Though many of the big name prospects acquired in some of the recent trades reside farther down the minor league system, that doesn’t mean that AAA El Paso won’t have some major league ready talent to fill in as the season progresses.
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Recently the AAA team took a look at some under the radar signgings that might impact not only the Chihuahuas but the Padres as well. Among those players mentioned were Carlos Asuaje who has been talked about a lot since the trade with Boston and Craig Kimbrel, but also some players you may not have heard about yet.
Johnny Hellweg for example is a six foot seven pitcher who is just 27 years old with some major league experience. In 2013 he made it all the way to the Brewers and started 7 games. Unfortunately he went 1-4 in those seven games, and arm troubles limited his starts the following two seasons. However, he now appears healthy and might be an underdog contributor to the Chihuahuas in 2016. If he pitches well and injuries thwart the big league club, who knows?
Daniel McCutchen is another pitcher that you may have heard about but not known much about. He is 33 years old now but was one of the PCL’s best pitchers last season. For El Paso he went 9-8 overall in 32 games and 22 starts. He was a key part of their playoff run and with over 100 games of MLB experience could be break bullpen backup with the ability to spot start when needed.
Carlos Pimentel was the PCL Minor League Pitcher of the Year and has reportedly signed with the Padres for 2016 as well. He went 12-6 with a 2.95 ERA and could be one key prospect the Cubs let get away from their own stacked farm system.
At this point all of the prospect accumulation means nothing. Yet in the end their are 8 position players, 5 starters, and about 6 bullpen pitchers for major league clubs. If just two or three prospects can emerge from the multitude of hopefuls of year to help the major league club, it could be the start of something much bigger. The names listed above are a few that might help the Padres make that jump.