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The Scoop: Renfroe’s Big Night, Plus Big Pitching Performances Across The Minors

Photo: Marcus Pond

It was a big night in the Padres organization, starting at the top.  Before yesterday’s game against the New York Mets, a six player trade was announced between San Diego and the Kansas City Royals.  In sending pitchers Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter, and Brandon Maurer to the American League Central, the Padres acquired starting pitcher Travis Wood, injured pitching prospect Matt Strahm, and 18-year-old prospect Esteury Ruiz.  A summary of the trade can be found here, and a slightly deeper look at Ruiz can be found here.

While everybody was still buzzing about the trade and deciding wether or not Ruiz would be the next Fernando Tatis Jr., Clayton Richard took the hill at Petco Park.  He wouldn’t be great, but he was efficient with his pitches, allowing five earned runs in eight innings, scattering 12 hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight.  José Ruiz, who was called up from High-A Lake Elsinore, made his debut, throwing a scoreless ninth in which he allowed only a walk and struck out Yoenis Céspedes.

The Padres would go on to lose 5-3, though it wasn’t without it’s highlights.  Hunter Renfroe hit a pair of home runs, including a mammoth shot that went to the roof of the Western Metal Supply building.  Carlos Asuaje and José Pírela both doubled, and the game was almost won when Jabari Blash hit a ninth-inning bomb down the right field line with two men on that missed hitting the foul pole by an inch.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives, and there were even more to be found on the farm.

Franchy Matches Renfroe

While he didn’t do it at the major league level, Franchy Cordero also homered twice last night, helping the Chihuahuas to a 14-6 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers.  Cordero went 4 for 6, though he did strike out twice.  Ryan Schimpf and Travis Jankowski went a combined 0 for 9, with the latter walking once and the former walking twice.  Dillon Overton got the win, despite giving up six runs in five innings.

Cordero is batting an impressive .367 (18 for 49) with five home runs in his last ten games, and has struck out nine times, good for a 18% K rate.  He has only walked once, however, and he’ll need to show that he can do more than crush bombs in the hitter-friendly PCL to make it back to the majors.  With Manuel Margot back to full strength, Blash on a hot streak, and Jankowski on the mend, it’s looking like Cordero might have to wait a while to get another shot at the majors.

Gore Strikes Out 6 in 2.2 Innings

Making his second start for the AZL Padres 1 squad, MacKenzie Gore went 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six.  If striking out 66.7% of the batters he faced wasn’t dominant enough, he also picked off the only runner to get a hit – his second pickoff in as many starts.  The only runner to reach base was on a strike three wild pitch where the runner made it down to first base.  The 3rd overall pick in the June draft hit 96 MPH on the radar gun, and has looked every bit the part of a future ace in his limited exposure thus far, though he did have a wild pitch

Esteury Ruiz made his AZL Padres debut, going 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.  He also stole a base (his tenth in ten tries in the rookie league) and made an error at second.  The AZL Mariners handed them a 4-2 defeat.

Baez Matches Career High 9 K’s

It was Michel Baez day in Fort Wayne, and the 21-year-old Cuban did not disappoint.  Over five innings, the 6’8″ righty allowed five hits, a walk, and an earned run while striking out nine.  The lone run was scored on a homer by Kane County centerfielder Marcus Wilson, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ no.8 prospect according to MLB.com.  In the first and fifth innings, Baez got himself into trouble, allowing base hits in and having runners advance on wild pitches in both innings.  In each instance, he buckled down and struck out the next batter to end the frame.

The Fort Wayne bats were pretty silent against the 25-year-old Sam Lewis, as five of the nine batters went hitless on the night.  Fernando Tatis Jr. wasn’t intimidated, however, as he went 2 for 4 with his his 17th home run while stealing his 22nd base.  The 18-year-old shortstop has a 1.209 OPS in the month of July (20 games) with a 21.8% K rate and an 18.4% BB rate.

 

Scholtens Almost Completes Game

Storm starter Jesse Scholtens almost netted himself his second complete game of the season, getting pulled with two outs in the ninth after 110 pitches.  The 9th round  pick from last year’s MLB Draft entered the ninth frame having scattered nine hits and a walk, but after going lineout-single-walk-strikeout-RBI single, he was lifted in favor of Storm closer David Bednar, who struck out the final hitter to notch his first Cal League save.  Scholtens struck out five on the night, en route to his fourth win.

Lake Elsinore got on the board early on a Carlos Belen solo home run in the second and a 2 RBI single by Tyler Selesky in the fourth.  The Storm would claim the 3-1 victory at home in the first game of the series against the Inland Empire 66ers.

 

De Los Santos Shuts Down Corpus Christi

In the first game of the series against the Corpus Christi Hooks, Missions starting pitcher Enyel De Los Santos was dominant, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing three hits and no walks while striking out eight.  The Dominican righty was able to keep hitters off balance and guessing most of the game, mixing a powerful fastball with impressive breaking pitches on both sides of the strike zone.

While San Antonio reliever T.J. Weir would allow a run in his two innings of relief, the Missions offense put on a hitting clinic, plating ten runs on 15 hits.  Franmil Reyes hit his 13th home run of the season and Nick Torres hit his 7th, while Josh Naylor added a pair of doubles.  Naylor went 3 for 4 on the night, improving his hitting line to .289/.377/.444 in his first 12 Texas League games.

 

Elsewhere Around the Farm

  • Justin Lopez went 2 for 5 with a double and four RBI in a 9-1 victory for Tri-City last night.  Tre Carter also added a pair of RBI triples and a walk, which was more than enough for Dust Devils starter Osvaldo Hernandez, who pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk, while striking out five.

 

  • Lake Bachar allowed a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out four in 4.0 innings for the AZL Padres 2 unit.  Gabriel Arias went 3 for 5 with a double, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the AZL Dodgers 6-1.  Tirso Ornelas, Eguy Rosario, Olivier Basabe, and Blake Hunt went a combined 0 for 16 with six strikeouts and a walk.

 

  • MLB Pipeline released its updated list of Top 100 prospects, which included six Padres: Gore (no.29), Cal Quantrill (no.43), Luis Urías (no.55), Tatis Jr. (no.59), Anderson Espinoza (no.62), and Adrian Morejon (no.82).  The Dodgers had five on the list (nos. 13, 28, 51, 71, and 89), while the Rockies had two (9 and 67), and the Giants and DBacks have just one (68 and 75, respectively).