DSL Padres Hitter of the Year

Summary: After winning just 18 games in 2007, the Dominican Summer League Padres were a year older and a year wiser. They remained the youngest team in the division by a wide margin but also added several talented hitting prospects signed via international free agency on July 2. Several prospects had solid debut seasons.

The Dominican Summer League Padres made significant strides from 2007, eclipsing their win total by 12 games from the previous season to end the year with a 30-42 mark. The DSL Padres improved on their average from 2007 by 25 points, one player had as many homers (9) as they hit during all of '07, they upped their on-base percentage from .327 to .341 and the team scored nearly 100 more runs for the season. They also led the league in comeback wins with five occurring after trailing the game going into the final frame.

Overview: We used a simple formula for the awards, whichever team the player appeared at the most determined their eligibility. For the top prospect we took into account not only what the players did this year, but their age and potential to get better.

Savage Sub-Rosa

Hitter of the Year: Jorge Minyeti
Second baseman - .288/.459/.380

Runner-up: Jonathan Galvez
Shortstop - .272/.449/.370

From June 21 through July 28, there wasn't a game where Minyeti didn't reach base. His 23-game on-base streak led the division, as the second baseman reached base at a .546 clip with 31 hits in 80 at-bats while drawing 28 walks compared to eight strikeouts. Minyeti drew 61 walks across 64 games while also adding 17 stolen bases. His 16 extra base hits placed him second on the team.

Minyeti, who played the year at 17, is still growing into his body and has shown gap power to date. Given his excellent batting eye and superior pitch selection for his age, the infielder has a chance to be a solid prospect that hits for some power, plays good defense and reaches base at a high clip. He has good speed but is still learning how to use it.

Galvez tore through the league over his first 20 games, hitting .367 with an incredible .556 on-base percentage. He then struggled mightily in his next 24 games, hitting just .153. Galvez bounced back over his final 10 games, hitting .464 with a .595 on-base percentage. He also added eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

Galvez, 17, controls the strike zone well and has blossoming power. The shortstop will put too much pressure on him to perform with runners in scoring position, swinging at pitches he normally lays off, and is still growing into a very projectable body.

Conniff Confidential

Hitter of the Year: Jorge Minyeti
Second baseman - .288/.459/.380

Runner-up: Jonathan Galvez
Shortstop - .272/.449/.370

Minyeti has some power on his relatively slight 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame and would probably be at shortstop if it weren't for Galvez. As with many switch-hitters, he is a little more developed from his natural right side (.324/.500/.500) as compared to the left (.281/.451/.357).

He has some speed but is going to have to get better with his stolen base success rate, getting thrown out 13 out of 30 times. It's time to see what he can do baking in the Arizona sun.

If Galvez hadn't had an absolutely horrible July (.153/.327/.176), he would have been the top player on the team. His best numbers were with runners on and two outs where he hit .382/.500/.500 and only made six errors in 54 games, exceptional for a young shortstop.

At 6-foot-2, 175-pounds and only 17, he is one of the very rare five-tool prospects that one finds in any minor league organization. It is a very long, long way from the DSL to Petco Park, but Galvez has every tool someone could want in a teenager; the only question is how will it develop?

Others of note: Rymer Liriano hit nine homers, starting the year as a 16-year-old with four homers under his belt before turning 17. The outfielder did, however, strikeout in 45.7 percent of his at-bats. Carlos Garcia is seen as someone with a lot of potential but the Padres have never been sure if it would surface. He put together a solid two months after early struggles and has considerable pop in his bat. Jhonaldo Pozo isn't much as a catcher but wields a mighty stick, collecting 16 extra base hits and driving in 35. Maykor Rojas didn't get a lot of playing time but made the most of it, posting a .292 average and .387 on-base percentage. Finding him a position may be the problem.

Manager Commentary: "He's a young kid without any experience; he hasn't played much. The only thing about his strikeouts – we have four teams in our division, Washington has two teams: they have a lot of aces, guys with a lot of experience, especially pitching. For me, he was facing overmatched pitching." – DSL Padres manager Evaristo Lantigua on Rymer Liriano's high strikeout totals.

Top Prospect: Jonathan Galvez

Galvez is a potential five-tool talent that has good strike zone judgment, will eventually hit for power, and is swift on the base paths. He has a lot of room to grow physically and will benefit from added muscle to his frame. He got a little pull happy during the season and got away from his strengths while he tried to take every ball out of the park.

At his best, Galvez has a knack for putting the barrel of the bat on the ball and will continue to get better over time. He has the potential to be a superstar. He needs to refine his defensive game but made strides this season. Galvez' advanced approach at the plate, especially for his age, bodes well for his future.

Both Denis and John agreed on the top prospect

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