Just because the major league team isn’t playing in October doesn’t mean that Padres aren’t working towards being a better ballclub next season. Off-season leagues like the Arizona Fall, Dominican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues provide prospects the opportunity to hone their skills, many of whom are still adjusting to playing baseball as a career and not just as amateurs or at the collegiate level. As reported by Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune, several Padres prospects are making the most of their opportunity early on.
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Nick Torres is one prospect who was drafted in the 4th round of last years draft for the Padres, but continues to rise eyebrows with his steady play and fast improvement. He homered in his first week in the Arizona Fall League after a season where he hit 5 home runs between low A Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore of the California League. He also seems to have a knack for driving in runs, finishing his first season of professional baseball with 70 RBI over 129 games. The 22 year old outfielder is certainly worth watching as the Padres continue to rebuild their prospect cupboard.
Meanwhile, in the Winter Leagues, catcher Austin Hedges and OF Rymer Liriano have homered in their week of action as Hedges looks to improve on his hitting after his first season in the major leagues. Liriano hopes to make a case for himself to replace likely-to-depart Justin Upton in the Padres outfield after earning his own call-up in 2014 but failing to really make much of an impact. We will keep an eye on the results of this league throughout the fall as historically top prospects who can shine here are on the fast track to the major leagues.
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