Padres minor league notebook: Hitter's camp

PEORIA, AZ-- The San Diego Padres are holding a hitter's camp in Peoria, Arizona for some of their top prospects and Brad Honigman of is there to give his observations from the Buc's Bombers action.

This is a scout's view of the action – looking at swings, adjustments, impressions, what stands out on a first look at each prospect, and situational versus power hitting. As the hitting camp progresses, we will check in on more players.

March 6 hitter's camp entry:

Today, Cedric Hunter impressed me the most. He laid down bunts with pinpoint accuracy in bunting drills but had very nice power swings, too. I think he sees the ball very well because of his open batting stance. This might also allow him to go into bunt formation more quickly than most players. Of all the players I've seen at the hitting camp, Hunter has the "prettiest" swing. I haven't seen his fielding ability, but I'm impressed by his hitting – both situational hitting and power hitting.

Nic Crosta was next most impressive on my list. In addition to being the most skilled bunter of the day, he had the loudest "crack" of the bat upon impact, a beautiful sound. He seems to have great timing and a lightning fast swing from start to finish. He manages to put the sweet spot of the bat on every pitch.

Michael Johnson showed an ability to hit the ball hard into the "gap" spots in right-center. I can tell he's a power hitter, and I gather that his greatest asset would be extra-base hits, if not homers – definitely an RBI machine. His age is a concern, though.

From the other side of the plate, righty Chad Huffman impressed me with gap hits and, most importantly, power the opposite way, particularly to right-center. I'll be surprised if he doesn't turn out to also have big RBI numbers and a nice slugging percentage.

Yordany Ramirez struggled a bit today. He had trouble keeping his bunts down (he popped up several) and didn't show much home-run power. I'm taking a wait-and-see approach before writing more on him.

Matt Antonelli came out a bit slow but turned up the heat and smashed the ball deep several times, including a monster homer. My gut feeling is that he needs a fair amount of warm-up time before his power emerges – but it is definitely there.

Daryl Jones had several very strong swings. He seemed to show consistent power to all parts of the field.

Jesus Lopez will need to spend a lot of time improving his bunting ability. He keeps pulling the bat back on bunts rather than meeting the ball. His foot placement is awkward on bunt plays in addition to his bat placement.

Juan Ciriaco, though he looks like an excellent athlete overall, looked uncomfortable both in bunting and hit-and-run situations. He had trouble placing the ball in appropriate spots in both drills, and he didn't exhibit much power when he was free-swinging.

-Brad Honigman

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