Top 25 Padres Prospects – AugustPosted by in Scouting Reports
This is a list of the best prospects in the Padres’ organization. To be eligible for this list a player must be currently in the minors or temporarily filling a roster spot on the Major League club. Prospects are ranked both by their ultimate potential and the likelihood that they will reach that potential. Estimated Time of Arrival, ETA, for each prospect is when they would reach the majors if they are able to reach their potential. If you disagree with a ranking or an evaluation that is fine. You could ask 10 experts to submit a list of top prospects and no two would be the same. Disparity among the evaluations is what makes them interesting!
If you have any questions or comments about the list, send Jeff a message.
Updated: August 2011 – 2011 Draft Picks who had not signed by the beginning of August were not considered.
1) Robbie Erlin – Although he’s only been a Padre for a few days, Erlin has the skills and track record to thrive in San Diego much like Mat Latos has. As evident by his 129/13 K/BB ratio in 127.1 IP in 2011 Erlin is an extreme command pitcher, but he’s still learning to control the strike zone. While many see his ceiling as 2 or a 3, pitching half his games in Petco – and most of the rest at friendly NL West parks – should help Erlin perform as a dominant top-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. ETA: Late 2012
2) Casey Kelly – Kelly came over in the offseason as the big name in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. A two-way player when drafted, Kelly is in just his second season as a fulltime pitcher. Scouts are still waiting for the results to match the stuff, but Kelly still has all of the tools and leftover projection to be a very successful pitcher and a plus-plus defender at his position. ETA: 2013
3) Keyvius Sampson – An elite athlete, Sampson lacks the desired frame that would project him as a potential future ace. Armed with a low to mid-90s fastball and a violent delivery, Sampson is missing bats at an impressive rate – 10.5 K/9 – and has shown consistent control over his first two full seasons. With a 1.026 WHIP in Class A Fort Wayne, he should see a few starts in Lake Elsinore before the season’s over. ETA: 2014
4) Joe Wieland – Wieland put himself firmly on the prospect map with his July 29th complete game no hitter against his future franchise. While he doesn’t have quite the ceiling that Erlin does, Wieland is just as safe of a bet to be a solid 3 or 4 for the Padres for the next several years. His strikeout rates are a bit deceptive, but Wieland has more than enough stuff than he needs with his 70-grade control. ETA: 2012
5) Cory Spangenberg – While Spangenberg may not have the ceiling of a typical number 9 overall pick, he is a great hitter with legitimate tools. He started off his San Diego career by dominating Short-Season ball in Eugene to the tune of .394/.545/.535, but has struggled since joining Fort Wayne. His hitting ability is legitimate and will be the tool that carries him to the majors. ETA: Late 2014
6) Jaff Decker – Coming off an injury-riddled season in 2010, Padres fans had high expectations for Decker in 2011. A career triple slash of .273/.415/.474 shows that Decker has the abilities to be an offensive force in San Diego, but he still has yet to put a season together at an upper level where all of his skills play up to their potential at once. ETA: Late 2012
7) Rymer Liriano – Since 2008, San Diego has had a renewed philosophy in seeking out prospects that are superior athletes and Liriano is an example of that philosophy paying off. He struggled through two scuffling seasons in 2009 and ’10 but has put together what looks like a full set of potentially average to plus tools across the board. Armed with an impressively powerful arm, Liriano has nine outfield assists this season in just over 90 games and should be able to at least be an emergency centerfielder in the bigs. With a 2011 triple slash at Fort Wayne of .328/.390/.522, he is leaving little to be desired in the box score. ETA: Late 2014/Early 2015
8) Reymond Fuentes – Fuentes has speed to burn but is still learning how to translate it into complete success on the bases. The Padres love his potential as a speedster who can blanket centerfield without the need for a great arm – which he doesn’t have. The power has not progressed as expected, even in the friendly confines of the California League. ETA: 2014
9) Donavan Tate – While Tate very well may have the highest ceiling on this list, he has a higher chance of not making it out of AA than he does getting 500 plate appearances in the majors. Still in Short-Season ball at the age of 20 and in his second season since being drafted, Tate has a lot of maturing to do both on and off the field to justify his $6.25 million bonus. ETA: Late 2015
10) Jedd Gyorko – Gyorko can hit, there’s no doubt about that. Problem is, no one is really sure what other tools he has. He’ll be one of the next names on this list to arrive in San Diego and should provide a reliable bat with average power. ETA: 2013
11) Juan Oramas – Oramas is an extremely intriguing prospect out of Mexico who has the Texas league buzzing on the 6-foot tall 21-year-old lefty’s potential. With a three-pitch mix and plus control his future is definitely as a starter. ETA: Late 2012/Early 2013
12) Jason Hagerty – He has great power and patience but he is performing at levels he is too old for. Still huge questions about his defense and athletic ability. ETA: 2014
13) Simon Castro – Castro’s prospect star has definitely diminished quite a bit since being considered a Top-50 prospect in the game. He was supposed to be in San Diego’s starting rotation by now but is currently trying to fix his mechanics in Double A. ETA: 2012
14) Luis Domoromo – Domoromo is Liriano’s outfield-mate in Fort Wayne and is having somewhat of a breakout year himself. Keep an eye on him next year in Lake Elsinore where Domoromo could post impressive power numbers. ETA: Late 2014
15) James Darnell – His bat will earn him a shot in the majors soon, but like Gyorko there are plenty of questions about his defense and final position. Darnell has played third base, first base, centerfield and left field so far this year, but none very well. ETA: 2012
16) Jace Peterson – Peterson is loaded with athleticism and potential, but he is far from a refined product. Just as easily as Peterson could be Top-5 on this list next year he could be completely off of it. ETA: 2014
17) Jonathan Galvez – His defense is still not great, even after sliding over to second base. Galvez has the potential to have great power and speed for a middle infielder. He has shown an improved hit tool this year, but some of that is being credited to a very favorable hitting environment. ETA: 2014
18) Kevin Quackenbush – Armed with the best name in the organization, Quackenbush was a college closer who profiles as a high leverage reliever moving forward. As a 2011 draftee he is making quite the impression on Padres brass by showing the ability to dominate in his 24.2 professional innings pitched – 0.932 WHIP, 5.43 K/BB and 0.36 ERA. ETA: Late 2012
19) Logan Forsythe – His power disappeared in Double A last season but has seen a resurgence in the friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League. Is he anything more than a utility infielder? ETA: Now
20) Zach Cates – Cates’ has much better stuff than his results would indicate – 4.53 ERA. He is just shy of a strikeout per inning, but is also walking 3.8 batters per nine innings. If the Padres can harness his control, Cates projects as an above average 3 in an MLB rotation. ETA: 2014
21) Duanel Jones – Jones is raw but has plus power potential and a loooooong way to go. 18-year-old Dominican prospects work out at an incredibly low rate so don’t get your hopes up, just keep an eye out for him and be pleasantly surprised if his tools actualize. ETA: 2016
22) Matt Lollis – Lollis has great stuff with a 6’9” frame but will likely need to repeat High A next year. He is currently being used as a reliever to save his innings and hone in his mechanics. He will get another shot as a starter, but could have a future in the pen. ETA: Late 2014
23) Yoan Alcantara – Remember how far away I said Duanel Jones was from reaching the majors? Alcantara is having trouble drawing walks this year – one walk in 154 plate appearances – but that may be more of a result of the success he is having at the plate than a lack of discipline. ETA: 2016
24) Edinson Rincon – Rincon is all bat and absolutely no glove. A player with his offensive skill set should get every opportunity to play in the field, but the fact is Rincon has played just half his games this season in the field and half at DH. His career 83.4% career fielding percentage is one of the worst you’ll ever see in more than a handful of games. ETA: 2014
25) Adys Portillo – Portillo has been a bit of a disappointment in his full season debut, but still has great stuff. The strikeout rates are very promising – 10.3 K/9 as a 19-year-old in A Ball – but they may profile him more as a specialty reliever. ETA: 2015
Anthony Rizzo and Blake Tekotte were not considered for this list because of their current or soon-to-be 25-man roster positions. If eligible, Rizzo would rank somewhere in the top three while Tekotte would be in the late teens.
If you have any questions or comments about the list, send Jeff a message.