Minor League Camp Report: March 24 & March 25

Despite pitching problems on the major league level the Padres' lower level pitching continues to impress.

Padres vs. Dodgers - AA/AAA games (Sunday)

Padres vs. Mariners - Low A/High A (Monday)

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The star of Sunday's game, and really of the minor league camp, has been the performance of RHP Matt Wisler. In three innings of work Wisler flashed all five of his pitches; two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, curve, slider and change.

His four-seam fastball is what has been getting the attention this spring that was consistently popping in the low to mid-90s and topping out at 98. The Padres are pretty careful with high school arms but their seems to be a consensus among the development staff that this is someone that could move up pretty quickly.

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On the backfields the Padres' were reworking Matt Lollis' delivery, dropping him to more of a three-quarters side. Lollis at 6'9" has a world of potential but is coming off of two tough seasons and with the talent level in the starting rotation he should end up in the bullpen.

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On Monday RHP Walker Weickel, a 6'6" supplemental first round draft pick out Olympia High School in Orlando has the frame and size that draws favorable comparisons to Adam Wainwright.

Weickel has filled out since the draft and while his fastball that can sit in the mid-90s is impressive its a classic 12-6 curve ball that gets the attention. Look for the Fort Wayne staff, especially in the second half, to be very strong.

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The best collection of Padres' position prospects, and probably athletes, will be at Lake Elsinore with Austin Hedges behind the plate, Jace Peterson and Corey Spangenberg at short and second and Travis Jankowski patrolling center field. Although Hedges is athletic player, Spangenberg, Peterson and Jankowski all have plus speed.

As Shawn Wooten, the Storm manager, laughingly said, "Yeah, we plan on running a little."

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Cody Decker was catching bullpens today and hopefully the Padres will continue to allow him to squat. Decker, who has also taken ground balls at third in the past, is starting to build a pretty versatile resume; first, both outfield corners and the ability to catch and play third.

If he starts hitting some bombs in Tucson someone is going to notice.

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A possible big athletic sleepers for the Storm is Mike Gallic, a big athletic outfielder from Marist College in New York. Gallic who slumped in the second half but is the type of big, 6'3" 215 lbs., athlete that tends to get people excited and surrounded by the talent that will be in Lake Elsinore he could put up some numbers.


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