Tuesday, March 27, 2012

San Diego Padres 2012 Pre-Season Top 15 Prospects

Here is my Top 15 Prospect list for the San Diego Padres. The stats are from the 2011 season unless otherwise noted.


1. Yasmani Grandal, C - 374 AB, .305/.401/.500, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 59 BB, 97 K, 0 SB 1 CS (A+/AA/AAA)

This system is so deep at the top that its hard to pinpoint a #1 player, but I've been a fan of Grandal for a while now and I also tend to favor up the middle players. He has the potential to be an All-Star caliber backstop and I think his defense will at least be league-average.

2. Rymer Liriano, OF - 510 AB, .298/.365/.465, 12 HR, 68 RBI, 53 BB, 108 K, 66 SB 21 CS (A/A+)

Liriano probably has the most upside of all of the Padres prospects and is showing polish and improvement at the plate already at the age of 20. An exciting player to watch and there will be a lot of eyes on him this season.

3. Robbie Erlin, LHP - 9-4, 2.99 ERA, 147.1 IP, 124 H, 16 BB, 154 K (A+/AA)

Erlin's BB/K ratio is stupid good as he uses his incredible command of 3 above-average pitches to get hitters out. A pitcher who could become a superstar playing home games at Petco Park.

4. Yonder Alonso, 1B - 358 AB, .296/.374/.486, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 46 BB, 60 K, 6 SB 5 CS (AAA)

Alonso was phenomenal when he got called up to Cincinnati last year, and I see him hitting upwards of 40 doubles this year at Petco. He has great strike-zone discipline for a power hitter and now he doesn't have to worry about Joey Votto's shadow anymore.

5. Keyvius Sampson, RHP - 12-3, 2.90 ERA, 118 IP, 81 H, 49 BB, 143 K (A)

Sampson had a dominant 2011 and all he needs is a little better command of his 3 above-average top plus pitches. Only 21 years old, if he continues to pitch well in the California League it will be hard to keep him off the top spot on this list.

6. Jedd Gyorko, 3B - 576 AB, .333/.400/.552, 25 HR, 115 RBI, 64 BB, 114 K, 12 SB 3 CS (A+/AA)

All Gyorko does is mash the cover off the ball and they hope that he can sustain the home run power he showed last year. His defense should be adequate at 3rd and his bat should play there.

7. Casey Kelly, RHP - 11-6, 3.98 ERA, 142.1 IP, 153 H, 46 BB, 105 K (AA)

The main piece in the Gonzalez trade, Kelly underperformed for a second straight season. He is still just 22 years old, but this is a very important year for the righty.

8. Cory Spangenberg, 2B - 275 AB, .316/.419/.418, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 57 RBI, 25 SB 8 CS (SS/A)

Was perhaps a slight overdraft at #10 overall last year, but the speedy Spangenberg has great discipline at the plate and has plus hitting ability. Could lead the league in triples playing in Petco Park.

9. Joe Wieland, RHP - 13-4, 1.97 ERA, 155.2 IP, 136 H, 21 BB, 150 K (A+/AA)

As if Robbie Erlin wasn't enough the Padres got Wieland in the lopsided Mike Adams trade as well. He's a similarly polished pitcher like Erlin, both of whom should thrive in the friendly confines of Petco.

10. James Darnell, 3B - 422 AB, .310/.406/.547, 23 HR, 79 RBI, 68 BB, 78 K, 2 SB 1 CS (AA/AAA)

Darnell probably deserves a better spot than I am giving him right here, but I couldn't bring himself to put him higher in large part because he is considerably older than most of the players ahead of him. You could make an argument to put him #1 as the guy can rake and has a sound approach at the plate, now he just needs to do it in the Majors.

11. Joe Ross, RHP - 6-4, 0.79 ERA, 70.2 IP, 42 H, 17 BB, 101 K (HS)

The brother of A's pitcher Tyson Ross, Joe has an electric arm that consistently pumps mid 90's fastballs into the zone and he has a very good change-up for a prep arm. 

12. Jaff Decker, OF - 496 AB, .236/.373/.417, 19 HR, 92 RBI, 103 BB, 145 K, 15 SB 5 CS (AA)

The stocky Decker has deceiving athletic ability and has great patience at the plate. I see him as a potential breakout candidate in 2012 if he can improve his contact ability.

13. Brad Boxberger, RHP - 2-4, 2.03 ERA, 11 SV, 62 IP, 32 H, 28 BB, 93 K (AA/AAA)

Boxberger had a fantastic season in 2011, his first full season as a reliever. His control could use a little refining, but he is basically Major League ready.

14. Austin Hedges, C - .360 AVG, 31 H, 11 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI (HS)

An outstanding defensive catcher drafted out of high school in 2011, Hedges' future will depend on whether his ability with the bat can catch up to his talent behind the plate.

15. Reymond Fuentes, OF - 510 AB, .275/.342/.369, 5 HR, 45 RBI, 44 BB, 117 K, 41 SB 14 CS (A+)

Fuentes is very athletic out there in centerfield and he has Gold-Glove potential in the outfield. He isn't showing much power but if he can cut down on the strikeouts he could be an effect leadoff hitter.


Jace Peterson, SS - 276 AB, .243/.360/.333, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 50 BB, 53 K, 39 SB 10 CS (SS)

A 1st-round Supplemental pick in 2011 Peterson played football at McNeese St, so he is a little behind developmentally, but he shows great patience at the plate, excellent speed, and some power potential in his bat.

Vince Belnome, 2B - 267 AB, .333/.432/.603, 17 HR, 62 RBI, 47 BB, 59 K, 0 SB 5 CS (AA)

The Padres system is so deep so that they get 2 sleepers, as it is getting extremely hard to ignore Belnome's production at 2B. He just needs to prove that he can stay in shape and handle the position while continuing his hot hitting. 

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