Wondering about Luis Durango …

Good morning everyone, getting ready to start another week — and we’re running out of them very quickly — of the season. The Padres wrap up a four-game series today in Pittsburgh before they begin a three-game series in Denver on Tuesday.

I’ve got a question for you. What are your thoughts on speedy outfielder Luis Durango, who has, to say the least, run himself into some sort of prominence in his week or so with the team. The 23-year-old was at it again on Sunday, turning a walk into a stolen base, moving to third on an error by the catcher (trying to throw him out) and then scoring on a fly ball to left field.

Last week, of course, he had three hits, none leaving the infield, stole a base and managed to score the winning run on a ball hit to Justin Upton, who might have the best arm in baseball.

Really, it’s reminded me of the way Everth Cabrera has run himself into runs this season. That kind of speed is impressive, it’s rare and it can be, when used smartly, a legitimate weapon to beat teams.

Do you want to see more of Durango over these final weeks of the regular season? Would he be talking at-bats away from anyone else. I’m asking this as Kevin Kouzmanoff is set to come back and reclaim third base with Chase Headley moving back to the outfield.

I’m not entirely sure Durango is a prospect. He has, from what I’ve seen, one legitimate tool: His speed. He had 11 extra-base hits in 456 at-bats this season, though he’s willing to take a walk (.390 on-base percentage).

Is there room on the 25-man roster for Durango next season. Let’s hear your response on here and as on the Padres Facebook page.

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com, @FollowThePadres, Facebook

12 Comments

I think it’s important to remember Gene Kingsale’s season with us in 2002 before we get too excited about a guy just because he’s fast. He stole a few bases and his OBP was pretty good too, but it was .265 the following year with Detroit, his last in the big leagues.

I think that we should put him in AAA next season and bring him up when the roster expands. Next year, I think we have a very good chance at contending so by the time we bring him up he would be that perfect ninth inning pinch runner. If we are down a run or tied in the ninth you can put him in to steal second, bunt to third, then hit him in. I think that it falls on Kouz whether Durango can take a starting position. If Kouz can?t get his on-base% up to at least .325 next year, and Headley starts to hit consistently and provide similar numbers to the minors, Kouz (traded), Headley (third base), Durango (left field). I think that once Durango fills out a little, he will hit some more extra base stuff. But for now, he should spend all next year in AAA. Kouz should get all of next year to try to hit 25+ hr, .270+ avg, .325+ obp., 90+ rbi. Why is this the goal? Kouz is at his prime and he hasn?t really used his full potential consistently. Headley has speed and raw power, and he has more potential since he knows the strike zone and will take walks. If Headley can hit with consistent power next year and still get on base like he has, he will move in to third and Durango will have Left field in 2011 maybe even 2010 (pretty far fetched). If your worried about the scouting report on Headley?s defense, remember what Kouz?s scouting report was and now look where he got. Headley is a hard worker like Kouz. There is lots of potential there.

I’m loving having him here. I think we should give him a good look in Spring Training and see how things go. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and spring. I think it depends on how this team shapes up. Will we need that extra speed, or will we have added more pieces that give us enough speed. I would love to see him up here, but I’m not sure where he’ll fit. Would the Padres want to have him on the bench, maybe…?
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

We should most definitely give Luis Durango every opportunity this season,we know what we have with the other players.I have followed this young man’s progress
threw the minor leagues and he has hit at every level.
I disagree with sending him to AAA for more seasoning,
just think of what we could have missed if we would have been this cautious with Everth Cabrera, he jumped from low A Ball.

Gene Kingsale? Perhaps we should remember Gene Kingsale every time Tony Gwynn (.261), Chase Headley (.260, 122 Ks), Kevin Kouzmanoff (.257, 102 Ks), Nick Hundley (.230) or Drew Macias (.194) come to bat. Fact is, the Padres’ lineup is full of Gene Kingsales. These guys either cannot start rallies are have their own special way of killing them.Well, maybe not so special.

So Luis Durango is petite and doesn’t hit for power. What about Everth Cabrera (.269 and only two home runs)? I don’t think anyone will dispute the fact that not only is he a prospect, he’s a weapon. Though, Cory, perhaps we should pause here to recall that you were far from sold about whether Cabrera was even worthy of taking up a spot on the 25-man roster as the season began.

He needed a chance to show what he could do, and he was given that chance.

Let’s also remember that the Padres’ home has power alleys deeper than dead center, that Petco is where home runs go to fall into outfielders’ gloves … and what’s the next thought that conjures itself? That we need more Kevin Kouzmanoffs? That we need more Phil Nevins and Ryan Kleskos? That we need more Chase Headleys?

We need more Everth Cabreras. We need more weapons. We need guys who can get on base, disrupt opposing pitchers’ concentration and rhythm, steal bases and manufacture runs. If these skills are really only one skill, then, yes, we need more one-skill payers.

Let the guy play. It’s September, the Padres are going nowhere, and Durango needs major league at-bats so we will know whether he’s more likely to be the next Gene Kingsale or the next Everth Cabrera.

Oh, and let’s teach him how to play second base.

I think he has a couple of other skills besides his speed. Namely, how to get over.. . . and get in! It sounds like he does that purty good according to your post. I was watching the game today and didn’t see him in the lineup.

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

If Durango can get on base at a .390 pace, then he should be a Padre. Period.

Get on base, steal a base, keep the other team on their toes. A single and a steal or a walk and a steal is the same as a double. Get on first and a single scores this guy.

And he certainly won’t be any worse than Tony Gwynn.

World Class Speed. Only a handful of guys in all of baseball with Durango’s speed. You can’t learn to run like that. You can learn how to be better at stealing bases and hitting.

I know this is a rambling response, but I would say sit Gwynn and play Durango until the end of the season. Let’s see what Durango can do with 50 abs.

one tool?

Luis has won two short season batting titles (.328 career hitter), has a career 195-168 walk to strikeout ratio, had 19 sacrifice bunts this season, he tied the San Antonio team lead with 8 outfield assists, and his fielding percentage has gotten better every single year he’s played in the outfield! This guy is a baseball player and even though he may not be ready for the majors just yet, especially on defense, he is much more than a pinch-runner. I expect at least half a season of close watching in the minors next year while the padres organization makes sure Durango becomes a top notch fielder. Obviously he has the range to be a gold glover but he has got to work on the rest of it. I think this is an instance where the glove must catch up to the bat, and once it does, Durango will be a major leaguer. An outfield of Durango, Venable, and Blanks with some consistent production at third and catcher would make a formidable offense.

I like Durango and I want to see more of him ASAP. If that means grooming him over the offseason to be in AAA with the chance of coming up like Blanks did this year then do it. I think with him and Cabrera in the lineup we will be a much better team, not to mention he would probably help us tremendously on defense in the OF.

I like Durango and I want to see more of him ASAP. If that means grooming him over the offseason to be in AAA with the chance of coming up like Blanks did this year then do it. I think with him and Cabrera in the lineup we will be a much better team, not to mention he would probably help us tremendously on defense in the OF.

Luis Durango is a sleeper, no doubt about it. I wish my Braves had him.

Dude is lightning in a bottle and the fastest player the Padres have had in their organization in many years. While his outfield play is unrefined and raw, the bat and offense is first rate. His 232 walk / 193 strike out rate screams plate discipline, quick hands and big league lead off hitter.

He’s all legs, no power and pure blazing speed. Which is exactly what you want in a lead off hitter. His career OBP is .422 along with a BA of .328, both of which translate well against big league pitching.

Think Juan Pierre. This kid will be a Padre this year. He has the capacity to steal 100+ bases as a Padre. Yes you heard me right. With a large home field area to cover, he is a legitimate shot at hitting .300. I would pick him over Michael Bourne this year if he is a starter.

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