There are tons of prospects in the San Diego Padres’ minor league system right now. Not every single one of them can make the four full-season teams, so many are still in Arizona playing games against other teams and practicing in an attempt to be ready for that call when it comes.
The Tri-City Dust Devils roster will be constructed in a few weeks, so many of these men could see some “real” game action relatively soon. The short-season team from Washington will be made up of several young players and older collegiate-type players drafted in next months amateur draft.
Here is a rundown of some of the names in Arizona and how they are looking so far.
This young man has been terrorizing the league and is clearly anxious to further his pro career. The 21-year-old is tall and lanky and just only tapping into his power potential. He is a proto-typical right fielder who will be in the conversation for top prospects eventually. Time is running out though, as the team will need to protect him in the 40-man eventually.
This 18-year-old left-handed pitcher out of Mexico has shown advance control and a grasp of sequencing, which is remarkable for his age. He is still very raw, but if you are looking for a name that virtually nobody is talking about, this is your man. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him while he has been in Arizona.
Described as a grinder and an excellent defender, this corner infielder is someone to keep an eye on. He was promoted to Lake Elsinore early last week and was immediately productive for the Storm. Skipping the Mid West league is rare, so keep an eye on this right handed hitter. The 22-year-old barrels up baseballs frequently and even earned six at bats in El Paso earlier this year.
Another guy who squares baseballs consistently is Tansel. The 23-year-old shortstop is a hard worker as well and just looking for a shot. He has been called up to Lake Elsinore this year, but only played in a few games. The former Tampa Bay Ray was acquired for the services of Ryan Schimpf. He put up decent numbers for the Rays’ Single-A team in 2017 and could be a solid contributor once he is given at bats.
Marcano has an excellent idea of what he is doing with the bat, and despite his young age has been productive in Arizona. The 18-year-old, left-handed hitter finds his way on base and is an excellent top of the order presence.
The 17-year-old was arguably the cream of the crop of the latest international signing period for the Padres. The outfielder has advanced hitting tools and could be someone to keep an eye on. He might get a cal to Tri-City and that will be interesting to see.
Another left-handed pitcher who you don’t hear much about is this young man from Hawaii. He has struggled with command, but is showing great improvement in that area and could be ready for his debut this season in Tri-City. The 18-year-old has a funky, deceptive delivery that could play up against advanced hitters if he is able to pound the strike zone.
Hunt is very impressive to me. He has excellent communication skills and is developing into a power threat to go with his excellent defensive prowess. He has worked hard to cut down on his K’s in Arizona and has reportedly made great strides with that. The catcher had some shoulder issues last year, but is back to being 100 percent now. Expect him to excel once he is given his chance to work with all these young arms.
The left-handed hitter is working hard to cut down on his swing and miss issues. He has a nice swing, but has struggled against hard throwers as he makes adjustments with his timing. Defensively he is solid, where he uses his long strides in the outfield to track down fly balls.
The Padres had this former infield bulk up in an attempt to convert him into a catcher. He has been receptive of the idea and put on 20 lbs or so of muscle in the winter. He has a strong arm and is very educated about the game of baseball. He has a decent stroke and developing power.
I have told you about Lopez and the hype is for real. The 17-year-old has a tremendous arm and excellent make up. He has a changeup that ranks as one of the best in the systems already. It has a splitter action to it in which the ball cuts and tails. The team will take it slow with him, but his mid 90’s fastball and superior change are a lethal combo.
Nix has battled groin and back issues this year and has yet to make his 2018 debut. He is slated to start in El Paso or San Antonio and was considered very close behind Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi in terms of prospect pitchers that are close to being major league ready. Nix should be able to start his season soon, as he has reportedly looked good in bullpen sessions. If he can get over the injury hurdle he still has a chance to be a contributor in 2018.
There are more news and notes, but nothing of real relevance. I will keep you up to date as new information comes in on the league and all the youngsters you hardly hear much about.