The San Diego Padres’ farm system is booming right now, but it is impossible to give love to them all. Here is a look at some of the lesser-known players that are playing well during this 2018 season.
Considering the state of the major league team in San Diego, a lot of Padres fans are watching the farm system in anticipation of what the many talented prospects could become in the big leagues.
It’s easy to be aware of what’s going on with the well-known prospects in the system.
Yet, there are some interesting prospects who have not received the same attention as the ones on all the prospect lists.
Looking at some of the statistics of guys who are less heralded in prospect discussions is an intriguing endeavor, especially when it involves guys who most fans have never heard of.
Let’s get to it, by picking out various players at different levels of the Padres’ farm system.
There are plenty of players to highlight, but I chose these for this piece
|Forrestt Allday||5’11”||190||Triple-A El Paso||27|
Position: Outfield Throws: Left, Bats: Left
Taken by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2013, Allday also played in the Angels’ organization last season, prior to signing a minor league deal with the Padres during the winter. He’s twenty seven, so he definitely isn’t the typical prospect because of his age. However, his statistics with the Chihuahuas this season have been very impressive, as he’s hitting .297 with a .424 on base percentage. Allday has walked in 12.9% of his plate appearances, and is only striking out at a 13.4% rate. Allday is running a 135 wRC+ at El Paso, so he can definitely hit. He’s also starting in center field for El Paso, which speaks to his defensive abilities. Maybe he’ll never get a chance in the big leagues, but Allday has made a strong case for being called up at some point by the Padres.
|Gerardo Reyes||5’11”||160||Double-A San Antonio||25|
Position: Relief Pitcher Throws: Right, Bats: Right
Acquired in the Wil Myers trade during December of 2014, Reyes started this season in Lake Elsinore, and is now with the Missions in San Antonio. He pitched to a 2.20 ERA in High-A for 16.1 innings, before his promotion to Double-A. Upon arriving there, he has had a solid 3.33 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched. Even more impressive, is the fact that he’s increased his K/9 from 11.02 to 12.21 after his promotion. His BB/9 remains high at 4.81, though is markedly improved from his mark of 6.61 in High-A. He has proven to be a very useful reliever for the Missions, and could earn a trip to the major leagues sometime next season if he keeps pitching like he has with the Missions.
|Elliot Ashbeck||6’3”||220||High-A Lake Elsinore||24|
Position: Relief Pitcher Throws: Right, Bats: Left
This is a guy who has thrown well for the Storm this season, posting a 2.21 ERA over 63.1 innings of work. He’s striking out hitters at a rate of 8.95 per nine innings, while only walking 2.13 per nine frames. He’s also doing a really good job of keeping the ball in the yard, with a HR/9 rate of merely 0.43 — especially impressive in a hitter-friendly environment like the California League. He’s doing a really good job of inducing infield fly balls, which are basically pop-ups. Ashbeck has induced them 20.6% of the time this season, which is higher than the 19.4% rate Ryan Schimpf posted in his 2017 season for the Padres, if you remember the pop-up hitting machine that Schimpf was. Considering the Padres drafted him in the sixteenth round of the 2015 draft, Ashbeck has been a nice find for the organization, and is looking ready for a promotion to Double-A.
|Robbie Podorsky||5’7”||170||Low-A Fort Wayne||23|
Position: Outfielder Throws: Right, Bats: Right
A late draft pick by the Padres in the twenty-fifth round in 2017, Podorsky spent a brief time in Lake Elsinore before being returned to Fort Wayne this season. Podorsky has shown that he’s ready to go back up to High-A by hitting .363 with a .420 on-base percentage. He’s also only striking out in 10.6% of his plate appearances, which is highly impressive and rare. He has a 155 wRC+ in Fort Wayne for the TinCaps, so it’s definitely looking like he’s dominating the pitching in the Midwest League. At age 23, it’s likely the Padres will soon give Podorsky the chance to show them what he can do at a higher level, because he’s clearly too advanced to stick around in the Midwest League much longer.
|Dan Dallas||6’2”||180||Short-Season Tri-Cities||20|
Position: Relief Pitcher Throws: Left, Bats: Left
Dallas was drafted in the in the seventh round in 2016, and pitched in rookie ball the previous two seasons. In his 24.1 innings of work for Tri-Cities, he’s posted an impressive 1.85 ERA, and his FIP of 1.48 indicates he’s been pitching even better than his standard numbers indicate. His K/9 is a ridiculous 14.79, and he’s inducing infield fly balls at a rate of 21.7%. He has done all of this without giving up a home run, while only allowing five earned runs throughout this entire season. Looks like a guy who should be pitching in Fort Wayne, right?
|Tucupita Marcano||6’0”||165||Arizona Rookie League||18|
Position: Shortstop/Second Base Throws: Right, Bats: Left
He is posting a 172 wRC+ in rookie ball right now, while striking out only 7.0% of the time and walking in 14.7% of his plate appearances. Marcano was graded by Fangraphs as having 60-grade speed, and has scored 29 runs in the 31 games he’s played in. His slash line is an absurd .411/.500/.455 — which is always going to grab people’s attention. This is a guy that will likely never hit for much power, but will hit and run the bases well enough to be a productive everyday player. There is debate as to whether he can stick at shortstop defensively, but he should hit enough that it won’t matter what position he ultimately ends up playing.
|Emmanuel Guerra||6’3”||185||Dominican Summer League||17|
Position: Third Base Throws: Right, Bats: Right
The leading home run hitter on the DSL Padres with five, he also has knocked in the most runs, with thirty one RBI in forty games played. Though his average is only .235, he’s gotten on base at a .414 clip. He is striking out 25.4% of the time, yet has managed to walk in 19.9% of his plate appearances as well. His ISO figure is .199, so he certainly has some good power — and his walk rate speaks to how well he picks out specific pitches to punish. He has done all of this with a pretty much average BABIP of .310, so his current productivity shows no real signs of regressing to the mean. If he continues to hit this well, he’ll certainly be getting a VISA to come to the United States next season.
A sophomore at Willamette University in Oregon, Conrad is majoring in Spanish but is also a writing center assistant for other students at Willamette. He has been a Padres die-hard his whole life and hopes to bring comprehensible statistical analysis to the site.