Four lesser known names to watch at the Padres Spring Breakout Game


The short URL of the present article is:
Spread the love
Credit: Fastball Photo

The 2024 season marks the first year of the MLB Spring Breakout game, as each team will send a roster of top prospects to compete against each other. This year, we will see the Padres play their neighbors at Peoria and A.L. rivals, the Seattle Mariners.

If you’re a fan of prospects, this is like going to a candy shop at age eight with your parent’s credit card.  If you know little of the farm system, this is an opportunity to see the group that A.J. Preller rebuilt.

Even if you’re a casual Padre fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard about a system rebuilt post the Juan Soto trade, with numerous prospects ready and counted on to contribute in the near future. Names like Jakob Marsee, Eguy Rosario, and Matt Waldron are considered candidates for the 2024 MLB roster. In addition, there are young studs that fans are dreaming of in the future, including Ethan Salas, Dylan Lesko, Leodalis De Vries, and Dillion Head.

While it will be great to see them participate in this game, the matchup with Seattle’s top prospects shouldn’t just be about them.

This is also an opportunity for secondary and lesser-known prospects to be on TV and gain some immediate national recognition. While you will hear about the abovementioned players, here are some other names that have such an opportunity and that you should know about.

With that in mind, here are four players, one from each positional group, that you should watch.


Pitcher: Ryan Berget

The Padres have a very strong group of pitchers approaching the major leagues, and many of them received a long look this year or are being counted on soon. However, just beyond them is another group of young pitchers who have great potential as well. Leading that group is the Padres’ 13th overall prospect, Ryan Bergert.

Much like Dylan Lesko, Berget was on his way to being a high draft pick until Tommy John surgery ended his pre-draft season. His post-Tommy John year in 2022 was tough but promising. In 2023, he took it to another level. He shows a low to mid-90s fastball with excellent command and a plus slider. He’s also working on a changeup and curveball, but both are a work in progress. However, his two effective pitches gave him the 12th-best ERA in the minors last year, a strong positive sign for his future. At worst, he looks like a good reliever in 2025. At best, there’s the potential for him to be an effective starter in one or two years.


Catcher:  J.D. Gonzalez

Given the insane hype surrounding him, it’s going to be very difficult for any catcher to receive attention outside of Salas. While that’s certainly warranted, the team does have a pair of interesting prospects. While some at EVT prefer Brandon Valenzuela, an outstanding defensive catcher with limited offensive success, I’m a bigger fan of someone else. A third-round selection in the 2023 class out of Puerto Rico, Gonzalez has a bigger potential upside than Valenzuela.

Gonzalez immediately has two things going for him: a cannon for an arm behind the plate and impressive power from the left side. At 18 years old, he has a lot of development time ahead of him. He will need to improve his receiving and blocking skills and continue to develop his approach as he slowly enters the Padres’ farm system. However, there’s a lot to dream of in Gonzalez, which could make him an interesting backup option or even trade bait in the future.

I'd like this amount to  


Infielder: Nathan Martorella

The Padres have not had an effective offensive first baseman in years, as neither Eric Hosmer nor Wil Myers were able to contribute effectively. Jake Cronenworth provides positive defense but doesn’t fit the profile and took a huge step backward offensively last year. Graham Pauley has been receiving time at first, but the Padres do have a possible solution at San Antonio.

Nathan Martorella led all Padre minor leaguers with the most plate attentions and has shown excellent bat-to-ball skills and power. Between Fort Wayne and San Antonio, he hit 19 home runs with a solid K/BB ratio and an improved contact rate. While he’s spent time in the outfield, he’s a better fit at first base, where he provides a solid defense to go with a plus offensive profile. He’ll start in San Antonio and, provided, he continues his development. He’s one or two steps away from a trip to Petco.


Outfielder: Homer Bush Jr

Much like pitching, the Padres have an impressive group of outfielders near the majors. Jakob Marsee could be roaming Petco Park as soon as this year and has been applauded by everyone for his outstanding 2023 and 2024 spring training. At the same time, there are a few others in the lower/mid minors that will soon be on everyone’s radar. If you’re a prospect fan, you’ve no doubt heard of Dillion Head, who roamed the outfield in Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne last year. However, the Padres have two possible studs in this outfield group, and the second member should be watched closely.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the second-generation Padre draft pick and believe it won’t be long before he’s roaming the outfield of Petco Park. The former Antelope from Grand Canyon University was signed out of the fourth round and, within half a season, was playing for the San Antonio Missions. Bush has outstanding bat-to-ball skills with a patient approach and is showing increased power as he continues to grow. However, his calling cards are speed and defense; he is among the fastest players in the system and puts it to good use everywhere. On the basepaths, he can beat out dribblers or bunts, and in the outfield, it gives him great range. Combined with excellent instincts, he shows the potential for excellent defense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *