Ferguson becomes first player to 50 SB

June 26th, 2022

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Max Ferguson becomes first player with 50 SB this season (June 25)
Max Ferguson
has been a catcher’s nightmare this season.

The Padres’ No. 15 prospect stole his 50th base this season, which made him the first player to hit that milestone in the Minor and Major Leagues. Ferguson did so while going 1-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored in Single-A Lake Elsinore's 15-8 win over Rancho Cucamonga.

The 22-year-old did not get the chance to show his wheels after reaching base on a error in the first inning. He got walked three innings later and got his chance, stealing second base during the next hitter’s at-bat.

The 2021 fifth-round pick not only reached a milestone, he brought his run tally to 62 and RBIs tally to 38 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

Gasser, Hassell lead TinCaps in rout (June 19)
The High-A TinCaps came up just short in their pursuit of the final three outs after a big rally earlier in the series, but they left nothing to chance with their first three.

Spurred by an eight-run first inning, Fort Wayne’s offense roared in support of a dominant outing by starting pitcher Robert Gasser, who retired 21 straight, as the TinCaps rolled Lansing, 14-0, at Jackson Field.

While San Diego’s No. 8 prospect Gasser was one of the major headlines, it was Fort Wayne’s offense that set the tone. One night earlier, the TinCaps stormed back from a 4-0 deficit in the ninth to take a 5-4 lead before falling in walk-off fashion in the bottom half.

“A lot of things that we talked about were just building on what we did, making sure that we use all 27 outs,” TinCaps manager Brian Esposito said. “We felt really strongly about what we were going to be able to do today if we came out with that same attack mentality for the first three outs that we were going to get in the ballgame instead of waiting until the last three.” Full story »

Missions auction jerseys to benefit families of Uvalde (June 16)
Last month's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers shook the United States to its core. Yet a byproduct of evil inevitably leads to an outpouring of love, support and kindness -- all needed to begin the healing.

Sports, professional, collegiate and amateur, has always stepped forward to aid communities in times of hardship, and the tragedy in Uvalde elicited the same response. Located approximately 80 miles from the heart of the tragedy sits Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, home to the Double-A San Antonio Missions.

"San Antonio is the closest big city to Uvalde," said Missions president Burl Yarbrough. "Some of our high schools play in the same district. There are so many connections we have with the Uvalde community. What happened really hit home."

In conjunction with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and Wilson Sporting Goods, Missions players and coaches wore replica jerseys of what the Uvalde High School baseball squad wears. Full story »

Abrams homers, swipes pair of bags for El Paso (June 14)
If anything is for certain about C.J. Abrams’ upside, it’s that he’s a potential impact player any time that he’s on the diamond. During a 10-9 Chihuahuas victory over the Aviators at Southwest University Park, Abrams showcased the elements of his game that have catapulted him to becoming the No. 6 overall prospect in baseball.

From the jump, Abrams was a spark plug. He laced a base hit to center in the first, then promptly swiped second and third base, his eighth and ninth steals in 26 games with Triple-A El Paso.

That speed was on display again in the fourth, when the 21-year-old rocketed a double to right. There was no need to sprint in the eighth, as the left-handed-hitting shortstop connected on his sixth homer of the year, a shot that ricocheted off the scoreboard and gave El Paso a 10-4 lead. Ultimately, it proved to be the difference after Las Vegas rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth, before having the potential tying run thrown out at the dish.

To say that Abrams has been scorching hot over his last three games would just begin to paint the picture. After a five-hit performance Saturday (clad in unique SpongeBob SquarePants uniforms), the Padres’ top-ranked prospect has just kept hitting with back-to-back three-hit performances. He raised his Chihuahuas average by 57 points in that span and has collected a hit in 14 of his last 15 contests. -- Jesse Borek

Ruiz's breakout continues at Triple-A (June 14)
Esteury Ruiz has been the breakout star of the Padres system this season -- and, when you ask around, no one with the Padres seems surprised in the slightest. Ruiz has always combined elite tools (speed and power) with a strong work ethic. In his age-23 season, Ruiz is putting it all together.

The versatile Ruiz is the team's No. 29 overall prospect and has settled into a regular center field role this season. Last week, he earned a promotion to Triple-A El Paso, having batted a ridiculous .344/.474/.611 with nine homers and a whopping 37 steals at Double-A San Antonio.

He's already making an impact at El Paso, too, hitting three homers and batting .440 in his first week with the Chihuahuas. With the Padres outfield in flux, it’s possible Ruiz’s next promotion (to the big leagues) comes at some point this summer. -- AJ Cassavell

Abrams collects career-high five hits with El Paso (June 11)
Coming into play, C.J. Abrams’ batting average sat at .257. By the end of Triple-A El Paso’s 13-3 rout, he had raised it to .288, all thanks to a career effort.

The Padres’ top prospect tallied the first five-hit game of his career, crushing a two-run homer and singling four times in El Paso's victory over visiting Albuquerque. The knocks were no fluke, either -- four of Abrams’ hits were smoked at an exit velocity of 102.5 mph or higher.

It’s the fourth effort of at least four hits in Abrams’ career, with his last four-hit performance coming on June 18 of last year with Double-A San Antonio. He’s now tallied nine multihit performances in 24 Minor League games this season. Full story »

Rosario homers twice, plates career-high 6 (June 8)
It was a night to remember for sixth-ranked Eguy Rosario.

The 22-year-old led the way in Triple-A El Paso's 14-7 win over Albuquerque with four hits, including a pair of home runs, a double and a career-high six RBIs.

With one out in the second inning, Rosario turned around on a slider at the letters and muscled it out to left field for his fourth home run of the season. He gave the Chihuahuas the lead with an RBI single to right in the third.

After driving in two with a double to deep center in the seventh, Rosario saved his best for last by capping off his night with a towering drive down the left-field line in the eighth. -- Jacob Resnick

Abrams shows razzle-dazzle on play at short (June 2)
Fernandez Tatis Jr. might be the man in San Diego, but C.J. Abrams reminded everyone that he's got the goods at shortstop too.

Known for his elite speed and strong hitting, baseball's No. 6 overall prospect produced an eye-opening play on defense tailor-made for highlight reels and repeat viewings.

With Triple-A El Paso nursing a 1-0 lead over Salt Lake in the fourth inning, Angels farmhand Jose Rojas squibbed a ball off the plate that reached beyond the infield dirt in shallow left field.

Although it seemed destined to be a hit, Abrams ranged far to his right, and in one fluid motion, zipped a strike to first base while his momentum carried him further into left field. Full story »

Abrams starts in CF (May 29)
The Padres insist that C.J. Abrams is athletic and skilled enough to play just about anywhere. But here's a curious development: On Sunday afternoon, Abrams played his first professional game as a center fielder.

There are, of course, plenty of question marks surrounding Abrams' long-term positional fit in San Diego. The Padres have All-Stars at second base and shortstop in Jake Cronenworth and Fernando Tatis Jr., respectively.

Abrams has always said he'd be open to playing wherever the Padres ask him to. But he hasn't played center field in a competitive game since he won gold with Team USA U-18s in 2018 -- on a team where he was blocked at shortstop and second base by Bobby Witt Jr. and Anthony Volpe. -- AJ Cassavell

Abrams stays hot for Chihuahuas (May 28)
The top third of El Paso’s lineup was the engine driving a big night. C.J. Abrams was the spark plug that lit it all.

Baseball’s No. 6 overall prospect homered in his second three-hit game over his last four, driving in four runs and scoring three to help Triple-A El Paso to a 14-5 rout of Sugar Land.

Abrams reached four times on Saturday, kicking his night off with a walk in the bottom of the first before getting his hit parade started. After grounding out softly to second base in the second inning, the infielder went off. Abrams roped a two-run single to center field in the bottom of the third before belting a solo homer, his fourth longball of the year, to right field in the sixth. Full story »

Abrams posts 3-hit game for El Paso (May 25)
C.J. Abrams battled his way out of a bit of a slump with his fifth multihit game this year.

MLB Pipeline's No. 6 overall prospect has struggled since being demoted to Triple-A on May 10, but he got a confidence boost in El Paso's 16-8 victory over Sugar Land.

After going 1-for-19 in his previous four games, the 21-year-old was 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs and a steal.

The shortstop beat out a single to the mound and stole his fourth base in the fourth inning. He grounded a single to right in the fifth, then walked and belted a two-RBI single to right during the Chihuahuas' nine-run seventh.

The No. 6 overall pick in 2019 averaged just .214 over 55 at-bats with San Diego before heading to the Minors. Abrams is averaging .214 over 56 at-bats with El Paso. -- Ethan Sands

Missions notch second no-no in less than a week (May 18)
As the great Yogi Berra said, "It's like déjà vu all over again." And for the Missions, it certainly feels that way.

For the second time in four days, Double-A San Antonio had four pitchers combine on a no-hitter. Ryan Lillie, Michel Baez, Osvaldo Hernandez and Mason Fox delivered the feat in a 4-0 blanking of Midland at Nelson Wolff Stadium.

"Our manager [Phillip Wellman] told us after the game on Sunday, 'You guys are a part of history. You won't see this very often, so take some time and enjoy it.' And then, three days later, here we are tossing up another zero. It's crazy," Lillie said. "And I'm not gonna lie, I was sitting in the bullpen the entire game on Sunday and I was a little jealous. You always want to be part of something cool like this. So to do it in such little time from the last one and to start it and contribute four innings -- it definitely weights a little more in the heart." Full story »

Batten goes yard in third straight game (May 17)
It's officially a trend now for Matthew Batten, who homered in his third straight game for Triple-A El Paso, but the roundtripper wasn't enough as the Chihuahuas fell 13-5 to Oklahoma City.

The No. 28 Padres prospect launched a moonshot to left-center in the sixth for his sixth homer of the year. He also legged out a double in the third that ricocheted off the glove of OKC third baseman Miguel Vargas.

Batten is sporting a .317/.426/.528 slash line with 13 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs over 34 games this season. -- Rob Terranova