Padres Prospect Mailbag: SeptemberPosted by in AZL Padres | Eugene Emeralds | Fort Wayne Tin Caps | Lake Elsinore Storm | Mailbag | San Antonio Missions | Tucson Padres
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Why is everybody so down on Fuentes? He has identical numbers to last year, all be it at a higher level, when he was a key piece of the Gonzalez trade. If he can continue to put up similar numbers in the minors and then into the Majors, he will be a prototypical player for Petco, which is what Hoyer has been looking for. It was the kid’s first season in a new organization with a different teaching style I’m sure. Everyone else can write this kid off, but if puts up these same numbers next year in AA I’ll be happy. – Dustin
For reference, here is Fuentes’ slash line the last two seasons:
2010 – .270/.328/.377
2011 – .275/.342/.369
The main problem here is that Fuentes went from a league that plays fairly neutral in the Sally League to the second most hitter-friendly environment in professional baseball in the California League. The Cal League is known to inflate offensive numbers by as much as 10-15%, meaning that you really have to shave off some of Fuentes’ production to see his true performance this season.
Like I said in the August Mailbag, I still think Fuentes has the physical tools and baseball ability to be a major leaguer, but he showed inconsistent effort throughout the season leading to many question marks surrounding his game.
If Fuentes is going to bounce back in the Texas League next year – assuming he gets promoted – he is going to have to start hitting more line drives and show that he is able to make more contact in general.
I was wondering if you could give your opinion on Ross and Kelly’s high school scouting report versus Whitson’s high school report. Specifically, where would Ross and Kelly be drafted if they were eligible for the 2010 draft? – Chris
Here are the most basic versions of scouting reports for the three pitchers:
Karsten Whitson – 3 pitches (fastball, slider and changeup) that grade out currently at solid average
Joe Ross – 2 pitches (fastball and curveball) that currently grade out at average to plus with a very under-developed changeup
Michael Kelly – 1 pitch (fastball) that grades out as solid average and a curveball that is currently a below average offering
While I think the Padres received great value with their picks this year, Ross and Kelly would both have slotted well back of Whitson if all three players were in the same draft.
If you want an overall ranking of the top high school pitchers available the last two years:
Lots of space
Even considering what I said above, both Ross and Kelly would have likely been taken even higher in the 2010 draft just based on overall depth of talent available last year. It’s always important to remember that – especially in baseball – the top 20 players available will never match the first 20 picks. This is due to both signability and differing styles in how scouting departments evaluate talent.
What is the Instructional League? – Jonathan
“The instructional league is usually about teams bringing in their younger, less experienced players for some intensive training, “bringing up to speed” and “getting to know you” work. Injured players come and rehab, players who need to make up for lost time.”
I ripped that from a random article that is a few years old on MinorLeagueBaseball.com, but that is the perfect explanation in my mind of what the Instructional League is.
If you have ever been on the back fields of Spring Training, Instructs are very similar. The only real difference with Instructs is that guys are not being stretched out and prepared for a long season. At this point in the year organizations are much more concerned with 1-3 inning appearances for pitchers and as many at bats as possible for hitters where specialty coaches are able to be hands on with players.
Instructs are the time every year when young players refine their base running skills, learn about offseason training regiments and – in the case of some 2011 draftees – figure out what it’s like to be a professional baseball player. Occasionally you will see a current MLB player roll through town on a late-season rehab assignment as they gear up for the playoffs.
Statistics racked up during instructs are mostly ignored as the level of competition that players see day-to-day can vary greatly.
Keith Law clocked Cory Spangenberg from the box to first in 3.73 seconds! How many bases do you think he can steal in the majors? – Carlos
I know I’m going to disappoint a lot of people by saying this, but Spangenberg does not have 80-grade speed. When Klaw clocked him going down the line Spangenberg was attempting a drag bunt out of the left-hand batter’s box which will significantly affect his time down the line. Add in the possibility of human error on Klaw’s end and it’s easy to see how a time of 3.73 was registered.
Now, that’s not to say that Spangenberg lacks legitimate speed. From reports that have come out while he was playing in Eugene and Fort Wayne I’d peg his speed tool around 65 or 70, which would translate to about 40 stolen bases in the majors if he can become a skilled base stealer. While his 25 stolen bases in 72 professional games in 2011 looks impressive, a success rate hovering around 75% and propensity for being picked off show that there is a lot of work to be done.
Can you help settle this debate over Juan Oramas’ future role? – Blake
Unfortunately we are still a year or two from this debate officially having a resolution, but I can give my opinion:
When you first look at Oramas it is very easy to see why many are skeptical about whether or not he can stick in a starting rotation. His 5’10” 215-pound frame falls far out of line from the ideal body type you would hope for from young pitchers (think 6’2”-6’4” 180-190 pounds) and the stuff – while an impressive three-pitch mix – does not allow him to overcome physical limitations. He struggles to get downhill plane on his fastball, which is evident by a 37% groundball rate this year in San Antonio with a career average even lower than that. Oramas’ 2011 3.66 K/BB ratio shows that his control helps his stuff play up at higher levels, but it’s doubtful his current swing-and-miss stuff will allow him to be much more than a command and control guy in the majors.
While comps are never a good idea, it’s easy to see a lot of Wandy Rodriguez in Oramas, which leaves little doubt in my mind that he can be a productive middle to back-of-the-rotation starter for the Padres.
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