Sunday, May 4, 2014

Padres Minor League Players Of The Month

The first month of the 2014 baseball season has already come and gone. Hard to believe, isn't it. While the major league Padres have not played up to expectations, there are many young players who have performed quite well in 2014. There is plenty of reason for optimism for the Padres of the future. For each affiliate, I chose a position player and pitcher who stood out from his peers. Here are my Padres Minor League Players of the Month for April: 

Fort Wayne OF Franmil Reyes: Reyes is just 18-years-old, but he is a behemoth of a man. He stands at 6'5 and weighs about 240 lbs. He resembles a Chargers TE, but he could be a future Padres outfielder. For the month of April, Reyes hit .300, with four homers and 15 RBI's, with a .873 OPS. He went through a stretch in Apri where he had 18 hits in 36 at-bats. Reyes is a product of the Padres facility in the Dominican Republic. 3B Fernando Perez also drew consideration (.326 average in April). 

Fort Wayne RP Nick Mutz: Mutz, 23, is in fourth professional season (drafted by the Angels). He spent part of 2013 pitching in an independent league, before pitching in three games with the Eugene Emeralds. Mutz is a reliever, who has a perfect 0.00 ERA in 14.1 innings for Fort Wayne. Mutz has finished nine games, and features a mid-90's fastball. 

Lake Elsinore OF Alberth Martinez: This was a really hard decision, as 2013 first-rounder Hunter Renfroe has displayed a ton of power, and OF Corey Adamson has also had a good start. However, the Venezuelan-born Martinez has done a tremendous job out of the lead-off spot for the Storm. For the month of April, Martinez posted a triple-slash line of .306/.365/.468, with three homers and 17 RBI's, while patrolling center in the spacious Pete Lehr Field. 

Lake Elsinore P Joe Ross: Ross is best known as Tyson's brother, but he is establishing himself as an important piece of the Padres' future. In April, Ross went 2-2, with a 1.95 ERA in six starts. Ross has also displayed excellent command, striking out 31, while walking just seven in 32.1 innings. Ross probably won't be in Riverside County much longer. 

San Antonio SS Jace Peterson: Sure, Peterson is currently starting games for the big-league Padres, but he started the season with the Missions. Peterson looked outstanding for San Antonio, posting a .386 on-base percentage, while hitting out of the three-hole for San Antonio. The Missions have had difficulty scoring runs, but Peterson was clearly the team's best player. 

San Antonio P Matt Wisler: Wisler will make his first start for AAA El Paso Monday, but looked impressive for San Antonio in the season's first month. Wisler, who was piggy-backed with Jesse Hahn to start the year, posted a 1-0 record, with a 2.10 ERA in 30 innings. Wisler struck out 35 batters, while only walking six. Quite impressive. Former big leaguer Josh Geer also drew consideration. 

El Paso 1B Kyle Blanks: Blanks' name is quite familiar to any Padres fan, as he has played 234 games over the last five seasons for the Padres. Exiled to West Texas to start the season, all Blanks has done is mash AAA pitching. In April, Blanks posted an OPS of 1.040, with seven homers and 16 RBI's. Blanks has shown that he does still have the power that Padres fans have hoped for. Journeyman INF Brooks Conrad also hit well in April for El Paso. 

El Paso P Jason Lane: Lane, a former Padres outfielder, has reinvented himself as a left-handed starting pitcher. Lane was outstanding in April, going 2-2, with a 2.32 ERA in five starts. While he doesn't miss a lot of bats ( nine strikeouts in 31 April innings) Lane has still gotten it done for the Chihuahua's. 

The Padres system is packed with lots of intriguing guys, who should make an impact at the big-league level in the near future. Congratulations to all of the winners! 

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