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.
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.
Reiss Knehr pitched five scoreless innings and led off a combined seven-inning shutout as the San Antonio Missions beat the Corpus Christi Hooks 3-0 in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday at Wolff Stadium.
The victory ended a nine-game Missions losing streak. The Hooks won Thursday’s first game 5-2.
Knehr (6-1) leads Missions pitchers in wins. He allowed two hits and struck out seven in five innings. James Reeves pitched the sixth. Nick Kuzia pitched the seventh for his first save of the season.
Jose Azocar’s broken bat single to left drove in Olivier Basabe and Chandler Seagle with the first runs of the game in the bottom of the third. Azocar also made a couple of catches against the fence later in the game.
Basabe, getting a start at second base with CJ Abrams out, drove in Allen Cordoba with the Missions’ final run in the bottom of the fourth. Abrams, who left Wednesday’s game after a collision with a teammate, did not see action in either game Thursday.
San Antonio Missions star CJ Abrams left Wednesday’s game in the top of the ninth inning as the team lost to the Corpus Christi Hooks 4-0 at Wolff Stadium.
Abrams is one of the top prospects in the San Diego Padres organization. The 20-year-old shortstop collided with second baseman Eguy Rosario on a ground ball up the middle. Abrams was not putting any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the field.
The Missions’ offense managed only two hits on the night. It was the eighth-straight loss for the Missions, who were swept in their recent six-game road series against the Frisco RoughRiders.
There were some positive signs from the San Antonio pitching. Starter Aaron Leasher (4-3) took the loss, but pitched five innings and allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts.
Former big league pitcher Joe Beimel made his season debut, going one scoreless inning in relief in the eighth. Beimel last pitched in the majors with the Seattle Mariners in 2015.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals beat the San Antonio Missions 8-2 on Sunday at Wolff Stadium.
The teams split the six-game series 3-3.
The Missions managed only four hits Sunday. CJ Abrams had an RBI double and Kyle Overstreet had an RBI single. Jose Azocar and Allen Cordoba both singled and scored.
Missions starting pitcher Reggie Lawson left the game with two outs in the first and gave up three runs on two hits and two walks. Dylan Rheault finished the first inning and took care of the second.
Adrian Martinez took over on the mound in the third inning and pitched five innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits. Martinez has been a starter for most of the season but has come on in relief in all three of Martinez’s starts.
Missions outfielder Esteury Ruiz, who is out on the injured list, worked as the first base coach for part of the game.
The Missions are off on Monday and open a six-game road series against the Frisco RoughRiders on Tuesday. Frisco leads the Double-A Central League South Division with the Missions in second place.
Right field at Wolff Stadium has historically been a place where most long fly balls die at the warning track.
That hasn’t stopped Jack Suwinski. The San Antonio Missions’ left-handed outfielder hit his ninth and 10th home runs of the season on Sunday in a 12-6 victory over the Midland RockHounds.
Suwinski hit his eighth homer of the season on Saturday night. All three weekend home runs soared out over right field.
Suwinski went 3-for-5 on Sunday and scored three times. The 22-year-old, who is playing his first season above Class A, batted 9-of-22 (.409) in the six-game home series against Midland as the Missions won five of the six games.
Missions third baseman Allen Cordoba, who made his season debut on Saturday, recorded his first two hits of the season including a double on Sunday.
The Missions’ CJ Abrams had three hits, two RBIs and two runs, and Jose Azocar and Michael Curry both had two hits.
Starting pitcher Reiss Knehr went five innings, giving up two runs in the first and holding Midland scoreless the next four innings to get the win (5-1). He allowed four hits and two walks and struck out six.
Missions left fielder Esteury Ruiz left the game in the top of the third. He was shaking his hand after sliding into second base in the bottom of the second.
Kyle Overstreet, who left Friday’s game after being hit in the face by a pitch, was not in the Missions’ lineup for the second day in a row.
The San Antonio Missions won for the fourth time in the last five games with a 5-4 victory over the Midland RockHounds on Thursday at Wolff Stadium.
The Missions had been hot at the plate for most of the last two weeks. After having a rough all-around night on Wednesday, they piled up 11 hits on Thursday. Jose Azocar, Kyle Overstreet and Eguy Rosario had two hits each.
Missions starting pitcher Caleb Boushley held the RockHounds scoreless the first five innings and got the win (2-2). He left the game with one out and two runners on in the sixth. Both runners scored and Boushley ended the night with two earned runs on six hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Jose Quezada pitched the final inning for his sixth save of the season.
The Missions scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and led the rest of the way. Taylor Kohlwey’s sacrifice fly brought in Azocar, who led off the first with a single.
The Missions got a long two-run single from Overstreet that scored Chandler Seagle and CJ Abrams in the fifth inning. Esteury Ruiz’s ground ball through the middle drove in Rosario in the sixth.
Jack Suwinski cracked his fourth triple of the season in the eighth inning and scored the Missions’ final run on Ruiz’s bunt.
The future of the Texas Rangers’ pitching staff looks bright, at least based on the recent performance of the Frisco RoughRiders.
The RoughRiders used strong pitching to take five of six games from the San Antonio Missions at Wolff Stadium. Frisco allowed a total of five runs in its five victories, including a 6-1 decision over the Missions on Sunday in the series finale.
In all, Frisco limited San Antonio to eight runs over the six-game series. Two of those runs were unearned in the Missions’ only victory of the week, leaving the RoughRiders’ pitching staff with a smooth 1.00 ERA in the series.
Frisco looked like it was headed for its second straight shutout victory on Sunday. The Missions’ only run came in the ninth inning on a solo home run by Jack Suwinski. The Missions finished with four hits, two of them in the last inning.
Frisco starter A.J. Alexy and first reliever Blake Bass combined to no-hit the Missions through the first five innings.
Saturday night, five Frisco pitchers combined for a shutout. In Tuesday night’s series opener, five Frisco pitchers threw a combined shutout and held the Missions to five hits.
Missions infielder and highly regarded San Diego Padres prospect CJ Abrams did not play Sunday. He left Saturday night’s game after it appeared he hurt his leg running to first on a ground ball.
The Missions are off Monday and begin a six-game road series against Northwest Arkansas on Tuesday. The Missions don’t return to Wolff Stadium until June 8.