Padres Prospect Pulse: Rising Stock

These San Diego Padres prospects are on the rise – whether it was strong springs or impressive beginnings to the season.

Portland

Craig Cooper

The first baseman/outfielder hit well last year. He has a chance to turn in terrific numbers in the Pacific Coast League this year. He has a great approach to the ball with an opposite field approach. In the PCL, he has the juice to hit the ball out of the yard. His versatility is also worth noting.

Ernesto Frieri

The right-hander did not get many opportunities this spring but was thrust into the closing role in Portland. His repertoire is good enough to thrive in a relief capacity. He has yet to allow a hit in five innings, flashing a plus fastball and slider.

Chris Denorfia

A strong spring as a non-roster invite earned him the last train out of San Diego. While Aaron Cunningham played a role in exposing Chad Huffman to waivers, Denorfia wasn't far behind because of his experience and ability to play multiple roles.

San Antonio

Simon Castro

MadFriars.com's number one prospect can't possibly rise further, can he? He was stellar in spring, earning his spot on the San Antonio roster and has not disappointed since, taking a no-hitter into the sixth. His stuff has been as filthy as ever.

Alexis Lara

When he rung up mid-90s during a spring training game, heads began to turn. It is what he has been doing all along. He put the plus changeup on the shelf to work on his slider this spring in hopes to add it more regularly to the other two plus pitches.

Luis Martinez

The backstop has long been known for his defensive prowess. He had a breakout campaign in 2009 with Lake Elsinore and has shown the hitting fevor is not a fluke with a torrid start to his 2010 season. He is intensely strong and has a solid foundation for going the opposite way. He has the stuff to keep it up.

Craig Italiano

The right-hander was dominant after joining the Padres last season and has yet to slow down. He has a pair of plus pitches and the type of intensity that does well at the back end of a bullpen. He has closer type stuff.

Lake Elsinore

Dan Robertson

The diminituve outfielder continues to excite with his sparkplug mentality and clutch hitting. Robertson has not slowed his roll with the Storm, coming through with big hits and strong play.

Brad Brach

Twirling his splitter with more confidence, Brach has been near unhittable for the Storm. The right-hander works fast and keeps the ball down in the zone - the stuff to conquer the California League.

Jorge Reyes

It was a challenge sending Reyes to the California League after a brief stint in Eugene. He has been up for the challenge but held on a short leash. The right-hander works fast, keeps the ball down, and has a healthy demeanor to attack the opposition.

Fort Wayne

Nate Freiman

The hulking first baseman has been a force in the middle of the TinCaps lineup, routinely delivering run-scoring hits. An intelligent player with increasingly quality at-bats, he is quickly making waves as the first baseman to watch within the system.

Wande Olabisi

A physical specimen that has, perhaps, the best raw power in the system, Olabisi also has plus speed. He is insanely raw in baseball, but the Padres are pleased with his progress and more simplified approach that concentrates on a higher average rather than drilling every pitch over the wall.

Rob Musgrave

The left-hander has been the bailout man for the Fort Wayne pen. Whenever the team needs someone to get them out of a tight spot in a close game, Musgrave is the one they call. He has had impressive results. His changeup is a plus pitch and he is spotting his fastball. He could return to a starter's role as well.

Michael Watt

Sent to Fort Wayne again, Watt has proved to be poised and confident. He has given up some hits but has not had a mental breakdown, curbing any potential damage by bearing down. That is a huge leap forward for the southpaw, and he should only get better.

Nick Greenwood

The left-hander with the sinking fastball has been a ground ball terror early in the year and that figures to play well through the season. He has the mental makeup to continually succeed.

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