BEST PLAYER: Triple-A El Paso right fielder Hunter Renfroe revealed and maintained an improved swing as a run-producing fixture in the Pacific Coast League. He piled up 13 assists in just 71 games and showed better range than Padres right fielder Matt Kemp.
A 2013 first-round pick from Mississippi State, the 24-year-old Renfroe looked like a strong candidate for his first major league callup after batting .325/.345/.597 with 18 home runs and 69 RBIs. He had 60 strikeouts against just 10 walks.
“I think he’s really turned the corner as far as some of the mechanical stuff in his swing over the last year,” farm director Sam Geaney said.
As he did in his amateur career, Renfroe showed he can adapt once he gets substantial exposure to a higher level.
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: Low Class A Fort Wayne center fielder Michael Gettys parlayed a reassignment to the Midwest League into a first half that demands attention.
Gettys, who at age 20 is still young for the league, hit .304/.369/.416 with 24 steals in 68 games after hitting just .231 at Fort Wayne a year ago. Also, he improved his strikeout rate, year over year, from 31 to 24 percent.
“He’s become very process-driven,”Geaney said, “and he’s seeing the baseball significantly better than a year ago.”
Defensively, Gettys graded out as a better than average. Geaney commended Gettys, a 2014 second-round pick from Gainesville (Ga.) High, for learning from last season’s struggles. The Padres promoted him to high Class A Lake Elsinore in June.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Padres billed former Red Sox shortstop Javier Guerra, who signed out of Panama in 2012, as a long-term answer after they traded Craig Kimbrel for him and three others last November.
Along with playing a solid shortstop at low Class A Greenville last year, Guerra batted .279/.329/.449 with 15 home runs as a 20-year-old, and he ranked as the Padres’ No. 1 prospect heading into 2016.
But Guerra hit just .205/.273/.345 through 70 games at Lake Elsinore. His strikeout rate soared from 24 to 31 percent.
Attributing Guerra’s struggles to putting a “lot of pressure” on himself “to create a favorable impression,” Geaney commended Guerra for not taking his sickly bat to shortstop, where he led the Cal League in total chances.