The Padres have been busy lately promoting some of their top minor league hitters. First there was Drew Cumberland moving to San Antonio, then Cedric Hunter going up to Portland, and now Blake Tekotte looks to take Hunter’s role as center fielder/leadoff man for the Double-A Missions.
Tekotte was promoted from High-A Lake Elsinore today, while Yefri Carvajal was demoted from San Antonio to Lake Elsinore.
Carvajal has been one of many hitters who was promoted despite putting up awful numbers at his current level. He batted just .163/.196/.217 in Lake Elsinore, but was promoted anyway, even though he’s just 21. He hit quite a bit better in San Antonio actually, but his line was still a very poor .176/.222/.382.
Now, he’s back where he belongs (although Carvajal may merit a demotion even further down the system), and Tekotte, one of the Padres’ most promising prospects, takes a big step toward San Diego.
The center fielder is a true five-tool player, and he hit a monstrous .310/.419/.522 with 22 steals for Lake Elsinore. And yeah, that’s the Cal League, but he hit 13 homers, walked 68 times, and stole 30 bases in Fort Wayne in 2009, so it’s not all Cal League inflation.
Tekotte will be out to prove that his statistical gains are the product of his own improving and not the hitter-friendly environment he played in. The 23-year-old could be a very valuable player for the Padres as soon as mid-2011, and if he holds up in the tougher San Antonio environment, he’s got to be right there at the top of the list of San Diego prospects.