With the 13th pick in the 2013 MLB Draft the Padres selected Hunter Renfroe out of Mississippi State – just as a few lucky PP writers predicted. High fives all around!

Renfroe offers as extremely diverse skillset that – pardon the cliché – projects him a true five-tool talent. Originally selected in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, Renfroe was seen as a raw athlete (playing catcher at the time) with tools you could dream on.

It wasn’t until 2013 during Renfroe’s junior season that he began to scratch the surface of his massive talent, posting an SEC-dominating line of .345/.435/.632 with a conference-leading 15 home runs and 58 RBI. His offensive output was so prodigious in a tough conference that he actually out homered the rest of his teammates…combined. This turn around came after Renfroe began to lay off pitches in the dirt more often while gaining needed consistency in his approach. Read More…

The MLB Draft is upon us once again as teams will gather this Thursday to welcome the newest batch of talent into the professional ranks. The Padres own the 13th pick this year after finishing with a 76-86 record in 2012 and do not pick again until 50th in what is seen as a below average draft.

Full Disclosure: Typically a member of the Padres Prospects team will make it out to at least one pre-draft event to get in-person perspective on the top talent available – this is not one of those years. So, pretty much all information you will see has been gathered from trusted sources and well-known national analysts. If you feel like diving in to draft coverage this week, give a follow to Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo, Kiley McDaniel and Jim Callis.

Thoughts on the Padres’ Strategy

As has been discussed in previous years, the Padres’ current front office attempts to find the right blend of upside and existing ability when selecting players. In recent years this strategy has created a huge influx of pitching talent that is the envy of just about every team in the league. While being flush with high-profile arms is great, it has also led to a relative lull in top-tier hitting talent in the Padres’ organization. Read More…

It’s been a crazy few weeks since both the MLB and MiLB seasons started. Due to unforeseen circumstances that would be extremely boring to retell here, the Padres Prospects Spring Training Notebook kept getting pushed back to the point where now it seems to make more sense just to roll it into an overall spring/early season notes piece. Below are notes and observations from both in-person looks while in Arizona and conversations had since the season began. Be forewarned, the Spring Notes are extremely raw in presentation, which we’ll call a tribute to the environment they’re taken from.

Read Spring and Early Season Padres Prospects Notes: Part 1

Burch Smith

Spring Notes: lighting quick arm, has touched 100* MPH in favorable conditions, quickly moving up internal boards as an organizational favorite; delivery shows a decent amount of deception and is capped off by low arm slot; employs a “drop and drive” style in delivery which is somewhat concerning for future control and currently causes him to pitch up in the zone; decent secondary offerings including a changeup with sink and a looping curveball. Read More…

It’s been a crazy few weeks since both the MLB and MiLB seasons started. Due to unforeseen circumstances that would be extremely boring to retell here, the Padres Prospects Spring Training Notebook kept getting pushed back to the point where now it seems to make more sense just to roll it into an overall spring/early season notes piece. Below are notes and observations from both in-person looks while in Arizona and conversations had since the season began. Be forewarned, the Spring Notes are extremely raw in presentation, which we’ll call a tribute to the environment they’re taken from.

Max Fried

Spring Notes: extremely easy delivery that he can repeat, not much wasted movement, very efficient, almost looks like a right-handed pitcher because his delivery looks so natural, physically looks a lot like Clayton Kershaw with slight differences in foot strike and a little bit of Cole Hamels mixed in; fastball has great life, he’s mostly pitched in the 89-91 range but it seems like there’s 2-3 more MPH in the tank; throws curveball both in the dirt and for strikes, very unique for his age, great vertical movement and tight spin; changeup is raw, he shows solid depth on the pitch but needs to speed up his arm before facing advanced hitters, could be an average to plus offering but will need a lot of work; body is mature for his age, still shows some projection, above average athlete; extremely coachable, was asking for instruction from Padres coaches and seemed open to adjustments.

Read More…

This is a list of the best prospects in the Padres’ organization.  To be eligible for this list a player must still possess their rookie status.  Prospects are ranked both by their ultimate potential and the likelihood that they will reach that potential.  The easiest way to understand the rankings is to consider what order players would be selected in if the entire organization were eligible for a draft.  Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) for each prospect is when they would reach the majors if they were able to reach their potential.

Two new wrinkles to the rankings:

  • Prospects have been split into tiers to help get a better idea of the talent gap between players (i.e. the difference between position 1 and 2 may not be the same as the difference between position 14 and 15)
  • Risk Factors have been included to help show the largest road block faced in each player’s development

Tier 1 Read More…

Rymer Liriano burst on to the prospect scene in 2011 when he seemingly out of nowhere put together a .319/.383/.499 line in 116 games with the Fort Wayne Tincaps to take home Midwest League MVP honors. Baseball experts quickly took notice as Liriano shot up prospect lists and became a name to watch as he headed to the California League for 2012 as a five-tool 21-year-old looking to solidify himself as a blue chip player.

Liriano got off to yet another slow start – as he had become accustomed to doing in his brief career – but managed to rebound nicely before holding his own in a 53-game stint in Double-A. While Liriano’s career hadn’t taken off as many inside the Padres’ organization had hoped, he had put together a respectable season against advanced competition.

After a strong showing over winter in the Arizona Fall League, Liriano appeared to be ready to head back to Double-A for a few hundred at-bats before the need for a replacement in San Diego. Then, while training at the Padres’ Dominican facility a few weeks ago, Liriano tore his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) while playing catch, which required Tommy John surgery. Read More…

With the first rounds of the Vedder Cup in the books and report day just around the corner for Padres minor leaguers, this is as good a time as any to take a quick look at 10 names likely to get the call at some point this summer.

*In no particular order*

1) Jedd Gyorko – Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Were it not for service time concerns, Gyorko very well could be the Padres’ Opening Day second baseman with Logan Forsythe serving as a roving substitute around the diamond.  Gyorko from day one should show an above average hit tool and average to a tick above power while cleanly handling the balls he’s able to get to playing second. One factor that can’t be ignored in Gyorko’s situation is that the Padres have yet to place him on the 40-man roster. This combined with future service time concerns may force Gyorko back to Tucson for the time being. Read More…

While many who read this site are intimately familiar with the Padres’ system – I’m looking at you Padres Prospects readers – we at Padres Public don’t like anyone to feel left out. What follows is a high-level view of sorts of the topics and players you need to be ready to discuss when you and your buddies are sitting around a table enjoying one of San Diego’s finest beverages after Fan Fest.

Austin Hedges is good, and he could be really, really good

It’s easy to get excited about prospects in the low minors. Typically they have shown enough production to believe that their physical tools just may mature into something wonderful, but aren’t quite old enough to expect immediate success.

Hedges is a 2011 draftee that signed for a then second-round record $3 million bonus. He was heralded as the best defensive player in the entire draft by Baseball America and just about everyone else who had either gotten to see him in person or had heard the now urban-legend level stories of his sub-2.0 second pop times.

2012 was Hedges’ first full season of games at the professional level and he more than held his own offensively – .275/.341/.446 – while successfully leading an extremely wild pitching staff.

This offseason Hedges’ name has been bandied about by a few outlets as San Diego’s best overall prospect, and for good reason. He has the potential to be a perennial Gold Glove catcher while putting up above average numbers offensively.  The production bar for catchers has fallen so far that even if Hedges fails to progress, he still has a better than even shot at an MLB career by playing well above average defense.

That being said 2013 will provide an interesting perspective on the Padres’ 20-year-old backstop as he heads to the hitter-friendly California League on his way through the system. Josh Byrnes and Co. have already shown a willingness to push players through the system, so be sure to get out to Lake Elsinore before it’s too late. Read More…