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Arizona League Padres 2 Win, but Indians Shine

The AZL Padres 2 may have won Saturday night, but it was Indians prospects like Michael Cooper and Luis Oviedo who stole the show.

Michael Cooper, AZL Indians
Shaun P Kernahan

On Saturday night, the San Diego Padres second Arizona League team, creatively named “Padres 2,” took on the Indians. Top draft pick Quentin Holmes was not in the lineup for the Indians, but they still managed to put together an impressive early outing.

33rd round pick Michael Cooper absolutely crushed a 1-0 fastball into the right field bullpen for a grand slam in the second inning. The ball was a line drive that one hopped off the bullpen wall so hard it was back on the field of play quick enough to actually cause momentary confusion as to whether or not it got out.

In the bottom of the third the Padres bounced back thanks in large part to an apparent blister on Jonas Wyatt’s pitching hand that led to a sequence of HBP, wild pitch, another wild pitch on ball four, wild pitch to score a run, wild pitch on ball four before Wyatt was finally removed from the game. There wound up seeing another walk and wild pitch with the inning ending up being a five run inning for the Padres.

The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Blake Hunt. He drove the ball over the center fielder’s head for a two run double. He has shown some real strength in the bat despite being more highly touted for his arm strength and defensive ability when he was drafted in the Competitive Balance Round B in June.

The most impressive player on the diamond this night was Luis Oviedo. The 18 year old Venezuelan came out of the bullpen in the 4th inning and dominated. He struck out the first six batters he faced and set down his first 14 batters faced before a bunt single ended his perfect stretch.

His fastball started at 90-92 but ticked up to 92-94 as he got settled in. He threw only three off speed pitches in his first four innings, but snapped off a bunch of curveballs in his fifth inning of work. A few stayed flat and drifted to his arm side but, like his fastball, got better through the outing.

He worked it between 73-78 MPH, with it fluctuating between an 11-5 break in the lower velocities to a 10-4 slider look at 77-78 MPH. His outing ended with a line of five innings, one hit, no walks, and 11 strikeouts.

In the end, the five run third for the Padres 2 ended the scoring giving them a 5-4 win, but from a prospect standpoint it was the Indians who looked the better club despite the loss.