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San Diego Padres Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was originally posted December 12th, 2007. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND OLD GRADES!!!!!!

1) Chase Headley, 3B, Grade B+
    .305/.383/.556 in Triple-A, .261/.330/.455 in the majors. Still making some adjustments but he's going to be a good one.
2) Matt Antonelli, 2B, Grade B+
     .204/.329/.297 for Triple-A Portland. One of the biggest Whiskey Tango Foxtrot prospects this year. Drawing lots of walks, controlling the zone well, but no power and the base hits aren't falling. Finally got his average over the Mendoza line this month. I have no clue what to expect in the future.
3) Matt Latos, RHP, Grade B
     3.28 ERA with 23/8 K/BB in 25 innings in the Midwest League. Now on rehab assignment due to an intercostal strain in the AZL Rookie league, has fanned 14 in nine innings.
4) Wade LeBlanc, LHP, Grade B
     5.22 ERA with a 121/40 K/BB in 121 innings for Portland, 118 hits allowed. Numbers don't add up to a 5.22 ERA. Home run rate is somewhat high but overall he has pitched better than the ERA indicates.
5) Will Inman, RHP, Grade B
     3.43 ERA with 133/62 K/BB in 123 innings for Double-A San Antonio, 106 hits allowed. Has done quite well in the Texas League, contrary to the predictions of some scouts. Still needs to lower walk rate.
6) Kellen Kulbacki, OF, Grade B
    .349/.441/.622 in the California League, obviously strong performance. Want to see how that carries into a tougher environment.
7) Cedric Hunter, OF, Grade B- 
    .317/.360/.434 in the California League. Having a nice season, power may be marginal at higher levels but he's just 20.
8) Kyle Blanks, 1B, Grade B-
     .306/.387/.471 for Double-A San Antonio. Perhaps not quite as much power as you'd like from a 6-6, 270 pound guy, but I still like him.
9) Chad Huffman, OF, Grade B-
      .290/.389/.433 for San Antonio. Good plate discipline, has drawn 61 walks, but performance overall hasn't been dominant.
10) Nick Hundley, C, Grade C+
      .232/.285/.451 with 12 homers for Portland, .215/.247/.367 in the majors. I have always like this guy more than I should. Can have a long career as a backup perhaps.
11) Drew Miller, RHP, Grade C+
       5.70 ERA with 90/40 K/BB in 120 innings in the Cal League, 147 hits allowed. Unimpressive performance, rather disappointing overall.
12) Steve Garrison, LHP, Grade C+
       3.61 ERA with 103/33 K/BB in 125 innings for San Antonio, 115 hits allowed. A solid, very competent strike-thrower.
13) Josh Geer, RHP, Grade C+
       4.44 ERA with 89/39 K/BB in 148 innings in Triple-A, 162 hits allowed. Another strike-throwing inning-eater type, stuff is marginal.
14) Mitch Canham, C, Grade C+
      .285/.391/.439 with 11 steals in the Cal League. Good plate discipline, athletic for a catcher, perhaps not as much power as anticipated.
15) Cory Luebke, LHP, Grade C+
       6.84 ERA with 60/23 K/BB, 97 hits in 72 innings in the Cal League. Sent back to the Midwest League, 3.56 ERA with 21/7 K/BB in 30 innings, 33 hits allowed. May not have enough for higher levels.
16) Jeremy Hefner, RHP, Grade C+
      3.22 ERA with 123/34 K/BB in 123 innings, 105 hits in the Midwest League. I liked him a lot pre-season and see no reason to change that, but need to check how fly ball tendency projects at higher levels.
17) Carlos Guevara, RHP, Grade C+
      6.50 ERA with 20/9 K/BB in 18 innings for Portland, 5.84 ERA with 11/9 K/BB in 12 innings for the Padres. I liked him as a sleeper, but expected better than this. Health has been an issue with hamstring and leg problems.  
18) Michael Gardner, RHP, Grade C+
      Returned to the Yankees under Rule 5. 4.02 ERA with 42/36 K/BB in 47 innings for Double-A Trenton. Was more effective at the same level last year.
19) Corey Kluber, RHP, Grade C+
       Struggled in the Cal League, 6.01 ERA with 75/34 K/BB in 85 innings, 93 hits. Sent back to the Midwest League, 4.38 ERA with 45/8 K/BB in 37 innings, 39 hits. I thought he was capable of better.
20) Ernest Frieri, RHP, Grade C+
      4.23 ERA with 102/29 K/BB in 117 innings in the Cal League, 120 hits. Extreme fly ball tendency could be a problem at higher levels.

Headley looks good. I don't know what the hell is going on with Antonini. There's a reasonable mix of hitting and pitching, and while the strike-throwing inning-eater types may top out in Triple-A, they provide some leavening for the system. It will be interesting to see what Hunter and Kulbacki do in Double-A next year.