David Jay/MadFriars

The Storm are the only winners on opening night.

After a long off-season, the minor league season is finally underway! All of the Padres’ full-season squads made their 2016 debut on Thursday night. El Paso went down on the road while San Antonio lost their home opener. The Storm came out swinging and won in Rancho while the TinCaps lost a heartbreaker in the bitter cold.

Reno Aces 6, Chihuahuas 0

Key Statistics: C Austin Hedges, 2-for-4, 2B; RF Hunter Renfroe, 1-for-3, BB; RHP Jeremy Guthrie, (L, 0-1), 3IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, BB; RHP Tayron Guerrero, IP, 2BB, K. 

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas lost on the road in Reno to kick off their 2016 season. While Austin Hedges has graduated from prospect status, Hedges is back in El Paso to continue his development. The talented backstop delivered two hits, including a double. Hedges should get most of the reps in West Texas and figures to be promoted if the Padres move Derek Norris ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie got the opening day nod and struggled quite a bit. The 12-year big league veteran gave up five runs (three earned) in just three innings of work. Guthrie started 32 games for Kansas City in 2014 and could end up in San Diego at some point this season. At the very worst, Guthrie should be a positive influence in the El Paso clubhouse. 

For further reading on the El Paso Chihuahuas, see the El Paso Times.

Springfield Cardinals 3, Missions 1

Key Statistics: SS Jose Rondon, 2-for-4, RS; RF Yeison Asencio, 1-for-4, 3B, RBI; RHP Fabio Castillo, (L, 0-1) 6IP, 6H, 3ER, BB, 6K. 

Prospect Watch: San Antonio’s bats were mostly quiet, as the team scored a run in the ninth to avoid the whitewash ... SS Jose Rondon had a pair of hits and scored the only run for San Antonio. Rondon hit just .190 after his promotion to Double-A last season before his season ended with a broken elbow. Rondon should be one of the most scrutinized players in all of the Padres’ system in 2016. If he can be more consistent offensively, Rondon could have a chance to start next season as the Friars; big league shortstop ... RHP Fabio Castillo started for the Missions and pitched fairly well. Castillo, one of the many minor league free agents San Diego signed this winter, allowed three runs in six innings and took the loss. He did strike out six while walking just one. Castillo pitched in the Mexican League in 2015 and had a 3.55 ERA in 30 appearances out of the bullpen. Interestingly enough, it was Castillo’s first professional start since 2013, when he pitched in the Fresno Grizzlies’ rotation.

For further reading on the San Antonio Missions, see the San Antonio Express-News.

Storm 4, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2

Key Statistics: SS Javier Guerra, 1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, 3K; 3B Fernando Perez, 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; RHP Dinelson Lamet, 4IP, 3H, 2ER, 2BB, 4K; RHP Chris Huffman, (W, 1-0) 2IP, H, 3K; RHP Colby Blueberg, (S, 1) 2IP, H, K.

Prospect Watch: David Jay took the cruise up to rainy Rancho Cucamonga and watched the Storm win their opener. Read his on-site report here

For further reading on the Storm, see the Press-Enterprise.

Lake County Captains 8, TinCaps 7 (10)

Key Statistics: LF Rod Boykin, 2-for-6, 2B, 3B, RBI; 1B Brad Zunica, 3-for-5, RBI, 2K; 3B-1B Ty France, 2-for-4, HR (1) 2RS, 2RBI, BB; C Austin Allen, 4-for-5, 2B, RS; RHP Walker Lockett 5IP, 2H, 6K; RHP Phil Maton,(L, 0-1) 1.1IP, 3H, ER, BB, K. 

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps battled through temperatures in the 20’s, but ultimately lost in extra innings ... Big right-hander and John Conniff man-crush Walker Lockett, breezed through his five innings of work. The 2012 4th rounder needed just 59 pitches in his efficient outing. Lockett allowed just two hits and struck out six, throwing 43 of those 59 pitches for strikes. Lockett had a solid 2015 campaign and could make his way to the California League sooner than later ... Infielder Ty France rocked the organization’s first dinger of the year, a two-run, opposite field shot that tied the game in the ninth. France was an on-base machine in the Northwest League a season ago and the former SDSU Aztec continues to impress ... 2015 4th rounder Austin Allen had a career-high four hits, including a double. Allen has big-time power potential and should be a guy to watch in Fort Wayne this summer. 

For further reading on the TinCaps, see the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

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