Padres announce rosters for minor leagues
The minor league affiliates for the San Diego Padres announced their rosters Monday morning for their 2021 seasons.
The El Paso Chihuahuas, San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate, features three of the Padres’ top-ten prospects.
Left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore is the top prospect for the Padres and the headliner for the Chihuahuas roster.
Catcher Luis Campusano, the third-ranked Padres prospect, is the top position player for El Paso, along with sixth-ranked prospect Tucupita Marcano. Marcano made his major league debut this season with the Padres, so it is not unreasonable to expect him back with the major league club at some point. Campusano debuted last season and could also join the Padres again at some point in 2021.
The Padres 11th and 17th ranked prospects, Mason Thompson and Steven Wilson, will also be key contributors for El Paso.
Right-handed pitcher Nabil Crismatt and outfielder Brian O’Grady are not top prospects but are also players who made appearances for the 2021 Padres and are currently the Chihuahuas roster.
Introducing your 2021 El Paso Chihuahuas Opening Day Roster!
The roster features five https://t.co/DxiSHcaWIV top @Padres prospects, 11 players with major league experience, and eight players who are returning to El Paso pic.twitter.com/JwbadoCQ8D
— El Paso Chihuahuas (@epchihuahuas) May 3, 2021
The San Antonio Missions will return as a Padres’ minor league affiliate after a two-year hiatus. Their roster is highlight by the second-best prospect in the Padres system, infielder C.J. Abrams. Eguy Rosario is the only other top-30 prospect for position players to begin in Double-A.
Pitching will be the spotlight for the Missions, as there are three top-30 prospects starting their seasons in San Antonio. RHP Reiss Knehr will be the top pitching prospect, followed by RHP Mason Fox and LHP Osvaldo Hernandez.
The San Antonio Missions have announced their 2021 Initial Roster. CJ Abrams (#8 MLB Prospect) highlights the young group.https://t.co/5QQqGuxYcF
— San Antonio Missions (@missionsmilb) May 3, 2021
A change to the Padres’ affiliates this offseason involved a switch with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps and the Lake Elsinore Storm. In previous years, the Storm represents the High-A affiliate while the Tin Caps represented Low-A. This year, they are flipped, so the Tin Caps are now High-A affiliate, and the Storm will play in Low-A with the rest of the California League.
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Anderson Espinoza is the big-ticket prize for Fort Wayne. Espinoza, the once top prospect for the Padres, will be making his first professional appearance since 2016. He is also the only player on the Padres’ 40-man roster to begin the year on the Tin Caps.
Anderson Espinoza 🇻🇪 is scheduled to start Thursday night!
After 2 Tommy John surgeries and no @MiLB season in 2020, it’ll be his first official regular season game appearance since 2016.
He’s our Player to Watch presented by Legacy Heating & Air Conditioning! 🍎#PadresOnDeck pic.twitter.com/EiRRUfqv6z
— Fort Wayne TinCaps (@TinCaps) May 3, 2021
Mason Feole and Tirso Ornelas are the only other top-30 prospects for Fort Wayne.
The Lake Elsinore Storm roster is loaded with lots of young talent. The outfield alone will feature two top-10 prospects, 2020 first-round draft pick Robert Hassell III and Joshua Mears. Right-handed pitcher Carlos Guarate will also start the year in Lake Elsinore.
We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Lake Elsinore Storm Roster!https://t.co/pjdNPhjJs4 pic.twitter.com/j0pVo3TKI3
— Lake Elsinore Storm Baseball (@Storm_Baseball) May 3, 2021
Throughout the year, there will also be other top prospects who are currently working at the alternate site who are not ready for professional ball, such as Justin Lange, Jagger Haynes, Brayan Medina, and Victor Acosta.
Dominic is currently a Senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the “Devils Talking Padres” podcast and is the producer and co-host of the “Padres EVT Podcast.
The Padres were one of the most affected teams with the minor league contraction. I believe we had more affiliates than any other big league club.
I hope we can get our pitching up and going quickly in case they’re needed. We’re already seeing our starting pitching experience health issues. I hope Gore has fixed his mechanics issues and can be of help if needed and called upon.