30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, July 17, 2015

Digging For Gold

It's Friday afternoon and after a long week in the classroom with my fifth graders, you'd think that I'd be either headed out for a night on the town or kicking back with a cold beverage watching some baseball.

But that's not the case.  Because today, I'm going to do something that's outside of the norm for me.  I'm going to sit down and for the first time in my life... I'm going to do a little prospecting and I owe it all to my buddy and fellow San Diego Padres fan, Zach over at The Underdog Card Collector.

He sent me a package about a month ago loaded with a bunch of 2015 Bowman and Bowman Chrome baseball cards featuring Padres and former Padres prospects.

Now I can't tell you the last time I purchased a pack of Bowman baseball cards.  I've picked up a complete set here and there and a few singles over the years.  But overall, I typically stay away from this product line for one reason:  I don't know who these guys are.

However... tonight that's going to change, because I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone.

Tonight... I become the student.  And thanks to Baseball Reference, MLB Pipeline, Minor League Ball, and of course Wikipedia... I'm finally going to be able to talk about some current and former Padres prospects.

Let's start with Rymer Liriano:

I'm actually surprised that I recognize Liriano's name.  I'm not exactly sure how or why, but I've heard of him.  He's currently the San Diego Padres #2 top prospect who's playing in AAA El Paso.  Last August, he was called up by the Padres (maybe that's why I recognize his hame) and played in thirty-eight games.  According to MLB Pipeline, he's a solid runner who's has a shot at being a 20-20 player if he gets to play at PETCO on a regular basis.

The Padres' 6th top prospect is Fernando Perez:

Perez is an infielder currently playing at Lake Elsinore, the Padres' Class A farm team.  According to Minor League Ball, he has some power in his bat, but his limited range in the field might move him to first base or the outfield.  Before today... I had never heard of him.

Another guy in the Padres' farm system with power is Gabriel Quintana:

He's their 17th top prospect and is a teammate of Perez at Lake Elsinore.  According to MLB Pipeline, he has above average power, but needs to adopt a more disciplined approach at the plate.  It's safe to assume that I didn't recognize the name of the #17 prospect in the organization.  Who do you think I am?  Zippy Zappy?  FYI: I kneel before Kenny, because this guy knows his stuff when it comes to his team's prospects.

The final Padres' prospect Zach sent me is Kyle Lloyd:

Wanna guess where he's playing?  If you said Lake Elsinore... then give yourself a nice pat on the back.  I can't find a lot on Mr. Lloyd, but I did read that he's a split-finger specialist over on Scout.com.  I'm curious... have you ever heard of Mr. Lloyd?

Zach also sent me a bunch of former San Diego Padres... including the Atlanta Braves' #2 top prospect... Matt Wisler:

I'm embarrassed to admit this... but this is only the second guy I recognize.  He was part of the huge trade that brought Craig Kimbrel to San Diego a few months back.  Wisler is currently a part of the Braves' 40-man roster with a 3-1 record and a respectable ERA of 3.10.  I vaguely remember his name, but honestly couldn't tell you who he played for.

Next up is the 5th top prospect in the Washington Nationals organization:

Joe Ross is killing it this year.  He was called up to fill in for Stephen Strasburg earlier in the year and shined.  He was sent back down to their Triple-A affiliate, where he's continues to dominate.  My guess is barring any major injuries, he'll be back in the Majors... sooner than later.  How have I not heard of this guy?  Well thanks to Zach... I know who he is now.

Last, but not least is the Tampa Bay Rays' #22 top prospect:

Bauers went to high school less than two miles from my brother's house... but alas... I've never heard of this guy either.  Right now he's in Montgomery, Alabama playing for the Biscuits (the Ray's Double-A affiliate).  He's currently hitting .412 in his last 10 games with 14 hits and 5 RBI's.

If I were to guess, I'd say this guy has a bright future in the MLB.  Then again... this is my first attempt at prospecting.  Batting .412 in Double-A might not be as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be.

Okay Zippy... and any of you other veteran prospectors...

What's your take on these guys?  Any of them have the potential to be MLB superstars?

Regardless... Zach added a bunch of San Diego Padres cards that I didn't previously have to my collection.  Thanks Zach!

Happy Friday and sayonara!


  1. "FYI: I kneel before Kenny, because this guy knows his stuff when it comes to his team's prospects."

    Thanks Fuji. Although to be honest I don't really know a whole lot. All I know is what scouts, other fans and what the players themselves are saying.

    As for whether or not these guys have potential to be superstars, I'm not entirely sure. The reality is that very few prospects are "superstar" caliber players. This is all just based on bits and pieces I've heard throughout the but I do know people who think very highly of Joe Ross and think he might be able to fill the void when Doug Fister or Jordan Zimmerman (or both?!) leave via free agency next year. Will he be a superstar? Probably not, but he could be a serviceable everyday starter and there's value in that. Wisler is guy I'm not sure if people like him or think he's not as good as everyone thinks. For whatever it's worth he's going to the Braves who've assembled a bunch of pitching prospects, and have a track record of having great young pitchers requiring Tommy John surgery. Just some food for thought.
    Perez, utility guy maybe? Everybody else, fringe prospects?

    Yeah, non-Yankees minor leaguers aren't my strong suit, sorry buddy. And I did try to create a post dedicated to how the Athletics system is after you commented on my blog, but it was tough (so many drafts posts!). Although the main take away was that the A's gutted the system in trades and have sort of restocked it with this year's draft. Sort of.

  2. I do my form of prospecting, I pick up at least one rookie of everyone. Not many care about base rookies anymore, well, I do. I find it's important not to emphasize on one player or another or you may find yourself in the hole. So many promising players turn out to be poops. Other players you never heard of turn out to be stars. You have to know the good balance. I have never found myself on the wrong end the way I do it. And if i get lucky and pull an auto of a top rookie, I just keep it. Actually its that way with any rookie. Like last year with CJ Anderson of the Broncos, I pulled a Select auto of him. I didnt know him and I don't think many did. I held the auto, he turned out to be a pretty good player and now I have him.

    Also, I am excited to know that about Liriano, just pulled his Stadium Club auto :)

  3. Back maybe 10+ years ago I probably would've been familiar with more of these guys, but right now I only know Liriano, Ross and Whisler.

    I started to wonder how so many of this year's Bowman Padres are already in other organizations, and then I remembered... Oh, yeah. A.J. Preller and his "extreme makeover".

    1. (sigh) It's early in the morning, I'm not using my words. Let's try that again....

      "Back maybe 10+ years ago I kept up on prospects enough to at least recognize the names of many players in the Top 10 for every team, but due to limitations on my free time, that's no longer the case".

  4. I keep decently close tabs on the Padres prospects. I knew all the guys that were traded this offseason, at least. I think Joe Ross has the most potential out of this bunch, but Trea Turner (who was also dealt to Washington in the deal that brought the Padres Wil Myers) will be the best of the bunch. I'm a big Gabriel Quintana fan, I saw him play in Lake Elsinore last year, and he hit a home run and I got an autographed, broken bat of his from the team store. Seems like a longshot to make it because he K's so much, but he does have power. I can see Rymer getting called up near the end of this season, especially if the Padres make any trades involving Justin Upton or Will Venable, which appears likely. I've never heard of Kyle Lloyd.

    I like keeping tabs on the minors guys because I'm more likely to see them in person than the Padres. The San Antonio Missions (SD's AA affiliate) are a two hour drive from me, and the El Paso Chihuahuas (SD's AAA affiliate) play games against the Round Rock Express (Rangers AAA affiliate), which is about 45 mins from my house. The Padres rarely play the Rangers in Arlington, which is about 2.5/3 hrs away from where I live. Sorry for the geography lesson.

  5. Zippy - When it comes to "prospecting" you're the guy I turn to... even if they're not in the Yankees system. Did you have to remind me of the A's and their "gutted" farm system? ;)

    SCC - It's good to know that there's another "prospecting" source out there for me to contact. I enjoy rookie cards... even though they've sort of lost their appeal in recent years. I definitely collect A's and Padres rookie cards... and I'm still working on completing my 80's rookie card collection.

    Shlabotnik - No judgement here. #1: I'm obviously a preschooler when it comes to prospecting. #2: I'm still learning to use my words.

    Marcus - Great info buddy. As for geography... it was one of my favorite subjects in school. Feel free to give me lessons anytime you want.