Randy Ready talks Padres prospects

Prospects are the future and Fort Wayne sees nearly all of them. The first full season league in the system, it is instrumental in the development of Padres' prospects. MadFriars.com recently spoke with Wizards' manager Randy Ready about the prospects he saw in 2005: Matt Bush, Yordany Ramirez, Joel Santo, Fabian Jimenez, Mike Ekstrom, Peter Ciofrone, Sean Kazmar, and more!

On Matt Bush:

Randy Ready: Matt is young. Basically it was his first year of professional baseball. Hopefully he has matured and grown up a lot not only on the field but off the field. Any time there is an opportunity in front for promotion – he did make the All-Star team, he showed flashes of being a major league shortstop at times, his numbers offensively weren't as good as he would have liked them to be or that the organization would have liked them to be but you are talking about a kid with a lot of desire. I know A-Ball does not want to be his last stop and for him to get to the major leagues – it could easily happen for him.

On Yordany Ramirez:

Randy Ready: You are talking about a guy who only had 300 professional at bats coming into the Midwest League. No question about his defense. A centerfielder that threw 14 or 15 guys out at home plate, not to mention a few at third and a few at second and his range. You are talking about a kid with all the tools. Now it is up to Yordany to harness those tools. I think he made great strides with the bat. He is an excellent baserunner. There is no question about his defense – his glove, his speed and his arm. He has nice raw power. For me, it is about confidence. And again he is very young. With some experience, maturity and mileage, there is no question that he is the most asked about guy in our organization.

On Joel Santo:

Randy Ready: Joel Santo is a great power arm with good size and great makeup. His secondary stuff was probably below average in the first half of the season and again that is why he is where he is in his development. I think Webbie (Steve Webber) did a nice job with him, getting him to not alter his delivery on his breaking pitches. In the second half of the season, and I know the wins and losses weren't there, but he showed a lot of improvement.

On Fabian Jimenez:

Randy Ready: With Fabian it was tough. They were asking a lot. He got off to a pretty good start in April. Then he would get ahead of the hitters and would have trouble putting them away. Then he went through a time where he just lost all command, lost location and threw a lot of fastballs. Keep in mind, left-handed, the kid has a lot of movement on his ball and he just has to try and throw it down the middle of the plate and let his natural movement take over and get the ground ball out.

On Peter Ciofrone:

Randy Ready: Pete is such a gamer, has such a great makeup and was quite a leader on our club last year. No question about his bat. He hit fifth or sixth in the league, over .300 and he goes about his business the right way as far as being prepared and getting ready for the game. He became a leader on our club last year. We are talking about another kid that is pretty young. He signed out of high school and sometimes those kids take a little longer to blossom. Hopefully, he can find a position that he can stick with and get in his work and get an opportunity to move to the next level.

He is not as smooth defensively and his range is a little limited. He had some opportunities at second. He had some opportunities at third. I know he is willing to play left field and that might be a spot for him down the road. He is a guy that the organization can count on offensively and it is a matter of where you will plug him in on the field.

On Mike Ekstrom:

Randy Ready: Ex just ran out of gas. No question about his competitiveness. Mike has a great feel for the game and good location and command of his fastball. He knows when to put a little more on and when to take a little more off. I see a bright future for this young man.

On Sean Kazmar:

Randy Ready: I think Sean made the transition to second base very well. He is a smaller stature kid and he has to understand that he is not going to hit forty home runs. If he can stay away from those lazy fly balls and use more of the alleys and line drives and hit with runners in scoring position, he will definitely be able to move to the next level.

On if any 2005 Draft prospects caught his eye:

Randy Ready: All those guys just got a cup of coffee with me. They came to me after starting the year in Eugene. It is tough to get a read on them. After a long season and a long college career – and again, one of the toughest things to do is your first year in professional baseball. I believe there are three obstacles. Number one is that first year of professional baseball, number is two is your first full season of playing in 140 games and the toughest obstacle of all is getting to the major leagues.

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