For those of us Padres fans excited about the franchise’s future, some more good news just came our way earlier this week. As most of you know, the Arizona Fall League just finished its 6-week season, and the Peoria Javelinas took the 2012 crown. Just after the season ended, the League announced its “Top Prospects Team,” and two highly touted Friars prospects earned “Top Prospects” honors. According to CBSSports.com’s C. Trent Rosecrans, Outfielder Rymer Liriano and Relief Pitcher Kevin Quackenbush made the cut and were named “All AFL” for their play.
Liriano, the Padres #1 Prospect according to MLB.com, did a fine job with the Javelinas and proved to those who watched that he is deserving of a #1 ranking within the organization. In 22 games, Liriano hit .319 (29 for 91) with 5 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 15 RBI’s, and an awesome 23 Runs scored. In addition, Liriano logged a .376 On-Base Percentage and Slugged .505. Quackenbush, also a member of the Javelinas, emerged as one of the best Relief Pitchers during League play this Fall. In 11 Appearances (11.0 Innings), Quackenbush pitched for a League-leading 6 Saves, Struck Out 16 batters, and put up a solid 2.45 ERA. After both players did well in High-A Lake Elsinore, Liriano and Quackenbush should be primed for extended stints with Double-A San Antonio when the 2013 campaign begins.
Liriano and Quackenbush were not the only Padres’ prospects to do well in the AFL though, especially with the Javelinas. Second Baseman Cory Spangenberg had himself a solid 8 game stint with the club and hit .345 (10 for 29) with 1 Home Run, 3 RBI’s, and put up an incredible .500 On-Base Percentage. Starting Pitcher Robbie Erlin also managed to shine with the Javelinas, and went 2-1 over 7 Starts and 23.2 Innings Pitched, while the Javelinas other Second Baseman, Jeudy Valdez, hit .303 (20 for 66) in 18 AFL games. In addition to Quackenbush, Peoria also had a solid Padres prospect out of the Bullpen in the form of Matt Stites. And all the Reliever did was go 1-0 in 12 Games, put up a 3.21 ERA, and record 15 Strike Outs in 14.0 Innings of work.
Although we will likely not see many of these prospects until late this season at the absolute earliest, I must say that it is comforting to see these (hopefully) future Friars doing so well. While Liriano might garner most of the headlines, the performances of Erlin, Spangenberg, Quackenbush, Stites, and Valdez illustrate just how much depth this organization has at the minor league level. I for one cannot wait to see what Manager Bud Black does with this talent once it is deemed big league ready, and I hope that happy days come soon to Petco Park.
Anyways, a tip of the cap to you Liriano and Quackenbush, and a tip of the cap to the rest of the Padres’ prospects who did so well this Fall!