The system's top two position-player prospects, right fielder Rymer Liriano and second baseman Cory Spangenberg, are with high Class A Lake Elsinore to start the year, but for pure depth the team to beat is Triple-A Tucson. Two of the players the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos made the big league club (Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez), while the other two are a phone call away in Tucson—catcher Yasmani Grandal, righty reliever Brad Boxberger. Righthanders Casey Kelly and Joe Wieland, the system's top two pitching prospects, will play for Tucson (with Wieland going on Opening Day), as will third baseman/left fielder James Darnell and center fielder Blake Tekotte, both of whom could play their way into big league jobs if they perform in Triple-A.
Leap Of Faith
The Padres skipped righty Keyvius Sampson over the high Class A California League, stationing him with Double-A San Antonio to start the year. He chewed up Midwest League competition last year, ranking second in opponent average (.192) and third in strikeouts (143). San Diego also assigned its top three prep picks from last year's draft—righties Joe Ross and Mike Kelly and catcher Austin Hedges—to low Class A Fort Wayne.
Where Is That Guy?
The Padres broke camp in near perfect health (on the minor league side), and the organization assigned many of its greenest 2011 draft picks to Fort Wayne. The only player in the system's Top 30 not to appear on an Opening Day roster is Dominican lefty Jose DePaula, who has not yet secured a work visa and is on the restricted list. DePaula finished last season with Lake Elsinore.
Time Is Running Out
The third overall pick in 2009, center fielder Donavan Tate has played a grand total of six games in full-season ball as he's dealt with myriad injuries and a 25-game drug suspension last year. The 21-year-old is back with Fort Wayne after going 6-for-19 for the club last season prior to suffering a hyperextended knee and finishing out the year in the Northwest League.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog