Credit: EVT Sports

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Credit: EVT Sports

The EVT San Diego Padres top 100 prospects list.

In the history of the San Diego Padres, there has never been an excess of talent like there is presently. There are literally dozens of teenagers within the system that could one day be serious prospects. Constructing a top 30 prospects list doesn’t really do justice for how deep this system is.

I have created my list from the countless minor league games I have watched in the last three years in constructing East Village Times. I have witnessed most of these prospects firsthand in games and in workouts all over the country. I know some of these men and the type of personality they have. This is a very difficult task. Please take in consideration that these are my rankings and they are far from perfect. A prospects’ value can rise or decrease seemingly at the drop of a hat.

The point of a piece of this magnitude is to educate the fan base how deep the farm system really is.

This is my third edition of the top 100 prospects for the San Diego Padres.


100- Luke Becker–  Age: 22.3  2B/3B

In the ninth round of the 2018 draft the Padres selected this right handed hitter out of the University of Kentucky. He has a line-drive stroke and some speed, but nothing to get excited about. Power is not his forte, but he does have a good eye at the plate. He is nothing more than a minor league depth piece at this point early in his career.

99- Francisco Lucumi- Age: 17.1  RHP

Colombian teenager Francisco Lucumi has a very decent arm. He is already hitting 90 mph+ on the radar gun at a very young age. He is a terrific athlete who was signed this July from the international market. He has very decent ceiling if he can make the adjustments to pro ball and also fill into his wiry frame. He has a solid delivery. Lucumi also has decent mechanics as the ball jumps out of his hand. He will likely debut in the DSL next season or maybe even make an appearing in the AZL in 2019.

98- Vladimir Echavarria– Age: 18.3  3B/OF/SS

This speedy right handed batter has impressed in 2018 with his propensity to take a walk. He is doing that in the DSL, so there is some reason to be skeptical to some degree. There is some power to his swing, but he is very raw and does swing and miss a lot. Echavarria has plus speed and can play several different positions. His bat dictates he will probably either be an outfielder or shortstop, though his footwork in the infield is presently limited for such an important position.

97- Jesse Scholtens–  Age: 24.3  RHP

Scholtens was solid in Double-A this season, but has struggled in his promotion to the PCL. He was sent back to the Texas League. Scholtens is not a huge strikeout pitcher, as he generally is around the plate with his pitches. The Padres 9th round pick in 2016 could eventually find himself with a chance at a rotation spot. He does need to hurry in his progression, as some of the younger kids in the system are growing at an amazing pace.

Francisco Lucumi (Credit: El Helrado)

96- Nick Gatewood– Age: 21  C/1B/DH

Left handed hitting catcher/first baseman Nick Gatewood was selected in the 11th round in the 2018 draft out of Georgia State University. He has a very nice swing, but there are some concerns if he can stick behind the plate. He has been working on defense at first base since joining the club in Peoria. The majority of his starts have been as a DH in the AZL. If he can remain a catcher, he could have decent value some day.

95- Austin Smith  Age: 22  RHP

Falling down this list big time is A.J. Preller’s first ever draft selection. Smith has battled control issues and recently battled some velocity concerns. He was demoted from Lake Elsinore back to Fort Wayne last month. He has looked better in recent appearances and could still find himself as a bullpen piece. The velocity has increased, but he probably will only be a two-pitch pitcher.

94- Kelvin Melean  Age: 19.7  INF

This light hitting infielder has age on his side, but has shown little to no power in his minor league career. In fact he presently sits with zero home runs in over 600 at bats. The right handed hitter does have the ability to make contact holding a career .261 batting average. He can play all over the infield on defense and looks to be a utility option in the upper minors and possibly beyond.

93- Sam Keating  Age: 19.9  RHP

The Padres selected this right hander in the 4th round in 2017, but he has been slow to start his professional career. Keating is still a teenager and there is still time for him to figure it out. He has shown a good arm, but is struggling with his mechanics. He needs to find himself fairly soon in order to not be lost in the system. There is upside here.

92- Jean Cosme  Age: 22  RHP

He was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in 2016 for Odrisamer Despaigne. He had a pretty decent year that season in Fort Wayne and was set to start 2017 in Lake Elsinore. A torn elbow ligament resulted in Tommy John surgery before he could get going in California. He is working his way back presently in Arizona and looks to gain traction on this list very soon. I believe he could be a player to watch in 2019 to some degree.

91- Sean Guilbe Age: 18.5  3B

This 12th round pick in 2018 out of high school is still very raw. He is a big right handed hitter and a prototypical third baseman. Guilbe has plenty of power, but need to work on mechanics with his swing to create a better plain and make more consistent contact. He has a plus arm and could climb this list in time. He reportedly is working very hard to improve and has impressed the team in that regard. There is nice upside here with this hitter.


18 thoughts on “San Diego Padres Top 100 Prospects

  1. I feel sad about Austin Smith. I remember when he was regularly ranked in the top 30. Really hope he finds his control and grows in his abilities again!

  2. I am in awe of what you of put together with this Chronicle of the Padres, Major and especially minor leagues. You’ve so increase my and my son’s knowledge of our team. I appreciate the other writers you bring in also. I’m going to print this massive collection of “the hundred” out to help follow their progress.
    Thank you!

  3. Very entertaining list! Tucupita Marcano is obliterating the pitching he has faced; his slash line is borderline video-game-ish. I’m surprised to see him not ranked in the top 30…is this a function of his lack of power or a true infield position?

  4. James,I think it’s time to move Hudson Potts to SA ,he seems to be the only positional player trending up in the whole program these days.With Tatis out for the year the farm system seemed to lose it’s juice recently.Urias has been doing nothing so besides the pitchers to talk about its pretty boring these days on the farm.Your thoughts on Potts.

    1. He is very close to being ready, but still has some issues with contact. He is still only 19 and the organization is wisely taking their time with him. Players like Tucupita Marcano and Xavier Edwards are trending upward in the AZL. There still are names to be excited about offensively.

  5. This is very helpful. I am glad you enjoy putting this together, many of us enjoy it as well. It seems there are several pitchers in the midst of a TJ recovery (Cosme; etc), any chance of an article chronicling their progress?

  6. James,why is River Stevens not on this list?He was an All Star before he got hurt and is getting most of the SS reps in Tatis absence.

    1. He’s 26. Just missed the cut, actually. I preferred to put kids that were seven and eight years younger. The depth in the system is extraordinary. I couldn’t include everyone. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Great work as always!
    I’m really stoked that you included 2018 draft picks and International signings.
    This is an excellent data base for Pads fans.
    Thank you James!

  8. I love these kind of exhaustive, reference articles. Good job. It would be interesting to know more about Mejia’s defensive issues, as apparently it was a deal breaker for Cleveland.

  9. James, I’m really worried about Anderson Espinoza. He was universally ranked number 1 two-years ago, and then Tommy John. Any reports on whether his velocity will come back, and how he’s progressing?

    1. He is still working his way back. Has yet to really throw off a mound at full speed. Hopefully the velocity returns. His upside is tremendous.

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