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MadFriars San Diego Padres Daily Prospect Report: June 19

While Michael Kelly's Triple-A debut was stellar, things really went sideways for Zech Lemond in San Antonio as the system had a roller-coaster day on Sunday.

Chihuahuas 7 - Sacramento River Cats 1

Key Statistics: C Austin Hedges 2-for-4, 2B, HR (4), BB, 2K; LF Jabari Blash 1-for-2, HR (5), 2BB; RHP Michael Kelly 6IP, 2H, 0R, 3K, 0BB

Prospect Watch: Michael Kelly's Triple-A debut went about as well as anyone could have scripted it. The righty worked six scoreless innings, giving up only a pair of singles along the way. The 23-year-old, finished April with an ERA north of 9.00 for the Lake Elsinore Storm, so the last seven weeks have been a pretty remarkable ride. The former first-rounder has now given up only 13 runs over 60.1 innings of work since then, allowing only 48 hits in that time. His strikeout rate over seven games for Double-A San Antonio was much better (8.22 K/9) than it's been before in his career, though he also has shown some wildness along the way. Kelly has a true pitcher's frame and has always relied on his sinking fastball as his top weapon. ... Austin Hedges is finding his footing again as he works his way back from a wrist injury. After going just 4-for-20 in his first seven games back, he's had back-to-back multi-hit games and homered twice in three games. If the 23-year-old catcher is back in form within the next few weeks, it will put the team in a better position to consider moving big league starter Derek Norris, who continues to surge since a dreadful April. Since May 1, Norris has a .320 wOBA, which could make him of interest to several contending clubs in need of help behind the plate.

Corpus Christi Hooks 8 - Missions 4

Key Statistics: 2B Nelson Ward 3-for-5, RBI; DH Gabriel Quintana 2-for-3, 2R, BB; RHP Zech Lemond 3IP, 9H, 8ER, 2K, 3BB

Prospect Watch: As well as Kelly's Triple-A debut went, Zech Lemond's first Double-A start was equally bad. The 23-year-old righty was battered around by the Hooks' potent offense, getting to him for four runs in the first, three in the second and one final tally in his third and last inning of work. A Texas native, Lemond missed most of the first two months of the season before joining Elsinore in late May. Over 5 appearances there, the 2014 third-rounder tallied a 5.25 ERA. After a challenging first full season of pro ball in 2015, we had been among many who had wondered if Lemond would come back as a reliever in 2016. ... After Lemond's early exit, Adam Cimber, Tayron Guerrero and Rafael DePaula combined for six scoreless innings, with Guerrero giving up the only two hits they allowed. Long seen by many observers as a bullpen arm, 25-year-old righty DePaula is coming into his own in that role this year. An element of the Chase Headley trade with the Yankees, DePaula has dropped his ERA to 2.70 on the year, and five of the nine runs he's allowed all year came in one blow-up inning in mid-May. A fastball-slider guy, the Dominican native has struck out 42 in 30 innings total, including one frame in El Paso. The team will have a 40-man roster decision to make on him this winter.

Storm 7 - Visalia Rawhide 5

Key Statistics: DH Josh VanMeter 2-for-5, HR (9); 3B/2B Luis Urias 2-for-5, 2B, 2K; SS Javier Guerra 1-for-2, 2B, 2BB, CS; RHP Brett Kennedy 5IP, 5H, 0ER, 4K, 3BB, WP, HBP; RHP Phil Maton 1IP, 1H, 1R (0ER), S (1)

Prospect Watch: Brett Kennedy bounced back from a rough outing the last time out to throw five scoreless on Sunday afternoon. The righty from New Jersey is still struggling with the strike zone, walking three to take his Cal League total to 22 in 38.2 innings of work, but he's also striking out nearly one batter per inning. The 21-year-old has uncorked 10 wild pitches since joining the Storm. ... Phil Maton and his phantom fastball picked up his first save in a Lake Elsinore uniform Sunday. The hard-throwing righty's mechanics make it very hard for opposing hitters to pick up his pitches, and he's leveraged that to a 1.37 ERA with a ridiculous 83 strikeouts against seven walks in his first 52.2 professional innings. ... While his batting average continues to hover around .200, Javier Guerra is once again putting together some decent at-bats. The 20-year-old who was the prize of the Craig Kimbrel trade with the Red Sox had a double and two walks on Sunday, moving his OPS for the month to .779. He continues to try to dig out of the hole he created in May when he had more than twice as many strikeouts as total bases.

Bowling Green Hot Rods 13 - TinCaps 0

Key Statistics:  RHP Austin Smith 1.1 IP, 6H, 8ER, 0K, 4BB

Prospect Watch: Sunday was a complete and total misfire for the TinCaps, who suffered their worst loss of the year. Starter Austin Smith had his toughest outing as a pro, yielding eight earned runs over only 1.1 innings of work. The big righty, who the Padres took with their first overall pick last June, was coming off his previous worst outing of the year, having given up six runs in four innings last week against West Michigan. The 20-year-old was dinged for four runs in the first and then gave up four singles around a fly ball out before giving way in the second. While he did plenty of his own damage, Smith's overall line wasn't helped by a pair of hits on the infield in the second, or by having all three runners he left on base come around to score. ... As bad as things were on the mound, the offense wasn't any better, scraping together only three singles and striking out 14 times on the day. 

Dust Devils  7 - Everett AquaSox 3

Key Statistics: DH Alan Garcia 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2RBI; 2B Nate Easley 2-for-5, 2 3B, 2K; LHP Will Headon 5IP, 2H, 0ER, 8K, 0BB

Prospect Watch:  Second baseman Nate Easley capped his first professional weekend with a pair of triples in the leadoff spot for the Dust Devils. The son of long-time big leaguer Damion Easley, Nate was selected in the 23rd-round after spending a year each at San Joaquin Delta College in California and Yavapai College in Arizona. The 20-year-old hit over .400 with a wood bat in his season in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference this summer, a venue which has previously sent Kyle Blanks and Fernando Perez into the Padres system. ... Will Headen delivered an impressive start for the Devils, blanking the Sox over five innings on only two hits. The lefty struck out eight without issuing a walk. After working most of last summer in the Arizona League, the Illinois State product opened this year in Fort Wayne, but with the depth of young pitching on the staff, was working out of the bullpen. The Padres opted to send him out to extended in mid-May to stretch back out into a starting role. It would not be at all surprising to see him wind up back in Fort Wayne as a member of the rotation next month. ... Chasen Ford (27th round), Will Stillman (6) and David Bednar (35) each made their professional debuts, and none allowed an earned run though Ford was saddled with three unearned. Stillman, a senior who caught the eye of several observers when he went off the board early on day two of the draft, struck out three in his two innings, while Bednar whiffed the final two batters of the game to seal the victory. The five 2016 draftees who pitched for Tri-City in the opening series combined for eight scoreless frames with 10 strikeouts.

For the box scores of all the games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards


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