The Lake Elsinore Storm are playoff bound and will host the first two games this week at the Diamond against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. On top of making the playoffs for the first time since 2014, the California League recently announced the 2019 postseason award winners and a pair of San Diego Padres’ top prospects earned honors, as well as two field staff members taking home hardware.
Highlighting the list for Lake Elsinore are Luis Campusano and MacKenzie Gore. Campusano has been named California League Co-MVP as well as a positional All-Star at catcher for an exceptional year in his first full season at the A-Advanced level. The Padres’ second-round selection out of Cross Creek High School in Georgia in 2017 has hit a league-leading .320 through 103 games with the Storm, tallying 36 multi-hit games to go along with a team-best 69 RBI while owning the team’s best strikeout-per-at-bat ratio among qualified hitters. Campusano currently ranks among the top three in the league in RBI, on-base percentage (.393) and OPS (.888).
MacKenzie Gore, the third-ranked prospect in Minor League Baseball and the top-ranked left-handed pitching prospect in the game, is one of four pitchers selected to the All-Star roster. The Padres’ first-round selection in 2017 made 15 starts with the Storm before his promotion to Double-A Amarillo. The 20-year-old posted dominant numbers with Lake Elsinore that include a 1.02 earned run average, a 7-1 record, a 0.71 walks/hits per innings pitched rating, an opponent batting average of .137 and 110 strikeouts in 79.1 innings.
The Whiteville, North Carolina, native’s campaign with the Storm included a trip to the midseason California League All-Star Game, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland and being showcased on the cover of July’s edition of Baseball America.
Pitching coach Pete Zamora in his second year with the Storm and fourth season in the Padres organization earned Coach of the Year honors as the Lake Elsinore staff currently ranks first in earned run average (3.23), shutouts (12), WHIP (1.21) and opponent batting average (.230) while allowing the league’s fewest hits and earned runs. Zamora has coached nine Storm pitchers to the midseason California League All-Star Game in the past two seasons.
The Clubhouse Manager of the Year is Terrance Tucker, a community ambassador who has now won the annual award four times in his nine seasons with the Storm.
Congratulations to this season’s honorees. For a complete list of the 2019 California League All-Stars, visit www.californialeague.com. Article contributions made by Matt Rodriguez, Lake Elsinore Storm social media manager and marketing assistant.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.