20- Franchy Cordero
What can be said about this man what you have not witnessed first-hand? He is an exciting, young talent and should only get better with more seasoning. The fact he is able to play a decent center field speaks volumes to his athletic abilities. He was drafted as a shortstop out of the DR in 2011 and made the move off the position a few years ago. He has great speed, a very good arm, and his instincts in the outfield are improving daily. Cordero is just starting to blossom, and he can be a really special player if his hit tool matures. He still is striking out way too much to be considered an everyday player, but at 22, there is plenty of time for him to grow as a hitter.
19- Joey Lucchesi
This man has been vaulting up this list in recent months with the dominance he has shown at Lake Elsinore. Lucchesi is 5-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 71 innings so far. He has struck out 89 batters while walking 18, resulting in a 0.98 WHIP. A promotion could be in order for this young man, but the same could be said for Lauer or Quantrill. At 24, he is a little older than most of the pitchers at Lake Elsinore and with that advanced knowledge of the game, he is capitalizing. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s and he spots the pitch well. His funky, deceptive motion allows him to hide the ball well and it often sneaks up on hitters who have not faced Lucchesi before. His change and curve are both above average, so it seems that he should be able to stick as a starter and have success doing so. He is on the fast track to Petco, and could be pitching there fairly soon.
18- Chris Paddack
If not for Tommy John surgery last year, he would easily be a top-10 player on this list. His numbers are amazing when you delve into them. He owns a career 1.54 ERA in 97 innings at the minor league level, including a 0.95 ERA last year for the Padres in Fort Wayne, after he was acquired from the Marlins for Fernando Rodney. In those six starts for the Padres he struck out 48 batters in 28 innings pitched. Paddack’s changeup might be the best one in all of minor league baseball. He gets outstanding tumble from it, while his arm motion is flawless with the pitch. Paddack isn’t a one-trick pony either, as his fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s and it seemed to be developing more velocity before he went down with his arm injury. The right-hander also has a curve that he is working on and it could be a plus pitch as well when he is done cultivating it. At 21, Paddack still has great upside, even though the 2017 season is a lost one.
17- Hudson Potts
The Padres surprised everyone as they drafted Hudson Potts with the 24th selection of the 2016 draft. He was a high-touted prospect, but was not expected to be selected until further along in the draft. He is still 18 and putting up respectable numbers in Fort Wayne. He makes consistent hard contact at the plate and the power is developing. Part of the reason the Padres drafted him was that he showed at an early age adjusting to a wood bat would not be an issue. He is quick to the ball and generates excellent bat speed. He was initially drafted as a shortstop, but has been moved to the hot corner by the Padres. He should have no problem there, and hasn’t had an issue, as he has an above-average arm and excellent range.
16- Mason Thompson
I really enjoy talking to this young man. He is very respectful and his past injury issues have made him extremely humble to the game. He has gone through a lot to be where he is in the game of baseball, and it is incredible that he is just 19 years old. If not for Tommy John surgery, he would have easily been a top-5 selection in the 2016 draft. He missed his entire senior year, except for one inning, and fell to the Padres with the #85 overall pick. They rewarded the young man with an above slot deal and wrangled him away from his commitment to the University of Texas. Thompson is 6′ 7″ and features a mid 90’s fastball with two decent breaking pitches. His curve is already a weapon, while his changeup has great ability as well. Once he fills out his frame, he could easily add velocity to his game. Thompson should be a fast riser, but the team will play it safe this 2017 season with him.
15- Dinelson Lamet
Padre fans have enjoyed seeing this young man early this season. His first two starts were amazing, but he came back down to earth in the next two. Somewhere in the middle is the true ability of Lamet, but you cannot argue about his potential. He has a high 90’s fastball and an attitude to boot. Lamet loves to go after batters and his control issues of the past appear to be mostly subsided. Reports were initially that his breaking stuff was dicey, but seeing him use the pitch against major league hitters has eased any concerns I had about it. He looks to be legit, though he is still learning to hit his spots. It remains to be seen if he can stick for the entire 2017 season, but he is surely making a case for it.
14- Phil Maton
Spin-rate is a common theme when speaking about Phil Maton. The 20th-round selection (597th overall) out of Louisiana Tech in 2015 has been impressive since the team drafted him. Though he started in college his whole career, he came to the Padres and was put in the bullpen, where he has flourished. His stuff is incredible and he looks to be a future closer for the team. His fastball sits comfortably in the mid 90’s, but because he spins the pitch so much, it has excellent high riding movement. Maton also has an above-average cutter that he uses on left-handed hitters. His control is solid as he spots the fastball on both sides of the plate. He can toss up a curve to get strikes as well, so with that arsenal, he is very difficult to barrel up. Maton is currently with the Padres, and does not look to be demoted anytime soon. He will not be on this list much longer.
13- Luis Almanzar
He signed for $4 million dollars with the team in July out of the Dominican Rebuplic and is on the Tri-City roster as a 17-year-old. Almanzar is a shortstop, but some question if he can stick there. He is stocky at 6′ 0″ and 180 lbs and could be an eventual third baseman for the team. His bat looks legit as he has a slightly upper cut swing with the potential to develop power. The right-handed hitter uses all fields with his swing and that bodes well for his long-term value as an overall hitter. Keep an eye on this young man this season. He could be someone who moves through the system at a young age.
12- Michael Gettys
Plate discipline is the key for this young man. He has all the tools to be a successful everyday player, but from time to time, can look lost at the plate. He is still only 21, so its way too early to throw in the towel on him because he strikes out a bit too much. Gettys has a rocket arm and can swipe a bag for you at will. He is also an above-average defender in center. Since he was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, there have been high expectations placed on him. He has the ceiling of a superstar in the league. With the correct guidance and a ton of hard work, Michael Gettys could be the best Padres prospect in a long time. The strikeouts are always going to be there, but if he can limit them and utilize his powerful stroke more, he could be a star.
11- Jacob Nix
The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher has a real chance of being a decent major league starter. He relies on a mid-90’s fastball that he controls extremely well. Nix spots the ball on both sides of the plate well and is not afraid to come inside on hitters. His effectiveness on the inner side of the plate against right-handed hitters makes his above-average curve ball a strikeout pitch. He started the season a bit late this year, but has pitched effectively in Lake Elsinore. Great work ethnic and very mature.
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