The San Diego Padres have struggled mightily this year with their middle infield, using Everth Cabrera (.218), Alexi Amarista (.225), Jace Peterson (.100) and Brooks Conrad (.100) to patchwork a middle infield that may just be the worst in baseball.
There may be hope on the horizon though; Dennis Lin of the UT-San Diego outlines how recent trades, draftees and health have given the Pads a deep middle infield throughout the minors.
In the Huston Street trade to the Los Angeles Angels the Padres acquired two middle infielders in second baseman Taylor Lindsey and shortstop Jose Rondon. Rondon may be the more intriguing of the two, playing in the Futures Game for the World Team in 2014, and has a .319/.359/.405 line in his first year of High-A ball.
Lindsey was the centerpiece of the trade, ranking 93rd in Baseball America’s preseason prospect list, but has struggled this season batting .238, but has shown good pop and RBI numbers through his minors career. He has been spending time at third base with Triple-A El Paso since arriving, so it’s undetermined where he may play in the majors.
San Diego has also bolstered its depth through the draft starting with 2014 13th overall pick, shortstop Trea Turner. Turner has been killing it since his promotion to Single-A Fort Wayne .479/ .545/.604 and also has six stolen bases. According to Lin, most scouts were enamored with his defense and speed, but the Padres always believed he could hit, ““We think he’s gonna hit, he’s gonna defend, he can run,” said Chad MacDonald, the Padres’ assistant general manager of player personnel to Lin. “I think some people have concerns about the hit tool. We didn’t. He’s gonna hit.”
Along with Turner another name to watch is 2011 first round selection Cory Spangenberg who battled concussion problems earlier this season, but has come on strong with Double-A San Antonio .347/.384/.473. According to Lin the Padres have been trying him out in center field, where he has performed well, so that they have
flexibility in where they can play him, when it is time to call him up.
With the additions of Lindsey and Rondon coupled by draftees Turner and Spangenberg, one of the glaring holes on the major league roster, may soon be replenished by young talent.