A weekly look at some standout performances in the Padres minor league system, focusing on a prospect or two from each level.
It was a rocky week for a few key pitching prospects, but with the Padres pitching depth, it’s shouldn’t be too difficult to find some great performances worth mentioning. A few of the bats have begun to heat up as well, after some cold starts. Let’s take a look at the week that was.
Logan Allen – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
10.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 6 BB, 13 K
With Jerry Keel and Jesse Scholtens moving up (to Double-A and High-A, respectively), Logan Allen is undoubtedly the ace of the Fort Wayne rotation. Once regarded as one of the smaller pieces of the Craig Kimbrel trade with Boston, he’s blossomed into a very legit prospect. He’s nothing if not consistent, and hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs or 3 walks in any of his starts this year. His breaking stuff looked really good on Sunday (one of the few games that was broadcast on MiLB.tv) and he was locating the fastball pretty well. He has yet to allow a home run this season.
G.K. Young – 1B, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
6 for 21 (.286), 3 HR, 5 R, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
He’s split time at first base this year with Brad Zunica, but G.K. Young has caught fire this week. A late pick in last year’s draft (31st round), the Coastal Carolina alum provided a ton of power for the TinCaps this week. His walk rate is still too low (just 5.4% on the year), but he’s cut down on the strikeouts, bringing his K rate down from 32.2% in April to 26.9% in the month of May, so if this hot streak becomes a trend, the Fort Wayne offense, who has struggled of late, could have another weapon on its hands.
Michael Gettys – CF, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
11 for 23 (.478) 4 HR, 3 2B, 4 BB, 7 K
Not many players in the Padres farm system had a rougher start to the year than Michael Gettys did. In the month of April, he posted a 40.4 % strikeout rate and was slugging just .330. Since the beginning of May, however, he’s slashed .312/.423/.560, and has struck out just 27.6% of the time. Gettys is perhaps the toolsiest player in the farm system, and if he can limit the strikeouts and continue to hit for power (three of those home runs this week came in the same game), he could become the most intriguing position playing prospect the Padres have.
Joey Lucchesi – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 12 K
This was not the typical good week for the Storm rotation. Lake Elsinore starters allowed nine home runs in their last five games, and even Joey Lucchesi wasn’t immune, allowing two of those nine. Despite the dingers, Joey Lucchesi limited the damage and struck out a career high 12 batters, all while walking just one. He leads the rotation in strikeouts (76), ahead of Eric Lauer (60) and Cal Quantrill (50) though he’s pitched more innings than them by a start or two. A 1.01 WHIP for a starter is really, really good, and his 2.7 BB/9 rate isn’t too shabby either.
José Rondon – SS, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
11 for 26 (.432), 5 2B, 2 RBI, 5 runs, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Once seen as the key return in the Huston Street deal with the Angels a few years ago, José Rondon’s stock has dropped since a short stint with the big club last year. 23-year-old was put back in Double-A, where his glove and footwork have looked sharp, but he has struggled to hit. Well, last week he was great. Spraying five doubles all over the field and walking more than he strikesout, Rondon has been making pitchers pay if they pitch around Luis Urías too much.
Brett Kennedy – SP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
11.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 15 K
While the Missions got solid efforts from Jerry Keel and Enyel De Los Santos this week, Brett Kennedy, uh… got the most strikeouts? I guess that’s the theme for this edition of the Weekly Prospect Review. In two starts, the Fordham University grad struck out a bunch of guys, while walking just one. On the year, he’s given 15 free passes, good for a 2.8 BB/9 rate. Listed at 6’0”, he’s the shortest guy in the Missions rotation, but still has good stuff.
Carlos Asuaje – 2B, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
6 for 16 (.375), 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 5 R, 10 BB, 1 K
The Carlos Asuaje Experiment (which has lasted all of two at bats this season) was short lived in his stint with the big club a week or so ago. Last year’s PCL Rookie of the Year struggled in April, posting a .221/.330/.325 hitting line, but has made great strides this week, OPSing 1.016 in the month of June (admittedly a small sample size, since today is just June 5th. Even though there are a ton of second basemen on the big league club, there should be room for him at some point if he continues to get on base at a .360 clip, even if it’s off the bench.
Phil Maton – RP, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 SV
I was really excited about Phil Maton when he surged from Single-A Fort Wayne to Triple-A El Paso, and posted a 1.50 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP in his first six innings there. Things got off to a rocky start at the beginning of 2017, but he hasn’t given up a run in his past seven relief appearances (8.1 innings), and has struck out 14 while giving up just five hits. When and if Brandon Maurer and Brad Hand are dealt from the big club, look for the 6’3″ righty to be one of the guys from El Paso that makes his MLB debut.