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Three things to know in the Chihuahuas playoff push

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Three things to know in the Chihuahuas playoff push

Adrian Broaddus, Web Editor

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As the Chihuahuas clinched their fourth Pacific Coast League Southern Division title in five seasons, El Paso continues to build upon their best record in club history.

Sitting at 82-56 and 26 games over .500, marking  their best record since their inception in 2014, manager Rod Barajas and his club is looking to make a strong playoff run this postseason.

Here are three things to know in the Chihuahuas playoff push:

Call-up’s don’t change anything

About two weeks ago, highly regarded prospect and second baseman Luis Urias finally got his call to the majors to spend what looks like the rest of the season with the Padres. Urias, who is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in San Diego’s organization and the No. 22 prospect in all of baseball, had a breakthrough stint in August that made his value rise. Although his .296/.398/.447 batting splits doesn’t jump off the page, he finished his time in El Paso with 45 extra-base hits and an isolated power (ISO) of .151. ISO is a formula that measures the raw power of a batter, the formulas final result measures how many extra bases a player averages per bat.

Some may think that losing Urias is a detriment to the Chihuahuas playoff run, but they are actually deep with talent at each position on the field. A Chihuahua veteran like Carlos Asuaje has managed second base consistently for the club, but Barajas  can move an athletic fielder like Dusty Coleman to second, if necessary.

Bottom line, the dogs have depth at almost every position, so replacing a player like Urias is possible. Should another prospect be called up to San Diego in the final month, there would be a formidable replacement for that player as well.

Pitching prospects have lived up to the hype

When minor league pitching duo Logan Allen and Cal Quantrill were called up to Triple-A from Double-A, some critics suggested it was a premature call-up.

Boy were they wrong.

Both pitchers have exceeded expectations in El Paso and each will be vital to the Chihuahuas’ playoff push down the line. Allen, who is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Padres organization and No. 85 overall in baseball, has put up a 4-0 record in five games, with a superb 1.63 ERA through 27.2 innings. He has totaled 26 strikeouts for El Paso and has a 1.23.WHIP. Allen, a left-handed pitcher, will be a Padres pitcher come 2019, and at just 21-years-old, his ceiling is high.

Quantrill, on the other hand, is an interesting prospect for the Padres organization. He was the eighth overall player drafted in the 2016 MLB Draft and is ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the organization. What makes him special is his ability to increase his  pitching velocity as the game goes on, similar to that of future Hall of Fame pitcher Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. He was an average player with the San Antonio Missions, posting a 6-5 record that by any means should not have been worthy to be called up to Triple-A. However, since his call-up to El Paso, Quantrill has dropped his ERA by almost two points  and has a 2-1 record in five games with a 3.81 ERA. His WHIP is promising at 1.46, striking out 19 batters. The jump that Quantrill has made from Double-A to Triple-A in itself is noteworthy enough.

Veteran leadership has helped younger players

There’s a bit of an age gap among El Paso players, but the up-and-coming prospects and the veterans have meshed well in the final stretch of the season.

Upon acquiring catcher Francisco Mejia from the Indians organization (No. 3 prospect in Padres organization, No. 15 in MLB), El Paso has found stability on offense. Mejia is batting an exceptional .301/.341/.540 with 34 hits in 29 games with El Paso. At 22 years old, Mejia could be playing his final month with the Dogs and can be a Padre as soon as 2019.

Infielder Ty France, 24, has emerged as a diamond in the rough for the Chihuahuas and has 17 RBIs in just 23 games. Even shortstop Javy Guerra, who had  a sub-.200 batting average before the All-Star break, has boosted it up to .225 and has been more consistent for El Paso.

Veteran talent like outfielders Forrestt Allday, Shane Peterson, Brett Nicholas and Dusty Coleman, and infielders Carlos Asuaje and Austin Craig have used their experience to help bring El Paso’s team batting average to a consistent .267.

El Paso is third in the PCL in doubles with 285 and fifth in home runs and RBIs with  141 and 689 respectively. If the bats stay as consistent as they’ve been, El Paso has a strong chance to make a strong push for a PCL title in September.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at theprospector1@gmail.com.

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About the Writer
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor

Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.

 

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Three things to know in the Chihuahuas playoff push