EVT Top-100 San Diego Padres Prospects

Credit: EVT Sports

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20- Ronald Bolanos–  RHP  08/23/1996
Highest Level: Major Leagues
2019 Stats: (13-7) 3.66 ERA/1.235 WHIP  130.1 IP/142 K

Bolanos got $2 million from the Padres in 2016 and has progressed reasonably well. The 22-year-old has made it all the way to the major leagues where he has shown the ability to be a power pitcher. Bolanos’ fastball is up to 96-97 consistently, but he still struggles with command. He has thrown 99 mph this season which is interesting. The pitcher can be wild over the plate and outside the zone. He throws a plus slider and is showing improvement on a slow curve. The changeup is still a work in progress for the right-handed pitcher. There is upside with him, but he will need to throw strikes and improve his secondary pitches. At the very least he could be useful out of the bullpen in the future.

19- Tucupita Marcano–  INF  09/16/1999
Highest Level: Single-A Fort Wayne
2019 Stats: .660 OPS  (.270/.323/.337)  2 HR/45 RBIs  35 BB/45 K  15 SB

Left-handed swinging Tucupita Marcano thrust his name into rankings last year as he put up a .888 OPS in 52 games between two teams. The infielder has very little power but continues to show a great eye at the plate. He rarely strikes out and has plus speed. Marcano struggled at times in Fort Wayne this season, but is still only 19 and has a decent future. He will likely never be a huge power threat and has a below-average arm. He looks to be another option at second base for the Padres eventually. There is some risk with Marcano, but he can play all over the diamond, and that is helpful.

18- Esteury Ruiz–  INF  02/15/1999
Highest Level: Single-A Lake Elsinore
2019 Stats: .657 OPS (.239/.300/.357)  6 HR/36 RBIs  26 BB/101 K  34 SB

The Padres acquired this young infielder from the Royals at the deadline in 2017. He was virtually unknown at the time but came onto the scene showing a plus bat and great speed. Ruiz has excellent power for his size but is currently struggling with recognition of pitches. The speed is terrific, and he knows how to use it on the basepaths. Ruiz stole 34 bags this season in the Cal League and is a serious threat on the base paths. He is 20 and very raw, but there is a lot to like about his offensive game. Defensively, he has struggled at second base. He is stiff to the ball and could see more and more time in the outfield if he does not improve with the glove.

Credit: AP Photo

17- Jacob Nix–  RHP  01/09/1996
Highest Level: Major Leagues
2019 Stats: (1-2) 1.85 ERA/1.19 WHIP   24.1 IP/29 K

Nix had elbow issues in the spring and still holds prospect status. There is a lot to like about the right-handed pitcher who is still only 23 years old. He shows great composure on the mound and has very good size for a pitcher (6-foot-4). Nix is armed with a 94-96 mph fastball and a plus curve. The pitcher got away from the curveball last season, but that appears to be his best out pitch. He throws a slider and a changeup as well. Nix has a repeatable motion and excellent mechanics with his delivery. If healthy, he could be a factor in 2020 for the Padres.

16- Hudson Head–  OF  04/08/2001
Highest Level: AZL Padres
2019 Stats: .800 OPS (.283/.383/.417)  1 HR/12 RBIs  15 BB/29 K

The left-handed-hitting high schooler was given a record $3 million to sign this season out of the third round. He has plus skills across the board. He slashes baseballs from gap to gap with a quick, compact swing. Head drives the ball well and displays plus speed on the basepaths. He has five-tool talent and could be a player who gets better with more seasoning. The Texas high school product has a plus arm and was clocked in the upper 80s from the mound in school. He could stick in center but has the tools to play corner outfield and be productive. The Padres stole this first-round talent with a third-round pick.

15- Blake Hunt–  C  11/10/1998
Highest Level: Single-A Fort Wayne
2019 Stats: .712 OPS (.255/.331/.381)  5 HR/39 RBIs  35 BB/67 K

The defensive wizard behind the plate is starting to show a promising bat. Hunt has worked hard to quicken up his swing and use the whole field. He can get a bit too pull happy from time to time, but he has shown the makings of a quality offensive catcher. The power is there for the 6-foot-3 backstop as he drives the ball well and gets excellent carry off his bat. He makes consistent contact and will walk, which is promising for his future. The glove is what is very special for this young man as he receives the ball well and continually displays pop times in the 1.8 range. Hunt works well with his pitchers and is very mature for his age. The 20-year-old should be a solid option for the team eventually. He is stuck behind some quality catchers in the system but should have no trouble advancing.

14- Joey Cantillo–  LHP  12/18/1999
Highest Level: Single-A Lake Elsinore
2019 Stats: (10-4) 2.26 ERA/0.931 WHIP  111.2 IP/144 K

Funky, left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo is becoming more and more of a household name for Padres fans. He is showing velocity in the 92-94 mph range which only makes his quality changeup even more effective. In Fort Wayne this season, Cantillo struck out batters at a quality pace (1115 in 86 innings pitched). The Hawaiian native throws a slider and a curveball which are both developing. He will need to refine those pitches further and maintain his newly found velocity to factor in the rotation one day. At 19, time is on his side. Cantillo works very hard, and that should also be noted when predicting his future in the game.

Credit: Jerry Espinoza/Clubhouse Corner

13- Tirso Ornelas–  OF  03/11/2000
Highest Level: Single-A Lake Elsinore
2019 Stats: .581 OPS (.217/.303/.279)  1 HR/41 RBIs  53 BB/113 K

The Mexican outfielder had a very tough year in Lake Elsinore, where he put up a .581 OPS. He showed very little power in the hitters league and was sent to Arizona to refine his approach at the plate. The 19-year-old has a very fluid swing and could be a terrific hitter when he is done growing and maturing. He has great size at 6-foot-3 and should be a plus power threat when he learns to lift the ball a little more. He is a decent defender and has played center in the past, but is more likely to end up at a corner outfield spot where he can utilize his above-average arm strength. Ornelas is very young, and there is a lot of promise.

12- Edward Olivares–  OF  03/06/1996
Highest Level: Double-A Amarillo
2019 Stats: .801 OPS (.283/.349/.453)  18 HR/77 RBIs  43 BB/98 K  35 SB

This outfielder has worked hard to get bigger and stronger, and the results are starting to show with the bat. Thirty-five steals and 18 home runs are very impressive for the 23-year-old. He has an odd swing but is very quick to the ball. Olivares has decent size at 6-foot-2, and there is the belief that he could really develop into a suitable power threat. The Venezuelan outfielder has excellent speed as he stole 35 bases in 45 attempts this year for the Soddies. The Padres acquired him from the Blue Jays for Yangervis Solarte, and it could go down as one of A.J. Preller’s best trades. The right-handed hitter is a plus defender where he has shown the ability to play centerfield. Olivares possesses an above-average arm and should be able to stick in center for the longterm if needed.

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11- Gabriel Arias–  SS  02/27/2000
Highest Level: Single-A Lake Elsinore
2019 Stats: .809 OPS (.309/.339/.470)  17 HR/75 RBIs  25 BB/128 K

Once regarded as a defensive-only shortstop prospect, Arias is turning into an all-around talent. He may never be a .300 hitter at the major league level, but there is no reason to believe he cannot be useful with the stick when he is done developing. The 19-year-old is driving the ball better and with more consistency. He still fails to walk and strikes out entirely too much, but there are positives to his growth. Being a teenager and holding his own in the Cal League is quite the accomplishment as Arias put up a plus .800 OPS. The defensive skill is off the charts, as he shows excellent range and arm strength. He has a pretty decent floor because of his glove, and should eventually be a major leaguer. If the shortstop can continue to amend his swing, Arias could be an option for everyday usage in the major leagues.


9 thoughts on “EVT Top-100 San Diego Padres Prospects

  1. James,
    Great effort, as usual! You covered most of the position players of interest with the exception of Ethan Skender and Ripken Reyes, who had decent years. Long-time rated pitchers Michel Baez and Henry Henry were missing and I liked the stats I saw on Jesus Lugo, Ethan Elliott and Martin Carrasco.

    Lots of talent in the system with most just reaching or below AA.
    Look forward to Spring update!

    1. Baez is not considered a prospect anymore… Henry probably should have made the cut. Skender and Reyes were close… this system is so deep

  2. Thanks for the work James, I can imagine how hard it is to put together this list, but a couple of possible omissions, Tom Cosgrove, and Lake Bachar.

    1. Thank you. Appreciate the comment… the system is so deep. I agree. Both could have easily made the list. It is difficult to recognize them all.

  3. Great list James! Thank you for putting all the time in to make these exhaustive lists. Helps us Padre fans learn/know about more players than just the top 30 guys.

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