The Padres sent top rated prospect Mauel Margot to AAA El Paso on Tuesday but to say that he didn’t impress with his new team in Spring Training would be a dramatic understatement. The center fielder has played just 64 games in AA prior to this season and many had expected the Padres to start him there. Apparently the team saw enough to start a level higher.
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Padres manager Andy Green was very happy with what he saw from Margot this spring, telling Jeff Sanders of the San Diego UT:
“(Margot) has come as advertised, Manny has been very impressive. His energy’s infectious, you see the quick-twitch inside of him. … He’s passing every test right now. … We’re very pleased with what he’s done and very excited about his development and very excited for the future, but it’s not time for him yet.”
All told in Spring Training he his .318 with three doubles and a triple in his spring audition with the team. He still has a lot to prove, even after hitting .271 with a few home runs last year in AA for the Red Sox. He was one of the prospects acquired in the Craig Kimbrel trade this off-season and hopes to make an impact with the Padres sooner than later.
The Padres are expected to start the season with Jon Jay or Melvin Upton Jr.as their main center field options, with Travis Jankowski also vying for playing time. None of those options are too exciting, though if Upton can continue to reverse his career trajectory as he did in limited playing time last season it could make things interesting. I’m just not counting on it.
Fellow outfield prospect Hunter Renfroe has struggled some in Spring Training but will also start the season in AAA with Margot. Renfroe has just 4 hits in 18 spring at-bats. In a season where the Padres are not expected to be competitive in the division, watching the development of prospects like Margot, Renfroe, and SS Javier Guerra will be a main activity for Padres fans. So while Margot will be out of the major league spotlight for now, keep an eye on him come September.