After two underwhelming seasons seasons with the organization following his acquisition as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade, Reymond Fuentes is finally starting to show signs of living up to the potential the Padres- and the Red Sox before them- saw in him. While the season is young and all sample sizes are admittedly small, he has shown improvement across the board in his second year at San Antonio.
Fuentes is currently batting a solid .310 after 30 games, considerably higher than his .261 career mark and vastly more so than the .218 he put up last year, his first with the Missions. While he still shows a proclivity for striking out (26 times in 135 PA), he is doing so at a noticeably lower rate than years past. Fuentes has also been walking more frequently this season and, with 13 walks so far, looks like a good bet to break his career high of 52, set last year. It seems this uptick in selectivity could be helping him get more balls to drive; he has eight doubles and a pair of homers in 2013 while his career highs are 20 and five, respectively.
Always a threat to steal a bag, Fuentes has been up to his old tricks on the basepaths. His 12 steals are second in the Texas League behind teammate Rico Noel's remarkable tally of 19. It hasn't been without a price, though; Fuentes has been caught a disconcerting five times. That's far below the much more acceptable 80% success rate he had when stealing 35 bases in 44 tries last season.
It's hard to draw too many conclusions from a month's worth of games but Reymond Fuentes's progress is encouraging. A lot of people have written him off after his years of growing pains but it looks like he might finally be putting his tools to use. Maybe this time next year I'll be writing about how well he's adjusting to AAA, and after that you never know. After all, he did just turn 22.