The Padres’ minor league system is still brimming with talent despite the graduation of numerous top prospects to the big leagues this season. Here’s a look at some of the hitters who have led the organization in various statistical categories.
Based on the way some of the Padres’ young prospects are hitting in the minor leagues, it’s looking like San Diego is going to have a surplus of quality infielders in the next couple years.
Furthermore, the presence of Eric Hosmer, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado leaves little playing time for any other infielders. Nonetheless, it’s been impressive to see several prospects in the minor league system being successful hitters at their respective levels.
Now that we are two months into the season, we can start to believe in the legitimacy of the statistics being put up by players.
Unsurprisingly, many of the same players appear multiple times in the various leaderboards in this article.
To start, let’s look at the batting average leaders in the Padres’ minor league system:
|Fort Wayne TinCaps (A)||Xavier Edwards||0.374|
|El Paso Chihuahuas(AAA)||Luis Urías||0.364|
|El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)||Matthew Batten||0.319|
|Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA)||Owen Miller||0.308|
|Lake Elsinore Storm (A+)||Luis Campusano||0.307|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps (A)||Tucupita Marcano||0.304|
|El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)||Seth Mejias-Brean||0.302|
|Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA)||Rodrigo Orozco||0.301|
Leading the way is Xavier Edwards, who has nineteen multi-hit games already this season.
His strikeout rate ranks 4th-lowest among all hitters at the class A level, at only 9.1%. Additionally, he’s gotten better in May — Hitting .392, which shows that he isn’t just on a hot streak. The hitting abilities of Edwards are for real, and it’s looking like he doesn’t have much else to prove in the Midwest league at this point.
Luis Urías is also playing very well for El Paso as he continues to lobby for a major league call-up. His .364 average is impressive, especially when considering that he’s also hitting for extraordinary power simultaneously. While his average rates as third-highest among all Triple-A hitters, his isolated power figure of .378 is fourth-best among the same group. He should be in the major leagues at this point, based on his terrorizing of Pacific Coast League pitchers.
Matthew Batten and Owen Miller also continue to hit well despite not being as well known as top prospects in the San Diego farm system. Their hitting has continued to be solid throughout the season, and both look like players who deserve at least a taste of the big leagues at some point in the next couple years.
Moving on to the next statistic, let’s see who’s led the organization in on-base percentage:
|El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)||Luis Urías||0.462|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps (A)||Xavier Edwards||0.434|
|Lake Elsinore Storm (A+)||Luis Campusano||0.400|
|Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA)||Owen Miller||0.366|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps (A)||Tucipita Marcano||0.364|
At the top of the list are the usual suspects, yet we haven’t talked about Luis Campusano and the year he’s put together for Lake Elsinore. Leading the team in batting average and many other statistical categories, the 20-year-old is also playing good defense at catcher. Overall, he appears to be a prospect that will provide important depth at the catching position in the next couple of years. Although the team has Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejía as is, having Campusano as another option is just another luxury for the Padres.
The final statistic is used to look at Padres hitting prospects is wRC+. This statistic encompasses every offensive contribution a player makes to his team, where 100 is league average. Here are the Padres’ leaders:
This is where we can see the production of Campusano quantified in a way that shows how well he’s hit in 2019. Although Edwards gets on base all the time, he doesn’t hit for power the way Campusano does. Urías has just been an all-around monster hitter for El Paso. The most significant takeaway from this table is that each of the players shown above is hitting well-above average in their respective leagues.
As the Padres become increasingly relevant to the national league playoff picture in the coming years, they will likely need to do something with their surplus of infield talent. It’ll be tough for all of the players shown above to get much playing time at their positions in San Diego, save for maybe Urías. While they may end up being utility players for the team in some capacity, there’s also a strong possibility they are traded so that the Padres can upgrade other positions of need. Regardless of where these players end up, they will likely be useful big leaguers at the very minimum. Those are valuable assets to have if you’re the Padres.
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.