Chihuahuas 5, Rainiers 1
Key Statistics: CF Rafael Ortega, 2-for-3, RS, BB, SB (14); DH Ryan Schimpf, 2-for-4, HR (2), RBI, RS; LF Nick Buss, 2-for-3, 2B, RBI; RHP Zach Lee, 4.1 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K; RHP Cesar Vargas (W, 1-0) 1.2 IP, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso scored three in the second inning and ultimately cruised to a win on a very hot night in West Texas ... Outfielder Nick Buss wasn’t good enough to make the El Paso roster out of spring training but he has been arguably their best hitter this season. The Southern California native is hitting .379/.435/.531 in 49 games this season. His batting average and on-base percentage would be leading the league if he had enough at-bats to qualify. The 30-year-old has shown gap power and the ability to make solid contact all season long ... DH Ryan Schimpf hit his second homer since his somewhat surprising demotion to El Paso. The power has always been there for Schimpf but the ability to make consistent contact hasn’t been. The good news Thursday? Four at-bats without a strikeout. He struck out seven times in his first 12 at-bats with the Chihuahuas.
Missions 6, Frisco RoughRiders 4
Key Statistics: 3B Ty France, 2-for-3, 2 RS, RBI, BB; DH Alberth Martinez, 1-for-4, HR (6), 2 RBI; LF Nick Torres, 2-for-4, HR (5), 3 RBI; RHP Brett Kennedy (W, 6-3) 6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 K; LHP Brad Wieck (S, 4) IP, K.
Prospect Watch: Crown ‘em! The Missions victory gave them the first-half title in the Texas League South. At 39-27, they are also guaranteed to have the best record in the first half ... Left fielder Nick Torres had a pair of hits, including his fifth homer of the year. Torres, 23, has had a bit of a down year in Double-A. He dealt with a back issue early on but is hitting over .300 in his last ten games ... RHP Brett Kennedy earned his sixth win by working into the seventh inning. Kennedy has seemingly gotten past his April struggles and along with Kyle Lloyd and Michael Kelly, he has formed arguably the best rotation in the Texas League. Over May/June, Kennedy has just eight walks and 51 strikeouts in 50 innings.
Storm 9, Stockton Ports 2
Key Statistics: 3B Ruddy Giron, 2-for-5, 2B; RF Edwin Moreno, 2-for-4, 3 RS, 2B, HR (3), 2 RBI; CF Michael Gettys, 2-for-5, 2 RS, 2 2B, RBI; 1B Josh Naylor, 3-for-5, 2B; DH Kyle Overstreet, 3-for-5, 2 RS, RBI; 2B Peter Van Gansen, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; RHP Jesse Scholtens (W, 3-1) 9 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm pounded seven extra-base hits to blowout visiting Stockton in the final series before the All-Star break ... Jesse Scholtens continues to show that he belongs amongst the most frequently talked about pitching prospects in the Padres’ organization. The big righty threw a complete game gem, where he allowed just two earned runs. Scholtens didn’t walk a batter while striking out seven. The 23-year-old has been tremendous in seven starts for the Storm, pitching to a 2.61 ERA while averaging a strikeout per inning. Scholtens might be the best bargain in the entire organization -- he signed last summer as a ninth round draft pick for $1,000 ... Outfielder Edwin Moreno had his sixth consecutive multi-hit game, delivering a homer and a double in the Storm victory. The 23-year-old is 13-for-26 during his scorching stretch, with a pair of doubles and the aforementioned dinger. Moreno has increased his average from .262 to .288 over the last week.
Lake County Captains 7, TinCaps 3
Key Statistics: SS Fernando Tatis Jr., 2-for-3, 2 BB; 1B Brad Zunica, 2-for-4, RS, BB; C Marcus Greene Jr., 2-for-4, HR (5), 3 RBI; RHP Ronald Bolanos, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Blake Rogers (L, 2-2) 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, BB, K.
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps had a 3-0 lead through six-and-a-half innings but fell apart allowing five runs in the eighth ... Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. has arguably been the hottest hitter in the system over the last week. Greene, 23 has homered in three consecutive games and four out of his last five starts. The righty has long been a personal favorite of mine, with his combination of power and the ability to put the bat on the ball. His recent surge has him hitting a robust .280/.366/.460 for the TinCaps this season ... RHP Ronald Bolanos pitched six shutout innings before allowing a pair of runs in the seventh. The 20-year-old Cuban has seemingly gotten better each time out and his command of his fastball has gradually improved. The righty struck out five and has 14 strikeouts in his last two outings.
Dust Devils 10, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4
Key Statistics: 2B Justin Lopez, 2-for-5, 2 RBI (pro debut); RF Luis Asuncion, 3-for-5, HR (1), 2B, RBI; C Steve Bean, 2-for-5, 2 RS, RBI; DH Boomer White, 2-for-5, 3 RS, 2B; LF Josh Magee, 2-for-5, RS, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI; SS Luis Almanzar, 1-for-5 (pro debut); RHP Emmanuel Ramirez, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K; RHP Austin Smith (W, 1-0) 1.1 IP, 2 H, K.
Prospect Watch: If Thursday is any indicator, the Dust Devils are going to be a fun team to watch this summer ... Justin Lopez had a pair of hits and 2 RBI in his pro debut. The 17-year-old was born in 2000 (I feel old) and was awfully impressive during the Padres’ instructional league. Lopez and fellow infielder Luis Almanzar (who had a single in his pro debut) are seemingly the most advanced of the infielders the Padres splurged on last July ... Mammoth outfielder Luis Asuncion had a monster game and slugged a homer in the Dust Devils victory. The 6’4 outfielder showed some promise in Tri-City last year but didn’t make the Fort Wayne roster out of the spring. He is still just 20 and possesses impressive raw power. He will be a player to watch this season ... Left fielder Josh Magee had his best game as a professional, driving in a career-high four runs with a double and triple in the Tri-City victory. Magee, 20, was a fifth-rounder in 2015 but has hit just .194 in two pro seasons. As of now, the Dust Devils are only carrying four outfielders so Magee figures to get plenty of playing time in Pasco over the next few months.