5 Padres Prospects Who Will Have Success in September
This list will be filled with tomorrow's bright stars who will have a shot to impress later this year when rosters expand on September 1st. In addition, we will also include recent call-ups who may be given an opportunity to audition for next season. Many of these players project to be quality major league players in their time. A team in transition owes itself a look at some of the greatness that dwells in its stacked farm system.
Honorable Mention: Blake Tekkote, Toolsy Outfielder
Albeit, 25-year-old outfielders in Triple-A who garner a .290 OBP generally do not cause much excitement for fans of their major league club. Tekkote can thrive in San Diego as a defensive replacement, but he needs to demonstrate a more watchful approach at the plate. We already have a Cameron Maybin in the field; we don't need another Maybin at the plate.
No. 5: Matt Clark, "Prospect" 1st Baseman
It's either that the Padres play Matt Clark to see what he's got or the club trades him away for prospects. The kid has a heck of a bat (he's improved his entire triple slash line since last year) and might just need the chance to play everyday.
He is basically blocked in San Diego by Alonso—so maybe he's a good trading chip—but the organization will have a difficult time knowing for sure if they keep him bottled up in the hitting-inflated Pacific Coast League.
No. 4: Kevin Quackenbush, Closer of the Future
No. 3: Brad Boxberger, Live-Action Reliever
There's a reason that Boxberger got promoted to the big leagues this summer. The kid just flat-out dominated the competition in the minors. He's got real potential to be a shutdown reliever in San Diego, but he needs to improve his command (career 4.2 BB/9 in the minors) without compromising his filthy pitches.
No. 2: Cory Burns, Surgeon in the Bullpen
I've offered up Cory Burns before as a viable candidate to pitch in the second half of 2012 for the Padres. Clearly, I wasn't out in left field with my suggestion as Burns was called up to San Diego yesterday (per rotoworld.com) to help strengthen the bullpen with Huston Street on the disabled list and Luke Gregerson sliding into the closer's spot.
No. 1: Robbie Erlin, Padres' Starting Pitching Jewel
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Finally having returned to action (as reported by MLB.com) after missing much of the summer with elbow tendinitis, Robbie Erlin is on his way to round back into his old form. If he is called up to The Show in September, he will have the chance to shine through with his impeccably-controlled arsenal of precision pitches (154 strikeouts/16 walks in 147.1 innings in 2011).