The San Diego Padres held a minicamp this week to take a look at come of their top prospects. Now, with less than three weeks until pitchers and catchers report, evaluations of these players begin to carry more weight.
It was a very laid back sort of week at Tony Gwynn Stadium at San Diego State University, the location of Padres minicamp. The workouts were far from intense, but helped the young players begin the process of physically preparing for a 162 game season.
It also gave manager A.J. Green and his coaching staff another opportunity to evaluate highly touted prospects who will soon be knocking at the door of the major leagues.
Players in attendance on the major league roster included Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski. Other top prospects were also in attendance, even though their chances of performing at the major league level in 2017 is very slim.
Mostly in sweat pants and shorts, the pitchers and catchers participated in a variety of activities, mostly bullpen sessions. The position players began warming up with a long toss, and then went through their activities which included batting practice and fielding.
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The players also received a great degree of one-on-one coaching. Manager Andy Green and coaches such as Mark McGwire kept the mood very upbeat, coaching actively but staying positive. Even Padre legend Trevor Hoffman showed up to throw batting practice and hang out with the next generation of San Diego superstars.
While this sort of event isn’t going to make or break a player’s future with the organization, it is important for this group to make a strong impression. This means working out as they should to stay in shape, and to stay prepared and focused on baseball activity during activities such as these.
Whenever coaches are on hand, impressions made make a difference. Plus, with general manager A.J. Preller also looking on throughout most of the workouts, there was clearly some evaluation which went on.
With this minicamp now in the rearview mirror, the Padres need to wait only three more weeks until spring training commences. Preparing physically and mentally for the start of what will be yet another long and grueling season is the next order of business.