Former Missions shortstop Mauricio Dubon looking for opening day spot with Giants

Former San Antonio Missions shortstop Mauricio Dubon playing second base for the San Francisco Giants in a spring training game in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former San Antonio Missions shortstop Mauricio Dubon playing second base for the San Francisco Giants in a 2022 spring training game on March 29 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The San Francisco Giants like former San Antonio Missions star Mauricio Dubon for his athleticism and versatility.

In Saturday’s spring training game, the Giants’ TV commentators talked about how valuable he is because of his ability to play second base, shortstop and center field. They also mentioned how much stress it can be to prepare for that many positions. The irony was on that particular afternoon he started at yet another position – third base. On the day he had a double, two walks and scored twice in four plate appearances.

Dubon played in 74 games for the Giants last season, batting .240 with five home runs. He also spent time in Triple-A.

The 6-footer, who will turn 28 years old in July, is a trailblazer as a Major League Baseball player from Honduras.

Dubon spent most of the 2019 season in San Antonio. He was the starting shortstop for the Missions the one season when they were the Triple-A farm club of the Milwaukee Brewers.

His playing career with the Missions ended at the trade deadline. In a quirk of timing and scheduling, he was traded from the Brewers organization to the Giants organization on a day the Giants’ Triple-A team was visiting Wolff Stadium – so Dubon played for the Missions one day and against the Missions the next.

Former Missions shortstop CJ Abrams impressive at Padres spring training

Former San Antonio Missions shortstop CJ Abrams playing for the San Diego Padres in a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former San Antonio Missions shortstop CJ Abrams signs autographs before a San Diego Padres spring training game last week in Arizona.
CJ Abrams is the top prospect in the San Diego Padres’ organization – although he appears to be on the verge of outgrowing “prospect” status.

Abrams spent part of last summer as the starting shortstop for the Double-A Antonio Missions. His season was cut short by an injury.

Abrams has seen plenty of action with the Padres during the current spring training and has impressed with both his defense and batting. With the Padres’ regular shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. currently out with an injury, Abrams could find himself on San Diego’s opening day roster.

Abrams is capable of playing both shortstop and second base. There have also been media reports that the Padres have given thought to him being used as a backup in center field.

The 6-foot-2, 21-year-old Abrams was a first-round pick by the Padres in the 2019 baseball amateur draft.

The next Tatis? Abrams may solve SS dilemma
story by AJ Cassavell on MLB.com

Missions 2021 statistical notes on players like Jack Suwinski, Eguy Rosario, Reiss Knehr, Allen Cordoba, Esteury Ruiz

Esteury Ruiz slides into home with the San Antonio Missions' second run of the game in Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks. - photo by Joe Alexander
Esteury Ruiz slides into home with the Missions’ second run of the game on May 4 in the 2021 season-opening victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks.
Watching the local team’s star players move on is a part of minor league baseball that is fun, gratifying and frustrating.

One example of what the San Antonio Missions lost this season:

– Jack Suwinski led the team in home runs with 15. The 23-year-old outfielder was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization on July 26, so he was the Missions’ leader despite not being with the team for almost the last two months of the season.

More statistical notes:

– Eguy Rosario played more games in a Missions uniform than anyone else this summer at 114. Kyle Overstreet was second at 103.

– Rosario was second on the team in home runs with 12 and second in stolen bases with 30. Rosario was the Missions’ opening day second baseman and was with the team all summer, playing shortstop late in the season.

– Outfielder Esteury Ruiz led the Missions in stolen bases with 36.

– Infielder Allen Cordoba led the Missions in batting average at .299 (not including players who appeared in less than 10 games). Cordoba played in 74 games. He didn’t start playing until June 8.

– CJ Abrams entered the season as the Missions’ most highly regarded prospect. The 20-year-old shortstop was limited to only 42 games due to injuries. He finished second on the team in batting at .296, but went on the injured list for the second time on July 8 and didn’t play again.

– Adrian Martinez (7-3) led Missions pitchers in wins, led their starters in ERA (2.34) and was second in starts (13).

– Reiss Knehr was 6-1 in 11 starts before moving up to pitch for both the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas and San Diego Padres.

– Reliever Carlos Belen led the Missions staff in appearances with 39. Henry Henry (38), Nick Kuzia (37), Jose Quezada (35) and James Reeves (31) all had 30-plus appearances.

Some players were notable for what they did after they moved up.

– Jose Azocar played in 79 games for the Missions, mostly in center field. He batted .276 with nine home runs and six triples. He is batting .324 for El Paso, second on the team, and is currently leading the Triple-A West in triples with seven despite only playing in 37 games at that level so far.

– Robbie Podorsky opened the season with the Missions but never played at Wolff Stadium. After batting .370 in seven road games, the speedy outfielder was promoted to El Paso. He is batting .275 with five home runs in Triple A, but has been limited to 27 games due to injuries.

– Taylor Kohlwey leads El Paso in batting at .339. He was with the Missions on opening day and played in 18 games for San Antonio before moving up.

– Matt Batten is fourth in hitting for El Paso at .301. He was with the Missions on opening day and played in six games before moving up.

– Pitcher Caleb Boushley has made 15 starts with a 3-8 record in El Paso since being called up on June 21. He was 2-3 in eight games with the Missions.

– Knehr has appeared in seven games in El Paso, four as a starter. His role changed after leaving San Antonio, where he was a starter. He was called up to San Diego four times, appearing in eight games and starting twice. He has a 1-0 record and 3.93 ERA with the Padres.

Missions’ bullpen provides final highlight of season in loss to Hooks

The San Antonio Missions played their final game of the 2021 Double-A Central season on Sunday night at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions played their final game of the 2021 Double-A Central season on Sunday night at Wolff Stadium.
The San Antonio Missions’ 2021 season ended with a 9-1 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Sunday at Wolff Stadium.

The Hooks jumped out to an early lead with six runs in the first inning and three more in the second.

The Missions’ only run came in the fourth inning, when Augustin Ruiz doubled and then scored on a double by Olivier Basabe.

In a final game of the season between two teams with losing records, Missions relievers shut out the Hooks over the final seven innings.

Sam McWilliams pitched the third inning and allowed one hit, Mason Fox went 2 1/3 innings and allowed one hit while striking out five, James Reeves pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit with five strikeouts, and Henry Henry pitched the last two innings and allowed one hit with two strikeouts.

Kevin Kopps, Javy Guerra pitch in Missions’ loss to Hooks

Former Arkansas star Kevin Kopps pitched the ninth inning for the San Antonio Missions on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former Arkansas star Kevin Kopps pitched the ninth inning for the Missions.
Two players at different stages of their careers saw action on the mound for the San Antonio Missions on Saturday at Wolff Stadium in a 6-1 loss to Corpus Christi.

Javy Guerra pitched in a combined 22 games in relief for the San Diego Padres in 2019 and 2020. He hasn’t pitched in the majors this season due to an elbow issue.

The 6-foot, right-hander from Panama was assigned to the Missions on a rehab assignment Saturday and pitched the fifth inning on Saturday night. He retired the side in order with no hits, walks or strikeouts.

Kevin Kopps, playing in his first summer of pro ball after a stellar college career at Arkansas, pitched at Wolff Stadium for the second time this week. He worked the scoreless ninth inning, allowing no hits, one walk and no strikeouts.

Eguy Rosario scored the Missions’ only run in the fourth inning. He doubled, went to third on a wild pitched and went home on Dwanya Williams-Sutton’s sacrifice fly.

MacKenzie Gore makes Wolff debut as Missions beat Hooks

San Diego Padres prospect MacKennzie Gore was the San Antonio Missions' starting pitcher on Friday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Diego Padres prospect MacKennzie Gore was the Missions’ starting pitcher on Friday at Wolff Stadium.
MacKenzie Gore pitched at Wolff Stadium for his first and only time this season on Friday night.

The highly regarded San Diego Padres prospect made his second start of the season for the San Antonio Missions in a 4-1 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Gore did not get a decision, pitching four innings and allowing one run on three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. He made his first start for the Missions on the road last week, going five innings and allowing two runs.

The 6-foot-2 left-hander was a first-round draft pick, No. 3 overall, by the Padres in 2017.

The game was tied 1-1 heading into the late innings. The Missions got a solo home run from Michael Curry in the seventh inning to take the lead for good. Eguy Rosario added a two-run homer in the eighth for the final runs of the game.

Esteury Ruiz keys rally as Missions top Hooks

Esteury Ruiz had this catch in center field in addition to two run-scoring hits for the San Antonio Missions on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Esteury Ruiz had this catch in center field in addition to two run-scoring hits for the Missions.
Esteury Ruiz’s three-run double in the seventh inning gave the San Antonio Missions the lead for good in an 8-6 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday at Wolff Stadium.

Ruiz’s key hit was a bases-loaded cracked-bat bloop that landed near the right-field line. That broke a 3-3 tie and put the Missions up 6-3. The Missions weren’t done that inning as they put up five runs with RBI hits by Ethan Skender and Eguy Rosario to surge in front 8-3.

The Hooks made it interesting when they scored a run in the eighth and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth and scored two more.

The Missions’ first three runs came in the second inning. Esteury Ruiz had a two-run hit. Michael Curry doubled to drive in Dwanya Williams-Sutton with the first run of the game.

Missions starting pitcher Jerry Keel went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned. Sam Williams (3-2) pitched a scoreless seventh inning and earned the win.

Kevin Kopps makes Missions debut in loss to Hooks

Kevin Kopps, a 2021 San Diego Padres draft pick and former Arkansas star, made his San Antonio Missions debut on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Kevin Kopps, a 2021 San Diego Padres draft pick, made his Missions debut on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium.
Kevin Kopps was a third-round pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2021 draft in July.

Over the course of the summer he has jumped from the University of Arkansas to rookie ball to Class A Fort Wayne and then to Double-A.

Kopps made his Double-A debut on Wednesday night at Wolff Stadium. He pitched the ninth inning for the San Antonio Missions in a 4-0 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks.

The 6-foot, right-hander struck out two batters, had a hit-by-pitch and got the other out on a fly ball. He is expected to see more action with the Missions before their season ends Sunday.

The Houston native pitched in 92 games in his college career at Arkansas, mostly as a reliever. He had seven starts and 13 saves.

Kopps earned the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy, first-team All-American honors and D1Baseball and Collegiate Baseball national player of the year for the 2021 college season.

Ethan Skender homers but Hooks overpower Missions

San Antonio Missions center fielder Esteury Ruiz catches a deep fly ball against the fence on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Missions center fielder Esteury Ruiz catches a deep fly ball against the fence on Tuesday.
The Corpus Christi Hooks hit four home runs to beat the San Antonio Missions 9-4 on Tuesday.

The Missions Ethan Skender hit his first home run since joining the team Aug. 27.

The Hooks got two homers from Enmanuel Valdez and one each from Cesar Salazar and Joe Perez.

Kyle Overstreet, Olivier Basabe homer as Missions win series finale with Sod Poodles

Kyle Overstreet hit his fourth home run of the season in the San Antonio Missions' victory over the Amarillo Sod Poodles on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Kyle Overstreet hit his fourth home run of the season in the Missions’ victory over the Sod Poodles.
Kyle Overstreet homered in the second inning to start the San Antonio Missions’ scoring and Olivier Basabe hit a three-run blast in the third in Sunday’s 7-4 victory over the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

The Missions put up four runs in the second inning and led the rest of the way. Overstreet led off with his fourth homer of the season. Chandler Seagle had a two-run double and Ethan Skender drove in Seagle.

Missions starting pitcher Pedro Avila went four innings and allowed one run. Sam McWilliams, the Missions’ first reliever of the night, contributed two innings and got the win. Nick Kuzia pitched the ninth inning and earned his fifth save.

The Missions play their next six games on the road. They end their season with six games at Wolff Stadium beginning Tuesday, Sept. 14.