Padres Final Report





Best Player: Even though he struggled in a monthlong major league audition, first baseman Anthony Rizzo remains the organization's top prospect and had a strong year at Triple-A.
One of the key pieces in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox last offseason, Rizzo hit .331/.404/.652 with 26 home runs and 101 RBIs in 356 at-bats at Triple-A Tucson. He hit .134/281/.250 in 112 at-bats in San Diego.

"I know he struggled with the big club, but what he did with Tucson before and after he was called up can't be overlooked," farm director Randy Smith said. "He has played in fewer than 100 games in Triple-A and has more than 100 RBIs. He just destroyed Triple-A pitching. His swing got a little out of whack when he was in the big leagues, but that has been corrected."

Best Pitcher: Some of the bigger-named prospects in the organization—Simon Castro, Aaron Poreda, Adys Portillo—fell off in 2011. But righthander Keyvius Sampson, a fourth-round high school draft pick in 2009, took a giant leap forward. Sampson went 12-3, 2.90 for low Class A Fort Wayne. In 118 innings, he allowed 81 hits, walked 49 and struck out 143.

Keep An Eye On: Outfielder Rymer Liriano was overmatched at high Class A Lake Elsinore, hitting .127 in 15 games. But he rebounded to put up big numbers at Fort Wayne and win the Midwest League MVP award.

Liriano, 20, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007. He hit .319/.383/.499 with 30 doubles, eight triples and 65 stolen bases at Fort Wayne. His 66 steals overall ranked third in the minor leagues.

"Rymer is a five-tool stud, a true impact player," Smith said. "Honestly, he's pretty darn good."

FATHER FIGURES

• Catcher Austin Hedges, a second-round pick in June who signed for $3 million, played five games in the Rookie-level Arizona League, hitting .333, before jumping to short-season Eugene. Padres manager Bud Black saw him play in Arizona when the Padres were playing the Diamondbacks and said he was very impressed.

• The Padres selected seven prospects to play in the Arizona Fall League: pitchers Anthony Bass, Nick Schmidt, Miles Miklolas and Jeff Ibarra; catcher Jason Hagerty; and third basemen James Darnell and Jedd Gyorko. Schmidt, a first-round pick out of Arkansas in 2007, has been plagued by injuries but is finally healthy. All will play for the Peoria Javelinas.