10- Jorge Ona Age- 20.8 107 games/415 at bats (.277/.351/.405) .755 OPS (40 BB/115 K)
This muscular Cuban is just beginning to reach his abilities as a player. The power potential is real, despite the fact he only hit 11 homers this season. Ona signed for $7 million dollars in the 2016 international pool and should pay dividends someday for the Padres. He has a rocket arm, but is probably only an average corner outfielder due to his limited speed and range. He has great bat speed already and a knack for barreling up baseballs. Ona could blossom in 2018 to a real power threat.
9- Josh Naylor Age- 20.3 114 games/439 at bats (.280/.346/.415) .761 OPS (43 BB/84 K)
The powerful, left-handed Canadian is on a fast-track to the majors. He is still only 20, but has shown a ton of maturity at the plate in his brief tenure in the Padre’ organization. He is known for his power, but has had trouble showing it at the plate recently in game action. Naylor only hit 10 homers in total for the year in 2017, and only two of them came in San Antonio. Given his age, the Padres do not seem too concerned about it. They always say that power is the last thing to develop in a good hitter. Naylor certainly qualifies as a good hitter. Only time will tell. Defensively, he gets a horrible rap. He is an average defender with decent foot speed. The 20 grade from MLB Pipeline is a disgrace for his speed.
8- Joey Lucchesi Age- 24.3 (11-7) 2.20 ERA/0.97 WHIP 139 IP/33 BB/148 K
The left-handed pitcher out of Southeast Missouri State actually had better numbers in the Texas League than he did pitching for the Lake Elsinore Storm. Lucchesi was 6-4 with a 2.52 ERA in the California League, and then went 5-3 with a 1.79 ERA in San Antonio. His strikeout numbers went down while pitching for the Missions, but that was to be expected as he was battling more refined hitters. He looks to be the real deal and could be a decent mid-rotation starter when it is all said and done. He clearly has the durability and repertoire to remain a starter moving forward. He throws in the low to mid 90’s with an excellent slider/change.
7- Anderson Espinoza Age- 19.5 (DNP)
Unfortunately, he missed the whole 2017 season with arm issues. After some delay, the pitcher had the surgery in the summer and looks to be lost for the entire 2018 season. He will be 21 in the year 2019 when he should be fully healthy, so there is still time for him to be a very good major league player. Espinoza will have a long road, but his repertoire is excellent. The Padres will bring him back slowly, so a 2018 return seems highly unlikely. Look for him to come back full-strength in 2019.
6- Adrian Morejon Age- 18.7 (3-4) 3.86 ERA/1.26 WHIP 63 IP/16 BB/ 58 K
Signed for $11 million dollars during the 2016 international spending spree, Morejon comes with a very high ceiling. The lefty was successful in 2017 as he was promoted from Tri-City to Fort Wayne. He is very advanced for his age and possesses a high knowledge of how to pitch. He has excellent stuff, but is more than capable of pitching to contact and working deep into games. With a mid 90’s heater and two above-average breaking pitches, he should be a solid contributor at the major league level. He should start in Lake Elsinore this season, but that really depends on his spring.
5- Michel Baez Age-21.8 (7-2) 2.54 ERA/0.832 WHIP 63 IP/10 BB/89 K
The 2017 season was Michel Baez’s coming out party. He went from someone who was left off most (not mine) top-30 prospects lists, to one of the Friars’ best talents. He features a high 90’s fastball, which he is unafraid to use. Baez consistently hits 97-98 on the radar gun and he isn’t the type of pitcher who has control issues. The right-handed pitcher pounds the zone with his fastball and also has a developing change and slider. He will likely start the year in Lake Elsinore and could advance fairly quickly after that.
4- Luis Urias Age- 20.3 118 games/442 at bats (.296/.398/.380) .778 OPS (68 BB/65 K)
At 20, Urias is still very young. He has made huge progress since being signed by the Padres as a 16-year-old out of Mexico. He just finished batting under .300 for the season, but did continue his amazing streak of walking more than he struck out. In his career, Urias now has 153 walks compared to 135 strikeouts in over 1,300 minor league at bats. In this day and age of the game, it is unreal to see a player continue to display that type of plate discipline. He could play some shortstop in the coming years, but looks to be a second base option long-term.
3- Cal Quantrill Age- 22.7 (7-10) 3.80 ERA/1.47 WHIP 116 IP/40 BB/110 K
Health was a key for this young man and he successfully made it through the 2017 season without any issues to his surgically repaired elbow. Quantrill was able to utilize his off-speed pitches, and though he did have a few rough moments, he really impressed the Padres’ front office. Quantrill will be brought along slowly in the spring as the team still wants to be cautious with the young right-hander. 2018 could be a big year for him, but the team will not rush him.
2- Mackenzie Gore Age- 18.7 (0-0) 1.27 ERA/0/984 WHIP 21 IP/7 BB/ 34 K
The Padres used their selection in the 2017 draft to pick up Mackenzie Gore out of a high school in North Carolina. He has an amazing arm and has already impressed many within the organization. The left-handed hurler has an amazing assortment of secondary pitches already at the age of 18. His curve is a plus pitch and the slider and change are not far behind those. Impressive for a pitcher that can throw in the mid 90’s. His motion and leg kick are exaggerated, but he has managed to repeat them time and time again. Control and command should not be an issue for this polished pitcher.
1- Fernando Tatis Jr. Age- 18.8 131 games/ 486 at bats (.278/.379/.498) .877 OPS (77 BB/141 K)
At the age of 18, Tatis has emerged as a force. It is simply amazing that the Padres were able to pry him away from the White Sox for the services of James Shields. He has all five tools and is clearly capable of playing shortstop. There is some refinement needed to play the position at the major league level, but if all else fails, he will hit enough to be a more than competent third baseman. The right-handed-hitting Tatis is already on the fast track to the major leagues. He wants to play in Petco in 2018, and I would not doubt if that happens at some point in the coming season. He is currently in the Dominican Winter League, advancing his skill set.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.