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San Diego Padres: 10 Minor Leaguers You May Not Know, but Should Watch in 2013

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIDecember 27, 2012

San Diego Padres: 10 Minor Leaguers You May Not Know, but Should Watch in 2013

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    Over the past few years, San Diego Padre fans have watched their front office trade away fan favorites and emerging stars for unproven prospects with high expectations.  

    As a fan, it's been difficult and disheartening to watch the team develop quality players only to trade them away at their peak.  

    However, it's also been promising to watch our farm system grow into one of the best in baseball.  

    Not only have the guys we acquired through trades been developing and starting to contribute to the big league team, but our drafting and international acquisitions also look like they will start to pay dividends in the near future.  

    You may be familiar with Major League Baseball's 2012 ranking of the top 20 Padre prospects, but what about the other guys in our farm system that have yet to crack the list?

    Without further ado, let's take a look at 10 lesser-known players you should be keeping your eye on in 2013 and beyond.  

Tommy Medica

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    Tommy Medica should break into the Padres' top 20 prospects list next year.

    Medica, who led all Padre minor leaguers last season in batting average (.330), on-base percentage (.406) and slugging (.623), absolutely tore up Class A Lake Elsinore in his third season in the minors.  He also finished fifth in home runs (19) and third in RBI (87).

    The 6'1", 200-pound first baseman/catcher/outfielder was selected by the Padres in the 14th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Santa Clara University.  He left Santa Clara ranking sixth all-time with 329 hits and second with a .369 career batting average.  

    Due to a shoulder injury in 2009, Medica still hasn't resumed catching duties. But he did have a .988 fielding percentage at first base last year and is continuing to strengthen his arm.

    If Medica continues to swing a hot bat, the sky is the limit for this kid.  

    Maybe Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal should also be keeping an eye on him.  

    Team in 2013: Double-A San Antonio Missions

    When you'll see him with the Padres: If he can stay healthy, he should get a shot at the lineup in 2014.  Time will tell what position he'll play.

Matthew Wisler

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    The only player here to have recently broken into the Padres' top 20 prospects list, Matthew Wisler turned heads in his first full season in the Padre organization.

    The Padres' seventh-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Wisler led all pitchers in the organization with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.  He also finished second in the organization with an opposing batting average of .227 and fourth with 113 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched.  More impressively, he only gave up one home run the entire season while pitching for Class A Fort Wayne.

    The 6'3", 175-pound right-hander has a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90s, a good slider and changeup and an above-average curveball.

    With a few more years of development, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wisler's name come up in starting rotation talks somewhere around 2015.  

    He has the stuff to be good—time will tell if he'll be great.  

    Team in 2013: Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm

    When you'll see him with the Padres: You could very well see him in the starting rotation in 2015.  The next couple of seasons will show how good he could be.   

Kevin Quackenbush

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    In two seasons of minor league ball, Kevin Quackenbush has been a stud.

    Selected by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the 6'3", 207-pound Quackenbush still owns a University of South Florida school record for relievers with a 0.80 ERA in 2011.  He also pitched two no-hitters while in high school.  

    Over the last two years in the Padres system, Quackenbush has put up amazing numbers, with a 0.81 ERA, 45 saves and a 10.9 strikeouts-per-nine ratio. He has only given up one home run in 99.2 innings pitched.  

    With a fastball that sits in the low 90s, solid command of his pitches and deception in his delivery, Quackenbush should continue to excel in the minors. Expect him to make a debut appearance in Petco Park sooner rather than later.

    Team in 2013: Double-A San Antonio Missions

    When you'll see him with the Padres: Don't be surprised to see him early in 2014—if not sooner.

Matt Stites

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    Matt Stites, like Kevin Quackenbush, will be another stud in the San Diego bullpen one day.

    Selected in the 17th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Stites has had a stellar two-year minor league career.

    Last season with Class A Fort Wayne, Stites went 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA, 13 saves and 60 strikeouts in 48.2 innings pitched.  He also finished tied for second in the organization in saves.  

    At 5'11" and 170 pounds, Stites may not have the build of an elite relief pitcher. But he does have amazing poise on the mound and seems to always want the ball with the game on the line.

    With an overpowering fastball, a hard dropping slider and an above-average changeup, Stites may have what it takes to be the Padres' future setup man or even closer pending his development in the system.

    Team in 2013: Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm

    When you'll see him with the Padres: You'll probably see him make his first appearance in 2014, but become a regular in the bullpen in 2015.  

Yeison Asencio

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    Outfielder Yeison Asencio is coming off of another season of outstanding baseball in the Padres farm system.

    Last season with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, Asencio batted .323—second best in the entire organization.  He also had 21 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 47 runs scored and 61 RBI in 350 at-bats.  

    The year before in the Arizona League, Asencio hit .348 with 13 doubles, eight triples, seven home runs, 50 runs scored and 46 RBI in 210 at-bats.  Following the season, he was named the No. 1 prospect by Baseball America.

    Asencio, who went by the name of "Yoan Alcantara" when he signed with the Padres in 2009, was discovered last winter to have false identification documents, according to Baseball America. The discovery was made by a Major League Baseball department established in the wake of the 9-11 attacks to verify the identification of Latin American ball players.  The investigation also discovered that he was two-and-a-half years older than he had originally claimed.

    No matter what his age is or what we're calling him now, Asencio is a legitimate prospect and could see time with the big club sometime in the near future.

    Team in 2013: Class-A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm

    When you'll see him with the Padres: He should probably make his first appearance somewhere around the 2015 season. However, if he keeps hitting the way he has, it could be sooner.  

Justin Miller

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    In the 30th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the San Diego Padres picked second baseman Justin Miller out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

    Miller quickly proved to everyone that he probably should have been taken much higher in the draft.

    In his first season of minor league ball, Miller tore up the Arizona League by batting .407 with 22 hits in 54 at-bats.  He also slugged .574 and had a 1.050 OPS.

    He followed that up by hitting .308 in 130 at-bats with short-season Class A Eugene.

    Last season, Miller split time between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and hit a combined .303 (fourth best in the entire organization) with 12 home runs, 19 stolen bases, 76 runs scored and 80 RBI.  Though he comes in at only 5'9" and 190 pounds, his bat speaks for itself.  

    He also has experience with every position in the infield (except catcher) and has played both right and left field.  With a bit more development of his fielding skills, Miller could be a solid utility contributor for the Padres in the near future.  

    Team in 2013: Double-A San Antonio Missions

    When you'll see him with the Padres: Maybe off the bench in 2014, but most likely he'll get his first shot at the lineup in 2015.  

Matthew Andriese

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    With time to develop, Matthew Andriese will make a fine pitcher in Petco Park.

    The ground-ball-inducing pitcher has good control with his arsenal of pitches.  

    Baseball America's former No. 6-rated prospect in the Northwest League, Andriese finished last season with a 10-8 record, 3.58 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 146 innings pitched for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

    Andriese also tied for the organization lead in wins, finished second in strikeouts and third in WHIP (1.22).  

    Andriese is definitely a talented pitcher with a ton of upside.  It will be interesting to see what the next few years have in store.

    Team in 2013: Double-A San Antonio Missions

    When you'll see him with the Padres: He could realistically compete for a rotation spot in 2015.  Hopefully he keeps up the solid work.  

Daniel Robertson

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    One word best sums up Daniel Robertson's play in the San Diego farm system: consistency.

    The 27-year-old has experience at all three outfield positions and owns a lifetime .307 batting average in five seasons in the minors.

    Last year with Triple-A Tucson, Robertson hit .302 with 70 runs scored, 38 RBI and 18 stolen bases.  He also finished fifth in the organization in average and third in hits.  

    Robertson is a good ballplayer.  He may not be a power hitter, but he can hit, steal bases and play a good outfield.

    Team in 2013: Triple-A Tucson

    When you'll see him with the Padres: Maybe off of the bench around the middle of next season. If not, expect to see him in 2014.

Frank Garces

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    In his first full season of minor league ball, Frank Garces proved that he's a pitcher we need to keep our eyes on.  

    In 121.2 innings pitched, Garces had a 9-6 record with a 2.81 ERA and 112 strikeouts.  He finished second in the organization in ERA and tied for second in wins, fifth in strikeouts and fourth in opposing average with a .233.

    Garces has a devastating curveball, but can still use further development for control issues.

    It should be exciting to see what he does as he hones his skills over the next few seasons.

    Team in 2013: Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm

    When you'll see him with the Padres: Probably not until 2016.

Casey McElroy

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    Casey McElroy was an 11th-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Players Draft.

    Though the beginning of his 2012 season, with Class A Fort Wayne, didn't start out spectacularly (.237 average), he sure ended the year with a bang with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

    In 226 at-bats, McElroy had a .327 average with 13 doubles, five home runs and 36 RBI.  Though this is a small sample size, he also led the SEC in hits (87) while playing at Auburn in 2011.

    The middle infielder could use a little more work with his glove, but given time to develop, could turn into a solid contributor.

    Team in 2013: Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm

    When you'll see him with the Padres: That depends on how he develops, but probably not until 2016.

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