Chihuahuas 7, Memphis Redbirds 2
Key Statistics: CF Manuel Margot, 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI; RF Hunter Renfroe, 2-for-4, HR (24), 2 R, RBI; C Austin Hedges, 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI; RHP Daniel McCutchen (W, 9-6) 6.1 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 4 K; RHP Brandon Morrow (S, 1) 1.1 IP, BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas were up to their usual offensive tricks, as the West Texas bunch pounded out six extra-base hits in the easy win at home ... Hunter Renfroe homered yet again, as part of a multi-game in the victory Thursday night. Renfroe leads the PCL in homers and RBI and is second in batting average. He has only drawn 15 walks this season, although one could argue that he is simply seeing too many hittable pitches in the Pacific Coast League. Assuming Renfroe stays in El Paso until the end of the season, 40 homers is not out of the question ... RHP Brandon Morrow recorded the final four outs to earn his first save of the season. It seems like Morrow and the Padres’ organization have given up on the idea of him returning to the rotation but a return as a setup man seems like a possibility. Morrow’s overall body of work across four minor league stops doesn’t scream like he’s returned to form but he is still averaging a strikeout an inning 13.1 innings for El Paso.
Midland RockHounds 4, Missions 2
Key Statistics: 2B Nelson Ward, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; CF Franchy Cordero, 1-for-4; RHP Seth Simmons, 6.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K; RHP Jason Jester (BS, 2)(L, 0-1) IP, 3 H, 4 R, ER, BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Missions had a two-run lead going into the eighth inning when Midland scored four times to notch the victory ... Free agent signee RHP Seth Simmons has quietly been very good for San Antonio since he was signed by the organization at the end of May. Simmons, 28, was drafted in the 40th round back in 2011 by the Diamondbacks. The former East Carolina hurler pitched in 247 professional games before making his first professional start for the Missions in June. Simmons has a 2.13 ERA in seven starts for the Missions while accumulating 31 strikeouts in 38 innings. The righty is listed at 5’9, 170 lbs, so he isn’t your prototypical, A.J. Preller acquisition ... RF Nick Torres had a two-hit game on July 9th for El Paso, that included a homer. Since then, the former 4th-rounder is just 4-for-37 with 16 strikeouts, which includes one game played in Triple-A. Torres’ overall line in Double-A has fallen to .273/.312/.398. Perhaps Torres is just feeling the rigors of a long season but his slump in July has to be a cause for concern.
Storm 9, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8
Key Statistics: DH Ty France, 3-for-4, R, 2 RBI; LF Edwin Moreno, 2-for-4, R, HR (11); C A.J. Kennedy, 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB; RHP Zech Lemond, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; RHP Gerardo Reyes, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, ER, 3 K; RHP Ben Paullus (W, 3-1) IP, 2 K; RHP Colby Blueberg (S, 12) IP, K
Prospect Watch: The Storm won their ninth straight game and are now 18-9 in the second half. This wild game featured five lead changes, with the Storm winning thanks to a 2-run homer for by Edwin Moreno ... Moreno has already hit a career-high 11 homers for the Storm but hasn’t offered much other value offensively. The left-handed hitting Moreno has just 11 walks and is fifth in the Cal League with 100 strikeouts. Moreno was a 4th outfielder in Fort Wayne last year but has been thrust into an everyday role in Lake Elsinore ... 34th-round picks are usually never regarded as prospects in their ascent through a system but at some point, one has to consider infielder Ty France as a real prospect. The former Aztec had three hits to raise his average to a healthy .339 since being promoted to the Cal League. In two professional seasons, France has an on-base percentage of .413. While he is small for a first baseman and hasn’t hit for power, guys that consistently get on base have to grab your attention.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 12, TinCaps 3
Key Statistics: 2B Peter Van Gansen, 2-for-3, R, 2 BB; C Marcus Greene Jr., 3-for-3, HR (2), 2B, RBI, BB; LHP Jerry Keel (L, 5-10) 4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.
Prospect Watch: Things are starting to get really ugly in Fort Wayne. The TinCaps dropped their seventh straight and have a league-worst 9-18 record in the second half. In those seven games, the TinCaps have been outscored 56-30 ... Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. had his best day as a Padres farmhand, as the former Rangers prospect had three hits and his second home run of the year. The Pomona native missed the first few months of the season after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was acquired in the Will Venable trade last season. His overall line of .155/.243/.272 between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore doesn’t scream prospect but he is still not 100% physically ... LHP Jerry Keel had a rare poor outing in the loss and is now second in the Midwest League with 10 losses. The 10 losses don’t illustrate the underrated role that Keel has played this season as he has pitched effectively in any role he has been placed in. The former 9th-rounder has a 3.41 ERA in six starts in the second half.
Dust Devils: John Conniff made the cross-country trek in MadFriars’ first ever visit to Pasco. Read his recap here.
AZL Padres 10, AZL Mariners 1
Key Statistics: DH Hudson Potts, 1-for-5, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI; C Tucker Pennell, 4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI; CF Dayon Olmo, 3-for-4, R; RHP Cal Quantrill, 4 IP, 4 K; LHP Ben Sheckler (S, 2) 3 IP, 3 H, ER, K.
Prospect Watch: RHP Cal Quantrill had his finest professional outing, as the former Stanford righty pitched four perfect innings. He had four strikeouts and also got seven out via ground-ball. Aside from one poor outing, Quantrill has looked like a man worthy of the eighth overall pick. He has a 4.50 in 10 innings, with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. Fellow 1st-rounder Eric Lauer was promoted to Tri-City today, so Quantrill shouldn’t be too far behind ... Catcher Tucker Pennell had four hits, including a double in the victory. Pennell, was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas shortly after the draft. The catcher hit .265 in his senior season and he lead the SEC with 27 runners caught stealing. Pennell’s big day raised his average to .313 in the AZL.