This young man was originally signed by the Red Sox, but was allowed to re-enter the signing pool after the team was penalized by MLB. The 18-year-old was signed for $325, 000 and has a very decent arm. He has some control issues that need to be worked out, but has shown the proper work ethic. Presently his fastball sits in the high 80’s-low 90’s and he features a decent curve and a serviceable changeup. Gonzalez is currently in the DSL and pitching out of the bullpen.
79- Martin Carrasco
I had to throw a shout out to this Tijuana native. The right-handed pitcher signed for $115,000 and is currently in the DSL Rookie League, where he is making his pro debut. He has excellent control, but lacks overall velocity at the moment. He is only 6′ 0″ and 165, so with time and some more size, the velocity could increase. Still, an impressive young man for 17 and definitely someone worth keeping an eye on.
78- Luis Guzman
This 19-year-old shortstop has some decent upside and has shown recently that he is developing. At the age of 16 and 17, he hit .144 in the Padres DSL league in 2015. He also made 25 errors that season at short, but again he was very young. Last year, Guzman finished with a .301/.444/.353 batting line in 45 games and 136 at bats. He only hit one homer, but cut down his errors to only four at the shortstop position. The right-handed hitter has a smooth swing and is off to a 9-34 (.265) start this year, and has already hit a home run. It remains to be seen if he can stay at short, but his bat plays well to advance through the system.
77- David Bednar
When the Padres selected David Bednar out of Lafayette College with their 35th-round selection last year, they did not envision him blossoming so quickly. But that is exactly what he has done. He currently owns a 2.08 ERA in Fort Wayne in 30 innings where he has struck out 44 batters. He is seven out of eight in save opportunities and at 22, seems destined to be moved fairly quickly through the system. The right-handed pitcher has an excellent fastball (92-96 MPH)/slider combination.
18-year-old Reinaldo Ilarraza make this list, as he has shown great maturity. He is currently in Fort Wayne where he is struggling a bit, barely hitting over .200, but he has progressed, hitting almost .230 this month with two home runs. The switch-hitter has played second base for the TinCaps, where he has shown decent range and hands. He really need to cut down on the strikeouts, but the young man is very young and facing pitchers older than him with way more experience. Progression is the key here.
75- Olvier Basabe
This impressive young man is worth noting. The Venezuelan native went to Faulkner University and played very well as the teams starting shortstop. You have to admire the young man to go to college in a different country and tackle the language barrier. His English is excellent and reportedly so is his work ethic. He is excited to get started and wasted no time in signing his contract. He has some projected pop and an ability to be a versatile player around the diamond. He is raw, but has a pretty decent ceiling.
74- Brad Zunica
This power-hitting first baseman has failed to get out of Fort Wayne thus far, partly because Josh Naylor sits just above him at Lake Elsinore, but a lot of it has to do with his plate discipline. The mammoth left-handed hitter can drive the ball with authority, but like many young players, cannot be patient enough to get his pitches to hit. He has walked 63 times in his minor league career, while striking out 265 times in 685 at bats. The power threat is legit, and that will keep him on this list. He just needs to refine his approach. Easier said than done, but on a positive note, he has hit .326 this season (15-46) against left-handed pitchers. At 21, there is a lot of time left for this slugger to progress.
73- Jose Lezama
Catcher Jose Lezama is on this list as he has shown incredible plate discipline for a young hitter. In his 242 career at bats, he has walked 51 times, while striking out only 31 times. He puts the ball in play and has an idea of what he is doing at the plate. Amazing, since he just turned 19. The fact that Lezama is a left-handed hitter also adds value to him. He has defensive issues, as he has only thrown out 37 of 147 base runners. So his future behind the dish is a question mark.
72- Luis Patino
17-year-old Luis Patino is developing nicely. He is currently pitching at the DSL, where he is 2-0 in his first two starts of the season. The 6′ right-handed pitcher has not allowed a run, nor walked a single batter in his first 10 innings of the year, while striking out nine. The Colombian pitcher is obviously very young and further assessment will need to be made. Still, for him to perform this well in his first two professional appearances bodes well for his demeanor on the mound. Word is, he could be headed to the AZL this season.
71- Pedro Avila
He was acquired from the Washington Nationals for Derek Norris before the start of the 2017 season. The young right-hander has struggled a bit in Lake Elsinore, but has shown a nice arm despite not being huge in stature. The 5′ 11″ right-handed hurler has struck out 53 batters so far this year in 43 innings, so there is some ability to get batters out. At 20, he has time to get more consistent with his mechanics and effectiveness. The Venezuelan could climb this list pretty easy, so keep an eye on him.
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