First of all, let me start off by saying that living in Tucson for the last 9 years has been great in terms of catching some great Spring Training games and seeing the Padres here and there during Cactus League play. Unfortunately, the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and White Sox have all recently moved up to the Phoenix area, and thus Tucson was left without any Spring Training baseball. (Although the Friars are playing a game at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium this Spring on March 18th.)
Thankfully, the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate came to town last season, and we got to watch Anthony Rizzo eat Pacific Coast League pitching alive. Sure, Tucson may have finished with a losing record, but it was nice to see my favorite team’s Triple-A squad up close and personal. Sure the T-Pads might not be staying in Tucson for very long (pending the move to Escondido or elsewhere, the sale of the team, etc.), but it’s nice to have Triple-A baseball in your town’s backyard again.
But why am I bringing the Tucson Padres up right now? Well, because the Padres have so many up and coming players that they have acquired in the last couple of seasons, we should at least pay close attention to their progress in the minors and on the doorstep of the majors in 2012 in Tucson.
By year’s end, we could see a big part of San Diego’s starting staff of the future in the forms of Joe Wieland, Casey Kelly, and Robbie Erlin pitching for the T-Pads. Furthermore, we could be watching Catcher Yasmani Grandal and 3B/2B Jedd Gyorko raking it at during the summer. I mean, it never hurts to look at a situation from a “glass half full” perspective, right?
I know that most of you don’t live in Tucson or likely haven’t considered following the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate. Nevertheless, the future looks at least bright for San Diego, and it would at least give us some sort of hope and fun activity to look at the progress of what should be major pieces of the Padres’ roster come 2014.
So here and there, check out the T-Pads website for all the up to date news and stats on some future stars for San Diego. And hey, if you’re in the Tucson area, come out to a game at Kino and cheer on the T-Pads. I know that I’ll be going to a few, and who knows? I could be posting here and there about some of the organization’s best Triple-A prospects here on C.F. as well.
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