The San Diego Padres have really had trouble in recent years producing offensive talent from their farm system. The days of Roberto Alomar or Benito Santiago are far gone. Instead Padres fans have seen Matt Bush, Sean Burroughs, Donavan Tate, Matt Antonelli, Jake Gautreau, Vince Faison, Kevin Nicholson, and Matt Halloran all drafted by the Padres with high selections in the first round. Only Burroughs has made any kind of appearance for the Padres, but he was generally a disappointment and only played four years with the team.
Fast forward to now and the Padres have Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski both high first round picks, and both looking as though they might contribute at the Major League level soon. In Particular Jankowski has been an on base machine this season, and has made the jump all the way to Triple-A El Paso.
Have the Padres finally turned the corner with their scouting department? The huge failures of the past during draft day have been a major factor in the Padres performance on the field. Could Jankowski be part of the Padres immediate plans? Will the young center fielder be called up in September or even before the roster expansion? Only time will tell.
In all honesty, it would take a lot for the Padres to call up Jankowski. He is young and the team has no need to start the clock on his Major League service. In bringing Jankowksi to the Major League roster, the team would also have to drop a player from their 40-man roster. Not a likely scenario unless there is a major injury. It would take someone being placed on the 60-day DL for that to happen.
Another possibility would be if a trade was made freeing up space on the 40 man roster. That could happen, I am sure that A.J. Preller will be active before the August 31st Waiver Deadline. Still, the likelihood of the Padres starting the Major League service time on the 24-year-old outfielder is slim.
Travis Jankowski is really making a case for promotion though, as he is hitting .442 with an amazing .500 on base percentage in 52 at bats and 13 games in Triple-A. His overall numbers this season are very impressive as well. Jankowski is hitting .335 with 1 home run and 19 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. He has a .412 on base percentage in 334 Minor League at bats this Minor League season.
The left-handed slap type hitter is described as a contact hitter with speed. Basically your prototypical lead-off type hitter. He makes good contact but has very little power. Defensively Jankowski has fantastic speed and gets great jumps on the ball, but has a below average arm. His arm strength is lacking, but Jankowski has an excellent work ethic and could develop into a very solid defensive center fielder.
The problem is there is no space for him at the moment. Will Venable and Melvin Upton Jr. are set in a platoon in center field right now. Venable will be gone after the season, and the Padres will surely be trying their best to move Upton Jr. Who knows what could take place in the off-season. One way or another, if Jankowksi continues to put up these type of offensive numbers, the Padres will be forced to put him in. They would most surely benefit from a preview of Jankowski against Major League type pitching. We will just have to wait and see what the Padres decide to do. If a trade happens and a free spot is created on the 40-man roster, Jankowski could easily get the first call. If he gets that call, Padres fans will welcome his hustle and all out play on the field.