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San Diego Padres Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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July 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal hits a double during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Beck Diefenbach-US PRESSWIRE
July 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal hits a double during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Beck Diefenbach-US PRESSWIRE

San Diego Padres Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

Continuing with our reviews of the Top 20 pre-season prospect lists, we trek back to the National League and examine the San Diego Padres. Remember, this is a pre-season list. It is not a new list.

This list was originally published January 17, 2012.

The next team on the list is the Toronto Blue Jays, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, then the Miami Marlins to finish up.

1) Yonder Alonso, 1B, Grade B+: .270/.340/.398 with 40 walks, 70 strikeouts in 382 at-bats in the majors. Has actually hit slightly better at home (.768 OPS) than on the road (.711). I think he'll get better.

2) Yasmani Grandal, C, Grade B+: .335/.443/.521 with 37 walks, 35 strikeouts in 194 at-bats for Triple-A Tucson, .312/.349/.597 with five homers in 77 major league at-bats. Love this guy.

3) Rymer Liriano, OF, Grade B+: .298/.360/.443 with 22 steals in 282 at-bats for High-A Lake Elsinore, then .256/.328/.405 with five steals in 121 at-bats for Double-A San Antonio. Still has all the tools, learning to put them together. This is a guy who should really not be rushed.

4) Jedd Gyorko, 3B-2B, Grade B+ : .262/.356/.431 in 34 games in Double-A, then .331/.379/.575 with 17 homers, 25 walks, 49 strikeouts in 299 at-bats for Triple-A Tucson. Have to see where he fits defensively, but has played well at 2B and there are no complaints about the bat.

5) Robbie Erlin, LHP, Grade B+: Got off to a good start in Double-A (2.67 ERA, 45/10 K/BB in 34 innings) but hurt his elbow, just started rehab assignment in rookie ball. Holding pattern at this point.

6) Joe Wieland, RHP, Grade B+: 4.55 ERA with 24/9 K/BB in 28 innings in the majors, until going down with bad elbow.

7) Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Grade B+: 5.31 ERA with 102/52 K/BB in 103 innings for San Antonio, 91 hits. Very effective in July (3.07 ERA in 29 innings, 26/4 K/BB). Still an intriguing prospect.

8) Casey Kelly, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. Another injury casualty, just starting rehab in rookie ball from elbow injury.

9) Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Grade B: Borderline B+: .278/.325/.368 with 17 walks, 54 strikeouts in 291 at-bats for Lake Elsinore, 22 steals. On-base percentage is disappointing and he already lacked power.

10) James Darnell, OF-3B, Grade B-: Shoulder injury.

11) Joe Ross, RHP, Grade B-: Just 33 innings this year due to injury, now in rookie ball rehab.

12) Brad Boxberger, RHP, Grade B-: 3.03 ERA with 55/19 K/BB in 39 innings for Tucson, has fanned 14 in 11 major league innings, just nine hits, but has walked 10. I don't see why he can't be a good pitcher if the command is there.

13) Jaff Decker, OF, Grade B-: .184/.365/.293 with 40 walks, 37 strikeouts in 147 at-bats for San Antonio, injured most of the season. Still just 22.

14) Austin Hedges, C, Grade B-: .261/.322/.430 with eight homers, 22 walks, 54 strikeouts in 272 at-bats for Low-A Fort Wayne, 34% of runners caught. Slowed down after a fast start, OPS has declined each month. Good broad-based potential.

15) Anthony Bass, RHP, Grade B-: 4.70 ERA with 72/33 K/BB in 84 innings in the majors, 80 hits. 3.81 FIP. I think he can improve.

16) Juan Oramas, LHP, Grade B-: Tommy John.

17) Donavan Tate, OF, Grade C+: .207/.294/.254 in 193 at-bats for Fort Wayne, .265/.472/.304 in 102 at-bats for Lake Elsinore. Very blah performance, particularly lack of power. Tools don't matter if you can't use them.

18) Jonathan Galvez, 2B, Grade C+: .330/.398/.476 with 22 walks, 46 strikeouts in 227 at-bats for San Antonio. Hitting well and has made some progress on defense.

19) Jace Peterson, SS, Grade C+. .282/.380/.389 with 52 walks, 48 strikeouts, 43 steals in 355 at-bats for Fort Wayne. I like this guy a lot. Not sure he sticks at shortstop.

20) Blake Tekotte, OF, Grade C+: .254/.290/.403 with 12 walks, 75 strikeouts in 248 at-bats in Triple-A. I thought he was considerably better than this.

21) Vince Belnome, 2B, Grade C+: Hitting .289/.390/.492, 33 walks, 52 strikeouts in 197 at-bats, mostly in Triple-A. Chance as a bench player.

22) Reymond Fuentes, OF, Grade C+: .219/.299/.305 with 39 walks, 111 strikeouts in 384 at-bats for San Antonio, 28 steals. Tools, good glove, but not much of a hitter at this point.

23) Mike Kelly, RHP, Grade C+: Good arm but very raw, 7.53 ERA with 38/35 K/BB in 43 innings between Low-A and rookie ball, 55 hits allowed.

24) Edinson Rincon, "3B", OF? Grade C+: Hitting .284/.311/.390 with 18 walks, 69 strikeouts in 405 at-bats for San Antonio. Awful glove, but I think he can hit better than this.

25) Brad Brach, RHP, Grade C+: 3.80 ERA with 50/25 K/BB in 43 innings in the majors, 35 hits. A competent relief pitcher.

26) Matt Andriese, RHP, Grade C+: 3.19 ERA with 101/27 K/BB in 119 innings for Lake Elsinore, 112 hits. 1.73 GO/AO, a very fine season from a pitcher who needs more attention.

27) Miles Mikolas RHP, Grade C+: 3.09 ERA with 28/11 K/BB in 32 innings in Double-A/Triple-A, then 3.86 ERA with 14/11 K/BB in 16 innings in the majors. Another guy who can be a good reliever if he throws strikes.

(the following comments should not be considered a comprehensive overview. It is impressionistic).

Lots of injury attrition here. Good thing this system had a lot of pre-season depth to work with.

Of guys not on the list, I particularly like Burch Smith at Lake Elsinore with his 120/20 K/BB. Teammate Kevin Quackenbush has had a great year as a closer. Donn Roach was a nice pickup from the Angels. He's on the DL but not hurt; he was shut down for innings reasons in mid-July.

Lefty Frank Garces has had a nice year in Low-A, as was Adys Portillo before his recent jump to Double-A. Johnny Barbato and Matthew Stites in the Fort Wayne bullpen are also intriguing.

Three high school pitchers were drafted in the first four picks (Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Walker Weickel). I like all three, although of course with high school arms can take awhile. College outfielder Travis Jankowski could move fairly quickly through the system. Eflin is out with mono but at least it isn't an elbow.