Jeff Nycz

San Diego Padres Daily Minor League Report: June 11

Kelly, Lucchesi and Lawson, oh my! That's a lot of strong pitching.

Fresno Grizzlies 11 Chihuahuas 5

Key Statistics: RF Jabari Blash 2-for-3, 2B, HR (10), HBP, K; 3B Ryan Schimpf 1-for-4, HR (1), 2K; 1B Christian Villanueva 2-for-5, 2B; RHP Tyrell Jenkins 4.2IP, 7H 9ER, 4K, 5BB; RHP Cesar Vargas 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2K, 1BB, HBP

Prospect Watch:  For the fourth time this month and second time in  their three-game set against Fresno, the Chihuahuas gave up a double-digit run total. Righty Tyrell Jenkins, who was outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday after clearing waivers (the fourth time he'd been exposed since the end of the 2016 season), was hit hard once again. The 24-year-old surrendered seven hits, three for extra bases, and walked five without making it through the fifth inning. On the year, the once highly-regarded prospect has a dreadful 48:46 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 66.1 innings and has allowed an average north of .300 to opposing hitters. ... After making his big league debut, and then missing much of the season with an arm injury, Cesar Vargas came into spring training this year and looked to be damaged goods. But after giving up seven runs in his first 11 innings at Double-A, the 25-year-old adjusted to a bullpen role, got some of his velocity back, and went on a tear through the Texas League. He was promoted to Triple-A Saturday after posting a 1.75 ERA and a strikeout per inning over his next 25.2 innings. The righty made his first Triple-A appearance in the Padres system today and worked hitless, scoreless frames. He's reasserted himself as an option when the option looks to add additional hurlers to the 40-man roster later this year.

Missions 4 Corpus Christi Hooks 2

Key Statistics: SS Jose Rondon 1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, E (5); LF Nick Torres 2-for-3, R, RBI; RHP Michael Kelly 7.1IP, 3H, 1R (0ER), 6K, 2BB; 

Prospect Watch: After a stellar May, Michael Kelly has been even better in June. The 24-year-old righty gave up only one unearned run over 7.1 innings Sunday and has dropped his season ERA to 2.55, good for fifth on the circuit. After holding his opponents without an earned run for the fourth time in his last six outings, the one-time first round pick has struck out 75 batters in 74 frames and is holding opponents to a .205 average. ... When I cited Jose Rondon as my best surprise from outside the Top 30 on the FriarWire Podcast last week, I acknowledged that I've long been the low-man on his prospect status. But the 23-year-old Venezuelan has run his latest hitting streak to 10 games and he's carrying a respectable ISO power rate of .127 while playing solid defense split mostly between second base and shortstop. Having now racked up 166 games played at Double-A across parts of three seasons, it wouldn't be surprising to see him get a bump to El Paso after the All-Star break. ... Brad Wieck and Trey Wingenter have been paired up as the two primary closers for the club, and Wieck picked up the save Sunday with a scoreless frame. With Yimmi Brasoban getting activated from the disabled list on Sunday, the Missions' bullpen could be must-see viewing over the rest of the season.

Storm 5 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 3

Key Statistics: 3B Ruddy Giron 3-for-4, R; LF Taylor Kohlwey 1-for-4, 3B, R, OF Assist; LHP Joey Lucchesi 7IP, 4H, 2ER, 10K, 0BB, HBP; RHP Jose Castillo 1IP, 0H, 3K

Prospect Watch: All season, Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer have been playing 'anything you can do, I can do better." A night after Lauer reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time in his year of pitching professionally, did it for his second straight start on his way to yet another quality start. The lefty from Southeast Missouri State now sits at third in the Cal League with his 2.43 ERA (0.09 behind Lauer), and second in strikeouts, with 86. Impressively, he's got more than five times as many strikeouts as walks, and has whiffed 20 more hitters than he's allowed to reach base safely. ... After wowing as part of the Dominican national team in the World Baseball Classic, massive lefty Jose Castillo came out to Lake Elsinore to open the year and promptly got shelled. He had an ERA north of 10 after his first six appearances. And then he got back on top of his dominating fastball-slider repertoire, and he's been nothing short of stellar since. After his perfect inning with three strikeouts tonight, the 21-year-old has given up two earned runs over his last 20.2 frames, striking out 23 and walking nine in the process. ... With a three-hit game, Ruddy Giron bumped his average for June up over .300. The 20-year-old still isn't walking at all, but has reined in his strikeout rate of late.

Lansing Lugnuts 6 TinCaps 5

Key Statistics: SS Fernando Tatis, Jr. 2-for-3, HR (8), 2BB; 2B Reinaldo Ilarraza 1-for-5, HR (2), SB (11); CF Rod Boykin 2-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 2R; RHP Reggie Lawson 6IP, 2H, 0R, 8K, 1BB

Prospect Watch: While the bullpen gave up six runs to cost the TinCaps a win on Sunday, starter Reggie Lawson turned in a fantastic effort which points to the talent that led the Padres to select the big righty in the Competitive Balance B round of last year's draft. The Victor Valley native allowed two singles and a walk over six innings Sunday while striking out eight. Despite getting hit hard in his first outing, the 19-year-old has struck out 19 in 15.1 innings and has dropped his opponents' average to .254 after this fourth start for the TinCaps. He was working comfortably in the mid-90s with his fastball on Sunday afternoon. ... Back in April, it appeared that ultra-athletic Rod Boykin might be drawing near to the end of his final chance. The 2013 12th-rounder had an OPS of just .517 and struck out in more than 35 percent of his plate appearances. But over his last 32 games, the 22-year-old has finally shown that he can convert on his strength and power combination, posting an .850 OPS. He still has a long way to go to establish himself as a viable prospect, the Alabama native is showing a tantalizing skillset.

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