San Diego Padres Winter League Report

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September 1, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres center fielder Alexi Amarista (5) hits an RBI single during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres prospects Yeison Asenscio and Rymer Liriano both made a few appearances in the Dominican this winter, but neither got a whole lot of playing time.  However, Liriano’s lone hit was a home run, showing he still has the raw power he long displayed before undergoing Tommy John Surgery.

Dan Robertson got the most plate appearances of the Padres products in any winter league, 263. He hit .293 and got on-base at a .368 clip, but his slugging was under .400. He walked more than he struck out, and even stole 20 bags.  The 28-year old utility man stands just 5’8”, but he has received a spring invite to big league camp.

Alberto Gonzalez has 1,023 plate appearances over seven big league seasons, most recently with the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees in 2013, and played 53 games in Venezuela this winter.  He signed a minor league deal with a big league invite with the Padres in December. Gonzalez hit just .225 with an OPS of .589, which only one point lower than his career big league OPS.

Reymond Fuentes struck out too often this winter in Puerto Rico, and hit just .262 while only stealing three bags on seven attempts.  His real value to the Padres will come in the form of defense in center, but he will need to hit better this spring if he has aspirations of making the opening day roster.

It is hard not to root for the diminutive Alexi Amarista, and you would have been rewarded for doing so this winter.  He put up a triple slash of .303/.400/.423 while hitting two long balls and stealing bags in six of eight attempts.

You can watch Corey Adamson this weekend in the final series of the Australian Baseball League, as his Perth Heat take on the Canberra Cavalry.  He has played center field for the Heat, where he led the team in triples and is third in batting average.  The 21-year old Aussie played for team Australia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and hopes to be on the roster when the team takes on his big leagues club rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, in the opening series festivities in Sydney this March.

30-year old catcher, Rene Rivera, played for two different squads in the Dominican this winter, but was left off the roster for the Caribbean Series.  He did not hit well, but the veteran backstop should be a good mentor for stud catching prospect Austin Hedges.

Despite struggling in Venezuela, hitting under .250, Rico Noel has received an invite to big league camp this spring. The switch-hitting center fielder did show a good eye at the plate, posting an on-base percentage nearly 100 points better than his batting average.  The 25-year old played all of 2013 at Double-A last season, but seems to be blocked by a very deep outfield in San Diego.

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