It’s a blowout prospect review this week – an even dozen (not a baker’s dozen) of players to take a quick look at this week. With the Tri-City Dust Devils beginning their season on Thursday, there are now a whopping five teams to track, which is just… beautiful. It was tough to pick a clear standout from the Lake Elsinore Storm rotation this week, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps went on a homer-hitting binge, knocking out 15 in seven games. Let’s get to it.
Christian Villanueva – 3B, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
7 for 23 (.304), 2 HR, 1 3B, 7 R, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K
With Franchy Cordero, Phil Maton, and Dinelson Lamet to the greener pastures of Petco Park, there’s a dearth of young talent in El Paso currently, outside of maybe Walker Lockett (injured) and Carlos Asuaje. At 26 years old, Villanueva isn’t particularly young, but he’s put himself together a nice little half-season for the Chihuahuas. He signed a minor league contract with San Diego in December, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he gets a call up at the end of the season (after they trade Yangervis Solarte, dump Ryan Schimpf, and move Cory Spangenberg to second). A longshot for sure, but hey, it’s his birthday today, let’s wish him the best.
Enyel De Los Santos – SP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 K (two starts, one after Friedrich started)
The Missions didn’t play the Midland RockHounds, so of course, De Los Santos brought the pain. He pitched twice this week, though one was an abbreviated stint where he threw after Christian Friedrich made a rehab start, and yeah, the results are there. Though his ERA is far from great this year (4.92), opponents are slugging just .364 against the 6’3″ Dominican righty.
Kyle Lloyd – SP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
15.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 17 K
Lloyd needs to be back in Triple-A, ASAP. He’s got nothing left to prove in Double-A, and proved as much in back to back starts (one walk and 10 punch outs in the first, and zero walks and seven K’s in the second). His 6.75 ERA in three starts in El Paso certainly leave room for improvement, but there are some guys in Lake Elsinore that are knocking on the door for promotion, and hitters in the Texas League are getting sick of Lloyd.
Franmil Reyes – RF, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
9 for 27 (.347), 1 HR, 2 2B, 7 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
The Missions, who clinched the first half division title in the Texas League, have been buoyed of late by their pitching, with Luis Urías and José Rondon going through some cold spells. Reyes, who turns 22 next month, is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak, bringing his hitting line up to .292/.357/.456 on the year. He hit his team leading 8th homer this week, and has been a solid middle of the order piece for San Antonio this year.
Jesse Scholtens – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
9.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Ugh, it was tough choosing between all the Storm rotation options for this one. In the end, I ended up going with the only complete game of the bunch, from the unheralded Jesse Scholtens. A 23-year-old from last year’s draft (9th round), he hasn’t missed a beat since being promoted from Single-A Fort Wayne. He’s striking out almost a batter an inning and is walking even fewer hitters than he did as a TinCap (down from 2.2 per nine to 1.9). Like we’ve been saying: GO TO LAKE ELSINORE, ALL OF THEIR STARTERS ARE FUN TO WATCH.
Michael Gettys – CF, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
7 for 26 (.269), 1 HR, 1 3B, 2 2B, 5 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 10 K
Alright, just to get it out of the way, Gettys’ 103 strikeouts through 67 games are the tops in the California League. The 34.3% K rate is ugly to look at. But this week (along with a four homer week at the beginning of the month) shows why Gettys is still most definitely a prospect worth checking in on. The power is real, and he’s got speed and a great arm. He’s even walking a little more than last year (8.7% compared to 6.2%). It’s just the strikeouts. Oh, the strikeouts. He still has a .336 OBP. But… the strikeouts.
David Bednar – CP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
4.0 IP (3 appearances), 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K
I’ll go ahead and say it – the Padres farm system has a pretty good collection of closers. Maybe this is true of lots of organizations, and at 22-years-old, he’s a little older than average Single-A prospect. Still, his 13.2 K/9 rate and 0.926 WHIP are stellar, and you’d have to think he’d be in line for a promotion soon, were it not for all the other talented closers at the higher levels (Colby Blueberg, Trey Wingenter, etc.). Still, a pretty good return for someone who wasn’t picked up until the 35th round of last year’s draft.
Marcus Greene Jr. – C, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
7 for 16 (.438), 4 HR, 1 2B, 6 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
Marcus Aurelius Greene was acquired in the trade that sent Princeton basketball star and fan favorite Will Venable to the Texas Rangers back in 2015. In addition to having one of the best first names around, Greene is hoping to build on a good offseason spent playing in Australia, after hitting just .216 in Fort Wayne last year. He’s got a little bit of pop in his bat and doesn’t strike out too much, and provided Fort Wayne with a jolt of offense this week. From one Marcus to another, well done, good sir.
Hudson Potts – 3B, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
8 for 27 (.296), 3 HR, 1 3B, 6 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
I’m excited about what Hudson Potts could be, and so are the Padres, as they’ve aggressively started him in Single-A this year. He posted a .233/.352/.399 hitting line in 16 Low-A games as a 17-year-old last year, and he’s off to a .226/.259/.360 start with Fort Wayne. Not dominant by any stretch, but with 17 extra base hits, he’s showing the potential that made him a surprise first round pick a year ago.
Pedro Avila – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 12 K
Avila’s season hasn’t gone well, posting a 5.14 ERA across two levels. Still, a zero walk, 12 strikeout performance is nothing to sniff at, even if the opponent (the Dayton Dragons) are in the bottom half of the league in hitting. He might have to wait a chance to return to Low-A after a demotion to Fort Wayne, because that rotation is just so, so stacked, but it’s a solid outing for the 20-year-old who was the return in the trade that sent Derek Norris to the Washington Nationals.
Luis Asuncion – RF, Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
7 for 19 (.368), 1 HR, 3 2B, 7 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Asuncion was signed by the Padres all the way back in 2013. Signed for $350,000, the Dominican has had a hot start to the season young season for the Dust Devils, who are 3-1. The 20-year-old stands at 6’4” and… ah man, I can’t find out much else on this guy. We’ll keep tabs on him and keep you posted.
Adrian Morejon – SP, Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Alright, so giving up a homer to his first batter probably wasn’t how Adrian Morejon envisioned his MiLB debut would go, but he settled down, allowing just two more hits in three innings, walking none, and striking out one. It’s hard to imagine him going deep into many games, as they are definitely starting him (and other starting pitchers) out slow. It’ll be tough to catch any of his games on MiLB.tv, but there’s still a radio feed, if you want to show how hardcore your commitment to the rebuild is.