ESPN's John Sickles on Padres prospects part III
Bernie Castro doesn't look too good, a utility infielder at best, but then again not a great demand for a utility guy that can only play second base.
Tagg Bozied is very erratic. He goes through stretches where he crushes the ball, and then he doesn't. Nothing to excite you defensively, on the cusp between AAA and majors, he doesn't really have enough of a bat for the big leagues.
Alex Fernandez is a line drive contact hitter, not to much upside. He doesn't have enough power or control of the strike zone to hit at the next level.
Did you think it was a mistake bringing up Justin Germano earlier this year?
The Padres kind of didn't have any choice, who else did you have to bring up Joey Hamilton or Matt Bruback? If he was the only option, he was the only option. Sometimes needs of organization take precedence over the long term development of individual players.
I like Tim Stauffer as long as he is healthy. Kennard Jones is one of these real fast guys, but if he is going to be a regular it is going to be on the basis of speed and patience. He has a good walk rate, but his caught stealing rate is horrible. Speed doesn't help you much if your caught stealing rate is barely over fifty percent in the California League. He is at least a year away from being able to do anything in the majors.
Brian Whitaker is a control artist and knows how to pitch. His main weakness is the strikeout to base on balls ratio. The way I see it AA is kind of a test for finesse guys, it appears that Whitaker so far is passing that test.
How long before the Padres get frustrated with Jake Gautreau and consider parting ways with him, despite his recent hot streak and promotion?
The real question is how much of his problems are because of colitis. Will it ever go away? He may have topped out and it's also possible he is as good as he is ever going be.
With Todd Donovan out for 8-12 weeks, does that pretty much end his time as a prospect?
At 25 in AA he is not much of a prospect, but that doesn't mean couldn't end up being a useful player down the road. It is unlikely that he will be a future regular.
Michael Johnson has far too many strikeouts for the number of games he has played so far for Lake Elsinore. Also, he doesn't have a really good batting average in the California League for someone who is 24 and played at Clemson. The real question is how much contact will he make at higher levels. He should be doing better.
Luis Cruz is a prospect because of his age relative to the California League. He has a lot of work to do in the strike zone, but he could end up being a regular if he reaches his full potential. Again, it depends on his plate discipline.
For pitching you have to like Dale Thayer's number, good strikeout rate, not too many walks. I like David Pauley's numbers at Fort Wayne last year, pretty good for first exposure in full season baseball. His walk rate is up quite a bit, however he has a good strikeout rate, which is the normal progression from low A to high A, a C+ prospect. With a 20 year old prospect there is a huge amount of variation, he could end up being really good. The Padres have got to be careful how quick they promote him. They probably will leave him in Lake Elsinore for the rest of the year.
George Kottaras looks pretty good. I like the walk rate, low strikeout rate, power looks acceptable, quite a bit of offensive potential for a catcher. A draft and follow guy, very solid numbers across the board.
I also like Jared Wells, Sean Thompson and Jordan Pickens.
John Conniff can be reached at Conniff@SanDiegoSports.net