10 Padres’ prospects to watch in 2018

(Esteury Ruiz) Credit: AP Photo

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(Jeisson Rosario) Credit: Shaun P. Kernahan

Jeisson Rosario

The 18-year-old, Dominican center fielder signed a $1.85 million contract with Padres on July 2, 2016, (J2 signings). He is listed as 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, and he has the body type that should stay lean enough to remain in center field in the long term.

On June 24, 2017, Rosario was assigned to AZL Padres-1 where he played in 52 games. In 187 at-bats he hit one home run, slashed 10 doubles, stole eight bases, knocked in  24 runs, and put up a .299/.404/.369 batting line with and a .773 OPS. So far this spring training, stats have Rosario with five at-bats, zero hits, and a .167 OPS for the big league club.

Scouting: Rosario has plus speed, as quick as 4.1 home to first, but will probably end up above average. When it comes to stealing, he does not have a great first step. In 2016 and 2017, Rosario proved he can hit in professional baseball. Now he just needs time to develop. He has the potential to be a well-rounded everyday player. His bat may be enough to carry him to the big leagues, but he also possesses the primary tools to become a top of the lineup regular in time.

Luis Campusano

The 19-year-old catcher, was drafted by the Padres in the 2nd round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft from Augusta, Georgia. Campusano signed for $1.3 million and bypassed college, below the $1,760,700 recommended bonus for the 39th overall selection in the 2017 Draft. He was the first catcher taken in the draft thanks to his potential on both offense and defense. He was also selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

In 2017, Campusano was assigned to the AZL Padres-2 where he played in 17 games and recorded 66 plate appearances. The catcher hit three home runs and drove in 13 runs. Campusano was also assigned to AZL Padres-1, where he played 24 games and recorded 98 plate appearances. There he hit one home run, smacked two doubles, and drove in 13 runs. Between the both teams Campusano had a .259/.329/.367 batting line and a .697 OPS.

Campusano has a 6-foot-0, 195 pound frame with a strong compact build (especially in the lower half), physical characteristics, and tools.

Scouting: Very good one spot quickness behind the plate on defense, quick release on throws with very good on line carry. 1.84 best pop time, great blocker who is willing to sacrifice his body, competes hard behind the plate. Right-handed hitter, deep hand load with a big weight shift into contact, swings hard and uses his lower half well, shows big pull power and his barrel control stands out. Very interesting young catching prospect. Campusano’s power and arm strength rate as plus, with 15-20 homer upside.

Gabriel Arias

The 18-year-old, Venezuelan shortstop was signed by the Padres when he was 16, for $1.9 million on July 2, 2016.

The 2017 season started with Arias assigned to AZL Padres-2, where he hit .275/.329/.353 in 37 games in the Arizona Rookie League.

Credit: ABL

On August 19, 2017, the Padres tested him with an aggressive promotion assignment to Fort Wayne TinCaps. With the TinCaps, Arias hit .242/.266/.258 with four RBI, a steal, and 16 strikeouts in 16 games at low Single-A Fort Wayne to close the 2017 season.

He spent the winter in the Australian Baseball League with the Canberra Cavalry , and was staggering as a shortstop. Arias hit .271/.486/.271 with a .796 OPS. He smashed five home runs and drove in 23 runs in 114 plate appearances.

On February 24, 2018 Arias was assigned to the Padres spring training, where he has appeared in six games with nine plate appearances, hitting .125/.222/.125 and a .347 OPS.

Scouting: Arias’ should start the 2018 season with the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League. Baseball America recently ranked Arias No. 10 in the Padres’ system. A prospective Gold Glover with plus bat speed and rising gap power. 2018 should be a great year for Arias.

Jacob Nix

The 22-year-old, right-handed pitcher was selected by the Houston Astros in the 5th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft out of Los Alamitos High school in Los Alamitos, California. Nix and the Astros had agreed to terms on a contract, including a $1.5 million signing bonus, well above the $370,500 recommended at the 136th slot. However, the Astros failed to come to terms with Brady Aiken, the first overall selection of the draft, which reduced their allotted draft pool, leaving them unable to sign Nix without incurring penalties. The Astros reneged on their agreements with Nix and Mac Marshall, and offered Nix a $616,165 signing bonus, which was the most the Astros could offer him without incurring penalties. Nix rejected the offer and attended the IMG Academy instead. He was then drafted on June 19, 2015 by the Padres in the third round, 86th overall selection, of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft.

Nix was involved in a home plate collision at the age of 11 that led to chronic pain in his back, and required spinal fusion surgery, which he had at the age of 12. He was a catcher until his freshman year of high school, when the team needed him as a pitcher. In his junior year, Nix pitched to a 7–2 record with a 2.80 ERA, and was named to the Press-Telegram’s all-area first team. At the start of his senior year of high school, Nix played for the United States National Baseball Team in the 2013 18U Baseball World Cup.

On June 20, 2015 Nix was assigned to AZL Padres. In seven appearances, three games as the starter, 19 2/3 innings pitched, he recorded a 5.49 ERA, a win-loss record of 0-2, and a 1.53 WHIP. On April 2, 2016, Nix was assigned to the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Nix made 25 starts which totaled 105 1/3 innings and amassed a 3.93 ERA, a win-loss record of 3-7 and a 1.28 WHIP.

On May 26, 2017, the Lake Elsinore Storm activated Nix from the 7-day disabled list after a groin strain kept him sidelined to begin the year. While with the Storm, Nix made 11 appearances, 10 as the starter. He threw 66 2/3 innings and recorded a 4.32 ERA, a win-loss record of 4-3, and a 1.32 WHIP. On August 3, 2017, Nix was assigned to the San Antonio Missions. In six starts there he went 23 2/3 innings, amassed a 5.53 ERA, a win-loss record of 1-2, and a 1.48 WHIP.

In late 2017, Nix was assigned to the El Paso Chihuahuas. He allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings in his Triple-A debut. Nix (1-0) allowed a pair of runners in each of the first two innings before settling in. He allowed another baserunner in the third. “I was nervous as hell in that first inning. For me, my first innings are always when I’m most nervous,” Nix said. “I get settled in as the game goes on, and that happened tonight.” Source: MiLB

Credit: Storm

On January 18, 2018, Padres invited Nix as a non-roster invitee to spring training. He suffered a lower leg injury early in camp and never got on track.

Scouts: Nix is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and strong. His fastball has been in the mid-90s, touching 97. His curveball flashes as a plus pitch. He has an inning-eater’s build and throws lots of strikes. Nix is firmly an overall top-100 prospect.

Mason House,

The 19-year-old right fielder was selected by the Padres with the 78th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft out of Whitehouse High School in East Texas. During House’s senior year at Whitehouse High, he batted .409 with an .833 slugging percentage and 16 steals. House caught the attention of up to 25 scouts. He is 6-foot-3 and a lanky 190 pounds.

Whitehouse High School baseball coach Derrick Jenkins’ perspective on House: “He hit about .500 in the playoffs as a junior,” said Jenkins, “As the pitching got better, he got better. Some things he did at the plate, I remember saying, this is a D-I kid who should get drafted. And it was kind of crazy when you look up and no one was really coming to watch him.

“This was a kid — with the frame that he has and the athletic abilities — I thought he had a chance to be a Major League kid. It was actually exciting for me to see people come, because you feel like you actually know what you’re talking about. You felt all along that this kid would be really, really good, if the right person would just see him.”

On June 24, 2017 House was assigned to the AZL Padres-2. In his first 39 professional games and 164 plate appearances, he hit .293/.354/.463 with 33 RBI, two home runs, eight triples, six doubles, and a .817 OPS. In those 39 games, House played three different positions (left field twice, center field 11 times, and right field 26 times).

Next week I’ll break down the following San Diego Padres prospects to keep an eye on: Austin AllenChris PaddackHudson PottsNick MargeviciusFranmil Reyes, Jorge Ona, Blake Hunt, Jordy Barley, Reggie Lawson, and Eguy Rosario.

2 thoughts on “10 Padres’ prospects to watch in 2018

  1. Excellent piece Jeff. I like how you’re mentioning some of the lesser-talked about prospects such as Patino and Miliano

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