Right behind Rosario in terms of ability is this young Mexican outfielder. He is currently not ranked in the Padres top-30, but that will change. The 17-year-old will not turn 18 til March and could be in store for a huge 2018. The 6′ 4″ right-handed thrower, left-handed batter has excellent size and strength despite his youth. He projects as a plus-power threat with the ability to hit for an average as well. He put up a .276/.399/.408 batting line in 53 games in the Arizona Rookie League last year. For a 17-year-old kid, that is very exciting to see. Especially the 40 walks in 238 plate appearances.
Despite his large frame, he moves well in the outfield. He played 32 games last year in center for the Padres and is capable of playing the position if needed, though he will surely have to move to right or left because of his sheer size and the fact he has no speed. Ornelas will need time to develop into his large frame, but he has all the ability to be a decent power threat for the team eventually. He will only be 18 in 2018, so curb your enthusiasm for him at the moment. His best days are easily ahead.
With the 78th overall selection in the 2017 draft, the Padres selected this young man out of a high school in Texas. He is a left-handed hitter with excellent size, and considered a late bloomer. House does not like that label, but has only gotten better as he is coached more. He soaks up knowledge from his coaching staff and excels at challenging himself. He is a gamer and has that quiet swagger you like to see from a young player. He already has plus power with his bat. He has a loose swing and generates plenty of bat speed with a buggy-whip like swing. Some question his ability to hit because he was never challenged much in high school, but his skills are legit.
House has the ability to stick in center. He covers a lot of grown with his long legs and has enough in his arm to get the job done. If he were needed to move out of the position, he has enough in the bat to play right field suitably. At 19, he should start the year in Fort Wayne, but there is tons of competition around him. He put up a .293/.354/.463 batting line in 39 games last year at the AZL Rookie League level. House did strike out 68 times in 164 at bats. That must be rectified if he wants a chance at full season ball this spring. Currently the Padres #22 prospect, he has a chance to move up the MLB pipeline list in 2018.
OTHERS TO WATCH
20-year-old Luis Asuncion has been in Tri-City for the last two seasons. He shows promise, but at the same time frustrates the Padres. The 6′ 4″ right fielder should hit for more power than he has shown, as he has only smashed 11 career homers in 859 plate appearances. When you watch him play, he looks like a legit prospect, but the numbers really say different to this point. 2018 will have to be a breakout year for this young man, or he will be surpassed by players like House, Ornelas, and Rosario on the depth chart. He should be motivated to perform in 2018.
At 22, Podorsky is not a young prospect. He was selected in the 25th round of the 2017 draft out of McNee State and hasn’t done anything but hit since beginning his professional career. The small in stature (5′ 7″) outfielder is a spark plug. He gets on base and he makes things happen. What he lacks in size and strength, he makes up for with guile. Podorsky hit .325 last year in 184 at bats between two levels. He only struck out 15 times in that time, verses 16 walks. He will not impress you with his skill set, but he is definitely worth mentioning on this list.
25 home runs and 102 RBI is what this man produced last year at the Double-A level. He has great size (6′ 5″) and is still only 22. Franmil Reyes is a beast and should climb the Padres’ prospect list in time. He was recently left off the Padres 40-man and subjected to the Rule 5 draft after breaking his hamate bone in the winter. He made it through the draft and will remain on the Padres’ roster for the 2018 season. You have to figure he will produce again in 2018 and could be knocking on the door fairly soon.
This 18-year-old pitcher could be a name to remember. He has a great arm and put up excellent numbers in 2017 when he went 4-2 overall with a 2.25 ERA in 56 innings pitched. He struck out 58 in that time and recorded a 1.089 WHIP. He has the ability to change speeds off his fastball and knows how to pitch. The young Colombian is still growing and could take a big step in 2018 for the Friars.