The Organizational Depth Chart series continues with right field. This is a list of the right fielders within the organization who are the most Major League ready. Please comment if you agree or disagree with our selections.
#1 – Will Venable (2013 – MLB: .268/.312/.484, 22 HR, 53 RBI, 481 at-bats; .986 Fld%, 1.46 RF/G – 97 games, 68 starts*)
Venable became a member of the 20/20 club in 2013 with 22 home runs and 22 stolen bases. His flashy glove produced many highlights in the outfield. Venable’s hot bat in July and August earned him a two-year, $8.5 million contract extension through 2015. I’m very happy he will be in the outfield for the Padres the next couple seasons, and I look forward to watching him build upon a breakout 2013 campaign.
#2 – Chris Denorfia (2013 – MLB: .279/.337/.395, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 473 at-bats; .985 Fld%, 1.39 RF/G – 97 games, 51 starts)
Deno and Venable are one of the best right field platoons in all of baseball. They also platoon in center making them one of the best centerfield platoons as well. Denorfia is a career .280 hitter, and like Venable, is a good defensive player. He has decent speed, 11 SBs in 2013, and is a solid second batter in any lineup. If Cameron Maybin comes back strong, it will be interesting to see what happens to the Venable-Denorfia platoon. Deno is a slighty better hitter against lefties (.284), but Venable showed himself to hang tough with lefties at .276 in 2013. A trade may be in the future, but for now, Denorfia adds depth amid uncertainty in the outfield with Carlos Quentin and Maybin coming back from injury.
#3 – Kyle Blanks (2013 – MLB: .243/.305/.379, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 280 at-bats; .971 Fld%, 1.78 RF/G – 37 games, 33 starts)
Blanks is a big question mark for the Padres. In 2013, he hit eight homeruns, drove in 34 runs, and slugged .425 before the All-Star break. Post All-Star break, Blanks had only 61 at-bats, drove in one run, and batted .197. He was sidelined for a month and a half between July and August with tendinitis in his left Achilles. When healthy, Blanks is a good player off the bench who may turn into a good player period. Let’s hope his Achilles is healthy come March so he can show off his power, and help the Padres win games.
#4 – Rymer Liriano (Missed entire 2013 season with reconstructive elbow surgery. 2012 – High-A, AA: .280/.350/.417, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 465 at-bats; .970 Fld%, 1.70 RF/G – 115 games)
Corey Brock’s video on MLB.com tells you what you need to know about Liriano. Liriano reminds me of a golfer with a good swing, as long as he puts in the effort, he can be a very good player. Coming off a year long injury at 22 years old, his determination and effort will be tested.
#5 – Hunter Renfroe (2013 – Low-A, High-A: .271/.308/.459, 6 HR. 25 RBI, 170 at-bats; .958 Fld%, 1.68 RF/G – 41 games)
Renfroe is a soon to be 22 year old with a half season of pro ball under his belt. He was drafted out of high school, but decided to attend Mississippi State where he hit .345 with 16 home runs in his junior season. Following his junior season, the Padres drafted Renfroe thirteenth overall in the 2013 MLB Draft. In a Q&A with David Laurila of Fangraphs.com, Renfroe says he threw 98 mph coming out of high school. He is also good enough to be a catcher. Between Liriano and Renfroe, we have a future starter in right field.
Links to previous Organizational Depth Charts:
*All fielding statistics are based on the number of games played at right field. The offensive statistics are based on all at-bats during the season.