MadFriars’ Top 30 for 2015 - Davey Edition

The second of three Top 30 rankings on the top prospects in the San Diego Padres system for 2015. John went first, now its Ben’s turn. David will round out our final individual rankings. If the rumors are true, there could be quite a few changes by the time we get around to our combined and final ranking on March 1.

Let’s face it this was a bad year for Padres’ baseball, particularly in the minors. If you read last year’s MadFriars Top Prospects for 2014 list you might mistake it for an injury report along with a few of the can’t miss prospects who missed. Because the organization did not graduate any top players or make any major trades to improve what they had in the minors, the Padres’ farm system took a giant step back.

As desolate as the top of the system looks entering the off-season, there is still plenty of hope. Those same prospects that were lauded as being great entering last off-season, still have the same potential and the ability to skyrocket the system back into the Top Five in baseball.

1). Hunter Renfroe OF

2014 stats: High A/AA .267/.342/.470 129 G, 21 HR, 33 2B, 75 RBI.

2014 review: It was a tale of two halves. At the end of June, Renfroe was arguably one of the top offensive players in all of minor league baseball. He was hitting .295/.370/.565 in Elsinore, and only the Cubs’ Kris Bryant had more extra-base hits than Renfroe in the minor leagues. He struggled in AA San Antonio with a .659 OPS and went through stretches of extreme hot and cold streaks.

Projection: It is important to remember that in 12 months Renfroe went from the SEC to AA Texas League. While he came from a big school in Mississippi State, and was playing in one of the best leagues in the NCAA; it is still a big jump.

Renfroe has a big arm, big power, and the Arizona Fall League has shown, he is more than comfortable playing with some of the top prospects in baseball. The bad second half shouldn’t be seen as a reason to doubt his ability to perform in the big leagues, but rather temper the excitement of how soon he can crack the majors.

He should be an MLB regular/potential All-Star, but don’t expect to see him in San Diego in 2015.

2). Austin Hedges C

2014 stats: AA San Antonio 113 G, .225/.268/.321, 6 HR, 31 RS, 44 RBI.

2014 review Hedges has long been thought of as the best defensive catcher in the minors, and for the most part he still fits the bill. However, his offense went from “passable because of defense,” to “horrendous no matter what.”

?Projection:The good news is that Hedges is only 22, and with his defense he can/will still become a MLB player. Unfortunately, after his 2014 season in pitcher-friendly Nelson Wolff Stadium projections went from MLB regular, to MLB backup unless the offense picks up. Hopefully, moving up to hitter friendly AAA El Paso, will see an uptick in offensive production.

3). Joe Ross RHP

2014 stats: A+/AA 10-6, 3.92 ERA, 121,2 IP, 124 H, 29 BB, 106 Ks.

2014 review: In 2014 Ross continued to show why he is such a highly rated pitcher. He showed a better ability to pitch well even when he didn’t have every pitch working. Ross was never a ground ball specialist, and as such, had problems in the huge hitter parks in Lancaster and High Desert. With that in mind he was one of the few people that actually had more success when he was promoted to AA. His first three starts were all quality starts as he allowed only five runs in 19 innings while striking out 18.

Projection Ross will probably begin the year where he left off in AA and will be the rotation’s anchor. With all the people in front of him still, he will probably spend the entire year in the minors but once he gets his opportunity in the big leagues don’t look for him to go back down. With his stuff he profiles as a top of the rotation starter.

4). Rymer Liriano OF

2014 stats: (minors) AA/AAA .291/.362/.473 115 G, 31 2B, 14 HR, 20 SBs

2014 review: Its hard to remember that Liriano missed all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John. He picked up right where he left off in 2012, and by midseason had forced the Padres’ hand in promoting him to AAA. In AAA he was unstoppable with a 1.182 OPS in 3 weeks before joining the Padres. He did not have the same success in San Diego hitting only .220/.289/.266.

Projection: Liriano had a history of struggling whenever he was promoted to a new level the first time, so his lack of success in San Diego was not surprising. His power, arm, and speed gave the Padre fans something to be excited about, but it was clear he needs another few months in AAA. Liriano still has the ceiling of a 20/20 player in the majors

5). Cory Spangenberg INF/OF

2014 stats: (minors) AA .331/.365/.470 66 G, 17 2B, 8 3B, 14 SB; Majors .290/.313/.452 20 Gs

2014 review: What a season for Spangenberg. After starting the season with yet another concussion, many wondered if he would go the way of another Padres’ top middle infield prospect Drew Cumberland; whose career was ended by concussions. However, he ended the season hitting a walk-off home run for the big club in San Diego.

Projections: The biggest question heading into the 2015 season is where will Cory play? He has played 95% of his minor league games at second base, but with Gyorko already there it looks like Cory might move. Both center field and third base are options, with his speed enabling him to play center despite a lack of experience there.

Offensively he is a career .296 minor league hitter averaging about 25 stolen bases and just enough power to keep the outfield honest. While it might be unrealistic to see Spangy continue to put up these numbers, averages, we have already seen that Petco doesn’t bother him, and there is a chance he can end up replacing Maybin as the Padres starting CF in 2015.

6). Trea Turner SS

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) 46 G, .369/.447/.529 14 2B, 4 HR, 14 SB.

2014 review: The Padres 2014 first round draft pick struggled early in Eugene before lighting the Midwest League on fire. He finished off his rookie campaign by getting rave reviews in the Arizona Fall League. A league that is primarily composed of some of the best prospects from AA/AAA going to finishing school. Turner responded by hitting .400/.417/.400 with 14 hits and 7 stolen bases in nine games.

Projections: One scout from the Arizona Fall League was so impressed with Turner’s ability to make solid contact and hit to all fields, that he noted that if he can work on his footwork defensively at shortstop during the offseason, he could very well see himself in San Diego by the end of the year. While that might be unrealistic, his speed and ability to hit to all fields should be a nightmare for Cal League pitchers next season.

7). Matt Wisler RHP

2014 stats: (El Paso) 10-5 4.42 ERA, 146.2 IP, 42 BB, 136 Ks.

2014 review: Matt Wisler was given the honor of starting the final preseason tune-up. Unfortunately, it was a nightmare. It was so bad, that you could tell his confidence was shot throughout most of the month of April/May (1-3, 8.85 ERA). He did rebound nicely as he improved in every month having his best month in August (3-1, 3.60 ERA).

Projections: Matt’s goal last off-season was to work on a changeup to go along with his mid 90s fastball and excellent slider. The change is still a work in progress. The fastball and slider are so good and so dominant that even without a quality third pitch he can still be a successful starter in the majors if he can continue to build on what he did in the second half for the Chihuahuas.

8). Max Fried LHP

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) 0-1, 4.76 ERA, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks.

2014 review: The two word diagnosis that every fan hates to hear “forearm soreness.” By waiting and hoping that Fried would recover they cost him an entire season, as he will more than likely miss the entire 2015 season.

Projections: Fried was supposed to be the one Padre first round pick that the Padres finally got right. He has fantastic stuff, and unlike others, has a good head on his shoulders. Hopefully he can recover and we can see why so many people thought of him as Kershaw 2.0

9). Michael Gettys CF

2014 stats: (Peoria) .310/.353/.437 8 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 14 SBs

2014 review: The Padres 2014 second round draft pick showed off exactly what scouts thought of him. Absolute tremendous potential, but very, very raw. His average was a pleasant surprise but his 66 strikeouts were a cause for some concern.

Projections: On pure talent/ceiling alone Gettys, Adys Portillo, and Fried might be the top of the charts. However, the verdict is out whether or not he will reach his potential, or if he is another Donovan Tate. The Padres have given every indication that they will be working very closely with Gettys on his swing over the offseason. He will report to Fort Wayne, and like most young prospects there is a good chance he struggles early on in the cold.

10). Jose Rondon SS

2014 stats: ((High A (2 teams)) 111 G .315/.363/.404 26 2B, 13 SBs

2014 review: Rondon was the jewel in the Huston Street trade. He is a slick fielding shortstop who has continually hit for a high average. This past year may have been the season that put his name on the map.

Projections: Good fielding shortstop… check, hit for high average… check, solid contact hitter… check. Those three factors alone lead to Rondon being a Top 10 prospect. Unfortunately, as has been the case with many other Padre prospects (Cedric Hunter), if Rondon does not his for a high average, a slick fielding shortstop who can only his .200 is a DFA candidate. He is only 20 and the Padres are optimistic he will gain more power as he gets older.

11). Jace Peterson SS

2014 stats: (2 teams) 86 G, .307/.402/.447 24 2B, 3 HR, 16 SB; (MLB) 27 G, .113/.161/.113.

2014 review: Not counting a serious injury, 2014 was about the worst season Jace could have hoped for. He made his MLB debut, but than sat on the bench for the next few weeks after. Many believed, and rightly so that he was promoted to early and that sitting on the bench in San Diego cost him important development time.

The good news is the organization has new general manager and development staff, so things may change. Peterson got into the AFL where he hit .262/.360/.333 in 22 games leading the team in stolen bases (8).

Projections: I believe in Jace and what he can do. He is a career . 287/.381/.411 hitter averaging nearly 40 stolen bases a season before 2014. In addition to being a solid shortstop, and if current big league incumbent Everth Cabrera is really gone after another altercation, I would anoint Jace the new starter. He probably still needs another few months of seasoning in the minors, but the growing pains are worth what he brings to the table. High average, high walk rate, a lot of stolen bases… all three of which were things the Padres desperately need.

12). Zach Eflin RHP

2014 stats: (Lake Elsinore) 10-7 3.80 ERA, 24 GS, 128 IP, 93 Ks.

2014 review: Eflin has long lived in the shadow of fellow draft picks Joe Ross and Max Fried. Part of it is the “flashy” aspect to pitching. Eflin just goes about his business and does his job. After leading the Midwest League in ERA in 2013, he was the Storm’s best starter in 2014 posting a very respectable 3.80 ERA, considering the Cal League. His walks per nine innings decreased and his home run rate did not double like most pitchers.

Projections: Eflin will begin the year in AA, but will once again be behind Ross in the order. Being back in a pitchers league should see his ERA go down considerably. Eflin does not have that big swing and miss pitch that makes fans swoon, but what he does have is three quality pitches and continually pounds the strike zone. This past season he averaged just over two walks per nine innings. If Eflin continues on this path he should be a solid mid-rotation starter in San Diego for many years.

13). Jake Bauers 1B

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) .296/.376/.414 112 G, 18 2B, 8 HR, 64 RBI.

2014 review: Bauers had about as a great a first season as a young player could dream. He came up a month after the season started, when the team was desperate for offense, and provided an immediate spark. He led the league in hitting for most of the year (if he had enough at bats), and was named a post season all-star. Bauers did struggle towards the end of the year hitting just .256/.332/.336 during the second half, but part of that was due to fatigue. The youngest player in the league isn’t used to playing over 100 games in a season and it shouldn’t affect his prospect status.

Projections: Every team needs that power hitting first baseman. If that hitter can hit for a high average, he becomes an all-star. His power numbers should improve as he both gets older, recently turned 19, and moves to a more hitter friendly league. Bauers is a good defensive first baseman and should have a big season in Lake Elsinore.

14). Joe Wieland RHP

2014 stats: (3 teams) 2-3, 3.03 ERA, 9 GS, 38.2 IP, 36 K; (MLB) 1-0, 7.15 ERA, 11.1 IP, 9 Ks.

2014 review: After missing all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John, Wieland finally made his return to the mound. He has always been an extreme fly ball (Chris Young type), who many thought would fit perfect in San Diego. All of which make it puzzling that they decided to make his first start back be in Colorado The outing was not surprisingly bad, but Wieland lost his chance to start. It is hard to expect someone coming back from serious surgery to post the 13-4, 1.97 ERA that he had a few years ago that had him praised as a Top 10 prospect.

Projections: I am part of the few that still believe in Wieland and his potential. Before the surgery Wieland was sitting 92-93 mph, showing a plus curve and an above average change. After the surgery he showed signs of those pitches still being there, but they were just not as crisp. If Wieland comes into spring training at 100%, there is a good chance he makes his triumphant return to San Diego as a solid mid rotation starter.

15). Mallex Smith OF

2014 stats: (2 teams) .310/.403/.432 120 G, 99 RS, 29 2B, 7 3B, 88 SB.

?2014 review: Its one thing to lead a team in a stat, another to lead a league in a stat, but Mallex Smith managed to lead all of baseball in stolen bases. Again, just for clarification, he led all of baseball; both the major and minor leagues. Just as impressive is Smith’s on-base percentage shot up nearly 40 points, ending the season at over .400.

Projections: Mallex Smith is the ideal leadoff hitter. Fantastic speed, high batting average, and a high on-base percentage. He plays a solid defense, and is a player that goes all out all the time. The only reason Mallex is as low as he is, is because his strikeout rate is high (103 times), and at times last year he would run every time he got on first, leading to a higher than normal caught stealing rate. Some scouts do not think he will hit for a high enough average at the upper levels, which means that next year in AA will be a huge test to see how big of a prospect Mallex truly is.

16). James Needy RHP

2014 stats: (San Antonio) 10-5, 2.90 ERA, 145.2 IP, 113 Ks.

2014 review: Needy had a great, but under the radar season. He was incredibly consistent giving up more than three runs in only four of his 26 appearances. He had a stretch between mid June and late August where he had nine of 12 quality starts going 5-1 with a 2.6 ERA.

Projections: A lot could change as Needy was not protected going into the Rule V draft. Similar to Eflin, Needy does not have that awe inspiring pitch, but rather has multiple quality pitches all of which he can throw for strikes. If he is still with the team he should end up in El Paso, waiting in the wings to make a big homecoming returns to his hometown team.

17). R.J. Alvarez RHP

2014 stats: (2 teams) 0-1, 1.25 ERA, 43.1 IP, 61 K; (MLB) 1.13 ERA, 8 IP, 9 Ks.

2014 review: Alvarez was acquired in the Street deal, and by the end of the season already had Padres fans convinced that they had acquired a better, younger version of Street.

Projections: Like most closers, Alvarez is a two-pitch pitcher with an upper 90s fastball and a great swing-and-miss slider. Every indication from the Padres suggested that he will be in San Diego as a setup man in 2015. The once concern is his walk totals. In the minors he averaged just one walk per every three appearances. In the majors that number more than doubled. If he can get that back to his minor league totals, he should start to plan his walk out music… he will be a fan favorite.

18). Fernando Perez INF

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) .284/.322/.454 116 G, 24 2B, 18 HR, 95 RBI.

2014 review: On a team loaded with offensive hitters, Perez was the Mr. Reliable. Unlike Bauers and Reyes, Perez’s numbers didn’t decline considerably as the season wore on. Unlike Peterson, he didn’t struggle with wild bouts of inconsistency. Perez played everywhere on the diamond, and continued to do whatever was asked of him

Projections: Perez will start next season returning home to Southern California, and should enjoy the home cooking. The Padres love the fact that he can play all four infield positions, but with Turner, and Bauers locked in at their positions, Perez could find a home at either second or third, depending on what they do with Dustin Peterson and Josh VanMeter. He could even find some time in the outfield. Perez makes good contact, but has never had patience at the plate, walking roughly once a week. If he can improve on that, even slightly, he will see his prospect status continue to grow.

19). Franchy Cordero SS

2014 stats: (2 teams) .255/.305/.400 83 G, 10 2B, 9 HR, 16 SB.

2014 review: What a train wreck of a season 2014 was. Nine months ago, Cordero was being praised as the next great prospect. Then he met the cold weather of Fort Wayne and couldn’t make the adjustment. He went to Eugene and showed more of what he is capable of (.279/.329/.458), but still struck out at an alarming rate (75 times in 61 games), and ended the year on the disabled list.

Projections: At the start of the 2013 season Cordero was still in the Dominican, with warm balmy tropical weather. At the start of 2014 he was in Fort Wayne where the weather came with the phrase, “a chance of snow.”

Yes, it played a larger than expected role, but that doesn’t mean he should be completely written off just yet. Defensively he is still a mess, committing 51 errors last season. Offensively he swings hard, and at everything leading to a lot of strikeouts. However the athleticism and raw ability that made scouts swoon is still there. While it might be too much to expect Cordero to hit .333/.381/.511 as he did in the AZL in 2013, the Padres would settle for the same numbers he put up in Eugene with a few less strikeouts and lot less errors.

20). Franmil Reyes OF

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) .248/.301/.368 128 G, 24 2B, 11 HR, 59 RBI.

2014 review: Similar to Franchy, Reyes was coming off a big year in Peoria, but struggled to find the same consistency in Fort Wayne. Unlike Cordero, Franmil got off to a hot start hitting .300/.351/.522 in April. As the season progressed he started to slow down hitting just .200/.270/.250 in August. A lot of it can be attributed to the wear and tear of a full season as he played more games this year than he did the last two years combined.

Projections: Offensively, Reyes has huge potential. He has shown that he can hit for a high average, hit to all fields, and with incredible power that you just don’t see from an 18 year old. He has a strong arm and has the potential to be an above-average defender. The goal for next year is to just put it all together for an entire season and as many of his teammates will find, the Cal League is a much better place to hit than the frigid Midwest League of early spring.

21). Alex Dickerson 1B/OF

2014 stats: (San Antonio) .321/.367/.496 34 G, 11 2B, 3 HR, 24 RBI.

2014 review: Dickerson was acquired for Jaff Decker, and the Padres were excited to have a power hitting 1B/OF. A few thought he could make the Padres out of spring training, but an injury derailed that. With a crowded El Paso outfield he repeated AA and continue to dominate.

Projections: Dickerson has all the potential of someone that can excel in the majors. However he doesn’t quite have the ceiling of Renfroe or Liriano, and might be placed down the pecking order in San Diego. However, if Dickerson mashes in AAA like most think he will he might press the issue over others who need more seasoning in the minors. Dickerson moved to the OF in 2013 after playing just 1B. The Padres could embrace his move back to 1B where he could have a clearer path to the big leagues.

22). Burch Smith RHP

2014 stats: (El Paso) 0-2, 18.56 ERA, 5.1 IP, 3 Ks.

2014 review: After breaking out on the prospect map two years ago, Smith has regressed since. This past year saw him deal with an injury that kept his sidelined for nearly all of the season. Smith returned in the Arizona Fall League going 3-0, 5.52 ERA, 14.2 IP, 5 BB, 9 K

Projections: As most people saw in 2013, Smith has a big time fastball that makes peoples jaw drop. Unfortunately, Smith showed an unwillingness to do more than throw his fastball harder and harder, and many times down the middle of the plate. He was a thrower, when the Padres needed a pitcher. His fastball is good enough that he can still make it to the majors as a reliever, but he needs to learn how to pitch instead of just throw.

23). Dustin Peterson 3B

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) .233/.274/.361 126 G, 31 2B, 10 HR, 79 RBI.

2014 review: Peterson joins his fellow Fort Wayne comrades as hitters with great potential but struggled in Fort Wayne to find consistency. During the first half, Peterson was nearly unstoppable with runners in scoring position hitting over .350 and leading the league in RBI. In the second half, Peterson couldn’t buy a hit to save his life. Like many of the other prospects, Peterson was still a teenager in Fort Wayne.

Projections: Peterson should rebound in his second full season especially given the warmer environment. Similar to the Ross brothers, Dustin is believed to be better than his older brother, DJ, who hit .297/.360/.552 with 31 HR between High A and AA. The three year difference in age, means that Dustin still has some room to grow before he gets there, but the skill set and potential is there. He is my vote for breakout performer in 2015

24). Casey Kelly RHP

2014 stats: (2 teams) 1-0, 2.21 ERA, 20.1 IP, 17 Ks.

2014 review: Another lost season.

Projections: Per the Padres, Padres’ General Manager A.J. Preller kept Kelly on the forty man roster because he believes that he will be 100% healthy heading into the 2015 season. If he is not expect Preller to “cut the fat” as other pitching prospects our waiting for their chance.

25). Tayron Guerrero RHP

2014 stats: (2 teams) 6-1 1.45 ERA, 49.2 IP, 56 Ks.

2014 review: It was the breakout season many of us were looking for at of Guerrero. After two years of watching him show amazing potential, but walking in the world. A great season led him be named a Futures Game participant.

Projections: Guerrero is a big kid at 6’7” and throws gas, comfortably sitting 94-96 topping out at 100. When his windup is on point he is as unhittable as any top pitcher in all of baseball. The problem is, like Tyson Ross, their height gives them a great downward plane for extra movement, but it also makes his long legs and long arms, make it easy for his delivery to change. When it does, he goes back to the player that walks the world. Another great season in 2015 could see him reaching the majors by the end of the season as he was added to the forty man roster in the off-season.

26). Auston Bousfield OF

2014 stats: (Eugene) .301/.402/.512 45 G, 16 2B, 3 HR, 12 SB.

2014 review: Bousfield started his professional career late after playing in the College World Series with Ole Miss. After a slow first few weeks he was quite possibly the best player in the league over the last month batting .349/.440/.570. For his work he was named to the league all-star squad.

Projections: Bousfield has the defense to play in either left or center, but profiles best in center. He has speed, power and can hit for a high average. The reason why he is ranked so low, is that while all of these skills are solid, he does not have that one prospect making skill that make fans swoon… at least not yet. With Michael Gettys also projected to start at center in Fort Wayne it will be interesting to see where they play Bousfield or if they push him to Lake Elsinore.

27). Taylor Lindsey 2B

2014 stats: (2 teams both AAA) .238/.306/.372 118 G, 20 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI.

2014 review: 2014 was just an awful season for Lindsey. As a new Padre he has not been followed for years by us like many of the rest; but I will let the awards speak.

2011: MVP of the Pioneer League;

Minor league all star in 2011, 2012, 2013;

AFL Rising Star last year;

and finally, he was ranked as the #93 prospect in all of baseball entering the season.

As bad as his season was he was still added to the 40 man roster, which means that San Diego saw something.

Projections: The real question is does one bad year completely change an opinion on a player? We’ve seen players struggle one year and then excel the next (we’ve also seen a player struggle and never heard from again). Lindsey has a nice line drive stroke and a quick swing that would play well at PETCO. Similar to Gyorko he has no speed and plays a defensively average second at best. His best tool though, is his hustle. Lindsey plays a David Eckstein-esque second base. He may not be the best but he goes all out all the time. If he is going to even make the majors he needs to hit for a higher average. He is not a speed guy, has some power but no more than 15 home runs a year, which means that in order to make the big leagues he has to show the Padres he can hit at least .270 in the majors (something he did from 2011-2013).

28). Ryan Butler RHP

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) 1-1, 0.83 ERA, 21.2 IP, 30 Ks, 10 SV.

2014 review: What a start to pro ball for Ryan Butler. He was a seventh round pick this year, and ticketed for middle relief in Eugene. By the end of the year he was the flame throwing closer for the TinCaps.

Projections: Butler was a starter in college, but the Padres see him more as a reliever. He has already come back from Tommy John surgery (2012), and if anything came back stronger. The move to the pen allows Butler to go max effort right from the start. In college he would sit 92, ramping it up to 97 when needed. In Fort Wayne he was consistently hitting 96-97 on the gun. He has good movement to his pitches which lead to a lot of groundball outs. Right now he has two plus pitches, that will allow him to move quickly through the system.

Butler will begin the year with Lake Elsinore, but if he continues to show progress, and the Padres have 500 injuries again, you could see him in San Diego before the season ends.

29). Cody Decker Everywhere

2014 stats: (El Paso) .261/.337/.514 134 G, 25 2B, 27 HR, 79 RBI.

2014 review: Like most players, 2014 was a disappointing year for Decker. Not because he struggled at the plate or in the field, but rather he did everything right and still couldn’t make it to San Diego. He received national attention for his videos, but would much rather finally get the call to the majors. Decker will play any position, just give him the glove and he has shown he can hit the long ball.

Projections: Decker is the type of player everyone roots for. He does all the little things right, and will always go the extra mile to succeed. He might never make it to the majors with the Padres, but similar to Dean Anna and Dan Robertson last year, Decker’s play in the field has warranted that shot either in San Diego or somewhere else.

30). Kyle Lloyd RHP

2014 stats: (Fort Wayne) 6-5, 3.61 ERA, 119.2 IP, 155 Ks.

2014 review: Lloyd led the organization in strikeouts with 155, despite not cracking the starting rotation in May. By the end of the season he had shown to be Fort Wayne’s best pitcher, and the big game pitcher that they relied on to get them to the post season.

Projections: Lloyd has an above average splitter that drives hitters insane. He is able to throw it at any time in the count, and see hitters miss badly. He finished off the season with ten straight starts with at least a strikeout per inning. Lloyd’s secondary pitchers show signs of life, but in 2014 they were just used to keep hitters honest. He does have a tendency to leave pitches up in the zone, which could mean a difficult year in the Cal League. If he can keep his pitches down, the splitter alone is enough to get him to the majors.

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