Here is a recap of the top performers in the Padres organization this week.
Farm batter: Owen Miller (AA)
Miller was selected in the third round of the 2018 draft out of Illinois State, and all he has done since then is hit. He hit .336 in 75 games between Short Season Tri-City and Single-A Fort Wayne last year. Now with Double-A Amarillo, it has been much of the same with a .296 average, a career-high 12 home runs, and a 127 wRC+. His 120 hits this season leads the Texas League.
In Saturday’s game, he went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI and two runs scored. Miller is a catalyst in the Sod Poodles lineup with a .359 on-base percentage. MLB Pipeline ranks Miller has San Diego’s 13th-best prospect with a 55 hit tool and a 60 run grade. Miller adds to the extreme depth the Friars boast at the middle infield positions and may soon be major league ready given his age and advanced hitting tools.
Farm pitcher: Luis Patiño (A+)
Patiño is finally getting his due as he is recognized as the Padres’ fourth-best prospect and best right-handed pitcher. He was invited to the MLB Futures Game in Cleveland this year and put on an impressive showing. Since then, he has done nothing to dim the spotlight. He pitched a dazzling game on Wednesday, nearly going the distance with 8 1/3 innings pitched with nine strikeouts and no walks, going perfect through four innings, in perhaps his most dominant start of his brief professional career.
Luis Patiño is wasting no time tonight for @Storm_Baseball.
On only 39 pitches (32 strikes):
0 H 👀
0 BB 👀
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 1, 2019
Patiño is the youngest pitcher in the California League, and since the departure of MacKenzie Gore to Double-A, he has also been the most dominant. He is in the top 10 in the California League in strikeouts per nine innings (11.5), ERA (2.63), and FIP (2.97). He has been a fast riser through the system, and that should continue down the stretch later this year. He could start next season as a top-20 prospect in all of baseball (currently at 33).
MLB batter: Eric Hosmer
Eric Hosmer has been on a mission this season to atone for his disappointing inaugural season with San Diego in 2018. So far, mission accomplished. Hosmer had two five-RBI games this week, on Monday and Sunday, the latter being against the Dodgers which included a dramatic grand slam, the second of his career. He drove in a whopping 11 runs in the six games this week.
WELL ISN'T THAT GRAND 👏👏👏👏
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) August 4, 2019
Hosmer is batting .283, which is 30 points higher than his average last year with San Diego. His 16 home runs are already just two away from his 2018 total, and his OPS is up over 50 points from last year. He is second on the team in batting average and third in on-base percentage.
MLB pitcher: Eric Lauer
Eric Lauer continues to pester the Los Angeles Dodgers. He once again had a strong showing against the rivals from the north with six strong innings without allowing a walk, in the only game the Friars won at Dodger Stadium this weekend. He owns a 1.72 ERA in six starts against the Dodgers in his career, the lowest ERA among any team against which he has had multiple starts. Lauer has had a roller-coaster season but has shown marked improvement from last year.
Eric Lauer in six career starts against the Dodgers:
💨 4-0, 1.72 ERA
💨 .190 opposing BA
💨 0.93 WHIP pic.twitter.com/x7i3vnODmq
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 3, 2019
He has posted a 0.8 WAR (Baseball-Reference) this season after having a lowly -0.2 WAR in 23 starts last season. Lauer had a 4.51 FIP last year, and he has improved that to 4.01. He has allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts.