Padres Prospect Mailbag: August Part 1Posted by in AZL Padres | Eugene Emeralds | Fort Wayne Tin Caps | Lake Elsinore Storm | Mailbag | MLB Draft | Player Update | San Antonio Missions | Tucson Padres
Make sure you check out Part 2 of the Mailbag.
Where has Edinson Rincon been? – John
Rincon was struck by a pitch on June 25 that knocked him out of action until August 25. He is currently rehabbing with the Padres’ Arizona League affiliate and may be a candidate for the Arizona Fall League if the Padres are concerned about getting him extra at bats before re-evaluating him in Spring Training.
It is important to remember that we may not see the normal Rincon for quite some time. The injury he suffered – a broken Hamate bone – is known to sap a batters power severely and full recovery time for their true ability to return can be 12-18 months. Scouts and talent evaluators love the potential that Rincon brings on offense. He has a fluid swing that is aided by his strong wrists. Just be prepared to possibly see a lighter-hitting Rincon than in the past.
Any thoughts on what players the Padres will send to the Arizona Fall League? – Ryan
As I mentioned above, I do believe that Rincon is a strong candidate for the AFL.
Others who could potentially make an appearance:
Simon Castro – he appeared to be on the cusp of a call up heading into the season but has experienced serious regression in his secondary offerings. With just over 100 innings pitched on the season he has more than enough bullets left in his arm this year to pitch through the winter.
Jason Hagerty – he lacks much experience against upper-level competition so the AFL would be a great challenge for him.
Cody Decker – he missed almost three months of live action. Now that his ankle is fully healed the Padres would like to get him as much experience as possible so that his promotion path is not delayed. Still, even with some AFL experience another year in San Antonio is not out of the question for the undersized first baseman.
Jaff Decker – he has already surpassed his career-high in games, but with his struggles in adjusting to a new stance the Peoria native may be asked to play some extra baseball over the offseason.
Like every other team the Padres will send six players, two of which can be from lower than Double-A if the team so chooses.
Is Donavan Tate a bust yet? That $6 mil bonus looks like a waste – Rob
I’d guess that this question is based more in frustration than actual observation. While Tate’s injuries and off-the-field decisions have been frustrating, his talent has more than shown through when he has been on the field. As I wrote in the last Rap Sheet, at this point a healthy year from Tate is more important than dominant on-field production.
That being said, Tate did manage to put up a .288/.410/.409 slash line in 39 games which is very impressive for his low level of professional experience. He turns 21 in late September, meaning that if the organization decides to start him again in Fort Wayne in 2012 Tate needs to show he has taken a huge step forward in his playing ability and off-field maturity. There are some that believe he could hold his own in Lake Elsinore, but that could potentially bring even more off-the-field concerns into play because of the environment he’d be in traveling through the California League.
What are the Padres going to do about Cory Spangenberg and Jonathan Galvez both playing second base? – Mike
First off, this is a great problem to have. Spangenberg – the Padres’ 2011 1st-round pick – has shown that his bat can more than hold its own in professional baseball this year while Galvez is having a breakout season in Lake Elsinore.
It was rumored before the draft that some clubs were interested in Spangenberg as a third baseman or left fielder, but the Padres seem pretty set on playing him at second until the situation calls for a change. In 2012 Spangenberg should be headed for Lake Elsinore barring any setbacks.
Galvez is in an interesting situation. At 20 years old he could theoretically repeat High-A and still be ahead of the curve age-wise. But with his current production – .302/.369/.491 – the club would be crazy to not push him to San Antonio in 2012. While he was forced off of shortstop because of defensive concerns, he has enough athleticism and arm strength that he doesn’t need to be hidden on the field – a la Rincon.
If the Padres were forced to make a decision today because both were on the cusp of an MLB promotion, I’d say Galvez stays at second and Spangenberg shifts to third.
How many Top 100 prospects do the Padres have? I’d think Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Rymer Liriano, Robbie Erlin, Simon Castro, Joe Wieland, Donavan Tate and Keyvius Sampson all have a shot – Rick
Good question. Coming into the year, the Padres had five prospects in Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 and three prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100. I’d imagine that Castro would drop off both those lists, Kelly will slip a bit but hang on in the 80-100 range and Rizzo would be left off due to his MLB experience.
Initial thoughts on the rest:
Liriano – Yes (50-75 range)
Erlin – Yes (50-75 range)
Wieland – No (Evaluators just don’t rank guys with plus-plus command and average stuff that high)
Tate – No (100-125 range if the evaluator likes him)
Sampson – Yes (75-100)
Make sure you check out Part 2 of the Mailbag.