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 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