Luis Urias Headlines List of Chihuahuas Second Half Call-Ups
The Pacific Coast League is rapidly approaching their All Star break next week, and the El Paso Chihuahuas are currently in third place in the Pacific Southern Division, seven games behind the Salt Lake Bees. If you look at the San Diego Padres big league roster, most of their starters have spent time over the last two years in El Paso with the Chihuahuas. There is a good chance that Padres management will promote some of their top Double-A performers to El Paso during the next two months. Here are four players who could move up from San Antonio.
Luis Urias - the 20-year old second baseman/shortstop is one of the top ranked players in the Padres organization and is considered by many to be their best pure hitter at any Minor League level. Urias, who just turned 20 last month, is currently hitting .304 with an OPS (on base plus slugging) of .804. He had a rough July, hitting just .233, but the Padres love him and it would not be surprising to see them challenge Urias by moving the middle infielder up to Triple-A. Interestingly enough, he did spend three games with the Chihuahuas last season and had four hits including a homer in nine at bats.
Franmil Reyes - despite not making Baseball America's Top 30 prospects list before the season, the 6'5, 240-pound outfielder is a force in the Missions lineup. He has better than average power and is also hitting for average this year in Double-A. Reyes is just 21 and he is leading San Antonio with 56 RBIs. The only problem is that the Chihuahuas are loaded with offensive producers in the outfield so Reyes might need an injury in order to free up a spot in El Paso for him to get the call.
Brett Kennedy - the 22-year old righthander has pitched well at every level since being drafted in the 11th round by the Padres in 2015. The former Fordham star shook off a rough April and has been terrific in May and June. Tyrell Jenkins and Bryan Rodriguez have been shaky in the Chihuahuas rotation, and Kennedy could be next in line to get his first shot at Triple-A after the All Star break.
Eric Lauer - the Padres are not afraid to move their prospects up three levels in one season, and Lauer is already in Double-A after spending the first three months of the season in High-A. With Lake Elsinore, the 2016 1st round pick dominated, with a 2.79 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 67 innings. Lauer won his first start with the Missions last Sunday and he struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings. If he continues to dominate Double-A hitters, I would expect Lauer to make his final stop of the season in El Paso sometime next month.