Let’s take a look at the top performers from this past week in the Padres organization.
Farm batter: Gabriel Arias (A+)
Arias is rated the 23rd-best prospect in the Padres’ stacked organization. However, it is not his hit tool that has gotten him this far, as they give him a 45 hit tool with 50 power, which is average-to-below-average ratings. He is projected as a defense-first middle infielder, with a 60-grade glove and arm. This is his third professional season in the Padres system, and for the first time, it looks like his bat is coming around. However, as a bit of a caveat to these numbers, Arias was having a very average week until his explosion in Sunday’s game, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI.
2 HR (career high)
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 9, 2019
He is currently on a nine-game hitting streak and has seen his wRC+ surpass 100. He had an 86 wRC+ in 124 games with Fort Wayne last season. His current .735 OPS would be a career high, and he has already set a new career high with seven homers. He is doing this at the highest level he has played at so far, in High-A Lake Elsinore.
Farm pitcher: Joey Cantillo (A)
Cantillo is a bit of an unknown in the Padres system filled with star pitching prospects. The Friars drafted him in the 16th round of the 2017 draft. The 19-year-old lefty is in his second pro season, now with Fort Wayne, where he ended last season. He tossed six strong innings while striking out seven with just one walk and one run. He has 15 strikeouts to just three walks and one run in his last two starts.
Joey Cantillo stays en fuego! 🔥
After 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7 Ks tonight, Joey’s stats his last 6️⃣ starts:
32.1 IP, 17 H, 3 ER, 40 Ks 👀 pic.twitter.com/pUfYOssv7U
— Fort Wayne TinCaps (@TinCaps) June 6, 2019
He has not posted a strikeout rate below 11.5 per nine innings over two seasons in two locations. Opponents are batting .177 off of Cantillo. On May 16, he tossed a complete game shutout (a shortened six-inning game) while striking out six and allowing just one baserunner.
MLB batter: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Tatis finally returned to the Padres after over a month on the shelf and instantly made an impact. He sparked the Padres to two straight wins over the Washington Nationals on Thursday and Friday. In those two games, he had four hits, three runs scored, a stolen base and a home run. There is no denying the catalyst that Tatis is to this ballclub. He collected hits in three of the four games in that series against Washington.
— MLB (@MLB) June 8, 2019
The Padres clearly missed Tatis at the top of the lineup, creating a spark for the middle of the order. He can change the game in so many ways from his above-average speed to the pop in his bat. Despite missing a month, among Padres hitters with at least 120 plate appearances this season, Tatis leads the pack in wRC+ (152), batting average (.315) and OPS (.956).
MLB pitcher: Eric Lauer
Lauer made two starts this week; the first helped the Padres earn their lone win in the series against the Phillies. In that game, he tossed six innings while just allowing one run and two hits. On Saturday, he was instrumental in giving the bullpen a rest and preparing them for Sunday’s heavy workload by going seven innings, while allowing three runs. Pitching 13 total innings over two starts this week really boosted the pitching staff, alleviating some fatigue.
In Lauer’s last five starts, he owns a 2.03 ERA and 3.44 FIP while walking just 1.7 batters per nine innings. Over that span, he has been the most reliable starting pitcher on the staff.