Felix attended nearly every home game in El Paso and was kind enough to give us his thoughts on some of the top prospects in the Sun City this summer.
The Chihuahuas won the PCL this year and came within a game of taking the overall PCL title. What was the most enjoyable part of the season for you?
Felix Chavez: The way the team hit the ball from May through July. The team was amazing at the plate. Everyone hit the ball hard and had key hits whether it was everyday regulars, guys off the bench, guys being called up. It was a sight to see. Plus Alex Dickerson's 29-game hit streak. He stepped off a plane in El Paso and got a base hit to extend his streak. He maintained excellence throughout his time here.
Four players got a lot of attention in San Diego this year - Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje. Which one do you think will have the best major league career and why?
Felix Chavez: Wow, what a tough question. I really believe it will be Hedges. His defense is outstanding and his hitting is coming around; great sense of the game.
Renfroe has been billed as a five-tool player. What is the biggest part of his ability that stands out to you?
Felix Chavez: His defense. Great arm catches every ball. Great feel for right field.
You saw both Travis Jankowski and Manuel Margot in center field. Which one is better defensively?
Felix Chavez: I'd give the edge to Margot because he had several outfield assists this year.
I was wrong on Asuaje at the beginning of the year and didn’t include him in my Top 30 rankings. He went onto to lead the league in at-bats and hits. What made him so good?
Felix Chavez: Carlos is steady. He has a little power, he sees the ball well and he gets key hits at key times.
We have talked about Hedges offense quite a bit; however his calling card has always been what he does behind the plate. You covered the team the whole year, what is his biggest asset defensively?
Felix Chavez: His quick release with the ball. You can't sleep on him at all; he'll pick guys off at first; great knowledge of the game and staff.
The Padres calling up Walker Lockett, Dinelson Lamet and Michael Kelly really helped push El Paso deep into the playoffs. What do you see for the future of all three?
Felix Chavez: I really liked Lockett. Lamet and Kelly did some good things. Starting pitching will be in the organization. If these three are in El Paso next year, the Chihuahuas could have another title run in them.
We had Eric Yardley as our pitcher of the year. Do you think his unique sidewinding style will play in the majors?
Felix Chavez: I just think Yardley is a great story; came out of nowhere. Consistency will be the key for him.
Finally, I have always been a big Phil Maton fan. From what you saw, what made him so good?
Felix Chavez: Maton is confident. He doesn't seem phased by the moment. He wants the ball and he has good stuff. Maturity will be a key for him. I don't see why he wouldn't be in El Paso next year. He, along with the young starters you asked about earlier and El Paso should be solid on the hill.
Tomorrow we wrap up our interview series with Sam Geaney, the Padres Director of Minor League Development, with his thoughts on the Padres' top prospects in Triple-A.