Outfielder Michael Gettys and shortstop Franchy Cordero are among the San Diego Padres prospects assigned to the Fort Wayne TinCaps for the start of the 2015 season.
The 51st overall pick in the 2014 draft, Gettys batted .310 and led the rookie-level Arizona League with 66 hits in his first professional assignment last year. According to Baseball America, which ranked him 13th among Padres farmhands in its 2015 Prospect Handbook, Gettys has “tantalizing upside” and “a cannon of an arm that will play at any position.”
BA adds that Gettys “tempers excitement about his hitting potential with a high strikeout rate — 28 percent in 2014 — but few players generate the same kind of exit velocity off the bat. Hitting for above-average power should only be a matter of adding loft and backspin to his swing, which many believe will come with maturity.”
Cordero (No. 19 Padres prospect) returns to the Midwest League after a slow start at Fort Wayne last year (.188 BA, 9 RBI in 22 games). He was sent to extended spring training before showing improvement in the short-season Northwest League, where he batted .279 with 9 HR, 35 RBI and 13 SB in 61 games. Baseball America says he “runs well for his size, but despite a strong arm, his poor footwork, hard hands and scatter arm could move him to third base or, just as likely, right field.” He committed 51 errors in 55 games at shortstop last year.
Also returning to Fort Wayne are a trio of players who spent the entire 2014 season with the TinCaps: outfielders Franmil Reyes (.248 BA, 11 HR, 59 RBI in 128 games) and Henry Charles (.236 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI in 86 games), and middle infielder Josh VanMeter (.254, 3 HR, 39 RBI in 116 games), who is from the Fort Wayne area.
Unlike the past few years, the TinCaps won’t start the season with a notable pitching prospect on their roster.
Wisler traded to Braves
Speaking of TinCaps pitching prospects of recent vintage, San Diego traded one of them Sunday.
RHP Matt Wisler, who went 5-4 with a 2.53 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 114 IP for the 2012 TinCaps, was traded with outfielders Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and Jordan Paroubeck to the Atlanta Braves for premier closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin (formerly B.J.) Upton.
Wisler split the 2014 season between Double-A and Triple-A, cumulatively going 10-5 with a 4.42 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 146.2 IP. Baseball America listed him as the top Padres prospect in its preseason rankings.
Maybin is the only other former Midwest League player involved in the trade. The one-time Detroit Tigers prospect batted .304 with 9 HR, 69 RBI and 27 SB in 101 games with the 2006 West Michigan Whitecaps.
Upton will be reunited with his brother, Justin Upton, who batted .263 with 12 HR, 66 RBI and 15 SB in 113 games with the 2006 South Bend Silver Hawks.