"He just has to command his fastball a little bit better down and stay on his slider," 2006 Fort Wayne pitching coach Tom Bradley said. "He has the makings of a very good slider. He had a consistent year from start to finish and dint really have any games where he was wild, being erratic and walking guys."
This spring, however, his mid-90s fastball was just touching 90 MPH and the Padres were wary of his commitment (he has come in overweight in the past). He worked in Venezuela during the off-season but the progress the Padres expected wasn't there.
"Mechanics and the slider," Fernandez said of what he was working on during the off-season. "I worked in winter ball on the changeup. I throw a lot of two-seamers now to get ground balls."
Michael Wagner, a fifth-round selection by the Giants in 2003, has a career .275 minor league average over four seasons. He hit .284 with 15 doubles, eight homers, and 42 RBIs last season for High-A San Jose, drawing 15 walks and whiffing 81 times.
He will likely repeat High-A this year, although the rosters will officially be set on Sunday.
Gragg has a career record of 28-28 with a 4.20 ERA over 499.1 innings. He split last season between High-A and Double-A, seeing the majority of his time with High Desert where he compiled a 8-9 record with a 4.29 ERA over 130 innings.
Gragg may begin the year in Lake Elsinore - his third year in High-A.