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Thursday’s Top Performances: Slugging Outfielders & A Complete Game Gem

Photo: Marcus Pond

Jerry Keel, SP – Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

9.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K

I don’t really know what to make of Keel.  The Padres 9th round pick of the 2015 draft, he was solid in eight starts in Fort Wayne to start the season, dominant in three games with San Antonio, but was then demoted to Lake Elsinore (I assumed it was because the staff there was stacked and they wanted to have the Storm go to a 6-man rotation), and has really struggled since.  He threw a complete game gem last night in Rancho Cucamonga, coming off an outing in which he gave up seven runs in 7.2 inning against the same lineup at home.  After posting a 9.2 K/9 rate in Fort Wayne, that number has dipped a bit to 8.0 (in the exact same number of innings).  A 6’6” lefty with good breaking stuff and the ability to miss bats, I can see the Padres giving Keel every opportunity to be a starter – he certainly has the stamina – but it wouldn’t surprise me if the 23-year-old eventually became a bullpen guy.

 

Franmil Reyes, RF – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)

1 for 5, 3-run HR, 1 BB, 4 K

In the month of August, Reyes has become Mr. Three True Outcomes, as he’s either homered, walked, or struck out almost half the time (48%).  San Antonio played a double-header last night (seven innings each game), so while he technically didn’t strike out four times in a game, it’s still a hard number to ignore.  His lone hit was a 3-run homer that proved to be the difference in Game 1 – and the only runs the Missions would score in either game.  A look at Reyes’ numbers throughout the year.

 

Tirso Ornelas, CF – AZL Padres 2 (Rookie)

2 for 4, solo HR, RBI-double, 2 K

Ornelas has been one of the fun international bats to follow in the AZL.  The Tijuana native turned 17 in March, and has shown great plate discipline, posting a 17% walk rate en route to a .394 OBP.  In the last ten games, the 6’4” slugger has hit .357 and connected for his first three homers, including a 2-homer game last Wednesday.  He has struck out quite a bit – 56 times in 46 games – but he’s a good deal younger than the average player (2.7 years younger, according to Baseball Reference), so that’s to be expected.