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Padres Prospect Interview: Robert Lara

Robert Lara

Lake Elsinore, CA: Catcher Robert Lara was drafted in the 19th-round of the 2008 draft by the San Diego Padres out of Central Florida University. Lara, 23, is the type of defense first catcher the Padres are attempting to develop; blessed with a cannon of an arm and a unique ability to work with pitchers he may be the best defensive catcher in the system.

How good is Lara's arm? When the game is out of reach, the team occasionally lets him pitch and he can dial it up to the 91-94 mph range. The big key for him is to show enough at the plate to allow his defense to take him to the major leagues. His first year in the Arizona League, he hit .344/.490/.484 before struggling last year in Fort Wayne at .219/.291/.313. This year he's rebounded in...

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