The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.
Obviously since the season is over and some teams have had two updates, some have only had one and the NL West teams have had zero coverage thus far, this project did not work out as I had planned on many levels. Undeterred I’m going to sally forth and finish off this round of updates and call it good. Next season if I attempt this again I’m going to have to make some major changes to the structure, plan and concept of this series.
Feel free to check out the category archive to read previous installments of the series.
San Diego Padres (S2S 2012 Padres Team Prospect List)
2B – Jonathan Galvez (21) – Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a NDFA on July 7th, 2007
Reasoning – Galvez is one of the few players I selected for this series that was a part of our 2012 Top-100 (#58) but Nathaniel’s ranking of the young 2B was more bullish than most, if not all. As an underrated middle infield prospect with a good mix of speed and power potential he seemed like a perfect fit for this list.
2011 – Lake Elsinore (A+): 0.291/.355/.465, 36 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 37 SB, 41 BB and 123 SO in 545 PA
2012 – San Antonio (AA): 0.292/.364/.426, 20 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 12 SB, 31 BB and 70 SO in 350 PA
Right off the bat you can see that while he moved from the hitter friendly world of the California League to the Texas League – which doesn’t exactly suppress offense in it’s own right – Galvez improved both his BA and OBP. As expected his SLG dropped but not quite as sharply as I would have expected. Along with the bump in OBP he improved his BB% from 7.5% to 8.9% and cut his K% from 22.6 to a flat 20.0%. While neither rate is anything to write home about – and he needs to improve in both areas – these are fairly significant gains since he was making the difficult jump from A+ to AA. His production tailed off after the all-star break and he battled ankle and quad injuries early in the year, but all-in-all it was a successful season for Galvez. He’s steadily advanced through the system advancing one level per year, but he remains young for his level and should open 2013 in Triple-A. There’s a high probability that his major league debut won’t be far behind.
SS – Jace Peterson (22) – Padres 2011 1st Round Pick (58th Overall)
Reasoning – A two-sport athlete while at McNeese State, Peterson showed off his willingness to draw walks and his ability to utilize his speed on the bases in his first pro season. Combine those readily apparent attributes with his projected ability to make contact and a chance to stick at SS and you have a prospect that screams sleeper.
2011 – Eugene (A-): 0.243/.360/.333, 9 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 39 SB, 50 BB and 53 SO in 333 PA
2012 – Fort Wayne (A): 0.286/.378/.392, 23 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 51 SB, 62 BB and 63 SO in 521 PA
In his first year in full season ball, Peterson certainly didn’t disappoint. He carried everything positive he did in 2011 with him as he made the jump to the Midwest League. He maintained an excellent walk rate (11.9%) and pushed his strike out rate from merely good (15.9%) to an also excellent 12.1%. Peterson also did a better job of making consistent, solid contact in 2012 upping his BA and SLG by 43 and 59 points respectively. No longer a sleeper, Peterson is solidly on track to be develop into a quality lead-off hitter.
RHP – Cody Hebner (21) – Padres 2011 4th Round Pick
Reasoning – Drafted out of Green River Community College, Hebner entered pro ball with a smaller than ideal frame (5’11″ 175 lbs) and three pitches that could potentially be plus in his fastball, changeup and slider. His inconsistency was the main concern at draft time but he turned in a fine debut season with a strong 6.7 H/9 and 9.3 SO/9.
2011 – Eugene (A-): 3.35 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 28 H, 15 BB and 39 SO in 37.2 IP
2012 – Fort Wayne (A): 5.01 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 108 H, 50 BB and 110 SO in 109.2 IP
By starting off in Eugene and then spending all of 2012 in the Midwest League, Hebner has followed the same developmental path as fellow 2011 draft pick, Jace Peterson. The results have not mirrored his teammate’s however. While Peterson took a big step forward this year, Hebner could not replicate his 2011 numbers and slipped a bit in several areas. However, the overall stat line above masks the fact that he pitched rather well in the first half of the season with a 4.03 ERA, 69-20 SO-to-BB in 67.0 IP before his numbers fell off to a 6.54 ERA and 41-30 SO-to-BB in 42.2 innings after the break. Fatigue may have played a role in his decline but that aside he struck out at least a batter per inning and kept his walk rate from getting out of hand. The stats may not get a lot of attention from the bulk of fans and evaluators alike, but don’t sleep on Hebner in 2013. He’s on the cusp of a breakout season.
For more on the San Diego Padres, check out Chicken Friars!