2013 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Recap: San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Robbie Erlin

Jul 7, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Robbie Erlin (41) throws during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

We continue Southbound on the I-5 and check out the San Diego Padres’ farm system, which is full of solid, future big league talent. The Padres seem to always find ways to retool their farm system, but once those players are ready for the big leagues, they just don’t pan out as their potential might have originally suggested. Whether the hitters struggle to adjust to the lofty dimensions of Petco Park or the pitchers have terrible home/road splits, it seems as if the Padres are somewhat of a snake-bitten team. Not much can be done except evaluate the present talent available in their system and see if they can fare better than the previous group of prospects.

Before we get down to business, it’s worth noting the teams that have received a prospects overview. If one were to be up-to-date with this series, one would notice that every team, for the most part, has a certain philosophy when filling out their farm teams:

  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim–Currently lack a sense of direction.
  • Oakland A’s–Shuffle all of their top 10 prospects, either way, they’ll be ready to perform in the big leagues.
  • Seattle Mariners–Recent success in the draft has them going through a renaissance of sort.
  • San Francisco Giants–A scrappy team that is content with developing everyday players with loads of heart and instincts.
  • L.A. Dodgers–Playing it safe with their pitchers, but they have a couple of hitters that could be special.

Max Fried–SP–2015

2013 Outlook: At 19 years-old, has potential to have three above-average pitches: low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup

Player

Class

IP

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

Max Fried

A

111.7

6

6

3.55

1.41

7.9

4.5

8.1

0.6

The Padres first round pick in 2012, Fried is a work in progress, but was drafted in the top 10 because of his stuff and upside. Fried is struggling with control this season and the K/9 is pretty underwhelming for a guy like Fried. He is looking more like a true, ground ball pitcher so that should make up for the lack of strikeouts. Nevertheless, the jury is still out on Fried.

Robbie Erlin–SP–2013

2013 Outlook: Mixes pitches very well; Intangibles makes up for lack of size (stands at 5-11); played well in 2012 Arizona Fall League

Player

Class

IP

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

Robbie Erlin

AAA

99.3

8

3

5.07

1.60

7.6

3.1

11.3

1.0

The progress that Erlin seemed to have been making throughout his minor league career has almost been erased this season at Triple-A. Elbow problems forced him to miss significant time in 2012, so perhaps that injury may have affected him this season as well. Or maybe it’s the advanced hitters taking advantage of a 22 year-old pitcher. Whatever the case, command problems and an increase in BB/9 are major concerns. He’s a fly ball pitcher, but has a high BABIP of .352. So he’s getting rocked, but the Padres are not too overly concerned as they have decided to call him up before September and see how he handles big league hitting. He pitched six innings of solid, but unspectacular ball on Wednesday.

Jace Peterson–SS–2015

2013 Outlook: Aggressive base stealer; on-base skills; line-drive hitter.

Player

Class

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Jace Peterson

A+

496

7

66

42

54

58

.303

.382

.454

If there’s one thing you guys should know about me by now, I don’t get excited about the number of home runs or stolen bases a player posts, especially in the minors. No, I get ecstatic when I see a hitter post a BB/K of .93. Are you serious? First off, kudos for living up to all the hype. Secondly, the contact and on-base skills have been tremendous this season. But that plate discipline has my eyes popping out of their sockets. It’s only High-A, but keep a close eye on this guy. A guy with this much plate discipline and adequate pop should do just fine in the big leagues. Especially at shortstop and especially in San Diego where Everth Cabrera might be seeing his days numbered as a Padre.

Travis Jankowski–OF–2015

2013 Outlook: Good contact skills; very fast; future leadoff hitter.

Player

Class

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Travis Jankowski

A+

556

1

38

71

54

96

.286

.356

.355

Peterson’s teammate, both he and Jankowski make for a good, dynamic duo at the top of the lineup. The plate discipline is not like Peterson’s, but it’s adequate for a player his age. Plus his on-base percentage is good enough where he can take advantage of that speed. How fast is Jankowski? The California League named him the league’s Best and Fastest Base Runner along with being the league’s Best Defensive Outfielder. Currently, Jankowski has a stolen base rate of 84%. I can almost imagine 5X5 Dynasty/Keeper Roto-leaguers scurrying frantically searching to see if Jankowski is available in their leagues.

Matt Wisler–SP–2015

2013 Outlook: High-90s fastball; curve could use better command

Player

Class

IP

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

Matt Wisler

AA

101.0

8

4

2.67

1.03

8.6

2.4

6.9

0.6

Only 20 years-old, but control has been great considering this is Double-A talent he’s facing. K/9 is a bit underwhelming for a pitcher with his stuff, but he’s on the right path to the big leagues. Definitely a must watch for next season.

Austin Hedges–C–2015

2013 Outlook: At 20-years-old, he’s already a great defensive catcher; can drive ball to all fields

Player

Class

PA

HR

RBI

2B

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Austin Hedges

A+

266

4

30

22

22

45

.270

.343

.425

With former top-notch, catching prospect Yasmani Grandal tarnishing his stock with a 50-game suspension and out for the year with torn knee ligaments, the Padres will now focus on Hedges to play backstop in the future. Offensively, he’s underwhelmed in all facets, but he does have 22 doubles. The scouts were right to praise his defensive skills, as he’s been named the California League’s Best Defensive Catcher. While his glove will be his ticket to the big leagues, fantasy owners have to keep in mind that he’s still a raw product at the plate.

Zach Eflin–SP–2016

2013 Outlook: Low-90s Fastball; advanced changeup; good control

Player

Class

IP

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

Zach Eflin

A

118.7

7

6

2.73

1.19

6.5

2.4

8.3

0.5

Another Padres’ pitcher that has displayed good control. Unfortunately, he hasn’t displayed that strikeout rate. Based on his H/9, he’s highly dependent on contact and great fielding to get from one inning to the next. He’s only 19 years of age and has a long way to go to develop. He has great size and scouts are impressed by his demeanor on the mound.

BAD LUCK PADRES

What did I say about the Padres being a snake-bitten team? Here’s a short list of Padres’ prospects, ranked in the top 10 in the preseason (per MLB.com rankings), that have succumbed to serious injury:

CLIMBING THAT CORPORATE LADDER

  •  Burch Smith–SP–2014: Began as the 20th ranked prospect in the Padres’ system during the preseason. He is currently ranked as the 9th ranked prospect, per MLB.com. Even though he has not received much hype, he’s probably the Padres’ “most-ready” pitching prospect coming into next year.  He can rack up the strikeouts, keep walks to a minimum, has size, and an impressive fastball that can reach into the high-90s. He still needs to work on his other pitches, but he should be one of the first pitchers called-up by the All-Star break in 2014.

Scouting Reports courtesy of mlb.combaseballprospectus.com, and baseballamerica.com

Stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and are good through August 27, 2013.

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Felipe Melecio is the Editor-in-Chief for the blog Pathological Hate, a site for sports, cars, music (punk/hardcore/metal), and other pop culture folkways. Keep tabs on all his knee-jerk reactions on Twitter:
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