When the San Diego Padres upgraded their team offensively this season, the new faces had a trickle down effect to the whole 40 man roster. Nobody has felt more of a change than Padres outfielder Rymer Liriano. He was once considered the franchises best prospect and in my eyes is major league ready now.
Liriano has the type of tools you dream about as a major league scout. When scouts speak of 5-tool talent players, they are describing Rymer Liriano. With a rocket arm and that deadly combination of speed and power, he has all the tools to succeed. Rymer just hasn’t had the opportunity to do so on a regular basis in the major leagues.
He did make his major league debut last season and hit .220 with a homer and six RBI’s in 109 at bats. Liriano also stole four bases and scored 13 runs. He struck out a troubling 39 times in the small amount of at bats. Liriano is 23, and needs to make an adjustment in his swing. With more coaching that can easily happen.
His minor league numbers show that Liriano has a history of striking out frequently. He struck out 145 times last season, in 550 at bats in the minor leagues. While providing 18 home runs and 78 RBI’s with a .285 batting average. Rymer Liriano also stole 21 bases and provided solid defense in right field. The tools are evident he just needs to make contact more frequently to maximize his potential in professional baseball.
This season so far Liriano is hitting .269 with 3 homers and 16 RBI’s in 108 at bats. He already has 26 K’s but has walked 15 times resulting in a .378 on base percentage. Liriano is showing a major league quality eye at the plate, he just needs to shorten up with two strikes and put the ball in play.
After missing the entire 2013 season with Tommy John surgery, Liriano seems finally comfortable. It is said that it usually takes position players longer to recover from the surgery than pitchers. Strange since pitchers use their arms so much in their craft. Swinging the bat with authority is no easy task either.
The 2015 season should be Liriano’s year to blossom. At the age of 23, Liriano has a bright future. I am really surprised no team has asked about him as an inexpensive project for their franchise.
The Padres are stacked in the outfield both now and in the future. Liriano simply provides that dreaded organizational depth at this point. For him to be labeled in that regard at the age of 23 is foolish. I expect a big year from him in AAA, hopefully boosting his trade value. A trade would be best for Liriano and the Padres. There is an outside chance he could be the starting left-fielder next season if the team cannot re-sign Justin Upton, and Hunter Renfroe is deemed too raw to assume the position. That is a possibility, you really never know. Anything can happen in the game of baseball.
For the time being Liriano will get consistent at bats in El Paso playing for the Chihuahuas. That is best for him right now in the Padres organization. It’s sad for the slugging outfielder, because in seasons past you would surely see him in the middle of the Padres lineup. The Dominican outfielder is presently buried in a suddenly deep Padres outfield corps. A major league team surely would be wise trying to acquire Rymer Liriano from the Padres. A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres front office is hoping for a big year from the right-handed outfielder. Liriano could very well deliver.