across the board. His average is .290 after batting .253 year, he has already matched his home run total from last year with 18, and his OPS is up over 70 points to .792.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) August 14, 2019
Although the San Diego fanbase is split between Hosmer, no one can deny he has been infinitely better this season in just about every category. He will likely never live up to his $144 million contract, but as long as he keeps improving his numbers, it’s hard to complain. He is a leader in the clubhouse and is reliable, having missed just five games in his two years as a Padre.
MLB pitcher: Andres Muñoz
Muñoz has more or less been electric out of the bullpen since arriving in San Diego on July 12th. He owns a 1.76 ERA and 2.44 FIP in his first 14 appearances in the big leagues. This week, he had four straight scoreless outings and is in the midst of a streak of five scoreless games. He has bounced back nicely from a brief bump in the road. He has electrifying stuff that can put away the best of hitters (i.e., Bryce Harper).
Andres Muñoz's SLOWEST fastball tonight was 99.2 mph.
And then there's the slider… ? pic.twitter.com/uX97p2dZBZ
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 18, 2019
Muñoz is quickly becoming a staple in the bullpen that has been largely overworked this year. He is likely on an innings limit since he has pitched just 34 innings above Double-A in his career. He owns a 249 ERA+, which, if he had pitched the qualifying amount of innings, would be second-best on the pitching staff to Kirby Yates.