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Padres to be active ahead of Rule 5 deadline

Club must clear space on 40-man roster or risk losing prospects
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Whether the transactions are major or minor, the Padres are going to be active over the next week. They have to be.

An important deadline looms on Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. PT. San Diego must add a handful of its top prospects to the 40-man roster, or they'll be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December.

SAN DIEGO -- Whether the transactions are major or minor, the Padres are going to be active over the next week. They have to be.

An important deadline looms on Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. PT. San Diego must add a handful of its top prospects to the 40-man roster, or they'll be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December.

But the Padres already have a full 40-man roster, meaning something has to give. Half a dozen or so big leaguers could be designated for assignment in the next 10 days.

"We were obviously focused on some big-picture items in the past month," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "But we're also focused on some smaller deals, smaller moves, so it ends up at the end of the day that we have a strong roster, 1 to 40, and we make the most use of our resources here."

Among MLB Pipeline's top 30 prospects, here's who is not protected:

• No. 5 Chris Paddack, RHP
• No. 12 Anderson Espinoza, RHP
• No. 25 Austin Allen, C
• No. 28 Edward Olivares, OF
• No. 29 Pedro Avila, RHP

Video: Top Prospects: Anderson Espinoza, RHP, Padres

A handful of prospects outside the top 30 are candidates to be added as well, including Ty France, Trevor Megill and Hansel Rodriguez.

Of course, the Padres went 66-96 last season, and given those struggles, it probably shouldn't be too difficult to clear space. Among the players on the roster bubble:

Walker Lockett, RHP
Colin Rea, RHP
Luis Torrens, C
Carlos Asuaje, 2B
Jose Pirela, 2B
Allen Cordoba, IF
Javy Guerra, SS

Those seven aren't the only candidates for designations before the deadline, but all seven have given the Padres a reason to potentially cut the cord.

Lockett and Guerra weren't all that good in the Minors last season, but both were given a brief big league opportunity and struggled.

Asuaje and Pirela also floundered in 2018, and they could give way to the youth movement on the Padres' infield. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias appear set to take over the middle spots. (Plus, last week's addition of Greg Garcia drops Asuaje and Pirela on the depth chart.)

Video: Preller on Padres' development goals for 2019

Torrens and Cordoba -- once Rule 5 selections themselves -- are far from big league ready. And Rea simply hasn't been the same since his 2016 Tommy John surgery. He posted a 5.73 ERA in the Minors this year.

Of course, there are other ways to clear roster space. The Padres traded catcher Raffy Lopez to Atlanta this month for cash or a player to be named. Lopez was unlikely to be retained in the first place.

In that same light, the Padres' front office has been active in trying to find trade partners for some of its would-be roster casualties. Preller has insisted the cuts haven't been decided upon.

"It's fluid," Preller said. "It's honestly a day-to-day thing. We've already made a couple roster-cleanup-type moves. There's been plenty of discussion in the last month."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres

Padres' outfield depth draws trade interest

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Anyone need an outfielder?

The Padres have quite a few. And evidently, they're open for business.

SAN DIEGO -- Anyone need an outfielder?

The Padres have quite a few. And evidently, they're open for business.

It's widely believed the Padres will deal from their glut of outfielders this winter. At the GM Meetings in Carlsbad on Wednesday, Padres general manger A.J. Preller seemed to back that notion.

Latest offseason rumors

"Most conversations we're getting hit on, people are talking to us about our outfield," said Preller. "Other clubs have seen that we have players that are young and have the ability to play in the big leagues. ... That's the area we'll have to make some decisions and calls on."

A reminder of the Padres' current crop of outfielders:

Hunter Renfroe (trade candidate)
Franmil Reyes (trade candidate)
Wil Myers (trade candidate with a bulky contract)
Manuel Margot (unlikely to be dealt)
Franchy Cordero (unlikely to be dealt)
Travis Jankowski (trade candidate)
Francisco Mejia (a catcher who could move to the outfield part-time)

Among that group, the Padres are most likely to trade either Renfroe or Reyes. Myers has four years remaining on a back-loaded deal, and many feel the club would be selling low after an injury-plagued 2018 season. Margot and Cordero are high-upside, young options who can play center field.

As for Renfroe and Reyes, there's a bit of redundancy with the two. Both are slugging right-handed hitters, and neither is particularly good defensively. Together, they're blocking Myers' path back to the outfield from third base.

Renfroe broke out with an .805 OPS this season, and he led the team with 26 homers. Reyes, meanwhile, posted a .280/.340/.498 slash line in his rookie year, and he made serious strides during the second half. They're young, and they're controllable, and it's not out of the question that the Padres keep both.

But doing so would either turn Myers into trade bait or send him back to third base (where he struggled in 2017).

"What's the best opportunity to get the most out of Wil's ability?" Preller said. "Part of it is the roster construction. … I think we'll have a couple answers here in the next couple weeks as to what's best going forward."

Video: SD@LAD: Makita strikes out Utley swinging to end 7th

Makita clears waivers
The Padres' decision to designate Kazuhisa Makita for assignment last week was a pretty straightforward one. Makita is owed $1.9 million next season and is coming off a disappointing rookie campaign after seven years in Japan. He was never a threat to be claimed by an opposing club.

Sure enough, Makita cleared waivers on Wednesday and was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso. Preller insisted the move wasn't an indictment on Makita as much as a decision that came down to simple roster math.

"With Maki, taking him off the roster, part of that is, ultimately, you've got to take 40 guys," Preller said. "You look at your roster, and if there are guys you think you can get off the roster, that's part of the calculation as well."

Makita will compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training, though his current standing as a Minor Leaguer makes that task significantly harder. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 43 big league innings last season.

Video: Must C Clutch: Galvis ties it, Mejia's slam wins it

Catchers for sale?
The Padres seem more than happy to enter the 2019 season with Mejia and Austin Hedges splitting time behind the plate. They also expect prospect Austin Allen to challenge for playing time.

With an excess of talented, young catchers, it makes sense that other teams have checked in with Preller on his backstop situation.

"That's clearly a spot that other teams are talking to us about," Preller said. "You always have to listen. Even if you're a championship club, you want to keep your eyes and ears open.

"At the catcher position, it's a hard spot to find talent, and we have three really good ones. We'll be listening. But short of anything significant, we'll go into camp with all three guys in big league camp and most likely have Mejia and Hedgy competing for the job or looking to share the job."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres

How Padres fared in Tuesday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Tuesday:

Gameday: Glendale 2, Surprise 9 | Mesa 3, Peoria 14 | Salt River 2, Scottsdale 4

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Tuesday:

Gameday: Glendale 2, Surprise 9 | Mesa 3, Peoria 14 | Salt River 2, Scottsdale 4

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 4 prospect Nate Pearson earned his second win of the fall after tossing five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and walking two. No. 22 prospect Santiago Espinal was 2-for-4 with a run, while Cavan Biggio (No. 9) was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run. Zach Jackson allowed two hits in a scoreless inning of relief.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Big Nate looking 💪 in the @MLBazFallLeague again. After firing 4 perfect frames in his last start, #BlueJays No. 4 prospect Nate Pearson has tossed 4 scoreless today.Gameday: https://t.co/2BlKTkrPJp pic.twitter.com/70ABROZCsP

Orioles (Glendale)
Steve Wilkerson was 2-for-4 for his third multihit game in his last four contests, while Jay Flaa had a strikeout and allowed a hit in a scoreless inning of relief. Catcher Martin Cervenka was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rays (Peoria)
Both Rays prospects in action had huge days at the plate, with No. 7 prospect Ronaldo Hernandez going 3-for-4 with his first triple of the fall, an RBI single and three runs scored. No. 9 prospect Lucius Fox also went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, hitting a double and an RBI single to go with a walk. More »

Video: Lucius Fox on strong game, confidence in Fall League

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 7 prospect Darwinzon Hernandez allowed a trio of inherited runners to score but struck out the side to escape the fourth inning. Other Boston prospects didn't fare as well. Josh Taylor was tagged for four runs on five hits in an inning of relief, while No. 10 prospect Josh Ockimey and Esteban Quiroz were a combined 0-for-7.

Yankees (Glendale)
Hobie Harris struck out two in a scoreless inning, while Kyle Zurak yielded an unearned run while allowing a walk and a hit in 1 2/3 frames.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Indians No. 6 prospect Yu Chang singled, walked and scored, and outfielder Connor Marabell was 1-for-5. While Dalbert Siri pitched a shutout inning out of the bullpen, starter Justin Garza didn't fare so well in a wild outing, allowing four hits and walking four as he was charged with four runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Royals (Surprise)
Nick Heath extended his hitting streak to four games with a 2-for-4 showing in which he doubled and scored a pair of runs. Arnaldo Hernandez allowed two hits and a walk but threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Tigers (Mesa)
Tigers No. 8 prospect Daz Cameron had multiple hits for the fifth time in his last seven games with a 2-for-5 performance that brought his fall average to .324. Daniel Pinero was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while Daniel Woodrow was 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn struck out three times but singled for his first hit in four games. Adam Bray pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief but allowed two runs on two hits.

White Sox (Glendale)
Laz Rivera, the No. 28 prospect in the White Sox system, hit an RBI single, while No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe was 1-for-4 with a walk and Luis Robert (No. 4) was 1-for-5. Danny Dopico had a forgettable relief outing, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Luis Barrera tripled for the first time this fall and scored a run, and Jake Bray allowed three runs (two earned) in an inning of relief.

Angels (Mesa)
Ryan Clark and Daniel Procopio each struck out a batter in a perfect inning of relief.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Abraham Toro, Houston's No. 21 prospect, hit his first triple of the fall and walked twice in a 2-for-3 afternoon that raised his OPS to 1.017. Center fielder Ronnie Dawson was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 2 prospect Evan White struck out in the first inning before he was replaced by Weston Wilson in the second inning. No. 20 prospect Ian Miller had an RBI single to go with a run-scoring groundout and a bases-loaded walk, and Chris Mariscal was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run.

Rangers (Surprise)
Charles Leblanc was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
The Braves had a busy and productive day, with six of their prospects in action. Braxton Davidson hit a three-run homer, his sixth of the fall, as he went 1-for-4 with a walk. No. 6 prospect Cristian Pache was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI single, and No. 23 prospect Izzy Wilson also tacked on an RBI single. Jeremy Walker allowed an unearned run in a four-inning start to notch his first win of the fall, and Adam McCreery closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth. No. 12 prospect Kyle Muller yielded two runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 2 prospect Monte Harrison was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, while Kyle Keller took the loss in relief after being charged with two runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Starting pitcher Tyler Viza pitched five scoreless frames and struck out nine, tying for the most strikeouts in an AFL start this season. Austin Listi hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh, while Darick Hall was 1-for-4 and Jonathan Hennigan earned his first AFL win with one-third of an inning of relief. More »

Video: Tyler Viza on his performance against Salt River

Nationals (Salt River)
Ben Braymer and Taylor Guilbeau each allowed a hit and a walk in scoreless relief appearances, while Jake Noll walked and hit his second double of the fall to raise his average to .261.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso reached base three times, walking twice and hitting a game-tying two-run double in the seventh. Catcher Ali Sanchez (No. 25) was 1-for-3 with a walk.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Keston Hiura, the Brewers' top prospect, brought his fall RBI total to 32 with a two-run double. In the last 10 seasons of AFL play, only two players -- Mike Olt and Nolan Arenado -- have had more RBIs. Weston Wilson replaced Evan White at first base in the second inning and was 1-for-4 with two runs.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: After this 2-run double, #Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura is up to 32 RBIs in the @MLBazFallLeague. Only two players have had more in the past 10 AFL seasons: Mike Olt (43) and Nolan Arenado (33) in 2011.Gameday: https://t.co/BmnW6NcA6K pic.twitter.com/V3K42WbhIn

Cardinals (Surprise)
Lane Thomas was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and two runs, while Tommy Edman went 0-for-5.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner and Trent Giambrone (No. 29) were a combined 1-for-8 at the plate. Jhonny Pereda, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, had the best day of any Cubs prospect. Erick Leal had been lights out in the AFL, but hit a rough patch and was charged with seven runs (six earned) over three innings.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 8 prospect Bryan Reynolds drove in a pair of runs and finished 2-for-4. Will Craig (No. 16) stole the show and put together one of his best games of the AFL. Craig, who finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs, hit his fifth homer of the Fall, which has him tied for the second-most in the league. More »

Video: Craig on strong day at the plate, learning first base

Reds (Scottsdale)
All three of Cincinnati's top prospects that played on Tuesday had success at the plate, as No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell singled and scored a run, No. 8 prospect Shed Long hit an RBI double to drive in his fourth run in as many games, and No. 23 prospect Alfredo Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Wyatt Strahan and Alex Powers each pitched scoreless innings.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs No. 3 prospect Jazz Chisholm continued his torrid fall with a two-run triple as part of a 2-for-4 game with a walk. He raised his AFL average to .425 and has hit safely in all nine games he's played. Catcher Daulton Varsho (No. 5) was 1-for-4 and caught a scoreless start by No. 1 prospect Jon Duplantier, who struck out five in four innings, scattering four hits and three walks. Catcher Renae Martinez was 0-for-3 with a walk for Surprise.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Cody Thomas and Jared Walker combined to go 3-for-6 at the plate. Walker went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Thomas scored a run as part of his 1-for-3 afternoon. On the mound, Andre Scrubb gave up one run on two hits in one inning.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Sam Wolff earned his third save of the fall with two strikeouts and two walks in a scoreless ninth inning. No. 19 prospect Melvin Adon didn't fare as well, as he was charged with two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Padres (Peoria)
A pair of Padres' relievers combined to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in Peoria's win over Mesa. Blake Rogers struck out two over 1 1/3 innings, while Dauris Valdez picked up a strikeout in his inning on the mound.

Rockies (Salt River)
All three Rockies prospects in action on Tuesday -- No. 9 prospect Sam Hilliard, No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin and Josh Fuentes -- singled and walked.

Who will be dealt? Each team's top trade chip

MLB.com @feinsand

Free agency will garner most of the headlines during baseball's Hot Stove season, but this is also a time for MLB's general managers to discuss a plethora of trade options.

Some clubs may be looking to shed salary, while others could be looking ahead at next year's free agents. One thing is certain: Teams are more willing to trade than ever before, meaning we'll see a number of moves in the weeks and months ahead.

Free agency will garner most of the headlines during baseball's Hot Stove season, but this is also a time for MLB's general managers to discuss a plethora of trade options.

Some clubs may be looking to shed salary, while others could be looking ahead at next year's free agents. One thing is certain: Teams are more willing to trade than ever before, meaning we'll see a number of moves in the weeks and months ahead.

The latest MLB free agent and trade rumors for Hot Stove season

Here's a look at one trade candidate from every team:

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles: Andrew Cashner
With an $8 million salary in 2019 and a $10 million option for '20, Cashner is a reasonably priced starter who could provide some back-end value for many teams. The Orioles are firmly in rebuilding mode, and they would probably love to shed some of their higher-priced players.

Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez
Vazquez signed a team-friendly three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Red Sox that kicks in next season, but his disappointing year at the plate could prompt Boston to try moving him. Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart still remain, though the Sox could try bringing in a better bat behind the plate, as well.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar
Sonny Gray was too obvious for this one, as GM Brian Cashman said after the season that he was going to look to trade the disappointing right-hander. Andujar posted a terrific rookie season, but his value may never be higher, questions remain about his defense … and the Yankees might make a play for Manny Machado. If they do, Andujar could be flipped for a controllable pitcher.

Video: NYY@BOS: Andujar's 47th double ties AL rookie record

Tampa Bay Rays: C.J. Cron
Jake Bauers played more innings at first than Cron last season, while No. 2 prospect Brendan McKay is the first baseman of the future. Cron's 30-homer, .816-OPS season in 2018 should make him a valuable asset, and he'll be due a raise from his $2.3 million salary in his second year of arbitration.

Toronto Blue Jays: Brandon Drury
The Blue Jays have an abundance of infielders, and with baseball's top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., zooming toward the Majors, it's only a matter of time before third base becomes his territory. Drury is a versatile, valuable player with three years of arbitration eligibility remaining, so he could bring back a nice return.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox: Jose Abreu
Abreu has been a popular name on the trade-rumor mill for more than a year, and although the White Sox are close to finishing their rebuild, Abreu is arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason and can become a free agent after next season.

Cleveland Indians: Carlos Carrasco
Corey Kluber could have been the choice here given their ages -- Kluber is entering his age-33 season, while Carrasco will be playing at 32 -- and contract situations (Kluber is owed $13 million in 2019 and has club options for '20 and '21 worth $13.5 million and $14 million, respectively; Carrasco will earn $9 million next year and has a $9.5 million club option for '20). Kluber's track record is stronger, so although he may fetch a better return, the Indians would probably prefer to hang on to their ace and deal Carrasco.

Detroit Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos
The Tigers are in a full-on rebuild, and while they won't be able to move the sizeable contracts of Miguel Cabrera or Jordan Zimmermann, Castellanos is a huge chip for GM Al Avila. Fresh off a 23-homer, .854-OPS season, Castellanos has two years of club control left and should bring back some value.

Kansas City Royals: Danny Duffy
The Royals contemplated trading Duffy last summer, but the left-hander had a rough outing the week before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, then got knocked around twice in August before landing on the DL with a left shoulder injury. Trading him might be difficult because of the late-season injury and his salary (he has three years and $46 million left on his contract), but if the chance to deal him for value presents itself, the Royals could make a move.

Minnesota Twins: Jake Odorizzi
Odorizzi will get a raise from his $6.3 million salary in his final year of arbitration, and while he had a decent season for the Twins in 2018, Minnesota could flip him a year before he becomes a free agent.

AL WEST

Houston Astros: Hector Rondon
With Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Joe Smith, Collin McHugh and Josh James all returning, Rondon and his $4.5 million salary might prove to be an expendable piece for the Astros.

Los Angeles Angels: Kole Calhoun
Three of the Angels' top six prospects are outfielders, and given that Mike Trout and Justin Upton aren't going anywhere, Calhoun could be on the move if the Halos can get a pitcher in return. He's due $10.5 million in 2019 with a $14 million club option for '20.

Oakland Athletics: Mike Fiers
Fiers earned $6 million last season and has one more year of club control, but given the raises coming to Khris Davis and Oakland's 11 other arbitration-eligible players, Fiers -- who had his best season in three years -- could be moved to free up some payroll.

Seattle Mariners: James Paxton
Mike Zunino is already gone from Seattle, traded to Tampa Bay in a five-player deal that landed center fielder Mallex Smith with the Mariners. GM Jerry Dipoto is trying to reshape the roster this offseason, and with Mitch Haniger, Edwin Diaz and Marco Gonzales reportedly not on the block, no player would bring back a bigger return than Paxton, the hard-throwing lefty who, despite a lengthy injury history, is considered by many to be one of the top southpaws in the league.

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo
Shin-Soo Choo had a terrific year, but with $42 million due to him over the next two years, his contract will be tough to move. Gallo isn't arbitration-eligible until 2020, and with four years of club control and a powerful bat, he would be valued by many teams and might be moved for a starting pitcher. Texas has Ronald Guzman ready to take over full-time at first base should Gallo be moved.

Video: TEX@LAA: Gallo crushes 40th homer of season to center

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves: Johan Camargo
Austin Riley, the Braves' No. 5 prospect (and No. 43 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100), posted an .882 OPS at three Minor League levels last year, moving closer to the Majors. Camargo had a very solid season in 2018 (.806 OPS, 19 homers), but Riley remains the future at the hot corner. Atlanta might be able to move Camargo for an arm.

Miami Marlins: J.T. Realmuto
A year after trading away Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Gordon, the Marlins could decide to move their All-Star catcher for a haul of prospects -- and there would be no shortage of teams lining up to make a deal.

• Marlins' three main options for Realmuto

Video: Bowman: Braves could pursue Realmuto trade

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler
Many believed Wheeler would be traded last summer, but the Mets held on to him. He delivered a strong season (3.31 ERA in 182 1/3 innings) that boosted his value, and with one year remaining until Wheeler becomes a free agent, new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen could bring back a nice return for the right-hander if he decides to move him.

Philadelphia Phillies: Maikel Franco
Franco had a bounce-back season in 2018, his .780 OPS representing a 90-point boost from the previous year. But his streaky nature -- Franco struggled badly for most of May and August -- and inconsistent defense might prompt the Phillies to try moving him elsewhere.

Washington Nationals: Michael A. Taylor
With Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Adam Eaton in the outfield -- not to mention the potential return of Bryce Harper -- Taylor would appear to be the odd man out. He should draw interest from several teams and bring something of value back to the Nationals.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ
The 24-year-old infielder/outfielder was unable to build on his impressive rookie campaign as virtually every one of his offensive statistics regressed from 2017. Happ's versatility, talent and age make him an ideal target for any team -- small- or large-market -- and given the Cubs' glut of young position players, dealing from that strength to acquire pitching would make sense.

Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton
Hamilton has been on the trade block before and will likely be there again this offseason. The Reds need pitching, which could lead to them moving Hamilton or fellow outfielder Scott Schebler.

Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Ray
Brewers GM David Stearns isn't big on trading his top prospects, but with Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun locked into the outfield, Milwaukee could dangle its No. 2 prospect in an effort to acquire some pitching. Ray hit 27 home runs, stole 37 bases and posted an .801 OPS at Double-A last season.

Video: Ray, Brown named Brewers' Minor League POY

Pittsburgh Pirates: Francisco Cervelli
The Pirates posted a winning record in 2018 despite trading away Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, so the idea of dealing their starting catcher isn't unrealistic. Cervelli's $11.5 million salary is the highest on the team, and he's slated to become a free agent after next season. Elias Diaz could take over behind the plate.

St. Louis Cardinals: Jose Martinez
Martinez's bat has never been a question, evidenced by his career .309 average and .850 OPS. His defense, however, has proven to be less than ideal, making him a prime candidate to be traded to an AL club where he could become a full-time DH.

NL WEST

Arizona D-backs: Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt has one year of club control remaining before becoming a free agent at the end of the 2019 season. If the D-backs decide they won't be able to re-sign him to a new deal, they could opt to move the franchise first baseman rather than letting him walk for Draft picks. This might not be a likely scenario given Arizona's desire to contend, but it can't be completely ruled out, either.

Video: D-backs pick up Goldschmidt's 2019 option

Colorado Rockies: Raimel Tapia
Tapia didn't find much of a role with the Rockies in 2018, playing in only 25 games during stints in July and September. He posted an .847 OPS with 11 homers and 21 stolen bases in 105 games at Triple-A, so a team in need of speed might have interest in Tapia, who is out of Minor League options.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt Kemp
Kemp had a solid regular season, hitting 21 home runs with an .818 OPS in 146 games, but he disappeared in the postseason, hitting one home run with three RBIs with a .548 OPS in 13 games. Kemp is owed $21.5 million in the final year of his eight-year contract, and the Dodgers would surely love to save at least part of that salary.

San Diego Padres: Craig Stammen
Stammen has performed well during his two years with San Diego, posting a 2.73 ERA in 2018 with 10 strikeouts per nine innings and a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A contender would likely give the Padres something of value for Stammen, who is due $2.25 million and will be a free agent after 2019, his age-35 season.

San Francisco Giants: Joe Panik
Panik had a very disappointing 2018, but with two years of club control remaining, a change of scenery could be just the thing to spark his game. The Giants don't have an internal candidate to replace Panik at second base, though the position is as deep as any in this year's market, so finding a new second baseman shouldn't be very difficult.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Preller might put faith in Padres' young arms

Myers' 2019 role uncertain; GM discusses Galvis' free agency
MLB.com @AJCassavell

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Padres' starting pitching needs to get better. Of that, there is little debate.

But how, exactly, will general manager A.J. Preller go about improving a rotation that finished last in the National League in ERA in 2018? Well, he might not be as aggressive on the trade front this winter as was initially believed.

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Padres' starting pitching needs to get better. Of that, there is little debate.

But how, exactly, will general manager A.J. Preller go about improving a rotation that finished last in the National League in ERA in 2018? Well, he might not be as aggressive on the trade front this winter as was initially believed.

At the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Padres were rumored as partners for Chris Archer and Noah Syndergaard, seemingly indicating that they'd be active in trying to land a front-line arm this offseason. And they will be.

But sources indicated that the front office's faith in its top-ranked farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, might preclude a trade for a starting pitcher. The Padres have seven pitchers ranked among MLB Pipeline's top 100 overall prospects. Essentially, the fit would have to be a perfect one, or else the Padres appear content to keep things in-house.

"We feel like we have a lot of guys that have the capability of being a [front-line] pitcher in the next few years," Preller said Tuesday. "But you're constantly looking to add to a starting staff."

• Padres' Top 30 prospects

Once again, the Padres are going to search for bargains in free agency. They might even look into a bigger-name arm with upside -- like Nathan Eovaldi or Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (if he's posted).

But in the trade market, it sounds unlikely that San Diego will sacrifice its youngsters unless there's a multiyear fit at the front of the rotation. Internally, the Padres feel their window for contention in the NL West likely won't be open in 2019. That means developing their young pitchers takes precedence. They aren't going to part with prospects for a mid-tier starter when doing so would take a rotation spot away from one of those youngsters.

As things stand, three places appear open in the San Diego rotation (behind Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi). There are a number of in-house options to fill out the starting five, including Jacob Nix, Robbie Erlin and Matt Strahm, among others. Prospects Logan Allen, Chris Paddack and Cal Quantrill should arrive at some point in 2019, as well.

That means, if the Padres are going to make a deal -- and they have the farm system to do so -- it would need to be a front-line arm with at least two (and preferably three-plus) years of team control remaining.

"You're constantly looking to add guys who can pitch in those top three roles," Preller said. "We'll examine that here over the next few weeks."

Myers' role remains undecided
The Padres have yet to decide on a defensive role for slugger Wil Myers, who shifted to third base for the final two months of the 2018 season (with little success).

The coaching staff and front office have held discussions about where Myers might play next season. Right now, it seems contingent upon whether the Padres clear space in their outfield.

Myers was much better in left field than at third base last season, but Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe emerged in the two corner outfield spots. Both are trade candidates this offseason.

"He's a guy that's shown he has a lot of versatility, played really well this year in the corner outfield for us," Preller said of Myers. "He obviously gave it a go at third base, and I think [after] what we're able to do here in the next month, we'll have a definite idea about what Wil's role will be in the next year."

Video: Cassavell discusses Wil Myers' future with the Padres

Myers missed half the 2018 season with an assortment of injuries and never got rolling offensively, finishing with a .253/.318/.446 slash line and 11 homers.

The Galvis decision
Three factors will go into the Padres' decision regarding free-agent shortstop Freddy Galvis.

"Looking at term, looking at dollars and looking at role," Preller said.

• Padres could try to sell Galvis on return to SD

Galvis is a free agent for the first time, and he's going to test the market. The Padres remain interested in a reunion but won't break the bank for it, given that Fernando Tatis -- MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect -- is waiting in the wings.

Video: Freddy Galvis set to enter free agency in 2019

If the Padres are to re-sign Galvis, Preller's remarks indicate three things:

• Term: The Padres probably aren't interested in a deal of three years or more, unless there's a substantial annual discount.

• Dollars: If another team in need of a shortstop -- perhaps Detroit or Kansas City -- offers Galvis a larger-than-expected contract, the Padres wouldn't meet that number.

• Role: Galvis isn't going to start 162 games for the Padres over the next two seasons, as he did in 2018. He'll have to cede time to youngsters Tatis and Luis Urias.

As for Urias, the perceived second baseman of the future, Preller mentioned him as a candidate to open the year at shortstop in 2019. He's rotated time between second base and shortstop in the Minors.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres

Potts hits pair of singles in AFL on Monday

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• Gameday: Surprise 4, Scottsdale 5 | Mesa 2, Glendale 4 | Salt River 4, Peoria 5

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• Gameday: Surprise 4, Scottsdale 5 | Mesa 2, Glendale 4 | Salt River 4, Peoria 5

 

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 1 prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is hitting .351 after going 1-for-3 with a two-run single. Cavan Biggio (No. 9) went 0-for-3, but made a nice diving catch in right field. Jackson McClelland had a rough afternoon as he gave up three runs (two earned) and issued a pair of walks in one inning.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: The youngest player in the @MLBazFallLeague, ladies and gentlemen.Follow live: https://t.co/QJw9o8rlW3 https://t.co/qUxuUfM8zw

Orioles (Glendale)
Chris Lee notched five strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings for the Desert Dogs. Lee, who has a 3.05 ERA in the AFL, walked one and gave up two runs on four hits. Steve Wilkerson went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, while Ryan McKenna (Orioles' No. 12 prospect) went 0-for-2 with a walk. Tanner Chleborad cruised through 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out four and surrendering just one hit.

Rays (Peoria)
Rays No. 9 prospect Lucius Fox went 0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored out of the leadoff spot.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 6 prospect Bobby Dalbec and Josh Ockimey (No. 10) went a combined 1-for-7 while hitting fourth and fifth in Mesa's lineup.

Yankees (Glendale)
Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial and Thairo Estrada (No. 16) each collected a hit for the Desert Dogs. Florial went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and Estrada finished 1-for-5. On the mound, Matt Wivinis threw one-third of an inning and picked up the save.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Rob Kaminsky improved to 3-0 and lowered his AFL ERA to 1.86 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Connor Marabell boosted his average to .303 as he went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs, while Li-Jen Chu drove Marabell home with an RBI double in in the fourth. Chu finished 1-for-4.

Royals (Surprise)
Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. Meibrys Viloria and Nick Heath each went 1-for-4, with Viloria picking up an RBI in the process. Scott Blewett (No. 26) gave up two runs and struck out six over five innings of four-hit ball. Grant Gavin issued a pair of walks and gave up a hit but escaped the game with a scoreless inning.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daz Cameron (Tigers No. 8 prospect) went 0-for-4. Sandy Baez (No. 26) only faced two batters, but struck out one and retired both. John Schreiber also fanned one and threw a clean inning.

Twins (Salt River)
Jaylin Davis went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored. It was a challenging day for Twins relievers, starting with Devin Smeltzer, who allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk in one-third of an inning. Hector Lujan gave up two unearned runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning, taking the loss.

White Sox (Glendale)
White Sox No. 4 prospect Luis Robert saw his average dip to .338 after going 0-for-4. Zach Thompson walked one and gave up a hit but kept the opponents off the board in 1 2/3 innings on the mound.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Skye Bolt, the Athletics' No. 30 prospect, went 1-for-3 with a single. Calvin Coker retired both batters he faced, while Sam Sheehan didn't fare quite as well. Sheehan spun an inning but was charged with two runs on two hits.

Angels (Mesa)
Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones hit his sixth Fall League double as part of a 2-for-5 effort. David MacKinnon also picked up a hit and finished 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Ronnie Dawson hit his first homer of the Fall League, a solo shot that highlighted his 1-for-4 afternoon.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 2 prospect Evan White went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. It was his sixth double of the Fall League season. Joe DeCarlo started at catcher and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Wyatt Mills (No. 9) pitched two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief, giving up two hits. David McKay notched the win in relief, allowing one unearned run on one hit in one inning with one strikeout.

Rangers (Surprise)
Joe Barlow struck out one, but gave up hits, including a walk-off double, to the other two batters he faced. Joe Kuzia also pitched in relief and spun a scoreless inning.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)<
Braves No. 6 prospect Cristian Pache went 1-for-5 with a single, a run scored and four strikeouts. Ray-Patrick Didder went 0-for-4. Thomas Burrows (No. 19) pitched one inning of relief, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 17 prospect Jordan Yamamoto continued his impressive Fall League campaign with five scoreless innings. Yamamoto allowed one hit and one walk while striking out six. The right-hander lowered his AFL ERA to 2.08. Bryson Brigman (No. 27) went 1-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored. Brian Miller (No. 12) went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Chad Smith pitched a hitless inning of relief, walking one and striking out two. More >>

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Darick Hall entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth and came up clutch with an RBI single. Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa went 1-for-3. Luke Williams went 0-for-3. Seth McGarry gave up two runs on two hits in two innings out of the bullpen before handing off to Luke Leftwich, who yielded one hit, but threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom had a nice day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with four singles, an RBI and a run scored. Tres Barrera (No. 15) went 1-for-5 with an RBI double. Daniel Johnson (No. 7) went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Tweet from @JakeDRill: #Nationals Tres Barrera gives Salt River a 2-0 lead with an RBI double in the fourth. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/iaRM8e7TOT

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 1 prospect Andres Gimenez was just 1-for-5 at the plate, but that lone hit was a big one, as he came through with a walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the ninth. Peter Alonso (No. 2) also picked up an RBI and finished 1-for-4. Desmond Lindsay (No. 11) drew a pair of walks, but was otherwise 0-for-2. 

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: The #Mets' No. 1 prospect (#MLB No. 55) has struggled in the @MLBazFallLeague (.133 AVG), but he comes through in the clutch here. Gameday: https://t.co/B9BLeBr4It https://t.co/xm7m1pP2L7

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Weston Wilson went 2-for-5 with a run scored, including a 10th-inning single that led to the winning run scoring on an error on the same play. Trent Grisham (Brewers No. 19) went 2-for-3 with an RBI triple, a walk and a run scored. Grisham's three-bagger tied the game in the ninth. Daniel Brown tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Andy Young is hitting .328 after his 2-for-3 afternoon, which included an RBI double.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner tripled, his fourth of the AFL, and finished 1-for-4. DJ Wilson (No. 16) went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, while P.J. Higgins picked up an RBI and went 1-for-3. Justin Steele (No. 8) gave up five hits over four innings, but limited the damage to just two runs (one earned). Steele walked two, struck out three and has a 5.79 ERA in the AFL. Manuel Rondon threw a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

Pirates (Surprise)
Cole Tucker, the Pirates' No. 5 prospect, went 0-for-4, but is still hitting .351. Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) finished 1-for-4. Will Craig (No. 16) went 1-for-3, while also drawing a walk and scoring a run.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell boosted his AFL average to .280 as he collected a pair of hits and finished 2-for-4. Shed Long (No. 8) entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and struck out in his lone at-bat. Ty Boyles picked up the win for the Scorpions after throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
It was a fairly quiet day at the plate for D-backs prospects as Pavin Smith (Arizona's No. 4 prospect), Daulton Varsho (No. 5) and Drew Ellis (No. 9) combined to go 2-for-13. Smith and Ellis each had a single, while Ellis also drew a walk.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Dodgers No. 20 prospect Errol Robinson went 1-for-4. Jared Walker hasn't hit particularly well in Arizona, but came through with a double and two RBIs for the Desert Dogs. Jordan Sheffield (No. 26) issued two walks but didn't give up a run in his two-thirds of an inning. More >>

Giants (Scottsdale)
Giants No. 28 prospect CJ Hinojosa went 0-for-3 and is hitting just .150 in the Fall League. Matt Winn also had a tough day at the plate and finished 0-for-2. Garrett Williams (No. 20) struggled with his command -- issuing four walks -- but did rack up six strikeouts in four innings. The lefty, who has a 1.88 ERA in the AFL, gave up two runs on four hits.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles. Buddy Reed (No. 13) went 0-for-4 with a walk. Miguel Diaz got the start for the Javelinas and pitched three scoreless innings with one hit allowed, one walk and three strikeouts. Travis Radke was the first reliever out of Peoria's bullpen, and he allowed two earned runs on four hits in three innings, striking out one.

Rockies (Salt River) 
Jesus Tinoco (Rockies No. 20 prospect) continued his strong Fall League season, lowering his ERA to 1.72 with 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Tinoco walked one and struck out two. Justin Lawrence (No. 17) also pitched in relief, giving up one earned run on two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Free-agent signings each team can be proud of

MLB.com @williamfleitch

With free-agency season hitting its stride, we've been looking at free agency in a historical sense over the last couple of weeks. Last week, we looked at some of the free-agent decisions teams would love to have back. But free agency isn't some sort of sunk money game. There are all sorts of great free-agent contracts that work out well for both player and team. That is, after all, what a good deal is supposed to be.

So, today we look at the best free-agent signings for each team this century. Some of these players are still on the team, some of them provided their teams tons of value in the past, some of them are just getting warmed up. Last year, teams were hesitant to jump into free agency. Here are some arguments from the past as to why they should.

With free-agency season hitting its stride, we've been looking at free agency in a historical sense over the last couple of weeks. Last week, we looked at some of the free-agent decisions teams would love to have back. But free agency isn't some sort of sunk money game. There are all sorts of great free-agent contracts that work out well for both player and team. That is, after all, what a good deal is supposed to be.

So, today we look at the best free-agent signings for each team this century. Some of these players are still on the team, some of them provided their teams tons of value in the past, some of them are just getting warmed up. Last year, teams were hesitant to jump into free agency. Here are some arguments from the past as to why they should.

Note: For each player, the year listed is the first season he played with the club after he signed the contract, even if he actually signed it the previous November or December.

AL EAST

Blue Jays: Russell Martin, five years, $82 million, 2015
Martin has battled injuries the last couple of years, but he was terrific at the beginning of his contract. The Canadian catcher was perfect fit for a Blue Jays team that leaped when its window was open and made it to the American League Championship Series in consecutive years, with Martin playing a big part.

Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen, three years, $11.3 million, 2012
Chen was perhaps the Orioles' most consistent pitcher for his four years in Baltimore, and Miami rewarded him with an even bigger contract when he left.

Rays: Carlos Pena, Minor League deal, 2007
Pena hit 46 homers for the Rays that year, and he was just as good when they re-signed him to a three-year, $24 million deal the next season -- the year Tampa Bay went to its lone World Series.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, one year, $1.25 million, 2003
Ortiz was only a free agent because the Twins released him, making this arguably the most fortuitous free-agent signing ever. Every contract the Red Sox signed him to after this one -- for much more money than he got in this deal -- was more than worth it for them as well.

Yankees: Hideki Matsui, three years, $21 million, 2003
"Godzilla" hit a total of 70 homers across the three-year span of his original deal with the Yankees. He'd later re-sign for four years, ending his career in New York by being named World Series MVP in 2009.

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Juan Gonzalez, one year, $10 million, 2001
This was JuanGone's last full season, and he finished fifth in MVP voting before going to Texas for the declining years of his career.

Royals: Edinson Volquez, two years, $20 million, 2015
Kendrys Morales was another option here, as both helped the Royals win that elusive World Series.

Tigers: Ivan Rodriguez, four years, $40 million, 2004
Both the Tigers and Rodriguez were widely criticized when he signed such a big deal with one of the worst teams in baseball. Two years later, they were both in the World Series.

Twins: Jim Thome, one year, $1.5 million, 2010
He came back for $3 million the next season, but he was outstanding in 2010, helping the team to the playoffs and looking like a natural fit in a Twins uniform.

White Sox: Jermaine Dye, two years, $10.15 million, 2005
Dye was the slugger the White Sox needed, and by the end of the deal, he had won a World Series MVP Award.

AL WEST

Angels: Vladimir Guerrero, five years, $70 million, 2004
This future Hall of Famer's contract, which came a couple of years after A-Rod signed for $252 million with Texas and Manny Ramirez signed for $160 million with Boston, looked like a bargain by comparison.

Astros: Roger Clemens, one year, $5 million, 2004
Clemens signed roughly the same deal with the Astros in 2005, which, according to ERA+, is the best year of his career.

Athletics: Bartolo Colon, one year, $3 million, 2013
Colon was 40 in 2013, when he put up the lowest ERA of his career (2.65).

Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki, three years, $14 million, 2001
Technically, Ichiro was signed last century, but since he didn't play his first game until this one, we're counting him.

Rangers: Adrian Beltre, five years, $80 million, 2011
Beltre had just rebuilt his value in Boston on a one-year deal after a tumultuous five years in Seattle, and went on to become a legend in Texas and cementing his status as a future Hall of Famer.

NL EAST

Braves: Billy Wagner, one year, $7 million, 2010
Wagner's lowest ERA of his career (1.43) came in his final season, which he played in Atlanta.

Marlins: Ivan Rodriguez, one year, $10 million, 2003
Yep, Pudge is on here twice, and why not? He was the vocal leader of a World Series-winning team.

Mets: Carlos Beltran, seven years, $119 million, 2005
The only people not convinced of this are, of course, Mets fans. Per Baseball Reference's WAR, his two best seasons (and three of his best five) came in Queens.

Nationals: Max Scherzer, seven years, $210 million, 2015
Many teams were scared off by Scherzer's age and violent delivery. Suffice it to say, they wouldn't mind having him right now.

Phillies: Cliff Lee, five years, $120 million, 2011
People were scared off by Lee as well. But he was fantastic nearly every year he was in Philadelphia.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Lorenzo Cain, five years, $80 million, 2018
Is it too early to say this already feels like a steal? Maybe. But maybe not.

Cardinals: Matt Holliday, seven years, $120 million, 2010
The Cardinals parted ways with Holliday at the end of his deal, but he provided excess value to them essentially every year of the contract.

Cubs: Moises Alou, three years, $27 million, 2002
Jon Lester may yet trump this -- perhaps he already has -- but Alou helped get the Cubs to within a game of the Fall Classic in 2003, as close as they'd get before finally winning it all in '16.

Pirates: Russell Martin, two years, $17 million, 2013
The Pirates' postseason breakthrough happened the second year of this contract, and Martin was instrumental in making that happen. (Fun note: There are two guys featured twice in this piece, and both of them are catchers -- Martin and Pudge.)

Reds: Aroldis Chapman, six years, $30 million, 2010
Say what you will about the Reds, but they were in on Chapman first.

NL WEST

D-backs: Randy Johnson, four years, $52 million, 1999
The easiest pick on this whole list, obviously. Johnson won the NL Cy Young Award every single year of this deal, going a combined 81-27 with a 2.48 ERA and 1,417 strikeouts in 1,030 innings.

Dodgers: Derek Lowe, four years, $36 million, 2005
The veteran right-hander won 54 games for the Dodgers between 2005-08, never starting fewer than 32 games in a season during that stretch. Yasiel Puig is also in the running.

Giants: Ray Durham, three years, $20 million, 2003
Durham hit .286/.362/.451 during this deal, helping the Giants win 100 games in his first year in San Francisco. Barry Bonds would, of course, be the all-time answer, but the only free-agent deal he ever signed with the Giants came prior to the 1993 season, precluding him from qualifying here.

Padres: Joaquin Benoit, two years, $15 million, 2014
Benoit had been a closer the previous year for the Tigers, but the Padres used him as an all-purpose reliever, and he put up a 1.96 ERA over his two seasons in San Diego.

Rockies: Mark Reynolds, one year, $1.5 million, 2017
Reynolds signed a one-year deal with Colorado prior to the 2016 season and was serviceable. He then signed another one-year deal for the following season for less money, and the Rockies got 30 homers out of him on the way to earning a Wild Card spot.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Tatis Jr. named Padres' best power prospect

MLB.com @JonathanMayo and @JimCallisMLB and @GoldenSombrero

Baseball has witnessed a proliferation of home run-hitting rookies in recent years.

In 2016, Gary Sanchez became the first player to homer 18 times in his first 45 games, only to see that record obliterated when Rhys Hoskins went deep 19 times in his first 34 games the next season. Overshadowing Hoskins in 2017, Aaron Judge (52) and Cody Bellinger (39) each set league records for long balls by a rookie. This year, Ronald Acuna became the youngest player (age 20) known to have homered in five straight games and seven of eight, finishing the season with 26, while Juan Soto slammed the second-most homers ever by a teenager (22).

Baseball has witnessed a proliferation of home run-hitting rookies in recent years.

In 2016, Gary Sanchez became the first player to homer 18 times in his first 45 games, only to see that record obliterated when Rhys Hoskins went deep 19 times in his first 34 games the next season. Overshadowing Hoskins in 2017, Aaron Judge (52) and Cody Bellinger (39) each set league records for long balls by a rookie. This year, Ronald Acuna became the youngest player (age 20) known to have homered in five straight games and seven of eight, finishing the season with 26, while Juan Soto slammed the second-most homers ever by a teenager (22).

Who will form the next wave of young sluggers? Below, we identify the top power-hitting prospect in each organization, focusing on usable power (translatable into home run production) as opposed to simply raw power.

AL East

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays No. 1 (MLB No. 1)
The 19-year-old phenom is the best hitter in the Minor Leagues, and it's not even close. The truly amazing part, however, is that he hasn't even begun in earnest to tap into the enormous raw power he's shown flashes of at times in his career -- which says a lot considering he totaled 20 home runs and 26 doubles in 91 games while also hitting .381(!) this season between Double- and Triple-A.

Watch: Vlad Jr. crushes 2-run shot

Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles No. 2 (MLB No. 63)
Mountcastle hit 13 home runs in Double-A this year after going deep 18 times and leading the Minors with 48 doubles in 2017. Much of that had to do with the fractured right hand that sidelined him until mid-May, as Mountcastle still showed plenty of raw power to the big part of the field as he has throughout his career. Because of a swing that features natural loft and remains in the zone for an extended period of time, it's easy to envision many of Mountcastle's doubles clearing the fence in future seasons.

Nate Lowe, 1B, Rays No. 13
One of the top breakout prospects of 2018, Lowe, a 13th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, produced a .330/.416/.568 line with an organizational-best 27 home runs as well as 32 doubles while ascending from Class A Advanced Charlotte to Triple-A Durham. With power that plays to all parts of the field, the 23-year-old first baseman could soon be hitting in the middle of Tampa Bay's big league lineup.

Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox No. 6
Dalbec bounced back from a hamate injury that ruined his first full pro season in 2017 to rank fourth in the Minors with 32 homers this season, as well as place second with 70 extra-base hits and 109 RBIs. A fourth-round pick from Arizona in 2016, Dalbec comes with swing-and-miss concerns, but his raw power has prompted comparisons to Kris Bryant.

Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees No. 2 (MLB No. 45)
Florial's bat speed and the loft in his left-handed swing give him plenty of raw power, though he's still figuring things out at the plate and homered just six times in 84 games while dealing with a hamate injury. Signed out of Haiti in 2015, he has two more well above-average tools in his speed and arm strength.

AL Central

Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians No. 7
The 22-year-old left-handed slugger connected on 27 home runs between Double- and Triple-A and has now totaled at least 23 long balls in each of his first four full seasons. Bradley's massive raw power comes paired with strikeout concerns as well as some inherent streakiness, but he also has a sound approach that portends even more consistent game power down the road.

Seuly Matias, OF, Royals No. 3
Matias' season came to a premature end when he severely cut his right thumb on the cargo door of the team bus while loading his luggage in mid-August, but he still led the Minors in homers per plate appearance (one every 12.1) and ranked sixth with 31 homers in just 94 games. Signed for $2.25 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he also homered at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, where World manager David Ortiz likened him to a young Sammy Sosa.

Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers No. 6
He's led the Tigers organization in home runs in each of his three full seasons of pro ball, with at least 25 in each season and a high of 30 in 2016, his first full year after coming out of Tennessee. He improved his overall approach without sacrificing power in 2018, cutting his K rate but still hitting 25 long balls.

Brent Rooker, 1B, Twins No. 7
Rooker showed how advanced his bat is by reaching the Florida State League and hitting 18 homers in 62 games during his summer pro debut in 2017. He went straight to Double-A in 2018 and led the Twins with 22 home runs, 13 of which came during a torrid June and July.

Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox No. 1 (MLB No. 3)
The jewel of the White Sox's 2017 trade that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs, Jimenez is the closest rival to Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the best offensive prospect in baseball. The Dominican battled pectoral and adductor strains in 2018 yet still set career highs in homers (22) and slugging (.577) while dominating Triple-A at age 21.

Watch: MiLB Video

AL West

Jo Adell, OF, Angels No. 1 (MLB No. 15)
His raw power has been on display since his high school days, when he hit 25 homers as a senior. Given some questions about his swing-and-miss tendencies, no one would have predicted he'd get to Double-A in his first full season of pro ball. He hit 20 homers in just 99 games along the way for a .543 slugging percentage.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros No. 1 (MLB No. 5)
Three picks after taking Alex Bregman with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, the Astros grabbed Tucker, who has a similarly lofty offensive ceiling. He led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in slugging (.590) and OPS (.989) while recording his second straight 20-20 season.

Watch: Tucker's game-tying homer

Lazaro Armenteros, OF, Athletics No. 6
Lazarito's eight home runs in 79 games at Class A Beloit as a 19-year-old this past season don't accurately reflect his power potential. The Cuban product has a chiseled frame at 6 feet and182 pounds and already shows feel to hit, leading scouts to project him for a considerable uptick in power as he continues to develop and become better acclimated to pro ball.

Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners No. 1
Lingering effects from the severe knee injury Lewis suffered during his pro debut have kept him from making a true impact in either of his first two full-season campaigns. As a result, it's still easy to dream of the 2016 first-rounder eventually tapping the raw power he's long shown glimpses of. Joey Curletta was also considered after the 24-year-old first baseman went deep 23 times en route to Double-A Texas League Player of the Year honors.

Anderson Tejeda, SS, Rangers No. 10
Tejeda immediately began impressing scouts with his power when he made his U.S. debut in 2016, two years after signing out of the Dominican Republic, and launched 28 extra-base hits in 55 games. He continues to display uncommon pop for a middle infielder, ranking sixth in the high Class A Carolina League with 19 homers this season as one of its younger regulars (age 20).

NL East

Austin Riley, 3B, Braves No. 5 (MLB No. 43)
Riley's raw power has always been a known commodity. What's surprised some is how good he's been at making adjustments at the plate so he can consistently tap into it. He's hit 59 homers the past three seasons combined and despite missing time with injury, he posted a career high (for a full season) with his .522 SLG.

 Watch: Riley cranks solo homer

Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins No. 2
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder's power has blossomed in the last two seasons in the form of 21- and 19-homer campaigns, though it's come at the cost of a soaring strikeout rate and perpetuated concerns about his contact skills. At the same time, it's important to remember that the 23-year-old outfielder is still playing catch-up developmentally after a decorated multi-sport prep career followed by an injury-plagued start to his pro career.

Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets No. 2 (MLB No. 58)
Not only did Alonso tie for the Minor League lead with 36 homers (and lead the Minors outright with 119 RBIs), he's shown ridiculous exit velocity with home runs on big stages (113.6 mph at the Futures Game; 110 mph at the AFL's Fall Stars Game). Each blast knocks louder on the big league door.

Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals No. 2 (MLB No. 37)
The 2016 first-rounder impressed with his power potential in his first fully healthy season, connecting on 16 homers and 31 doubles in 123 games while reaching Double-A. Kieboom's uptick in power didn't detract from his hitting ability or approach either -- a big reason why evaluators forecast the 21-year-old shortstop to find even more power as he adjusts to upper-level pitching.

Darick Hall, 1B, Phillies
For two years running, the big first baseman has led the organization in homers (tying with Hoskins in 2017) and RBIs. He's hit 54 homers over those two seasons, reaching Double-A for the first time in 2018. An improved approach should let him tap into his power even more.

NL Central

Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers No. 1 (MLB No. 30)
You'd be hard-pressed to find a right-handed hitter with a more impactful right-handed swing and better bat-to-ball skills than Hiura, who slashed .293/.357/.464 with 52 extra-base hits in his first full season. Corey Ray and Jake Gatewood also have impressive power, however Hiura's consistent stroke and feel for using the big part of the field make him a better candidate to apply his power all the way up the ladder.

Watch: Hiura's 3-run blast

Nolan Gorman, 3B, Cardinals No. 2 (MLB No. 73)
All Gorman did was lead all 2018 draftees with 17 homers in 63 total games that led to a .570 SLG and .950 OPS in his pro debut. The No. 19 overall pick out of the Arizona high school ranks was so impressive, he reached full-season ball and silenced some who worried about how his hit tool would play in pro ball.

Nelson Velazquez, OF, Cubs No. 21
Though Velazquez wasn't ready for full-season ball in his first full pro season, he still has the best power potential in the Cubs system and hinted at it by slugging .458 in the short-season Northwest League. A fifth-round pick as a Puerto Rico high schooler in 2017, he has a quick right-handed bat and a take-no-prisoners approach.

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates No. 4
Others hit more home runs than he did in the Pirates system in 2018 (Will Craig topped it with 20), but the 6-foot-6 shortstop took a big step forward overall offensively and did hit 14 out as a teenager in the South Atlantic League. There is no question there's much more pop to come as he fills out that frame.

Ibandel Isabel, 1B, Reds
Isabel's power started showing up big time in 2016 when he slugged .579 and reached full-season ball with the Dodgers. He followed that up with a 28-homer breakout in 2017. The Reds acquired him last April and he finished with 36 home runs, tying for the Minor League lead, and has a career .513 SLG.

NL West

Kristian Robinson, OF, D-backs No. 12
He has a long way to go as a 17-year-old with just 222 career at-bats on his professional resume. But people talk about his raw power in hushed tones and it was on display during instructs more consistently. As he fills out his 6-foot-3 frame, his .428 slugging percentage will assuredly increase.

DJ Peters, OF, Dodgers No. 8
Peters has a long track record of power production, setting a Western Nevada CC home run record (16) in the program's final season in 2016; leading the Rookie-level Pioneer League in total bases (161) and OPS (1.052) in his pro debut that summer; topping the high Class A California League in extra-base hits (61) and slugging (.514) en route to MVP honors in 2017; and pacing the Double-A Texas League in homers (29), extra-base hits (55) and total bases (232) this summer. He derives his pop from impressive strength and leverage in his 6-foot-6 frame.

Chris Shaw, OF, Giants No. 4
The best college power hitter available in the 2015 Draft, Shaw led the Cape Cod League with eight homers the previous summer and the short-season Northwest League with 12 in his pro debut. The Boston College first-rounder has since mashed 69 homers in three full Minor League seasons, then smoked a Seunghwan Oh slider 468 feet for his first big league blast in September.

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres No. 1 (MLB No. 2)
He became the first 18-year-old in Midwest League history to post at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 2017, and would have posted another 20-20 season in Double-A at age 19 this past season if not for a season-ending thumb injury in late July. Tatis has already shown in-game power to all fields and has massive raw power to his pull side.

Watch: Tatis crushes leadoff homer

Brendan Rodgers, INF, Rockies No. 1 (MLB No. 9)
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, Rodgers looks like the heir apparent to DJ LeMahieu at second base in Colorado. He has a knack for barreling balls and making loud contact, which has resulted in 57 homers and a .491 slugging percentage in 350 pro games.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

GMs fondly remember scout Welke at Meetings

MLB.com @AJCassavell

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- It's impossible to miss Don Welke's impact at this week's General Managers Meetings.

Among the sport's 30 current GMs, three worked directly with Welke in Texas. The other 27 -- and, essentially, the rest of the baseball world -- revere the longtime scouting executive, who passed away in September at the age of 75.

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- It's impossible to miss Don Welke's impact at this week's General Managers Meetings.

Among the sport's 30 current GMs, three worked directly with Welke in Texas. The other 27 -- and, essentially, the rest of the baseball world -- revere the longtime scouting executive, who passed away in September at the age of 75.

So it was only fitting on Wednesday night that the meetings paused for a celebration of Welke's life at a nearby restaurant. Welke spent more than half a century in baseball, serving in an assortment of scouting roles with the Padres, Rangers, Phillies, Dodgers, Orioles, Blue Jays, Royals and Reds.

Known fondly as "Coach," Welke was feted Wednesday by more than 100 baseball people. The common theme? Welke's love for the people who make up the game.

"He was always willing to listen, and he always was willing to teach," Twins general manager Thad Levine said. "He had an affinity for people that transcended age. He was as comfortable with the intern out of college as he was with the 30-year veteran scout."

"He had such an impact in the game, and for a lot of individuals in that room, he was so significant," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller, who worked with Welke at every stop.

Added Rangers GM Jon Daniels: "He was just always a really big believer in people."

That includes Daniels himself. Daniels recalled a particularly rough stretch for the Rangers during the 2008 season.

"We were in Year 2 of a rebuild, and there were some really frustrating moments and some times where I maybe questioned things a little bit," Daniels said. "He pulled me aside, and he squared me up. He said, 'I don't know what you're hanging your head over. We've got a lot of good stuff going on here.'"

As usual, Welke's evaluation was accurate. The Rangers won 87 games the following season, and they made the World Series in each of the next two years.

Welke's most celebrated signings include Dave Stieb, Pat Hentgen and John Olerud, who helped bring consecutive World Series titles to Toronto. In Texas, he helped land Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre, whom he had previously scouted for the Dodgers.

But Welke's most visionary scouting moment came in the mid-1980s in Michigan as he evaluated a prospect the Blue Jays drafted but wouldn't sign. Of the prospect, Welke famously wrote:

"Left-handed pitcher. 6-foot-3, 180 pounds. Great arm. Good changeup. Makings of a breaking ball. Natural cutter. Big competitor. Good athlete. Plays football. Good hitter."

Then he added one final line to describe Jim Abbott: "Has no right hand."

Indeed, Welke saw past what many scouts couldn't, mostly because he saw the person. He convinced the Blue Jays to draft Abbott, who instead attended the University of Michigan before pitching 10 seasons in the big leagues, throwing a no-hitter in 1993.

"He did things in a maverick sort of way," Daniels said. "He wasn't one to roll with the pack. He never needed confirmation from anybody else. He knew what he believed in, and he was willing to take some chances. He never looked back either. We were going to hit on some, miss on some, but we're going to power through."

At every stop, Welke's affable personality proved infectious. He became a staple on golf carts at the Rangers and Padres Spring Training complexes over the past dozen years.

"If you spent a game watching with him in the stands, the volume of things you'd learn was as much as you could learn anywhere else," Levine said. "A lot of it came in very curious riddles where you'd need a decoder ring. After some time, it would finally sink in."

Those stories were rehashed on Wednesday night in Carlsbad. Both Preller and Daniels formally addressed those in attendance at the private ceremony. But the tone of the event was casual and light-hearted. Everyone, after all, had a Welke story to share.

"He always wanted to do his way," Daniels said beforehand. "And he did."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres

Allen drives in two in Saturday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Saturday:

• Gameday: Scottsdale 5, Glendale 3 | Peoria 7, Surprise 4 | Mesa 7, Salt River 2

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Saturday:

• Gameday: Scottsdale 5, Glendale 3 | Peoria 7, Surprise 4 | Mesa 7, Salt River 2

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 22 prospect Santiago Espinal went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (No. 1 overall) was out of the lineup and had the day off. Shawn Morimando got the start for the Saguaros and took the loss, falling to 0-2 in the Fall League. Morimando allowed two earned runs in four innings, giving up three hits, walking two and striking out three.

Orioles (Glendale)
Jay Flaa and Tyler Erwin each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Flaa allowed two hits, while Erwin worked a 1-2-3 inning and notched a strikeout. Martin Cervenka started at catcher and went 0-for-3.

Rays (Peoria)
Matt Krook got the start for the Javelinas and allowed one earned run in two innings. The left-hander gave up two hits, walked three and struck out four. Right-hander Brandon Lawson followed Krook and pitched three innings of scoreless relief, notching the win and improving to 2-1 in the AFL. Lawson allowed one hit and struck out two. Phoenix Sanders pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out three.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 9 prospect Mike Shawaryn walked one and threw 13 of his 22 pitches for strikes across two scoreless frames to open the game. Josh Ockimey (No. 10), meanwhile, provided the offense as he went 1-for-3 with a two-run double. Esteban Quiroz was 0-for-1 at the plate, but drew a trio of walks. More >>

Video: Ockimey talks about his performance in Fall League

Yankees (Glendale)
Kyle Zurak pitched a perfect inning of relief, posting his second straight scoreless outing to lower his Fall League ERA to 14.09. Steven Sensley went 1-for-3 with a single and two strikeouts.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Indians No. 6 prospect Yu Chang hit his fourth home run of the Fall League season, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Chang raised his AFL average to .346. Connor Marabell went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Jared Robinson pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out one.

Tweet from @wboor: #Indians Yu Chang is hitting .351 in the @MLBazFallLeague after this opposite-field blast. Chang has four homers in the AFL. pic.twitter.com/AEPBKnqnWB

Royals (Surprise)
Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daniel Woodrow boosted his AFL average to .370 with a 3-for-4 performance, while Daniel Pinero went 1-for-4 at the plate.

Video: MSS@SRR: Woodrow hustles to earn infield RBi single

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 16 prospect Travis Blankenhorn went 0-for-3, but also made a nice diving catch out in left field.

Video: MSS@SRR: Blankenhorn lays out for fantastic grab

White Sox (Glendale)
It was a quiet day for White Sox prospects as Luis Robert (Chicago's No. 4), Luis Alexander Basabe (No. 9) and Laz Rivera (No. 28) combined to go 0-for-11 with each striking out once. Rivera, who started at shortstop, also committed his second error of the AFL season.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Skye Bolt, the Athletics' No. 30 prospect, and Luis Barrera each contributed to Mesa's win. Bolt went 1-for-5 with an RBI double and a run scored, while Barrera went 2-for-5 and also drove in a run. Jake Bray walked a pair, but worked his way out of the jam and didn't give up a run in his lone inning on the mound. Angel Duno also threw a scoreless frame for Mesa, yielding just one hit.

Video: MSS@SRR: Bolt laces an RBI double to center field

Angels (Mesa)
Daniel Procopio, Brett Hanewich and Ryan Clark threw the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, yielding a total of two runs (one earned). Hanewich gave up one run on one hit, while Procopio walked two and was charged with an unearned run.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Astros No. 21 prospect Abraham Toro hit his second homer of the Fall League season while going 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot. Toro drove in two runs and scored a pair. Ronnie Dawson batted cleanup and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. More »

Video: Toro discusses his homer, 2-hit game in Fall League

Mariners (Peoria)
Chris Mariscal went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a strikeout, while Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a run scored. Matt Walker gave up two earned runs in an inning of relief, allowing three hits, including a home run, and striking out one.

Rangers (Surprise)
Yanio Perez and Charles Leblanc combined to go 0-for-8 with three strikeouts, but Perez reached once via walk. Demarcus Evans pitched a hitless inning of relief, walking two and striking out one.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Izzy Wilson belted his second home run of the Fall League season, going 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a walk. Braxton Davidson raised his AFL average to .255 with a 2-for-4 performance, as he doubled, walked and drove in two runs. Ray-Patrick Didder went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.

Tweet from @JakeDRill: Second RBI hit of the day for #Braves prospect Braxton Davidson. This one's a single through the right side that extended Peoria's lead to 6-1 in the 7th. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/RktzddYTSZ

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 12 prospect Brian Miller went 0-for-4 at the plate, while Bryson Brigman (No. 27) went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Video: MSS@SRR: Brigman reaches for fine grab in 2nd

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Darick Hall led Phillies prospects with a pair of hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Austin Listi went 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Luke Williams also went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom went 1-for-5 and is hitting .284 in the AFL. Tres Barrera (No. 15) went 0-for-4. Jordan Mills and Taylor Guilbeau combined to throw three scoreless innings. Mills threw two innings and struck out three.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, lowering his AFL average to .221. Matt Blackham pitched two innings of relief, allowing one earned run on one hit with three strikeouts.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura (No. 30 overall) continued his impressive Fall League campaign by going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Weston Wilson went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles, an RBI and two runs scored, while Trent Grisham (Milwaukee's No. 19) went 0-for-5 from the bottom of the order. Jon Olczak pitched an inning of relief, allowing one earned run on one hit and one walk.

Tweet from @JakeDRill: Another impressive hit by #Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura. A leadoff double in the 7th. Exit velocity was 114.8 mph accoring to Trackman. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/W0OQqVSJvA

Cardinals (Surprise)
Andy Young went 1-for-4 with a single from the bottom of the Saguaros' lineup. Cardinals No. 30 prospect Connor Jones pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out two. Will Latcham tossed a scoreless frame in relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner and Trent Giambrone (No. 29) jump-started the Mesa offense as Hoerner tripled in the first and scored on Giambrone's RBI groundout. Hoerner finished 1-for-5, but Giambrone collected a trio of hits in the later innings and concluded his evening 3-for-5. Bailey Clark also threw well in relief as he put up a pair of zeros. Clark did give up four hits and issue a walk, but managed to keep runs off the board, reducing his AFL ERA to 2.45. P.J. Higgins went 0-for-4.

Video: MSS@SRR: Hoerner triples, scores on groundout

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker stayed hot, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Will Craig (No. 16) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) went 0-for-4 with a walk. Blake Weiman and Geoff Hartlieb both had rough relief appearances. Weiman allowed two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits and walking two. Hartlieb gave up three earned runs in an inning, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out two.

Tweet from @JakeDRill: #Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker has raked in the Fall League. Here's his leadoff double from earlier today: pic.twitter.com/XQhF6gThVa

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell went 1-for-4 with a single. Austin Orewiler got the start for the Scorpions and notched his first Fall League win. Orewiler allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in five innings, walking one and striking out six.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs No. 3 prospect Jazz Chisholm had a quiet day at the plate, finishing just 1-for-4, but impressed with a few nice defensive plays. Bo Takahashi got the start for the Rafters, but struggled and was unable to get through three innings and gave up three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 frames. Tyler Mark didn't fare any better, giving up three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Kevin Ginkel was the most successful of the D-backs' pitchers as he gave up one hit and spun a scoreless frame. Playing for Surprise, Renae Martinez started at catcher and went 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and a walk. Martinez's two-run homer was his second long ball of the AFL season.

Video: MSS@SRR: Chisolm handles tough hop with ease

Dodgers (Glendale)
Dodgers No. 20 prospect Errol Robinson and Cody Thomas combined to go 0-for-6 with five strikeouts, but Thomas reached base once via a walk. Ben Holmes started for the Desert Dogs and fell to 1-2 in the Fall League, allowing five earned runs in three innings. Holmes gave up six hits, walked three and struck out one. Nolan Long pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out two.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Matt Winn went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. It was Winn's first three-bagger of the Fall League. Chase Johnson pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one. Sam Wolff worked a perfect ninth to record his second save of the AFL season. Wolff hasn't allowed a run in nine innings pitched in the Fall League.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen batted cleanup and went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, two walks and a run scored. Allen had a two-run single and raised his Fall League average to .245.

Tweet from @JakeDRill: #Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen rips a two-run single to right, extending Peoria's lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/0WKnmGPNHe

Rockies (Salt River)
Rockies No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin is hitting .420 in the Fall League after his 2-for-3 performance. Josh Fuentes also picked up a hit and is batting .307 after going 1-for-4. Sam Hilliard (No. 9) went 0-for-3, but worked a pair of walks. Justin Lawrence (No. 17) and Mitch Horacek each pitched in relief. Horacek gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning while Lawrence spun a scoreless ninth.