Jake Cronenworth (Prospect Ranking: 17)
Spring Stats: .320/.393/.400 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B
The other piece to the Tommy Pham trade, Cronenworth’s versatility as an infielder and a relief pitcher, makes him a valuable Swiss army knife for the Friars.
Cronenworth was quickly added to the 40-man roster and, as such, got to spend his Spring Training competing for a spot on the 26-man roster.
He quickly made his case for that spot. Appearing in 11 games, Cronenworth made consistent contact while limiting strikeouts. He seemed to be in the clear for that 26th spot until the COVID-19 virus reared its ugly head.
If the season picks up for 2020, Cronenworth’s progress shown in Spring Training ensures that he will be donning a jersey that reads “San Diego.”
Edward Olivares (Prospect Ranking: 19)
Spring Stats: .389/.421/.722, HR, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2B, 3B, SB
Had it not been for the outfield logjam, Olivares had the kind of Spring that would’ve secured him a roster spot on any other team.
Olivares took a massive step forward with Amarillo, collecting an OPS of .802 with 18 home runs and a whopping 35 stolen bases. His season earned him a spot on the 40-man roster and an invitation to Spring Training, where he continued to impress at both the plate and the grass.
At 24-years-old, Olivares held his own and then some, but, with too many cooks in the outfield kitchen, Olivares was optioned to Minor League camp.
Olivares was initially acquired in 2017 for Yangervis Solarte. If he continues the developmental path he is currently on, the trade will go down in the books as one of the best trades in AJ Preller’s book.
Javy Guerra (Prospect Ranking: 23)
Spring Stats: 0-0, 5.1 IP, BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA
With no options remaining for Guerra, his mission entering Spring Training was a simple one.
Pitch, and pitch well.
It is safe to say that the mission was accomplished. With his back pressed to the wall, Guerra threw 5.1 shutout innings of relief with a two-seam fastball and a sinker that can reach the upper 90’s.
It is quite ironic that Guerra was acquired in a trade for Craig Kimbrel way back in 2015, as he now has the ceiling to become the next Kimbrel.
Jorge Ona (Prospect Ranking: 27)
Spring Stats: .286/.375/.714, HR, 2 RBI, R
Despite getting surgery for a torn labrum in 2019, Ona was added to the 40-man roster at the expense of Nick Martini.
Ona had been setting Double-A on fire before his injury, slugging a .956 OPS with five home runs in just 25 games.
Much like Olivares, Ona had himself a fine Spring, collecting a home run in seven at-bats, but the outfield situation combined with his still recovering shoulder sent him down to Minor League camp.
How Ona progresses with the glove will determine how fast he will reach the Majors. Receiving Major League coaching will no doubt help Ona on his quest to the Show.
David Bednar (Prospect Ranking: 29)
Spring Stats: 1-0, 5 IP, 7 K, 9.00 ERA
One of the relievers on the outside looking in, Bednar got his shot last year as a September call-up and pitched well until his last outing, when he allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning. That outing bloated his ERA from 2.61 to 6.55.
With an invite to Spring Training, Bednar needed to blow away the competition if he wanted a shot at securing the lone bullpen spot available.
However, even with an injury to Munoz and the slow progression of Castillo, it remains doubtful that Bednar will crack the main roster.
Despite racking up seven strikeouts, the 25-year-old allowed five runs on seven hits in the five innings he pitched. It seems all the more likely Bednar will return to the minor leagues.
Lake Bachar (Prospect Ranking: 30)
Spring Stats: 0-1, 3 IP, 3 K, 12.00 ERA
Sneaking in at number 30 is Lake Bachar, who was added to the list after Esteban Quiroz was traded to the Rays as the PTBNL part of the Pham-Hunter Renfroe deal.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Bachar received his first invite to Spring Training on his goal to become the fifth member of his draft class to reach the Majors alongside Bednar, Joey Lucchesi, Cal Quantrill, and Eric Lauer.
Bachar advanceD to Double-A Amarillo, where he was primarily used as a starter, but the 24-year-old made all three of his Spring appearances out of the bullpen.
Bachar made the most out of his limited time but allowed four runs on six hits in three innings of work.
Bachar had a very slim chance of cracking the Opening Day roster and was most likely invited to Major League camp to receive instruction from Padres’ coaches. He was among the 12 men assigned to Minor League camp on March 8.