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Weekly Prospect Review June 26-July 9

Photo: Marcus Pond

A lot has happened since the last Weekly Prospect Review, which took a brief hiatus as I took a week to vacation in San Diego and visit with family.  The AZL Padres teams (both of them) are in full swing, big prospects have been promoted, and rookies have bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the big league squad.  With two weeks worth of numbers and names to look at, we upped it to fifteen names to look at.  Can ya dig it?

 

Jordy Barley – SS, AZL Padres (Rookie)

13 for 37 (.351), 2 HR, 2 3B, 2 2B, 10 R, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 SB, 10 E

Jordy Barley was originally on our Top 50 Prospect list, but was eventually bumped because, well, who really knows that much about all the 17-year-olds in the system?  Plus, I couldn’t tell if I liked what the scouts had to say or if I just loved his name.  More than likely, Barley will rank favorably on the offseason installment of the Top 50, as the 6’0” Dominican shortstop is raking in the rookie league.  The ten (yes, ten) errors have to be a concern, however.

 

Mason House – OF, AZL Padres 2 (Rookie)

12 for 39 (.308), 1 HR, 3 3B, 2 2B, 7 R, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 SB

I’m not sure how they divided up the players between the AZL Padres and AZL Padres 2, but the 2nd squad has some of the more interesting position players, while the AZL 1 team has some of the more interesting pitchers.  Anyways, yeah, House is one of the more interesting position players the Padres have in the rookie league.  Will be interesting to see if he continues to rake if he’ll get a shot to play in Low-A before the end of the year.

 

Eguy Rosario – IF, AZL Padres 2 (Rookie)

20 for 47 (.426), 1 HR, 2 3B, 5 2B, 7 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 7 SB

He was aggressively placed into Single-A at the beginning of the year, but the 17-year-old slashed .206/.296/.278 in 50 games, and was eventually sent down to the rookie league.  At 5’9” and 150 lbs, it’s not incredibly surprising that he didn’t homer in Fort Wayne, but he has in Arizona, and he’s continued to run wild on the bases.  Chris Kusiolek is one of my favorite Twitter follows (@CaliKusiolek) said he’s an “(expletive) gamer and plays his ass off, to even too much of a degree at times,” and an “infectious dude, great teammate.” Man, I’ll take that.

 

Adrian Morejon – SP, Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)

11.0 IP, 4 ER, 11 H, 1 BB, 10 K

The Padres don’t play again until Friday, but Morejon pitches today, and unlike most Tri-City games, today’s game will be broadcast on MiLB.tv.  I am excited like this.  Morejon hasn’t been dominant for the Dust Devils, but he’s striking out almost a batter an inning and hardly walking anyone.  Although he’s still allowing plenty of contact, it’ll be interesting to see how he continues to adjust to pitching in the Northwest League.

 

Michel Baez – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

10.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 16 K

Baez made his debut in Single-A last week, and threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out nine.  At 21 years old, he’s not young for Single-A, so here’s hoping that he gets to air it out this season.

 

Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

16 for 41 (.390), 3 HR, 3 3B, 3 2B, 13 R, 7 RBI, 11 BB, 13 K, 4 SB

If you’re not excited about Fernando Tatis Jr. yet, I don’t really know what to tell you.  Get stoked.

 

Brad Zunica – 1B, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

10 for 37 (.270), 4 HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K

Despite being Tatis Jr.’s teammate, Zunica has still managed to lead the TinCaps in home runs – on top of that, he’s done it with more than 100 fewer plate appearances.  He’s been splitting time with G.K. Young at first base, but he’s dropped his K rate from over 40% a few months ago down to a still-high-but-not-as-bad 34%, so perhaps that plus his obvious power gets him some more playing time.

 

Logan Allen – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

12.2 IP, 2 ER, 11 H, 6 BB, 11 K

Hey, Logan Allen finally got promoted!  As mentioned previously, we’ve been waiting for a spot in the Lake Elsinore rotation to open up, and with Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi getting bumped up to Double-A, Allen is in the Cal League now.  In his first two starts in Lake Elsinore, he’s continued doing what he does – not allowing more than three runs or three walks in any of his starts this year.  I’m looking forward to seeing if he can produce similar results (2.11 ERA, 11.2 K/9) outside of Single-A.

 

Austin Allen – C, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
16 for 56 (.286), 3 HR, 3 2B, 11 R, 16 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K

Another few weeks, another few home runs for Austin Allen.  He leads the team in them (11) and is tied for the team lead in slugging percentage (.452) with Josh Naylor.  After seeing him in action and talking with him postgame during my visit to Lake Elsinore, I’m a believer in Allen as an all-around player.  He’s getting it done with the bat and has worked well with the pitching staff.  While we’re still waiting to see what kind of prospects Blake Hunt and Luis Campusano turn into, Allen is the top catching prospect in the system.

 

Josh Naylor – 1B, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

11 for 37 (.297), 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 4 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

While one game with a few at bats is a too-small-to-be-reliable sample size, I was really impressed with Naylor’s bat-to-ball ability when I watched the Storm last week.  He was able to extend on an outside breaking ball and pull it into right field for a single.  The main concern I have is the in-game power, which I’m told will come with age (he’s still 19).  Being a first baseman, I’d like to see more power from Naylor, but he doesn’t strike out a lot and puts the ball in play.  I like it.

 

Javier Guerra – SS, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

17 for 53 (.321), 3 HR, 2 3B, 2 2B, 9 R, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K

JAVIER GUERRA SIGHTING!  Guerra’s fall from grace after the Kimbrel trade was as precipitous as there’s been in the Padres organization for a while.  It’s easy to write him off as the shortstop of the future and focus on Tatis Jr., but Guerra is still young (21 years old) and plays the position well enough.  The hitting has been so, so bad this year, but he is currently riding a pretty decent hot streak.  The extra base hits are great, but bear in mind that the Cal League is known as a hitters park. The 16.3% K rate he’s posted for the past two weeks is perhaps even more promising, as it is 33.8% the 69 games before that.

 

Eric Lauer – SP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)

17.2 IP, 8 ER, 19 H, 5 BB, 21 K

Alright, so his numbers don’t look great here, but his last outing before being promoted to Double-A was a rough one – six earned runs on seven hits in five innings.  Lauer is here though, because after moving to San Antonio, he’s been great.  In his debut, he threw seven scoreless with nine strikeouts, and for an encore, he allowed just two runs in a five inning start.  The Missions starting rotation (including Lucchesi, Brad Kennedy, Enyel De Los Santos, and Kyle Lloyd) remains the best in the Texas League, even with the promotion of Michael Kelly.

 

Trey Wingenter – CP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)

4.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 8 K

I love Trey Wingenter and I don’t care who knows it.  After not allowing a homer in his first two years in the minors, he got of to a bit of a rocky start this season, giving up solo shots in his first two appearances.  Since then, however, he’s posted a 1.37 ERA and limited hitters to a .189 average, all while striking out 37 in 27.1 innings.  Last night, he carved up all three Northwest Arkansas hitters he faced, making them look really bad on swinging strikeouts on sliders where they were badly fooled or on fastballs that they couldn’t catch up with and were expertly placed.  Storm pitcher Jacob Nix took to Twitter last night and said he was an animal (a honey badger, to be precise), and I don’t disagree with him.

 

Adam Cimber – P, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)

11.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 8 K

While the pitching at the lower levels is stacked, it’s a little thinner at the higher levels.  Evidence of this is shown when Adam Cimber, who had only started in one game in his minor league career, has two this year for El Paso.  After not throwing more than 3.1 innings in any appearance this year, he started for the Chihuahuas on the Fourth of July and went 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on six hits.  I’m not sure if Cimber has a shot to crack a roster spot in San Diego, but being able to fill in to spot start is something that can only help his chances.

 

Franchy Cordero – OF, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)

17 for 41 (.415), 1 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 SB

Franchy’s back!  Well, not back in the majors, but back in the Weekly Prospect Review.  The whole point of sending him down was to work on getting his groove back, and although he’s still striking out more than you’d like and not really walking, he’s showing that he can still hit Triple-A pitching.  I am a huge Franchy supporter, and was surprised that he was called up so quickly, considering the other veterans that are on the El Paso roster.  With Manuel Margot healthy and Jose Pírela still raking, it’s good that Cordero is still getting every day at bats and doing well.  Keep working on those strike

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