A weekly look at some standout performances in the Padres minor league system, focusing on a prospect or two from each level – except for Triple-A El Paso, who has had much of it’s talent harvested by the big league club, with José Pírela, Dinelson Lamet, Franchy Cordero, and Phil Maton called up in the past few weeks.
After an off week, the pitching in the Padres farm system returned with a vengance, and it was the bats turn to cool down, for the most part. Luis Urías was 4 for 22 this week (.182) and actually had more strikeouts (five) than walks (three), and Michael Gettys returned to earth after four homer week – 2 for 24 (.083) with a double, a walk, and 12 strikeouts.
But the pitching…the pitching was so good that on a normal, non-draft week, it might deserve it’s own post. There is lots to be excited about on the pitching side, plus a few shortstops that put together some exciting displays.
Reggie Lawson, SP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
It was a rough beginning for Reggie Lawson, a competitive balance pick from last year’s draft. After giving up 10 runs in his first three starts (9.1 innings), he was dominant yesterday against an impressive Lancaster Lugnuts team. Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, two of the Blue Jays hottest prospects, combined to go 1-4 against him, with a single and a strikeout. Fort Wayne’s rotation was looking shaky (outside of the ever-solid Logan Allen) after the promotions of Jerry Keel and Jesse Scholtens, but the reinforcements of Lawson and Mason Thompson make them a much more interesting team to watch.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
7 for 24 (.292), 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
With the TinCaps pitching taking some steps forward, it’s time for the hitters to start doing their part. Outside of Jorge Oña, there hasn’t been much consistency on the offense. Despite a pair of dingers this week, Fernando Tatis Jr. is still OPSing just .764. Still, he has made a handful of highlight-reel plays this past week, so despite the growing pains (he’s still just 18-years-old), he’s showing that despite being 6’3”, there’s still a shot that he sticks at short. And yeah, it’s nice seeing those dingers, too.
Basically the whole Lake Elsinore Storm starting rotation
Eric Lauer (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K), Jacob Nix (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 7 K), Cal Quantrill (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K), Jesse Scholtens (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K), Joey Lucchesi (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K)
TOTAL: 33 IP, 6 ER, 23 H, 3 BB, 41 K
Lake Elsinore seems to have adopted a six-man rotation of sorts (I’ll be honest, I’ve lost track with the promotion of Jesse Scholtens and Jacob Nix coming off the disabled list), and while Pedro Avila has been just alright, the rest of the guys have been really, really great (outside of a home run epidemic in a series against San Jose). If you haven’t been up to Lake Elsinore yet… GO. NOW.
Michael Kelly, SP – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
13.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 14 K
Alright, so I already copped out and listed the whole Storm rotation, but it would be almost as easy to do so with the San Antonio Missions rotation as well, after Brett Kennedy, Jerry Keel, and Chris Huffman posted solid outings, pushing the Missions closer to locking up the best record in the Texas League. However, Michael Kelly was at least as good as all three of them, and he started twice, so he gets the nod. The former first round pick (way back in 2011) seems to be a late bloomer, but has been on a hot streak, allowing just five runs in his last six starts (37.1 innings). Accounting for his age (24-years-old) and the weakened El Paso starting rotation, I’d expect Kelly to be the first internal option called up when a spot is made available.
José Rondon, SS – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
11 for 25 (.440), 3 2B, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
As mentioned last week, José Rondon is playing like a man on fire. Lots of hard contact, barreling up plenty of pitches, especially in big spots for San Antonio. Despite a few errors this week, he plays a pretty solid short stop, and is still just 23-years-old (according to baseball-reference.com, a whole 1.2 years younger than the average competition in Double-A this year). While there’s not a lot of home run power (he has just two all year), and the ceiling might not be super high for him, maybe he’s able to become a stopgap for the next great Padres shortstop, or make it to the bigs in a utility role.