MLB San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres Top 10 Prospects For 2013

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2013 Top 10 Prospects For The San Diego Padres

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are a team on the rise. With new ownership, comes an influx of money. You already see the signs of that with extensions given to slugger Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street. The team was on the periphery of contention last year and had a stronger second half than you think. They went 42-33 after the All-Star Break.

This was a team decimated by injuries to their pitching staff, with guys like Cory Lubeke and Tim Stauffer developing arm problems and the team was still able to compete in the division. If this team is going to win, they are going to due to their farm system, which is ranked as a top five in all of baseball. You've already start to see some of the fruits of that via trade with Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso being cornerstones for the team for the future and guys like Chase Headley who was already on the team.

The team will have money, even though they won't be able to spend like the Los Angeles Dodgers or even the San Francisco Giants. With the fences being moved in, the park may play more friendly to hitters, which could help their prospects when they come up to big league level and may even attract a couple of free agents.

The Padres may be able to tap into this system next year for a couple of players and still have a top system. That's how deep they are. Without further ado, let's take a look at the top ten.

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#10- RHP Kevius Sampson

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The former fourth round pick has a power arm. When you strike out a batter per inning in AA it's pretty good. He's got a fastball and a changeup, but his curve needs some more development. Sampson went 8-11 with an ERA of 5.00 in AA last season, after going 12-3 with a 2.90 ERA in high A in 2011. If Sampson doesn't develop a third pitch, he might find himself as a future power arm in the Padres' bullpen. Look for him to stay in AA and continue to work on that pitch in 2013, and if he doesn't, the organization may look to convert him to the bullpen sooner rather than later.

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#9- RHP Brad Boxberger

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Boxberger was the other piece acquired in the Mat Latos deal with Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal. Boxberger pitched well in 24 games with the Padres last season and could definitely contend for a spot on the opening day roster in 2013. Boxberger was a starter after he was drafted by the Reds, but became a reliever in 2011, saving 11 games between AA and AAA. Boxberger struck out almost 13 batters per nine in 2012 in the minors and almost 11 at the major league level. Look for him to form a nice combo with Huston Street at the back end of the Padre bullpen this year.

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#8- RHP Adys Portillo

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Portillo is another one of the power arms in the organization. Portillo made the jump to AA after spending three years in A ball. He is just 20 years old. Portillo had a 1.87 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He was moved to AA where he struggled in eight starts. He gave up 33 runs in 35 innings. Look for him to improve on those numbers and be at AA again. He's still a couple of years away from making an impact at the major league level.

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#7- LHP Robbie Erlin

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Can you tell this organization has some good arms yet? Erlin is one of them and he was acquired with Joe Wieland for Mike Adams. Erlin missed three months due to some tendinitis, but came back and continued to put up good numbers. He doesn't throw that hard, however, he still posted a 11.9 K/9 ratio at two different levels last year. Expect him to be at AA and if all goes well, maybe a candidate for a September call-up in 2013.

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#6- 2B Cory Spangenberg

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have some hitters in the system too, and Spangenberg is an example of that. The 21 year old was the Padres first round pick back in 2011. He hit .271 at high A last year, however, he did have a .324 on base percentage. He also stole 27 bases and stole 25 the year before that. He certainly is the Padres future second baseman, however, he is still a couple of years away.

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#5- C Austin Hedges

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Hedges is a SoCal kid who the Padres gave a nice bonus to to get him out of going to college. He probably needs to work on his eye a little bit. He only walked 23 times in 373 plate appearances. He has some pop though. 38 of 94 hits were for extra bases, including 10 home runs. There is some questions about his defense, however, catchers are hard to come by, so he has a lot of value.

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#4- LHP Max Fried

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fried was the top high school pitcher taken in 2012 draft. He tops out already at 94 MPH with his fastball, so as he gets bigger, there is a chance he throws even harder. Fried pitched in rookie ball this year with a little bit of success. He has a lot of upside, but don't expect to see him in the show for the next couple of years. Fried has three quality pitches and may even develop a fourth.

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#3- RHP Casey Kelly

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly was one of the prized prospects the Padres received in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with the Boston Red Sox. Kelly is a very athletic pithcer, who also was a good hitter in high school. After battling through an in injury last year, Kelly came up to majors and went 2-3 with an ERA over six in six starts. He had never pitched above AA until last season. If the Padres have their way, Kelly will probably be in AAA to start 2013, but look for him to be in the big leagues at some point during the year.

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#2- 3B Jedd Gyorko

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

If the Padres want to trade Chase Headley at any point soon, they have a replacement for him already in the system in Gyorko. Gyorko can also play second base, so there's an option for the Padres to have both him and Headley. Gyorko at AA and AAA last season, hit .311 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI. He hit .328 in AAA. He also had a combined .921 OPS. Gyorko will probably be seen in Petco at some point in 2013, maybe even at second.

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#1- OF Rymer Liriano

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Liriano is your classic, five tool outfielder. Liriano just reached AA as a 21 year old. Last year at high A and AA, he hit .280 with a .350 OBP. He also stole 32 bases. He stole 66 back in 2011. He only had eight home runs, however he had 32 doubles, so as gets bigger those doubles may just turn into homers. Liriano might be an option in center and right field for the Padres moving forward, and if he continues to hit, he may be an option at some point in 2013, especially after being put on the 40 man active roster.

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