These Players Could Soon Arrive in El Paso with Chihuahuas
The El Paso Chihuahuas are two weeks away from their All Star break and the team is playing their best baseball since April. They return home tonight against the Fresno Grizzlies with a five game winning streak and they are back in second place just four games behind Sal Lake City.
The San Diego Padres have always challenged their young prospects who showed the ability to succeed at lower levels. These five players have demonstrated the ability to perform in San Antonio for the Double-A Missions and they could all see time in El Paso in the next few months.
Catcher Austin Allen has been the best hitter for the Missions all season and the 24-year old could soon find himself in the Chihuahuas lineup. In 68 games, Allen is batting .318 with 15 home runs and 36 RBIs. He has also struck out just 57 times in 267 at bats. Known as an offensive catcher, the biggest challenge for Allen is his defensive play behind the plate. In 49 games at catcher, Allen has thrown out 25 runners in 70 attempts. The Padres will give him every opportunity to make it as a catcher since his bat is so advanced for Minor League pitching.
First baseman Josh Naylor is another prospect who has thrived offensively at San Antonio this season. The Canadian native is hitting .312 this season, but he exploded in April with seven of his ten home runs along with a .379 average. Naylor walks almost as much as he strikes out, but his natural first base position is currently being occupied in the big leagues by Eric Hosmer. He has played 44 games in the outfield and that could ultimately be his best chance to get to San Diego.
Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. came into the 2018 season with the most hype, but his miserable April had some fans wondering if he would be able to survive Double-A baseball. Any questions were answered in May when the 19-year old hit .336 with seven homers, 16 RBIs, and five stolen bases. It is just a matter of time before Tatis Jr. arrives in El Paso and when he does, Chihuahuas fans will enjoy one of the best shortstop prospects in baseball.
The Padres have a ton of great young arms in their minor league system and 21-year old Logan Allen is enjoying a great first half in the Texas League. In 13 starts with the Missions, Allen is 8-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Double-A hitters are batting just .208 against him and he offers three quality pitches including a changeup with a "Vulcan" grip between his middle and ring finger. The Chihuahuas have seen some of their best young starters move up to San Diego and Allen should be arriving in El Paso soon.
Although his stats in San Antonio do not match Allen, Cal Quantrill is another prospect who has been highly regarded since he was drafted in the first round out of Stanford in 2016. Like Tatis, Quantrill is the son of a successful big leaguer and over the last three Minor League seasons, he has worked his way back from Tommy John surgery. Quantrill has had a good April and June and has pitched much better on the road this season. El Paso is known to be a hitter's ballpark, but the 23-year old might have an opportunity to get his first taste of Triple-A baseball later this summer.