Paddack takes over spring K lead

Padres No. 5 prospect fans six, runs Cactus League total to 20

Chris Paddack struck out 120 in 90 innings pitched last season between Class A Advanced and Double-A. (Matt York/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | March 14, 2019 2:13 AM

Chris Paddack might not open the 2019 season in the San Diego rotation, but he's giving his organization a lot to be excited about for whenever that day arrives.

Baseball's No. 34 overall prospect racked up six strikeouts over four innings to take over the Spring Training lead as the Padres knocked off the Angels, 9-3.

Paddack bookended the first and second innings with strikeouts before fanning one in the third and one in the fourth. The Padres' No. 5 prospect scattered five hits over four frames, allowing one run and not issuing a walk.

The six whiffs gave Paddack 20 in 12 2/3 innings this spring, more than any other hurler in the Cactus or Grapefruit Leagues. Last year, the righty combined to post a 7-3 record and 2.10 ERA with 120 strikeouts over 90 innings between Class A Advanced and Double-A.

Paddack's backstop continued pressing his case for a big league job to open the campaign. Francisco Mejia, baseball's No. 26 overall, went 2-for-3 with an RBI single to center field in the second and a leadoff double to right in the fifth. San Diego's No. 4 prospect is batting .414 with a 1.314 OPS this spring.

In other spring action:

Indians (ss) 9, Brewers 3

Baseball's No. 20 overall prospect Keston Hiura continued flexing his power by belting a three-run homer off Trevor Bauer. The long ball was Hiura's third homer in his last four games.

Corey Ray (Milwaukee's No. 2 prospect) doubled to increase his spring average to .250. Cleveland's No. 19 prospect Oscar Mercado doubled on a 1-for-3 day. He's hitting .438 in 32 Cactus League at-bats. Box score

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 4

Get hot, stay hot. That's the way Bo Bichette is operating in his Spring Training showcase. 

Toronto's No. 2 prospect recorded two more hits, stole a base and scored a run in the Blue Jays' loss at Ed Smith Stadium. Bichette has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats with a .387/.424/.806 line overall this spring. 

Video: Get to know Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette

The No. 11 overall prospect went hitless in his first two plate appearances of the day, then singled up the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Bichette moved into scoring position by swiping second base. The attempt drew an overthrow from Orioles catcher Jesus Sucre, and he advanced to third before Billy McKinney singled him home.

In the seventh, the 21-year-old went the other way and sent a ball, which deflected off Baltimore second baseman Jack Reinheimer's glove, through the right side for his second hit. He grounded out to third in the ninth. 

Bichette has particularly stood out when given the opportunity to start. On the initial lineup card for the past three games, the 2016 second-round pick went 8-for-15 with four extra-base hits and four RBIs. 

Toronto's No. 3 prospect Danny Jansen singled while No. 10 Cavan Biggio walked and scored once. Ninth-ranked Sean Reid-Foley surrendered two earned runs on two hits and one walk over four innings out of the bullpen. 

Orioles No. 25 prospect Drew Jackson contributed an RBI single and 21st-ranked Cody Carroll picked up the save with a scoreless ninth. 

Mets 2, Astros 1

Houston pitching prospects Corbin Martin (No. 5) and Cionel Perez (No. 22) combined for three scoreless one-hit innings of relief, but New York won on a two-run homer by veteran Robinson Cano. First baseman Pete Alonso went 0-for-3, but is still hitting .371 in Grapefruit League play. Box score

Nationals 8, Braves 4

Second-ranked Washington prospect Carter Kieboom entered the game as a pinch hitter and laced a run-scoring single. Braves No. 4 prospect Cristian Pache doubled to raise his spring average to .458, while Austin Riley went 1-for-4 and scored once. Chad Sobotka (No. 21) struggled in relief, allowing two earned runs on two hits and a pair of walks while recording two outs. Box score

Offseason MiLB include

Marlins 4, Cardinals 1

St. Louis No. 4 prospect Dakota Hudson started and struggled with command. The righty allowed an earned run on two hits and three walks while striking out three to keep his ERA at 2.53 in Grapefruit League play. Max Schrock singled in the Cardinals' run in the fifth. Box score

Royals 17, Indians (ss) 7

Kansas City's No. 8 prospect Nicky Lopez singled in a run with his only hit of the day and later came around to score in the eighth. The middle infielder has compiled a .314/.351/.694 slash line this spring as knocks on the door of the Major League roster. Box score

Athletics 12, Cubs 11

Oakland's No. 3 prospect Sean Murphy doubled, just his third hit of the spring. The No. 45 overall prospect has struggled this spring, batting just .120. Cubs No. 2 prospect Nico Hoerner doubled in his lone trip to the plate after entering the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He's hitting .667 with a 2.194 OPS, although the No. 100 overall prospect has only had nine at-bats. Box score

Mariners 8, Giants 4

Seattle's No. 5 prospect Julio Rodriguez pinch-hit in the leadoff spot and went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a run scored. Braden Bishop (No. 11) was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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