The Fort Wayne Tincaps got off to a slow start in 2012, but ended up in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Overall, the team finished with a 74-75 record and had plenty of fan support, as 408,044 fans visited Parkview Field — a new franchise record.
The Tincaps had some individuals have huge years for the team. In fact, six of the Padres top twenty prospects(according to mlb.com) suited up for Fort Wayne in 2012. The team is clearly loaded with talent and many of the stars for the Tincaps should make an impact for the Padres in the near future.
Yeison Ascencio won the Midwest League batting title, by hitting .323. He is an outfielder that should get better with age. While he does not draw a ton of walks, he seems to exhibit many of the abilities that Padres top prospect Rymer Liriano.
Two of my favorite Padres prospects also had banner years for the Tincaps. Austin Hedges, the highly regarded young catcher had a remarkable season for Fort Wayne. Hedges has always been highly regarded for his glove, but his bat opened many eyes in the Padres organization. Hedges posted a triple-slash line of .279/.334/.451, with 10 homers and 56 RBI’s. He even stole 14 bases — mighty impressive for a catcher. Jace Peterson, the young shortstop also had an impressive year. He was second in the Midwest League with 51 stolen bases and posted an impressive on-base percentage of .378. Peterson could be the Padres shortstop of the future.
On the pitching side, the Tincaps finished tied for 4th in the Midwest League in ERA, posting a solid 3.59 for the season. Matthew Wisler led the way, posting an ERA of 2.53 in 24 starts. He also averaged nearly a strikeout per inning. Frank Garces, a young lefty signed out of the Dominican Republic, was a Midwest League All-Star in 2012, and posted a solid 2.81 ERA in 25 starts.
Out of the bullpen, Matthew Stites posted a banner year, going 2-0, with a microscopic ERA of 0.74. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League, opening many eyes in the Padres organization.
The Padres continue to show why they have one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball. I bet that many players on the Tincaps squad will be playing at Petco Park in a few years.