The San Diego Padres have some very nice depth in the outfield position throughout their minor league system.
Even though the current Padres’ outfield is crowded with Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Hinter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, and company, there is certainly potential help on the way for the team if they need it.
There might not be much room for young outfielders in the foreseeable future, but we all know that things change in the game of baseball. When that changes happens, it happens rather quickly. There is always reason to have quality depth in the outfield, and the Padres certainly have that.
From power hitters to speed guys, the Friars have reason to be excited about this young group.
Here is a glimpse of whom to look for in 2018 and beyond:
The more you see of this young man, the more he impresses you. His speed is phenomenal, and he has turned into an above-average outfielder. He is more than capable of playing center and his left-handed swing is really coming along as well. Cordero had some memorable moments as a Padre this year and did not look overmatched mentally on the field. He did have trouble making contact though, striking out 44 times in 92 at bats. Franchy produced a 0.2 WAR in that time, so there are positives to his game even if he does swing and miss too much currently. He could see plenty of action in 2018 with the Padres in left field or even as a center fielder when Margot needs a day off (once he finally makes the team). He has easily surpassed Travis Jankowski on the outfield depth chart. He barely qualifies as a rookie and will get plenty of playing time once he recovers from his leg issue.
I really like what I see from this young man. He has a quick bat with plus power and can utilize the whole field with his left-handed stroke. He has shown excellent plate discipline at an early age. At 6′ 4″, he is a physical presence and will be a power threat eventually. Defensively, he takes good routes to the ball and has a decent arm. His speed is good enough for center currently, where he has played a lot, but you have to think that he is a corner outfielder in the future. The Mexican teenager will be someone who you should get familiar with in the coming years. He is special and will climb this list fast. He will start in Fort Wayne and could conceivably be promoted to Lake Elsinore if everything breaks right.
3- Jorge Ona
This muscular Cuban is just beginning to reach his abilities as a player. The power potential is real, despite the fact he only hit 11 homers this past season. Ona signed for $7 million in the 2016 international pool and should pay dividends someday for the Padres. He has a rocket arm, but is probably only an average corner outfielder due to his limited speed and range. He has great bat speed already and a knack for barreling up baseballs. Ona could blossom in 2018 to a real power threat. He will start the year in Lake Elsinore and could produce the homers in the Cal League.
Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for Yangervis Solarte in the offseason, this young outfielder has a promising skill set. The right-handed hitter is a bit unorthodox with his swing and approach to the ball, but you cannot debate the constant hard contact he makes. He can get a bit pull happy, so the Padres will look for him to use the whole field. Olivares will start in Lake Elsinore and could get his share of playing time in center field along with his teammate Buddy Reed. The 22-year-old could be a fast riser as he seems to have finally figured out his swing and his potential. He was a bit of an enigma early in his career with the Blue Jays.
The large Dominican outfielder had a great year in San Antonio, where he hit 25 homers and drove in 102 runs. He led the Padres’ minor league franchise in both categories as the 22-year-old might have finally found his stroke. He has legit power, but there are some concerns about his plate discipline and his ability to handle higher talent. Reyes hit 16 dingers in 2016, and eight the year before that. His power is certainly on the rise and he is one to keep an eye on for the 2018 season. The outfielder is average at best with a decent throwing arm. He just does not have much range because of his size, but I love his attitude and work ethic. Reyes was impressive for the Padres this spring as he got plenty of action early in the Cactus League season.
This young outfielder has excellent plate discipline, but there are reports the team wants him to be more aggressive with the bat. At the age of 17, he recorded a .404 OBP in the AZL, which is quite impressive. He has extremely quick hands and can barrel up balls on both sides of the plate. The left-handed hitter has decent power already and should display more with more maturity and as he fills out physically. He has decent speed and an above-average arm and could see some time in center field this coming season. He might eventually move to a corner spot as he gets older, but has the bat to be productive there. He has the floor of a fourth outfielder and the ceiling of an all-star major league outfielder. His growth in 2018 will be exciting to see as Rosario gives the Padres a legit left-handed bat in the lower minor league system. He will start in Fort Wayne with his first taste of full-season pro ball.
A defensive-minded center fielder, Reed is still learning the game. He picked up the game late in life and sometimes his inexperience is evident. You cannot argue about his skill set though, as the athletic outfielder can track balls to either side with ease. He has a plus arm and fantastic speed, but has problems hitting at times. It does not help that he is a switch-hitter, and that in itself can be maddening. His numbers are pretty even from both sides of the plate, though he does strike out at an alarming rate batting right-handed. Reed will need to make more contact and also learn to utilize his speed on the base paths. He has better speed than his 27 stolen bases in 139 career games indicates. Time will tell with this young man, but he certainly has all the skills to be someone special. Lake Elsinore is where he will start his 2018 season.
Gettys is truly a frustrating player. He has excellent size and strength. The outfielder is also blessed with a rocket arm and top-notch speed. The whole issue with Gettys revolves around his bat. The power stroke is there, but he fails to make contact. His strikeout rate climbed all the way to 37.2 in 2017 while playing in the California League, which is a notoriously great league for hitters. He walks enough to be productive, but the K rate has to drop. His stance and approach need adjustments, and the Padres would be wise to find a coach to assist this young man personally. He has so much ability, it would be a shame to see him get too discouraged to grow as a player. He will start in San Antonio as he looks to gain improvement in his offensive game.
In speaking to this young man, you get a sense that he wants to gain knowledge about the game. The coaches will love this kid, as he has shown tremendous ability and an insatiable lust for baseball information. The left-handed hitter put up an impressive .817 OPS in limited time in the AZL. The Texas high school product was not hyped a ton in the draft, but the Padres were diligent and found the young man. He has excellent size (6’3″) and decent foot speed. House wants to remain in center, but that remains to be seen presently. He has the skills to play the position, but there are concerns about his range and arm as he matures as a player. Mason House has a great ceiling and could be a fast-riser within the system. He is starting 2018 in Arizona, but he hopes to advance soon.
This young man took off once he hit the California League. He put up a .314/.376/.529 slash line in 43 games in Lake Elsinore. That resulted in a .905 OPS as Boykin really started to drive the ball with authority. He is an outfielder, with the ability to play all the spots. He lacks the overall arm strength for center, but has the speed to cover the ground. Boykin is still only 22 so he has time to grow as a player. He is starting the season in San Antonio and could be a late bloomer. Keep an eye on this young man.