Here is a look at this week’s top performers in the Padres organization.
Farm batter: Luis Urias (AAA)
Urias continues to hit like he was personally offended by his demotion. Since being sent back down to Triple-A on April 21, he is hitting .368 with 13 home runs, a 1.215 OPS and a 192 wRC+. This week, Urias played in eight games due to a doubleheader on Thursday. On Saturday, he went 4-for-6 and drove in four runs with a home run and two doubles in an epic 24-4 blowout of the Tacoma Rainiers.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 2, 2019
Another encouraging sign is that he walked just as much as he struck out this week, with a 17.6 percent clip in each category. Urias is second in the Pacific Coast League in wRC+ with 186 and third with a 1.186 OPS. Urias’ promotion to the big leagues may come very soon as multiple Padres middle infielders continue to struggle. Many believe the time is now to move on from Ian Kinsler (.190 avg, .623 OPS, 65 wRC+) and promote Urias for good. As Urias continues to put up video game numbers, the clamoring will only get louder.
Farm pitcher: Ronald Bolanos (A+)
Bolanos is part of perhaps the best starting rotation in all of Minor League Baseball, as he pitches among the likes of MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño. The Padres signed Bolanos out of Cuba in August of 2016, and he now enters his second season with High-A Lake Elsinore. It was Bolanos’ turn to shine this week. He may soon merit a promotion as he turned in two solid starts this week, each going five innings while only allowing one run between the two starts.
His 2.85 ERA is fifth-best in the California League, with his rotation-mate Gore leading the pack. His 3.86 FIP also cracks the top 10, at ninth in the CL. He will be 23 years old this summer, and it may be time to take him seriously as a candidate to join the Padres pitching staff in the next year or two. He may also crack the Padres’ Top 30 prospects in the organization before too long, adding to the embarrassment of riches the Padres enjoy in pitching talent.
MLB batter: Hunter Renfroe
This is not Renfroe’s first time winning the designation of the Padres MLB batter of the week, or his second, or his third. Renfroe has had four weeks this season where he was the best hitter in the lineup. Time and time again, he has come up clutch when the Padres needed it, and in a week where San Diego only won two games, Renfroe kept the offense afloat as best he could. He helped make Sunday’s loss to the Marlins a little less embarrassing with two home runs and three RBI.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 1, 2019
In Friday’s win over Miami, he sent a towering shot into the Western Metal Supply Co. building, a place that may need a nickname with how frequently Renfroe visits the 110-year-old Petco Park landmark (may I suggest the top be named “Renfroe’s Rooftop“?). Renfroe leads the Padres in wRC+ (142), OPS (.945) and home runs (17).
MLB pitcher: Joey Lucchesi
The Padres struggled mightily this week, but Lucchesi was a bright spot for the pitching staff. In Friday’s win over the Marlins, he tossed 6 1/3 innings while allowing just one earned run and one walk with five strikeouts, helping the Padres earn the 5-2 win. After a rough April (4.94 ERA), he has improved to now a 2.97 ERA for May, with an opponent’s batting average of .165.
Lucchesi has a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts while averaging over nine strikeouts per nine innings, just one start removed from his career-high 11-strikeout performance. Lucchesi is second to Chris Paddack in just about every category among Padres starting pitchers and is actually tied with Paddack in WAR (via FanGraphs) at 1.1.