As ranked by our friends over at Seedlings to Stars, Rymer Liriano comes in at #48 of 100. This is pretty high praise for a player who couldn’t hack it during his promotion to High-A. However, his breakout 2011 after his demotion back to Fort Wayne (Single-A) may be indicative of great things to come. He’s young and inconsistent, but the emphasis should be on the young part. I’m dreaming of an outfield of Cameron Maybin, Chris Denorfia, and Rymer Liriano.
You can check out his player profile here, but I’m going to focus on one very important aspect of his game that will be especially applicable in San Diego. Speed.
In 116 games with Fort Wayne, Liriano stole 65 bases. He hit 8 triples and 30 doubles. The kid has speed. Playing either left or right field in Petco requires speed. Winning on a low budget requires speed. The San Diego Padres need speed. Rymer is still a few years away from any type of Major League debut, but we can still dream.
Imagine Cameron Maybin, locked in for a long-term, affordable deal, and Rymer Liriano under club control for the foreseeable future both contributing big for the Padres. Imagine two outfielders that can put together lines that look something like this: .280/.345/.400 with 15-20 HR, 8-10 3B, 20-25 2B, and 40+ stolen bases.
We’ll leave the defense out of the equation for now, because Rymer is not there yet. He doesn’t need CF-type defense because Maybin is the club’s center fielder for years to come. He does need to perform relatively well in the outfield though. It would be easy to turn what should be a single into triple or a run scored by misplaying a ball in the Petco outfield.
For now, the Padres can only watch from a distance. Like a prized possession just out of their grasp, Liriano is just outside the Major League required skill level. He will get there though. He will develop. It’s just a matter of how much he will develop. Will he be a star? Will he flop? These are the questions we live for as fans. These are the thoughts that keep us up at night when most normal people are sound asleep. We dream of developing stars from the ground up, diamonds in the rough, and talent on the cheap. We are Padres fans and we get excited about prospects.