The San Diego Padres will begin play Saturday with a record of 46-56, which leaves them 10.5 games back of the first-place San Francisco Giants. With a historically bad offense, and key players like Huston Street and Chase Headley being dealt for young talent, it’s safe to say the Padres have set their sights on 2015 and beyond.
With that, it’s time for San Diego to discern who is a part of the future, and who is taking up space.
Rymer Liriano, 23, projects to be a large part of the future. The Dominican Republic native has called the Padres organization home since he was 18 and has steadily progressed through the San Diego system despite being sidelined all of 2013 following Tommy John surgery.
Over the span of six seasons, Liriano has posted a .270/.338/.424 slash line, while blasting 54 HRs and driving in 304 runs. He began 2014 at Double-A San Antonio, and just this week was promoted to Triple-A El Paso, where he is hitting .545 (6-11) through his first three games.
At 6-feet, 230 lbs., Liriano has an impressive build for an outfielder. He has all five tools at his disposal, and a very high ceiling. According to MLB.com, he is San Diego’s sixth best prospect and they note his “good raw power.”
At age 23, and after missing 2013 in its entirety, Liriano still has plenty of development ahead of him. With the big league club looking toward the future, why not catch a glimpse of it now?
By calling up Liriano, the Padres would affectively give the kid a taste of the show while also allowing him to see Major League pitching, and to collect valuable big league knowledge from veteran players.
In a lost season, the Padres may as well apportion valuable at-bats, experience, and playing time to players like Liriano, and possibly Austin Hedges—the Padres top prospect—instead of aging players like Chris Denorfia and Carlos Quentin who almost certainly will not be apart of the club’s future.