San Diego Padres 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm talent ranking via Baseball America (2010):
2010 (20) | 2009 (29) | 2008 (12) | 2007 (29) | 2006 (29) | 2005 (27) | 2004 (25)
Record of Each Affiliate:
Majors: [90 – 72] NL West
AAA: [59 – 85] Pacific Coast League – Portland
AA: [68 – 72] Texas League – San Antonio
A+: [81 – 59] California League – Lake Elsinore
A: [77 – 63] Midwest League – Fort Wayne
A(ss): [32 – 44] Northwest League – Eugene
R: [20 – 35] Arizona Rookie League
The Run Down
After a serious run for the playoffs, the Padres just traded the face of their franchise (See Grey’s Adrian Gonzalez trade ramifications). Last year, the Padres traded Peavy for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell and this year they traded a slugging first baseman for pitcher, Casey Kelly, a first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, and the young center fielder, Reymond Fuentes. The encouraging sign is that they made their playoff push on the strength of their pitching and they have two pitchers on the cusp of the majors in Simon Castro and Cory Luebke, not to mention a few hitters named Jaff Decker, the newly acquired, Anthony Rizzo, and Drew Cumberland on the rise. The Padres are going to need Kyle Blanks, and/or another prospect, to step in and fill some big shoes left by Adrian Gonzalez (no one hit for over .800 OPS besides Adrian Gonzalez). Another thing to watch for is the workload of Mat Latos; his total innings increased in 2010 by more than 50 innings over the 2009 season. Clayton Richard is in similar territory since he increased his workload by more than 40 innings. This might mean that Simon Castro and Cory Luebke receive their major league call-ups sooner rather than later. Watch to see what the Padres do with first base in Spring Training. Blanks won’t be back for a few months. Without further ado, your 2010 Padres Minor League Review.
#24 (RHP) Ryan Webb; (RHP) Ernesto Frieri
Arizona Fall League – Peoria Saguaros
Pitchers: (RHP) Brad Brach; (LHP) Steve Garrison; #20 (RHP) Craig Italiano; #6 (LHP) Cory Luebke
Hitters: (C) Luis Martinez; #30 (2B) Cole Figueroa; #5 (3B) Logan Forsythe
Players of Interest
#4 Jaff Decker | LF | D.o.B: 2-23-90 | Stats (A+): .262/.374/.500 | 290 AB | 33 XBH | 17 Hr | .238 ISO | 5/4 SB/CS | 80:47 K:BB | .299 BABIP
In the brimstone depths of the sabermetric and scouting community, Decker would be washed away with the “Old skill-set” label as Decker has the prototypical nonathletic first basemen body (5’11” and 215 lbs), has great power, controls the strike zone and has good pitch recognition – skills that fall off fast (see: Mo Vaughn). Kyle Blanks is less of a road block than Adrian Gonzalez was, as I don’t see Decker staying in the outfield. Nevertheless, fantasy baseball is about the immediate impact, Jaff Decker isn’t going to win any defensive awards, but he has 25 to 30 home run power over a full – and healthy – season, which he was not this last year. In leagues where you use OBP, he can provide even more value. I’d imagine a June call-up if he plays well and is healthy, especially if this team falls out of contention.
#8 (via Boston) Anthony Rizzo | 1B | D.o.B: 10-8-89 | Stats (A+/AA): .260/.334/.480 | 531 AB | 67 XBH | 25 Hr | .220 ISO | 10/1 SB/CS | 132:61 K:BB | .293 BABIP (A+); .297 BABIP (AA)
Brought over in the A-Gon trade, Rizzo offers some underrated first base value. Think Mark Grace. For more information, see his Scouting the Unknown article. ETA, out of the gate or June.
#11 Drew Cumberland | SS | D.o.B: 1-13-89 | Stats (A+): .365/.404/.542 | 249 AB | 25 XBH | 7 Hr | .177 ISO | 20/9 SB/CS | 34:15 K:BB | .398 BABIP
I toyed with writing a Scouting the Unknown article for him all year. Alas, I had to hold off. Injuries not withstanding, Cumberland is a tremendous talent; good defensive reflexes, but looks to be a second basemen long term, strong contact skills, slightly-above average strike zone control, and good speed. However, the injuries – hand, strained hamstring, a pulled ribcage muscle, a jammed finger, and a quadriceps strain – plagued him prior to the 2010 season. This year he had a “severe laceration on his left knee,” from, “chasing a ball against a concrete wall this weekend in Midland, Texas,” causing him to be out for the remainder of the season. He’ll start at Double-A in 2011. Similar skills to other MI’s, but could be have 15/30 potential. That is his high side. Low-side, Ryan Theriot.
#3 James Darnell | 3B | D.o.B: 1-19-87 | Stats (AA): .265/.348/.408 | 373 AB | 32 XBH | 10 Hr | .143 ISO | 2/0 SB/CS | 64:44 K:BB | .295 BABIP
Darnell has a good feel and control of the strike zone along with “natural hitting abilities.” He generates plus-power from core strength and good bat speed. Although he has a strong arm, his defensive is sketchy. Some scouts believe he could play second. Has good potential, but may be a late bloomer. May get a shot in September 2011, possibly sooner, but don’t quote me.
Mike Baxter | RF/1B | D.o.B: 12-7-84 | Stats (AAA): .301/.382/.517 | 482 AB | 58 XBH | 18 Hr | .216 ISO | 22/10 SB/CS | 78:58 K:BB | .326 BABIP
There isn’t a scouting report from Baseball America, John Sickels or Keith Law. However, I see him challenging for a spot during Spring Training. Clark has some speed that most first basemen wouldn’t have (10 triples and 22 steals); he does play the outfield as well. He did receive nine (9) nondescript plate-appearances in the majors. He has some power, good plate discipline and average speed. He’s probably more of a “tweener” – Quad-A type player – who could provide value as a fourth outfielder.
#6 Cory Luebke | LHP | D.o.B: 3-4-85 | Stats (AA/AAA): 6.9 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 114 IP | 2.40 ERA (AA); 2.97 ERA (AAA) | 2.87 FIP (AA); 3.91 FIP (AAA) | 1.28 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 6.6 H/9 | .253 BABIP (AA); .233 BABIP (AAA)
Throws a 90 to 92 MPH fastball, a solid slider and a mid 80s changeup. He projects as a number three starter in the majors. He threw 56 1/3 innings at Double-A and 57 2/3 innings at Triple-A along with 17 1/3 innings at the major league level. He was aided by an extremely low BABIPs in the minors and I wouldn’t expect that to carry over to the majors, subsequently, his ratio stats may dip. In the minors, his career K/9 rate was 7.5 along with a 2.1 BB/9 rate. In the majors, those 17 odd innings, he posted a 9.1 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9 rate but gave up three home runs during his short stint. I would imagine somewhere near a 7 K/9 with good control – 3.0 BB/9 – during the 2011 season in the majors. Look for him to win a spot out of Spring Training.
#2 Simon Castro | RHP | D.o.B: 4-9-88 | Stats (AA): 7.4 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 129 2/3 IP | 2.92 ERA | 3.32 FIP | 1.10 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 7.4 H/9 | .277 BABIP
Castro is one of the several exciting pitching prospects for the 2011 season. His peak fastball notches between 95 and 96 MPH (a drop of the 2009 report of 97 to 98 MPH), but typically throws his fastball between 92 to 93 MPH with good “life” down in the zone. Castro’s strikeout rate dropped from a career rate of 9.1 K/9 to 7.5 K/9 this past year, but his control improved from a career mark of 3.2 BB/9 down to 2.5 BB/9. His seasons at Double-A produces a lot of excitement for the 2011, however, during his brief appearance at Triple-A, Castro struggled to the tune of 5.2 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, 13.9 H/9 in 10 innings. Baseball America predicts Castro to be a number three starter or a top closer. See Scouting the Unknown article for more details.
#2 (via Boston) Casey Kelly | RHP | D.o.B: 10-4-89 | Stats (AA): 7.7 K/9 | 3.3 BB/9 | 95 IP | 5.31 ERA | 4.03 FIP | 1.61 WHIP | .9 Hr/9 | 11.2 H/9 | .366 BABIP
Grey went over his expectations of Kelly’s fantasy value last week. What does Kelly provide? A fastball that tops out between 93 to 94 MPH but is worked around the 89 to 92 MPH range with good sinking and cutting action. He also throws an “above-average changeup … a 12-to-6 curveball with plus-potential.” Baseball America calls him a “frontline starter,” and John Sickels says nothing on his long term outlook besides calling him a “B+ prospect.” Could he be a right-handed Barry Zito? Wouldn’t surprise me. Of course, I mean the Oakland years.
#29 Matt Clark | 1B | D.o.B: 12-10-86 | Stats (AA): .269/.339/.485 | 499 AB | 51 XBH | 28 Hr | .216 ISO | 0/0 SB/CS | 146:47 SB/CS | .322 BABIP
Clark is getting a brief mention because he could get an extended look in Spring Training due to his power potential. He has a long swing (note the strikeouts) but tremendous power. According to John Sickels, “Scouts still wonder how his swing will work once he gets to Double-A, and we should find out about that out in 2010.” It went about as well as he expected (reduced average and OBP after leaving the friendly confines of the California League). Not athletic, nor fast enough to play the outfield, where his strong arm would play well, Clark’s plus-plus power projects better in the American League. Clark could provide some intriguing darkhorse power in the majors, albeit with a horrendous average.
#7 (via Boston) Reymond Fuentes | CF | D.o.B: 2-12-91 | Stats (A): .270/.328/.377 | 373 AB | 25 XBH | 5 Hr | .107 ISO | 42/5 SB/CS | 87:25 K:BB | .338 BABIP
Because everyone will ask; Fuentes, cousin of Carlos Beltran, is compared to Johnny Damon. Baseball America states he has a “polished bat … plus-plus speed … Gold Glove defense … contact swing … working on base stealing.” Sickels repeats much of the same information but notes his strike zone judgment is lacking. Another comparison would be Jacoby Ellsbury. He has 10 to 15 home run power potential, along with 50 steals potential to be combined with a decent average (.290 to .310). His ETA would be 2012 at the earliest.
Erik Davis | RHP | D.o.B: 10-8-86 | Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 8.4 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 143 IP | 3.52 ERA | 3.20 FIP (A+); 2.74 FIP (AA); 4.20 FIP (AAA) | 1.27 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 8.4 H/9 | .340 BABIP (A+); .269 BABIP (AA); .220 BABIP (AAA)
I truly wanted to list him in the group above, but he only threw 44 1/3 innings about High-A with 39 1/3 of those innings at Double-A. Davis pitched well in a hitter-friendly league at High-A, and only improved from there. His scouting report is lacking due to BA and John Sickels not listing him in their handbooks. He was old for his league, but still has some potential for value due to the strikeouts and the seemingly sustainable ratios. Look for him to return to Double-A in 2011 with a late-summer or injury call up.
Juan Oramas | LHP | D.o.B: 5-11-90 | Stats (A+): 9.6 K/9 | 2.8 BB/9 | 84 IP | 3.00 ERA | 3.71 FIP | 1.07 WHIP | 1.1 Hr/9 | 6.9 H/9 | .269 BABIP
Oramas is like Davis – lacking insider scouting. He benefited by having a low BABIP, but his high-strikeout rate, control, low amount of hits, and his age would lead me to believe he could rise up the prospect rankings in the next two years. One negative would be the rate of home runs (1.1 Hr/9) allowed and the length of his starts (~4 innings per start; 21 starts in 84 innings, with five relief appearances in 15 innings at Single-A).
Evan Scribner | RHP | D.o.B: 7-19-85 | Stats (AA): 11.0 K/9 | 2.0 BB/9 | 66 IP | 2.59 ERA | 2.84 FIP | 1.00 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .300 BABIP
Scribner etched out 16 saves for the Padres Double-A affiliate, his second year at this level. He has middle reliever (read: mop-up reliever) written all over him. Could provide nice ratios if given the chance. Remember, Luke Gregerson wasn’t a heralded prospect and is now a bullpen stalwart. Maybe, just maybe, Scribner could have some Gregerson-like success.