Padres Have Talent Coming
Offseason moves bring in young stars
PEORIA, ARIZ.—The future is so bright, Padres general manager Josh Byrnes is shopping for shades. At the organization's 14th annual awards dinner, Byrnes found it hard to stifle his enthusiasm for the direction the team is going.
"We're setting out to win a championship, a world championship," Byrnes said. "I'm not (New York Jets coach) Rex Ryan. I'm not going to make a wild prediction. But our goal is to win championships. And the most important thing is being able to produce our own talent."
The Padres had been gradually improving the talent in their farm system. But Byrnes gave the club a major infusion of young talent this winter with trades that brought in Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Andrew Cashner.
"My phone was ringing off the hook this winter," Byrnes said. "We won a pair of championships in the minor leagues last season, so we have talent coming. I'm excited to see where all the new players fit, where we stack up as an organization."
Double-A San Antonio won 100 games in winning the Texas League title. High Class A Lake Elsinore played great down the stretch and won the California League title. Jedd Gyroko, who hit .333/.400/.552 in 140 games with Lake Elsinore and San Antonio was named the organization's offensive player of the year.
"The guy is just a natural hitter," Byrnes said. "We jumped him a level last season and he didn't miss a beat."
Outfielder Rico Noel was named defensive player of the year.
"Rico's the best center fielder we have in the organization," Byrnes said. "He's a major league defender right now, a really skilled defender."
• Tim Holt, the organization's central region scouting supervisor, received the organization's scout of the year award. Holt played a key role in the 2011 draft and has helped develop several young scouts.
• Tom Tornincasa, who is in his 13th season with the Padres, was named the organization's minor league coach of the year. Tornincasa was the hitting coach at San Antonio last season, a team that led the Texas League in runs (801) and doubles (291) and was second in batting average (.269) and third in home runs (159).