Since we are on the topic of Rule 5 draft picks, let’s take a look at Luis Torrens. He is the other position player selected in the Rule 5 draft from this past off-season. Torrens has stepped up to plate a total of just 84 times this season. He’s struggling, with a batting average of .197, but has an on-base percentage of .265. He’s cranked out three doubles and drawn six walks compared to 18 strikeouts.
Torrens has struggled at the plate so far this season, but it’s been behind the plate where he’s had the most success. In his limited amount of starts, Torrens is posting a fielding percentage of .988, which is just .004 under the league average for catchers. He’s also holding up a range factor per nine of 7.91, which is under the league average by just 1.15. That’s not too bad for a kid who hadn’t played above single-A ball in his career. He looks to be a decent score by the Padres.
The third Rule 5 guy selected this season is Miguel Diaz. The 22-year-old, right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Twins from the Brewers system, and then traded to the Padres on the same day.
Diaz is currently on the disabled list with a right forearm injury and is expecting to miss time until the middle of August. But prior to his injury, Diaz had been a pretty solid bullpen asset for the club.
He has appeared in 24 games for the Friars this year, pitching a total of 31.2 innings and holding an ERA of 6.82. Although that seems rather high, Diaz has shown some flashes of just how nasty he can be on the mound. With some more preparation, he could be really special.
In his first season above Single-A baseball, Diaz has struck out 25 batters and is allowing just under a single hit per inning pitched. The Padres, much like they did with Luis Perdomo, had begun transitioning him into a starting pitcher. Although his injury is going to slow down this process, the young kid out of the Dominican Republic shows promise as a middle of the rotation starter or even as a long reliever.
Lamet had a couple of very impressive starts before getting rocked for a couple of games. However, Lamet’s success and downfalls have varied throughout his starts. In eight games started this season, Lamet has thrown 41.0 innings, allowing 36 hits and 27 earned runs. On the contrary, he has struck out an impressive 55 batters while walking just 15.
If Lamet can stay on his game, he also shows promise as a young middle of the rotation starter for the Padres.
Phil Maton is the Padres’ most recent rookie arm call-up. Maton has come out of the bullpen for the Padres 14 times this season and has thrown 12.0 innings. In those 12 innings, Maton has struck out 14 batters, while allowing just six earned runs. Maton currently has an ERA of 4.50, but is also holding a WHIP of 1.00, which shows how little he gives up every time he takes the mound.
Maton has shown confidence and promise for such a young pitcher. He could very well work out of the bullpen for the Friars for years to come.
Jose Torres has been another rookie bullpen arm that has been impressive. Coming out of the ‘pen, Torres holds a 5-2 record with one save, three holds, and a 1.13 WHIP. His ERA is a bit high at 4.54, but it has been inflated from a couple of rough appearances.
In his last 10 games, Torres has allowed eight runs (five coming from just two games) and struck out 10 batters. He had some time in the majors at the end of last season, but it appears that he is finally earning the full-time major league time that he deserves.
These young guys are starting the youth takeover in the Padre bullpen and it is fun to witness.
More recently, Carlos Asuaje has gotten a chance to prove himself as a possible major league infielder. Trust me when I say he is not letting the opportunity slip him.
Asuaje has recorded a .302 average with a .339 on-base percentage since being called up full-time. In 53 at bats this season, Asuaje has worked 15 hits for four RBI and three walks.
He is currently working a five game hitting streak, a streak that started with him going 3-4 with a double and two RBI. On the field, he’s working a fielding percentage of .971 with just a single error. He also has 19 assists and 14 putouts in 34 opportunities in his six starts.
Certainly Asuaje has some work to improve on, but he is making his case for the Padres’ starting line up moving forward.
Last, but certainly not least, a kid who had an impressive start to his career is Franchy Cordero. The outfielder came up when Margot went down and he held down the center field spot with pride. He came out of the gates swinging, slashing .313/.353/.500 in his first month in the majors. He slowed down a little bit in June, but prior to Margot’s return, Franchy was making a case to stay in San Diego.
Sadly, his plate discipline was lacking and he could not improve on that, playing part-time at Petco. Cordero was exciting and he is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Padres valuable young players that are about to take center stage.
That pretty much wraps it up. Halfway through the year, and the Friars rookies have, without a doubt, been making noise. The future is bright in SD.