With Thursday’s loss to Arizona, the Padres record stands at 2-5. It is still very early, and there is plenty of ball still to played. However, I always love to look at the prospects that will make up the next Padres contender. The minor league season is a week underway, and there are a few players that are opening eyes in the system. Here are a few guys that are off to promising starts.
Casey Kelly: Kelly, one of the players acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade is off to an impressive start with AAA Tucson. In 12 innings, Kelly has no record, but a sparkling 2.25 ERA. He also has 14 k’s in 12 innings. More impressively to me, he has not walked a batter in those 12 innings. If Kelly keeps it going, we may see him at Petco by mid-July.
Nathan Freiman: Freiman isn’t exactly a household name amongst Padres prospects; but he has quietly put up some huge numbers in his professional career. Freiman, an 8th round pick in 2009, has hit 4 HR’s in first 21 at-bats. Last year, he drove in 111 RBI’s for Lake Elsinore. While 1st base is a deep position in the Padres system, Freiman is off to an impressive start.
Jace Peterson: Peterson, a SS for the Fort Wayne Tincaps, might be one of the best athletes in the Padres farm system. Peterson, a former football player at McNeese State, is off to a quick start. Peterson is hitting .346 in 26 at-bats, including 5 extra base hits. He also has a good eye at the dish, as he has drawn 5 walks. He has a long way to go, but he is an exciting player to watch for.
Adys Portillo: Portillo has been a bit of an enigma in his time as a Padres farmhand. He signed for $2 million, back in 2008, and the Padres have not seen a large return on their investment. On the surface, Portillo has one of the best arms in the organization, but has a dismal 5.72 ERA in his minor league career. However, Portillo has displayed his high-end talent for Fort Wayne this season. Today, Portillo had one of his best outings as a professional, allowing just 1 run and 2 hits in 6.2 innings. At the age of 20, perhaps Portillo is finally starting to harness his talents.
The Padres have a talented system, and these are a few of the guys I am following in the minors this season. With talent like this in the system, it is clear why the Padres have one of the deepest systems in all of baseball.