Colorado Springs vs. Tucson Padres (Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres) at Security Service Field, 6:35 p.m. Monday; 6:35 p.m. Tuesday; 11:05 a.m. Wednesday; 11:05 a.m. Thursday
Top Tucson prospects to watch
Robbie Erlin, LHP: Most of the Padres’ top talent is in the lower minors. Erlin, named by “Baseball America” as the team’s 10th-best prospect leads Tucson’s roster. The 22-year-old third-round pick in 2009 threw just 60 innings last year as he fought elbow problems. According to “Baseball America", he throws in the low 90s with command and changes speed with a quality curveball and a fading changeup. The publication sees him as a future No. 4 starter. He’ll start Thursday’s game.
Keyvius Sampson, RHP: The scheduled starter Monday, Sampson has what is considered the best changeup in the Padres system. He dominated Low-A in 2011, then jumped a level and posted a 5.00 ERA and 8-11 record in Double-A in 2012. He throws mid-95 with late action, which helps to highlight the changeup. The 22-year-old was taken in the fourth round out of high school in 2009.
Brad Boxberger, RHP: A potential future closer who throws 95 and has posted gaudy strikeout numbers in the minors (265 in 197 innings). He appeared in 24 games for San Diego last season and the numbers translated, as he held major league batters to a .222 average with 33 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Others: Jaff Decker, OF (tremendous strike-zone discipline, drawing 103 walks while driving in 92 runs in Double-A in 2011). Miles Mikolas, RHP (probable future middle reliever in the majors with a fastball that can reach 98).
Pacific Coast League ramifications
The teams play in different divisions (Sky Sox in the Pacific North; Tucson in the Pacific Southern). The Sky Sox are 2-2; Tucson is 1-3.
Names you might know
Kyle Blanks: A prodigious slugger in the minors (.512 slugging pct. in eight seasons) but hasn’t been able to make it work in San Diego. … Travis Buck: A first-round pick by Oakland GM Billy Beane in 2005, he has played with the Athletics, Indians and Astros. … Sean O’Sullivan: A Triple-A journeyman who has posted a 33-18 record in stops at Omaha, Las Vegas and Tucson. Has pitched in the majors for the Angels and Royals.
Monday: Kid’s Eat Free (Kids 12 and under get a free meal with a paid ticket)
Tuesday: $2 Tuesday (Tickets, parking and Coors/Coors Light drafts are $2)
Wednesday: Math Day
Thursday: Math Day