Prospect Roundup: Games of June 6

Padres' Paddack pads numbers; Diaz dominates for Tulsa again

Chris Paddack has averaged 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings over seven starts this season. (Jerry Espinoza/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | June 7, 2018 12:00 PM

Theme of the day

Injuries -- With all due respect to Class A South Bend's no-hitter, it's tough to move beyond Wednesday's injury news. First, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. suffered an apparent leg injury after sliding into second base in Double-A New Hampshire's matinee with Akron. Manager John Schneider told MiLB.com's Chris Bumbaca that Guerrero "checks out fine," but the 19-year-old did miss two games earlier in the week with similar issues. Though it may not be a long-term issue, it's still a bummer that the Minors could be deprived of a .407 hitter for any amount of time. Later -- and on a much more serious note -- the Cardinals announced that top prospect Alex Reyes had undergone surgery on his right lat, a procedure that will cause him to miss the rest of the 2018 season. He'd just returned to the Majors after missing all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery.

Video: Fisher Cats' Guerrero Jr. leaves game with injury

Who stayed hot

Padres RHP Chris Paddack, Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 82 pitches, 59 strikes -- The Padres' No. 21 prospect had allowed eight earned runs over 10 innings in his previous two starts, but this was his fifth scoreless outing in seven overall, and he's been one of the Minor Leagues' most dominant pitchers since making his season debut on April 30. Paddack has yet to strike out fewer than seven batters in an outing. He's fanned 61 total batters in that time and walked only two over 37 1/3 innings. His 30.5 K/BB ratio is the best among all Minor Leaguers with at least 30 innings pitched while his 43.6 percent strikeout rate ranks second and his 1.4 percent walk rate is third. Even after those recent blips, he still owns a 1.93 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in the offense-heavy California League. Paddack, who missed 2017 with Tommy John surgery, has yet to throw more than 45 1/3 innings in a Minor League season, so it'll be interesting to see how he holds up in the coming months. With a good fastball and killer changeup, he just needs to stay healthy to send his stock soaring this summer.

Video: Storm's Paddack fans Marsh

Who needed this one

Rangers OF Willie Calhoun, Triple-A Round Rock: 3-for-6, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R -- A trip to Salt Lake's Smith's Ballpark can cure a lot of ills. The Rangers' No. 2 prospect hit his first home run since May 19, breaking up a stretch of 15 straight games without a dinger, in Round Rock's 16-4 win. The outburst was just the second time in 58 games this season in which the left-handed-hitting slugger collected multiple extra-base hits. Calhoun is hitting .263/.311/.390 with five homers and 14 doubles, and his 83 wRC+ is 50 points below his 2017 mark. That's rough because a lot of the second baseman-turned-left fielder's value is tied up in his bat. Calhoun has shown too much pop in the past, despite his 5-foot-8 frame, for the power to stay off for long.

Video: Round Rock's Calhoun hammers two-run homer

The unexpected

Braves RHP Huascar Ynoa, Class A Rome: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K, 91 pitches, 58 strikes -- The Braves' No. 30 prospect entered his May 30 start against Asheville with a 6.56 ERA, only to strike out a season-high nine over six scoreless innings. A week later, he two-upped himself with a new season-high 11 K's, again over six scoreless innings, again against Asheville. With 20 punchouts in his last two starts, the 20-year-old right-hander has just one fewer than he did in his previous four outings combined. Equally important, Ynoa's command has improved -- he's issued only three walks over his last 12 outings, bring his BB/9 down from 6.6 to 5.5. The Dominican Republic native was raw when he came over from the Twins for Jaime Garcia last July, but he's putting together the pieces necessary to stick as a starter.

Best matchup

Jesus Luzardo vs. Fernando Tatis Jr.The Padres' top prospect dominated the game, collecting four hits in San Antonio's 10-0 win over Midland. But it's worth noting that little of that damage came against the A's No. 2 prospect, who struck out eight and allowed only one run on three hits in five frames. Luzardo struck out Tatis looking on four pitches in the first inning and then gave up an infield single to him in the third. Tatis is now just 1-for-7 with three strikeouts against the RockHounds left-hander this season. The two could see each other again soon when Midland travels to San Antonio for a four-game set from June 21-24.

Who strengthened their promotion case

Dodgers OF Yusniel Diaz, Double-A Tulsa: 3-for-5, HR, RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, K in doubleheader -- The Dodgers' No. 4 prospect has hits in each of his six games this month with a .421/.560/.842 line, two homers and a triple. Diaz didn't put up dominant numbers over his two seasons at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, but he's turned it on in Double-A. Dating back to his first promotion to Tulsa last August, the 21-year-old outfielder has hit .322/.412/.502 with seven homers and eight steals in 63 games with the Drillers. His plate discipline this season has been particularly impressive -- he's drawn 24 walks while fanning just 23 times. MLB.com's No. 90 overall prospect doesn't have much more to prove in Double-A.

Video: Tulsa's Diaz smacks solo dinger

Others of note

Mariners OF Braden Bishop, Double-A Arkansas: 4-for-7, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, SB in doubleheader -- The Mariners' No. 5 prospect is batting .500/.527/.827 line with four homers and five doubles during an 11-game hitting streak. He's hitting .286/.360/.438 in 54 games overall.

Tigers RHP Kyle Funkhouser, Double-A Erie: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 96 pitches, 55 strikes -- The Tigers' No. 6 prospect tied his season high with six strikeouts against Hartford. It was also the second time this season he completed seven innings. Funkhouser has a 4.27 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 28 walks in 59 innings.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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