First baseman Anthony Rizzo was thought to be the immediate “crown jewel” of the deal, and an integral piece to the Friars’ rebuilding efforts. Unfortunately, Rizzo flamed out in San Diego after he struggled to hit well at Petco Park and make consistent contact with breaking balls.
Casey Kelly has made the big league roster and started big league games for the Friars already during his two year career with the club. Yet the right-handed starter’s future is in doubt after he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this spring.
Although Rizzo and Kelly were the two prospects who garnered most of the headlines and hype after the trade, Reymond Fuentes has finally started to make a name for himself.
As I alluded to in the title though, the Double-A level was no cake-walk for Fuentes when he arrived in San Antonio last year after a successful stint with Lake Elsinore in 2011. In fact, Fuentes probably went through his worst year in professional baseball in 2012.
Reymond hit only .218 (473 at-bats), knocked in 34 runs, and posted a .301 on-base percentage. Worst of all though, the outfielder had his fair share of issues with plate-discipline during his first year in Double-A too. Overall, Fuentes posted a dismal 52 to 133 walk to strikeout ratio!
While some prospects might have been discouraged by such a down year, the former 2009 1st round pick has taken full advantage of his second stint with the Missions. In fact, Fuentes has arguably been the Texas League’s best player over the first three months of the 2013 season.
How much has Fuentes improved over the course of one year? I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:
- .332 batting average (2nd in Texas League)
- 78 hits (2nd in Texas League)
- 43 runs (2nd in Texas League)
- .419 on-base percentage (2nd in Texas League)
- 23 stolen bases (T-2nd in Texas League)
- 26 runs batted in
- 14 doubles, two triples, and five home runs
- 31 to 50 walk to strikeout ratio
Fuentes has been a stellar table-setter for the Missions’ this year, and he is on pace to shatter all of his statistics from last season if he can continue to stay healthy. It is delightful to see how much Fuentes has improved in such a short period, and it definitely speaks to his character that he found ways to adjust and fix his 2012 struggles. Best of all though, the outfielder was just recently named a Texas League All-Star for his performance over the Missions’ first 63 games.
If Fuentes continues to play like he has so far in 2013, I see no reason why he will not suit up for Tucson in Triple-A before the end of this summer. The speedy lefty can play all three outfield positions, and his positional versatility should serve him well when he tries to find a spot in San Diego’s outfield one day. The 22 year-old looks primed to get even better over the next few years, and he might very well turn into the most productive player to come out of the Gonzalez-to-Boston deal.
Follow me on Twitter: @DominicDiTolla
Like “Chicken Friars” on Facebook: Chicken Friars