Category Archives: Stitched Padres Jerseys

Edward Olivares Jersey

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For many franchises, spending any amount of time discussing the 28th-ranked prospect isn’t worth the time and effort. However, the San Diego Padres farm system presents a different case, seeing as Edward Olivares, the Padres 28th-ranked prospect, is a top 15-20 prospect on most other teams. He is coming off a fairly successful season with the Lake Elsinore Storm, but will we see him suit up with the Amarillo Sod Poodles?

Olivares came to San Diego via Toronto when the Padres traded infielder Yangervis Solarte to the Blue Jays for Olivares and Jared Carkuff. Carkuff was later released, but Olivares showcased his speed and power in Lake Elsinore for 129 games.

His final stat line included a .277 average, .321 on-base percentage, 25 doubles, 10 triples, and 12 home runs. He swiped 21 bags, converting on 72% of his stolen base attempts.

The 22-year-old outfielder is currently spending the offseason in his home country of Venezuela where he is playing with the Tigres de Aragua. In 24 games, Olivares is hitting .337 with a .402 OBP, two doubles, two triples, and two home runs. He has converted five of six stolen base attempts and ranks among the league leaders in several offensive categories.

During the MiLB regular season, Olivares hit .281 vs righties and .261 vs lefties, however, that split has widened in Venezuela. He is currently hitting .370 against RHP and .211 LHP. Looking back over his splits over the course of his minor league career, Olivares has a history of struggling to hit left-handed pitching. Just something to watch with him.

The question now becomes, will the Padres add him to the 40-man roster before the upcoming deadline to protect Rule-5 draft eligible prospects? Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com recently published this piece taking a quick look at every top 30 prospect who is eligible for the draft. Maybe it is just my reading of the San Diego Padres outlook section, but it seems like Sam believes that the Padres will lose one or more of their five top-30 prospects.

There are plenty of names that can be removed from the current 40-man and the Padres are believed to be a franchise that will be active on the trade market this offseason, including current rumors swirling around Maikel Franco and Noah Syndergaard. San Diego can make room for Olivares. He is a multi-tool outfielder that has the potential to be a major league contributing outfielder.

Manuel Margot Jersey

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Centerfielder Manuel Margot has played himself back into the conversation for the San Diego Padres, per MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell.

If it seems like Margot has been around forever, that’s because he’s not only in his third season as a regular contributor in San Diego, but before that he was a key piece in the trade that sent Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox – after which he instantly became the top-rated prospect in the Padres’ system by MLB.com. He was the 26th-ranked prospect in the game at the start of 2016 when he looked like a potential future star in center, batting a projectable .263/.313/.409 as a 22-year-old rookie.

The Padres have had so many prospects enter the national conversation since that 2015 blockbuster that Margot has faded well into the background, not only on the national level but for the Padres as well. As it stands today, Margot’s career line of .251/.303/.394 doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence as the centerfielder of the future.

Still, he’s remarkably only 24-years-old, and as Cassavell points out, for a little over a month now, he’s raked. Since June 23, he’s holding a .260/.387/.519 line. Consider positive career defensive ratings in center (19 DRS, 11.8 UZR), and Margot may yet contribute to the next contender in San Diego.

Despite San Diego’s deep farm system, they don’t necessarily have their next centerfielder bookmarked. That plays in Margot’s favor, but it might also make the Padres all the more proactive in seeking an outside solution. Unless he can consistently put together quality results against right-handers, he’s more likely pegged for a future as a fourth outfielder, whether in San Diego or elsewhere.

The Padres best bet is to play out the string for the remainder of 2019 and hope he does enough to improve his stock for a potential offseason trade. His youth is encouraging, but he’s also approaching his first season of arbitration, making 2019 a put-up-or-shut-up season for Margot. His first time through arbitration won’t break the bank, but it does change his valuation moving forward. Another couple of months like his last, however, and Margot could change that valuation once again.

Luis Urias Jersey

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A flurry of moves on Thanksgiving eve signaled that the prospect-hoarding San Diego Padres can afford to be impatient.

Late Wednesday morning, a number of Milwaukee Brewers turned Padres and vice versa. First, San Diego dealt infielder Luis Urías and left-hander Eric Lauer to Milwaukee for righty Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.

The Padres also reportedly signed lefty Drew Pomeranz, who was lights out as a reliever for the Brewers down the stretch this year, on a free-agent contract.

Adding Pomeranz, 31, and Davies, 26, provides a veteran presence to a bullpen and rotation littered with some names that currently occupy top prospect lists. And Grisham, who filled in nicely for Christian Yelich but could’ve potentially been haunted by a game-changing error in the wild card game, bolsters the depth of a veteran outfield. Lauer was quickly replaced and didn’t do much to separate himself from the next wave of San Diego’s very talented pitching prospects.

But giving up on Urías so quickly means that the Padres are exiting the rebuild stage and fine-tuning their major league roster to win now. Which makes sense because a team 13 years removed from their last National League West title and hasn’t finished better than fourth in the division since 2014 should be moving with urgency.

San Diego graduated a number of the game’s best prospects the past few seasons. The most notable among them being Rookie of the Year finalist Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack, the fireballing right-hander who went from Class A Advanced to ace of the staff within a year. The Padres still entered the season with nearly a dozen players listed among the top prospects in baseball and traded for more at the deadline.

Urías, 22, was part of that group when the year began. A natural second baseman with experience at shortstop, he was considered among baseball’s best 30 prospects after he batted no lower than .296 in five minor league seasons.

But at this time last year, Urías entered his first offseason as a major leaguer whose debut didn’t come close to approaching his minor-league success. He compiled a .221 batting average and .649 OPS in 83 total games in the majors.

Urías was young enough and had the past success to earn a little extra patience. Especially from a team that’s building around young talent. The slow start was easy to understand, but it wasn’t the only thing working against him.

San Diego has already proved willing to buck convention to reward success and move on quickly from what’s not working.

The long-term, big-money deals with Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado were signs the Padres’ rebuild wouldn’t rely solely on prospects. They also showed a willingness to skip the line in development should a player earn their spot, considering neither Tatis nor Paddack played a game at Triple-A.

They still also have one of baseball’s best farm systems with a number of players in the pipeline that can play Urías’ position.

The two best, CJ Abrams and Xavier Edwards, are still a couple of years from the big leagues. Edwards made it to the California League and batted .322 overall in his first full season. Abrams, a regular shortstop and the sixth overall pick in June, batted .393 in his first 34 pro games.

There’s a fair chance the Padres look outside the organization to add the final piece to what could potentially be the best infield in baseball. Mike Moustakas, Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro, Jonathan Schoop and Howie Kendrick are veteran free agents that should be attainable on short-term deals. But the Padres proved they probably want more than a player that could bridge the gap to Edwards or Abrams.

The move to Milwaukee joins Urías with another former top second base prospect, Keston Hiura. Orlando Arcia’s disappointing offensive production —1.2 oWAR over the past four seasons — will likely place the versatile Urías at shortstop in Milwaukee.

Davies went 10-7 last year and led the Brewers, who did not produce a single pitcher that qualified for an ERA title, with 159 1/3 innings pitched. His 3.55 ERA was a career-best and the lowest among Milwaukee’s regular group of starters.

The Brewers don’t possess much pitching depth, and Davies’ third year of arbitration eligibility comes in 2021. Urías is the prize for Milwaukee in the deal, and acquiring him came at the price of arguably their most reliable starter.

There are a lot of moving pieces still left to pin down for a Brewers team that booked consecutive playoff appearances. San Diego earned their Thanksgiving relevance Wednesday, but there’s still a lot of work to do before they’ll be a topic of conversation around Halloween.

Ian Kinsler Jersey

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I’ve been writing for publication for over a decade. When I was in high school, I wrote an editorial that linked the country’s most highly paid public employee to a pattern of graft and fraud that ultimately led to his indictment. In college, I created and sold a profitable print magazine in Santa Barbara. Since then, I’ve interviewed Grammy nominated musicians, internationally exhibited visual artists, and prominent actors.

All of this is to say: I’ve never had an assignment harder than this one.

As a fan of the Padres, I’ve rarely seen a player do a worse job of ingratiating himself to a fanbase than Ian Kinsler has done this season. Arriving in town on a two-year contract signed this offseason, the second baseman brought with him a very accomplished resumé: he won a World Series last year with the Red Sox; he’s played in 4 All-Star games; he’s won 2 Gold Glove awards. But all of that meant very little once his first season as a Padre was underway.

Across March and April, Kinsler stumbled out of the gate with a putrid 11-for-91 stretch at the plate. He made a few critical errors on the base paths, and made a few defensive miscues that showed plenty of patina on his formerly golden glove. Worse, Kinsler’s presence—and possible cache with fellow former Texas Ranger employee AJ Preller—made it eminently clear that the organization had little plans to give prized prospect Luis Urias much in the way of playing time.

If the early-going was enough to make Kinsler persona non grata amongst the Friar Faithful, the events of May 16th more or less blacklisted him in the eyes of many.

That was…um, yeah. Regardless of whether you believe Kinsler’s explanation that his “F— you all” outburst was intended for his teammates, his “celebration” brought down an avalanche of criticism on him that, in this article, I will attempt to offset.

Does Kinsler’s early poor play and vulgar May outburst really entitle him to this kind of consensus hate?

That’s what I’ll attempt to examine here, by taking a look at what Kindler does supposedly offer to this team in a positive way.

Deep breath. Are you ready? Here are five reasons the Padres need Ian Kinsler.
This is how we do it?

In the Petco era, welcoming in formerly great players who have seemingly no respect for our organization or our fanbase is a time-honored tradition.

Orlando Hudson once called us “pathetic” via Twitter, and offended far worse with his play on the field.

Matt Kemp, arriving to the Padres as perhaps the most famous Dodger of his era, long elicited suspicion around San Diego that he was actually a covert Dodger agent assigned to sabotage us with his flatulent play in the outfield; these suspicions were deemed justified when, on May 17th, 2016, Kemp actually lowered his trousers and relieved himself on the left field grass of Petco park during a game against the Giants. My memory of the incident is hazy, but I can almost completely remember that it happened.

Doug Mirabelli, after being acquired by the Padres in the 2005 offseason, came to then-Padres GM Kevin Towers early in the 2006 season to request a trade back to his original team, the Boston Red Sox. Reportedly, he told Dave Roberts something to the effect that he, “wanted to get back to the big leagues”. To be fair, Towers was able to trade him back for Josh Bard and Cla Meredith, so it is reasonable to argue he actually did Padres fandom a major solid—besides, his removal from the team really helped to lower the team’s collected SPQ rating, which is a statistical measurement I just invented called Soul Patch Quotient. Thanks, Doug?

Any way you slice it, Kinsler’s double-bird outburst on May 16th is a familiar kind of fan outreach for our fanbase, which isn’t, you know, a “big league fanbase” anyway, right?
Power?

Ian Kinsler may be hitting .206 this season, but he has 7 home runs! Dingers!
Grit?

Everyone knows that what a team really needs at the keystone is a player who provides the one true intangible—Grit. In the rest of this piece I will capitalize the word Grit, because i Imagine that when Andy Green thinks of the word “grit”, it feels capitalized in his mind.

Kinsler’s got Grit. And sometimes, Grit means flipping off your teammates in plain view of young children who idolize you. This link goes to nu metal classic “Down With The Sickness”, which is the kind of music i imagine a Gritty dude like Ian enjoys. Hell yeah.
Leadership?

Ian Kinsler, it was said when he was signed, was brought in to provide leadership. Considering that half of the team is Latino, I’m sure they strongly identify with a white guy from Zona who once said the USA baseball team played the team the “right way”, as opposed to the Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic teams, though he offered he that comment wasn’t “taking anything away from them”. That’s nice to clarify.

He also called Rangers GM Jon Daniels a “sleaze ball” after being traded by Daniels to Detroit. Kinsler then wished that his former team went “0-162” in the season following his trade. That, folks, is leadership and investment personified.
Maybe Urias stinks?

A great deal of the consternation over Kinsler involves his blocking of second base prospect Luis Urias. The problem is: Urias can’t play. We know this because he received 29 at-bats at the big league level this season, and he has only hit .368/.461/.724 in Triple-A El Paso. Any prospect taking the job from a Gritty leader like Kinsler needs to hit at least .400.
Conclusion

Well ok, that was indeed a tough assignment, but I think I can be proud that anyone having read this should be roundly convinced that much of the Ian Kinsler bashing is totally unfounded.

In all seriousness though, I will admit that, though he is eminently unlikable from a personality standpoint, the dude has rebounded well with a .375 batting average in June on the heels of a .254 average in May. Maybe let’s put away the pitchforks and torches for a while?

Eric Hosmer Jersey

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Eric Hosmer will forever be remembered as one of the fundamental elements that came together to produce the Royals World Series teams of 2014 and 2015. He hit in the meat of the order every day and he played above average first base defense. He was a leader on those championship squads. Fans adored him. And, the Royals handled letting Hosmer leave in free agency as well as they possibly could have.

Hosmer’s final season for the Royals was very impressive. He played in every game. He hit 25 homers. His on base-plus-slugging percentage stayed up near .900 almost the entire season. He hit .318. And we still allowed him to walk in free agency. And, even after his excellent 2017 season, that was the proper move.

When Eric Hosmer came up, in 2011, to a big-league club that was losing 91 games and he hit for an OPS of .800, Royals fans were thrilled. He hit almost 50 extra-base hits in less than 130 games as a 21-year-old and finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. He also hit ground balls in half of his at-bats.

Eric Hosmer was comfortable as a big leaguer from the minute he stepped on the infield dirt at Kauffman Stadium. He would become the first baseman for a team that won back to back American League pennants. But, for those of us who thought his 21-year-old season was just a taste of what Hosmer would do, we would ultimately be disappointed. His rookie season will wind up being one of the better seasons of his career.

Some year to year fluctuations need be assumed when trying to forecast offensive numbers for Eric Hosmer. His batting average has been as low as .232 and as high as .318. But a reasonable expectation for a Hosmer season is probably hitting .280 with 20 homers and an OPS around .750. And those are not terrible numbers. They are, however, imminently replaceable for a first baseman.

Ryan O’Hearn came out of the gate in his first season mashing everything and then he came crashing back to Earth this year. But he and Hosmer have remarkably similar numbers over their last 150 games. Compare the slashes of .265/.310/.425/.735 and .216/.304/.440/.744. One guy gets a lot more base hits while the other one walks more and hits more extra-base hits. Their contribution is ultimately comparable. And neither one of those are the numbers of a guy you want playing first base every game.

I do not write this to bash Eric Hosmer, he will always be special to those of us fans to whom he finally helped bring another title. And it is not to celebrate the fact that the Padres got the raw end of that deal. It is to point out that, in the Hosmer decision, the Royals did the right thing. By letting Hosmer go, the Royals did not let sentiment or nostalgia drive their decision-making. We need to keep that in mind when making decisions now.

When we want to bring back Alex Gordon for one more year. Or have Salvador Perez move to first base. Or believing our young pitchers will all develop and be ready to contribute next season. We need to ask ourselves the tough questions. Can Alex still hit well enough play left fielder every day?

Ty France Jersey

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SAN DIEGO — Even by typical Pacific Coast League standards, the offensive environment on the circuit was positively bonkers this season. However, the friendly hitting environment shouldn’t diminish what El Paso infielder and now big-league graduate Ty France accomplished in 2019.

The 2015 34th-round pick hit an absurd .399/.447/.770 this season, with 27 homers and a wRC+ of 198, which would have led the PCL if he had enough at-bats to qualify among the league leaders. His 1.247 OPS tied for the league lead with Brewers outfielder Trent Grisham and was slightly ahead of Dodgers’ super-prospect Gavin Lux.

“Predictions are hard, and most of the time I get them wrong, so let me brag about this one — I predicted in a March preseason show that Ty would win PCL MVP and he did,” said Chihuahuas broadcaster Tim Hagerty.

Ty France hit .399 in El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

In addition to winning the MVP in the Pacific Coast League, Ty France is our MadFriars Player of the Year, thanks to an offensive campaign in which France took his game to new heights.

“For me, it was going out every day at the plate and trying to get a good pitch to hit,” said France prior to the Padres’ final home game of 2019. “I put in a lot of work in the off-season, [really] working on the strength and conditioning part. The power numbers came [as a result]. It was a lot of fun to go out there and play.”

France’s power materialized with the Chihuahuas and he reached his career-high in homers, despite amassing less than 400 plate appearances in Triple-A. The prodigious power came with France lowering his strikeout rate to 14% while maintaining a solid 8.6% walk rate. France attributes the breakout to a more aggressive approach at the plate.

“[Decreasing my strikeouts] was partially because of the off-season work I put in and I think I was just a little more aggressive. I wasn’t afraid to strikeout and I was swinging more. And in Triple-A, the pitchers make a couple of more mistakes than they do [in the big leagues]. I was able to put the ball in play.”

Coming into the year, France was not necessarily looking to lead the league in many offensive categories, but he set goals for himself and reevaluated those goals every week and going into each new month.

“You have to hold yourself to some pretty high standards to play this game. You never go out and say ‘okay, I want to hit .200 this year.’ For me, going to [El Paso last year], I think I hit .290 (he hit .287). This year, the goal was to hit .300 and put in the work each day. When I [achieved the goal], I set new goals.”

France’s play earned the former 34th-round pick a trip to San Diego. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

France’s breakout resulted in a promotion to San Diego, where he played third base nearly every day after phenom shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit the shelf with a hamstring issue. France struggled in first stint in the big leagues, hitting just .235/.290/.357 in 108 plate appearances before being optioned back to El Paso. France didn’t view the demotion as something negative.

“I learned how good guys are up here. You are facing the best-of-the-best up here and I didn’t look at going back down as a demotion. I looked at it as [an opportunity] to get more reps. I talked to Andy [Green] before I left and he said ‘you didn’t do anything wrong, you held your own and did a good job here; just go down and get reps.’ That’s what I treated it as.”

In France’s return to El Paso, the infielder hit .392/.471/.733 with 18 homers in 57 games. His offensive production led to his selection to the Triple-A All-Star Game, the third straight season that France made a mid-season All-Star game. France homered in the game and won the top star award for the PCL squad.

As France’s offensive game shined, he also learned a new position on the fly. With the corner infield positions locked up in San Diego for the foreseeable future, France started to get reps at second base as a means to get his powerful bat in the lineup in San Diego. Prior to this season, France had never played second base at any level.

“[France] could be more of an emergency guy at second base, or a double switch,” said El Paso manager Edwin Rodriguez in an interview with us in July. “Ty is really good because he can play a lot of different positions and [is willing] do anything to try to help the team.”

Ty France saw action at first, second and third base this season. Photo: Jorge Salgado.

“Everyday at [second base] is definitely getting easier,” said France. “It’s like riding a bike; you need to start with the training wheels and then go from there. Each day, I feel like I have gotten a little better. [Padres assistant hitting and infield coach] Damian Easley and these guys are incredible to work with. They do a great job — it’s definitely helped my game and it has taken it to another level.

When Tatis Jr. returned to the injured list in August, France rejoined the big league club for the remainder of the season. France’s numbers (.233/.298/.453) weren’t outstanding down the stretch but he did have a few big moments. He homered twice in a game against San Francisco and finished the season with a multi-hit game in the finale. The slugging infielder was much more comfortable at the plate in his second stint with the Padres.

“For me, the first go-around was the rookie jitters, the first-time jitters and the second time up, I have been a lot more comfortable. [I’ve] been a lot more relaxed at the plate and I’ve been able to be more of myself.”

France should go into next spring with a chance to win an everyday job at second base, or perhaps fill in all over the infield as a utility slugger. For him, the recognition he has received from many publications has helped give him validation heading into next season.

“It’s been pretty fun and incredible journey. The Padres have been incredible to me my entire career. They made it clear that from the time I signed that if you went out and put up the numbers, you’d get rewarded and that’s exactly what they did.”

Luis Torrens Jersey

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As it stands now, Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejía both figure to be catching for the Padres in 2019.

That fact also sets up a steady progression for the next three catchers in the Padres’ system — Austin Allen, Luis Torrens and Luis Campusano.

The 24-year-old Allen figures to start the 2019 season at Triple-A El Paso after being a 2018 post-season All-Star in the Double-A Texas League. Torrens, 25, figures to advance to Double-A Amarillo after spending 2018 with Advanced Single-A Lake Elsinore. And Campusano, 20, will likely be at Lake Elsinore next season.

Campusano (№24) and Allen (№25) are both ranked among the Padres’ Top-30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. Torrens would likely be on that list had he not spent the 2017 season on the Padres Major League roster as a Rule 5 draft pick.

Allen, Torrens and Campusano all hit .280 or better last season with an OPS over .700.

Here’s a # PadresOnDeck look at the three catchers in the upper echelons of the Padres’ minor league system.

— Austin Allen was recently added to the Padres’ 40-man roster. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound left-handed hitter was the Padres’ fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft pick out of the Florida Institute of Technology.

Allen has spent a full season with Single-A Fort Wayne, Advanced Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio in his steady climb up the Padres’ system. He is a two-time Padres’ organization All-Star and has never hit below .283 with an on-base percentage below .351 in any or his three full minor league seasons.

He played 119 games with San Antonio last season and hit .290 with a .351 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging percentage for a .857 OPS. Allen had 31 doubles and 22 homers (for a second straight season) with 59 runs scored and 56 RBIs In 451 at-bats. Allen drew 37 walks.

Allen completed 2018 by hitting .263 with a .358 on-base percentage and a .779 OPS. He had three doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs and 10 runs scored in 15 games with the AFL Peoria Javelinas.

— Luis Torrens came to the Padres through the 2016 Rule 5 draft from the Yankees’ organization. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound right-handed hitter hit .163 with a .243 on-base percentage in 135 plate appearances for the Padres in the 2017 season.

The native of Venezuela returned to the minor leagues in 2018 and spent the entire season with Lake Elsinore. He hit .280 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage for a .727 OPS. He played 122 games with 36 doubles, three triples and six homers for 62 runs scored and 73 RBIs in 479 at-bats. Torrens drew 26 walks and struck out only 77 times.

Torrens is currently playing with Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. He is hitting .366 with four doubles and six RBIs in 41 at-bats over his first 13 games. He has a .463 slugging percentage for a .829 OPS.

— Luis Campusano was the Padres’ second-round pick (39th overall selection) in the 2017 Draft out of Cross Creek High in Augusta, Ga. The 6-foot, 195-pound left-handed hitter was named the best defensive catcher in the Padres’ minor league system by Baseball America magazine following his 2017 debut in the Arizona Rookie League.

After hitting .269 in his first professional summer, Campusano was batting .288 after 70 games with Fort Wayne last summer when his 2018 season was ended by professional baseball’s concussion protocol.

In 260 at-bats with the TinCaps, Campusano had 11 doubles, three homers, 40 RBIs and 26 RBIs. He had a .345 on-base percentage and a .365 slugging percentage for a .710 OPS. Campusano drew 19 walks in 2018 while striking out only 43 times.

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We’re heading into the stretch run of the baseball season and the San Diego Padres are 8 ½ games off the pace for a wildcard berth. Thus, it feels like time is running out for the Padres to make the playoffs.

However, the month of September does offer them ample time to decide if Francisco Mejia is their long-term answer at the catcher position.

The jury is still out on Mejia behind the plate as he has some rough edges to his defensive game that need to be smoothed out before being considered an everyday catcher. But decisions have to be made in what direction the Padres go to improve the roster this winter and Mejia’s late-season audition will clarify the need to acquire another catcher.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller must determine if his prized prospect has shown any progress defensively because his bat is more than major league ready.

Ideally, the San Diego Padres would love for Mejia’s defensive prowess to equal his offensive production, but a more realistic goal is having him become a better all-around catcher. This allows the Friars to start him in 140 games next season with no questions asked.

Austin Allen Jersey

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What to do with Austin Allen? The hot-hitting San Diego Padres catching prospect out of Florida Tech is coming off back-to-back big seasons at the plate, a successful Arizona Fall League campaign, and is the 25th-ranked prospect in what many consider to be the top farm system in baseball. Oh yeah, he isn’t even the top-ranked catching prospect in the Padres sytem.

With the Arizona Fall League completed, MLB Pipeline has released a few different pieces looking at some of the top performances and most interesting numbers from the 2018 season, culminating in their All-AFL Team. Receiving the nod at catcher is San Diego’s own, Austin Allen.

Allen and the Peoria Javelinas captured the AFL title a few days ago (with the help from fellow Padres prospects Miguel Diaz, Buddy Reed, and Hudson Potts), with Allen finishing the season with a .263 average, two home runs, and two doubles in 15 games. His biggest contribution at the plate came in the form of his ability to get on base, ending the season with a .358 on-base percentage.

The catching prospect was also included in Mike Rosenbaum’s piece looking at some of the top Statcast data from the AFL (with the caveat that only one of the six AFL fields is equipped with Statcast). Still, Allen recorded the ninth-hardest exit-velocity on a 112.5 mph lineout. Daniel Johnson of the Nationals and Peter Alonso of the Mets topped this list with 116.4 and 116.3 mph exit-velocities, respectively.
What’s next for San Diego Padres catching prospect Austin Allen?

Allen is coming off a 2018 regular season in which he tied his career-high for home runs (22) and doubles (31), recording those numbers in back-to-back seasons with the Lake Elsinore Storm and San Antonio Missions.

In 12 fewer at-bats in Double-A, Allen stuck out 12 fewer times and recorded the same number of hits as he did the previous season in High-A, 131. He upped his batting average to .290 (up seven points) and his OPS to .857 (up eight points).

As expected, the Padres made room to protect Allen and place him on the 40-man roster, ahead of next month’s Rule-5 draft. Now the question becomes, what does Allen’s future hold as a member of the Padres?

As of right now, the organization appears to be content in going into 2019 with Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia behind the plate, leaving no playing time for Allen there. He did play some first base last season in Double-A, but that position is blocked for the foreseeable future, thanks to Eric Hosmer. But Allen doesn’t want to move from behind the plate and he may not have to.
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There isn’t a question as to whether or not Allen can hit a baseball. He can and he does it very well and very hard. The questions have surrounded his defensive abilities. As San Diego Union-Tribune Padres beat writer Kevin Acee pointed out last month in his feature on Allen, the catching prospect has continued to make positive strides in his defensive development and the organization is bullish on his ability to play the position at the major league level.

How many teams can say they have three catchers of the quality the Padres currently possess? As Acee discusses in his latest, AJ Preller doesn’t have much desire to trade away minor league talent that could potentially develop into major league production. In other words, Hedges gets one more chance to show he can hit the ball consistently, Mejia gets a full season to develop in the bigs, and Austin Allen mashes baseballs in El Paso until August/September. Based on current trade discussions and rumors swirling around Padres’ camp, I don’t see Allen going anywhere. However, a big season in AAA could lead to a much different story as the 2019 trade deadline approaches.

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El periodista Gerardo Reyes Copello es el director y fundador del equipo de Univision Investiga del departamento de Noticias de la Cadena Univision. Durante su trayectoria ha logrado los mayores reconocimientos tanto como periodista de prensa como en el medio televisivo y también como escritor.

A lo largo de su carrera ha cubierto temas diversos como el narcotráfico o las negligencias y los fraudes médicos, y su labor investigativa ha destapado numerosos escándalos financieros y de corrupción en América Latina.

Bajo su dirección la unidad de investigación de Univision ha recibido numerosos e importantes reconocimientos. El especial ‘Rápido y Furioso, armando al enemigo’ que Reyes dirigió en 2012 y en el cual también ejerció de reportero fue galardonado con el prestigioso Peabody Award a la mejor investigación. Este trabajo también fue reconocido por la principal asociación de periodistas de investigación de Estados Unidos, IRE, que le entrego al mejor reportaje televisivo de larga duración. Esta investigación también recibió un National Headliner Award. Anteriormente, en 2011, Reyes había dirigido ‘La Amenaza Iraní’, a raíz del cual se generó una crisis que acabó con la destitución de la cónsul de Venezuela en Miami, Livia Acosta. Ademas de tener una gran repercusión política la investigación recibió un Telly Award. En 2013 Univision Investiga presento ‘El Chapo Guzman, el eterno fugitivo’ con un gran éxito de público y crítica. Reyes no solo dirigió la investigación desde el primer día, sino que además fue uno de los pocos periodistas que logro reportar desde Badiraguato, municipio donde nació el narco, antes de su captura. El especial, que se emitió 3 meses antes de la captura del narcotraficante, recibió un Emmy a la mejor investigación que Gerardo Reyes recibió en Nueva York el 30 de septiembre de 2014.

Antes de recalar en Univision, Reyes había realizado extensas y exitosas investigaciones especializándose en temas de corrupción por los cuales habia recibido premios como el María Moors Cabot de la Universidad de Columbia en 2004.

Entre sus éxitos profesionales formó parte del equipo del diario The Miami Herald que ganó el premio Pulitzer en 1999 por la serie Dirty Votes, The Race for Miami Mayor.

Gerardo Reyes comenzó su carrera periodística en 1980 en el diario El Tiempo de Colombia como integrante de una de las primeras unidades investigativas del hemisferio. Desde finales de los 80 trabajó en los diarios El Nuevo Herald y The Miami Herald.

Investigador y autor

Reyes es autor de varios libros, entre ellos: “Don Julio Mario”, biografía no autorizada del hombre más influyente de Colombia y “Nuestro Hombre en la DEA” (Premio de Periodismo Planeta en 2007), en el cual narra la doble vida de Baruch Vega, un fotógrafo de hermosas modelos que negociaba la libertad de narcotraficantes en Estados Unidos.

Es autor además del libro “Made in Miami”, una compilación de sus mejores crónicas y reportajes, y es coautor del libro “Los dueños de América Latina”.

En el ámbito más académico, Reyes también es reconocido por su obra “Periodismo de Investigación”, la primera guía sistemática en español de los métodos del periodismo de investigación.

Gerardo Reyes también fue argumentista para series de televisión ‘La Mariposa’ o alias el ‘Mexicano’.

Durante años, Reyes fue también asesor editorial de las revistas Semana, Poder y Gatopardo.