“Padres-Season Over-Future is Not”
As the Padres wind down this season, the standings will show between 90 and 95-losses, as most of us expected.
Progress has been made, there has been growth of some young players, others have struggled.
But as they head to the off season, there will be work to be done. The need to get more quality major league pitching, solving the Will Myers hitting problems, and determining the right players for the right spots in an ever changing infield.
The minor league seasons are over for the Padres talent-laden farm system. Three of their teams are headed into postseason play, but the bigger story are the individual accomplishments of players at virtually every level.
It may be the most accomplished season the entire farm system has had in decades.
Granted it does not mean they will all get to Petco Park, but there is strength in numbers, and there are some pretty good numbers to look at.
EL PASO…won the division again…Hunter Renfroe hit (.508) in the 14-games he played after being sent down. Franchy Cordero, who had a cup of coffee with the Padres, looks ready too, after a (.326-17HR) season. 10-year journeyman outfielder Nick Buss won the PC hitting title, with a (..326) mark. There was not much on the mound, though Walker Lockett went (5-2). Young 3rd baseman Christian Villanueva slashed at a (.296) 20-home run mark. The Christian Bethancourt experiment, he becoming a relief pitcher, did not work, (8.21-ERA)…41-innings…83-baserunners..including 33-walks. The Dogs did finish (73-69).
SAN ANTONIO…the Missions got stronger and stronger as the young players arrived..finishing (78-62). SS-Luis Urias finished at (.296), young infielder Jose Rondon was in at (.293). Fellow infielder Javy Guerra staggered again, with a (.212) mark. On the mound, there was excellence everywhere. Starter Brett Kennedy (13-7) 3.70-ERA was there all year. Reliever Eric Yardley ended up with a (2.05) ERA. Last year’s bumper crop of draft pick pitchers did well. Joey Luchessi was a combined (11-8) with 129-strikeouts in 133-innings between A-AA. The same for P-Eric Lauer, who pitched at two levels, with a (6-9) ledger, but had 132-strikeouts in 122-innings. 1st round pick Cal Quantrill was (7-10) with 110-K’s in his 115-innings. Relievers stood out, with TJ Weir compiling ERA’s of 2.17 and 1.86-at his two stops. Brad Wieck had 51-strikeouts in his 30-innings out of the pen.
LAKE ELSINORE…For half a seasons, they had good prospects before they were promoted up the ladder. 1B-Josh Naylor (.297-8HR)….C-Austin Allen (.283-22HRs)…and Mike Gettys (.254-17HR) did well. On the mound young reliever Collby Bluberg (2.85-10 saves) was solid. Starting pitcher Logan Allen wound up 142-striekouts in his 124-innings starting at both levels in Class A. The Storm came home (64-76).
FORT WAYNE …A dazzling season. Young infielder Fernando Tatis (.281-21HRs) was dominant. Cuban teenager Jorge Ona ran out of gas at the end of August, but was a strong (.277-11HR) hitter playing everyday. Hudson Potts, a 2016 draft pick, hit 20-homers and finished with a (.253) mark. The only disappointment was high pick Buddy Reed (.234) for the second season in a row. On the mound, the international free agents were all force fed. Pedro Avila (7-1) 3.05-ERA was the best of the staff. Cuban rookies Ron Bolonas (5-2) 4.41 and 18-year old Adrian Morejon (62-innings-58K-22W) found the jump into Class A very tough. The Tin Cups, fielding a very young team, wound up (68-72).
TRI CITIES…The rookie league team wound up going (40-36), but the teenage players from Latin America had a tough time. SS-Luis Almanzer (.230)…infielder Kelvin Malian (.229) and OF-Luis Asuncion (.267) seemed overmatched. Not so for the pitching staff, led by draft pick Nick Margevisius (3-0) with a 1.24-ERA, and Fred Schlichtoz (4-2) 0.81.
ARIZONA SUMMER LEAGUE…The heat brought by lst round draft pick P-MacKenzie Gore, matched the heat of playing in the summer weather in Peoria. Gore finished with a microscopic (1.27-ERA)…in 21-innings, he fanned 34-walked only 7, in his pro debut….Teammate Ramon Perez won the ERA title in the summer league with a (2.66-ERA) with 48-K’s in his 50-innings. OF-Jession Rosario won the batting title with a (.299) mark. C-Mason House hit (.293)…and Estuary Ruiz, acquired from Kansas City, came home with a (.350) mark….while teammate Eugy Rosario finished at (.282). The 2-summer league teams went a combined (25-30)
A total of 31-minor leaguers had what you would call quality seasons at different levels.
They’re not all going to arrive at Petco Park as stars. Some will plateau. Some will get hurt. Some might get traded. But to have that many quality seasons from that many young kids is an impressive start.
As the Padres finish up 2017, the arrow is definitely pointing up, not just for the young players we saw do well in spurts at Petco Park, but for what might be in the pipeline looking ahead.
The season is almost over. The future is definitely not.