Chihuahuas 6 – Las Vegas 51s 5
Key Stats: RHP Aaron Northcraft 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 8K, 3BB; 2B/LF Carlos Asuaje 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7), BB, 2R, RBI; RF Hunter Renfroe 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
Prospect Watch: With Jabari Blash on his way to join the big league club, Hunter Renfroe continued his stellar Triple-A campaign with two more hits, including his 28th double - one of the many categories in which he's among the top five in the PCL. With general manager A.J. Preller intimating that he'll let Renfroe finish out El Paso's season, he has a viable chance of chasing down the Triple Crown. While the emergence of Michael Kelly and Walker Lockett has gotten a fair amount of attention, Aaron Northcraft's re-emergence is worth taking note of as well. The 26-year-old - who could join the trio who came back from Tampa Bay as the only remaining members of the Great Offseason Trade Flurry of 2014-15 by the end of the weekend - turned in another quality start for the Chihuahuas, and he's posted a 3.00 ERA across two levels since returning to the rotation at the start of June. The big righty from Orange County struggled through injuries after he came over from Atlanta with Justin Upton before last season, but he's making a case for a return to the 40-man roster at this point.... Jason Jester made his Triple-A debut, working a scoreless eighth inning. The organizational save leader has rocketed through the system since signing as a 23rd-round pick out of Texas A&M just two years ago, and earned his promotion by striking out 53 with only seven walks in 39 innings for the Missions.
Missions 11 – Frisco Rough Riders 7 (in 10)
Key Stats: RF Nick Schulz 2-for-3, HR (7) 2BB, 3R, 2RBI; 3B Gabriel Quintana 2-for-4, 2HR (15), BB, 5RBI; LF Nick Torres 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2R, RBI, Assist, E; LHP Elier Sanchez 2IP, 0H, 0R, 1K, 1BB
Prospect Watch: The Missions had a crazy back-and-forth game with Frisco, rallying once stellar Rangers prospect Johander Mendez left the game after five innings, enduring a rare blown save from Jimmy Brasoban, and then pushing across four runs in the 10th to clinch the victory. Franchy Cordero had a pair of hits, including a double, to break out of his first cold snap since joining San Antonio. ... Gabriel Quintana slugged two homers, giving the Missions the lead in the eighth and extending it in the 10th. While the powerful 23-year-old Dominican has more than twice as many homers as anyone else on the roster, he's also whiffed in nearly 30 percent of his at-bats and has an on-base percentage below .300. ... While Frisco's new Cuban player Alexi Bell has gotten plenty of attention in his Double-A debut this series, he's not the only one. Lefty Elier Sanchez, who signed an under-the-radar minor league deal with the Padres in February, about nine months after he left Cuba, made his system debut with two perfect frames. The 30-year-old lefty took an extra long time to get his visa, and he obviously doesn't have any upside left, but he'll get a chance to show what he can do for the rest of the year and try to work his way into a position for a big league role next year.
Storm 11 - Inland Empire 66ers 2
Key Stats: RHP Enyel De Los Santos 5IP, 4H, 1ER, 3K, 1BB; CF Michael Gettys 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3R, 2K; DH Fernando Perez 2-for 5, 2B, 3B; 3B Ty France 3-for-4, HR (2), BB, 4RBI; 1B Josh Naylor 0-for-5, K
Prospect Watch: It's been a lost year for Fernando Perez, who has spent three different stints on the disabled list and has struggled at the plate in between injuries. But the 22-year-old flashed what he can do Saturday, collecting a double and triple in five trips to the plate. Now four years removed from being a third round pick, Perez is going to be hard pressed to find at-bats once Luis Urias comes off the disabled list now that Josh Naylor is manning first base for the Storm, especially if Josh VanMeter moves back down in a few days. ... After a few ugly starts early in his Cal League run, Enyel De Los Santos turned in his third straight solid outing. The 20-year-old righty gave up one run, a homer to lead off the fifth inning, in five frames of work, and struck out three. He's now allowed nine hits over 14 innings in his last three starts. ... Naylor made his organizational debut, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout. He wasn't the only teenager in the lineup though as Westhers Magdaleno made his first start for the Storm. Unlike Naylor, the middle infielder will likely only be in Elsinore for a few more days before heading back out to join Tri-City.
TinCaps 5 Lansing Lugnuts 4 (in 15)
Key Stats: C Austin Allen 3-for-7; 3B Carlos Belen 4-for-7, 2B, 3B, R, RBI; 1B Nick Vilter 1-for-3, 2 Sac Fly, 3RBI; RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 7IP, 5H, 3ER, 3K, 0BB; RHP Corey Kimber 3.1IP, 4H, 0R, 3K, 0BB; LHP Jose Castillo 4.2IP, 2H, 0R, 9K, 0BB
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps offense stalled out for nine innings, but thanks to some stellar pitching, they got a chance to walk off with a victory on Carlos Belen's RBI triple in the bottom of the 15th inning. It was the club's longest game in over two years.We've been waiting to see if the Padres would leave Jose Castillo in the pen, or stretch him out to get ready for some action as a starter after he was slowed by injuries through the first half of the year. For tonight, at least, the answer was both. The 20-year-old lefty was stellar, entering with two men on and one out in the 10th inning. He proceeded to get a lazy fly out and a strikeout to get out of the jam, and then dealt four more innings, recording eight more strikeouts along the way. Part of the trade that brought back Wil Myers, the Venezuelan hurler has impressed since joining Fort Wayne earlier this month. After underwhelming in a Midwest League cameo last year, he's posted a 2.45 and a ridiculous 28:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first 18.1 innings with the TinCaps this time around. ... For Belen, the triple capped his second four-hit game of the month and continued his strong second half. Since the break, he's hitting .285/.314/.515 and has struck out in 25 percent of his trips to the plate - a vast improvement over the first half and last year's showing. ... Not to be overlooked because of Castillo's effort, Emmanuel Ramirez was strong in his first start since rejoining the TinCaps. The 22-year-old was ineffective in relief early in the season, but settled into the starting role for Tri-City. He'll join the rotation for Chris Paddack, who is going to undergo Tommy John surgery. In his first outing back in the Summit City, Ramirez went seven strong, giving up three runs on five hits. He did not walk a batter (something that's been true of every TinCaps pitcher since mid-game Monday).
Vancouver Indians 5 – Dust Devils 4
Key Stats: SS Chris Baker 3-for-4, R, SB (9), E (10); RHP Hansel Rodriguez 5IP, 2H, 0R, 2K, 3BB
Prospect Watch: Tri-City took a lead into the ninth inning, but couldn't close it out as they fell at Vancouver Saturday night. Until a rare hiccup by Evan Miller, the club was on track to give Hansel Rodriguez a victory in his first start in the Padres organization. The 19-year-old righty, who came over from Toronto in exchange for Melvin Upton, Jr., gave up just two hits, though he also walked three, in five innings in his system debut. The Dominican hurler - working against players in the system he left earlier this week - needed just 64 pitches to get through his five frames. Having already dialed up a few starts of seven innings in the Appy League, he'll likely equal last season's innings total in his next start. ...
AZL Reds 3 – AZL Padres 2
Key Stats: RHP Jean Garcia 5IP, 4H 2ER, 2K 1BB, WP, HBP; SS Fernando Tatis, Jr. 1-for-4, R, K, SB (6), E (9)
Prospect Watch: When we first say outfielder Euri Minaya in spring training in 2014, he was a tantalizing 18-year-old talent. But injuries derailed that season and the 2015 campaign, and he was again sidelined late this spring. He opened the AZL season, but then missed most of this month as well. He got back on the field Saturday, but went 0-for-3 on the night. Through nine games this year, the big Dominican has just four hits in 30 at-bats. ... Speaking of big Dominicans, righty Jean Garcia struggled mightily in his stateside debut last year, allowing nearly two runners per inning and walking almost as many as he struck out. This year is going much better for the 19-year-old, 6'5" hurler. While he took the loss Saturday, he's sporting a 3.00 ERA through 36 innings and has a solid 29:9 strike-out-to-walk ratio.
While we don't normally cover the daily activity in the Dominican, starter Omar Fernandez deserves a comment. The 17-year-old Venezuelan, who signed last October, worked seven scoreless frames Saturday morning, and now sports a 0.58 ERA through 48.1 innings of work this year. The lefty doesn't have a particularly strong strikeout total at 26, but that's also the number of hits he's given up, and he's only walked eight. Four of his 10 outings have gone at least six innings, something of an oddity in the DSL. ... At the plate Eguy Rosario, who is one of the youngest players in the league and won't turn 17 until the end of next month, had two hits in five trips to the plate and now sports a pretty remarkable .331/.428/.453 slash line through 162 plate appearances. He's listed at his signing size of 5'9" and 150 pounds, and we won't have more of a sense of what's behind the numbers until Kevin chats with Jeremy Rodriguez at the end of the year, but the Dominican infielder's work so far is certainly eye-catching.