Top 53 Prospects: San Diego Padres

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the San Diego Padres. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here.

Padres Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 MacKenzie Gore 21.1 AA LHP 2021 70
2 Luis Patiño 20.5 AA RHP 2020 60
3 CJ Abrams 19.5 A CF 2023 55
4 Luis Campusano 21.5 A+ C 2022 55
5 Taylor Trammell 22.5 AA LF 2021 50
6 Adrian Morejon 21.1 MLB LHP 2020 45+
7 Hudson Head 19.0 R CF 2023 45
8 Yeison Santana 19.3 R SS 2022 45
9 Jake Cronenworth 26.2 AAA SS/RHP 2020 45
10 Michel Baez 24.2 MLB RHP 2020 45
11 Hudson Potts 21.4 AA 3B 2021 45
12 Joey Cantillo 20.3 A+ LHP 2022 45
13 Blake Hunt 21.4 A C 2022 45
14 Ryan Weathers 20.4 A LHP 2023 45
15 Reginald Preciado 16.9 R 3B 2025 40+
16 Gabriel Arias 20.1 A+ SS 2021 40+
17 Anderson Espinoza 22.1 A RHP 2020 40+
18 Andres Munoz 21.2 MLB RHP 2021 40+
19 Tirso Ornelas 20.1 A+ LF 2021 40+
20 Jeisson Rosario 20.5 A+ CF 2021 40+
21 Tucupita Marcano 20.6 A SS 2021 40+
22 Junior Perez 18.8 R RF 2022 40+
23 Reggie Lawson 22.7 AA RHP 2021 40+
24 Javier Guerra 24.5 MLB RHP 2020 40
25 Owen Miller 23.4 AA SS 2021 40
26 Ismael Mena 17.4 R CF 2025 40
27 Esteury Ruiz 21.1 A+ 2B 2021 40
28 David Bednar 25.5 MLB RHP 2020 40
29 Edward Olivares 24.1 AA CF 2021 40
30 Jorge Oña 23.3 AA LF 2021 40
31 Ronald Bolaños 23.6 MLB RHP 2020 40
32 Pedro Avila 23.2 MLB RHP 2021 40
33 Eguy Rosario 20.6 AA 2B 2021 40
34 Jordy Barley 20.4 A- SS 2023 40
35 Charlis Aquino 18.4 R SS 2024 40
36 Joshua Mears 19.1 R LF 2024 40
37 Dwanya Williams-Sutton 22.7 A RF 2022 40
38 Carlos Guarate 19.0 A RHP 2022 40
39 Gerardo Reyes 26.9 MLB RHP 2020 35+
40 Steven Wilson 25.6 AAA RHP 2022 35+
41 Zayad Salinas 17.2 R LHP/OF 2025 35+
42 Ignacio Feliz 20.5 A- RHP 2023 35+
43 Mason Fox 23.3 A+ LHP 2022 35+
44 Angel Solarte 19.0 A- CF 2023 35+
45 Jesus Gonzalez 18.8 A LHP 2024 35+
46 Cristian Heredia 19.0 R CF 2023 35+
47 Edgar Martinez 19.1 R RHP 2022 35+
48 Mason Thompson 22.1 A+ RHP 2022 35+
49 Evan Miller 24.9 AAA RHP 2020 35+
50 Jason Vosler 26.6 AAA 3B 2020 35+
51 Sean Guilbe 20.3 A- SS 2023 35+
52 Michell Miliano 20.3 R RHP 2023 35+
53 Brayan Medina 17.5 R RHP 2025 35+
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70 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Whiteville HS (NC) (SDP)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 70
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 55/60 50/55 50/60 50/60 91-95 / 97

The blisters that disrupted Gore’s first full season in pro ball were not an issue in 2019, and he reached Double-A after 15 dominant starts in the hitter-friendly Cal League, during which he surrendered just nine measly runs. Gore pitches the same way a great horror movie villain lurks and ambushes from the shadows. The strange, balletic way he hoists his leading leg and hands as high as he can before he peddles home builds fear of the unknown, and dread anticipation the same way eerie music portends someone’s cinematic demise. Then Gore lunges home with a huge stride, one that takes him slightly down the first base line, and gets right on top of hitters, creating more discomfort. Then, suddenly, the jump scare. The ball explodes out from behind Gore’s head and blows past flailing hitters at the letters, banishing them to the dugout until their sequel at-bat a few innings later.

Gore generated a 16% swinging strike rate overall last year and a 15% swinging strike rate on his fastball, which is amazing for a heater that only averaged 93 mph. Several other traits — Gore generates nearly perfect backspin and seam uniformity on his fastballs, which you can see in the video that corresponds to this player capsule, and the flat approach angle of his stuff contributes, too — help the fastball play up, including Gore’s command which projects, at least, to plus. Spin efficiency also enables his curveball to be good even though it lacks big raw spin, he has glove-side command of his slider, and his changeups, though they’re of mixed quality, are typically well-located. You can go wild projecting on Gore’s secondary stuff, especially the changeup, and his command because he is such an exceptional athlete, and the fact that he can repeat and maintain such an odd and explosive delivery is clear evidence of that.

The 2018 blister problems created some short-term workload issues that San Diego’s dev group tried to solve by shutting Gore down for most of August. He threw side sessions for most of the month before returning for one last in-game outing before the Texas League playoffs, which he didn’t pitch in. He had a 40-inning increase from 2018 to 2019, when he threw 100 frames. It puts him on pace to throw 120-140 innings this year, though it only makes sense for San Diego to push him if they’re contending for the playoffs. Based on how they handled Paddack and Tatis last year, such an approach seems possible.

60 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Colombia (SDP)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 192 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
65/65 55/60 45/55 45/60 93-97 / 99

If not for Sam Huff‘s game-tying two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning, we would not have gotten to see Patiño chuck heaters past Royce Lewis and Jo Adell at the 2019 Futures Game. It was a coronation of sorts, an indication that the then-teenager would be ready for the bright lights of Petco Park when the Padres call on him, which might happen in 2020, even if it’s out of the bullpen at first. (There are some executives who think that will be Patiño’s ultimate role.) He’s smaller, and his changeup and command are not very good yet. But this is one of the best on-mound athletes in the minors, one who hasn’t been pitching all that long, and has had premium velocity for an even shorter span of time. It’d be unreasonable to expect a 20-year-old to be fully realized when he’s only been pitching for about four years. Patiño’s velocity came on in a huge way as he got on a pro strength program and he’s added 40 pounds of good weight and about 10 ticks of velo since he signed. He’s a charismatic autodidact who has taken a similarly proactive approach to learning a new language (he became fluent in English very quickly, totally of his own volition) as he has to incorporating little tricks and twists into his delivery (he’s borrowed from Mac Gore) to mess with hitters.

Were this a college prospect, he’d be in the conversation for the draft’s top pick, and I’m very comfortable projecting on the command and changeup because of the athleticism/makeup combination. I expect Patiño will reach the big leagues this year in a bullpen capacity and compete for a rotation spot in 2021.

55 FV Prospects

3. CJ Abrams, CF
Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Blessed Trinity HS (GA) (SDP)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 182 Bat / Thr L / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/70 50/60 20/45 80/70 40/45 50/50

The .401/.442/.662 line Abrams posted after signing isn’t sustainable, buoyed as it was by the interaction that players as fast as he is have with defenses at the lowest levels of the minors (he had a .425 BABIP), but Abrams can absolutely rake. He had no trouble with the leap from amateur to pro velocity, though some of the top high school pitching he saw the summer before his draft year was probably better than what he faced in the 2019 AZL. He has a knack for impacting the baseball in a way that creates hard contact even though his swing is currently pretty flat, and he can do this all over the strike zone. Of the trio of elite AZL prospects (Abrams, Bobby Witt, and Marco Luciano), Abrams has the most polished hit tool and the most room left on his frame. Even without a swing change, he’s going to grow into more power just through maturity, which is pretty scary considering his exit velos are already above big league average (though, again, AZL pitching wasn’t good last year).

I don’t think he’s a shortstop. When he has time to step and throw, Abrams has enough arm for the left side of the infield, but ask him to contort his body and make tough throws on balls he has to go get and the results are mixed. Most players with this issue end up in center field, where Abrams could be a plus defender because of his speed, assuming his instincts there aren’t terrible. He has top-of-the-order traits right now and is a virtual lock to play somewhere up the middle, even if it isn’t at short.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Cross Creek HS (GA) (SDP)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/60 55/60 30/50 40/40 40/45 60/60

Campusano was a bad-bodied catcher on the summer showcase circuit, but then he completely remade his body for his senior spring. He showed above-average power, some bat control, and improved agility behind the plate, boosting his stock to the late first/early second round of the draft. He didn’t catch much velocity in high school and struggled receiving pro arms at first, but that has improved to a place of acceptability. More importantly, he’s continued to hit. Though his Hi-A statline was aided by the Cal League’s hitting environment, Campusano’s 11% strikeout rate was the second best rate among qualified, full-season backstops in 2019 (Yohel Pozo was first) and his exit velos (89 mph on average) are great for a 20-year-old. He is rumored to have been the centerpiece of San Digeo’s Mookie Betts negotiations with Boston and while young catching has a tendency to take a beating and fall short of expectations on offense because of it, right now Campusano looks like a potential star offensive catcher.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Mount Paran HS (GA) (CIN)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 55/55 40/45 70/70 60/70 35/35

Trammell sees a lot of pitches, he has gap power, and he can really run, which helps him run down more balls than a lot of left fielders. He’s very competitive, and is similar in many ways to Brett Gardner. He was utilizing a narrower stance during the spring, which forced him to take more of a stride than he had been during his days with the Reds. This was probably done to see if Trammell would end up hitting for more power but there’s no way of knowing if it worked yet.

45+ FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 21.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 55/60 55/60 40/50 93-96 / 98

You can frame arguments such that Morejon compares favorably to most of the college pitchers available in the 2020 draft. He’s parked at 94-97, his changeup is heavy enough to get groundballs when it’s not missing bats, and Morejon has a shapely, low-80s breaking ball that he can throw for strikes. 21-year-olds rarely have this sort of stuff or such a good idea of how to deploy it, let alone both, but for me, Morejon still exists in the Jonathan Loaisiga FV bucket.

He’s been shut down an awful lot. Last year, after just three starts, a shoulder issue sent him to the 60-day IL. It was Morejon’s fourth IL stint in the last two years, and he was later scratched from a Fall League start for back tightness. He pitched in relief upon return, which changes the context for the velo. A few other nits. Morejon babies his breaking ball into the zone, and his arm speed changes in a way I think is noticeable. From a spin axis/efficiency standpoint, his fastball is the sinking type that tends not to miss bats, which is part of why I think he’s been hittable in a small big league sample, including a nuclear spring outing in Peoria that he followed (and rectified) with a bat-breaking clinic in Tempe against the Angels’ varsity squad. Some of this seems imminently correctable, especially considering Morejon’s age, but the way the injury history interacts with his relief risk and the fastball traits put him in the 45+ FV bucket with a bunch of other guys with mid-rotation ceilings who I’m scared to really bet on.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Churchill HS (TX) (SDP)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 45/55 20/45 60/60 45/55 55/55

The Padres have been unafraid to stick their necks out and use high picks on high school players who weren’t fixtures on the summer showcase circuit for one reason or another (injury, participation in football, etc.), players who may be under-scouted (and perhaps undervalued) by clubs who are more comfortable with prep hitters who’ve performed against curated competition. The results have been mixed. Mason House and Sam Keating are not on this prospect list, while Blake Hunt has climbed it, and Mason Thompson has yo-yo’d. Now 2019 draftees Hudson Head and Josh Mears enter the fray, with Head doing so after receiving a $3 million bonus, a record for a third-rounder.

The pitching he saw in the AZL was the best he’s seen in his entire life, and Head not only allayed concerns about that competition-quality chasm by hitting .283/.383/.417, he also occasionally did some freaky, elite stuff that got me very excited about his prospectdom. Head is ambidextrous, and swings and throws a baseball with his left hand but quarterbacked primarily with his right, occasionally using his left when he rolled out that way. For someone with so little high-level experience, his bat control is remarkable. A pronounced arm bar caused him to be late on some of the good velo I’ve seen him face but Head’s feel for opposite field contact enabled him to strike those pitches with authority anyway. I think he needs polish from a mechanical standpoint, but there’s rare natural bat-to-ball proclivity happening here. There’s also much more measurable power than I would have guessed — Head’s exit velos last summer were more akin to those of heavy-hitting corner guys his age than someone who looks like a wiry leadoff sort. Still a high-variance prospect because of his short track record of hitting, Head has a shot to be a leadoff-hitting center fielder, an above-average regular.

Age 19.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/50 20/50 55/55 45/55 55/60

Aside from Gabriel Arias, Santana is the cleanest defensive fit at shortstop in this org and projects to be an above-average defender there at peak. He also has good feel for contact and rarely swings through pitches in the zone. Couple that with a frame that really looked like it was starting to fill out last summer and fall (especially in the shoulders), and Santana’s ability to rotate with uncommon looseness and explosion, and we have a potential above-average regular here. Because the feel for contact is already seemingly in place, Santana stands a good chance to hit for whatever power he grows into, while also staying at short.

9. Jake Cronenworth, SS/RHP
Drafted: 7th Round, 2015 from Michigan (TBR)
Age 26.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 45/45 40/40 50/50 45/45 60/60
Fastball Slider Sits/Tops
50/50 45/45 92-95 / 96

Some combination of randomness and the excitable Triple-A baseball played a role in Cronenworth’s unsustainable 2019 power output at Durham, but the other aspects of the offensive profile are real. He doesn’t give away at-bats, he makes a ton of contact, and he plays a serviceable shortstop with experience at several other positions. He’s a super utility sort who might have also played a more significant bullpen role had MLB not instituted rules that put a damper on some of the creative uses teams were considering for players like this. Instead, Cronenworth may throw an inning or two per week in low-leverage situations as a way to save someone else in the bullpen. The thing to focus on is the bat and defensive versatility, which will allow the Padres flexibility on other parts of the roster while Cronenworth performs like a 1.5 to 2 WAR sort of role player.

10. Michel Baez, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 8″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 45/45 40/40 65/70 40/45 94-97 / 98

A combination of injury (back and shoulder) and the lack of an impact breaking ball were the primary drivers for Baez’s 2019 move to the the bullpen, and while the Padres planned on revisiting him as a starter this year, my long-term projection has him in relief. After he rehabbed from shoulder soreness in Extended, Baez went to Double-A and dominated for two months, working two innings at a time every fourth or fifth day. He was promoted to San Diego in late-July and fell just a few days shy of graduating from this list based on his non-September days on the roster. Though Baez now operates with two different breaking balls, neither projects to be an impact pitch. It’s possible he can still start anyway; Chris Paddack is close-at-hand evidence of this. But Baez doesn’t go at hitters with the same sort of efficiency as Paddack does, and his back and shoulder issues add to the relief likelihood, which is basked into his FV. The upshot here is still a league-average No. 4 starter but I think late-inning relief is more probable.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Southlake Carroll HS (TX) (SDP)
Age 21.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 60/60 45/50 40/40 40/45 55/55

Similar to how they’ve experimented with Ty France at second base as a way of shoehorning his bat into the big league lineup, the Padres gave Potts a few reps at the keystone in 2019, and it’s one of a few reasons I’m not inclined to move off of him despite his whiff-prone campaign. The other is that we’re still talking about a college-aged player who was pushed through the system quickly, and whose 2019 struggles came at Double-A Amarillo, where Potts was just 20 years old, nearly four year younger than the average Texas League player. His low-end outcome is still in the Juan Francisco/Matt Davidson realm, while a middle-of-the-road projection is that of a big power/low on-base four corners role player, and the high end is now a shift-aided, multi-positional infielder with more power than is typical for that type of role.

12. Joey Cantillo, LHP
Drafted: 16th Round, 2017 from Kailua HS (HI) (SDP)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 40/45 55/60 40/55 87-90 / 92

Because he shares mechanical similarities with many pitchers whose fastballs overachieve relative to their velocity, I’m fairly confident that Cantillo can succeed even if his heater continues to live in the 87-91 mph range, though because he’s a big-framed 20-year-old, he may yet throw harder. If that’s the case, he could have a dominant fastball. He also has a changeup that is plus right now. Not only does it have bat-missing movement but Cantillo’s arm speed really sells hitters on the notion that they’re getting a fastball; A-ball bats flailed at it in 2019. The carry on his fastball enables Cantillo to compete for swinging strikes in the zone, and that, plus his ability to throw lots of competitively-located changeups mean he can work back into any count. His breaking ball usage is ahead of its quality, something that might change if Cantillo does start throwing harder and adds power to his curve. The breaking ball and development of velo are now the two variables driving Cantillo’s potential future FV movement, but for now I think he has the tools to go right at hitters and be a No. 4/5 starter.

13. Blake Hunt, C
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Mater Dei HS (CA) (SDP)
Age 21.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/55 30/40 40/30 45/50 60/60

After two consecutive years of above-average offensive performance relative to his league and continued resolve that he is a viable defensive catcher, Hunt now looks like he has a real chance to be an everyday backstop. I’ve seen him pop as low as 1.88 on throws to second and, despite his size, he’s agile enough and has sufficient hands to receive and frame big league stuff. Hunt also has a contact-oriented approach at the plate, one that’s quite conservative (zero leg kick) and doesn’t take full advantage of his movement skills. It relies entirely on Hunt’s hands to generate power, and that will likely result is 12-ish homers and a bunch of doubles. It’s a second-division look to me, but I think there’s more ceiling on the game power if Hunt’s lower half gets more involved in his swing.

14. Ryan Weathers, LHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Loretto HS (TN) (SDP)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/50 50/55 45/60 88-93 / 97

Weathers continues to present the industry with a tougher-than-usual evaluation. As an amateur, perceptions about what his husky build would do to his athletic longevity fought with his underlying athleticism and stuff, both of which were very strong. After a dominant beginning to his first full pro season, Weathers’ stuff seeped away and he was eventually shut down with a dead arm and missed most of May. When he returned, the mid-90s heat from early in the year did not, and Weathers’ strikeout rate fell during the dog days. When I saw him later during instructs, he sat 86-90 for much of his outing, albeit with excellent command. This spring, before the shutdown, Weathers was once again living in the mid-90s. The hard-throwing version of Weathers has mid-rotation upside, while the soft-tossing version would be a secondary pitch and command-oriented backend starter. This evaluation splits the difference.

40+ FV Prospects

15. Reginald Preciado, 3B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Panama (SDP)
Age 16.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/60 20/50 40/40 40/50 50/55

This is what the upper crust of international free agents look like, those for whom a Goldilocks Zone of development exists. Preciado is a strapping 6-foot-4 and has infield hands, feet, and actions, which means he may grow into huge power as that frame fills out but remain agile enough to stay at short, which would make him a superstar. Though that outcome is not the likeliest (based on how Preciado is built, I have him projected to third and think he’ll end up there before he reaches the bigs), the several that exists below that optimal scenario are still very good. Preciado has precocious barrel feel for a 16-year-old hitter his size, let alone one who switch-hits. He’s not very balanced, especially from the right side, comfort that hopefully comes with reps.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 201 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/60 35/50 55/55 55/60 60/60

Arias looks like a stud at 5 o’clock when he’s taking batting practice and infield, but his in-game swing decisions have been a problem, and were even during a statistically impressive 2019. The Padres threw every developmental trick in the book at him during the offseason, including virtual reality training, to try to get him to better identify balls from strikes and chase less often. In a small spring sample, it appeared to be working — Arias played some spring games in the place of Fernando Tatis Jr., who was one of several Padres to miss time with flu-like symptoms during the spring (tugs collar) before baseball shut down. The importance of Arias’ approach extends beyond his on base ability to his power production. His swing is grooved, making the parts of the zone where he can do real damage limited, so for Arias to get to his power in games he’s not only going to have to recognize balls and strikes, but also learn what he can actually hit. It’s possible this will occur, and Arias will be a star if it does, but I think an Orlando Arcia trajectory, where there are growing pains and frustration amid flashes of spectacle, is more likely.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 50/60 30/40 93-96 / 97

Acquired from Boston for Drew Pomeranz in July 2016, Espinoza has only thrown 32 innings of affiliated ball for the Padres since the deal. Espinoza was 94-97 and flashed a plus changeup and curveball during his final spring training start of 2017. Between that outing and his first regular season start for Hi-A Lake Elsinore, he felt discomfort in his elbow and was shut down. After several weeks of rest and rehab, it was decided that he needed Tommy John surgery, which he had early in August. The timing wasn’t great, and Espinoza missed all of 2018 working back from surgery, then re-tore his elbow during the spring of 2019 and needed a second TJ. He has front-end stuff but even if it returns, he’ll have missed three years of reps he desperately needed to polish his below-average control, increasing the likelihood that he’s a reliever or backend starter.

18. Andres Munoz, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 21.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
80/80 55/60 30/40 97-100 / 103

Munoz’s arm action evokes Joel Zumaya, Billy Wagner, and Craig Kimbrel‘s. His limb whips around at such speed and with such flexibility that it almost skips past enthralling and strikes one as grotesque, but the heat that emanates from his right arm is among the best in pro baseball. He’ll routinely sit 97-99 and has touched as high as 103 (the slo-mo pitch in the linked video was 100 mph). It’s a blistering, elite pitch that had upper-level hitters taking flaccid, defeated swings this spring, and helped Munoz strike out two hitters per inning early on in 2019.

He has yet to harness the fastball and throw consistent strikes (he’s walking a batter per inning, too) and his breaking ball quality is also inconsistent. If both of those issues improve, Munoz will be an elite relief option. If one of them does, he’s probably still a high-leverage arm, just one who makes you sweat after surrendering a couple of walks. If neither do, then Munoz will go the way of some other recent fastball-only prospects like this, such as Thyago Vieira and Mauricio Cabrera. Tommy John in late March of 2020 means Munoz likely returns to action late during the 2021 season.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 55/60 30/45 50/45 45/55 50/50

Ornelas underwent a swing overhaul in 2019 in an effort to get him to lift the ball more, and things came undone. Pre-change Ornelas cut down at the ball, had a big leg kick, and a deep, high spot where his hands loaded. New-swing Ornelas had less of a kick, and his hands loaded out away from him a little bit, but were still high, and he was still cutting down at the ball. It’s possible that Ornelas can’t hit for sufficient power to profile at first base without a swing change and that there are more woes to come, but he is a reputable worker, and he has plenty of juice and a pretty advanced feel for balls and strikes. I think the band of potential outcomes is narrower because premium game power seems less likely now that relevant adjustments are not manifesting in games, but there’s still a big league hitter here somewhere.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 20.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 191 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/60 40/45 30/30 60/60 45/60 60/60

Even in center field, there really aren’t any impact regulars who don’t hit for at least some power, and barring something unforeseen, I think the lack of thump will keep Rosario from being a true everyday player despite his very interesting, and in some ways very special, skillset. This guy walked in nearly 17% of his Hi-A plate appearances last year as just a teenager, and he has a chance to be a special defender in center field. Rosario is also very tough to get to swing-and-miss in the zone, but some of that is because he’s very conservatively poking, slapping, and slashing soft contact all over the infield and not really trying to hit for power. I think he’s one of the minor league’s more entertaining players because he’s often at the center of plays that have the very specific baseball aesthetic I enjoy, and I hope he gets a chance to be someone’s 8-hole hitter in the NL so he can take advantage of being pitched around and walk a ridiculous amount. Realistically, he’s a low-end regular in center field, or some sort of weird meta-game role player if the plus defense finally materializes.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/60 30/40 20/30 60/60 45/50 55/55

Marcano is tracking a lot like Rosario, except as a middle infielder. He too has nearly elite feel for contact but lacks power, and in Marcano’s case, he’s just such a rail that I don’t think much will ever come. This high-contact, up-the-middle sort is traditionally undervalued, but I think I’ve blindly overcorrected for that in recent years. That’s why I’ve folded more of the visual physical components back into evals like this and now have separation between short but muscular players like Vidal Brujan and Brayan Rocchio, and the more slender Jose Devers and Marcano types.

22. Junior Perez, RF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 18.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 50/55 25/55 45/40 40/50 50/50

Perez is a physical teenage outfielder with a more mature frame and an athletic swing that reminds me of Spencer Torkelson’s (visually, not in terms of the raw power). Perez can tag fastballs at the top of the zone but has a tendency to be very upright in his legs and swing over top of curveballs he might be able to go down and lift if he were more flexible. Even though he doesn’t have significant, frame-based power projection, I think he has a chance to hit enough to be a regular in a corner.

23. Reggie Lawson, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Victor Valley HS (CA) (SDP)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/55 45/50 35/45 92-95 / 97

Some teams moved off of Lawson when he had some injury issues as a high school senior, but the Padres found themselves flush with pool money after taking underslot prospects (Hudson Potts and Eric Lauer) late in the first round, which enabled them to give Lawson $1.9 million in the second, $1 million above slot. Lawson filled out, began throwing harder, added power to a curveball that has ticked up nearly 10 mph since he was an amateur, and stayed healthy until May of 2019 when he was shut down and given a PRP injection in his elbow. He made a few Fall League appearances during which he looked fine, sitting 93-96 with the usual above-average curveball and sinking, mid-80s changeup. Then this spring, after a big league outing against the Cubs, Lawson was shut down again and eventually opted for Tommy John surgery in late-March. He had No. 4/5 starter projection before the surgery, which now increases the odds that he eventually works out of the bullpen.

40 FV Prospects

24. Javier Guerra, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Panama (BOS)
Age 24.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
65/65 45/55 35/45 96-98 / 100

As Guerra struck out more and more during his final few seasons as a shortstop — he K’ed in at least 30% of his at-bats each year since the Padres acquired him from Boston as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal — he frequently appeared despondent, sullen, and visibly affected by his struggles in ways that were often obvious and concerning. While his defensive actions remained enticing — especially around the bag, they were some of the smoothest and quickest some scouts had ever seen — Guerra also became error-prone. He seemed a mess, a potential DFA candidate.

Last spring, Guerra moved to the mound. His first bullpen session, which took place in front of a very small contingent of Padres front office folks, was electric. The first fastball was clocked by Rapsodo at 97 mph, and a few fastballs later, Guerra touched 100.4 mph. I saw an early iteration of Guerra when he was 95-98 with natural cut and had pretty impressive slider feel for someone who has only been pitching for a few weeks. The Padres reconfigured his fastball and it’s now a two-seamer with huge armside movement, enough that in 2020 spring games it was making lefty hitters flinch and stare at pitches that ran back across the inside corner. When conversion projects like this work out in a big way it typically happens quickly, and Guerra’s had rapid success.

25. Owen Miller, SS
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Illinois State (SDP)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 50/50 30/40 45/45 45/50 55/55

The wave of teenage talent currently at Hi-A drove San Diego to push Miller straight to Double-A to start his first full season, and he rose to the occasion, hitting .290/.355/.430 with more power than the industry anticipated. A minimalistic swing enables him to make high rates of contact, while the strength in Miller’s hands generates doubles power. It’s not an exciting, athletic style of hitting but on an inoffensive, fundamentally sound defensive shortstop, it’s a pretty interesting skillset. Barring a significant swing change, Miller’s offensive output will likely cap his ceiling in the 40/45 FV range, but for a third round pick who moves quickly, that’s a great outcome.

26. Ismael Mena, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 17.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 20/45 45/55 60/60 40/50 40/45

Mena was bullied by some older instructional league pitchers, especially ones with ugly, deceptive deliveries, but he’s clearly a plus runner with a great chance to stay in center field and has some promising bat-to-ball qualities. Chief among them is plate coverage. Mena will reach out and spoil pitches on the corner away from him, and he’ll hit the ball hard the other way if it catches too much of the plate. He was billed as a leadoff type center fielder by his proponents on the amateur side.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (KCR)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 169 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 50/55 35/55 60/55 30/40 50/50

About a year ago, Ruiz was a Pick to Click who I anticipated would be on this year’s top 100. Instead, his offseason included him being passed over in the Rule 5 Draft. I didn’t make a Ruiz-to-Alfonso Soriano comp casually last year: he swing looks similar and I’ve seen pole-to-pole power from Ruiz in the past, as well as the speed to steal a bunch of bags. Some of his issues are approach-related, but there are other components affecting the bat-to-ball issues that became worse last year, and Ruiz also has defensive questions that might force him to the outfield (another Soriano parallel).

28. David Bednar, RHP
Drafted: 35th Round, 2016 from Lafayette (SDP)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 50/55 35/40 92-95 / 97

The barrel-chested Bednar has developed a good split in pro ball, making him an excellent three-pitch option out of the bullpen, probably one who will be rostered all year rather than being constantly optioned. He throws in the mid-90s (he was 89-92 as a starter in college) and has a snappy, 12-6 curveball. The curveball is probably what got him drafted, while the fastball/split development are driving a modern relief profile.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (TOR)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 186 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 50/50 40/45 55/55 50/55 60/60

Despite his fantasy-relevant stats — he has averaged 15 homers and 25 steals the last three years — I’ve been skeptical about Olivares truly having everyday tools. But now he’s performed up through Double-A and the 40-man center field picture is suddenly very different for this team. I’m still not buying the power production — I don’t see 15-20 homer bat speed here — but rather a contact/defense fourth outfielder.

30. Jorge Oña, LF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 60/60 45/50 55/55 45/50 50/50

Shoulder surgery derailed what might have been a breakout year for Oña, who averaged 93 mph off the bat during his torrid 25-game, pre-surgery sprint. We don’t know a lot about the hitting environment in Amarillo but it seems favorable based on Oña, Olivares, and Miller’s lines. There’s an interesting power/speed blend here but it’s still a corner outfield fit with some swing-and-miss issues. Oña homered in his only big league spring start before the shutdown.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/45 50/55 45/50 40/45 90-96 / 99

It’s not often that “hard-throwing” and “kitchen sink” end up in the same player report but here is Bolaños, who will touch 99 (sit 94) and work with both four and two-seamers, plus a slider, curveball, changeup, and even a mythic, rare eephus curveball in the upper-60s. Among them is no clear out pitch, a problem if Bolaños ends up in the bullpen. His walk rates had been toward the high-end of what’s typically acceptable for starters. There’s a puncher’s chance he’ll find something new — a split maybe? I think Bolaños’ delivery has a Jose Contreras look to it and he ends up as a set-up type. Otherwise he’s a fifth starter.

32. Pedro Avila, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (WAS)
Age 23.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/55 55/60 45/50 91-95 / 96

Avila has No. 4/5 starter stuff when healthy, but he had Tommy John in August and we won’t see him again until 2021.

33. Eguy Rosario, 2B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 20.6 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/50 20/45 50/40 45/50 50/50

It’s pronounced “Eggy,” and Rosario is nearly as versatile, occupying all four infield spots at points last year. The Padres had assigned Rosario to play several levels above what is typical at his age, but finally asked him to repeat a level in 2019 when he was again in Lake Elsinore. There he had a career offensive season and won’t turn 21 until August. He profiles as a utility infielder.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 50/55 30/45 60/60 50/55 60/60

He’s been held behind his fellow 2016 class members because Barley’s on-field decision-making and consistency are taking longer to cook. He still makes the occasional highlight reel defensive play, runs 4.10, or hits a 420-foot bomb, and as long as he’s doing that stuff, he’ll have a home on these lists. For now, that Barley both went to an affiliate and performed there was a big step.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 30/50 20/45 40/50 45/55 50/60

One of many strong $300,000 signees from the Padres’ two IFA periods following their 2016 spending spree, Aquino is now where Yeison Santana was a year ago — a wiry frame who will likely stay at shortstop and has a chance to grow into meaningful offensive ability. Aquino has a good first step and plus defensive hands and actions, but he was clearly one of the more physically immature players on the complex last fall and would have needed to be stronger just to have competed in the AZL.

36. Joshua Mears, LF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Federal Way HS (WA) (SDP)
Age 19.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 65/70 25/60 50/40 40/50 55/55

Mears was uncommitted when he arrived at Area Codes, then proceeded to have one of the best weeks of any of the players at the showcase and left knowing he had earned much more than a scholarship. Mears has huge power, and many teams did have second round grades on him (he was picked at 48, paid like it was 66, and Kiley and I had him close to 150), but I think there’s a big gap between where his feel to hit is right now, and where it needs to be for him to profile. It’s so much power that Mears could conceivably profile even if he strikes out a lot but walks, but I don’t think the barrel feel to support a Franmil Reyes-ish, swing-happy profile exists.

Drafted: 8th Round, 2018 from East Carolina (SDP)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/60 35/45 60/60 50/55 55/55

A source told me Dwanya averaged 101 off the bat as a junior at East Carolina, strong evidence of both physical prowess and that small conference pitching can help create caricature. Dwanya does have big raw power (his 2019 output was likely hampered by a wrist injury that necessitated an IL stint) and runs well, but has a high-risk hit tool.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/60 40/50 40/50 88-91 / 93

Among the many $300k-ish pitchers San Diego signed in 2017, Guarate has the most projectable frame. His breaking ball has depth and power and could be plus at maturity, especially if he continues to add mass and throw harder. Guarate is also somewhat advanced, enough that the Padres gave him a cookie Low-A start late last summer.

35+ FV Prospects

39. Gerardo Reyes, RHP
Drafted: 0 Round, 2013 from Galveston JC (TX) (TBR)
Age 26.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 55/55 30/35 95-98 / 99

Texas-Brownsville shuttered their baseball program before Reyes was able to take the field for them, and he ended up transferring to Galveston College. He spent his sophomore year at Galveston injured, then went undrafted as a junior. He was discovered by the Rays at a workout near the U.S./Mexico border and later signed, then was traded to San Diego as part of the Wil Myers blockbuster. He’s a low-slot bullpen slinger with a tailing, upper-90s fastball, and his arm slot creates issues for righties. He needs to refine command of the breaking ball to better deal with lefties, but just on arm strength and fastball movement, he’ll likely continue to see big league time.

40. Steven Wilson, RHP
Drafted: 8th Round, 2018 from Santa Clara (SDP)
Age 25.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 30/30 45/50 40/45 91-95 / 97

Wilson has rapidly emerged as a potential bullpen piece thanks largely to his fastball, which tops out at 97 and benefits from big extension, spin rate, and a favorable axis. The Padres accelerated his track last year by skipping him over Double-A. He profiles as a middle reliever.

41. Zayad Salinas, LHP/OF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 17.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 40/50 20/45 55/50 40/50 60/60
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 45/50 40/50 40/50 87-91 / 92

It’s rare for a pro team to have an opportunity to develop a two-way player from the ground up, and consider how the developmental freedom of pro baseball might allow the club to improve on the college models. A “backwards” prospect who hits righty and throws lefty, Salinas has fairly polished feel to pitch off what is presently 40/45 stuff, is built like a typecast prom king, and has a contact and instincts skillset as a hitter. The two-way curiosities to go through San Diego now include Salinas, Christian Bethancourt, Cronenworth, with it perhaps discussed regarding Javier Guerra.

42. Ignacio Feliz, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (CLE)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 50/60 40/50 40/50 86-90 / 92

No velo bump yet for Feliz, a super-athletic converted shortstop with a delivery that look’s like a toy version of Aroldis Chapman’s. The Padres acquired him on 40-man crunch day from Cleveland for depth starter Walker Lockett. Feliz’s fastball has natural cut, which might be something the Padres will look to change. Regardless of that and his other skills (mostly the quality breaking ball), Feliz needs to throw harder. I think he will, in this case because of the level of athleticism rather than the frame. He’s Rule 5 eligible this winter.

43. Mason Fox, LHP
Drafted: 21th Round, 2018 from Gardner-Webb (SDP)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
55/60 55/55 40/40 90-94 / 95

Another small-school, Day Three reliever who looks like a real bullpen piece, Fox hides the ball well, throws hard, and has a power, 12-to-6 curveball.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 19.0 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 30/45 20/40 60/60 45/60 55/55

It’s not as if he’s without physical ability, but Solarte is an instincts-first player. He has feel for contact and center field, where I think he could be an impact defender. Whether he ends up with enough power to play every day is very much TBD, as Solarte is a smaller-framed player.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 18.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 45/55 40/50 90-92 / 94

Throwing just 81-86 when he signed, Gonzalez enjoyed a velocity spike and is now topping out at 94, and the fastball has enough carry to play in the zone because of its spin rate and axis. He was flashing above-average curveballs and changeups in the fall. I’m not optimistic that much more velo is coming because Gonzalez is already pretty rocked up and muscular for someone his age, but the carry on the heater makes that matter less.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Spain (SDP)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 45/50 20/45 50/50 45/50 45/45

Heredia grew up playing soccer in Spain before he moved to the Dominican Republic during adolescence, at which point he was introduced to baseball. He presents kind of an old school look: no batting gloves, proactively choking up on the bat, an all-fields approach to contact. And he’s grown into some power as his frame has filled out, mostly in the lower half. The feel for contact is impressive considering the limited baseball background, and is what will likely need to carry the profile forward.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 19.1 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 50/55 45/55 40/55 89-91 / 92

You’re going to read about a lot of small-framed teenage pitchability sorts who occupy rotation spots at the bottom of this system. Among those, Martinez has the best secondary pitch duo in his low-80s slider and power mid-80s change, both of which flash bat-missing movement. Unlikely to ever develop more velo, Martinez could end up a rotation stalwart based on his command and offspeed stuff.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Round Rock HS (TX) (SDP)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/60 50/50 40/55 50/60 20/35 91-95 / 97

Up to 94 as a high school underclassman, Thompson was tracking like a traditional first round Texas high school arm until he had Tommy John and missed all but one game during his senior year. He was a wild card on draft day, but ended up going in the third round, signing for early second round money ($1.7 million). During his first pro summer, Thompson’s fastball velocity climbed from the 88-91 range up to the 92-94 area. Then shoulder and biceps issues plagued his first two full pro seasons and his stuff was down in 2018. Last spring, he was throwing harder than ever, sitting 94-97 at times, and showing better breaking stuff than he had previously. He struggled to harness that stuff and had two more injury stints in 2019, limiting Thompson to just shy of 30 innings. He’s a prospect of extreme risk and variance who has shown 40+ FV stuff in short spurts.

49. Evan Miller, RHP
Drafted: 22th Round, 2016 from Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (SDP)
Age 24.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
55/55 60/60 40/45 92-95 / 97

Miller traversed three levels last year and was invited to big league camp in 2020. He profiles as a sinker/slider middle reliever whose option years are used to keep the ‘pen fresh.

Drafted: 16th Round, 2014 from Northeastern (CHC)
Age 26.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/40 60/60 50/50 30/30 40/40 50/50

Vosler is a lefty corner power bat with limited defensive mobility. He could be a power bat off someone’s bench if given the opportunity.

51. Sean Guilbe, SS
Drafted: 12th Round, 2018 from Muhlenburg HS (PA) (SDP)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/55 25/50 50/50 35/45 50/50

Built like a muscle car, Guilbe has electric bat speed and exciting pull-side power for a player his age. Already very muscular and strong, he needs to develop on defense (he played the middle infield when I saw him as an amateur, played third and left field last year, and some scouts want to see him catch) and probably needs a swing overhaul (both the bat path and lower half usage were pretty rough in high school), but there’s a chance he’s a power-hitting multi-positional player.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
50/55 50/60 30/50 92-95 / 96

Miliano remains well-built, throws in the mid-90s, has a good-looking curveball, and has mechanical fluidity that makes it look like he should eventually repeat his delivery (though he does not right now and struggles with walks). He’s a relief prospect at this point.

53. Brayan Medina, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 17.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 45/55 30/45 30/45 91-92 / 94

Medina’s velo popped late during the amateur process and he was touching the mid-90s before he signed, though his heater was sitting a little below that, mostly 91-92, when he threw in Arizona during the fall. His delivery is somewhat violent but it’s coming from a vertical slot that also creates depth on his curveball.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Crafty Arms Too Young To Drink
Efraín Contreras, RHP
Luarbert Arias, RHP
Miguel Rondon, RHP
Omar Cruz, LHP
Frank Lopez, RHP
Luis Gutierrez, LHP
Ramon Perez, LHP
Bodi Rascon, LHP
Gabriel Morales, LHP
Manny Guzman, LHP

If you’re thinking, “Gee, that’s a lot of guys in this one, very specific category,” that’s because this is the largest honorable mention subgroup I’ve ever put together. So many of the pitchers San Diego signed in the 2017 and 2018 classes are here, and they all typically have pretty average stuff except for a good changeup, with most of them having very impressive command for how young they are. Contreras has braces on in his 2019 roster photo but still posted a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in full-season ball at age 19 last year. He and Arias, also 19, are squat, projectionless, sit 90-92, have potential plus changeups, and throw a ton of strikes. Rondon, also 19, is the really athletic, skinnier, three-pitch version. He has one of the better breaking balls in the group. Cruz, 20, is the first name on this list who’s over 5-foot-11. He works glove side with tough angle on righties at 90-92, has a loopy curveball that has worked to this point, and has 135 strikeouts in 98 career innings largely because of his command. Frank Lopez was up to 96 as a 17-year-old but his velo has slowly dipped into the low-90s since then and he’s been hurt some. He too has a chance for a plus changeup. Luis Gutierrez is just 17; he was a 2019 July 2 signee. Like Cruz, he’s a lower slot lefty with a good breaking ball, but he needs to add velo. The lefties are all sinker-oriented.

Several Hitters to Monitor
Michael Gettys, CF
Agustin Ruiz, LF
Brandon Valenzuela, C
Jonny Homza, C/3B

Gettys’ tools are such that he might be Drew Stubbs, with plus power, a 70 arm and speed, but a hit tool that might not be playable in any capacity. Ruiz is well-built and has a bunch of average and slightly below tools that might grow enough for him to be something in the long haul. Valenzuela is similar, except at catcher. Homza is a tough-nosed backstop who can also play some infield and might end up with a 50 bat, which makes him an interesting 26th man candidate.

Carlos Belen, RHP
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Jake Sims, RHP
Matt Brash, RHP

Belen (up to 98), Valdez (100), Sims (97), and Brash (95) all throw hard. Belen is a converted third baseman whose secondary stuff might yet improve since he’s only been pitching since 2018. Valdez is in Mauricio Cabrera-land for me because of the strike-throwing. Sims and Brash have vertical action breaking balls that could play in relief and their deliveries are deceptive in part because of their violence.

System Overview

There’s not much to say here that I haven’t already said at some point during the Padres rebuild, so I’ll quickly summarize. The Padres draft a lot of high school players, many of whom may have been under-scouted compared to prospects who have been on the radar since they were freshman or sophomores, with somewhat mixed results. They’ve also taken some bold, injury-related risks in the draft room (Cal Quantrill, Mason Thompson) and are apt to take underslot players they like and then spend more later in the draft.

Most of this system was signed out of Latin America, and the long-term members of the org are from two huge classes of $300,000 signees the Padres inked during their penalty box stretch after 2016. Most of these are the crafty pitchability arms in the Others of Note section, who are just so numerous that some of them will probably work out.

The prospect consolidation has begun as the team chases the Dodgers, which means players with ETAs in 2021 are the ones the club is more likely to trade to try to keep pressure off the 40-man if they can.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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Cave Dameron
3 years ago

Thank you Eric, very cool!

3 years ago
Reply to  Cave Dameron

The best, thank you!