Zach Eflin RHP
When the Padres obtained Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, most people spoke about how the Dodgers barely got anything in return. That has proven to be false as Eflin was immediately dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for shortstop Jimmy Rollins. A trade that has worked out well for the Dodgers. Rollins is keeping the position warm until super stud prospect Corey Seager comes up from the minors.
Zach Eflin had a pretty decent season last year at Lake Elsinore. He was 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 128 innings pitched. He struck out 93 batters for the Storm that season. Eflin has very nice size and at the age of 21 has a very bright future.
This season in AA Reading for the Phillies, Eflin is 4-4 in 10 games. He has recorded a 3.35 ERA and a 1.092 WHIP and struck out 27 batters in 61 innings pitched. He pounds the strike zone and gets kick outs. A very nice trait to have for a young pitcher. Most of the time that type of trait takes seasons for a young pitcher to learn. Eflin could be a solid mid rotation starter in the big leagues as soon as late 2016.
Joe Wieland RHP
Joe Wieland was also dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Matt Kemp. It feels like Wieland has been around forever, but at the age of 25, he is still relatively young.
Wieland was acquired originally from the Texas Rangers with Robbie Erlin for relief pitcher Mike Adams. The right handed pitcher had one start this season against the Milwaukee Brewers. He took the loss and was roughed up a bit.
He is currently in AAA for the Dodgers and started nine games and pitched in 43 innings. Wieland has a 5.44 ERA and a 2.143 WHIP. Less than ideal numbers for the young right hander. It is still early in his career, so the pitcher can easily make the needed adjustment. Wieland could ultimately be a relief pitcher in the major leagues.
The biggest name and most important player to the Dodgers in the Matt Kemp deal was catcher Yasmani Grandal. The young cuban catcher has flashed impressive tools from time to time in his brief major league career.
Grandal has excellent power from both sides of the plate and even hit two home runs and drove in eight runs, in a game earlier this season in Milwaukee. The former Padres backstop has 24 career home runs as a Padre including 15 last year in 372 at bats. His power is legitimate.
This season in 40 games for the Dodgers, Grandal is hitting .285 with five home runs and 20 RBI’s in 123 at bats. He has amassed an impressive .399 on base percentage as he has walked 24 times for the Dodgers. At the age of 26, Grandal could be a pain in the side of the Padres for the next five years, but that is the price you pay to acquire a player like Matt Kemp.
Johnny Barbato RHP
The Padres and New York Yankees agreed to a deal that was pretty much under the radar. Shawn Kelley was acquired from the Yankees in exchange for minor league pitcher Johnny Barbato.
The 22-year old Barbato is currently pitching in AA Trenton for the Yankees. He has a 2-1 record in 15 games for the Yankees minor league team. Barbato has a 3.76 ERA and has struck out 27 batter in 26 innings pitched. He has only pitched out of the bullpen and is considered a decent relief pitching prospect.
The arrival of Shawn Kelley got off to a horrific start, but he has recently picked up the slack. Kelley has a decent track record and should be a useful part to the bullpen for the rest of the 2015 season. Barbato is likely a season or two before attempting to crack the major league roster.
Jake Bauers 1B
Another prospect dealt in the Wil Myers deal was the young first baseman Jake Bauers. He is considered a decent prospect but is still very young at the age of 19. Bauers has shown a decent eye at the plate and puts the ball n play. He should develop power in time with a little minor league seasoning.
Bauers is currently in high A ball for the Tampa Bay Rays. In 44 games there and 162 at bats, Bauers has five home runs and 29 RBI’s. He has a batting line of .272/.364/.457 on the young season.
Bauers could develop into the Rays future first baseman. He has a very nice swing and the high on base percentage speaks to his maturity at his young age. Likely still two or three seasons before playing in Tampa Bay, Bauers is certainly a name to remember.
Burch Smith RHP
Also dealt to the Rays in the Wil Myers deal was minor league pitcher Burch Smith. He was injured late last season with Elbow discomfort and is yet another victim of Tommy John surgery.
The Rays still thought very highly of Smith despite his injury risk. He at the age of 25 could develop eventually but is a high injury risk. Smith actually made his pro debut for the Padres in 2013 where he pitched in 10 games and actually started seven for the team.
Smith has a career ERA in the majors of 6.44 and is 1-3. He has struck out an impressive 46 batters in 36 innings pitched. Smith needs to get healthy and once he does he will probably slide into a role as a major league reliever.
The player traded this off-season with the most Padres tenure was easily Cameron Maybin. He was considered the franchises center fielder of the future, but injuries derailed his career and the Padres decided to deal him this off-season.
Maybin was dealt to the Braves in the Craig Kimbrel deal. It was essentially two bad outfield contracts being dealt for each other. The Padres received Melvin Upton Jr.in the deal and the Braves would get Maybin. Perhaps a change in scenery would help each struggling center fielder.
Maybin thus far has played pretty well for the Braves in 2015. He has pretty much taken the role of starting center fielder and is currently hitting second for the team. Maybin is hitting .268 with a .353 on base percentage. He has smacked five home runs and drove in 24 runs while stealing seven bases for the Braves.
In one year as a Padre, Seth Smith impressed many Padres fans. He was easily the Padres best hitter last season, and losing him normally would be news worthy. However with all the upgrades to the team offensively especially in the outfield, Smith was deemed expendable.
Smith has been playing against right handed starters and is currently hitting .259 for the Seattle Mariners. In 47 games and 147 at bats, Smith has hit five home runs and driven in 14 runs for the Mariners.
The acquisition of Shawn Maurer from the Mariners has turned out to be huge. He looks to be a solid pitcher. Maurer could easily be turned into a starting pitcher or he could continue to be dominant out of the bullpen. This trade might turn out to be the best deal of the whole off-season. Maurer is under team control for the next four seasons and his stuff is electric. Smith is just a journeyman outfielder who has likely topped out on his value.
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.