21- Austin Allen (22) C Fort Wayne TinCaps/Single-A
The catcher out of Florida Tech was drafted by the Padres in the 4th round of the 2015 Draft. Allen is a left-handed hitter with great bat speed and excellent power. His defense has been a work in progress, but the catcher has made some decent strides this year behind the dish. His bat is excellent for a catcher, but it is lacking for a first baseman, so Allen will either have to improve on his approach at the plate or improve on his defense to make it to the majors. He started off like a man possessed, but has since cooled down. His arrival depends on his growth, but do not expect him ’til 2018 at the earliest.
22- Carlos Asuaje (24) INF El Paso Chihuahuas/Triple-A
The fourth prospect from the Kimbrel deal, and probably the closest to being major league ready, is Asuaje. If it wasn’t for the emergence of Ryan Schimpf, Asuaje would have made his major league debut already. He is tearing it up in El Paso and played in both the Future’s Game at the All-Star game in San Diego and the Triple-A All-Star game. He has a great approach at the plate and makes consistent contact. Padres fans will enjoy the way he plays the game.
23- Nick Torres (23) OF San Antonio Missions/Triple-A
The right handed hitting Torres has a decent approach at the plate, but has yet to unlock his power potential. He has made it to Double-A this season and performed relatively well. He still fails to walk enough to make it to the highest level in baseball. His pitch recognition needs to be refined, and when it does, he should showcase more power in his bat. He is a decent defender and also has some speed to his game. Torres could be an option for the team come late 2017. The Padres outfield is currently stacked so Torres might have a hard time getting to San Diego. That is a great problem to have for Padres fans, but for Torres, he must take this as a challenge and not get lost in the system.
24- Gabriel Arias (16) SS AZL Padres/Instructional League
Another 16-year-old phenom is Gabriel Arias from Venezuela. He projects as a starting shortstop, but that is still up in the air. His defense is above average for his age. He has excellent range and there are whispers he could move to third base if his bat blossoms. He has a line drive approach at the plate and is very balanced in the box. This young man adds to the Padres tremendous depth at this age group. He has much work to do, but could make it to the majors come 2021 or 2022. A long way away, but this young man is someone to keep an eye on as well.
25- Hansel Rodriguez (19) RHP AZL Padres/Instructional Leagues
The return for Melvin Upton Jr. from the Blue Jays gives the Padres another young arm with tremendous upside. He has a high 90s fastball, but like most kids his age, he lacks the total package. His secondary pitches are really lacking at the moment and he needs to gain a better feel for pitching in order to progress. He has repeated rookie ball three straight seasons and is due to finally show some progression and make the jump to A-Ball. This young man is very raw, but at the age of 19, it is really unfair to label him. Preller likes this young man and he could make his major league debut around late 2019, depending on how well he learns the craft of pitching.
26- Reggie Lawson (18) RHP AZL Padres/Instructional League
This 18-year-old has a very lively arm. The Padres used their #71 pick on him, and with that, they lured him away from his commitment to Arizona State University. He has a mid 90s fastball and has displayed excellent control for a teenager. The 6′ 4″ 205 lb right hander has a very nice ceiling. There is much work to do, but you have to love his ability. His easy arm motion and clean delivery are something to be excited about. He just need to be refined. Lawson projects to make his major league debut around 2019 or 2020 at this point.
27- Mason Thompson (18) RHP AZL Padres/INstructional League
Another young arm taken with the 85th pick in the June Draft was Mason Thompson. He underwent Tommy John surgery his junior year in high school, but that did not scare off the Padres. Prior to the surgery, Thompson was projected as a top 10 pick in the draft. He features a mid 90s fastball and has excellent secondary pitches. His curveball and change are considered above average and he also has excellent control. The 6′ 7″ 186 lb pitcher has tremendous size and his fastball jumps on top of hitters. He was an excellent value pick for the Padres and has the ability to crack the rotation come 2019.
28- Brad Wieck (24) LHP San Antonio Missions/Double-A
The 6′ 9″ Wieck is intimidating on the mound and features a mid 90s fastball with a nasty slider. He was acquired from the Mets in the Alex Torres deal last year. Wieck had been a starter for the majority of his pro career, but the Padres asked him to pitch out of the bullpen this year. He has responded well and without a complaint. Wieck has a K rate of 13.9 presently in the minors and will surely be on the rise in the system. He started in Lake Elsinore this year where he was named to the All-Star game. He is presently in Double-A with a sub 1.00 ERA. Look for Wieck to continue to progress, and with that, you could see him in San Diego sometime next season pitching out of the bullpen.
29- Ruddy Giron (19) SS Lake Elsinore Storm/High Single-A
Giron vaulted up the rankings last season after a great year. This season he has regressed a bit but has picked it up of late. He has ability, but is still a long way from contributing at the professional level. His up and down rankings show you how inconsistent this young man currently is. That is what you get when you have a 19-year-old prospect. He could emerge or could fall on his face. Giron has a low ceiling, and with that, he really needs to progress. A 2019 or 2020 showing seems likely if he keeps progressing.
30- Joey Lucchesi (23) LHP Fort Wayne TinCaps/Single-A
This fourth round pick out of Southeast Missouri State has developed really well early in his career. He progressed all the way to Single-A, posting a 1.35 ERA in his first 40 minor league innings. He struck out 53 batters in that time and walked only two batters. He should progress rapidly through the system, and teamed with Eric Lauer, the duo give the Padres some nice southpaw pitchers waiting in the wings.
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