In his first season, Carrillo pitched very well in Lake Elsinore and Mobile despite throwing 125 innings with Miami. His numbers for the Storm were skewed by two bad starts at the end of the year, when fatigue hampered his command. He started the 2006 season in Mobile and, with two plus pitches and an improving change-up, was promoted to Portland last month. He's pitched better than his record indicates and is still on track to be in the Padres rotation for 2007.
|Cesar Ramos||L/L||6'2||190||22||1||Long Beach St.||SP||B|
After a rough start at Eugene, he pitched better at Fort Wayne while showing more control. The Padres think his command will play better as he advances further and the defense improves. Although he doesn't have huge velocity, he can throw four pitches effectively. So far this year at Lake Elsinore, he has put up several impressive games and has a more-than-respectable 3.08 ERA, but is still is a little too hittable.
The second-team All-American had a solid debut in Eugene where he showed patience and power at the plate. He had some lapses defensively, and needs to get back to his college form to compete and advance at San Diego's deepest position. So far, he's struggled at the plate this year for Fort Wayne and just returned from the disabled list.
A nice complement to Hundley in terms of his selectivity and power, Headley has no real obstacles in front of him in the system. Although he got worn down a little after a long college season, he had a very impressive instructional league where he was the co-MVP. The Padres challenged him by skipping him to Lake Elsinore this season and, after a tough first month, he's come on strong in May and June.
The former Rice starter had a good debut with some nice strikeout-to-walk ratios, but was hittable in allowing a .285 average in Eugene before calming down a bit at Fort Wayne. He needs to add a pitch to get lefties, who hit better than .300 against him in 2005. So far this season, he's again posted good ratios, but has been very hittable. Right now, he doesn't land in the conversation with other past Rice ace pitchers.
Baxter was a somewhat late sign and didn't arrive in Fort Wayne until late July. Although he started off well, he really struggled in his last six weeks. He started the season again in Fort Wayne this year, moving to the outfield for the second time in his life. Although he has not put up big numbers at the plate, his hard-nosed style and willingness to do anything for the team has endeared him to the organization.
A very big middle infielder, Johnston had a brutal first month in Eugene coming off the Longhorns' College World Series championship. However, he rebounded and posted a .460 slugging percentage and .373 on-base percentage over the final six weeks of the season in 2005. He got off to a quick start in Fort Wayne this year, but has cooled down recently, especially in the power department. He's struggling a bit with the shift to second base, but still profiles nicely as a solid player at higher levels.
|Neil Jamison||R/R||6'3"||185||23||6||Long Beach St.||RP||B|
Another product of Long Beach State, Jamison had a better debut than his higher-drafted teammate Cesar Ramos. After a senior year in which he didn't allow an earned run, the closer pitched very well in Eugene and Fort Wayne. He opened the 2006 season as the Wizard's closer, but moved up to Lake Elsinore with the suspension of Matt Varner. He has a solid sinker that's devastating against right-handers, but needs to command his change-up to neutralize lefties. He has a chance to move rapidly through the system.
A star guard for the Princeton basketball team who earned All-Ivy League honors, Venable only started to focus on baseball halfway through his college career. One of the best athletes in the system, Venable tore up the Arizona League but was overmatched by more advanced pitching in Eugene in his professional debut. Playing with his dad as his hitting coach in Fort Wayne this year, he has become one of the stars on the Wizards this year with good gap power. He is widely-regarded as the most improved player in the system and has the tools to blossom.
A big power pitcher who throws nearly underhanded, Madden posted some nice K:BB splits at Eugene last year. He took over for Jamison as the Wizard's closer and, although his big strikeout rates have diminished, has been nearly unhittable in posting an ERA near 1.00 for most of the year.
The two top picks after the first ten were a pair of southern left-handed pitchers. Brent Carter left the University of Alabama as the Tide's all-time strikeout leader, and carried over his success with ridiculous numbers in Eugene and two games at Fort Wayne. Geoff Vandel was drafted out of Shaw High School in Columbus, Ga., a few days before his 18th birthday, and absolutely dazzled in his pro debut. Each of these guys was Madfriars' Pitcher of the Year for his team, and both can start or relieve.
Carter has been winning, but has been hit hard in several starts with the Storm this year. Vandel will begin the year in Eugene.
Draft and Follow: Kyle Blanks (42nd Round in 2004)
Clumped into the 2005 class after signing just prior to the draft, Gigantor crushed the Arizona League in his first month of professional ball before slowing down. At 6-foot-6, 280 lbs. he generates a lot of excitement and has been one of the offensive leaders in the Midwest League at only 19. In the end Blanks has a chance to be the best signing that the Padres made in 2005.
International Player Development
In the past several years, the Padres have put increased focus on their efforts to find and develop players internationally. Under the leadership of former-GM Randy Smith, the Padres have made inroads not just in Mexico and Latin America, but Australia as well. Several products of the Padres' Dominican League team debuted in the United States last season with great results. Centerfielder Javis Diaz hit .352 with a .510 slugging percentage and 19 stolen bases for Peoria and has more than held his own in a fill-in role for Lake Elsinore this season. Pitcher Ernesto Frieri had equally impressive numbers in the desert, including a league-leading 1.17 ERA and seven wins. He will head to Eugene next month.
Teenager Riki Paewai led a group of Aussies looking to succeed with the Padres in 2005 as well. Although he battled both control and command at times, the wiry right-hander posted a 3.77 ERA in 28.2 innings in the Arizona League.
Here is a look at several players who will try to follow in those footsteps with their first stateside appearances in 2006.
Yefri Carvajal may be the most-talented amateur the Padres have signed internationally in 20 years. Signed as a 16-year old, the powerful outfielder has great tools as well as a fantastic attitude. He will likely spend the full year in Peoria and is definitely a name to watch.
Luis Durango is a speed-demon switch-hitting outfielder who played for the Padres' team in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2005. His .342 average and 19 stolen bases were each good for third on the circuit, and the 19-year old showed an impressive eye in drawing 37 walks against only 25 strikeouts.
Shortstop Murray Hopley was scheduled to make his first appearance last year, but elbow surgery derailed those plans. Just-turned 18, the native of Queensland Australia will team with catcher Clinton Naylor, 17, also of Queensland, to strengthen the Peoria Padres up the middle.
Big righty Jose Ceda used his plus fastball to record 83 strikeouts and post a 1.50 ERA in 60 innings in the Dominican Summer League last year. Just-turned 19, Ceda may already have the best fastball in the system, and will look to remain as a starter in Peoria this year. After two stellar years in the Dominican, Jackson Perez, 19, will get his first look in the States this year and he'll bring a combined 1.64 ERA in 131.2 innings with him. A wiry 6'4", 170, Perez has already shown good control and a feel for pitching.
Andrew Gribbin, 17, only started playing baseball in Victoria, Australia three years ago, but showed enough potential that the Padres signed him away from several other suitors in January. Although he still needs to finish his school, he will be stateside during spring training and may make a late-season return appearance.
The best draft for the Padres since 2002 with talent at the top Carrillo, Headley and Hundley and in the lower rounds with Blanks, Vandel and Carter. Depending on the future success of Ramos and Johnston the grade could go up in the future.