San Diego Padres Top-100 Prospects

Credit: EVT

(Austin Smith) Credit: Journal Gazette

60- Austin Smith

Sadly, Austin Smith has regressed in his development. The Padres first selection (#51 overall) in the 2015 draft out of high school has just not looked good for the past year or so. He lacks command on his fastball and he has not fine-tuned his breaking pitches. There are also reports that his shape and work ethic have come into question. He was demoted to Tri-City recently after getting knocked around a bit in Fort Wayne and came up lame with a rib injury. This is really too bad. At 20, it is not time to write off the young hurler, but he clearly needs to make adjustments if he wants to have success in the game of baseball. On the mound, he still has a great pitcher build and a mid 90’s heater, so there will always be hope. Sometimes ballplayers have to figure it out for themselves, and hopefully the young Smith is currently on that path.

59- Luis Asuncion

20-year-old outfielder Luis Asuncion is currently in Tri-City and producing. The right-handed hitter has some serious power potential. At 6′ 4″, he is barely beginning to tap into his ability to drive the ball. The Dominican native spent last year in Tri-City and only managed one homer in 199 at bats. This year he already has a home run, a triple and two doubles in his first 24 at bats. If he keeps progressing, he might find himself in Indiana very soon playing for the TinCaps.

58- Osvaldo Hernandez

Left-handed pitcher Osvaldo Hernandez signed with the Padres for $2.5 million this signing period and is already showing great promise. He just turned 19 and the 6′ 0″ pitcher has gotten the attention of many Padre fans. He has a 90-94 MPH fastball, with a tight, spinning curve, excellent slider and advanced changeup. With the potential to throw four above-average pitches, he will quickly be moving up this list. Pitching in 18U tournaments in 2016, Hernandez struck out 84 batters in 68 innings, while walking 23 and recording a 0.92 ERA. He has international experience and is mature for his age.

57- Colby Blueberg

Drafted by the Padres in the 24th round of the 2014 draft, Blueberg was no given for success. The right-handed pitcher is not a physical presence on the mound (6′ 0″), but he has done nothing but perform since being given the chance. He owns a 1.91 career ERA in his 133 relief appearances and 193 innings. That is impressive and when you factor in that he has struck out 212 batters in that time, and you have the makings for a decent relief option in the future for the Friars

56- Jonny Homza

This Alaskan wonder is exciting to me. Reports are the Padres are going to move him to catcher, and that seems very interesting. There are no doubts he can handle the switch as he is a gamer who loves to play the game. He has a great swing from the right-handed batter box that should provide ample power. He was selected in the 5th round by the team, and has already signed. Homza could climb this list very quickly, depending on how smooth his transition is to professional baseball.

55- Walker Lockett

This big, right-handed pitcher is pitching in El Paso presently, and could be seen at Petco Park fairly soon. He is already on the 40-man roster and the 6′ 5″ hurler seems destined to pitch once the Padres move some of their veteran starting pitchers. He isn’t impressive at all with his numbers. He has only struck out 243 batters in his 337 minor league innings. He has maintained a 3.90 ERA during that span while slowing progressing through the system since he was selected in the 4th round in the 2012 draft out of a high school in Florida. His fastball is in the low 90’s and he relies on plus change to keep hitters honest. His curve is fringe at the moment and that pitch needs to improve if he want to have any success moving forward.

(Walker Lockett) Credit:

54- Kelvin Melean

18-year-old shortstop Kelvin Melean is someone to keep an eye on. The Venezuelan native has a productive right-handed swing and is already making his pro debut this season in Tri-City. Last year in the DSL league he put up a .291/.401/.372 batting line in 172 at bats. He only struck out 28 times, while walking 27 times on the year. He has plate discipline, but little power. At 6′ 0″, the power should play eventually. Defensively, he struggled last year playing short and could be moved to third or second. That remains to be seen.

53- Sam Keating

He signed for $900,000 and is likely to start his career at some point this summer. The high school right-handed pitcher has a very nice motion and a loose arm from the 3/4 slot. He creates nice movement on his pitches. He currently sits at 90-94 with his fastball and has an excellent slider with plus spin. The 108th pick in this year’s draft also has an excellent feel for his changeup and should be able to remain a starting pitcher at the professional level. At 6′ 3″ and 185 lbs, he has plenty of time to grow into his body. Keating was an excellent student in school and should benefit from major league coaching. He played outfield in high school and has excellent speed on the base paths as well.

52- Jean Cosme

Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for Odrisamer Despiagne, this right-hander has a quality arm. At 6′ 2″, he has decent size, but fails to generate a lot of velocity with his fastball. He is currently on the D.L. with an arm issue after starting six games in Lake Elsinore this season. He has started in 37 of his 55 minor league appearances, but he could eventually be a bullpen piece. He needs a refinement of a third pitch if he wishes to progress as a starting pitcher. He just turned 21 and seems capable of making the needed adjustments. Landing this young pitcher for the services of Despaigne was a nice acquisition for A.J. Preller.

51- Jesse Scholtens

Drafted by the Padres in the ninth round of the 2016 draft, Scholtens has really developed nicely. The starting pitcher is producing in Lake Elsinore and his name is really flying under the radar because he is surrounded by names like Quantrill, Lauer and Lucchesi. The 6′ 4″ right-hander has an excellent arsenal and he has a decent upside being that he just turned 23. Scholtens has K’d 113 batters in his 109 career minor league innings, and he has done that as a starter. He adds to the incredible depth of this Padre farm system.


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20 thoughts on “San Diego Padres Top-100 Prospects

  1. Well done! It would be amazing if this was an annual or semi-annual update. The potential staff arms we have in the system now make the prospects for the next 3-5 years pretty exciting.

    1. This piece will be updated every 4 months… Next update will be in late September or early October… Thank you

  2. I know these are supposed to be minor league players, but one with very good potential as a hitter is recent Rule 5 pick, Allen Cordoba, who probably should be in Lake Elsinore instead of the big league roster. Look for him to shine in the minors in 2018.

    On the pitching side, you might have missed one big arm – Jose Galindo. Walk rate a little high, but he seems to have the tools to be an impressive pitcher.

    I’d put both those guys within your top 100.

    1. Galindo is a great call. He was on the radar… Cordoba will no longer be considered a prospect after this season even though he may start in the minor next year. Thank you for the comments.

  3. Who do you see as the offensive centerpiece of this lineup in ’20, you could call the Correa/Bryant middle of the lineup masher, is he not in the system, or do the Padres get him in the ’18 draft with someone like Beer/Baker?

  4. I might have missed him but I did not see Reggie Lawson? Still, great piece James. Enjoyed reading it

  5. James,
    Very much enjoyed reading about the prospects. What has become of the pitcher from Taiwan
    that was signed, Wen-Hua Sung ? I think he was at the Peoria Complex in the Fall…but, I
    have not read anything lately. Also, he is not on either of the Arizona League teams ?

  6. Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive overview of the Padres farm system! It’s great to hear about the other guys not named Quantril, Morejon, Urias, etc. Avid listener of your podcast too!

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Another great job by the hardest working Padres fan on the internet!

    Thanks for your great work, Mr. Clark (once again).

  8. Not sure what’s crazier, you going 100 prospects deep or me reading about them all? 🙂 Great job James, the prospects just keep coming!!!

  9. James … I just want to thank you far all that you do for EVT. I have been a Padre fan for many years and I appreciate the present and the hope for the future which you help to provide.

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