Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Minor League Prospects
Early in the season, we were quite disappointed about watching Padres players perform well elsewhere in the major leagues. We saw Matt Wisler get called up and look outstanding early on. Jace Peterson won the starting job at second base with the Braves and we wondered if we had forfeited the future for some rentals. Now though? In his last 9 games Wisler has an ERA over 9. Peterson is hitting .238. So perhaps giving them up wasn’t so bad.
The two top prospects the Padres did keep were Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe. Travis Jankowski could be an interesting piece of the puzzle for the Padres in 2016 as they hope to add speed and defense to their outfield situation. There is hope that Casey Kelly and Robbie Erlin might be able to man some innings for the Padres, but there is a lack of a bona fide star in their minor league midst pitching wise.
Hedges showed some good signs this season but not perhaps seized the opportunity that he could’ve done and made Norris expendable for next season. He is somewhere between being a good backup and a 8 hitter backup. His performance in 2016 might be a huge indicator of his future in the major leagues.
Renfroe though is the crown jewel. He had another terrific season in the minor leagues this season and the Padres hope that he might make people forget about losing Justin Upton sooner than later.
Yes, more depth would be great, but in reality it only takes a few successes to warrant all the minor league players that DO flame out. If they get a few wins and Preller can maintain his reputation of a great draft manager built while with the Rangers, this year may not have been the big clean out that many suggested.
Overall Grade: B-
The Padres need more minor league depth and a player or group of players to build around. Whether or not Will Myers, Jedd Gyorko and Kemp can be that core is a possibility but not quite sure any one of them did enough this year to say so with supreme confidence. While the Dodgers build around Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres have yet to acquire a similar core that can withstand a full season.
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