Wednesday November 4, 2009
From Uber-Prospect Central, the AFL!
The Arizona Fall League is the place for teams to showcase the skills of their top prospects.
This is the place we get to come to and watch Uber prospects get a chance to go head to head against the best of the best the minor leagues has to offer.
Well ... most of the Padres players in the AFL are having a rough go of it against the best prospects in baseball, combining on a 4.91 ERA and a .223 batting average and .297 OBP.
Top Padres catching prospect Mitch Canham is hitting a robust .036. 1 for 28 over 8 games. After seeing him bat against several good young pitchers in the AFL, I am not so sure we are watching a great hitting catcher. Canham's defense is suspect, so he is not very valuable as a prospect if he can't hit at a high level.
Cedric Hunter, one of the younger players on the Peoria Saguaros team at 21, is holding his own with a .288 BA, but his .304 obp with no home runs is a little disconcerting for a player expected to have a shot at being the Padres CF of the future.
SS Lance Zawadski is hitting .259 with a .389 slg %. I don't think a mediocre batting average and slugging percentage under .400 is what the Padres were looking for from Zawadski.
Of the 4 pitchers the Padres sent to the AFL, Only Evan Scribner is having what you could call a good performance. His 2.84 ERA in 7 appearances is 7th on his team in ERA, but he has only been used in mop up at the end of games (no holds or saves) so he has only thrown 6.1 innings while giving up just 3 hits and 2 earned runs. his 5 BB/5 K ratio is not promising though.
Mark Demark (one of the oldest players in the league at 26) has a 7.71 ERA over 6 appearances with a 7.0 IP/8 Hits/7 Runs/6 Earned Runs/5 BB/6 K as a line. Too old to really be a top prospect and getting crushed by the true prospects.
The MLB.com beat writer for the Padres posted an article praising the performance of Steve Garrison who returned this season from a long layoff after surgery.
Garrison has started 4 games and thrown 11.1 innings so far. After getting roughed up in his first start, giving up 4 runs in 2 innings, Garrison has rebounded to post a 3.97 ERA, giving up 5 runs on 13 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5.
The other Padres pitcher, Brandon Gomes, has a 5.40 ERA in 6 middle relief appearances. He has given up a .294 BAA. Ouch!
Not exactly stellar performances from the players the Padres have sent to the AFL.
I guess I should cut the Padres some slack. Almost all of their top prospects above High A Lake Elsinore played at the major league level this season.
In a typical year in a typical organization players like Mat Latos, Luis Durango, and Ernesto Frieri would more than likely be showcasing their skills as part of the Padres contingent on an AFL roster, not the September roster for the big league squad.
I guess we should be glad that we got to see some of the future in San Diego, instead of Arizona and that for the most part they played well and showed promise.