Tool Time: Best Athlete

Athleticism is defined as "having the physical skills or capabilities, as strength, agility, or stamina." Relating it to baseball – the more commonly used "five-tool" athlete comes to mind – a mix of average, power, arm, fielding, and base-stealing. These San Diego Padres' prospects are the epitome of that player.

1. Yordany Ramirez

There isn't anyone in the system as gifted as Ramirez. He has all the physical tools and is a plus defender, with an above average arm and plus speed.

The only thing keeping him from excelling is his bat. He has always been projected as having plus tools with the stick – power and average – but has yet to put it altogether. He remains the top dog athletically, but there will come a time when there are more than a few who are willing to give up on him.

2. Will Venable

A player we commonly refer to as ‘the Antonio Gates of baseball', Venable has translated his skills from the hardwood to an athletic prospect on the diamond.

While he quickly processes information, Venable also can do magical things on the bases and in the field. He will make a diving catch when he knows he can reach the ball and will steal a bag the next inning with his speed. The kid is a total package of tools.

3. Luis Cruz

Line him up at second base, shortstop or third base and he can cope, using his impressive footwork to handle the left side of the infield and soft hands on the right.

Cruz isn't the fastest guy but has solid instincts to transition to any type of game. He uses solid bat control to move runners over and watching in the field is a lesson in fluidity.

4. Matt Antonelli

While he lacks that first step quickness, Antonelli moves around on defense with ease and has a natural innate ability to read the ball off the bat with good jumps. It is one of the reasons many think he can make the move to centerfield.

Antonelli also has straight line speed and when he gets going is hard to corral. He was 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts last year and if he can work on that first step it is a number that could jump.

5. Juan Ciriaco

Watch his footwork and range in the infield and he will leave little doubt regarding his athleticism. He can range behind the second base bag and set himself up for a tough throw – getting wild only when he rushes his mechanics.

Ciriaco is also among the fastest in the system and parlays that into some extra base hits each season. If he can learn to be more selective, Ciriaco could be special.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Chad Huffman
When a guy moves from second base to the outfield with few problems, athleticism is apparent.

Cedric Hunter
A tick above average in the speed department, Hunter plays fast with smarts and instincts.

Jesus Lopez
Smooth as silk in the field, Lopez glides across the diamond with ease.

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