Padres Prospects: August Players of the Month

From the DSL to rookie ball to Portland, there was hitting going on with impressive months making the decisions difficult. John Conniff took the cork out of his bat and still hit .300 for the month and had to choose his better – giving honors to MadFriars.com Player of the Month for August among a qualified group.

Portland Beavers
Paul McAnulty
.309/.426/.609
LF

If this is Paul McAnulty's last month in the Padres' system, he definitely went out with a bang. In 33 games P-Mac had 29 RBIs, as he led the Beavers in walks [25], hits, [34], extra-base hits [17] and home runs [8] and didn't make a single error in left field. The Padres seem to have concluded that P-Mac doesn't have enough power on the big league level for an everyday left fielder and can't cut it as a bench player.

When you got sent down how were you able to stay so positive and put up the production that you did?

Paul McAnulty: I just went down there and did my job. I got a chance to play every day, which is what I needed, a chance to play and show what I could do.

You had to be disappointed that you didn't get called up. What does the future hold for you?

Paul McAnulty: Not really. They made their decision and that is it. I'm really happy for all of the guys that got called up who are going to get an opportunity to show what they can do, and I wish them the best of luck. I did my best and did what I could do, and they have some choices to make. Somewhere I'll be playing next year, but right now I'm off to the beach.

Prospect Watch: The big news is Matt Antonelli had his first good month of the year in Portland – really since last July in San Antonio, hitting .290/.391/.473. Eight of his 27 hits were for extra bases and his BB/K ratio was 12/17, which surprisingly given his overall .215 average wasn't that far from what he did in other months, 76/86. Shortstop Brett Dowdy is seemingly a guy that always plays better in the second half, and he had his second consecutive strong month of the season, hitting .299/.344/.472 with 15 of his 43 hits going for extra bases. Third baseman Peter Ciofrone cooled off a little from his scorching July but still put up strong numbers, especially in the power department, hitting .274/.355/.547 with seven home runs, which was good enough for second on the squad.

Disappointments: Once promising prospect Australian Justin Huber appears to be on his way out, finishing off this month at .249/.325/.352.

San Antonio Missions
Kyle Blanks
.377/.454/.615
1B

Blanks led the team in extra base hits with 13, home runs with seven and had 33 RBI's in 29 games. Last year after the All-Star break, Blanks struggled in the Cal League; this year .336/.402/.591.

"For the most part, (hitting coach Terry Kenneday) has been pointing me back to my strength and what I was doing in times of success," Blanks said. "It has definitely worked."

Prospect Watch: Centerfielder Drew Macias put together his best year in the organization with the Padres and in August he hit .283/.381/.458, finishing second only to Blanks in extra base hits and home runs.. The biggest difference in his game has been an increased selectivity at the plate; Macias led the Texas League in walks and is picking better pitches to hit, which results in him being able to drive the ball more. Third baseman Seth Johnston has the talent; putting together a consistent performance is what holds him back. This month was one of the up months where he hit .312/.350/.473 and had his best month in the field with only three errors. Finally, Craig Cooper hit .344/.449/.422 played all three outfield positions but only had five extra base hits in 75 plate appearances.

Disappointments: Chad Huffman hit .230/345/.297 with only two RBIs in 20 games. He still put together a good OBP with a 13/14 BB/K ratio, but someone of his talent should put up better number than five extra base hits in 87 plate appearances. On the road this year, he hit .318/.405/.513, and at home the Texas native hit .256/.365/.343.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Eric Sogard
.344/.401/.582
2B

Sogard has been up and down like a pogo stick this year, but he started and finished strong. In three of his five months in Lake Elsinore he hit over .330, the other two .243. This month was his best with 20 of his 42 hits for extra bases; 15 of them doubles to give him 42 for the year. Throughout the season, he has been a very disciplined hitter, and this month was no exception with a 13/12 BB/K ratio, and he had only two errors in the field.

"You are always trying to get better in every aspect," said Sogard. "I have been swinging the bat well and playing solid defense."

Prospect Watch: Luis Durango wasn't up for the full month but was there long enough to put a serious charge in the Storm and probably cement a starting left field job in Double-A next year. The speedy Durango, who has won two batting championships [AZL and NWL], hit .441/.512/.515. He had a 12/6 BB/K ratio, and, most importantly for a player whose defense has been questioned, only had a single error in the field. Third baseman Brian Joynt continues to impress with a .283/.371/.585 line, finishing second on the team in extra base hits with 18 and second in home runs with seven. As with Durango, he's put together solid numbers and has put himself in position to be an everyday player in Double-A. Cedric Hunter had his best power numbers of the year with 13 extra base hits, six of which went over the wall to finish up at .323/.348/.519. Kellen Kublacki was hurt for most of the month, but when he returned he did what he usually has done this season, .324/.429/.559. Finally, this year's number one draft pick, Allan Dykstra, made his professional debut, hitting .286/.464/.476 in six games.

Disappointments: None. The Storm hit .295/.373/.463 as a team.

Fort Wayne Wizards
Andy Parrino
.262/.415/.333
2B

When Fort Wayne hit .233/.316/.300 as a team for the month, you have to search for something positive. Parrino did have a good BB/K ratio of 21/25 and was given an opportunity to play every day with Drew Cumberland's injury but only had six extra base hits in 105 plate appearances.

"Part of it has to be they were tired and it was a long season, but guess what the other team is going through the same thing," said Wizards' announcer Mike Maas.

"My role has been coming in wherever I am needed and having good at-bats and playing good defense," said Parrino.

Prospect Watch: As stated above, not much. Catcher Luis Martinez had a nice month, hitting .292/.370/.323 and shortstop Lance Zawadzki came in at .259.,328/.326. Utility man Anthony Contreras hit .283/.317/.433 in 17 games. Other than these four players, no one posted an OPS above .700 for August.

Disappointments: There were quite a few, but we will let one guy take a bullet for the team. Outfielder Danny Payne is coming off of some leg injuries, but he had a brutal month, hitting .064/.267/.128.

Eugene Emeralds
Dan Robertson
.395/.463/.527
RF

At 5-foot-8, Robertson would appear as the quintessential little guy that scraps and bunts his way on base. He is that, but he can also put a charge into the ball, finishing second on the team with 12 extra base hits. The Northwest League MVP had a solid 14/19 BB/K ratio and was successful on 7-of-10 stolen base attempts. He can play all three outfield positions and is hitting .459 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

"I am a leadoff guy that will get on base and runs well," said Robertson. "If I strikeout, I don't see the benefit to my ball club."

Prospect Watch: Centerfielder Blake Tekotte continues to impress in second month of professional ball, as the former Hurricane hit .313/.420/.509, leading the team in extra base hits with 14. Third baseman James Darnell joined the team late and has been on fire, hitting .377/.476/.544, with a 10/9 BB/K ratio and six of his 20 hits going for extra bases in 13 games. University of Florida draftee Cole Figueroa split time between second and short and showed some power hitting five out of the park and hitting .286/.398/.484.

Disappointments: Second baseman Jeudy Valdez played well in the AZL but continues to struggle after a good June with a .214/.247/.298 line.

Arizona Rookie League Padres
Jaff Decker
.338/.494/.559
OF

Decker "slumped" in August but had his best overall power numbers this month with eight extra base hits, three of which went over the fence. This month the league came close to striking him out more than he walked, but didn't quite make it at 21/20 BB/K ratio. There are many eye-popping stats with Decker, but the best one is with runners on and two outs where he is hitting .522/.645/.870.

"I feel like I can get a hit at any time," said Decker. "I feel like I can go to all fields. It is that right thing you have and feel comfortable with and that is hitting for me."

Prospect Watch: Catcher Robert Lara had no errors and hit .273/.442/.424 and has put himself in strong contention for the catching position at Fort Wayne next year. First baseman Chris Hardin had a nice month at .272/.398/.407 but is going to need to show more power to stay at first base. Finally, one of the more intriguing prospects in the AZL is massive right fielder Aaron Murphee at 6-foot-5, 235-pounds who hit .260/.402/.384. He has yet to really show it, but the Padres obviously like his power potential. Finally, third baseman Edison Rincon, a veteran of last years AZL Padres, returned from injury to hit .351/.467/.404.

Disappointments: Outfielder Chase Williams has struggled since an early surge in June, hitting .083/.214/.298.

DSL Padres
Carlos Garcia
.309/.369/.473
OF

After some tough months, Garcia led the team in hits (17), extra base hits (5) and RBIs (15). He seemed to put all the tutoring coaches have given him together in August and put up numbers that many have claimed he is capable of each time he steps into the lineup.

Prospect Watch: Jonathan Galvez was a madman during the 10 games he played in, hitting .464 with an incredible .595 on-base percentage, rebounding from an awful July. The shortstop will now ply his trade in the Padres Instructional League in Arizona. Hans Wilson hasn't been good defensively but hit .295 with a .456 on-base percentage in August. Rymer Liriano hit .254 – one of his best months in the DSL while hitting two more homers.

Disappointments: Jorge Minyeti came back down to earth after a torrid pace, hitting .197. The infielder did draw 23 walks to post a .418 on-base percentage. Miguel Tiburcio had just three hits in 37 at-bats during a brutal August.

Player of the Month: Paul McAnulty

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