Possibly the biggest surprise of the Padres’ 2017 draft class, Margevicius has been an amazing addition to the team. Given 48 innings and 10 starts to work with, Margevicius has gone above and beyond to project long-term. A 11.6 K/9 rate and 1.9 BB/9 stat makes Margevicius a good bet to one day crack San Diego’s starting rotation.
The road will still be long for the 21-year-old and he will be challenged more when he enters a league his own age, but he has the ability to still impress. All he needs is to refine his three pitch mix and rely on his quality changeup and stellar command. The makings of a back-of-the-rotation starter are there for the seventh round draftee.
My colleagues here at Eastvillage have talked extensively about this tantalizing talent. Coming into the 2017 draft, House was regarded as a toolsy prep player, but with limited experience against tough competition. The Padres took a chance on him in the third round anyway, and the benefits have been large. In 164 rookie league at-bats, the 19-year-old has translated his raw abilities into a great .293/.354/.817 slash line. There are some huge red flags to his performance though. The .484 BABIP he carried throughout the year is far and away unsustainable. Expect that number to drop immensely, and therefore cause his average to hit a steep decline. Also, a 37.6% K/9 in rookie ball will never get the job done.
House needs to change his approach and manage the strike zone a lot better, lest he be another risky prospect in the mold of Michael Gettys. On the other hand, the 121 wRC+ House has maintained is good enough for him to reach Tri-City next year. However, if he doesn’t make adjustments, his stock will bottom out quickly. The former Whitehouse, TX high schooler does have a safe tool regardless of his offensive game. In 39 games, the young man has shown the ability to man center field on a consistent basis without looking out of place. If he were to stay their, his above-average arm strength would be a high plus. Therefore, the floor for House is a fourth outfielder and the ceiling is a possible star. Either way, he is sure to frustrate scouts and fans as he develops.
One of the shocking picks by Preller, Campusano has performed admirably. He was an offensive star for the Padres’ Arizona League teams. With a combined .269/.344/.732 line as well as four home runs for both Padres’ rookie teams, Campusano’s hitting has been as advertised before the draft. A neat thing about the catcher’s batting has been his keen eye. Usually newly drafted pros strike out at a 20% level or more. Yet, Campusano has showcased an advanced amount of patience. He has only K’d 14.3% of the time.
Something he could improve on is his 6.1 walk rate. Overall, however, the young 19-year-old has the tools to be an offensive-minded catcher. Yet, there is a possibility that offense will not comprise Campusano’s entire skill set. On the contrary, scouts saw the catcher as an adequate defender with a plus arm. In other words, mediocre glove work could be the floor on Campusano’s catching. But time in the Padres’ farm system and work beside the defensively gifted Blake Hunt and Austin Hedges may do wonders. In the end, don’t be surprised if Campusano becomes one of the league’s top catchers. He’s that talented.
Finally, the man I compared to Clayton Kershaw, Mackenzie Gore, absolutely proved that he’s able to provide similar dominance for the Padres. He has the potential to become the first true lefty ace for San Diego since Bruce Hurst was on the team in 1993. Moreover, its been 26 years since a lefty was elite for the team. In 1991, Hurst threw 221.2 innings of 3.29 ERA ball. I believe this can easily be outperformed by Gore and his thrilling arsenal of plus pitches. He is the most exciting Padres prospect to me because he has a plus fastball, plus curveball, above-average slider, above-average changeup, and above-average command. This is an ace in the making and he could move fast after striking out 34 batters in 21.1 innings pitched for the Arizona League Padres. Also, he only walked seven hitters and allowed a .98 WHIP. All of this stems from Gore’s magnificent whiff rate and amazing ground ball-inducing ability (3.67 GO/AO). Look for him to post a similar 1.27 ERA in full-season ball next season. If all goes well, the Padres could soon have a prospect that will be the best throughout the league for the first time in a long while.
In conclusion, the 2017 MLB Draft has brought a plethora of great talent to the farm. San Diego’s top choices have predictably been the team’s best prospects from the draft, but Preller did have some steals throughout the process, as late as the 25th round. While these new pros have had solid debut season, they still have a long way to go before they are seriously considered as long-term assets. Next year will be a defining moment for them as they either sink or swim in more challenging environments. As an optimist, I believe many of these listed men will find success in 2018 and be major leaguers one day