Friday, July 1, 2011

State of The Padres

I thought I would take a look at the overall health of the Padres farm system.

1B - Not a deep position on the farm for the Padres; but, with Rizzo and Blanks both under club control for years to come, they don't need to be.

Matt Clark
Cody Decker
Nathan Freiman

All three are potential replacement level players in the bigs. Freiman may have the most upside and could develop into a player given a full time chance somewhere.

2B - This is one of the deeper positions, IMO. The system is loaded with options.

Logan Forsythe - ML ready, will likely end up as utility.
Vincent Belnome - Could be a legit candidate for a top 100 prospect, could end up as utility.
Beamer Weems - Best in class at defense, offense a big concern... also a utility candidate.
Jonathan Galvez - Young with upside. Defense needs work but he is young.
Jeudy Valdez - Often overlooked, could end up as utility as well.
Jedd Gyorko - Being groomed for 3B but has the ability to play 2B, should be top 50 prospect.
Cory Spangenberg - Considered the future leadoff hitter and 2B, could move fast, could land as a top 100 prospect next year.

3B - Loaded with impact bats and defensive question marks.

James Darnell - Quikly emerging as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball, top 50 candidate. Defense suspect but slowly improving. Could be moved to LF or used as trade bait.
Jedd Gyorko - Considered the future at 3B once Headley is traded or leaves via FA. Best combination of defense and hitting.
Edinson Rincon - Another impact bat emerging. Big defensive question marks could move him to LF or use as trade bait. Could be a top 100 prospect for his bat alone.
Cory Spangenberg - Has experience playing 3B.

SS - Very weak position for the Padres.

Beamer Weems - Only SS in the system that is defensively ready to field this position.
Jeudy Valdez - Remains to be seen if he can field SS.
Jonathan Galvez - Big questions defensively but the most offensive upside of any potential Padres short stop.

Good thing Cabrera is still under club control.

C - This may be the weakest position on the farm as I count only 1 legit prospect. Phillips could be an adequate back up catcher until other options are found.

Jason Hagerty - Switch hitting catcher is improving offensively and coming along defensively. I don't expect a defensive stud but if he can hit in the majors I will take it. Legit top 100 prospect candidate.

CF - High ceilings. Low floors.

Blake Tekotte - MLB ready. Should make a solid 4th outfielder and adequate CF injury replacement. Top 100 candidate.
Reymond Fuentes - Defense is solid. Very fast. Limited power. I will accept the lack of power if he can learn to get on base. Potential leadoff candidate if he develops offensively. Top 100 candidate.
Donovan Tate - Highest upside of any system outfielder. Unfortunately the lowest floor as well.
Rymer Liriano - Has not responded well to being challenged but is still young.

The Padres have Maybin for several more years. Plenty of time to develop some of the upside talent at CF.

RF - Plenty of options at RF.

Aaron Cunningham - Good candidate to be a 4th or 5th outfielder.
Sawyer Carroll - Under the radar but has quietly produced at every level, another 4th/5th OF candidate.
Blake Tekotte - Can play all 3 outfield positions, could get a chance in RF in 2012. Top 100 candidate.
Jaff Decker - Having a see-saw year but still young and projectable. Could get his first call up in 2012. Top 100 Candidate
Daniel Robertson - Another guy that quietly produces and yet another 4th/5th OF candidate.
Reymond Fuentes - If his offense improves quickly he could get some time in RF next to Cameron Maybin to form one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.
Luis Domoromo - Very young and starting to produce in the lower minors, someone to keep an eye on.
Rymer Liriano - RF makes more sense then CF but still a long ways from the big leagues.
Donovan Tate - Like Fuentes, if he starts putting it together quickly he could see time in RF until he can take over CF. Still 3 years away.... if he can stay on the field.

RF is loaded with talent that is ready now or has upside impact potential.

LF - This is really the one OF position that the Padres will likely fill with a power impact bat.

Aaron Cunningham - Unlikely to get the LF job full time but certainly can field it.
Matt Clark - Matt Clark is getting some time in LF, my gut tells me he is just trying to make himself useful since there is no chance he plays 1B for the Padres unless Rizzo or Blanks is traded.
Sawyer Carroll - He is likely to suffer the same fate as Cunningham, very good minor leaguer that needs the right team to give him a chance. Could be usefull utility corner outfielder.
Daniel Robertson - Seems to be a favorite of many Padre farm fans, something about short players like Eckstein that make people want to root for them.
Jaff Decker - LF makes sense for Decker. He can field that position and has some power.
James Darnell - Bat is so good the Padres are trying him out at LF.
Edinson Rincon - Could be tried in LF. Likely ends up in AL as a DH prospect.
Luis Domoromo - Young with some upside. I suspect he ends up as a utility 4th/5th outfielder.

The LF job could go to Blanks in the near term. Decker and Darnell will be pushing right behind for a chance to make an impact at the ML level.

The Padres should have no shortage of usefull outfielders for the next 8 years.

RP - Another area of strength for the Padres at the big league level and on the farm.

Evan Scribner - Should become an average 7th inning type.
Josh Spence - Already been mentioned in a top 100 prospect list, solid bullpen piece that could be used in 7th inning, or in long relief, or as just a lefty specialist.
Nick Vincent - Very under the radar. Could be long relief or late inning guy.
Brad Brach - Closer or 8th inning specialist. Being compared to Heath Bell.
Erik Hamren -Likely destined for AAA bullpen depth.
Miles Mikola - Has shown improvement each time he has been promoted.
Zach Cates - Being tried as a starter but I still believe his potential is as a late inning RP.
Matt Jackson - Has shown flashes of dominance and may be taking a step forward this year, good candidate for a long relief role.

The big club is already flush with good young talent. Scribner, Spence, Vincent, and Brach are all ready now and could make it easier for the Padres to deal some of their bullpen talent.

SP - The system is deep in terms of usefull starting pitchers but lacks depth in front of the rotation caliber pitching.

Casey Kelly - Still young for AA, shown minimal improvement this year. Still 2 years away and has a 2/3 starter ceiling, IMO.
Anthony Bass - Ready now. Will provide value to the big club as a 3/4/5 type starter.
Jorge Reyes - Could be AAAA, back of the rotation, or long relief.
Juan Oramas - A hidden gem.
Simon Castro - Still a top 100 prospect but questions are popping up about his ability to pitch above the AA level. Ceiling as a 2/3 starter but high bust potential.
Matt Lollis - Seems to be taking a step back this year, but is still only 20.
Pedro Hernandez - Another hidden gem. Excellent control and so-so K rate make him a good back of the rotation candidate.
Keyvius Sampson - Young and dominant with acceptable control, good combination. May be the best SP prospect in the system. Projects as a solid # 2.
Matthew Jackson - I think he is destined for the bullpen.
Adys Portillo - Control is getting worse as his K rate is improving. This is actually encouraging to me. Once he has confidence in his stuff hopefully his control will improve. If this guy figures it out he can be a 2/3 starter.
John Barbato - Not much to measure yet, early returns are good. Has upside.

SP is young and solid at the ML level. This affords the Padres time to develop guys like Castro, Kelly, Lollis, Keyvius, and Portillo.

Very exciting to see the Padres with so many promising minor leaguers. Guys that I believe will get solid consideration as top 100 prospects in 2012:

Not a chance they all make it... but these are guys that can't be ignored. I can't imagine less than 4 or 5 of these guys being considered top prospects going into next year.

Also nice to see the Padres finally have some impact bat potential:

For fun, if I was to put togther a 25 man roster with Padre minor league prospects that have the best overall combinaton of defense, offense, upside, and proven production:

Darnell - 1B(just for fun why not try him at 1B in this scenario)
Spangenberg - 2B
Gyorko - 3B
Beamer Weems - SS
Hagerty - C
LF - J Decker
CF - Tekotte
RF - Sawyer Carroll
4th OF - Cunninham
5th OF - Fuentes
Utility 1 - Belnome
Utility 2 - Forsythe
Backup Catcher - Luis Martinez

SP1 - Casey Kelly
SP2 - Simon Castro
SP3 - Anthony Bass
SP4 - Keyvius Sampson
SP5- Juan Oramas
Swingman - Jorge Reyes
Closer - Brach
Set up1 - Scribner
Set up2 - Vincent
Lefty specialist - Spence
RP - Mikola
RP - Cates


  1. I'm glad you mentioned Luis Martinez for your backup catcher ... I think he's underrated. As is Solis and Phillips. None of them will be average starters in MLB ... but they seem like they will peak as above-average backups.

  2. Rico Noel is starting to put a little something together.

  3. I will be following several farmhands, including Noel, and may add them as prospects on my next installment.

  4. Has C. Hunter had his cup of coffee never to be seen or heard from again?

  5. no way hagerty is aprospect on anyones system, 24 in single A and not even tearing it up?

  6. Hagerty is 23 and he is tearning it up. He is also a switch hitting catcher.