The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 4 (The AAA Hitters)

Finally. The start of the players that, in my opinion, we have the best chance of seeing next season in El Paso. I might not go over every player in the Padres system but, I think for AAA and AA, I should. So, here we go. The Tucson Padres/El Paso Whatevers hitters.

1. John Baker (C) – .231/.375/.231 so far at Tucson, and his Major League stats this season are even worse. Currently on a one-year contract.

He won’t be here next year. Sorry. But, he could be managing here in a few years.- (This is what I get for taking two days to write my post. Baker was released yesterday. Guess I was right about not seeing him here next year, huh? BOOM!)

2. Jason Hagerty (C) – Hagerty is a back-up Catcher. Looks like he always has been. He’s a switch hitter, which you always love in a Catcher but, he hasn’t been hitting…

Tucson Padres

Tucson Padres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

which is half of switch-hitting. .160/.323./.160.

If he’s still with the Padres next year, I think he will be in San Antonio. Unless, the Padres REALLY can’t find a back-up for El Paso.

3. Rene Rivera (C) – Rivera is in beast-mode this season. He is currently second in the PCL in batting. .343/.391/.488, 4 HR, 27 RBI. He is clearly the best Catcher on the Tucson roster. Dare I say, the best hitting Catcher in the Padres organization this year. Granted, his career numbers are nowhere close to what he’s doing this season. But, with Rivera batting so much better than either Hundley or Grandal with the Padres, does he deserve to be called up? Honestly, it may not matter if he deserves it or not. A clause in his contract means that he will have to be released if he is not on the Padres 25-man roster by June 15th. Could Hundley or Grandal be on their way down?

I hate to say it but, I think the Padres may be content with Grandal and Hundley. They definitely believe that Grandal is the Catcher of the future. They probably don’t want to send him down. Perhaps Hundley goes down. Perhaps they carry three Catchers? This is a stumper but, I’m about 80% sure that Rivera will be released, as crazy as it might sound.

4. Brandon Allen (1B) – If you like strikeouts, Brandon Allen is your man! This season he is kinda turning it around it would appear. He is only striking out 18% of the time, which is way better than usual. .260/.361/.439 is a decent slash. But, at 6’2″ and 235 lb. I think you should be hitting a little more than 6 HR’s so far. That’s very easy for someone who had 3 hits in 4 years of High School baseball to say, huh? I don’t care, it’s my blog, dang it!

He is on a minor league deal. I think he’s gonna be in Tucson all year. He’s hit that point in his career where he is playing on one year deals for any AAA team that needs him. I’d say 50% chance he could be with the El Paso Whatever’s.

5. Dean Anna (2B) – Well, well, well… Mr. Anna. What can I say. This dude has come out of nowhere this season! He has had a pretty good slash line everywhere he’s been so, I wouldn’t say it’s a complete surprise but, his numbers this year are amazing. .335/.411/.537 with 8 HR, 33 RBI and 41 R. That’s what I call a breakout. But, like the link at the bottom of this post explains, Anna is stuck in the minors.

Depending on what happens with the bench players in San Diego this offseason, I’d say there’s a 50% chance of Anna being in El Paso next season. He is very versatile and

Jonathan Galvez - San Antonio Missions

Jonathan Galvez – San Antonio Missions – Crazy time lapse picture, perhaps of a strikeout? (Photo credit: Jesse Acosta)

could easily stick as a do it all bench guy.

6. Cody Decker (1B) – Not that great of a hitter. Doesn’t appear to be a top prospect. Has a .521 SLG% which is not so bad. His .264 AVG and only 5 HR is only so-so.

If he’s in the organization still, which he should be… he will be in El Paso next season.

7. Jonathan Galvez (2B) – This guy has rocketed through the system since coming from the Dominican as a 17-year-old in 2008. Now 22, Galvez is sporting a .287/.353/.413 line with 36 R and 12 SB. He is striking out about 23% of the time and has done that at every stop in the minors. He still looks like a very solid prospect.

With Gyorko, Forsythe, and Cabrera with the Padres, it looks like we will be seeing Galvez in El Paso next season as well. Perhaps with extra time in AAA, he can cut down on his strikeouts. He is only 22. He has time.

8. Jesus Merchan (3B) – Jesus is a AAA bench player. He has found his niche in life. I’m sure he is a very nice man.

If Jesus feels like coming to El Paso, the Padres will probably take him on for a third year as a bench player.

9. Gregorio Petit (SS) – Despite a .302/.347/.392 slash so far this season, Petit looks like he has also found his niche. It is not in the majors.

Petit has changed AAA teams for three years in a row. I guess there’s a chance with El Paso being a new team that he may not realize he’s played for the Padres before and come on down to the borderland. We shall see.

10. Travis Buck (OF) – OK, look at Buck’s stats here and tell me he shouldn’t be nicknamed “Mister Inconsistency”. This guy is all over the place. Ohh, maybe it should be “Bipolar Man”. Not gonna play for the Padres this year… or next year.

He’s at the Minor League Deal part of his career. Could be in El Paso next year. Probably not, though. Although I would like to have a “Bipolar Man” jersey made up!

11. James Darnell (OF) – Darnell is the first person on this list who is actually on the 40-man roster. It would appear that Darnell was added to the 40-man in order to avoid the Rule 5 draft this past year. Why you may ask? I don’t know. I guess cause he hits really well in the low minors. He is on the DL right now but in his 7 games this year he has a .235/.316/.471. I guess he will be a September call-up, assuming he gets healthy.

If the Padres don’t try to pass him through waivers and lose him, he could be in El Paso. Looks like he will definitely need another season there.

English: James Darnell in 2010 spring training.

“Hello 40-man roster!” James Darnell  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


12. Jaff Decker (OF) – Man, I don’t even know what to say about Decker. He is also on the 40-man roster and it looks like it probably for the same reason that Darnell is. He was going to be Rule 5 eligible and no team wants to lose a 1st Round Pick. That’s kind of like admitting you were wrong and what guy wants to do that?.240/.363/.391 so far this season really isn’t too far removed from his usual numbers.

My guess is he will have one more season in AAA before the Padres give it up and admit they were wrong.

13. Dan Robertson (OF) – Robertson (.319/.398/.432), a 33rd round pick in 2008 has steadily worked his way up through the minors, hitting at every level. Not only does he hit, he walks and strikes out at the same 10% rate while also stealing about 20 bases a year. It looks like he will be eligible for the Rule-5 Draft this offseason. Here’s to hoping the Padres don’t just add guys to the 40-man roster that can’t hit.

He will probably be in El Paso next year. I can’t wait to see him play.

14. Kalian Sams (OF) – The Padres signed Sams after a decent WBC performance this year for the Netherlands. He was in the Mariners system for a while and never really produced much, always staying in the .250 BA range. Sams was recently promoted to AAA after working up to a .250/412/.713 line. His 10 Home Runs contributed greatly to that slugging percentage.

We should see Sams here hitting home runs next year. I’m predicting a homer on Opening Day, you can go ahead and mark it down! BOOM!

15. Mike Wilson (OF) – This guy is pretty inconsistent also. His numbers are all over the place, except one… he strikeouts out at a very consistent rate. So far this year, that rate is at 30%. Nowadays in baseball,  power can cover up a low batting average and high strikeout rate in the eyes of the people that matter. But, Wilson’s 2 home run’s aren’t covering up much. His .291 average might.

Because this is his first year with the Padres and only his second with a team other than the one that drafted him, I would say he is likely to be here in El Paso next year. The high altitude should help his Home Run numbers come back up to where they have been in the past.

Well, that’s it for the Tucson Padres hitters. I hate to say it but, there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to. Galvez will be nice to see. So will Robertson and maybe Anna. The prospect lists I have read don’t seem to reflect what the stats are showing so far this season. Perhaps by the end of this season, all of these stats will get to where all of the pundits thought they would be. Perhaps I will re-do all of these posts at the end of the season. We will see.