Prospects down on the Padres farm worth monitoring
San Diego Padres general manager, A.J. Preller, had one of the best trade deadlines in sports history this year.
Preller acquired Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader during the deadline.
However, he gave up a lot of prospects, including former top prospects C.J. Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell, James Wood, Jarlin Susana, Esteury Ruiz, Robert Gasser, Max Ferguson, Corey Rosier, and Victor Acosta. The San Diego Padres traded most of their top prospects to acquire these big names, and it is obvious Peter Seidler, and A.J. Preller want to win a championship.
With all the trades the Padres made, that leaves Jackson Merrill as the top prospect on the Padres farm.
The San Diego Padres have only two prospects in the top 100, according to MLB Pipeline, which is one of the worst in the league. Although the Padres farm may seem depleted, there are some players throughout the system who aren’t getting attention (yet).
Samuel Zavala is a young Venezuelan outfielder who stands 6-foot-1. Zavala was signed by the Padres out of the international draft on January 15, 2021. Samuel debuted in the minors last year with the Padres rookie ball team.
The left-handed hitter showed off his power bat last year. Zavala has great bat-to-ball skills to go along with power and great discipline. He also showed off his speed by stealing 11 bases in 55 games. This year Zavala is playing for the Low Single-A team, the Lake Elsinore Storm, and he is still showing off his best tools in the California League. Zavala is the Padres’ fifth-ranked prospect, but do not be surprised if he cracks the top 100 next year.
Victor Lizarraga was signed by the Padres in 2021 in the international class out of Mexico. Lizarraga, the 18-year-old right-handed pitcher, shows a good fastball along with a curveball and a changeup. His fastball sits low 90s, but with good location, he makes the pitch effective. The right-handed pitcher is 6-foot-3 and is from Tijuana, Mexico, and spent some time in the South Bay area of the county.
Lizarraga had a rough start to his pro debut last year, in which he went 0-4 with a 5.10 ERA for the Padres Rookie Ball team. The pitcher moved up to Lake Elsinore at the beginning of the year, where he has improved greatly. He is currently 6-3 with a 3.74 ERA while walking fewer batters than before. Victor Lizarraga is a solid pitcher but could possibly be used as a good bullpen arm in the future, averaging 4.5 innings pitched per outing.
Henry Williams was drafted third overall by the Padres in the 2022 MLB draft. Williams is a big, 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher who attended Duke University this past year. The 20-year-old did go down with Tommy John surgery in December of 2021, but scouts believe he can come back stronger at such a young age.
Williams holds an above-average fastball, slider, and changeup, with decent control. Usually, Williams sits 90-92 MPH on the fastball, but scouts have recorded him at 94-95 MPH during the fall. Henry William’s most effective pitch is his slider which sits around the low 80s. Although Henry won’t debut this year, he still holds a lot of potential and could be a big-name prospect for the Padres.
Jay Groome was sent to San Diego in the Eric Hosmer trade. The first baseman and two lower-ranked prospects were sent to the Boston Red Sox in return for Jay Groome. Groome was drafted in the first round in 2016 by the Red Sox. He showcases a fastball, curveball, slider, and a changeup.
The 6-foot-6 left-handed pitcher throws 94-95 MPH with the fastball along with a mid-80s slider and a high 70s curveball. In El Paseo this year, Groome owns a 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched. Groome has been walking a lot of batters with four walks, and eight strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched. Groome could possibly crack the roster this year and be a good depth piece in the Padres bullpen.
Jackson Wolf was drafted in the 4th round by the Padres in the 2021 MLB Draft. Wolf is 23 years old and playing in High Single-A with the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The southpaw is 6-foot-7 and throws a fastball, curveball, changeup, and a Chris Sale-like slider, some scouts report.
Wolf only sits in the high 80s with his fastball, but he pitches effectively from limiting walks and striking out a lot of batters. In 100 innings pitched this year, Wolf is 6-6 with a 3.96 ERA, but he has walked only 37 batters while striking out 120. Jackson Wolf is a really solid left-handed pitcher and could bring some real value to the Padres in the near future.
Garrett Hawkins is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher drafted in the 9th round in the 2021 MLB Draft by the Padres. Hawkins uses a fastball, slider, and a changeup with above-average control. Along with Wolf, Hawkins pitches effectively but can get hit around if he doesn’t hit his spots.
Hawkins holds a 4.35 ERA in 80.2 innings with an opponent batting average of .252 in Fort Wayne. The pitcher does limit walks and strikes out batters at a good rate, with 22 walks and 110 strikeouts. Hawkins sits 92-94 MPH on the fastball with a low-mid 80s breaking ball. As Garrett Hawkins works his way up the farm system, he may bring solid value to the Padres.
This 18-year-old left-handed bat came to the Padres out of Venezuela in 2021. Daniel Montesino has been very good for the Padres rookie ball team, and there is upside here. Montesino has yet to play in 2022 due to Tommy John on his throwing arm, which is very uncommon for an outfielder.
In 56 games for him last year, he hit .316, with a .933 OPS, and hit four home runs. Montesino also showed good pitch recognition and discipline last year with the Padres. Montesino has yet to provide a big sample size, but he is still growing. At the age of 18, he could develop more power and become a valuable prospect for the Padres.
Yendry Rojas was one of A.J. Preller’s big signings of last year’s international draft class. He is a 6’0 left-handed bat who throws right-handed. Rojas has a small sample size in 2022, but as a 17-year-old playing in rookie ball, he has shown great potential.
The infielder hasn’t hit for much power, obviously, but has shown great discipline walking 23 times and striking out only 24 times. He is showing good speed as he stole 14 bases in 43 games. Again, the sample size for Yendry Rojas has been very small, but he has huge upside and could crank the top 100 prospect list in a few years.
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Alek Jacob was drafted in the 16th round of last year’s MLB Draft. The 24-year-old is playing in El Paso with the Chihuahuas. The 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher throws a fastball, slider, and a changeup.
Jacob throws from a sidearm angle and has a 2.70 ERA between Fort Wayne, San Antonio, and El Paso this season. Jacob is very good at limiting walks and strikes batters out at a solid rate. Alec Jacob is 24, and we could possibly see him on the major league roster very soon.
The Padres don’t have a highly ranked farm system anymore after all the trades, but there is still talent there. The San Diego Padres’ development abilities over the past couple of years have been much better than years prior. There is hope that the team can build a solid farm system very soon.
I’m a junior in high school, which I’ve grown up in San Diego my whole life. Living the life of being a die-hard Padre while chasing my dreams in studying Sports management.