San Antonio Missions & El Paso Chihuahuas Set Opening Day Rosters

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Credit: San Antonio Missions (Franchy Cordero)

Now on to the El Paso Chihuahuas, who will have four of the Padres top-30 prospects on their Opening Day roster.

Those players are second baseman Carlos Asuaje, right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet, right-handed pitcher Phil Maton, and center fielder Franchy Cordero.

Behind the plate, the Padres will have two journeymen catchers, Rocky Gale and Tony Cruz, with various amounts of big league experience. Neither guy can really be called a prospect, as both are just serving as organizational depth should anything serious happen to the Padres’ catchers at the big league level.

In the infield, the Chihuahuas actually have a fairly interesting setup, as the returners, Carlos Asuaje and Diego Goris, are joined by a new cast of characters, including Dusty Coleman and Jamie Romak, and the most surprising name of all, Cory Spangenberg. Of these names, Asuaje and Spangenberg are the ones to watch, as both have futures on a big league roster, perhaps sooner rather than later.

In the outfield, the Chihuahuas have even more potential future major leaguers, as Jabari Blash returns alongside veteran major leaguer, Collin Cowgill, two guys with major league experience in Rafael Ortega and Jose Pirela, and a guy who could see the major leagues in the future, Franchy Cordero. Of these players, really all five could end up seeing major league playing time in 2017 if any injuries or trades occur that thin the depth on the major league roster. Of the five, Cordero is the most watchable in terms of prospect status and future potential as a productive big leaguer.

While the lineup may be littered with potential major leaguers, the pitching staff takes the cake in terms of guys who could see big league playing time in 2017 and beyond. Obviously Lamet is the biggest name, but the likes of Phil Maton and Jason Jester are also players to watch.

The Padres also have a couple of reclamation projects on their hands in Tyrell Jenkins and Zach Lee, both of which could bear fruit. The team also has Walker Lockett, who excelled at all levels of the Padres minor league system in 2016, and Kevin Quackenbush, who should be the first name called up if the Padres need a fresh bullpen arm. To round out the roster the Chihuahuas also have Logan Bawcom, Carlos Fisher, Matt Magill, Andre Rienzo, and Bryan Rodriguez.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have clearly taken a significant step back from where they were in 2016, and they now may be the weakest of the Padres’ minor league affiliates. With the seemingly permanent departures of Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, and Alex Dickerson, the Chihuahuas will have a tough road ahead in defending their PCL crown. However, there are still bright spots on this team that should make them very watchable for Padres fans in 2017.

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