Minors hitting coordinator Berry talks Padres prospects

Minors hitting coordinator Berry talks Padres prospects

DENVER -- For the next week or so, Sean Berry will live out of a suitcase, though that won't represent much of a change for the Padres' Minor League hitting coordinator.

Berry will spend the next week with the Major League team until instructional league starts in Arizona on Sept. 11.

Berry, in his fourth season in his current capacity, typically spends a week with the big league team and its hitting coaches, Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell, each September after the Minor League season ends.

When Berry met the team in Denver on Friday, he was greeted by some familiar faces; not just Plantier and Powell, but two of the team's top position player prospects, outfielder Rymer Liriano and infielder Cory Spangenberg, who have been promoted.

"Seeing two of our top prospects find their way to the Major Leagues is a big boost for everyone in the organization," Berry said. "We've got some young stars that are on their way. We're trying to get them ready as fast as we can."

That's part of Berry's job, helping the system's Minor League hitters reach their potential and helping the Minor League staffs get them there. In order to do so, he's on the road nearly the entire spring and summer.

"It's four to five [trips] to each team and its seven teams. And at least four days and with some of the younger teams it can be five days. If it's the Dominican, it can be a week because of the travel on both ends," Berry said. "We spend a lot of time on the road, making sure everything is going well, making sure the Padres prospects are going in the right direction."

Berry provided a rundown of each of the team's last two first-round Draft picks, starting with 2013 top pick, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who produced a .267/.342/.470 line with 21 home runs, 75 RBIs and 134 strikeouts in 567 plate appearances between Class A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio.

"Physically, he can hit the ball out of anywhere. He's got light-tower power. He has a lot to learn. But it was really his first full season. To be where he is in this progression and in his development is really impressive," Berry said.

Shortstop Trea Turner, the 2014 first-round Draft pick, produced a .323/.406/.448 line with five home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 steals in 321 plate appearances between short-season Eugene and Class A Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is still alive in the Midwest League playoffs.

"Trea was pretty impressive. He's a true shortstop and those are hard to find these days. He can make the tough plays. His bat, with all the pre-Draft stuff, I wasn't sure how well he was going to hit. But I knew he had great speed. He's made a great adjustment to professional baseball. The bat played a little better than I thought. He's stronger than I thought. His work ethic is great," Berry said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.