A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week. The Fort Wayne TinCaps were the only affiliate that posted a winning week (4-3), while the rest combined for a 8-13 record.  Yikes.  That’s not quite as bad as the Padres current winning percentage, but it’s close.  Despite the losing, there were plenty of bright spots and examples of player progression, which is what Padres fans should really be looking for anyways.

 

Walker Lockett – SP, El Paso Chihuahuas

2 starts, 12 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Yes, Dinelson Lamet continues to miss more bats for the Chihuahuas (including 9 K’s in his last six inning start), but Lockett has been equally effective and even more efficient, throwing fewer pitches (90 in a 7 inning start, and then 75 in a 5 inning start) and going deeper in his appearances. It’d be surprising to see either Lamet or Lockett in San Diego before the All-Star break, and while Lamet probably has the inside track, more weeks like this from Lockett will make that a tougher decision.

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In case you missed it yesterday (and unless you were in Lansing, Michigan, you did – thanks MiLB.tv), the Fort Wayne TinCaps had one of their best overall performances of the year, beating the Lansing Lugnuts 11-4.

Logan Allen spun a gem, shutting out the Lugnuts for six innings, allowing a walk and three hits while striking out six. He retired the side in order three separate times and allowed mostly soft contact, including six groundball outs.  Allen has only allowed more than two runs in one outing this year, and continues to be the ace of the young staff.

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A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week.  Yes, Michael Gettys striking out just five times on the week is great, as is Jorge Oña having a 5 RBI game, but these are a few guys who have really impressed the past week.  Oh, and even though Luis Urías has only two extra base hits in the month of May, his OBP during that time is still .443, so he’s great and should be loved by all.

 

Rocky Gale – C, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)

8 for 19 (.421), 3 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 2B

I’ve completely neglected all of the non-prospects that litter the Triple-A squad, though there’s a decent chance that a few of them make it to the big league club this year.  The 29-year-old Rocky Gale, who has ten MLB plate appearances under his belt, would qualify as such, but he’s had a great week.  It’s hard to envision a situation in which the Padres need another catcher on the roster (with Hector Sanchez and Luis Torrens backing up Austin Hedges), but if Gale can show that he can hit like this, who knows, he could claw his way back to the majors three seasons after his first stint.

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A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week.  Yes, Michael Gettys striking out 10 times in six games and The San Antonio Missions being just a game out of first place is interesting, but these are a few of the guys that have really impressed the past calendar week. Oh, and Franchy Cordero raised his batting average to .250, so I don’t have to just point out his slugging percentage is great and that he should be loved by all.

Brad Zunica – 1B/DH, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

2 for 12 (.167), 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 K, 3 RBI, 3 R

If you are a Ryan Schimpf fan, let me introduce you to Brad Zunica.  Zunica has a dozen hits on the year – half were home runs and four were doubles, leaving just two that were singles.  The dude’s ISO is through the roof.  Also, just like Schimpf, the dude can work walks and strikes out a bunch.  Despite having just two hits this week, he sported a .375 OBP with four walks.  On the year, he has a 24.1% walk rate, and a 41.8% strikeout rate.  At 21-years-old, he has the power you want, and hopefully he has time to trim down that K rate.
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A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week.  Yes, Michael Gettys striking out 13 times in seven games and Franmil Reyes hitting four doubles in a week are certainly noteworthy, but these are a few guys who have really impressed the past week. Oh, and Franchy Cordero is slugging .494, so don’t look at any of his other numbers, he’s great and should be loved by all.

Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

7 for 20 (.350), 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 6 BB, 5 K

The 18-year-old Tatis Jr. had a pair of multi-hit games last week and raised his batting average 36 points up to .230.  While he has flashed some serious in-game power this year, he’s only slugging .345 (which accounts for a pair of dingers and four doubles), but, like a majority of the hitters on the TinCaps, he’s just 18, so no need to worry about too much at this stage.  Unlike many of the bats in the organization currently, he’s able to work a walk (if his six free passes last week didn’t lead the farm, they’re pretty close), so it’s not just the hits, but his discipline at the plate that is encouraging.

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A look at a Padres prospect or two from each level of the system that had a noteworthy week.  Yes, Michael Gettys striking out 12 times in six games and Ruddy Giron hitting a walkoff dinger are certainly noteworthy, but these are a few guys who have really impressed the past week. Oh, and Franchy Cordero is slugging .492, so don’t look at any of his other numbers, he’s great and should be loved by all.

 

Dinelson Lamet – SP, El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A)

5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 13 K, 3 BB

Go figure, in the most hitter-friendly place in the Padres farm system, the star of the week goes to a pitcher.  In his third start of the season, Dinelson Lamet set a Chihuahuas team record with 13 strikeouts.  More impressive is the fact that the Tacoma Rainers (Seattle Mariners affiliate) entered the game with the fewest strikeouts in the Pacific Coast League.  Lamet needed 96 pitches to set the record, and of his three hits allowed, only a homer by Gordon Beckham did any damage.  With a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings this year, there’s a nice chance that we could see Lamet in San Diego before the end of the season.

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With many of the Padres top prospects and minor leaguers looking to graduate to the majors in the near future, this is the first of a series of posts looking at the “other” prospects in the system, position by position.  Day 1: The “Other” Catchers

Man, aren’t you guys psyched about Austin Hedges?  Regardless of how poorly the Pads play this year, it’ll still be worth tuning in to watch him work his magic behind the dish.  Plus, his bat caught fire in Triple-A last year, and he’s off to a hot start in spring training right now (batting .500 through his first 20 at bats), and the idea of pairing his elite defense with even an average bat should make Padres fans happy for a long time.

BUT, things happen.  While his 56 game stint with the Padres in 2015 technically means he hasn’t been a prospect for a while, the same rules apply: things don’t always pan out.  If you’re ready to disregard the rest of the Padres backstops in the minors for the next decade, you might want to take a look at that dusty Sean Burroughs jersey in your closet and knock on some wood.  At the very least, prospects are good currency for acquiring big league talent.

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Well, it finally happened.  The path has been made clear for Austin Hedges to begin the year as the Padres starting catcher with the trade of veteran Derek Norris.  Most would argue that Norris’ horrific year at the plate in 2016 (.186/.255/.328, 56 OPS+) all but guaranteed that Hedges would get the lion’s share of the playing time anyways, but with Norris being shipped off to the Washington Nationals, San Diego will avoid even a shred of catching controversy.

While Norris is a good buy-low/rebound candidate (he had the highest “hard contact” rate and “line drive” rate of his career last year, at 34.4% and 21.9%, respectively), he obviously doesn’t fit in the competitive window the Padres are shooting for.  Hedges doesn’t have much left to learn at Triple-A El Paso (.326/.353/.597 with a career high 21 dingers and 82 RBI), so this afternoon, the time was right for AJ Preller’s first post-suspension trade.

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On November 18th, the Padres added four new players to the 40-man roster: shortstop Javier Guerra, pitcher Walker Lockett, converted pitcher Jose Ruíz, and outfielder Franchy Cordero. While Lockett has the greatest chance of making the big club this year (Ruiz and Guerra ended 2016 in High A Lake Elsinore), Cordero has a lot of potential and ended the year in Triple-A El Paso.

A little background on the newest member of the Padres 40-man: In 2012, the Padres signed 17-year-old Franchy Cordero out of the Dominican Republic for $175,000. Though he was 6’3”, San Diego figured him to play primarily at shortstop, though some scouts saw him as a third base candidate. After spending time with the Dominican Academy and in extended spring training, he broke into A-ball as a 19-year-old. His debut, however, failed to live up to the high praise bestowed upon him by numerous scouts who watched him in the Spring Training backfields in 2014 (notably Jason Parks, formerly of Baseball Prospectus and currently with the Chicago Cubs).

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It’s a great time of year. The MLB season is well underway and the draft is this Thursday. While just a few of the top players selected will ever be significant contributors on the senior circuit, the hope that Thursday brings to organizations is unmatched.

For the second year in a row the Padres possess the 13th overall pick ($2,723,300 bonus allotment), and once again appear primed to select the top player that unexpectedly slides out of the top 10 selections. But who exactly that pick will be still seems to be up in the air based off a lack of expert consensus:

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