Padres in the Arizona Fall League

Credit: AFL

Credit: AFL

Here is an extended look at who the San Diego Padres will send to the Arizona Fall League this coming offseason.

The Arizona Fall League Rosters were announced today.

The San Diego Padres have six players that will be participating, with only four of them being announced today.

Those four are:

Austin Allen – C, Hudson Potts -3B, Buddy Reed – CF, and Hansel Rodriguez – RP

The other two players are going to be pitchers, but they won’t be announced until a later date. The Padres will probably let the rest of the minor league season play out, so they have a better idea of everyone’s work load and who is healthy.

Everything about the Arizona Fall League can be found here  http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/afl/index.jsp.

Below is a brief overview of each of the Padres’ participants in the Arizona Fall League.

Austin Allen – Catcher

Allen was taken by the Padres in the 4th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft. Austin has always been able to hit, which is proven by his career minor league slash line of .289/.350/.460 (.810 OPS) in 1,688 plate appearances.  Even though scouts have been skeptical of his ability behind the plate, the Padres seemed convinced that he’ll stick there. He’s only ever played 20 games at a position other than catcher, with all those appearances coming at first base (19 this year). Allen has been consistent as he’s moved up the organizational ladder. He spent all of 2017 in High-A and has played 2018 with Double-A San Antonio.

Austin Allen
  PA HR 2B BB% K% ISO wOBA wRC+
2017 516 22 31 8.5 21.1 .214 .373 127
2018 486 22 30 7.6 19.1 .219 .376 131
Career 1,688 54 93 7.8 18.3 .171 .362 124

 

The Padres inclusion of Allen in the Arizona Fall League says a lot about how they feel about him. The Padres had a multitude of highly regarded prospects to choose from. The Padres obviously want to get a look at Allen playing against some of the top prospects around the game and see how he matches up.

Credit: EVT News/ M. Kreg

Allen must be added to the Padres 40-man roster before the Rule-5 Draft in November. He will most likely be added, but his role for next season seems uncertain. With Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia also in the organization, this is a position of strength for the Padres. Allen could become trade bait this offseason because of the Padres 40-man roster crunch. It’s likely that Allen will serve as depth, starting the year out as the starting catcher for Triple-A El Paso. He’d likely be the first one called upon if there were an injury to someone behind the dish.

Hudson Potts – Third Baseman

Potts was taken by the Padres with the 24th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft. The Padres received that pick as compensation for allowing Justin Upton to sign with the Detroit Tigers in the offseason.

The Padres continue to push the limits with Hudson. They’ve been aggressive with him every step of the way, giving him late season at-bats in the Northwest League as a 17-year-old. The next year, Hudson played the whole season at Fort Wayne and started 2018 at High-A Lake Elsinore. Potts is now finishing up 2018 as a 19-year-old at Double-A San Antonio. The Arizona Fall League will now be the next stop for Hudson Potts.

Hudson Potts is one of my personal favorites. He seems to show improvement not only from year-to-year but month-to-month.

Here’s a look at his last two seasons:

Hudson Potts
  PA HR 2B BB% K% ISO wOBA wRC+
2017 522 20 23 4.4 26.8 .185 .328 103
2018 523 19 35 8.8 26.2 .202 .358 119
Career 1312 40 70 6.6 24.7 .172 .341 109

 

Here’s a breakdown of his performance in 2017 by month:

Hudson Potts 2017 By Month
  PA 2B HR BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
April 81 2 1 3 24 .224 .259 .316 .575
May 105 6 1 3 36 .242 .286 .354 .639
June 98 3 5 6 27 .196 .245 .413 .658
July 110 2 4 4 26 .226 .255 .377 .632
August 116 10 8 7 22 .346 .397 .664 1.060
September 12 0 1 0 5 .364 .333 .636 .970

 

In 2017, Potts really exploded in August and September. He hit 9 of his 20 home runs in those 128 plate appearances. In 2018, he showed a more gradual increase in production before his promotion to San Antonio.

Here’s a breakdown of his performance in 2018 by month:

Hudson Potts 2018 By Month
  PA 2B HR BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
April 97 7 3 5 21 .264 .323 .448 .771
May 111 8 5 10 28 .250 .324 .500 .824
June 104 10 5 12 27 .270 .365 .551 .916
July 120 9 4 8 28 .369 .417 .559 .975
August 91 1 2 11 33 .152 .264 .241 .504

 

As you can see, Hudson hasn’t performed nearly as well in August which coincides with his first taste of Double-A. If you were curious to see his splits between High-A and Double-A, here’s a look at that.

Hudson Potts 2018
  PA HR 2B BB% K% ISO wOBA wRC+
High-A 453 17 35 8.2 24.7 .217 .371 127
AA 70 2 0 12.9 35.7 .100 .280 67

 

After Potts finishes up his 2018 season and gets a few more at-bats in the AFL, he’ll turn his attention towards the offseason and getting ready for the 2019 season. He should be looking at spending most of next year as the starting third baseman for San Antonio with a possible mid-to-late season promotion to Triple-A El Paso.

Credit: M.Kreg/EVT Sports

Buddy Reed – Center Fielder

Buddy Reed was drafted by the Padres in the 2nd round and 48th overall in the 2016 Amateur Draft.

That was the second time Reed has been drafted; he was taken out of high school by the Texas Rangers in the 35th round during the 2013 Amateur Draft.

Scouts have always talked about Reed’s loud tools, but he had yet to put it all together until the first half of 2018. Reed worked hard in the offseason to overhaul his swing. Buddy was able to carry over those adjustments and have a productive first half as a 23-year-old in High-A. Reed was promoted after making an appearance in the MLB All-Star Futures Game and has struggled mightily in Double-A so far.

Here’s a breakdown of his 2018 performance between the two levels:

Buddy Reed 2018
  PA HR 2B BB% K% ISO wOBA wRC+
High-A 343 12 21 7.0 24.5 .225 .399 146
AA 174 0 7 6.9 33.3 .044 .192 9

 

It should be noted that Reed has had a tremendous season on the base paths, stealing 50 bases in 59 attempts. Reed should once again be the starting center fielder for San Antonio at the start of 2019. The extra at-bats that Reed will accumulate in the Fall League should help him continue to refine his swing.

Hansel Rodriquez – Relief Pitcher

The Padres acquired Hansel Rodriguez on July 26th, 2016 in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Melvin Upton Jr. and cash considerations. Rodriguez has started some games, but has been a reliever for most of his last two years. In 35 appearances last season, Hansel started 10 games and finished 20 others. In those appearances, he accumulated 90 innings and 10 saves.

Still just 21 years old, Hansel has looks to be a future bullpen piece, but lost most of this season due to injury. He has just 12.2 IP in 2018, so the Padres decision to send him to the Arizona Fall League makes sense. Rodriguez also needs to be added to the 40-man roster before the Rule-5 Draft in November, so the Padres will need to make a decision on him soon. With High-A Lake Elsinore being the highest level he’s reached, it may be a stretch for another organization to keep him on their roster for all of 2019.

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Kenny Kirkpatrick on EmailKenny Kirkpatrick on LinkedinKenny Kirkpatrick on Twitter
Kenny Kirkpatrick
I've been a Padres fan for most of my life. I am currently a Baseball Video Scout Associate at Sports Info Solutions. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University in December of 2016. My grandfather, Ed Kirkpatrick, played Major League Baseball in the 60's and 70's. He played for several teams including the Angels, Royals, Brewers, Pirates, and Rangers.

2 thoughts on “Padres in the Arizona Fall League

  1. It’s a bit early in his career, but I would be very interested to see how Owen Miller would handle this level of competition. I’m glad to see that none of our upper level pitching is included so far. I would imagine that we’ll be tagged for one starter and another bullpen arm at some point, hopefully guys like Rodriguez that didn’t get their innings in during the season. Has anyone heard a recent status on Anderson Espinoza? Last I heard, he was throwing in May.

    1. I agree on Owen Miller. He probably could hold his own in 2018. He might be jumped to AA to start 2019. Finishing it in the AFL would be great.

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