The San Diego Padres 2015 season may be over in less than a week but it doesn’t mean that the baseball has to stop. The Arizona Fall League is an annual league of top prospects throughout baseball. Last year Hunter Renfroe made a big impression in the league and has carried that success and momentum into 2015 as he rose through AA and AAA and showed no signs of slowing down. Now the question becomes who will step up next?
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The Padres first two picks in the 2015 draft were pitchers Austin Smith and Jacob Nix. While the Padres over-hauled their roster with major league ready talent for the season, they gave up some top pitching prospects like Max Fried and Matt Wisler to pay that price. Now, with a year that did not net the returns they were hoping for they need to reload their minor league pitching prospects. They are hoping that Smith and Nix are part of that relief.
As reported by Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com those two are headed to Arizona to work on their skills after mixed results in their first professional seasons. Neither one pitched over 20 innings in the short season Arizona League so this is a great opportunity for the Padres to continue monitoring their mechanics and workload. Currently Smith is the Padres #4 prospect and Nix is the number 7 prospect with the most recent ranking.
Other top Padres prospects headed to Arizona include shortstop Ruddy Giron who tore up Fort Wayne at 18 with some unexpected power and 15 stolen bases for the TinCaps. His defense isn’t exceptional at this point so scouts project he might be a better fit at second base long-term especially if he continues to hit the way he has to start his professional career.
Outfielder Nick Torres, a 2014 draft pick by the Padres hit his way to No. 21 o nthe Padres mid=season prospect list after starting the year unranked. He hit over .300 with 53 extra-base hits and over 70 RBI between Fort Wayne and Low A Lake Elsinore.