Hidden Gems In San Diego

Historically the San Diego Padres have been an organization that I have generally ignored in fantasy baseball.   I’ve seen other owners go after Sean Burroughs, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Matt Antonelli and Chase Headley and so far none of them have lived up to the hype.  After their 12 run win against the Brewers I took a look at their roster and, to most fantasy owners’ surprise, I think they have more to offer fantasy teams than Adrian Gonzalez.

Mat Latos—We’ve mentioned him before here. He will be a front of the rotation starter, if he’s available pick him up.

Evereth Cabrera—A Rule 5 Draft pick, Evereth Cabrera is seeing a lot of playing at a very young age.  Almost all of his experience has been in Single A but his strength is base stealing and the Padres plan on encouraging him. “He’s got the green light, even though there are times when he’s not to run,” Black said. “He’s got to learn that ‘I can’t go here.’ But in the course of the game, he’s on his own.” He split time in the beginning of the season with Luis Rodriquez but has managed to become the everyday starter when Rodriquez hit the DL and has 16 steals in 59 games while hitting .275.  The Padres already have him hitting second so he’s got his chance to be the everyday shortstop of the future for the Padres. Grab him now before he becomes a break out candidate for 2010 and you’ll have to pay too much for him.

Kyle Blanks—Going into the season Baseball America rated Blanks the #1 prospect in the Padres organization. Blanks has done nothing but hit while in the minors showing both an ability to hit for power and average. The only problem being he was blocked by Adrian Gonzalez.  The Padres have tried him in the outfield this year and he’s proven capable of handling the position.  He was called up in June and has now just started to find his stroke. He’s a must grab if he’s still available.

Wil Venable—I’ve heard him mentioned in different places over the past two seasons.  The common theme is that he has all the tools but not quite enough talent to be an everyday player.  ESPN’s Jason Grey echoes those sentiments writing that his current hot streak is not sustainable in the long run.  I recently picked him up for $8 in my league. I have mixed feelings but I picked up Adam Lind last year for $12 about this time so we’ll see but that may be way too optimistic.

Tony Gwynn Jr.—Namesake aside Jr. has fallen out of favor as a prospect. Once seen as a future starting centerfielder some now just see a fourth outfielder. He started hitting this season batting .309 in AAA. What’s also getting him noticed is his new found base stealing ability. He has posted a .281 average so far this season in the Majors so maybe its clicked for him. He’s worth a flier and, with the Padres outfield wide open for 2010, who knows.