Padres’ Searching for “Next” Esteury Ruiz or Fernando Tatis Jr. in Trade Talks

Credit: AP Photo

(Esteury Ruiz) Credit: AP Photo

In the modern era of Major League Baseball you must take every advantage you can to succeed. If you are a smaller market team with fewer resources then those blessed in major media outlets, then you use every angle you can to get over on your counterparts.

With the way modern media covers each top prospect, it is difficult to attain another teams best young players in trades. There are dozens upon dozens of websites, periodicals, and newsletters that tell you exactly what each teams covets as far as their best young players. Trying to trade for them is difficult, if not impossible.

The Padres have avoided attempting to acquire other teams top-30 prospects in trades and instead have scoured the waiver wire (Brad Hand, Matt Szczur), used the international pool (Franmil Reyes, Franchy Cordero), became active in the Rule-5 Draft (Luis Perdomo, Miguel Diaz, Luis Torrens) and have also scouted like few others at the lower levels.

Very few teams have a huge scouting exposure when it comes to the Arizona Rookie League or Dominican Summer League like the San Diego Padres.

The team has recently hired two new scouts (including Chris Kusiolek a former contributor to EVT) in the Arizona area to spend time in other teams’ backfields and such. These scouts are in search of players that hardly anyone is talking about. They are looking for teenage talent that has yet to make it on top-30 lists simply because they were either too young or haven’t had any professional at bats yet.

This is smart. This is how you pluck names like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Esteury Ruiz from two teams who had no idea of their real value.

Both men were 17 years old when the Padres acquired them from their respected clubs. Neither was listed as a top-30 prospect for the White Sox or Royals. But all that changed as soon as the Padres got their hands on them. Tatis is the Padres #1 ranked prospect and #7 prospect in all of major league baseball. Ruiz is the Padres #10 ranked prospect and could eventually land on the top-100 prospect list.

In coming months, expect the team to make a few moves. Don’t get discouraged, as this isn’t a fire sale. The team will make calculated moves, in which certain players might be moved for young prospects. If it means stealing a young player like Tatis or Ruiz for James Shields, Brandon Maurer, Trevor Cahill and Ryan Buchter, then you do it.

The Padres have laid the groundwork to find undervalued players. It is time to allow that scouting department to bear fruit. The Padres’ system is not what it used to be. Certain people want to point to the fact that this team has failed to develop talent in the past. Those were other baseball regimes and their failures should have nothing to do with what A.J. Preller and his men are trying to accomplish. Stay the course and enjoy the new talent that this team is about to add to their overcrowded system.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.
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Tanned Tom
Tanned Tom
4 years ago

“The Padres have avoided attempting to acquire other teams top-30 prospects in trades” ? What would you call Margot or Espinoza? Instead of avoided, perhaps you mean not succeeded. And certainly the Royals and the White Sox knew what they had, it’s just that trading a 16 or 17 year old prospect for a player who might help right now makes sense for a contending team, both of which Chicago and KC were at the time. Perhaps it’s too soon to judge, but since Preller has become GM exactly 1 player has emerged from the farm system to be a… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Tanned Tom

Actually, the White Sox admitted they weren’t that high on Tatis. They thought he was a decent player, but not anyone they would miss if they traded him

3 years ago
Reply to  Tanned Tom

Good insight !!

4 years ago

Nice piece James. I love the last paragraph in particular.

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