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.
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.