Weekly Prospect Spotlight, May 15-21

A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week. The Fort Wayne TinCaps were the only affiliate that posted a winning week (4-3), while the rest combined for a 8-13 record.  Yikes.  That’s not quite as bad as the Padres current winning percentage, but it’s close.  Despite the losing, there were plenty of bright spots and examples of player progression, which is what Padres fans should really be looking for anyways.

 

Walker Lockett – SP, El Paso Chihuahuas

2 starts, 12 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Yes, Dinelson Lamet continues to miss more bats for the Chihuahuas (including 9 K’s in his last six inning start), but Lockett has been equally effective and even more efficient, throwing fewer pitches (90 in a 7 inning start, and then 75 in a 5 inning start) and going deeper in his appearances. It’d be surprising to see either Lamet or Lockett in San Diego before the All-Star break, and while Lamet probably has the inside track, more weeks like this from Lockett will make that a tougher decision.

 

Christian Villanueva – 3B, El Paso Chihuahuas

12 for 25 (.480), 3 HR, 1 2B, 7 RBI, 8 runs, 2 BB, 5 K

Christian Villanueva was on fire this week, raising his hitting line to .360/.389/.640 in his 15 games for El Paso. The 25-year-old third baseman was a minor league free agent signing before the season, and has been enjoying his second stint in the PCL (he played for the Iowa Cubs in 2015). The Chihuahuas averaged 7.1 runs a game this week, but finished just 3-4. Hitting is different at Southwest University Park (all games were played at home).

 

Ty France – 1B/3B, San Antonio Missions

12 for 26 (.462), 1 HR, 4 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K

After slashing .288/.389/.360 in 131 plate appearances for the Lake Elsinore Storm, I was surprised to see France get promoted to Double-A. With Josh Naylor getting off the DL and Ruddy Giron still needing seasoning, Ty France found himself in Double-A, with a team who didn’t have a consistent starter at the corner infield positions. Uh, I think they found their guy. Small sample size and whatnot, France has destroyed since joining the Missions. He hit his first dinger of the season (after knocking 14 in 2016) and had five multi-hit games this week. He was also hit by a pitch for the 15th time this season, which seems like a typo.

 

Michael Kelly – SP, San Antonio Missions

2 starts, 14 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 6 BB, 12 K

While it will be hard to top Kyle Lloyd’s no-hitter from last week, Michael Kelly was sharp this week, not allowing a run in either of his starts. The former first-round pick (2011) is in Double-A after making ten starts for El Paso last year. You’d hope that a 24-year-old former first round pick would do well at this level, and there’s some control issues that you’d like to clean up, but he seems to be comfortable in San Antonio.

 

Ruddy Giron – 3B, Lake Elsinore Storm

6 for 21, HR, 1 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 6 K

Do you remember when Ruddy Giron first burst onto the scene in Fort Wayne in 2015? He went 6 for 6 in his debut and hit safely in his first eight games, including two homers, two triples, and a double, which contributed to a 1.377 OPS. Things haven’t been so simple for Giron this year, where he has gotten off to a tough start, slashing .220/.299/.326 in Single-A. However, he had his best week of 2017, hitting .286 and connecting for his second home run of the season. Also of note, he took as many walks (six) as he did strikeouts, which has been rare for the organization as of late (outside of Luis Urías).

 

Eric Lauer – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm

7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K

Another week, another great start from one of the Big Three guys in Lake Elsinore. This time, it’s Eric Lauer’s turn. After posting a 10.8 K/9 ratio his last year at Kent State, Lauer has improved to 11.1 K/9 in 2017. In a week where both Cal Quantrill and Joey Lucchesi didn’t have their best stuff, Lauer delivered for Lake Elsinore, lowering his ERA on the year to 1.56.

 

Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, Fort Wayne TinCaps

12 for 26 (.462), 3 HR, 1 3B, 3 2B, 9 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 SB

If Quantrill, Lucchesi, and Lauer are the “Big Three” club in Lake Elsinore, there might be a Fort Wayne chapter opening up soon. Fernando Tatis Jr., Hudson Potts, and Jorge Oña all had monster weeks for the TinCaps, combining for 6 homers, a .430 average, and 60 total bases. SIXTY. Unfortunately, an O-fer yesterday snapped his a 15-game hitting streak.  None of the TinCaps games have been televised the past week, but that changes starting tonight, so set an alarm for your MiLB.tv subscription.

 

Hansel Rodriguez – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps

7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K

If you’re like me, you were a little disappointed at the return from the Melvin Upton Jr. trade from 2016 (though that might’ve just been because he became one of my favorite players on the team, to my own surprise). While he’s gotten off to a rocky start as a member of the Padres organization, Hansel Rodriguez had his best outing of the year against Great Lakes this weekend, striking out the most he has all season while walking just one. At only 20-years-old, there’s still a few more years before we’re all inundated with Zoolander gifs about how hot Rodriguez can be. Is this better or worse than Anchorman?

 

Other Notables:

Franchy Cordero – CF, El Paso Chihuahuas

10 for 30 (.333), 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 runs, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 SB

Dinelson Lamet – SP, El Paso Chihuahuas

6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K

Luis Urías – 2B, San Antonio Missions

12 for 27 (.444), 2 2B, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Trey Wingenter – RP, San Antonio Missions

2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 save

Jorge Oña – OF, Fort Wayne TinCaps

9 for 26 (.346), 2 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K

Hudson Potts – 3B, Fort Wayne TinCaps

13 for 27 (.481), 1 HR, 1 3B, 3 2B, 4 R, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K

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  • ballybunion

    I’m happy to see you’re still reviewing the reserve troops, because we might see several before the season is over. It looks like Lamet will pitch Thursday, and given all the other changes, I’m guessing there are trades in the works. Going by A.J. Preller’s history, the deadline “period” begins in June, and there could be openings soon on the major league team.