Top 55 Prospects: San Diego Padres

Baseball News
6 months ago

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 from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) 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 new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

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Padres Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Fernando Tatis Jr. 20.4 MLB SS 2019 65
2 MacKenzie Gore 20.2 A+ LHP 2021 55
3 Luis Urias 21.9 MLB 2B 2019 55
4 Chris Paddack 23.3 MLB RHP 2019 55
5 Luis Patino 19.5 A+ RHP 2023 55
6 Francisco Mejia 23.5 MLB C 2019 50
7 Adrian Morejon 20.2 AA LHP 2020 50
8 Logan Allen 22.0 AAA LHP 2020 50
9 Anderson Espinoza 21.2 A RHP 2020 50
10 Tirso Ornelas 19.2 A+ LF 2021 50
11 Josh Naylor 21.9 AAA 1B 2020 50
12 Hudson Potts 20.5 AA 3B 2020 50
13 Michel Baez 23.3 AA RHP 2020 50
14 Xavier Edwards 19.8 A 2B 2022 45+
15 Tucupita Marcano 19.6 A SS 2022 45+
16 Jeisson Rosario 19.5 A+ CF 2022 45+
17 Ryan Weathers 19.5 R LHP 2021 45+
18 Esteury Ruiz 20.2 A+ 2B 2022 45
19 Reggie Lawson 21.8 AA RHP 2021 45
20 Austin Allen 25.3 AAA C 2019 45
21 Gabriel Arias 19.2 A+ SS 2021 40+
22 Luis Campusano 20.6 A+ C 2022 40+
23 Nick Margevicius 22.9 MLB LHP 2019 40+
24 Andres Munoz 20.3 AA RHP 2020 40+
25 Mason Thompson 21.2 A+ RHP 2022 40+
26 Buddy Reed 24.0 AA CF 2019 40
27 Cal Quantrill 24.2 MLB RHP 2019 40
28 Pedro Avila 22.3 MLB RHP 2021 40
29 Ty France 24.8 MLB 3B 2019 40
30 Blake Hunt 20.5 A C 2022 40
31 Trey Wingenter 25.1 MLB RHP 2019 40
32 Ignacio Feliz 19.5 R RHP 2023 40
33 Esteban Quiroz 27.2 AAA 2B 2020 40
34 Javier Guerra 23.6 MLB RHP 2019 40
35 Grant Little 22.1 A 2B/OF 2020 40
36 Owen Miller 22.5 AA SS 2021 40
37 Edward Olivares 23.2 AA CF 2021 40
38 Eguy Rosario 19.7 AA 2B 2021 40
39 Michell Miliano 19.4 R RHP 2023 40
40 Gerardo Reyes 26.0 MLB RHP 2019 40
41 Jorge Ona 22.4 AA LF 2019 40
42 David Bednar 24.6 AA RHP 2019 40
43 Brad Zunica 23.6 AA 1B 2022 40
44 Ronald Bolanos 22.7 A+ RHP 2021 40
45 Dylan Coleman 22.6 A+ RHP 2022 40
46 Charlis Aquino 17.5 R SS 2024 35+
47 Agustin Ruiz 19.6 A RF 2022 35+
48 Jason Vosler 25.7 AAA 3B 2019 35+
49 Sean Guilbe 19.4 R SS 2023 35+
50 Jordy Barley 19.4 R SS 2023 35+
51 Dwanya Williams-Sutton 21.8 A RF 2023 35+
52 Jesus Gonzalez 17.9 R LHP 2024 35+
53 Jacob Nix 23.3 MLB RHP 2019 35+
54 Jawuan Harris 22.5 A CF 2022 35+
55 Cristian Heredia 18.1 R CF 2023 35+
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65 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (CHW)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 65
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 60/70 50/60 65/55 50/55 60/60

Though his numbers were mostly the same as they were during a very impressive 2018 at Double-A San Antonio (.286/.355/.507, 16 HR, 16 SB), Tatis appeared to come of age during the offseason in the higher-stakes environment of the Dominican Winter League. Except for the sliver of our population who are both prospect hounds and savvy internet streamers, Tatis’ LIDOM brilliance was mostly obscured from American eyes, and may one day exist only as an oral history, the way John Lucas and Bernard King’s D.C. summer league cameos do for basketball fans today.

Nevertheless, major league scouts and teams are well-aware of Tatis’ all-world physical gifts, but the Padres knew first. Scouted and snatched away from the Camelback Ranch backfields by A.J. Preller himself, Tatis had barely worn a White Sox uniform before he was flipped to San Diego for James Shields during 2016 Extended spring. He wasn’t a highly-regarded amateur prospect when he signed the year before the trade, but he got better very quickly and essentially hasn’t stopped. He has Carlos Correa‘s frame, but is more agile and acrobatic a defender than Correa, and while there’s some risk that Tatis will eventually fill out beyond viability at shortstop, it probably won’t be for a while, and in the interim he’s going to be quite good there. He also has power that is rare for the big leagues generally, let alone for a middle infielder, and he has gotten to it in games thus far despite some issues with strikeouts. There’s a sizable gap between the low-end of Tatis’ possible outcomes (he moves to third quickly and always has contact issues) and the high end (he becomes a plus glove at short and has an offensive trajectory like George Springer‘s, whose contact issues suddenly went away) but right tail outcomes like this barely exist across baseball.

Strikeout-prone prospects often require some time to adjust and can take a little bit to perform, but we like Tatis’ chances to become a superstar, the crest of the Padres’ wave of young talent and a cornerstone of a burgeoning franchise.

55 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Whiteville HS (NC) (SDP)
Age 20.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/50 50/55 50/60 45/60 91-95 / 97

Blisters and fingernail issues were a minor problem during Gore’s 2017 pro debut, and shelved him three separate times throughout 2018. His stuff was intact when he pitched, his fastball resting mostly in the 92-94 range and topping around 96 during most of his starts, though he has peaked at 98.

He is mechanically non-traditional, something Gore is able to maintain because he’s such a great athlete. As his front leg kicks up before he pedals toward the plate, so too does his glove and pitching hand, way up over his head, as if his mitt and knee are connected by an invisible wire. When Gore comes home, he drifts toward the first base side of the mound a bit, creating a unique angle on his pitches.

And those pitches are good. Though he doesn’t have great natural ability to spin the ball, Gore’s over-the-top arm slot enables him to get tumble on his curveball anyway, he has very advanced changeup feel, and his slider is firm. He’ll be able to locate what he wants, where he wants for as long as he retains his top-of-the-scale athleticism. He may be on a bit of an innings count this year just because he only threw 66 innings in 2018, but otherwise he’s quite advanced and could move through the minors fairly quickly.

3. Luis Urias, 2B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 21.9 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/65 20/35 40/45 50/50 50/55 50/50

Urias walked more than he struck out in every year of his pro career until 2018, when his K% rose all the way to 20%. Though he has always utilized a long, slow leg kick, Urias used to cut it down when he got into two-strike counts, something he didn’t do last year, probably in effort to hit for more power. He still managed to slash .296/.398/.447 as a 21-year-old in the hitter-friendly PCL and reached San Diego in September. Even with minor tweaks, Urias isn’t likely to hit for anything more than doubles power, but he should continue to be a plus bat who adds value on the bases and in the field à la Joey Wendle or Cesar Hernandez. Ian Kinsler‘s presence combined with Urias early-season struggles caused the Padres to demote Urias to Triple-A. He’s raking there and is still just the age of a college junior, so his initial numbers in the majors likely aren’t anything to worry about.

Drafted: 8th Round, 2015 from Cedar Park HS (TX) (MIA)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 45/50 60/70 50/60 92-96 / 98

Amateur scouting heuristics would not have expected Paddack be here. He was a high school draftee who was 19 and a half on draft day (draft models like young players), and had no feel for spin (something modern pitching research has determined isn’t a malleable trait). The Marlins signed him for $400,000 as an eighth rounder and traded him to San Diego just over a year later in exchange for Fernando Rodney. The six starts Paddack made leading up to the deal were incredible. He had a 48:2 strikeout to walk ratio during that span, and he has continued to miss bats while filling up the strike zone since the Padres acquired him. He’d probably have been in the majors last year had Tommy John surgery not robbed him of more than a year of development (Paddack blew out in his third start as a Padres prospect).

His stuff was fine when he returned last year, with his fastball up to 95 in his first extended spring training start back from injury, and he topped out at 98 during the year. He’ll likely never have a great breaking ball, but as long as he locates it properly against righties, it will be enough. If there’s an 80 changeup in the minors, this is probably it, and plenty of starters with mediocre breaking balls have survived with heavy changeup use. Paddack’s fastball plays in the strike zone and he can make it sink if he wants to work down, so he shouldn’t run into any game theory-related issues due to a lack of repertoire depth because his stuff is just too good to hit when he locates it, even if you properly guess what’s coming. It’s rare for true aces to have such limited repertoires, and we think it’s more likely that Paddack develops into a 3-4 WAR starter than a demigod, the way his numbers might indicate.

5. Luis Patino, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Colombia (SDP)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/65 50/60 40/55 40/50 93-97 / 99

Not long ago, Patiño was an undersized Colombian shortstop who would pitch once in a while. The Padres liked his athleticism enough to sign him and move him to the mound full-time. He’s added a full 10 ticks to his fastball over the last two and a half years, and now is not only one of the best on-mound athletes in the minors, but a hard worker and team leader with infectious charisma. Patiño’s velocity came as he got in the weight room and added about 25 pounds. He was so dominant during his first few pro starts in the DSL that the Padres quickly pushed him stateside for the remainder of 2017, then to the Midwest League at age 18 the following year.

Not only does Patiño have premium arm strength, he has natural feel for spin, and is a curious learner who quickly actualizes instruction on the mound. He has already begun to vary the cadence of his delivery to mess with hitters’ timing, and has mapped aspects of MacKenzie Gore’s delivery onto his own, just to see if it works for him. He’s still a little too confident with his breaking ball in the zone, but it’s hard not to expect an athlete with work habits like these (Patiño has already learned and is fluent in English) to get better at everything. You can go nuts projecting on his secondaries and command the same way scouts did with Hunter Greene when he was in high school, and Patiño’s breaking stuff is further along than Greene’s was at the same age. He likely won’t grow into more velo because the frame for that isn’t here, but he’s already got plenty of heat. Conservatively, Patiño has mid-rotation upside, but how the changeup and breaking ball command develop matter because that’s where there’s room for significant growth.

50 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (CLE)
Age 23.5 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/60 55/55 40/50 50/45 40/45 80/80

Acquired from Cleveland for Brad Hand, Mejia is one of the more entertaining hitters to watch in the minors, but he has a few flaws that need to be corrected for him to reach his substantial ceiling, and possibly for him to profile at all. He has a very aggressive approach and a funky, high-effort swing from both sides of the plate, and they’re only sustainable because Mejia has elite hand-eye coordination and bat control. His swing-happy approach could limit his on-base ability quite a bit, and possibly his power output, too, which would be less of a problem if Mejia could definitely stick as a catcher; he has an elite arm but is a below-average receiver currently.

Before they traded him, Cleveland tried Mejia at third base and the outfield corners. San Diego seems inclined to just let him catch, but if Wil Myers’ defensive movement is any indication, they’re open to trying new things. There are probably certain types of pitchers that Mejia can catch without much issue, and it seems logical to pair him and Austin Hedges in a way that hides Mejia’s issues while he can work on them and still gets reps. If he does have to move to, say, right field, the lack of plate discipline becomes an issue because the offensive bar out there is much higher. The scouting report reads much like Jorge Alfaro’s, except Mejia is a switch-hitter with better natural bat control.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 20.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/60 40/55 93-96 / 97

Morejon made three trips to the Injured List in 2018 and he’s had a few other issues that have caused the Padres to throttle down his activity during the spring and fall. He has plus velocity, but loses a tick of perceived velo due to lack of extension, and his arm angle and spin direction are more conducive of sink/run that bat-missing rise. He will flash a plus changeup, and that pitch will likely be his best at maturity. The breaking stuff is closer to average. He was mechanically inconsistent this spring and has once again been placed on the IL with shoulder/back issues. There are days when Morejon’s stuff and style of pitching resembles Jesus Luzardo’s, but the injury stuff might force a bullpen move.

8. Logan Allen, LHP
Drafted: 8th Round, 2015 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (BOS)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 50/50 55/60 40/50 90-93 / 94

Allen is a better athlete than one would likely surmise if they were just looking at him in the uniform. His fast-paced delivery is hard for hitters with a big leg kick to properly time the first time through the order, and once they’ve gotten a feel for his fastball, Allen pulls the string on his sinking, plus changeup. His strike-throwing has improved from slightly below-average to slightly above over the last 18 months or so, and Allen now comfortably projects as a No. 4 starter.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 21.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 50/60 40/45 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 been spotted in a cast on the Peoria backfields. Espinoza has front-end stuff but even if it returns, he’ll have missed three years of reps that he desperately needed to polish his below-average control, increasing the likelihood that he’s a reliever or backend starter.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 55/60 30/55 50/45 45/55 50/50

Ornelas was the most polished of the teenage prospects the Padres pushed to the Midwest League last year, and while his raw numbers were only impressive if viewed with his age in mind, his peripherals (11% walk rate, 19% strikeout rate) were marvelous. Quite soft-bodied as an amateur, Ornelas has reshaped his physique and is now a svelte 6-foot-3 and an average runner underway, and it plays a little better than that on the bases because he is a max-effort player. Most amateur scouts had him projected to first base, but he now has a chance to not just stick in a corner outfield spot, but perhaps be above-average there.

Really what Ornelas is best at is hitting. He has terrific timing and feel for contact, as well as a growing idea of which pitches to attack to hit for power. His ground ball rate was down last year and while there’s still room for growth in this area, the fact that Ornelas has already shown movement here is a sign more will come. Unless the hit and power tools grow beyond what we expect, it’s unlikely that Ornelas becomes a star, but we consider him a strong bet to be an everyday big leaguer, and his makeup and polish make him an unusually high-probability bet in our estimation.

11. Josh Naylor, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 from St. Joan of Arc HS (CAN) (MIA)
Age 21.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 250 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 70/70 45/60 20/20 40/45 55/55

Naylor stood out as an underclassman on the Canadian Junior national teams that travel to Florida and Arizona each spring and fall, and was also a mainstay on the showcase circuit. It’s because of a sterling performance in his draft spring facing professional pitchers in spring training stadiums that clubs became confident he had a 50 or better bat to go with his easy plus raw power; the Marlins surprised many by taking him in the middle of the first round. His speed, defense, position, and thick frame have always been below average, but luckily Naylor’s bat has carried him this far and it appears it will carry him to a big league career of some consequence.

Miami traded Naylor to San Diego in the controversial Colin Rea deal, soon after also trading Chris Paddack to the Padres in a separate transaction. Naylor was involved in a bizarre accidental stabbing with teammate Stone Garrett just before the trade. San Diego has Eric Hosmer in his way, so you’d need to see a trade or the universal DH for Naylor to have a path to playing with his left field defense grading well below average. The MLB free agent market isn’t valuing Naylor-type players highly, but his first three seasons would interest any club with an opening for him.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Southlake Carroll HS (TX) (SDP)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 50/55 30/50 50/45 45/55 55/55

Potts keeps trickling down the defensive spectrum — he was pretty good defensive shortstop in high school but is a bigger-bodied third baseman now, and may have to move to an outfield corner eventually — but with that weight has come substantial raw power, and he now has two consecutive 20-homer seasons on his resume. In the event that he does have to move off of third base, Potts’ lack of plate discipline makes his profile very risky, though he seemed to take a step forward in that regard last year. He turned 20 during his Arizona Fall League stint and should spend all year at Double-A. His low-end outcome is in the Juan Francisco/Matt Davidson realm, while a middle of the road projection is that of a big power/low on-base corner outfielder, a skillset Padres fans are familiar with because that’s what Hunter Renfroe is. But if Potts stays at third and continues to refine his approach, he could be an above-average everyday player.

13. Michel Baez, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 8″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/55 55/65 40/50 92-95 / 97

After he shook off some initial rust in 2017, Baez’s stuff and strike-throwing quickly flourished, enabling him to post a 10:1 strikeout to walk ratio at Low-A Fort Wayne. His fastball was in the 94-97 range, and his changeup was consistently plus or better all summer. A back issue put Baez behind during 2018 spring training, and while the Padres sent him to Hi-A in late-April, his stuff and command were just not as good as they were the year before. Instead of 94-97, Baez’s fastball was more 92-95, and his walk rate tripled. We’re in wait-and-see mode with Baez now. He had a mid-rotation look in 2017, but fourth starter stuff and fringe command last year. After sitting 92-95 early in the spring, Baez was shut down with shoulder inflammation. In early May, he was again 93-95 with his trademark changeup.

45+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from North Broward Prep HS (FL) (SDP)
Age 19.8 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/45 20/30 80/80 50/55 45/50

A staple on the travel ball circuit for several years, Edwards has a long track record of performance against high-level pitching and his elite speed makes it likely that he plays a premium defensive position in pro ball, and plays it well. He faces questions about his size, and power doesn’t project to be a real part of what he ends up doing. Instead, Edwards is a high-effort offensive catalyst who knifes at defenses with line drives and well-placed bunts. He is twitchy, strong, has great feel for the strike zone, he’s short to the ball and tough to strike out, and has feel for all-fields contact. He has a traditional leadoff hitter’s skillset from a tools/stylistic standpoint, but a modern leadoff man’s approach and on base ability. Capable of playing a passable shortstop, Edwards is most likely to end up as an above-average defender at second, and his elite speed could make him a valuable defender in center field if needed.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 19.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 30/40 20/30 60/60 45/50 55/55

DSL and AZL stats are almost meaningless but Marcano’s 60:25 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 2017 and ’18 combined is so exceptional that it almost certainly says something about his plate discipline. That notion is supported by in-person looks at Marcano, who not only has good feel for the strike zone, but also has the hand-eye coordination and bat control to spoil tough pitches, and barrel mistakes. He is very slight of build, so much so that there’s skepticism regarding his power projection that isn’t there for other players of similar age, skill, and level (like Brayan Rocchio with Cleveland), who have a better chance of developing pop.

Excellent at both middle infield spots, Marcano has a shot to be a plus glove at short or second at peak. Even without power, a defensive wizard with high-end feel for contact who runs well is at least a good utility guy. If some pop comes, even if it’s just a little, then there’s everyday upside here.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 19.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 40/45 20/40 60/60 45/60 60/60

If your team of attractive thieves needs a grease man for The Big Heist, then consider Rosario, who is an acrobatic, top-of-the-scale athlete who has on-job robbery experience. A plus runner, Rosario’s speed and athleticism help hide some of the circuitous routes he takes to fly balls, and he has the physical talent to be a plus defender in center field as he refines those. He tracks pitches well, walks a lot, and has terrific bat control, which leads to low-lying, all-fields contact. He’s a potential leadoff hitter with a plus glove in center, a potential first-division regular. Some clubs think he’ll eventually hit for power, but that would require a drastically different approach/style of hitting than Rosario currently employs, and there are a host of other things to refine before the Padres tweak a thing Rosario currently does pretty well. He’ll be a 19-year-old at Hi-A all season, and could be a top 100 prospect by mid-summer.

17. Ryan Weathers, LHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Loretto HS (TN) (SDP)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / L FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/55 45/55 90-94 / 96

The Padres seemed to have the top tier of prep pitching in their mix at pick No. 7 during last year’s draft. Though Weathers wasn’t universally considered to be part of that contingent, it seemed San Diego thought he was. We believed the gap between pick seven and where Weathers would otherwise have been picked was sizable enough that San Diego might be able to cut a deal, but instead Weathers signed for slot, about $5.2 million. He is the son of former big league reliever David Weathers, and has been a known prospect of interest since his sophomore year of high school.

Though he’s not built like most prep prospects, Weathers is remarkably athletic and was a dynamite high school basketball player. His stuff waxed and waned during his senior spring, but when it was good, he had arguably the best present three-pitch mix, and pitch usage, in the 2018 prep pitching class. He’s a short-strider, so the fastball is going to play down a bit due to poor extension, but otherwise he projects as a mid-rotation arm due to the quality of his secondaries, and, potentially, a quick-moving one. After 24 strong innings at Low-A to start the year, Weathers was shut down with a dead arm.

45 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (KCR)
Age 20.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 55/60 40/55 60/55 30/40 50/50

The Alfonso Soriano comps to Ruiz are actually quite apt. Like Soriano, Ruiz has pole-to-pole power and feel for striking the ball in the air to all fields, he is similarly built, and he shares some mechanical traits with Soriano, though not the signature, one-handed finish. He’s also not a good defensive infielder, and is so mistake-prone that there’s a real possibility that Ruiz eventually moves to the outfield. He runs well enough to give center field a go if that becomes the case, but such a move is probably premature until or unless Ruiz’s offensive performance forces a change so his glove can be ready when the bat is.

The Padres acquired Ruiz from Kansas City in a 2017 six-player swap (Strahm, Wood, Ruiz for Cahill, Maurer, Buchter) just 21 games into his stateside pro debut. Then they skipped him over advanced rookie ball and sent him to Low-A the following spring. The Midwest League is tough on hitters and Ruiz’s line was, in context, pretty good. His aggressive approach may start to be exploited at Hi-A, but once Ruiz gets his footing he could break out statistically.

19. Reggie Lawson, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Victor Valley HS (CA) (SDP)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/60 40/50 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 late in the first round (Hudson Potts and Eric Lauer), which enabled them to give Lawson $1.9 million in the second round, $1 million above slot. He has yet to spend any time on the IL as a pro.

Lawson’s velocity has climbed and his breaking ball, which was in the 68-72 mph range in high school, now has more power to it and rests in the mid-70s. He found a better changeup in 2018, quelling most concerns about him eventually winding up in the bullpen. His delivery isn’t as fluid as it was in high school, but while Lawson doesn’t have pinpoint, touch-and-feel command, his fastball lives in the zone and he throws enough strikes to start. He’s enduring a walk uptick at Double-A early in 2019 but his rate of strikes (63%) is the same as last year, so the walk totals are probably going to regress to Lawson’s career mean. He projects as a No. 4/5 starter, or a valuable reliever if he’s pushed to the bullpen by the depth of talent on the rest of San Diego’s staff.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2015 from Florida Tech (SDP)
Age 25.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 65/65 50/60 30/30 40/40 45/45

Allen has faced questions about his long-term defensive home dating back to college, and those continued through last year after he struggled in front of pro scouts during the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is not a great place to evaluate catching, because guys are tired and forced to quickly learn an entirely new staff of pitchers, but independent of that qualifier, lots of teams simply don’t think Allen can play back there due a lack of arm strength and/or receiving ability. Others think Allen is serviceable, and would gladly give up what he lacks on defense for what he’d provide at the catching position on offense: huge power, rare for the position.

Allen elevates the ball with authority and has been doing so since college. He slugged .728 as a junior (while facing questions about competition quality in addition to the defensive stuff) and he has 50 or more extra base hits in each of the last two seasons. It’s All-Star offensive ability for a catcher, it’s just that most of the industry doesn’t like him at the position. Perhaps what San Diego has done with Francisco Mejia (let him catch pitchers he can handle) will serve as precedent for what they may try with Allen, whose issues are admittedly different than Mejia’s. They could let Allen catch pitchers who are adept at holding runners on their own, give him a start at first now and then, and let him take high-leverage at-bats off the bench against righties the rest of the time. That’s a valuable role player, one who’s arguably ready for prime time right now.

40+ FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 55/60 30/45 55/50 50/55 60/60

Arias is a flashy defensive shortstop who has already grown into sizable power for a sinewy 19-year-old. His hands are very powerful, explosive, and work in a tight, lift-friendly loop much like Carter Kieboom’s, but Arias doesn’t track pitches well, and makes poor choices about what he’s swinging at. He needs to refine his approach so more of that power plays in games, because he’ll likely always have a bit of a whiff problem due to his swing being so geared for power. There’s big ceiling here because of the pop and defensive profile, but the approach might make him a frustrating and streaky Tim Anderson-type of player.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Cross Creek HS (GA) (SDP)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 55/60 20/50 50/40 40/50 60/60

Campusano was a bad-bodied, defense-first 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 much improved agility behind the plate, leading to him going 39th overall in 2017. He didn’t catch much velocity in high school and struggled receiving pro arms at first. There’s still some work to be done on that end, but Campusano has gotten better on defense, he has plus raw power, plus arm strength, and some feel to hit. He’s a potential regular on tools, but the attrition rate of teenage catching prospects is pretty scary.

Drafted: 7th Round, 2017 from Rider (SDP)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 55/55 40/45 45/55 87-91 / 93

Margevicius got on the national scouting radar when he had a strong performance at Georgia early during his draft spring, during which he hit 95 mph. He was scouted the rest of the spring but often sat 88-91 and hit 93 mph, working with a solid average changeup as his out-pitch, and a fringy breaking ball that came and went with his arm speed, stuff befitting a seventh round selection.

Margevicius changed a bit in pro ball, switching from a curveball to slider, and making it his primary off-speed pitch. His performance, despite below average velocity, was excellent thereafter and he surprised many when he went from Hi-A to the big leagues to start 2019. He’s probably a back-end starter, a No. 4/5 at best, but the finished product came together much quicker than anyone expected and some of it happened with pitch development and adjustment, evidence Margevicius will be able to continue making relevant tweaks as it becomes pertinent.

24. Andres Munoz, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 20.3 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 95-99 / 102

Muñoz’s arm action evokes Joel Zumaya, Billy Wagner, and Craig Kimbrel. His limb whips around at such speed and with such flexibility that it almost skips right past enthralling and strikes one as grotesque. But the heat that emanates from him right arm is among the best in the minors. 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 has helped Muñoz 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, Muñoz 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 Muñoz will go the way of some other recent fastball-only prospects like this, such as Thyago Vieira and Mauricio Cabrera.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Round Rock HS (TX) (SDP)
Age 21.2 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/60 50/50 40/55 50/60 40/50 92-95 / 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, and 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.

This spring, he was throwing harder than ever, sitting 94-97 at times, and showing better breaking stuff than he had previously. He’s struggling to harness the new stuff, but he hasn’t really pitched all that much due to all those injuries, and that he has a chance for four above-average pitches gives him more upside than a lot of the closer, safer prospects on this list. He could have a breakout summer, or it could be very bumpy.

40 FV Prospects

26. Buddy Reed, CF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Florida (SDP)
Age 24.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 50/50 30/35 70/70 60/70 60/60

Reed was a lightly-scouted multi-sport high school athlete in Maryland who also played hockey before he arrived at the University of Florida. Soon after he stepped on campus, scouts saw and become enamored with the enormous athletic potential he had. He still hasn’t quite tapped into it, at least on offense. Reed has 70 speed and defensive ability in center field, along with a 60 arm and average raw power. As a 6-foot-4, 210 pound athletic specimen, he’ll probably play forever. There’s some bat control and feel for oppo gap contact here, but Reed’s approach and feel for hitting is lacking, holding back his everyday potential. Most scouts project him as a good fourth outfielder in the Jake Marisnick mold.

27. Cal Quantrill, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Stanford (SDP)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 45/45 45/50 55/60 40/50 91-94 / 96

Quantrill was an early 2016 draft 1-1 candidate (mid-90s, plus changeup) before he tore his UCL as a sophomore and missed his entire junior year to rehab. His velocity and feel for locating his fastball both regressed in 2018, but they seem to have rebounded this spring. Quantrill has been up to 96, sitting 93-94 early in starts before settling into the low-90s later. It’s a two-seamer, one that probably pairs best with his changeup, Quantrill’s best chance of missing bats. He now has two fringe breaking balls, which is a player dev miracle considering there was a stretch when it was unclear if Quantrill would ever have just one. He profiles as a sinker/changeup backend starter.

28. Pedro Avila, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (WAS)
Age 22.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/60 55/60 45/55 91-95 / 96

Avila’s 2017 campaign — 170 strikeouts, 33 walks, 129 innings — had us wondering if we were missing something and he was an obvious top-100 arm. He carved up the lower levels by making heavy use of two good secondary pitches, a curveball and changeup. He came back down to earth in 2018, struggling to locate his low-90s fastball in the zone. He sits 90-94, and will touch 96. The long-term role may ultimately be in the bullpen, especially since three-pitch relievers may become more necessary due to forthcoming rule changes. He’ll likely be up and down this year, making spot starts when needed.

29. Ty France, 3B
Drafted: 34th Round, 2015 from San Diego State (SDP)
Age 24.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 60/60 50/55 30/30 40/40 55/55

France was a contact-first hitter on a highly entertaining San Diego State team (Seby Zavala, Bubba Derby, Steven Pallares) but has found a way to get to more power in pro ball. Even if you think France is a capable third baseman (not all teams do, seeing him as first base-only), the Hosmer and Machado contracts almost certainly make France a burgeoning trade chip unless early-season trials at second base prove fruitful. He’s exactly the kind of hitter to whom the PCL is extra nice, but he’s hit at every level since college and, save for one season, has also hit for power, and his current SLG% (he was slugging .885 before San Diego gave him his first big league look in May) is more caricature than mirage. He could be a Kevin Kouzmanoff sequel.

30. Blake Hunt, C
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Mater Dei HS (CA) (SDP)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/55 20/45 40/30 45/55 55/55

SoCal always seems to have a sleeper catching prospect or two and Hunt, whose stock rose late in the spring, was the 2017 high school model. Most area scouts bought into his agility, hands, and arm enough to project him as a long-term catcher despite his size. He dealt with a shoulder issue throughout 2017 but arrived to camp in 2018 healthy, stronger, and with much more raw power than he had the year before.

Hunt’s swing remains somewhat unbalanced and he often dives in and loses posture that would enable him to pull the ball with power. His top hand doesn’t drive contact as much as it probably could. But he’s athletic, is going to catch, has a great frame, and his swing has an athletic foundation that should be refined over time. He projects as a backup if the bat doesn’t improve, but has more ceiling than that if it does.

31. Trey Wingenter, RHP
Drafted: 17th Round, 2015 from Auburn (SDP)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 60/60 40/40 94-99 / 101

Wingenter is a nasty, two-pitch reliever whose fastball plays up because of its movement, and because Wingenter is huge and generates big extension. His slider has horizontal movement, which isn’t great for missing bats, but he keeps it down near the bottom of the zone and it doesn’t get touched up very often. If the breaking ball were a little better, Wingenter would probably be in the 40+ FV tier, but we tend to think the only impact pitch here is the heater.

32. Ignacio Feliz, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (CLE)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
40/50 50/60 40/45 50/60 40/50 89-92 / 94

One of the best on-mound athletes in the 2018 AZL, Feliz is a converted shortstop with a delivery that looks an awful lot like Aroldis Chapman’s. The Padres acquired him on 40-man crunch day from Cleveland for depth starter Walker Lockett. Feliz sits only 88-92, but that should tick up as he physically matures. His fastball has natural cut, and at times, he throws what looks like a true cutter in the 84-87 range. He also has a 12-to-6 curveball that flashes plus.

Feliz could develop in a number of different ways. San Diego could make a concerted effort to alter his release so Feliz is more behind the ball, creating fastball life/rise that would probably play better with his curveball. Alternatively, they might nurture his natural proclivity for cut, and see what happens. Either way, this is an exciting athlete with workable stuff who’ll be 19 all summer. He has a chance to start, which is why he’s ahead of several other arms on this list who throw harder/are closer.

(BOS)
Age 27.2 Height 5′ 7″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/55 45/45 35/40 40/40 45/45 45/45

Quiroz was Team Mexico’s leadoff hitter during the 2017 WBC (he hit two homers and a double in six at-bats) and spent 2015-’17 crushing the Mexican League. He signed with Boston in November 2017, and was hot the following April at Double-A, but then missed three and a half months with an abdominal strain. He only played in 24 games at Double-A, then had 62 extra plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League. In Arizona, Quiroz looked pretty good. He’s a stocky and strong 5-foot-6, and he has average, all-fields power. He hit two full-extension, opposite field shots during the fall, including one that got out just left of center field at Sloan Park in Mesa. He’s patient and makes good decisions at the plate. He’s also fine at second base (below-average arm, below-average runner, above-average athlete, average hands) and played a lot of other positions while in Mexico. He’ll either need to be viable at other positions or just hit enough to play second base every day. It appears he has a chance to do the latter.

San Diego acquired him for fringe 40-man relief depth in the offseason. Quiroz presents rare 40-man flexibility because he’s arguably ready to contribute to a big league lineup right now, but because of how recently he signed, he doesn’t have to occupy a 40-man spot until the Padres need him on the active roster. They are log-jammed at second base at the moment, and haven’t asked Quiroz to play anywhere else yet. For now, he’s just a great depth option behind Ian Kinsler and Luis Urias, but if a rash of injuries or trades press Quiroz into action, he might be quite good.

34. Javier Guerra, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Panama (BOS)
Age 23.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/70 40/55 35/45 95-97 / 99

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

This spring, Guerra has 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. He has been working, an inning at a time, twice a week in extended spring training. Eric saw him shortly before publication, and he was 95-98 with natural cut at times (in the linked video you can see how his fastball’s spin axis is somewhat slidery) and had pretty impressive slider feel for someone who has only been pitching for a few weeks. He’ll likely head out to an affiliate in the next week or so (probably Lake Elsinore). Guerra seems comfortable and confident on the mound, and he’s going right at hitters with that fastball. He’ll move as quickly as his strike-throwing and slider allow him to, and San Diego has incentive to move him along because Guerra is on the 40-man. We may see him on the mound at Petco this season.

35. Grant Little, 2B/OF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Texas Tech (SDP)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/45 30/40 50/50 45/50 50/50

Little doesn’t have sexy tools, but he can hit and passably play a number of positions — all three outfield spots and maybe second base — because he has good baseball feel and instincts. We consider him a high-probability utility type who could approach a 100 wRC+ and enable lots of favorable matchups and defensive flexibility on the rest of the roster.

36. Owen Miller, SS
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Illinois State null
Age 22.5 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’s risen to the occasion, off to a pretty strong start, at least from a bat-to-ball standpoint. 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.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (TOR)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 186 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 55/55 20/50 55/55 50/55 60/60

Olivares was acquired from the Blue Jays in the Yangervis Solarte deal and has loud tools, with all but the hit tool grading above average. The power may not play in games due to an indiscriminate approach, rather than poor bat control. That will be more palatable if Olivares can stay in center field, but the general consensus is that he’s a right fielder. He’s more of a low-end regular type in a corner.

38. Eguy Rosario, 2B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 19.7 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’, which is appropriate considering Rosario is an ovular 5-foot-9. Though he was signed the prior year, Rosario is about the same age as the Latin American teenagers from San Diego’s big 2016 July 2 class, but had been playing a level ahead of that group until this year. He has a good swing, and is a viable defender at second and third who projects as a bench infielder. He’ll likely be Rule 5 eligible long before he’s ready to contribute to a big league club, just because he signed so young. He profiles as a utility infielder.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 19.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 50/60 40/50 30/50 92-95 / 96

Miliano arrived in the U.S. for his first instructional league at age 16 and was immediately of interest to pro scouts because of his present velo (90-94), projectable body, loose, fluid delivery, and curveball feel. As his velocity has ticked up, Miliano’s control has regressed, and he had a walk-happy 2018 in the AZL. That should probably be remedied before things like changeup development are addressed. You could go kind of nuts projecting on Miliano’s command and changuep based on how graceful and athletic he is, and he has a good chance to start one day despite his lousy 2018, but it’ll probably take a while.

40. Gerardo Reyes, RHP
(TBR)
Age 26.0 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 55/55 40/40 95-98 / 100

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 profiles as a fine middle relief option, at least.

41. Jorge Ona, LF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 22.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 55/55 40/50 50/45 45/50 50/50

The curvaceous Cuban outfielder has a perfectly fine collection of average tools, but the bat control is a little lacking and detracts enough from Ona’s production that he’ll likely max out as a low-end regular rather than an impact everyday hitter. Righty corner bats with fringe contact skills need to walk a lot and/or hit for huge power, and Ona doesn’t seem capable of that. He probably fits as a bench outfielder in the Aaron Altherr mold.

42. David Bednar, RHP
Drafted: 35th Round, 2016 from Lafayette (SDP)
Age 24.6 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 30/40 92-95 / 96

The barrel-chested Bednar has developed a good split in pro ball, making him an excellent three-pitch option for when relief usage minimums change in the future. 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 is driving a modern relief profile. He’s paving over Double-A and could reach the big leagues this year.

43. Brad Zunica, 1B
Drafted: 16th Round, 2015 from State College JC (FL) (SDP)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 254 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 70/70 40/55 20/20 40/45 55/55

Zunica had an unusual amateur career, graduating early to get to Miami, then not playing much and transferring to a junior college, where the Padres drafted the behemoth late in 2015. He is a physical monster with huge raw power, and has a good enough approach to draw walks and pick out pitches he can drive. The bat control, defense, and long-term athletic ability are all behind and concerning, but there’s a platoon or bench bat future here if he keeps hitting.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Cuba (SDP)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 50/55 45/50 40/45 91-94 / 96

Signed for just over $2 million late during the summer of 2016, Bolaños is a pretty standard fifth starter/middle relief prospect. His changeup and command both need to improve if he’s going to be a clean rotation fit, but if they don’t, his fastball (which lives 91-95 as a starter, but would hopefully tick up out of the bullpen) and slurvy breaking ball are typical of solid middle relievers. He’s repeating Hi-A and will likely be developed as a starter for a while yet, at least until he’s closer to when he needs to be added to the 40-man, two Novembers from now.

45. Dylan Coleman, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Missouri State (SDP)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 50/55 40/45 35/45 93-97 / 98

Coleman is a muscular 6-foot-6 righty who body comps to NBA wing players like Andre Iguodala more closely than he does others in baseball. He has plus velocity, hitting as high as 97 mph with his heater in college. He also has a 55 or 60-grade slider at times, though some of his breaking ball effectiveness is a product of his lower arm slot. As you might guess, the combination of power stuff and an XL frame can lead to feel issues and trouble repeating the release point, which leads to control problems. The change is also behind, and Coleman realistically projects as a reliever. After two Hi-A appearances during which his velo was way down, he was sent back to extended (but not put on the IL).

35+ FV Prospects

46. Charlis Aquino, SS
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 17.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Our favorite of the $300,000 signees from the 2018 July period (San Diego’s final year in the penalty box for their 2016 spending spree), Aquino is a very twitchy shortstop with an explosive first step and plus defensive hands and actions. He’s lanky and has a projectable frame, but needs to add significant weight/strength if he’s going to hit at all. He has a good shot to stay at short and perhaps be very good there, but there’s a lot of variability projecting the bat, which may not even be viable.

47. Agustin Ruiz, RF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Mexico (SDP)
Age 19.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+

An excellent example of why it’s important to scout frames/builds, Ruiz’s physical tools were all 40s and 45s when he signed. But as his body has matured, those tools have all improved, and done so without Ruiz losing mobility because his broad, square-shouldered frame had plenty of room for this new mass. At times he still appears to be uncoordinated, still growing into his body, but Ruiz is still just the age of some older, draft-eligible high school seniors and he’s already having statistical success at Low-A. He’s become a sleeper platoon/low-end regular prospect, at least.

Drafted: 16th Round, 2014 from Northeastern (CHC)
Age 25.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+

The Padres acquired Vosler from the Cubs for conversion reliever Rowan Wick during the offseason. He’s a lefty corner bat with power who has reached base at about a .340 clip since 2017, and he has two consecutive 20-homer seasons (and sub-30% groundball rates) against upper-level pitching. The hit tool is below average (it’s a lift-heavy, pull-only approach, with some stiffness) and will prevent Vosler from a larger role, but he should be a 1B/3B lefty bench bat. We wish he could also play left field, but Vosler looked a little thicker and stiffer this spring and anticipation of defensive limitations is why he’s down from his 40 FV peak.

49. Sean Guilbe, SS
Drafted: 12th Round, 2018 from Muhlenburg HS (PA) (SDP)
Age 19.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

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 (some scouts wanted to see him catch rather than see if he could become a viable infielder, and his hands aren’t great) 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 up-the-middle player of some kind.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SDP)
Age 19.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Barley has All-Star physical tools — plus run, range, arm, and power — but lots of teams/scouts are just out on him entirely because of how procedurally inept and reckless he can be. Signed in the same year as several of the teen prospects who have reached Hi- and Double-A, Barley remains back in extended spring training, likely ticketed for the Northwest League. He has the FV of a terrifyingly raw, but explosive, junior college hitter.

Drafted: 8th Round, 2018 from East Carolina (SDP)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Built like an NFL running back, Williams-Sutton is a small school power/speed project who signed for $350,000 as a fifth rounder. He may have success at the lower levels just based on how much stronger than the typical A-ball prospect he is. We’d be encouraged by statistical success, but probably wouldn’t really buy in here until Williams-Sutton hits at the upper levels, especially if there are strikeout issues, since this is a corner-only defensive fit.

52. Jesus Gonzalez, LHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (SDP)
Age 17.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+

Throwing just 81-86 when he signed, Gonzalez has begun to enjoy a velocity spike and is now topping out around 93. He has polished secondaries and succeeded in the DSL last year mostly due to advanced pitchability. Now he’s suddenly coming into velocity, and somewhat unexpectedly because Gonzalez’s frame is not especially projectable. You could argue he belongs among the pitchability lefties in the honorable mentions section of this org list, and he’ll be relegated there if his velocity settles into the upper-80s this summer, but there’s a chance the velo will keep coming.

53. Jacob Nix, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2015 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (SDP)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

At times Nix has shown three above-average pitches and looked like a potential No. 4/5 starter, but his stuff was very hittable during his 2018 big league debut and he dealt with reduced stuff and elbow issues during the spring of 2019. He was shut down and given a PRP injection with hopes of avoiding Tommy John. He should start throwing again in May. Should he ultimately need TJ, we wouldn’t see Nix again until 2021.

Drafted: 7th Round, 2018 from Rutgers (SDP)
Age 22.5 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Harris had a tumultuous two-sport career at Rutgers. He led the football team in receptions as a redshirt freshman and had a very strong sophomore year on the diamond — .269/.377/.468 with 23 steals — before a back injury and suspension (he was suspended a few times while at Rutgers) sent him down the receiver depth chart (he played more safety as a redshirt sophomore). His junior baseball season was also discouraging. A plus-plus runner with above-average bat speed and a compact stroke, Harris is predictably raw in all facets of baseball, especially at the plate. A toolsy college lottery ticket, he signed for about $200,000.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Spain (SDP)
Age 18.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

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’s gotten stronger within the last year and now has above-average bat speed, though he’s a bit stiffer than he was during his first stateside instructs. He presents kind of an old school look; no batting gloves, choking up on the bat proactively, with an all-fields approach to contact. It’s pretty impressive considering how little Heredia has played throughout his life. He’s a frame/athlete developmental project with any number of possible outcomes, the most realistically positive of which involve him either staying in center field, growing into power, or both. Based on how his body has developed over the last year, the middle scenario feels most likely.

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Other Prospects of Note

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

Pitchability Arms
Joey Cantillo, LHP
Brett Kennedy, RHP
Efrain Contreras, RHP
Frank Lopez, RHP
Ramon Perez, LHP
Omar Cruz, LHP
Osvaldo Hernandez, LHP
Gabe Mosser, RHP

Cantillo, 19, signed for $300,000 in the 2017 16th round out of a Hawaii high school. Like Joey Lucchesi, he has a weird overhand delivery that hitters struggle to adapt to. He sits 88-91, has a good changeup, and his vertical arm slot creates depth on his breaking ball. He could be a big riser this year. Kennedy has four average pitches and has gotten lost in the prospect shuffle a bit because Lauer, Lucchessi, Quantrill, etc. are all a bit better. He’s a capable depth starter. Contreras is off to a strong start as a mature-bodied 19-year-old at Low-A. He sits in the low-90s, has an above-average changeup, and may have a 50 or 55 breaking ball at peak. In our shared notes, we have down that Contreras is known as “The Embalmer,” but neither of us remembers putting that in there. Lopez, 18, left his last extended start with an unknown injury. He was up to 96 last year but has been more 91-93 over the last 10 months, while his secondary stuff is average and flashes above. Both he and Contreras have mature builds. Cruz and Perez are stocky young lefties with average stuff; Hernandez is a little older but has a good split. Mosser went to little Shippensburg in South/Central PA and may be yet another college arm from that area who San Diego unearthed and moves quickly. He has an advanced four-pitch mix.

The 2018 July 2 Class
Nerwilliam Cedeno, SS
Euribel Angeles, SS
Alberto Fabian, OF
Wilmert Paula, 2B
Jose Miguel Velez, OF

All of these players were signed for $300,000 last year. Cedeno is a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop with a quick arm, and his feet are okay. He has some feel for contact but an imbalanced, uncomfortable foundation from both sides. Angeles has an oddly sloped swing, but has some feel to hit and pull-side pop. A pretty muscular, 5-foot-10, tapered-shoulder type, he has modest physical projection. Fabian is a thicker corner guy with advanced feel for contact. Paula is a lefty bat with a good frame and some feel for contact. His infield hands are plus but the footwork and arm strength are both below average. Velez is a right field profile with some power, and a good frame.

Young Sleeper Bats
Jack Suwinski, LF
Yerry Landinez, SS
Johnny Homza, C

This is a chef’s selection group. Suwinski, 20, was signed away from an Indiana commitment for $500,000. He’s been the most consistent offensive performer in that lauded 2016 draft/July 2 class but may not have a position. Landinez is a thick, 18-year-old infielder with all-fields power. He’s could fall down the defensive spectrum quickly due to his size, but the power is real. Homza was a high school infielder with an advanced bat who converted to catcher in pro ball. He’s a long term developmental project.

Older Sleeper Bats
Aderlin Rodriguez, OF
Jake Scavuzzo, OF

Both of these guys are minor league free agent types, but they each have huge raw power and could be late-blooming big leaguers.

Because You’ll Ask
Mason House, OF
Luis Almanzar, SS
Justin Lopez, SS

Concerns about House’s contact skills (he was a rural Texas popup high schooler who didn’t face quality pitching) turned out to be founded, and he has struggled to hit as a pro. His body, swing, and power remain very pleasing to scouts’ eyes. Almanzar’s weight has fluctuated since he signed but the bat speed scouts saw when he was an amateur just isn’t there anymore. Lopez has issues with lever length, but he’s a good defender.

Relief-Types
Starlin Cordero, RHP
Henry Henry, RHP
Brad Wieck, LHP
Wen-Hua Sung, RHP
Jean Cosme, RHP
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Lake Bachar, RHP
Trevor Megill, RHP
Jose Geraldo, RHP
Jake Sims, RHP

Cordero is a long-limbed, 6-foot-7, and has trouble repeating, but he throws really hard and has a deceptive delivery. He’s still just 20 but has spent four years in rookie ball trying to develop viable control. Henry is a loose, well-built, low-slot righty who sits 90-93 with an average slider. The slot is a bit of an obstacle and makes it likely that he’s a reliever. Wieck is a multi-pitch lefty relief piece who had cancer surgery this spring. Sung is a 22-year-old with a plus splitter. Cosme is a 22-year-old three-pitch reliever. Valdez is a bad bodied reliever who throws 100. Bachar was a college punter whose stuff seems to have ticked up recently; he’s in the low-90s, with an above-average curveball. Megill is a fastball/slider reliever in his mid-20s. Geraldo will touch 97 but sits 93-94 with an average slider. Sims was a 2018 late round pick out of a small Florida college who has been 94-97 in extended.

System Overview

If a competitive San Diego Padres team isn’t already here, it’s certainly close. The churn of fringe 40-man talents is a sign that a team is nearing a critical mass of big league talent, and the Padres were compelled to reshape their roster with moves like that last year. They traded superfluous pitching for Jason Vosler (who fit a more immediate need at the time; he’s been passed by Ty France since), Esteban Quiroz (who is advanced and can help right now if he’s needed, but doesn’t take a 40-man spot), and Ignacio Feliz (an athletic, teenage arm). More moves like this are likely to occur this summer, as the team appears to be in the NL West race and has a surfeit of upper-level outfielders of note. There’s such a ludicrous amount of depth here that consolidation is almost necessary.

Because we’re talking about the best farm system in baseball, the talent has come from all angles. Trades, Latin America, the draft — each avenue has been fruitful. There are still some trends to pick out, though. Most of the high-profile teenage pitching targeted by San Diego has been advanced. Gore, Weathers, and Morejon were all bulldog, outwardly competitive lefties when they signed. The Padres have unearthed quick-moving college arms in the draft’s mid and late rounds. The tenacious scouting staff takes its lead from GM A.J. Preller, who seemingly does more in-person player eval than any other lead executive. The team appears to be on the verge of delivering a successful rebuild, and has amassed such a huge collection of talent that it appears they’ll be able to add via trade while still maintaining a healthy pipeline of dudes, especially now that they once again have big bonus flex in Latin America.

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