El Paso Chihuahuas
Cory Spangenberg– 2B/3B, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
11-25, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB, 3 RBI
Cory Spangenberg has begun the season slashing .371/.426/.500 over his first 62 at bats, and he had yet another impressive week. At this point, it’s pretty apparent that Spangenberg has no business playing in Triple-A. With that being said, there is not a spot for him at the big league level, and the Padres clearly want both him and Schimpf playing everyday. Barring a trade of Schimpf or Solarte this year, or a cratering of performance for either guy, Spangenberg could be stuck in the minors longer than anticipated. If Spangenberg stays in Triple-A all season, which appears unlikely, he should have a very good chance of winning a PCL batting title.
Walker Lockett- RHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Although Dinelson Lamet captured headlines with his 13-strikeout performance this week, fellow Chihuahua right-hander, Walker Lockett, deserves some recognition as well. Lockett has had his ups and downs over the course of his career, but he makes his fair share of strong starts. Given that Lamet still has some kinks to work out, Lockett could be the first pitcher the Padres go to in Triple-A if they need an option later in the season. Lockett is also helped by his place on the 40-man roster, something that Lamet currently lacks. Lamet clearly has the higher ceiling of the two, but Lockett should not be overlooked as he continues to pitch well in a hitter’s league.
San Antonio Missions
Nick Schulz– OF, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
8-23, 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K
Who saw this coming from Nick Schulz? After a decent .285/.370/.427 slash line in 2016, Schulz has taken his career to a whole new level in 2017. Schulz currently has the ninth best batting average in the Texas League, the highest on base percentage, the highest slugging percentage, the most home runs, and the second most total bases. In almost every offensive category, Schulz has absolutely dominated the Texas League. If not for his teammate, Luis Urias, Schulz would be even more head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Schulz may not be a top-30 prospect for the Padres, but he is certainly making a pretty impactful statement so far this season.
Lake Elsinore Storm
Luis Urias– 2B/SS, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
12-22, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 RBI
It seems like every day I am writing about Luis Urias. He is just so phenomenal, especially as a 19-year-old playing in Double-A, a fact that it seems I have to repeat to myself every day. For every category that Schulz is in the top ten or five in the Texas League, Urias is right there with him: second in OPS, fifth in batting average, second in slugging percentage, fifth in on base percentage, second in doubles. Between Schulz and Urias, the Missions lineup is absolutely tearing up the Texas League. Where the two players diverge is in prospect stock, as Urias is viewed as one of the very best prospects in the Padres system, and he is beginning to be more recognized by scouts around the game.
Josh Naylor– 1B, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
10-28, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K
After what was a relatively slow start to begin the season, Naylor has picked it up over the last week. He still is failing to elevate the ball as much as he could be, but Naylor was able to hit two home runs this week as well as collect several big hits over the course of the week. The biggest problem for Naylor going forward is his issues with elevating the baseball and making consistent hard contact. There isn’t too much swing and miss in his game, but Naylor needs to more consistently use his big frame to put the ball in the air and collect more extra base hits.
Joey Lucchesi– LHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
During the last episode of the East Village Times podcast, in which we talked to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, Lucchesi was referred to by Glaser as potentially the best pitcher in the Lake Elsinore Storm rotation. Given how stacked that rotation currently is, that is truly a glowing compliment. Although Eric Lauer was considered one of the most polished pitchers in last year’s draft, Joey Lucchesi is making a case that he is just as far along as Lauer. Lucchesi continues to improve and impress, and he could see his way into the Padres top-30 prospects sooner rather than later.
Fort Wayne TinCaps
Jorge Ona– OF, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
7-22, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
It’s a shame that the TinCaps just announced Ona would be heading to the 10-day disabled list, especially considering he was just starting to heat up. This week, Ona hit his first home run, and continued to put up strong at bats. Among all Padres top-30 prospects, Ona is second, with a wRC+ of 134. With a slash line of .305/.369/.424, Ona has shown a lot of progression in his swing from where he was at last summer when his swing looked bad after his signing. Hopefully Ona can come back healthy soon and continue where he left off in Fort Wayne.
Jesse Scholtens– RHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Logan Allen gets all the attention in terms of Fort Wayne TinCaps pitchers, but Jesses Scholtens has been no slouch so far this year. He’s no top-30 prospect, but Scholtens could push his way into that conversation if he continues to pitch like he has at the beginning of this season. Scholtens has thrown 18 innings so far this season and has given up only four earned runs on 14 hits. He has given up his fair share of hits, but he has done an impressive job of staying composed and working out of any jams he gets himself in.