The San Diego Padres are well-stocked in the second base area throughout their minor leagues.
Luis Urias is now a Milwaukee Brewer. The future at the position is up for grabs. Jurickson Profar is only signed for one more year, so there could be several new faces in the area in the coming years. Good thing for the Padres- they have depth at the position throughout the minor leagues.
No other area has more depth fo the San Diego Padres than the keystone position.
Here is a look at several that are battling for playing time in the minors.
Cream of the Crop
CJ Abrams– 1.083 OPS (.393/.436/.647) Single-A Fort Wayne
A shoulder injury ended his first season as a professional, but the left-handed hitter will be at full strength this spring. The infielder is capable of playing shortstop or second base, and there are whispers he could see time in center field. The swing is smooth and quick from the 19-year-old. There is power potential from Abrams as he showed good pop in the desert late in the summer. Speed will be a considerable asset for Abrams, who takes long strides and goes from first to third with ease.
Owen Miller– .785 OPS (.290/.355/.430) Double-A Amarillo
Steady is how you would describe Owen Miller. His skills are not extravagant in any particular area, but he does everything well. The right-handed hitter sprays the ball all over the field with a level swing. Power is not a huge tool for him, but he still displays the ability to power the ball over the fence. Defensively, he can play all over the infield. Arm strength is a bit of a concern on the left side of the infield, but Miller is smooth with the glove.
Hudson Potts– .724 OPS (.240/.302/.423) Double-A Amarillo
A natural third baseman, Potts played 19 games at the keystone in 2019 for Amarillo. With Manny Machado entrenched at the position, this was the correct move for the right-handed hitter. His swing is intriguing, as the ball sounds completely different off his bat. Struggles with pitch recognition have limited him to some sort, but it is important to remember that he has always played at a higher level than his age. The 21-year-old is close to making his major league debut and, if all breaks well in 2020, he could be knocking on the door.
Tucupita Marcano– .660 OPS (.270/.323/.337) Single-A Lake Elsinore
The contact-oriented swing of Marcano is capable, but some wonder if he will be able to stay productive at the upper levels of the minors. The left-handed hitter has very little power as he is a thin youngster. The Venezuelan has plus plate discipline and rarely strikes out. There is a speed aspect to his game, but he is not a burner on the basepaths. Marcano can play second base, shortstop, or third base where he shows plus range and a decent arm. The 20-year-old will start the year in Lake Elsinore.
Ivan Castillo– .808 (.313/.347/.461) Double-A Amarillo
24-year-old Ivan Castillo won the Texas League Batting Title in 2019 for the Sod Poodles. The switch-hitter is very productive with the bat as he shows an aggressive swing at the plate. Castillo rarely walks, but also rarely strikes out. There is a little bit of power in his swing, though he will never be a huge home run threat. Castillo can swipe a bag if needed, as he has over 100 steals in his career. Defensively, he can play all over the diamond, including all three outfield positions.
Esteban Quiroz– .923 OPS (.271/.384/.539) Triple-A El Paso
Soon-to-be 28-year-old Esteban Quiroz is not a young prospect, but he is close to major league action. The left-handed hitter is only 5-foot-7, but he generates plenty of power in his swing. The native of Mexico slugged 19 homers last season in El Paso. He has very little speed and is not considered a traditional infielder. Quiroz can play multiple positions, including some corner outfield. If the Padres need help at second base this year, Quiroz could be the first one called by San Diego.
Esteury Ruiz– .657 OPS (.239/.300/.357) Single-A Lake Elsinore
2020 was disappointing for the Dominican infielder as he only amassed six home runs in the California League. The swing can get a little long with this right-handed hitter. Strikeouts and plate recognition issues stunted his growth in 2019, and he will likely repeat his time in Lake Elsinore start 2020. The 20-year-old has plenty of speed as he swiped 34 bags in 98 games last year. Defensively, he has issues as he lacks the footwork and general skills in the infield. He could see time in the outfield eventually if he cannot pick up his skills at second base.
Yeison Santana– .923 OPS (.346/.429/.494) AZL Padres
At 19, the future seems very bright for this Dominican infielder. The right-handed hitter shows excellent plate discipline and recognition of pitches. His swing is smooth, and he began to show some power in 2019, solidifying his name as a player to keep an eye on in 2020. Defensively, he has only played shortstop so far in the minors. He could see time at second base in 2020 as the minor league system is loaded in front of him at the position.
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