Liriano, 24, once rated as one of the game’s fifty or so best prospects. But he’s now lost his 40-man spot after only one brief and disappointing MLB cameo in 2014.
Heading into 2015, Baseball America still considered Liriano a top-ten organizational prospect, noting his impressive raw tools but limitations at the plate. Liriano went on to put up a solid .280/.375/.451 batting line (with 14 home runs and 18 steals) over 549 plate appearances in his first full season at Triple-A. He also posted a personal-best 11.7% walk rate, though he continued to strike out in about a quarter of his plate appearances.
That showing was apparently not enough to convince the Pads that Liriano has much of a future in the majors. It seems plausible to think that other organizations might see some upside left to tap into, though it obviously remains to be seen whether any will be willing to give him a 40-man spot to find out.
While the Padres’ offseason may not yet be complete, Liriano had figured to factor in the outfield mix this season. Indeed, it appeared that he and Rule 5 pick Jabari Blash (among others) might battle for a roster spot in camp. Both would have had to make the active roster to be retained. Liriano was added to the 40-man before the 2012 season, which would suggest that he had burned through a fourth option last year.