A lot of our other articles have mentioned the Third Base issues in San Diego. In our Second Base write-up, we talked about the potential of Jedd Gyorko moving to third if Chase Headley were to be traded. As you read our Third Base depth chart, you will see that this is really the only option. If Headley were to leave, there are really no internal options that would make it worthwhile. That being said, if Gyorko could be listed here, he would be second behind Headley. An argument could be made for him being first if you base it solely on last year’s performance. Let’s discuss this depth chart in the comments section and be sure to check out the other articles in this series (links at end of article).
#1 – Chase Headley (2013 – MLB: .250/.347/.400, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 8 SB, 520 at-bats; .968 Fld%, 2.39 RF/G – 140 games, 138 starts) Chase Headley is the face of the franchise, there’s no getting around it. Until the day he leaves, he will be. This may be based entirely off of the amount of money he makes, though. Last season, did his stats make him look like the face of the franchise? No. But, he does have the injury excuse to fall back on. This season, Chase will play on a 1-year deal and get a last chance to prove that his 2012 season was no fluke. If he doesn’t prove it by July, he will probably be trying to prove it elsewhere. Expect Jedd Gyorko to be installed at the hot corner as the new face of the franchise.
#2 – Alberto Gonzalez (2013 – MLB: .193/.217/.281, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 57 at-bats; .889 Fld%, 1.14 RF/G – 7 games, 6 starts) This is what it has come to. Alberto Gonzalez, who played 7 games in the bigs last season at third, is our second ranked Third Baseman. This is Jedd Gyorko’s spot, make no mistake about it. This does not mean that the Padres Organization is completely devoid of talent at the hot corner. It just means that some of the other prospects are not quite ready for the Majors just yet.
#3 – Gabriel Quintana (2013 – A: .305/.334/.447, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 6 SB, 347 at-bats; .876 Fld%, 2.27 RF/G – 84 games) Here is my point. The Padres have a very nice Third Base prospect in Class A Fort Wayne. He is only 21 years old and still has a ways to go. His fielding percentage needs to creep more up towards the Chase Headley level. At 6’2″, 190 lbs., the Padres would probably like to see him pack on a few more pounds of muscle and bring up those home run numbers. Hopefully if it all comes together, the talk will be about whether or not Gyorko needs to move back to Second Base in a few years.
#4 – Fernando Perez (2013 – Lo-A: .213/.270/.308, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB, 211 at-bats; .849 Fld%, 1.84 RF/G – 59 games) The numbers were down a little for Perez last year but, he is still a very good prospect for the Padres. Perez was drafted in 2012 and is still only 20 years old. Fernando pulled a Bryce Harper and graduated High School early and enrolled in Junior College to play baseball. He put up amazing numbers (with a great OBP) there which led to him being drafted. By all accounts he is a very kind, friendly and hard-working young man whom the Padres are hoping can pull it all together in Fort Wayne in 2014.
#5 – Dustin Peterson (2013 – RK: .293/.337/.344, 0 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB, 157 at-bats; .827 Fld%, 2.16 RF/G – 38 games) Now we get to the top Third Base prospect in the organization. Peterson was drafted in the 2nd Round last season and signed with the Padres rather than heading to Arizona State to play baseball like his older brother D.J. did in New Mexico. Speaking of D.J., he went 12th overall to the Mariners and many scouts believe that in the long run, Dustin will be even better. Immediately Dustin was moved from SS to 3B, based mainly on his 6’2″ – 185 lb. frame which is still growing. He projects to above-average with the bat with good pop. His arm strength was not that good at Short Stop and may be even worse at Third Base. He struggled in his first season at Third defensively. As he continues to grow into his body and gains experience at third, it could all come together for him. By 2016, Dustin Peterson could be the cornerstone of the Padres, whether it’s at the hot corner or not remains to be seen.
Links to previous Organizational Depth Charts: