Missions infielder, Padres prospect Matt Batten: a first look

Matt Batten playing third base for the San Antonio Missions on May 5, 2021 against Corpus Christi. - photo by Joe Alexander
Matt Batten playing third base for the San Antonio Missions on May 5, 2021 against Corpus Christi. – photos by Joe Alexander
Matt Batten took one step closer to the big leagues Wednesday when he was promoted from the San Antonio Missions to the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas.

Batten was the Missions’ 2021 opening day starter at third base. He played in six of the Missions’ first seven games.

The 5-foot-11 infielder was a 32nd-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2017 draft. He had .299 batting average in 109 games with the Chihuahuas in 2019 with six home runs and 48 RBIs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I changed the spelling of Batten’s first name from “Mat” to “Matt” in this story after it was updated by the Missions. Batten’s milb.com bio page has it spelled both ways depending on where you look. His full first name is “Matthew.”

Missions’ Batten, Kohlwey, Podorsky called up to Triple-A

Three members of the San Antonio Missions have been called up to the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, according to Missions radio.

Mat Batten, Taylor Kohlwey and Robbie Podorsky are the three players who are taking the next step.

As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the three players who were reported to be headed from San Antonio to El Paso are no longer listed on the Missions’ roster on the team website.

The Chihuahuas needed reinforcements after some of their players were called up by the short-handed San Diego Padres.

Podorsky is an outfielder and played in all of the Missions’ first seven games and was batting .370.

Kohlwey is a first baseman and was batting .240 in six games.

Batten is a third baseman and was batting .174 in six games.

None of the three was in the Missions’ lineup tonight as they played on the road against the Midland RockHounds.

UPDATE: Infielder Olivier Basabe has joined the Missions, coming up from Class-A Fort Wayne. The 23-year-old from Venezuela batted .273 in 11 games in Fort Wayne.

Basabe entered Wednesday night’s Missions game and played second base after Eguy Rosario left with an injury. Basabe went 1-for-1 with a single and an RBI in the Missions’ 9-2 road loss to the Midland RockHounds.

Hooks’ strong pitching holds off Missions

The Missions' Jose Azocar tracks down a fly ball against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Jose Azocar tracks down a fly ball against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. – photo by Joe Alexander
Corpus Christi Hooks pitching held the San Antonio Missions in check for all but one inning on Wednesday night.

The Hooks beat the Missions 4-2 to even the series after the Missions won Tuesday night’s season opener.

The Missions strung together three hits in the fifth inning to score twice. But the Missions only had one other hit the rest of the night, that coming in the ninth inning.

Juan Fernandez ignited the Missions’ fifth-inning rally with a leadoff single. Mat Batten followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position with no outs.

The Hooks got the next two batters on a ground out and a strikeout. Robbie Podorsky, who had four hits in Tuesday’s opener, came through again with a two-out single to center that brought in both Fernandez and Batten.

The Hooks went in front for on a two-run homer by Grae Kessinger that gave Corpus Christi a 3-2 lead.

Three Hooks pitchers combined to allow four hits while striking out 17 Missions batters.

Random observations:

Missions second baseman Eguy Rosario is listed at 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds. That’s probably how big he was when he signed his first contract as a teenager. I’m guessing he is more like 5-11 and 190 pounds. He has some muscle on him.

Podorsky is one of the smaller guys on the team and looks like a contact hitter. Two games is a small sample size, but so far he is the Missions’ most consistent batter at putting the ball in play. He has five hits and three RBIs while batting in the No. 9 spot.

Fernandez looks like a guy who has fun playing the game. I think he will be a fan favorite in San Antonio.

The sun angles at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi are very different from Wolff Stadium in San Antonio. At Whataburger, the right fielder is staring into the sun as it sets over the grandstand. At the Wolff, the left fielder is the one fighting the sun before it sets.

Photo gallery: Missions’ defensive plays