While A.J. Preller and the new Padres’ front office will try revamp the team’s woeful lineup, they may want to leave a spot open for the future. Former Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros scout Bernie Pleskoff believes that the Padres have found their right fielder of the future in Hunter Renfroe. The 22-year-old is currently making a name for himself in the Arizona Fall League with the Surprise Saguaros. So far he’s hit .271/.344/.553 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI in 22 games and was named to the West Division Fall Star team thanks to his strong performance.
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Pleskoff had this to say about Renfroe:
"“Renfroe packs a great deal of strength and raw power into his deceiving 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame. He looks bigger, but he plays with agility and fluidity that highlight his outstanding athletic coordination.”"
As well as this:
"“A right-handed hitter, Renfroe fits a typical right-field prototype. He has an outstanding and accurate arm to accompany his loud bat. There are times however, when Renfroe’s desire to launch the ball to the seats causes him to extend his swing. He is still only 22, and I believe he will moderate that tendency and keep to a more measured approach at the plate.”"
Pretty high praise from someone whose job it used to be evaluate the talent level of young ball players. If Pleskoff is seeing these things, I’m sure there’s plenty of other scouts seeing the same thing. While he does mention the one hiccup of an occasional long swing, that can be seen in several young players, and Pleskoff believes that he’s an alert enough player to understand his mistakes and grow from them.
Finishing up his 2014 campaign in Double-A, Renfroe is getting closer and closer to the majors. Despite that, he was drafted just last year and he didn’t have the immediate success in San Antonio that he’s had in every other stop in his baseball career. He’s not going to be a major part of the 2015 Padres, but the Padres should keep in mind that he’s got all the right tools to be a successful big leaguer before they go out and commit any money to a long term upgrade in right.