R.J. Alvarez RHP
When the Padres acquired R.J. Alvarez from the Los Angeles Angels, Padres fans were very excited about his future in their bullpen. Alvarez has always shown above average stuff and the proper mentality to succeed being a major league relief pitcher.
Making his major league debut last season with the Padres, Alvarez pitched eight innings and struck out nine while recording a 1.13 ERA. He looked poised into becoming a quality reliever in the majors. Alvarez was dealt to the Oakland Athletics this off-season and opened the year on the major league roster. He struggled with a 13.00 ERA in nine innings for the A’s.
Alvarez allowed 13 hits and 14 runs in his first nine innings pitched for the A’s. He did however strike out 16 batters in the nine innings pitched. He is now in AAA for the Athletics where he has a 5.40 ERA in 10 games. At the age of 23, Alvarez has plenty of time to figure it out. He should have a solid major league career in the bullpen.
Jesse Hahn RHP
The second piece in the deal that brought Derek Norris from the Oakland Athletics was right handed starting pitcher Jesse Hahn. Norris has been so clutch for the Padres so the loss of Hahn and Alvarez for Norris seems like an even deal.
Hahn had a great year for the Padres in the second half of the 2014 season. In 12 starts and 73 innings for the Padres, Hahn went 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA and struck out 70 batters in 73 innings. Very impressive numbers for a rookie making his major league debut.
This season in 10 games for the Athletics, the 25-year old Hahn has a 2-5 record with a 3.77 ERA. Hahn has struck out 40 batters in 59 innings while compiling a 1.156 WHIP. Not surprising his numbers are a little higher, now that he throws in the American League. Hahn has a very nice curve ball and seems over the injury issues that plagued him early in his professional career. He could be a solid mid rotation starter for the A’s, provided his arm holds up.
Mallex Smith OF
Center fielder Mallex Smith is an old school type speed burner that is very rare in this day and age of modern baseball. Smith stole 88 bases in 2014 in the Padres minor league system. He also stole 64 bags in the 2013 season. The man can run and would have made a great center fielder in Petco Park’s spacious outfield.
The 22-year old outfielder was one of the prospects dealt to the Atlanta Braves for Justin Upton. The price tag for Upton was not cheap and Smith could prove to be a costly loss in time for the Padres.
Smith this season in AA Mississippi for the Braves he is hitting .340 with a .404 on base percentage. Smith in 162 at bats, has two home runs and 18 RBI’s while stealing 18 bases. He has picked up right where he left off in the Padres minor league system. If he can keep his on base percentage high, Smith will be a very valuable major leaguer. His speed does not take days off.
Max Fried LHP
The former #1 draft pick for the San Diego Padres was also dealt to the Braves in the Justin Upton deal. Fried was drafted 7th overall in the 2012 draft out of high school in Los Angeles. The left-handed pitcher is currently disabled after under going Tommy John surgery during the 2014 season.
At the age of 21, Fried has a lot of time to develop before he will be seen in the major leagues. He has an above average change-up and has been compared to Cole Hamels.
The Phillies ace too had arm trouble early in his professional career, but has blossomed into a great major league pitcher. Only time will tell for this talented young lefty. Probably will not see Fried in the majors until the 2017-2018 season at the earliest
Dustin Peterson 3B/OF
Another young player dealt to the Braves in the Justin Upton deal was Dustin Peterson. The 20-year old infielder and outfielder is six-foot two inches and could eventually be a corner outfielder in the major leagues provided his bat continues to develop.
Peterson is currently in high A ball for the Braves. In 31 games and 110 at bats Peterson is hitting .300 with three home runs and 15 RBI’s. The right handed hitter needs to develop more power in order to progress to the next level. With his size, he should be able to add power hitting to his game.
The young infielder/outfielder was the second round pick for the Padres in 2013 out of high school in Arizona. He provides the Braves a talented young player and was the third decent young prospect received in the Justin Upton deal.
The fourth player obtained by the Braves in the Justin Upton deal was Jace Peterson. The second baseman provided immediate dividends for the Braves, as Peterson has played in 50 games for the Braves this year. The young infielder won the starting job out of spring training and hasn’t looked back.
The Padres will get a good luck at him in their next series when the Padres travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves. Peterson is currently hitting .268 in 168 at bats with one home run and 22 RBI’s. The left-handed hitting second baseman has played well for the team.
Peterson made his major league debut with the Padres in 2014, playing in 27 games. He only hit .113 (6-53) with 18 strike outs. Peterson has exceeded expectations so far, and might be able to stick in the big leagues if he can stay consistent at the plate. The 22 RBI’s so far this season in impressive for a rookie middle infielder.
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James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.