The Padres have announced that eight prospects will play in the Arizona Fall League, which starts play on October 9th. The Arizona Fall League is a collection of some of the top talent in the minors, and the Padres are sending over some of their top prospects.
The list of the Padres farmhands that will attend includes: SP’s Casey Kelly,and Robbie Erlin, RP’s Matt Stites and Kevin Quackenbush, INF’s Jeudy Valdez, Nathan Freiman, and Cory Spangenberg as well as top OF prospect Rymer Liriano.
The list features some interesting names, especially with Kelly and Erlin. Kelly was brilliant in his Major League debut, but because of injuries, Kelly has thrown only 43.2 innings between his stints in the Minors and the Majors. Kelly threw 142.1 innings for San Antonio in 2011.
Erlin too, has dealt with the injury bug. Erlin came into the season as one of the system’s top prospects, but injuries have ruined his 2012 campaign. Still, he has put up impressive numbers for AA San Antonio, and could be in the mix for a rotation spot for the Padres in 2013.
Stites and Quackenbush are two relievers in the lower minors who have put up ridiculous numbers. Quackenbush has been one of the best closers in all of Minor League Baseball. In 2012, Quackenbush has 27 saves, to go with a microscopic ERA of 0.94. In fact, in two professional seasons, Quackenbush has a career ERA of 0.81 in nearly 100 career innings. Stites has spent the 2012 season with Low-A Fort Wayne Tincaps, posting 0.78 ERA in 46 innings.
Freiman and Valdez have spent the year at AA, and have had very different seasons. Freiman has had a monster year for the Missions, hitting .293, with 23 homers and 102 RBI’s. He plays first base, and is certainly hard to miss as he is 6’7. Valdez, who is currently on the Padres 40-man roster has had a miserable season. He is hitting just .223 for AA San Antonio. Perhaps a strong AFL season will improve his stock. Spangenberg has also had a bit of a disappointing campaign, as he is hitting just .272 for Lake Elsinore.
Rymer Liriano has spend 2012 with High-A Lake Elsinore and AA San Antonio. Between both levels, he has hit .281 with 8 HR’s and 61 RBI’s.
The championship game takes place on November 17th.