Tool Time: Top Athletes

Matt Antonelli

An athlete sets up so many things for a ball club – the versatility, the potential, the excitement all rolled into one. These San Diego Padres prospects are the best of the bunch:

Matt Antonelli

Transitioning from third base to second and now the talk of him moving to centerfield – Antonelli is the epitome of an athlete, possessing the physical skills to be a on-base machine, provide power, steal bases, or some combination of the above.

Able to adapt, Antonelli made major strides in his own game through hard work and dedication. A former three-sport star, Antonelli can make adjustments on the fly and much of the credit goes to his athleticism.

Drew Cumberland

A shortstop today, Cumberland has also been mentioned as a potential centerfield prospect down the road. Quick as a cat, Cumberland is a plethora of tools waiting to explode.

Cumberland has the attributes that could lead to a high average, good gap power, solid defense and a competent all-around game.

Javis Diaz

Always one of the fastest prospects in the system, Diaz became more of an athlete this year – putting all of his tools into play on a more consistent basis.

Wiry strong, Diaz has some pop but gets by on his impressive speed, using it effectively to create havoc on the bases and cover lots of ground in the outfield.

Jesus Lopez

Sometimes it is not about being fast but using your body to make all the necessary plays and doing it so smoothly that every movement appears to be in fast-forward. Lopez does that.

Not blessed with much speed and even considered below average in the range department, Lopez has terrific hand-to-eye coordination, soft hands, smooth feet, and terrific balance – all adding up to an impressive athlete.

Brad Chalk

Once he recovered from a back injury that made him a mere mortal, Chalk put his athleticism on display during the Padres Instructional League, making plays in the outfield and showing plus speed.

While it was a tough year for him physically, Chalk has the tools to be outstanding in a number of categories. Putting all those attributes together this year could vault him up the list.

Honorable mention:

Will Venable

A former basketball player, Venable brings a high-energy style game that showcases his athleticism. While he is a bigger man, Venable showcases his capabilities by stealing bases, playing a sound game, and hitting for average.

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