Recently, the Padres’ farm system was ranked as the best in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, something fans and people in San Diego are enthusiastic about heading into the 2018 season. Check out the guys (James and Patrick) as they speak to Mike Rosenbaum of MLB this week on their podcast.
The ownership is feeling good about the level of talent and number of guys they have here in minor league camp. The pitching talent in the upper levels is superb and, sooner than later, many of these highly rated pitchers (Eric Lauer, Cal Quantrill, and Mackenzie Gore to name a few ) are going to be ready for the majors.
Minor league camp was compelling in itself, trying to see all these young prospects first hand. The minor leaguers practice in the morning kept me very occupied, walking back and forth between the backfields, trying to get ahold of any news and rumors on the team.
News and Notes from Peoria:
I spoke with Padres #7th ranked prospect, Anderson Espinoza, who reported to me that he will throw his first bullpen since Tommy John surgery sometime in April or May. We could see him on the mound in the Padres Instructional League in the fall. Look for a piece on his interview in the coming days.
The Padres’ director of player development, Sam Geaney, reported to me that 18-year-old Luis Almanzar has impressed with the quality of his at-bats and is looking comfortable in camp. The young infielder is now entering his second full season and is likely to start in Tri-City, or perhaps Fort Wayne.
Padres 18th-ranked prospect Jorge Ona worked hard to improve his game over the offseason at the new Scott Boras Corporation facility in Miami. He was visited by Chris Kemp and Sam Geaney in December who mentioned they saw improvements in his hitting and swing.
The Padres’ first ever Asian Amateur signee, 19-year-old Wen-Hua Sung, was in minor league camp today getting his body ready to start pitching in the Padres’ organization this season.
Sam Geaney told me that Padres’ ownership is huge on giving younger minor league players a chance to get at-bats in the second half of the Major League spring training games here in Peoria. Most other clubs only give the prospects in the higher levels (Double-A and Triple-A) a chance in those games.
New Padres’ lefty Matt Strahm said that Darren Balsley is working with him on improving his slider to be able to use it more effectively in games.
Andy Green said that he embraces the competition in the clubhouse between the guys on this team. He said it’s a ton of fun between the ping pong tournaments and shooting competitions in basketball. This Padres team has fun.
Rowan Wick, acquired off waivers from St Louis, is a guy the San Diego scouts have liked for some time because of his live fastball. He also has a developing feel for his curveball and decent feel for his slider as well.
Andy Green said Carter Capps is taking step forwards since last time on the mound and that we should expect to see his velocity tick up once he starts to feel better.
Andy Green spoke of Makita’s performance yesterday, saying that they want to get him on the mound in the 9th, and preferably against an American League team.
Matt Szczur should be ready to appear in the outfield in tomorrow’s game against Kansas City in Surprise.
Look for more up-to-date news and notes from Peoria from East Village Times.