1) Best Value
The New Orleans Zephyrs spent $560K to sign Dominican 2B Santiago Padilla, and the Texas Black Socks could benefit greatly from the previous GM’s discovery.
Padilla has spent the last three seasons in Low A, which is amazing when you look at his numbers during that time frame: a .309 batting average, 198 RBIs, 199 runs scored. He’s currently listed on the High A roster, but don’t be surprised to see him promoted to AA before the end of the year.
While he is not strong in any particular attribute, he’s consistently average across the board. Padilla could end up as a backup in the majors, making him a decent value.
2) Lowest Production Per Dollar
SS Andres Valenzuela has a career .347 batting average and a 1.013 OPS over 4 seasons in A ball. After a season with a .328 batting average, 24 HR, and 157 RBI, Andres seemed ripe for a promotion to AA or possibly even AAA. His $1.3 million signing bonus seemed like a bargain for New Orleans, and Texas appeared to inherit a future major leaguer.
So why did he retire?
My guess: wasn’t promoted quickly enough
My guess at the lack of promotion: 242 errors in 522 games
My solution: move him to another position
This may be the biggest bungling of a potential major leaguer yet.
3) Best Overall
There are a few great signings worthy of this award.
Texas has a bargain in RF Del Sosa, who signed for $1.6 million. He put up impressive stats in High A last year, hitting .344 with 16 HR, 90 RBIs, and 38 steals in only 425 at bats. It’s hard to understand why he wasn’t in High A before Season 3, as he hit .339 in over 1200 at bats in Low A. He’s currently on the High A roster, but one wonders if he should be in AA or higher at this point. His speed and ability to hit left handers imply that he’ll be a platoon OF at worst on the major league level.
The Nashville Sounds get credit for a solid signing in 3B Hector Mercedes, currently playing for the Santa Fe Locomotive’s High A squad. After not playing after his signing in Season 1, Mercedes played one season in each of the lowest 3 levels of the minors and proved he is ready for another promotion. Last year in High A, Hector hit .346, hit 17 HRs, and drove in 117 RBIs while playing moderate defense at the hot corner. As long as he doesn’t become a defensive liability, Mercedes looks primed to claim a spot in the Locomotive’s major league lineup within 2 years.
***this post was authored by Chrispy. ***