San Diego Padres High-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm, featured the potential third baseman of the future and a number of high-quality arms.
Stop me if you have heard this before about a San Diego Padres minor league affiliate ballclub, the Lake Elsinore Storm were a lot of fun to watch this season. Despite their 68-72 record, the Storm finished strong, winning the final four games of the regular season and just missing out on a playoff birth in the California League after finishing one game behind the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the first-half South Division standings.
Outfielder Buddy Reed exploded onto the scene in Lake Elsinore, hitting .324 with 12 home runs and 33 stolen bases in 79 games, earning him a mid-season All-Star spot, an invitation to the MLB Futures Game, and a call-up to the Double-A San Antonio Missions.
Fellow outfielder Edward Olivares (acquired from the Blue Jays for Yangervis Solarte) led the Storm in base hits (147) and proved many of the scouting reports correct. Once Olivares is able to improve his K/BB rate (102/29), the Padres have themselves yet another intriguing outfield prospect with major league abilities.
The San Diego Padres have themselves a solid third base prospect.
This year’s hitter of the year is third baseman Hudson Potts. Potts ended the 2018 season by playing the final few weeks of the year with the San Antonio Missions, but not before putting up some impressive numbers in Lake Elsinore. His big season have led many to believe, myself included, that the Padres do have a legitimate third base prospect, it’s just going to take a few years for him to arrive (still only 19 years old).
Potts hit .281 with a .350 OBP and .847 OPS, finishing with a 126 wRC+ and 53 extra-base hits (17 home runs, 35 doubles, one triple). He nearly doubled his walk rate from 2017 to 8.2% and cut his strikeout rate to 24.7%, putting up better numbers across the board, as compared to his ’17 season in Fort Wayne.
He may have struggled with his promotion to San Antonio, however, he finished the season with six hits over his final four games and again, he’s 19.
Lake Elsinore Storm Pitcher of the Year.
The easy choice here would have been Chris Paddack who went 4-1 with a 2.24 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 52 innings (four walks). After an unbelievable and electric start to 2018, Paddack was quickly promoted to the San Antonio Missions where he continued to showcase why he was one of the more dominant starting pitchers in all of minor league baseball this year.
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
With only 10 starts under his belt, we decided to take another route by honoring a pitcher who was with the team for the majority of the season. We also decided to honor the bullpen.
This year’s top pitcher award goes to RHP David Bednar. Bednar logged 69.1 innings across 47 outings for the Storm, finishing his season with Missions as they completed their Texas League playoff run.
Bednar went 2-4 with a 2.73 ERA, converting 10 of 15 save opportunities. He struck out 96 hitters, walked just 29 and limited opponents to less than one hit per inning (65 hits allowed). The hot season continued in his AA debut as Bednar gave up no runs on one hit in four playoff outings for the Missions.
If you live around the Lake Elsinore area, be prepared for an unbelievable 2019 season as the Storm are sure to see much of the talent that called Fort Wayne home this past season.