This afternoon, Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com reported via Twitter that starting pitcher Cal Quantrill and first baseman Josh Naylor were being promoted from High-A Lake Elsinore to Double-A San Antonio.
Both Quantrill and Naylor were named to the World team at the Futures Game, which was won by the U.S. team on Sunday. Naylor went 1-2 with an RBI single and a walk, while Quantrill gave up two earned runs on a pair of extra base hits and a walk.
Naylor has been impressive for Lake Elsinore this season. Though he hasn’t produced the power you’d like to see out of a corner infielder (just eight home runs, albeit a still respectable .452 slugging percentage), he has well above average bat-to-ball skills and can spray hits to all fields. He just turned 20, so there’s still plenty of time for the in-game power to develop, though it will be a challenge leaving the hitter-friendly confines of the Cal League and going to the Texas League. His 15.3% walk rate (helping him to an impressive .361 OBP) should bode well for him, regardless of the ballpark.
The Missions will be glad to have a legit first base option, as it’s been the weakest link in their lineup this year. They’ve struggled to piece together starts from Noah Perio (.671 OPS) and Fernando Perez (.581 OPS), the latter of whom was sent down to Lake Elsinore to make room on the roster. Nestling Naylor into a lineup between Luis Urías and Franmil Reyes will be fun to watch.
Despite not having the gaudy numbers of some of his staff-mates in Lake Elsinore, Quantrill is still one of the top arms to follow in the Padres organization. He struck out more than a batter an inning (9.3 K/9), but also allowed a few more walks (2.9 BB/9) and hits (9.5 H/9) than you’d like. All said, his 3.67 ERA isn’t dominant by any stretch, and it would’ve been very understandable if he stayed with the Storm to iron out the kinks, but the Padres front office believes he’s ready for the next step.
With other starters Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi being promoted to San Antonio last week, the Missions starting rotation is looking to build on a strong first half, in which it led the league in almost every pitching category. The Storm had a six-man rotation working for them, and that should continue in the Alamo City. Enyel De Los Santos and Brett Kennedy are certain locks to remain as solid starting options, with Chris Huffman rounding out the rotation. Kyle Lloyd has already spent time in Triple-A this year, so look for him to move back up to El Paso soon.
As it stands now, the Missions have six of the Top 25 prospects in the Padres organization – Quantrill (no.2), Urías (no.5), Lauer (no.7), Naylor (no.8), Lucchesi (no.16), and De Los Santos (no.24).