When I ranked the Padres prospects last week, Logan Forsythe came in second, behind outfielder Jaff Decker.
I mentioned how he was a good third baseman who had a line-drive approach perfectly suited for Petco. He’s a player who could hit 30 doubles and 15 homers annually, while providing very high walk totals and good defense.
The major knock on Forsythe was that he lacked the power profile of a third baseman. I project him as a 15-HR guy, like I said, and he only hit 11 last year.
Another issue with Forsythe at third was that the Padres already have Chase Headley there, and two other top 10 prospects (James Darnell and Edinson Rincon) are also third basemen.
This has led to Forsythe getting extensive reps at second base this spring, according to reports.
It makes a lot of sense–the Padres’ current 2B options are the relatively punchless David Eckstein/Jerry Hairston duo, and the position badly needs an upgrade.
If Forsythe is going to be a second baseman now, that calls his MLB ETA into question. FanGraphs writer Marc Hulet had it at “Late 2010” in his San Diego Top 10 Prospects list, and that was before the position change. I would’ve said “Sometime in 2011” with Forsythe at third.
The biggest question with Forsythe’s major league ETA as a second baseman, in my opinion, is where he’ll start the season. With only 66 games at Double-A under his belt, and an .098 ISO there, it’s hard for Forsythe to make the argument that he has nothing left to learn there.
Still, he hit .279/.384/.377, which is hardly a bad line, particularly OBP-wise, so it’s not like starting in Triple-A would be a huge rush.
If Forsythe returns to Double-A, he’ll likely spend a couple of months there, delaying his arrival in Portland until perhaps June. With that timetable, Forsythe likely isn’t going to make an impact on the 2010 Padres.
However, if he starts in Triple-A and hits well (which is pretty likely given the hitting environment in Portland), he could be in the majors by June, particularly if Eckstein and Hairston prove ineffective at the keystone.
It’s up to Forsythe to impress Padres brass this spring and get assigned to Portland; it could make nearly a year of difference for him.