A Comprehensive Look at How the Padres Minor League System Blossomed Before Your Eyes

(Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Three straight years of excellent amateur draft selections

2016 amateur draft class

Reviewed on page one of this post.

2017 amateur draft class

MacKenzie Gore

Blister issues slowed Gore’s production in 2018, but he still has a very high ceiling. The mix of pitches he features is deadly. He is also armed with a mid to upper 90’s fastball, and he likes to pitch with an edge. Gore could very well be an ace of the future. He has that type of upside.

Luis Campusano

The Padres went back-to-back catchers with their second and third picks of the 2017 draft. Campusano was selected out of high school and was widely regarded as the best catching prospect in the draft. The bi-lingual catcher is a son of a former minor leaguer and comes with a plus bat. He has excellent defensive abilities as well and performed well last year in Fort Wayne as a 19-year-old putting up a .710 OPS in 70 games.

Blake Hunt

Of the two catchers drafted in 2017, Hunt is slightly better defensively. The large catcher is widely considered one of the best defenders in the system and has improved in every year he has played. Hunt has power but tends to get slightly too pull happy with his approach. At times last year in Tri-City, Hunt showed a plus bat, so there is plenty to be excited about in regards to his future.

Mason House

This left-handed hitter has a beautiful swing. He generates a lot of power to all fields when he makes contact, but he does struggle with the strikeout. House did not do well last season out of the desert. Expect him to start in Fort Wayne this year possibly. There is a lot to like with his game, but he does need to refine his approach at the plate a bit.

Nick Margevicius 7th round

Margevicius has been stable since the team drafted him out of Ryder University in New Jersey. He continually strives to get better despite the fact he does not light up the radar guns. He typically sits in the low 90’s, but he spots his fastball well and has excellent offspeed pitches. The left-handed pitcher also understands how to use different plains of the strike zone. He is a bulldog on the mound.

Credit: MiLB

Joey Cantillo 16th round

Flying under the radar is this left-handed pitcher from Hawaii. He has a funk to his motion and is starting to develop his mechanics under the tutelage of major league coordinators. Cantillo has plus size and a plus arm. In time, he could be a real factor in the upper minor leagues for the Padres.

Jason Pineda 17th round

19-year-old infielder Jason Pineda has done well since being selected out of high school in New York. He has shown an ability to walk, but still, need to make more contact. The power seems to be coming as he gains weight and gets bigger. The third baseman is stable at the corner but has also played some first base for the team.

Robbie Podorsky 25th round

Speed is Podorsky’s main contribution as he is extremely fast on the baseball diamond. The short in stature, right-handed hitter, has a compact swing. The 23-year old put up a .883 OPS in Fort Wayne last year in 2015 at-bats. He is a solid defender and a plus bunter. Podorsky is fun to watch as he brings an old school element to the game that is hardly seen.

2018 amateur draft class

Ryan Weathers

This left-handed pitcher has plus intangibles. He comes from a baseball family and has an understanding of how to pitch. His stuff is getting better as he gets professional coaching. Weathers has an excellent command of his three-pitch arsenal. The 19-year-old should start in Fort Wayne but could be in the California League before you know it.

Xavier Edwards

Switch-hitting infielder Xavier Edwards is exciting to watch. He has 70-grade speed and provides a plus bat from both sides of the plate. Edwards could be a special talent in the game. Defensively, he could stick at short though he is fully capable of playing second base. The 19-year-old will start in Fort Wayne and could be one of the league’s better players.

(Xavier Edwards) Credit: MiLB

Grant Little

This Texas product has struggled with the bat since being drafted. There is still time for him to get better, but there needs to be an improvement from Little in regards to plate discipline and approach. He has plus defensive abilities and runs very well.

Owen Miller

Miller has been impressive since he was drafted out of Illinois State. He made it to Double-A (playoff push) in his first season, though he may start in Lake Elsinore this spring. That remains to be seen. He regularly barrels up baseballs with his short, quick right-handed swing. He can play all over the infield, though he probably doesn’t have the arm for third or short at the higher levels. He looks to be a solid second base candidate for the team.

Dylan Coleman

This hard-throwing right-handed pitcher out of Missouri State has excellent stuff. The Padres will leave him in the relief role, where he could eventually develop into a closer. Coleman made it to Fort Wayne last year where he performed well for the TinCaps.

Key trades for prospects

Logan Allen acquired from Boston Redsox for Craig Kimbrel (November 13, 2015)

At the time of this trade, most of the hype surrounded Javy Guerra and Manuel Margot. Carlos Asuaje was also in the deal, but the Padres need for a shortstop of the future was supposed to be solved by the acquisition of Guerra. In the end, Logan Allen an 18-year-old (at the time) pitcher might be the best addition made by the team.

Fernando Tatis Jr. acquired from Chicago White Sox for James Shields (June 4, 2016)

This trade is the big one. They will probably be talking about this for years to come. The Padres had interest in Tatis the year the White Sox signed him. Preller wisely waited in the wings until the time was right to wrestle the infielder away from Chicago. The Padres paid roughly $38 million to the Sox for Shields contract, so Tatis was not a cheap addition.

Credit: AP Photo

Chris Paddack acquired from Miami Marlins for Fernando Rodney (June 30, 2016)

The Marlins were attempting to make a playoff run and needed relief help. Fernando Rodney had been terrific for the Padres to start the 2016 season. Preller and his staff wisely sold high on Rodney, acquiring Paddack from the Marlins. Not much was known on Paddack at the time, except that he was very young and full of potential.

Anderson Espinoza acquired from Boston Redsox for Drew Pomeranz (July 14, 2016)

Pomeranz was an all-star, and the Padres did well to sell high on him. The Red Sox stunningly parted with Espinoza who was widely considered one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the game. Pomeranz, immediately reported arm issues which was not shocking news as he had already eclipsed his highest innings total for a season at the time of the trade. Espinoza required Tommy John surgery eventually.

Hansel Rodriguez acquired from Toronto Blue Jays for Melvin Upton Jr. (July 26, 2016)

This trade is not talked about much as Rodriguez had arm issues last year. At one time he was considered a top 30 prospect in the Padres system. The 22-year-old relief pitcher has excellent stuff and could emerge in time as a factor for the team in the bullpen. Just another example of handpicking a player from another teams roster.

Josh Naylor acquired from Miami Marlins for Andrew Cashner (July 29, 2016)

Almost one month after the Padres acquired Chris Paddack, the Marlins traded the Padres another one of their better prospects. Canadian slugger Josh Naylor was sent to the Padres for Andrew Cashner. Naylor is blocked at the moment at first base but has played outfield for the last 12 month or so. His bat is almost major league ready. He needs a position.

Esteury Ruiz acquired from Kansas City Royals for Brandon Maurer plus (July 24, 2017)

The Royals dealt Travis Wood, Matt Strahm, and Esteury Ruiz to the Padres for Brandon Maurer, Trevor Cahill, and Ryan Buchter. Ruiz himself is a steal for the Padres, but to get five-plus years of service time from Matt Strahm makes this trade a steal for the Friars. None of the three pitchers traded to the Royals in this deal are still with the team.

Edward Olivares acquired from Toronto Blue Jays for Yangervis Solarte (January 6, 2018)

Yangervis Solarte was a favorite in the locker room, but he was shipped to Toronto before last season. The return was a skinny outfielder who has progressed with the Padres since they acquired him. Olivares was protected this winter on the 40-man as the Padres have high hopes for him. With more muscle, Olivares could turn out to be a decent corner outfielder.

Francisco Mejia acquired from Cleveland Indians for Brad Hand (July 19, 2018)

The Padres took their time in dealing Brad Hand, and they were rewarded in obtaining the number one catching prospect in Francisco Mejia. He has a rocket arm and a plus bat from both sides of the plate. Mejia will battle Hedges for playing time and could eventually overtake him.

This whole recipe has produced the most robust baseball farm system in the game. The Padres have depth at virtually every position in every level. The team has set itself up for success for a long time. Not every prospect will become a success, but with the vast number of players accumulated, the Padres should have no trouble finding talent every season for the foreseeable future.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.
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OldSaltUSNR
OldSaltUSNR
3 years ago

Owen Miller? Yeah, the Padre farm system is stacked so deep and wide with high ceiling prospects, I know a few may be overlooked. However, for a guy who went from short season Tri-City to AA (playoffs) in his first, SHORT year (i.e. he was still playing college ball last spring), and slashed .336/.386/.460/.846 his first year of professional baseball, I would think he would rate somewhere on your list. Plus, he played a very polished plus-level shortstop, a premium position. Add in a little power which should reasonably come as his game matures, and he’s Tatis II. The only… Read more »

Zac
Zac
3 years ago

This was nice. Like taking a trip down memory road. (Oh yeah, I remember that trade!) Thanks for writing it!

I spotted a typo. You call Mejia a pitching prospect. (I make typos like these all the time!)

Jim
Jim
3 years ago

Great article, but one question. Why isn’t there any mention of Osvaldo Hernandez. He had a very big year last season at Ft Wayne, but seems to be overlooked by all. Is there something I am missing about him?

Tom O'Boyle
Tom O'Boyle
3 years ago

Love this article! Being a Padre fan in South Dakota is challenging! It appears the system is balanced throughout with pictures and infielders. Hope the talent assembled can acquire the “hit” tool. I’m looking forward to getting down to Omaha to watch our AAA’ers perform this summer. Been a Padre man from their inception in 69. Feel great about the future….KEEP THE FAITH,,,,,

SDDon
SDDon
3 years ago

Trea Turner has posted 10 WAR combined for very little cost. Is currently projected to do double Myers projection in 2019. Is 3 years younger than Myers and plays a premium position. Myers has only 6.8 WAR during the same time, his cost is 5 times that of Turner. Ross is a starting pitcher who is projected for 0.4 WAR this year coming back from injury. Both G. Reyes and J. Castillo are RP who are both projected to pitch most of the season in the minors again. Both combined gave a 0.0 WAR projection.

OldSaltUSNR
OldSaltUSNR
3 years ago
Reply to  SDDon

@SDDon “Turner … posted … Myers has only … ” I’m still trying to relate this post to the rest of article. Maybe he posted it to the wrong article by mistake, i dunno …. Nothing in the post about the spectacular job AJ Preller & the Padres baseball ops department has done to turn a Padres “top farm system” of 2013 with low depth and filled with low-floor, low-ceiling prospects into arguably one of the best minor league systems of high floor, high ceiling prospects, with depth in these prospects going 3, 4, and even 6 deep. An oversight,… Read more »

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