by Myron Logan
Adam Foster and the guys at Project Prospect rank the top NL West prospects, and the Padres have eight prospects in the top 25. James Darnell and Jaff Decker rank third and fourth, and are joined in the top 25 by Kellen Kulbacki, Drew Cumberland, Simon Castro, Donovan Tate, Matt Antonelli, and Eric Sogard.
Speaking of prospects, John Sickels posted his top 20 Padres prospects at Minor League Ball. His top five consists of Tate, Castro, Darnell, Decker, and Wynn Pelzer. Talking about the system in general, Sickels likes what he sees:
I felt this system was underrated entering 2009, and things are really looking up here. They’ve got a good mixture of polished bats and upside arms, and adding additional athletic upside in the ’09 draft just makes things even better. Although they went with more athleticism at the top (Tate, Williams, Sampson) this year, they continued to draft polished college guys in the latter rounds, and I think this strategy will help them. It should also be noted that even the “skill” drafts before 2009 included good athletes like Darnell, Forsythe, Cumberland, Pelzer, and Zawadski. This was never a “tools don’t matter” organization, no matter what people said.
There is some good discussion in the comments too, largely surrounding Jaff Decker’s body type and his future potential.
It was released a few weeks ago, so you’ve probably seen it by now, but for the sake of completeness here is Baseball America’s Padres top 10.
While the Padres did get a deal done with Kevin Corriea and most of their other arbitration-eligible players, they decided to non-tender relief pitchers Jackson Quezada and Mark Worrell. Worrell, you may remember, came over from St. Louis in the Khalil Greene trade. He posted some promising numbers in the minors, but did not pitch in the Pads organization due to injuries
If you have any links (or anything you’d like to talk about), feel free to add them in the comments.