Four years ago, I started a project out of, quite frankly, spite and disappointment.
I now feel a responsibility to maintain this thing I started.
Because the Padres Twittersphere is an ever-evolving entity. Players and people leave, sometimes even of their own accord. Some who have stayed have changed their Twitter usage to not be all that interesting of a follow anymore. Still others just seem to have given up the medium altogether.
Some do a bit of all of that, sailing off into the distance in silence, like a sailboat in the night.
So, here we are. The fourth iteration of my “Padres Must-Follow” Twitter list.
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.
Series intro and week no. 1
Week no. 2
Logan Allen, LHP, Single-A Fort Wayne
The state of Indiana is known for Hoosiers, its anti-noodling law, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ starting rotation, which consists of Austin Smith, Jacob Nix (more on him later), Anderson Espinoza, Jean Cosme, now-injured Chris Paddack, and Logan Allen. Allen is a 6’3,’’ 200-pound lefty, originally drafted in the eighth round last year out of high school by the Red Sox, and acquired by the Padres as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade.
Last season, in the Red Sox organization, he pitched only 24 1/3 innings, mostly in the Gulf Coast League (rookie ball), but he struck out 26 while allowing just a lone walk and no home runs. That performance, combined with his age, stuff, and handedness, pushed him onto Baseball America’s top 10 Padres prospects list once it came out last December (he just missed BP’s top 10).
This Offense Might Stink
I try very hard not to get too swayed by early season results, and getting shutout by Clayton Kershaw, like what happened on Opening Day, is just a thing that’s supposed to happen in life. But the Padres have now been blanked four times in nine games, and they scored just once last night and five times over a three-game set with the projected cellar-dwelling Phillies—and two of those three games were started by Charlie Morton, who I proudly picked on my HACKING MASS team, and Jerad Eickhoff, who is quickly monopolizing the Google search term “Jerad.”
Of course, in between the shutouts the Padres exploded for 29 runs in two games against the Rockies, and you can’t completely discount that kind of hitting performance even though it happened in Colorado. It’s a sign, at least, that this team won’t get shutout at a 44.4 percent clip all season, which is what happened last year (I think). The bigger concern is that they haven’t scored more than four runs in any of the other seven games, and this isn’t an offense we were expecting a ton out of going into the season. Crap.
Obligatory Andy Green Complaints
It’s certainly possible that we all got a little carried away with Jabari Blash. Fun name, power potential, cool story, nice fella—it’s easy to get carried away with that kind of profile. But I really believe this dude might be something. He ranks second in the entire Padres organization in PECOTA-projected TAv, which I’m sure I’ve referenced in this space before.
[fancy intro here]
Padres acquire: RHP Enyel De Los Santos and INF Nelson Ward from Mariners
Padres trade: RHP Joaquin Benoit to Mariners
Benoit’s been both consistent and effective since returning from shoulder surgery in 2010, but he turned 38 in July, he’s a reliever, and his peripherals dipped in 2015. He’s also owed $7.5 million in 2016, all of which combined to make him an ideal trade candidate for a Padres team treading the water between rebuilding and retooling. Despite Benoit’s track-record as a shutdown setup man, he didn’t bring a ton back from Seattle—he’s a 38-year-old relief pitcher with declining peripherals, after all.
De Los Santos is about what you’d expect from a not quite 20-year-old pitching prospect: He throws reasonably hard from a solid frame, and his career could go in any number of a hundred different directions. He’s certainly the type of prospect you don’t mind acquiring, but he’s also one you pencil into a future role only if you have an eraser handy.
Ward’s spent time at both second base and shortstop since entering pro ball in 2014, and he hit .278/.365/.436 last year—a line inflated by 337 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Cal League. He fits the versatile backup infielder mold if the remaining development goes as planned.