Padres Editorial: Former Padres Prospects Collide in Majors


Sometimes in life you have to learn how to let it go. Like the Rolling Stones sang many years ago, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”

As I have followed the Padres the past couple of seasons several minor league prospects got me really excited about their future. One of those players is thankfully still with the club in Hunter Renfroe. I was fortunate to be at the College World Series directly after he got drafted by the Padres and watched him mash for his college Mississippi State.

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Another was Matt Wisler. I watched the news reports rave about the youngsters poise, ability, and of course his tall lanky frame which got comparisons to Chris Young and Josh Johnson – when he was good. Then prior to the 2014 season the Padres played an intimate exhibition game at the University of San Diego’s Fowler Park. Wisler got hit hard in that game, but he showed emotional stability by bouncing back to make it through several innings with a few strikeouts after getting hit hard early.

Then in the 2014 draft the Padres drafted Trea Turner with the first pick. Everth Cabrera had been manning shortstop off and on for the Padres for a few years and showed flashes of greatness especially in making the All Star team in 2013, but was also soon caught for drug use and then we watched his season and personal life deteriate to the point of being released by the team at the end of the season. So Turner was supposed to be the next answer on a rising young minor league system.

After the 2014 season came the winter of Preller, and though Wisler as held onto as long as possible, he was part of the Craig Kimbrel trade the night before the season started and sent away to Atlanta. Gone in a strange trade was Turner, who due to an out-dated MLB rule had to play the first two  months in the Padres system before he could head over to the Nationals as the “we know who it will be but player to be named later”.

Tuesday night Matt Wisler and Trea Turner’s paths collided on the Major League level. Wisler was called up by Atlanta early this season and started out very strong. His first start was perhaps his best – 8 IP and just 1 one run allowed in the victory. In his first 7 starts he either got the win or went at least six innings in six of those starts. Over his next 10 starts however he failed to get a victory and only got to six innings three times.

Tuesday though he finished on high note, pitching 7 innings and allowing just 1 run for the victory. That run was the first major league home run by Trea Turner. Turner played 58 games for the Padres AA affiliate before the trade was official. After 10 games he was sent to AAA where he hit .314 in 48 games, earning him a September promotion in just his second professional season. In his first 21 AB before Tuesday he had only managed 5 hits. Tuesday though he went 2-3 with that aforementioned home run.

The easy thing is to blame A.J. Preller for ruining the Padres minor league system, especially since a pressing need this year is a shortstop. Just like the one they traded away 10 months ago.

While all GM’s are going to have a trade or two they regret (think Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano), there are many others that do turn out okay. Hindsight is always 20-20. While it might be hard to figure out right now how the Trea Turner trade will be judged, or Matt Wisler for that matter, time will tell and not just in one season. At the very least – it was two young players with exciting futures whose paths crossed in the night; but in the end I sure do wish they were both still Padres.

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