Carlos Quentin will be the everyday left fielder for the Friars in 2014, and newly acquired Seth Smith will be his backup. Jeremy Baltz, Kyle Gaedele, and Luis Domoromo are the left fielders within the organization who are the most major league ready. Feel free to comment, and please check out the Organizational Depth Chart series at the end of the post.
#1 – Carlos Quentin (2013 – MLB: .275/.363/.493, 13 HR, 44 RBI, 0 SB, 276 at-bats; .991 Fld%, 1.54 RF/G – 69 games, 69 starts*)
Quentin is a good cleanup hitter for the Padres. In two years, Quentin has a .268/.368/.498 slash with 29 HRs and 90 RBIs in 168 games played.
The bad news is Quentin has undergone three surgeries on his right knee since being traded to the Padres. The good news is Quentin told Corey Brock of MLB.com, “If you could rate the three surgeries I’ve had, this was by far the best of the three.” We all want the hometown kid batting cleanup, so let’s hope he can remain healthy for a full season.
#2 – Seth Smith (2013 – MLB: .253/.329/.391, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 0 SB, 368 at-bats; 1.000 Fld%, 2.04 RF/G – 50 games, 43 starts)
GM Josh Byrnes listed a left-handed bat off the bench as a priority this offseason, and the trade for Seth Smith is the answer. Smith can provide instant offense, and will be a good backup for Carlos Quentin. He will get plenty of opportunities to produce because he is a lefty, but I believe Chris Denorfia is the top backup/potential starter for the Padres in the outfield.
#3 – Jeremy Baltz (2013 – A, A+: .293/.348/.481, 15 HR, 87 RBI, 6 SB, 430 at-bats; .970 Fld%, 1.76 RF/G – 74 games)
Baltz played college baseball at St. John’s University, and was drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He has progressed very well in his time in the minors. In 67 games at high-A Lake Elsinore, Baltz slashed .309/.270/.511 with 10 HR and 54 RBI. I expect him to graduate to AA San Antonio in 2014.
#4 – Kyle Gaedele (2013 – A+: .256/.330/.440, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 27 SB, 450 at-bats; .988 Fld%, 1.79 RF/G – 47 games)
Gaedele played college baseball at Valparaiso University, and was drafted by the Padres in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. In his second full season in the minors, he moved up to high-A Lake Elsinore, and substantially increased his power numbers. At 6’ 3” 220 lbs., he has terrific speed, and is a good glove in the outfield. I expect to see Gaedele move up to AA San Antonio, but he may transition to center field in order to make room for Baltz in left.
#5 – Luis Domoromo (2013 – A, A+: .216/.274/.351, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 5 SB, 448 at-bats; .978, 2.05 RF/G – 66 games)
Domoromo has not been able to make the transition from single-A Fort Wayne to high-A Lake Elsinore. In 2011, he slashed a highly respectable .283/.335/.405 at Fort Wayne. In 2012, Domoromo slashed a lackluster .219/.267/.302 at Lake Elsinore. His average dipped below .200 at Lake Elsinore in 2013, but he was able to improve his numbers when he was transferred back to Fort Wayne. Domoromo will turn 22 in February, and the Padres will most likely keep him at single-A Fort Wayne in 2014.
Links to previous Organizational Depth Charts:
*All fielding statistics are based on the number of games played in left field. The offensive statistics are based on all at-bats during the season.