FanPost

Hunter Renfroe Call Up?

Renfroe, the closest of the Padres "Big 3" prospects to an MLB call up. - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the Padres dealt Craig Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox in return for four prospects, A.J. Preller made it clear that he wanted to focus on the farm system and international market instead of instant success. However, there is one homegrown Padre who has been tearing it up in AAA El Paso this year.

Being a first round pick from Mississippi State, now 24 year old Hunter Renfroe has been a breath of fresh air for the Padres organization. Though it seems to be another lost season with the Padres entering game 49 with a 19-29 record, Friar Faithful is starting to see into the future. Coming out of college, Renfroe's raw power caused him to shoot up draft boards; however, scouts were concerned with his plate discipline. In his first professional season with the Eugene Emeralds and the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, Renfroe struck out 98 times in just 86 games played.

Fast Forwarding to the 2015 season, Renfroe continued to hit for power, but struck out 112 times in 112 games at Double AA San Antonio. It all started to change for the Mississippi bulldog when he was called up to El Paso towards the end of the 2015 campaign. Renfroe, the Padres top prospect at the time hit for a .333 average with 6 HR and 24 RBI in only 21 games. Renfroe has carried over this hot streak to the beginning of the 2016 season.

Batting .313 with 9 HR and 21 RBI in 43 games, Renfroe has caused some discussion throughout the Padres front office in deciding if it is ready to call him up. With Matt Kemp struggling to say the least, Renfroe's dream of making the majors this season can come to fruition if Kemp is dealt. Though hitting 10 HR and 30 RBI so far, Kemp's average has plummeted to .222 after a dismal May in which he is hitting at a .165 average. With Melvin Upton Jr. and John Jay producing for the team thus far in left and center field, the question is if there is a role and spot for Renfroe.

As for my take on this whole situation, the struggling production of center fielder Travis Jankowski has made Hunter Renfroe that much closer to arriving in the big leagues. Though he will solely serve as a backup this year, Renfroe is ready to make the 25 man roster and can contribute in key pinch hit situations.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball staff or SB Nation.