Chris Paddack might be having short and sweet outings, but he keeps getting the job done.
San Diego's No. 8 prospect racked up nine strikeouts while allowing one hit over four innings as Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore shut down Rancho Cucamonga, 8-0, at The Diamond.
Gameday box score
"He attacks you, he's constantly ahead in the count," said Storm pitching coach Pete Zamora. "He doesn't fear bats or the swinging of bats. He goes right after hitters and he believes in his stuff. He has a quality changeup and can place a fastball wherever he wants. It's the mind-set that allows him to get to the situations to get guys out."
Paddack has pitched beyond the fifth inning twice this season and not since May 12, but he's produced 79 strikeouts and sports a 1.91 ERA over 46 1/3 innings.
On Monday, the 100th-ranked prospect in baseball allowed a single to Dodgers No. 29 prospect Rylan Bannon in the second at-bat of the game and never surrendered another hit.
"His fastball was dominant in the first couple of innings," said Zamora. "He was getting a lot of swings-and-misses, especially on the high fastball, and put the ball where he wanted. The hitters become fearful of the changeup, so the fastball plays even better. He started throwing a new breaking ball, something we've been working with and testing grips. He really liked it and he showcased it today, it showed very well. It was a good night for him."
Paddack struck out the side swinging in the second before hitting Jared Walker with a pitch and walking Steve Berman to begin the third. He pitched out of the jam by fanning Los Angeles' sixth-ranked prospect Jeren Kendall, inducing a flyout from Bannon and whiffing Cody Thomas.
"He tried to go in on a lefty and hit him and then scattered a walk," said Zamora. "He's not perfect, he may look perfect at times. When people are on base, he turns it on to another level and usually he comes out on top in those situations. We weren't too fazed in the coaches' box."
The 22-year-old righty pitched a clean fourth and punched out Dodgers No. 14 prospect Connor Wong to end his outing.
Paddack has allowed one run in his last 14 2/3 frames and struck out 28 batters in that span. Even with his low innings count after missing part of 2016 and all of 2017 for Tommy John surgery, he stands 12th in the California League in strikeouts.
"He's on a pitch count, so he was coming off the All-Star break and on a lighter pitch count this time around," said Zamora. "He'll go back to his normal 85 next start. He comes to me every other inning trying to see his pitch count and where it his and how he can get farther into the game. It really helps him be efficient, he knows his pitch count going in and he wants to be able to get deep into te game."
Elliot Ashbeck (3-2) allowed two hits and struck out two in 2 1/3 frames to earn the win. Blake Rogers picked up his first save after striking out the side in the ninth.
Buddy Reed homered and San Diego's No. 18 prospect Edward Olivares doubled in a run.