Padres Minor League Notebook: 8/20/06

The San Diego Padres will bring in a 2006 draft pick for a workout this week in hopes of signing him. A released player on another team is back on the prospect radar in the system. A hitter is born – finally. Two months later and the draft is showing signs of success. All this and more inside the Padres' minors.

  • Casey Haerther, the Padres 34th round selection out of Charminade High School (CA), will come down to San Diego for a private workout. The team intends on seeing whether it is in their best interests to sign him before classes begin at UCLA within the next month.

    At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Haerther isn't considered agile with below average speed but what he does possess is a plus bat thanks to impressive bat speed with quick hands.

    Haerther has a brother, Cody, in the St. Louis Cardinals system that is ranked as the 189th best prospect in the minor leagues by Scout.com.

    The workout will make the determining factor of whether Haerther is signed or goes on to UCLA.

  • There was some debate over who to send to Portland on Saturday but Rolando Valdez got the vote that counted. Bill Bryk, the Padres' minor league field coordinator, lobbied hard for Valdez to make the trek. Valdez performed admirably, tossing four innings of no-hit ball before getting charged with three runs in the fifth.

    Valdez hasn't been pitching that long but the team loves his makeup and competitive attitude.

    "He throws strikes," Bryk said.

  • Joakim Soria may be a name that is familiar, he was with the San Diego Padres Instructional League last year but was sent to Mexico, as per the deal the team has with the Mexican League.

    With a fastball in the low nineties and a developing breaking ball, Soria is considered a prospect. The former Dodger prospect – he was released by them – has found a home with San Diego and believes he has been treated much better here than when he was with Los Angeles.

  • Yordany Ramirez is hitting – perhaps for the first time in his career. He has finally taken to heart the instruction given to him by everyone in the organization but may have found a true compliment to how he takes in information in Storm hitting coach Tom Tornicasa.

    "I have a very good hitting coach and he has shown me the form to be better than last year," Ramirez acknowledged.

    Ramirez has stayed within himself at the plate and while several in the front office wonder if he will be able to maintain the hitting standards, few question his ability defensively.

    "Well above average major league defensive outfielder," said Bryk.

  • Two months after the MLB Draft, the Padres are confident in the players they picked and were happy the board fell as it did.

    Director of scouting Bill "Chief" Gayton said a lot of it had to do with his relationship with Grady Fuson and the two being on the same page.

    "This year when the bell the rang, it was special chemistry," said Gayton. "You are so prepared. It is hard to describe until you sit there and see what it unfolding. We like the same kind of players. He complimented me."

    The one change from year's past?

    "We got deeper with the medical and psychological tests."

    It seems to have paid off as the Arizona Rookie League team won the first half and is on its way to the Championship game and Eugene was five games over .500 entering Sunday's game.

  • Kyle Blanks' leg infection remains a mystery of sorts. The team isn't optimistic about having him back by the end of the year but they do expect to see him at full strength by the Instructional League in October.

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