It was a very interesting week for the Padres farm system. Cal Quantrill and Josh Naylor made their Double-A debuts and the Missions completed a four-game sweep to maintain their Texas League South Divison best (15-8) record. Fresh off the Triple-A All-Star break, the El Paso Chihuahuas have gotten timely hitting and some key pitching performances to go 3-1. And Fernando Tatis Jr… well, he just keeps hitting homers. Lots of stuff to cover, so let’s get to it.
Franchy Cordero – CF, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
5 for 16 (.313) 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
Triple-A had a shortened week due to the All-Star game (which the PCL side won), but Cordero continued his hot streak, hitting an extra base hit in every game for El Paso, including a go-ahead, extra inning solo shot that helped them secure a win against Reno. He has a 1.046 OPS in 13 games since returning to the Chihuahuas, with nine strikeouts in that time frame, good for a 15.5% rate. Only one walk in that time though, so while his success is encouraging, questions about his approach remain.
Kyle Lloyd – SP, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K
Dominant in Double-A this season, Lloyd’s first stint in the PCL didn’t go smoothly, resulting in a 6.75 ERA in three starts (17.1 innings), allowing 24 hits and six walks, while striking out just nine. He was sent back to the Texas League for a quick five-start refresher course, and his first start back in Triple-A showed much improvement. He has a 8.9 K/9 rate for San Antonio this year, and has walked the fewest batters in his career (2.4 BB/9). If he can continue to progress with El Paso, Lloyd could get an audition in San Diego after the trade deadline.
Luis Urías – 2B/SS, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
11 for 27 (.407), 1 2B, 5 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
It looks like (knock on wood) Urías has broken out of his slump. After hitting .211/.336/.229 in his previous thirty games, the young middle infielder has found his groove, hitting safely in every game this past week. It’s no surprise that his resurgence at the top of the order has coincided with a Missions hot streak, as San Antonio has won five of its last six. While it’s rare that he’s struck out more than he’s walked in a week, he still has more walks (47) than strikeouts (44) on the year.
Josh Naylor – 1B, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
7 for 23 (.304), 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
After hitting .297/.361/.452 for Lake Elsinore this year, I expected Naylor, who is now the youngest player in the Texas League after his promotion this week, to struggle a bit. The Texas League is not the hitter’s paradise that the Cal League is, plus he’ll be facing advanced pitching. While it’s obviously a small sample size, Naylor doesn’t appear overmatched, as he slotted right into the five spot in the lineup and has produced right off the bat. He played four of his five games against the Frisco RoughRiders, a team that the Missions have beat up on, so temper expectations a little bit, but there’s a lot to be excited about with Naylor’s first week in Double-A.
Rod Boykin – OF, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
9 for 24 (.375), 3 HR, 1 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K
Boykin’s promotion to High-A flew right under the radar – until he hit a home run in each of his first three games for the Storm. He slugged just .415 with six dingers in 69 Single-A games this year, so he won’t be able to sustain his current .792 slugging percentage, but we’ll enjoy the possibly Cal League-aided power as long as it lasts. He had a 32.7% K rate for Fort Wayne, and it’s sitting at 33.3% through his first five games for Lake Elsinore. He’ll need to improve his strikeout to walk ratio, especially at the top of the order.
Austin Allen – C, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
11 for 26 (.423), 2 HR, 2 2B, 7 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
On the season, Allen has a very solid .274/.348/.476 hitting line, which has been boosted by a robust July, during which he’s slashed .359/.388/.656. His 21.6% K rate has been pretty steady throughout the year, as has his OBP, but the power has come on strong as it seems he’s adjusted to the Cal League. His 13 homers lead the club, even before Naylor was promoted and Michael Gettys went on the DL. With so much talent being promoted to Double-A, seeing Allen is still worth the drive to Lake Elsinore for southern California Padre fans.
Logan Allen – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K
I’m going to repeat the stat that I feel like I repeat whenever I talk about Logan Allen: he hasn’t allowed more than three runs or more than three walks in any of his sixteen starts this year. As far as the stat line goes, he’s easily the most consistent arm in the Padres system, and now that he’s continued to get it done at the High-A
Fernando Tatis, Jr. – SS, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
5 for 23 (.217), 3 HR,1 3B, 1 2B, 6 R, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K
Even though he went 0-12 in three consecutive games, Tatis still had a great week, as all five of his hits went for extra bases, including a two-homer game where he led off the game with a homer, and followed it up with a grand slam later on. I’ve considered him a lock to stay in Single-A the whole season, based on his age (18) and Javier Guerra sort of blocking him in High-A, but he’s hitting so well right now that it wouldn’t be a total shock if it happened. I’d still give it an outside shot of happening, but the dude is on fire right now.
Michel Baez – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K
Baez’ solid start this week was already covered by our own Travis Barnett here, but yeah, every Baez start is worth getting excited about. He starts today, so get excited.
Reggie Lawson – SP, Fort Wayne TinCap (Single-A)
7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Lawson has been inconsistent for Fort Wayne this year, being dominant in one start and getting lit up the next. This was arguably his best start of the season, and the deepest that he’s gone into a game as a Padre. He’s striking out a bunch of hitters (10.1 K/9), but he’s also allowed six homers in just nine starts. Let’s hope he builds on this one.
Justin Lopez – SS, Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
9 for 25 (.360), 3 2B, 5 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
The youngest player in the league (at least at the start of the season), Lopez took the team lead in doubles this week, while boosting his average up above the Mendoza Line to .228. The recipient of a $1.2 million signing bonus last summer, he has split time at second base and short stop for Tri-City this year. After roaring out of the gate to a 10-3 record, the Dust Devils are on a 6-12 skid, and they’ll need more offensive production from Lopez & Co. to get out of it.
Adrian Morejon – SP, Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K
Morejon was fun to watch this week, as a rare Dust Devils game made its way onto MiLB.tv. He worked into a jam in the sixth, but was able to bear down with an impressive pair of strikeouts. His fastball was sitting 92 MPH, and he was able to locate his big curve. For what it’s worth, it was fun watching him get pumped up after escaping that sixth inning jam. This start lowered his ERA to 2.88 (25 innings in five starts).
Jordy Barley – SS, AZL Padres 1 (Rookie)
6 for 20 (.357), 2 HR, 2 2B, 6 R, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
Featured for the second straight week, Barley continued to terrorize AZL pitching, launching his third and fourth homers in just 16 games. Equally exciting, after committing ten errors last week, he had only 1 error in four games this past week. Tri-City is already loaded with 17-year-old shortstop-types from last summer’s international signings, but Barley is as exciting as any of them.
Nick Margevicius – P, AZL Padres 1 (Rookie)
5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K
The 7th round pick from last month’s MLB Draft, the 21-year-old from Rider University (New Jersey) has done well in four Rookie League starts (16 innings), striking out 24 while walking just three. Even though he’s allowed a hit an inning, the 6’5” lefty has been the most intriguing AZL Padres pitcher to this point (though that will likely change today, as MacKenzie Gore makes his AZL Padres debut).