Most of the Padres farm teams have had their All-Star breaks, and all but Tucson have played their leagues All-Star game. The Padres were well-represented in each respective league, and Lake Elsinore and San Antonio have been playing great baseball as of late. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Padres minor leaguers that are having the best seasons, regardless of level. I proudly unveil to you: the 2012 “Chicken Friars Padres Prospects All-Star Team!”
C: Yasmani Grandal: Grandal has made quite the impression with the Padres in his brief time with the Padres, but he also was having a tremendous year for Tucson. Grandal was hitting .335, with 6 HR’s and 35 RBI’s. Grandal had a sparkling on-base percentage of .443, walked more than he struck out. (37 walks vs. 35 strikeouts). San Antonio catcher Ali Solis also got consideration, as the Mexican-born catcher has had a nice year. He replaced Grandal on the World roster for the Futures All-Star game.
1B: Nathan Freiman: Freiman, an 8th round selection in 2009, has had a monster year for San Antonio. He has a triple-slash line of .288/.355/.514, and is third in the Texas League with 17 homers. He leads the league with 66 RBI’s, and could end up being the MVP of the league. Spring sensation Matt Clark has also had a nice year for Tucson, after getting off to a very slow start. Clark is hitting .306, with 15 HR’s for Tucson.
2B: Cory Spangenberg: The 2011 1st round pick of the Padres has had a solid year for High-A Lake Elsinore. He has produced a triple-slash line of .288/.330/.384, with 1 HR and 33 RBI’s. He has also 21 stolen bases on the year. Spangenberg may be the Padres 2nd baseman of the future, but it seems like he will need to develop a little more pop in his bat to stick at the big-league level. Jonathan Galvez has put up some nice numbers for San Antonio, but he has missed time with injuries.
3B: Jedd Gyorko: Gyroko might be the Padres top prospect right now. He has played both second and third this year, but projects to be a full-time third baseman at the next level. Gyroko got off to a bit of a slow start in AA, but has been a force with AAA Tucson. Between the two levels, he has put up a line of .312/.374/.538, with 19 homers and 64 RBI’s. He will likely make his MLB debut in September, or early 2013 at the latest. Justin Miller has also had a nice year with the Storm, hitting .368 with 8 homers.
SS: Jace Peterson: Peterson has emerged as the Padres top shortstop prospect in 2012. He has an intriguing blend of athleticism, and plate discipline. He has a solid line of .274/.378/.392, with a homer and 26 RBI’s. He also has 42 walks to go with 40 strikeouts. He also has 36 steals, and has been caught just five times. Dean Anna was a Texas League All-Star with the Missions, and has put a sparkling .417 on-base percentage in 2012.
OF: Rymer Liriano, Rico Noel, Daniel Robertson: Liriano got off to a dreadful start in the California League with the Storm, but picked up his production in May and June. Liriano was recently promoted to San Antonio, and played in the Future’s All-Star Game. With the Storm, Liriano hit .298, with 5 HR’s and 41 RBI’s. Rico Noel has had a nice year for the Storm, and he features some of the best wheels in the minors. Noel has hit .297, with 61 SB’s. He strikes out a bit too much (101 times in 350 AB’s) but his glove could carry him to the big leagues. Robertson is a bit old for a prospect at 26, but he was the T-Padres lone representative in the Triple-A All-Star game. Robertson is hitting .318, with 1 HR and 27 RBI’s for the Padres.
Next time, I will take a look at the best performing pitchers in the Padres system. If you think there is anyone that has been omitted from this list, leave us some comments!