A recent lull in Padres-related news almost had me dipping back into the “Letters They Never Received” vault, but AJ Preller and the Padres came through with another trade on Monday afternoon.

In a deal with the Yankees, the Padres acquired RHP Shawn Kelley for RHP Johnny Barbato. To clear room on the 40-man roster the Padres also had to DFA another RHP in Keyvius Sampson, likely ending his six-year run in the Padres organization.

At first glance, Kelley isn’t a particularly exciting addition to the bullpen. The 30-year-old spent the first four years of his major league career in Seattle before shifting east to New York in 2013. Overall, his 3.94 ERA sits right around league average, but once you throw the relief pitcher penalty in there, he’s just a tick better than replacement level for his career.

Upon closer inspection, there are a few reasons to believe that Kelley might have something more to offer in San Diego:

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We caught up with John Conniff of MadFriars.com and FoxSports San Diego on his recent trip to AAA El Paso. The Chihuahuas are in their first year of existence and playing in a brand new stadium, Southwestern University Park.

The club features a combination of some of the Padres’ top prospects in Matt Wisler, Jace Peterson and Keyvius Sampson along with some more experienced players with big league service time in pitcher Jason Lane and outfielder Jeff Francoeur.

We caught up with John for his recent trip to the Sun City.

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This is a list of the best prospects in the Padres’ organization.  To be eligible for this list a player must not have appeared in the majors. It’s a weird way to do things, but means more young prospects will appear.  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.

Notes carried over from the 2013 Top 25:

  • 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). It is safe to assume that all players in a tier could be rearranged without much argument.
  • Risk Factors have been included to help show the largest road block faced in each player’s development

Tier 1

1) Austin HedgesHedges split his age-20 season between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. While his overall offensive production doesn’t jump out at you, Hedges continues to be a tough out against advanced competition. He will head back to San Antonio to begin 2014, but minimal development is required before Hedges is able to contribute at the big league level. ETA: 2014

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It’s that time of year where major leagues clubs have to make decisions on who they want the protect from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. And the Padres made some hard choices today.

Added were starting pitchers Josh Johnson, Donn Roach, Keyvius Sampson, and Juan Oramas.

Keyvius Sampson (Photo courtesy of madfriars.com)

Gone are 2B Dean Anna, relief pitchers Brad BrachMiles Mikolas, & Jose De Paula, and OF Jaff Decker.

jaffnotjeff

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“Dana, I’m what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man, and I’ve failed much more than I’ve succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, “Where are we going?” And it starts to get better.” – Calvin Traeger, Sports Night

Towards the end of the second and last season of the great, short-lived Aaron Sorkin dramedy Sports Night, fictional sports network CSC is bought out by a holding company named Quo Vadimus, owned by the character quoted above. Quo Vadimus is Latin for “where are we going?”, a question Padres fans should be starting to ask themselves as we wind down the 2013 season and start looking ahead. In a series of posts, I will ask that question and hope to provide some answers. I’ve already discussed the outfield and infield. This installment will focus on who should stay, go, and be added to the Padres starting rotation.

The Current State Of The Padres Rotation

You can’t really talk about the current state of the rotation without first discussing where it was to start the season. Three of the five members of the opening day rotation are gone; Clayton Richard and Jason Marquis to injury and Edinson Volquez to the Dodgers after the Padres designated him for assignment. Only one member of the rotation has stayed in it from beginning to end: the team’s most reliable starter, and at times its stopper, Eric Stults. 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…

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…