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Padres prospect Rymer Liriano makes way to Triple-A

Rymer Liriano
Rymer Liriano
Christian Petersen

San Diego Padres outfield prospect Rymer Liriano missed all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Back in action in '14, he had a decent spring for Double-A San Antonio and was recently promoted to Triple-A El Paso.

Liriano was originally signed by the Padres back in 2007. It seems like he's been around forever as a result, but he's still reasonably young at 23. He hit .280/.350/.417 with 32 steals between High-A and Double-A in 2012, but missing all of '13 with surgery rehab was bad timing, not that there's ever good timing for a lost season of course. Fully healthy again this year, he hit .264/.335/.442 with 14 homers, 35 walks, and 102 strikeouts in 371 at-bats for the Missions, stealing 17 bases in 24 attempts. He's 8-for-16 with two doubles, a steal and three walks in his first four contests for the Chihuahuas.

Liriano is a 6-0, 230 pound right-handed hitter born June 20, 1991. Despite his height and weight listing, he runs very well and should be good for 15-20 steals a year if given a consistent green light. The speed helps him in the outfield, where he shows enough range to handle center field. He's lost a bit of arm strength from the surgery but still throws well enough to deal with right field; overall his glove is a positive asset.

Pitch recognition is his biggest problem. He makes an effort to work counts but simply swings-and-misses a lot, which will likely inhibit his ability to hit for average. On the other hand, he is not a strict pull hitter and will drive pitches the opposite way for distance. His power has increased with maturity and will likely continue to do so.

The goal this year was for Liriano to stay healthy, get at-bats, and work off the injury rust. That mission has been accomplished. It remains to be seen if his hitting will blossom enough for him to be a regular, but he should be a useful role player at least and could receive a big league trial later this year.