When I look at the talent pumping through the Padres’ farm system, I’m impressed by a lot of names. There’s Austin Hedges, the best catching prospect in baseball who will hopefully be a star for San Diego for years to come. Franchy Cordero, the shortstop who has some serious hitting ability. Hunter Renfroe, an outfielder, could one day become a valuable piece for the Friars. There’s a lot to like in the Padres’ system, but when I get to one name it seems to puzzle me. That name is Taylor Lindsey, the 23-year-old second baseman who was acquired from the Angels this past July in exchange for closer Huston Street. Lindsey is currently in Triple-A El Paso, and listed as the Padres 11th overall prospect. What I’m trying to figure out is what purpose Lindsey has with with the Padres?
As you know, the Padres have a pretty good (Pretty good meaning a budding superstar) second baseman in Jedd Gyorko and he’s under contract until at least 2019. So Lindsey doesn’t really have a spot at the Major League level with the face of the franchise occupying his position. So why is he here? Why was he included in the deal for Street? Lindsey is too talented of a player to be just a bench player and he’s not going to be a career minor leaguer either.
What are the Padres planning on doing with their newest prize farm hand? They could try and move his position. Yeah, that’s simple enough. It happens all the time. But where do you put him? Shortstop is pretty much blocked up with some pretty talented prospects and a few serviceable big leaguers. Third base? Well, a spot is pretty much up for grabs after Chase Headley was traded to the Yankees and it’s uncertain if Yangervis Solarte can keep up his production or if he’ll tail off like he did in New York. But can Lindsey play there?
It’s not all that easy to transition positions and a corner infield position is a lot different than a middle infield spot. Outfield? Come on now. The Padres have enough outfielders. He’d still be stuck in the minors. Maybe move Gyorko to third base, since his bat and glove appear to dictate that he could handle the transition. The most realistic option for Lindsey and the Padres may be to trade him. Not as a piece in a blockbuster trade but maybe just a simple one on one swap. Maybe getting a prospect at the level of Lindsey but in a position that the Padres will need in the future. Who would that be? I’m not sure, but the Padres will have to figure out what to do with Taylor Lindsey in order for their trade with Los Angeles to benefit them now and in the future.