It was a busy week in the Padres minor league levels, and many (including a pair on the list today) saved their best performances for Sunday night. It was a week of late inning rallies, as Josh Naylor, Franchy Cordero, and Fernando Perez powered the Missions, Chihuahuas, and Storm (respectively) to victory after facing some hefty deficits. At the lower levels, we saw some solid pitching, and of course, another Fernando Tatis Jr. sighting. Let’s get to it.
Franchy Cordero, OF – El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
9 for 26 (.346), 2 HR, 2 3B, 1 2B, 4 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K
Another week, another solid performance out of the Franch man. Every aspect of Cordero’s game seems appealing, but… man, the strikeout to walk ratio might just relegate him to the bench. He’s currently sitting at an even 30% strikeout rate in Triple-A this year, and has walked three times since the beginning of July.
Adam Cimber, RP – El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)
4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K
I was totally anticipating the Padres having to bump up some Chihuahuas relievers after decimating the bullpen at the trade deadline, but with only Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter leaving, Cimber might have to wait a while longer. After a rocky start to the season, he’s been solid, posting a 1.17 ERA in his last ten starts (15.1 innings) while striking out 16 and walking two.
Enyel De Los Santos, SP – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
8.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K
De Los Santos took a no-hitter into the eighth in his last start, and has continued his excellent second half, posting a 2.56 ERA in nine starts and a 9.0 K/9 rate. He’s walking fewer batters than the first half (3.2 BB/9 rate, compared to 2.4 BB/9) and seems to be controlling his breaking ball and being more confident throwing it later in the count. With a stacked rotation that includes Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, and Eric Lauer, the 21-year-old Dominican is trying to make a name for himself.
Brett Kennedy, SP – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 10 K
Kennedy’s 127 strikeouts lead the Texas League. Kind of a dubious honor, since there are more highly prized prospects that have advanced to Triple-A, but in his age 22 season (he turned 23 last week), the Fordham grad is still two years younger than the average competition in Double-A. Anyways, yeah, not totally out of the ordinary for college pitchers to have a leg up on lower-level competition in the minors, but Kennedy is missing a lot of bats for an 11th round pick – he’s been great for San Antonio in 2017.
Luis Urías, 2B/SS – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
5 for 21 (.238), 3 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K
Alright, so he didn’t have a great week, but at last my man Luis Urías is back in the lineup, and that’s what really matters. After a two week stint on the disabled list, having Luis back at the top of the order and back in my life is really all that I need. The hitting (and walking), will get back to their regular levels soon.
Emmanuel Ramirez, SP – Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2BB, 8 K
At 23 years old, he’s a bit old to be a pitching prospect who only just made it to High-A, but the Dominican hurler who signed with the Padres back in 2013 has had success at every level this year. Though he was just fine in Single-A to start the season (posting a 3.63 ERA and a 12.5 K/9 rate), he was sent down to Low-A and was the Opening Day starter for Tri-City. After starting eight games and boasting a 2.48 ERA and an All-Star Game nomination under his belt, he got the call up to High-A, and has allowed a run in 11 innings (2 starts).
Fernando Perez, 1B/DH – Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
10 for 26, 2 HR, 1 3B, 4 R, 10 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
Another 23 year old who had a great week for Lake Elsinore, much of Perez’ production came in yesterday’s ballgame, where he hit a 3-run homer and a grand slam in the final two innings to put the Storm on top 12-8. Perez started the year in San Antonio, but struggled to a .581 OPS – not what you’re looking for in a 1B/DH. He has done well since the demotion, but spent all of the last two years at High-A as well.
Pedro Avila, SP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 17 K
Avila, like De Los Santos, is a player who came to the Padres organization via trade and is a solid starter in a rotation of bigger names. In Avila’s case, he’s vying for attention over Adrian Morejon, Michel Baez, and Reggie Lawson, and 17 strikeouts in a game is a good way to get it.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
5 for 16 (.313), 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 8 BB, 4 K
Obviously a two homer week is a good sign from the slugging shortstop, but almost as impressive is the 4:8 strikeout to walk ratio. Tatis the Younger has made progress with zone recognition, going from a 29.2% strikeout rate in April to a 17% rate in August (yes, I know, the month isn’t even half over yet – it’s still good). And yes, he broke the Fort Wayne franchise record for homers and is the first player in the modern era to get 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the Midwest League.
Nick Margevicius, SP – Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
10 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K
The 7th round pick from the Padres out of Rider University, Margevicius made two solid starts for the Dust Devils this week, showing a propensity for limiting damage with runners on and putting hitters away when he needed to. For a college pitcher at Low-A, you might want to see him striking out a few more batters, but he strikes me more as a guy who is focused on keeping the scoreboard empty as opposed to somebody racking up K’s. His Twitter bio says it all: “I hate deep counts and long innings.” Me too.
Robbie Podorsky, OF – Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)
6 for 19 (.316), 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
I never know how excited to get about the performance of college guys in Low-A, especially with hitters. Podorsky wasn’t taken very high in the June draft (25th round), but all he’s done since getting to Low-A is hit, hit, hit. He has speed and is aggressive on the base paths and on defense, but at 5’7″, lacks the power that he could need to make it to the majors. Dude seems like a scrapper, and a flow reminiscent of current Padre Travis Jankowski.
Esteury Ruiz, 2B, AZL Padres (Rookie)
9 for 20 (.450), 1 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K
It was a slow going when Ruiz was acquired from the Royals in the only deal that the Padres made at the deadline. I was beginning to worry that the Padres curse had extended down to rookie ball, but Ruiz has been on fire this week, raising his overall AZL OBP to .415 (more walks than strikeouts!) as well as slugging his first homer in the San Diego organization.
Luis Campusano, C – AZL Padres (Rookie)
7 for 16 (.438), 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
In addition to getting some hitting done in Arizona this week, Campusano also caught MacKenzie Gore’s 3.1 inning outing, in which he struck out five, walked one, and *gasp* gave up his first earned run. He turns 19 next month, and I’m not sure how quickly or slowly he’ll progress through the system, but the system is pretty barren of catching prospects outside of Austin Allen in High-A (and questions as to his future position persist) and I guess Marcus Greene Jr. (I feel obliged to include him since fellow Padres Prospectus writer Ryan Luz is leading the Greene Fan Club), so here’s hoping he’s something special.