With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.
Hit Tool: Austin Hedges, C
Power: Franmil Reyes, OF
Eye: Jaff Decker, OF
Base Stealer: Travis Jankowski, CF
K-Ability: Keyvius Sampson, RHP
Control: Matt Wisler, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: While Austin Hedges’ offensive hasn’t quite caught up to his work behind the plate, there’s plenty of potential for him to develop an above-average hit tool. Hedges, 20, hit .260/.333/.390 while showing solid patience at the plate and strong contact skills.
Best Power: A bit of a gamble, but 17-year-old Franmil Reyes has the potential to develop the best power in the entire system, despite spending the majority of his season playing in the Arizona Summer League. Reyes, who already stands an impressive 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, slugged 13 doubles, a pair of triples and four homeruns this season. He could be one of the breakout players in the Padres’ system this year.
Best Plate Discipline: A solid prospect with only one standout tool, his ability to get on first base, outfielder Jaff Decker has drawn a walk in 391 of his 2282 career plate appearances (17.1%). Decker, 23, posted a solid line during his debut in the PCL in 2012, hitting .286/.381/.443 to go along with his customary above-average walk rate (13.3%).
Best Base Stealer: A supplemental first round pick out of Stony Brook University in 2012, Travis Jankowski finished fourth in the minor leagues with 73 stolen bases. Jankowski, who swiped 17 bags in 24 attempts during his debut, was far more efficient in 2013, successfully stealing a base 83.5% of the time.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Keyvius Sampson’s strikeout rate has slowly declined as he’s moved up the minor league ladder, but the former fourth round pick punched out 135 hitters in 141.1 innings (8.6 K/9) split between San Antonio and Tucson.
Best Control: The Padres have aggressively pushed right-hander Matthew Wisler through the minor leagues. Wisler, 20, began the year by making six starts in high Class A, and finished it with 20 impressive starts in the Texas League. The former seventh round pick out of Bryan, Ohio, showed a solid walk percentage last season: 6.2%. For his career, Wisler has averaged just 2.3 BB/9.
Photo of Austin Hedges Courtesy of Lake Elsinore Storm & Cherished Memories via MiLB.com.