In the exhibition with the Toros, the Padres had several of their highly-touted young arms on display, with the most impressive being righty Dinelson Lamet. Lamet’s fastball consistently sat at 95 with movement and looked bit the top pitcher ticketed for High-A Lake Elsinore after a solid debut year in Fort Wayne.
A pair of lefties, Logan Allen and Will Headean, were also impressive in their two inning scoreless stints. Allen, still 18 until May, and Headean, a 13th-rounder out of Illinois State are both in the croded competition for the Fort Wayne TinCaps staff.
2B/3B Fernando Perez looked like the player he was in 2014, not 2015. Perez is noticeably leaner and stole a pair of bases while making consistent hard contact at the plate. He has modified his leg kick which he explained in our interview with him.
The organization got a brief scare when top prospect Mauel Margot crashed into a wall after making a spectacular running catch in center. Margot was down on the field for several minutes but was able to recover and continue the inning.
Big righty Trey Wingenter worked an impressive frame in relief, showing good velocity and nasty movement on his fastballs to make quick work of the Toros. The Auburn product is yet another massive collegian from the second day of last year's draft.
Finally, former Padres’ 2008 first round pick Allan Dykstra was on the field for the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League, which is the rough equivalent of a Triple-A level team, and hit a double off of Allen. Dykstra signed with the Toros after spending five years in the New York Mets’ organization, one with Tampa Bay Rays and a half-season with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters based out of Houston.
Across the complex, a mix of players who might be in Fort Wayne or stay back for extended spring training held a five-inning intrasquad contest, giving us our first look at Kelvin Alarcon and Kelvin Melean, both of whom signed out of Venezuela with Reinaldo Ilarraza last summer. Both played at second base while Reinaldo Ilarraza and Felipe Blanco - who at 22 years old is five years older than all three - manned shortstop.
Several young pitchers had a rough day, none moreso than lefty Jose Cabrera, who couldn't find command of any of his pitches and had his inning rolled over before he recorded an out. Mayky Perez, who was idled most of last year with elbow soreness, threw an inning, but his velocity still has not come back. He was sitting 90-91, well below where he was reported when he received a big bonus out of the Dominican in 2013.
Righty Angel Mejia, who the Padres signed shortly after he was released by the Cubs last spring and spent 2015 in Tri-City, showed some strong run on some of his pitches, but had trouble putting hitters away after he got ahead. He had a scary moment of his own when he barely got his pitching hand in front of his face on a smash line drive back up the middle. He recovered enough to record the final out at first, but was clearly in pain when he walked off the field.
Chris Nunn continues to demonstrate he has the stuff to be a fantastic pen option. The long-armed lefty, who comes from a high three-quarters slot, works easily in the mid-90s and his movement makes him a tough match-up. He worked a quick, clean inning. The other two strongest frames belonged to Manuel Gonzalez and Jordan Guerrero. Both are big-armed, big-bodied righties. Guerrero finished out the game with a nine-pitch inning sitting 94-95. The sixth round pick out of a Florida JuCo last year, Guerrero, who doesn't turn 20 until August, is another interesting name to watch from that class.
The intrasquad game gave big-leaguers Carlos Villanueva and Francisco Rodney to get some innings in. None of the mostly teenage hitters who faced them made much solid contact. Rodney worked through a quick frame and gave the dugouts an obligatory arrow shot before heading out. Brett Wallace got eight plate appearances, rotating in as the second hitter of each frame early on. He smoked a couple of liners to the right-center gap and drew four walks.